21 Apr 2020

Retired judge adds his concerns to Samoa govt legislation

8:40 am on 21 April 2020

Lautalatoa Pierre Slicer QC, former Justice of the Tasmanian and Samoa Supreme Courts, has labelled proposed legislation in Samoa's parliament to create an Independent Land and Titles Court as a disaster for the concept of law.

Samoa's parliament

Samoa's parliament Photo: RNZ Pacific /Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

The Samoa Observer reports Justice Lautalatoa saying the proposed amendment to the country's Constitution would betray the intention of the founding fathers who authored it.

A letter from members of the Judiciary in Samoa addressed to the Law Reform Commissioner voiced grave concerns at the proposed changes which now await a third reading to become law.

The newly appointed Chief Justice Satiu Simativa Perese declined to comment, saying it's not fair for him to comment because he hasn't seen the letter.

Concerns have also been raised by the Samoa Law Society which called for more public consultations as well as forming a special committee to conduct an awareness programme.