Victoria University of Wellington’s Council will confer an honorary doctorate on distinguished lawyer, statesman and jurist Tuiloma Neroni Slade as part of the University’s December graduation ceremonies.
TN Slade photoVictoria University Chancellor Sir Neville Jordan describes Tuiloma Slade as a fitting recipient of an honorary doctorate from Victoria.
“Tuiloma Slade is a person of great dignity and distinction, admired and respected throughout the world for his pioneering work in new fields of law and his outstanding service in the Pacific.
“Victoria University can be justly proud of this distinguished alumnus.”
After graduating from Victoria University with a Bachelor of Laws in 1968, Tuiloma Slade returned home to Samoa as legal officer and senior prosecutor, then Parliamentary Counsel at the Attorney-General’s office.
Early in his legal career, Tuiloma Slade led Samoa's delegation to the third United Nations (UN) Conference on the Law of the Sea. He became Samoa’s Attorney-General in 1976, and between 1980 and 1982 was often called on to act as Chief Justice of Samoa.
In 1983 he was appointed Assistant Director of the Legal Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, where decolonisation, human rights and apartheid were central issues.
It was here he gave substantial advice and assistance to developing countries and ex-colonies faced with the challenges of developing independent legal systems and protecting their rights and resources.
Ten years later, Tuiloma Slade was appointed Samoa's ambassador and permanent representative to the UN in New York. He also served as both the Samoan Ambassador to the United States of America and High Commissioner to Canada.
Tuiloma Slade extended his powerful legal analysis and reach to global problems of climate change, the environment and nuclear weapons, co-chairing the UN Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea, as well as an international working group on Compliance under the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change.
An official advisor at international discussions in The Hague in the Netherlands and elsewhere on the Legality of the Threat or use of Nuclear Weapons, he also chaired the 42-member Alliance of Small Island Developing States at the UN.
Tuiloma Slade led the Samoan delegation to the Rome Diplomatic Conference on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court in which human rights and international justice were central, and was one of the first judges appointed by member States to the International Criminal Court sitting in The Hague, where he was a Presiding Judge.
Tuiloma Slade has been conferred the Order of Samoa for his outstanding contribution to Samoa at national and international levels.
From 2008 until 2014, Tuiloma Slade was appointed by Pacific Leaders as Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, the premier political organisation of the Pacific region.