7 Oct 2010

Law reform to repeal adultery law in Samoa

3:33 pm on 7 October 2010

A report has been tabled in the Samoan parliament that, if adopted, would repeal the law making adultery illegal.

The report, by the Samoa Law Reform Commission, argues the adultery provision should be abolished because it is a moral issue.

A 36 year old woman was this week given a fine of about 20 US dollars for the crime, and discharged without conviction.

Her lawyer, Rosella Papalii, highlighted the report before parliament that would abolish the section of the crimes Ordinance making adultery illegal, because it is a moral issue.

"It's quite an archaic provision, and we have adopted the approach by jurisdictions such as Australia and New Zealand for many years now, since independence. So I don't see any reason why we shoudn't follow suit. That provision really infringes on the private lives of people."

Rosella Papalii says as far as she is aware, it's the first case of its kind in a long time.