24 Aug 2007

Samoa launches free legal service

4:43 pm on 24 August 2007

Several Samoan lawyers have launched an organisation called Simple Law to provide free legal information and to educate people in rural areas about their rights.

The president of Simple Law, Leulua'iali'i Tasi Malifa, says many people do not understand the law and their rights.

Leulua'iali'i says some village councils' decisions to ban people from their villages were contrary to the constitution on human rights issues.

He says another key aim is to provide an explanation of the powers to village matais.

Leulua'iali'i says one of the biggest problems he finds is that most people do not understand the process of the law.

"But the processes are a long, long away from fully known by the people and this is one of the basic difficulties that is current right now and his is one of the things that we want to explore and wanted to help them, if we can."

Leulua'iali'i Tasi Malifa.

The New Zealand High Commissioner, Caroline Bilkey, who is a lawyer by profession, officially launched the organisation.

She says New Zealand is fully supportive of the concept.