Judges Inquiry report ready to be tabled

By Lanuola Tupufia – Ah Tong ,

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CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMISSION: Lopao’o Natanielu Mua.

CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMISSION: Lopao’o Natanielu Mua.

The Commission of Inquiry looking into the work of the Judges for the Land and Titles Court will table their findings on 20 December 2016 when Parliament reconvenes.

Chairman of the Commission, Member of Parliament for Vaisigano No. 1, Lopao’o Natanielu Mua confirmed this yesterday. 

Lopao’o said the report is ready to be tabled in parliament on the 20th and a decision will be made in the House about it. 

“I cannot say anything more about the report before its tabled,” insisted Lopao’o. 

“Yes it will be tabled when parliament convenes on the Tuesday 20th and parliament will make a decision.”

The report which was scheduled to be tabled in October’s sitting could not be presented in parliament then. 

During that sitting, Lopao’o told parliament they were finalising the report and needed more time to put it together and have it ready for December. 

The Commission of Inquiry report contains complaints from the general public and many questions about the backlog of Land and Titles Court. 

More than two hundred people made submissions to the Inquiry which had also extended time to allow more complainants to lodge complaints. 

The Judiciary on the other hand had not cooperated in the Commission and is expected to respond to the report once it is tabled. 

A copy of it will be sent to the Judiciary for their official response.

The Commission was ordered by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi in June during a Ministerial speech. 

In moving a motion to establish a special Parliamentary Committee to investigate the work and performance of L.T.C. Judges, Tuilaepa told Parliament the Commission is to submit a report to Parliament for its October sitting. 

According to the Prime Minister, the privilege of being an L.T.C. Judge was being abused by some Judges who are using the opportunity as “a holiday” until they reach the age of 70. 

 “There needs to be checks for men and women judges of the Land and Titles Court,” Tuilaepa said. 

 “If the Court does not fix its internal issues, there is a duty of the Parliament to make an order with the two third support from the M.Ps in the House…”  

Tuilaepa said Parliament could submit an application to the Head of State to remove any Judge who is not performing their role with honesty.  “There are a few concerns about the criminal Courts which include the District and Supreme Court. But  99 percent of the complaints have shown distress from the public because of decisions from the Land and Titles Court." 

“The truth is no matter how hard we try to make something a 100 percent, we cannot make it a 100 percent because the good wheat will always grow together with the bad ones.” 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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