Court proceedings on land titles law adjourned

Supporters of the Samoa Solidarity International Group Global (S.I.G.G.) packed the Supreme Court when its lawsuit against the Government over the Land Titles Registration Act went for mention.

The land rights group is suing the Office of the Prime Minister, Attorney General, Former A.G. Aumua Ming Leung wai, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Samoa Land Corporation.

The matter was called for first mention before Justice Mata Keli Tuatagaloa on Monday. Tafailagi Peniamina of the AG’s office appeared on behalf of the A.G, Office of the Prime Minister, Samoa Land Corporation and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment while Arthur Lesā appeared on behalf of the former A.G. Aumua Ming Leung Wai who is the third respondent.

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When the proceedings got underway on Monday, Ms. Peniamina made an application for a two-week adjournment to file a response on behalf of the first, second, fourth and fifth respondent.

However, for Mr. Lesā, he made an application for a strike out motion on behalf of his client.

Justice Mata granted the application by Ms. Tafailagi and adjourned the matter to November 12. 

Earlier this year a statement issued by the S.S.I.G. stated that the legal challenge is over the “legality” and “constitutionality” of the Land Titles Registration Act (L.T.R.A.) 2008.

“The lawsuit is challenging the constitutionality of sections of the L.T.R.A. 2008 law, which allows the registration of customary land leases, and which when passed required the registration of all customary lands of Samoa in violation of Articles 102 and 109 of the Samoa Constitution, among others."

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