20 Jul 2018

Samoa Chief Justice gets contract extension

4:36 pm on 20 July 2018

Samoa's Chief Justice, Patu Tiavaasue Falefatu Sapolu, has been given a 9 month extension to his contract in a decision the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said was based on "commonsense".

Closing ceremony of the Tokelaun Judicial Orientation Course in Apia Samoa on February 13. Seated is the Ulu o Tokelau, Aliki Faipule Kuresa Nasau and standing is Samoan Chief Justice, Tiavaasue Patu Falefatu Sapolu.

Patu Tiavaasue Falefatu Sapolu Photo: © L.Armytage 2015

The chief executive of the Ministry of Justice Papalii John Taimalelagi told KHJ this morning that his office has received the Cabinet decision paper and confirmed that the extension was for nine months only.

He said the manadatory retirement age for court judges was 68 years and Patu is older than that.

Tuilaepa said the decision was made by him because he knew there were court cases the Chief Justice had presided over that needed to be dealt with only by himself.

Papalii said the Chief Justice position is enshrined in the constitution and only the Head of State can make an appointment based on the advise of the Prime Minister.