Tuiloma appointed to Judicial Service Commission

Tuiloma Neroni Slade has been appointed as a member of the Judicial Service Commission (J.S.C.).

The appointment was confirmed by the writ signed by the Head of State, His Highness Tuimaleali’ifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi II, on 15 July 2019. 

The addition to the J.S.C. membership is part of new amendments to the Constitution, which adds three new members to the Commission: a retired Supreme Court Judge appointed by the Head of State on the advice of Cabinet; the President of the Land and Titles Court, Fepulea’i Atilla Ropati and a member of the public. 

Currently, the J.S.C. comprises the Acting Chief Justice. His Honour Vui Clarence Nelson, Attorney General Lemalu Hermann Retzlaff and a representative of the Ministry of Justice, the Chief Executive Officer, who acts as the Secretary of the Commission.

The writ is a result of F.K. (19) 18 appointing Tuiloma as the retired Judge to sit on the J.S.C.

Attempts by the Samoa Observer to get comments from the newly appointed J.S.C. member have been unsuccessful. 

The constitutional amendments to Article 72(2) and (3) states no business shall be transacted by the J.S.C. unless any three members appointed are present, and all questions proposed for decision by the Commission shall be decided by a majority of the votes of the members.

“A meeting of the Judicial Service may be called by any member except the Registrar."

“The power of appointing, promoting and transferring any judicial officer, other than the Chief Justice, and of dismissing any judicial officer other than a Judge of the Supreme Court, is hereby vested in the Head of State, acting on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission as may be provided by Act.”  

Tuiloma graduated from Victoria University with a Bachelor of Laws in 1968. 

Early in his legal career, Tuiloma led Samoa's delegation to the third United Nations (UN) Conference on the Law of the Sea. He became Samoa’s Attorney-General in 1976, and between 1980 and 1982 was often called on to act as Chief Justice of Samoa.

 In 1983 he was appointed Assistant Director of the Legal Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat in London and 10 years later, Tuiloma was appointed Samoa's ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations in New York. 

He also served as both the Samoan Ambassador to the United States of America and High Commissioner to Canada.

Tuiloma also co-chaired the UN Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea, as well as an international working group on Compliance under the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change.

An official advisor at international discussions in The Hague in the Netherlands and elsewhere on the Legality of the Threat or use of Nuclear Weapons, he also chaired the 42-member Alliance of Small Island Developing States at the UN.

Tuiloma the Samoan delegation to the Rome diplomatic conference on the establishment of an International Criminal Court in which human rights and international justice were central, and was one of the first judges appointed by member States to the International Criminal Court sitting in The Hague, where he was a Presiding Judge.

 From 2008 until 2014, Tuiloma Slade was the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, the premier regional organisation of the Pacific.

When the J.S.C. amendments was first discussed in Parliament last year, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi said the amendments was part of an inquiry ordered by the Parliament to establish a special Parliamentary Committee to investigate the work and performance of L.T.C. judges in 2016. 

He said the proposed amendment of the Constitution is the Cabinet’s response based on the Parliamentary Committee's recommendations. 

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