The president of the Land and Titles Court position remains vacant following the resignation of the former president, Tagaloa Tuala Kerslake in April.
This was confirmed by the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Justice, Courts and Administration, Papali’i John Taimalelagi yesterday.
Papali’i told the Sunday Samoan that he has not been informed by the Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asue Falefatu Sapolu, about an appointment.
“The Commission has not met to decide on an appointment,” said the C.E.O.
“It is still vacant and the position is appointed by the Judicial Service Commission (J.S.C.).”
Papali’i explained that the appointment for the L.T.C. president is similar to that of the District Court and Supreme Court Judges.
He said no applications are required and that there are no interviews.
“The appointment is done directly by the J.S.C.,” he said.
“It’s always been like that and it’s the same as the appointment of the judges.”
Under the Land and Titles Court Act 1981 the J.S.C. makes a recommendation to Cabinet and it is endorsed by the Head of State.
According to section 26A, “the Head of State acting on the advice of Cabinet, upon the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission, may appoint as president a person qualified to be appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court under Article 65 of the Constitution or a Samoan Judge qualified under section 28 and this section”.
The former President, Tagaloa held the position for 11 years before he resigned “for family reasons”.