19 Apr 2018

Samoa court declaration to register Gatoaitele paramount title quashed

8:18 am on 19 April 2018

Samoa's court of appeal has quashed a Supreme Court declaration which had confirmed the registration of the paramount title Gatoaitele bestowed in June 2014 on Savea Sano Malifa.

Savea Sano Malifa

Savea Sano Malifa Photo: RNZ / Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

He is one of the prominent chiefs of Afega village, and editor in chief of the Samoa Observer news outlet.

The court has ruled the Supreme Court lacked the jurisdiction to make that declaration sought by the respondent.

The matter has been referred to the Lands and Titles court to now consider a petition filed out of the three months period against the bestowal of this title.

The court of appeal in its decision had pointed out that section 34 of the Supreme Court jurisdiction in Lands and Titles matters provides the Lands and Titles court jurisdiction is exclusive in matters relating to a Samoan names and titles.