The National Prosecution Office (N.P.O) hosted a seminar to prepare for three new legislations. These include the new Criminal Procedure Act, new Sentencing Act and the new Evidence Act, which will be commencing this year.
The seminar was to prepare prosecutors within the N.P.O for the changes these new laws bring into Samoa as well as other key government offices such as the Police and the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration.
Other government offices in attendance were the special investigation unit of the Ministry of Finance, the special investigations unit of the Ombudsman Office, and the special investigations unit of the Office of the Chief Auditor and Controller.
In house counsels from other government ministries were also present.
John Pike QC, former Deputy Solicitor General of New Zealand was the trainer.
For the past 10 years, Mr. Pike has assisted and mentored prosecutors from Samoa as well as strengthening the infrastructure of the then Criminal Division of the Office of Attorney General that is now the National Prosecution Office.
Mr. Pike was the consultant who assisted in developing the main new legislations within the criminal law of Samoa, including the three legislations and the Crimes Act 2013.
In this seminar, Mr. Pike volunteered his time for one week to conduct the training.
The main changes these new legislations bring to Samoa are:
(a) there has never been a sentencing act before in Samoa. So this will be new for all those affected by the criminal system in Samoa, which provides clear principles of sentencing to be taken into account when sentencing is imposed
(b) since 1960, this will be the first changes to the Criminal Procedure Act and the Evidence Act for Samoa putting into legislation much of the law that has already been developed in common law.