A respected former Fijian judge has told a human rights forum that legislation is only part of the solution to ending domestic violence in the Pacific region.

Former Judge Mere Pulea delivered the opening address at the Pacific Community Gender and the Law Consultation 2016 in Nadi this week, which was organised by the Pacific Community’s Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) in partnership with UN Women and the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement.

“Putting in place laws against domestic violence in 11 Pacific Island countries is a major achievement which will have profound impacts on the lives of victims of violence. However, legislation in itself is only part of the solution,” Judge Pulea said.

“There is much more to be done to effectively implement these laws, a challenge that is rivalled only by our underestimation of the difficulty of bringing about attitudinal and systemic changes,” Judge Pulea stated.

The five-day consultation brought together lawyers, police, civil society representatives and policy officers from those Pacific countries with family protection and domestic violence laws in place (Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Island, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu) to share experiences, challenges and lessons learned in implementing their respective family protection laws. READ MORE