Chief Justice's appointment will not be renewed, says Minister of Justice

The appointment of the Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava'asu’e Falefatu Sapolu, expires on 23 April 2019 and it will not be extended.

That's according to the Minister of Justice and Courts and Administration, Fa’aolesa Katopau Ainu’u, in response to questions from the Samoa Observer.

“As far as I know, there is no extension, his contract will end (at) the end of April," he said.

When Fa’aolesa was asked who is the next in line to take the job, he said. “I am not appointing the next Chief Justice, so I wouldn’t know. The Chief Justice position is appointed by the Prime Minister and undergoes Cabinet approval."

The current Chief Justice's appointment expired in July last year, but was extended by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi.

Explaining his decision at that time to extend the contract, the PM said: “The decision is based on common sense since the Chief Justice has cases he alone needs to deal with.”

On the issue of the Chief Justice reaching the mandatory retirement age for judges, Tuilaepa said a number of factors were taken into consideration before the decision was reached. 

 “Common sense is applied to this matter. The Chief Justice has work that needs to be completed. His rulings should be done by him, not other judges.”

Attempts to get comments from the Chief Justice were unsuccessful. 

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