Sailosi Kepa

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Sailosi Wai Kepa
28th Attorney General of Fiji
In office
1988–1992
President Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau
Prime Minister Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara
Preceded by Alipate Qetaki
Succeeded by Apaitia Seru
Judge of the High Court of Fiji
In office
1992–1998
President Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau
Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara
Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka
Chief Justice Sir Timoci Tuivaga
1st Chairman, Fiji Human Rights Commission
In office
1998–2001
President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara
Ratu Josefa Iloilo
Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka
Mahendra Chaudhry
Ratu Tevita Momoedonu
Laisenia Qarase
Ombudsman of Fiji
In office
2001 – August 2003
President Ratu Josefa Iloilo
Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase
Personal details
Born 4 November 1938
Nukuni, Ono-i-Lau
Died 1 March 2004
Spouse(s) Ro Teimumu Vuikaba Tuisawau-Kepa
Children 1 son, 2 daughters
Alma mater Nasinu Teachers College
University of Sydney
Middle Temple
Profession Teacher, Lawyer, Judge, Diplomat
Religion Roman Catholic

Sailosi Wai Kepa (4 November 1938 – 1 March 2004)[1] was a Fijian statesman, judge, and diplomat.

Born in the village of Nukuni on the island of Ono-i-Lau, Kepa was one of many distinguished public figures to hail from the Lau archipelago. He was educated at Draiba Fijian School and Lelean Memorial School,[2] before enrolling in Nasinu Teachers College in 1959. He went on to receive a Diploma in Teaching of English from the University of Sydney in 1966.[3] In 1972, he received a Law degree from the renowned Middle Temple in London, England.

Kepa's legal career was a distinguished one, which took him into politics, diplomacy, and the judiciary. After joining the Department of Justice as a magistrate in 1969 (serving Suva, Sigatoka, Nadi, and the Northern Division), he became Chief Magistrate in 1980. He also became Director of Public Prosecutions in November that year.[4] He went on to become Fiji's High Commissioner to London in 1985, and Minister for Justice and Attorney General in 1988. He served in this role until 1992, when he became a High Court judge. In 1998 he was appointed the first Chairman of Fiji's Human Rights Commission. His last official post was as Fiji's Ombudsman, a post he held from 2001 till his retirement in August 2003.

In his younger years, Kepa made a name for himself as a rugby player. He was later rewarded by being made Chairman of the Fiji Rugby Union from 1983 to 1986. He was granted life membership in 1994.[5]

Kepa was married for many years to Ro Teimumu Kepa, an Adi (Fijian chief) and politician in her own right, who is the Roko Tui Dreketi (Paramount Chief) of the Burebasaga Confederacy and served as Minister for Education from 2001 to 2006 in the government of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase. Since 2014, she has been Leader of the Social Democratic Liberal Party, and since the general elections in September that year, Leader of the Opposition. They had three children: Sailosi Jr., Asenaca, and Tupoutu’a.

Legal offices
Preceded by
Alipate Qetaki
1st time
Attorney General of Fiji

1988-1992
Succeeded by
Apaitia Seru
Preceded by
Judge of the High Court of Fiji
1992-1998
Succeeded by
Preceded by
None
(New office)
Chairman, Fiji Human Rights Commission
1998-2001
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Ombudsman of Fiji
2001-2003
Succeeded by

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ROKO TUI DREKETI (Title)". WORLD OF ROYALTY. Retrieved 7 October 2015. 
  2. ^ "ROKO TUI DREKETI (Title)". WORLD OF ROYALTY. Retrieved 7 October 2015. 
  3. ^ Lal, Renee. "The Diversified or Strict Role of an Ombudsman: A Comparison in the Roles of the Ombudsman in Vanuatu and Fiji". University of the South Pacific. Retrieved 7 October 2015. 
  4. ^ Lal, Renee. "The Diversified or Strict Role of an Ombudsman: A Comparison in the Roles of the Ombudsman in Vanuatu and Fiji". University of the South Pacific. Retrieved 7 October 2015. 
  5. ^ "Fiji rugby mourns Kepa's death". Teivovo.com. Retrieved 7 October 2015.