8 Mar 2011

Samoa swears in first woman judge

3:37 pm on 8 March 2011

One of Samoa's most prominent lawyers, Mata Tuatagaloa Keli, has been sworn in as the country's first woman judge.

She was sworn before the chief justice, Patu Falefatu Sapolu, in a ceremony at the supreme court attended by the caretaker prime minister and several government ministers as well as family, relatives and friends.

She became a temporary judge of the district court last month before being appointed to the job permanently.

The new judge has been in the legal profession since 1994 after graduating with a Law degree from Australia's University of New South Wales.

Mata Tuatagaloa Keli replaces a former district court judge, Tauiliili Harry Schuster, who resigned early this year to run in last week's general election.

He won one of the two seats for Vaimauga west constituency.