A vote in Samoa's parliament has failed to win the two thirds majority needed to remove the president of the Lands and Titles Court.
Fepulea'i Attila Ropati was convicted by the Court of Appeal in April for causing bodily harm, but the judiciary and the government has been unable to remove him from his post.
The parliamentary committee looking into the matter recommended he be retained.
But the Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, said the committee had lapsed before reaching its recommendation.
The motion to sack Fepulea'i was made by the prime minister.
Twenty-one MPs supported his termination while 18 voted against it.
Nine MPs were not present.
Termination of the president requires 34 votes in the fifty seat parliament.
Tuila'epa said the constitution needs amending to avoid confusion on the sacking of judges.