Former Chief Justice Patu to end service this month

The former Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asue Falefatu Sapolu, remains in office and will end his service on the last day of September, which is Monday. 

The Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration's (M.J.C.A.) Chief Executive Officer, Moliei Simi Vaai, said the former Chief Justice's “last [contract] extension is still valid until the last day of this month”. 

She added that vehicle and residence entitlements provided as part of compensation for the role are still binding until then for the former longest serving Chief Justice. 

It was not possible to get a comment from the former Chief Justice at press time. 

Patu officially retired from office in April this year after 26 years of service with the Ministry of Justice. 

After his farewell, Patu remained in office delivering decisions on outstanding Court proceedings dating back to the 1950s. 

Since then, he has delivered an estimated ten decisions relating to those long standing matters. 

His signature on the decisions labels him a temporary Justice of the Supreme Court and former Chief Justice. 

His term in office was initially extended from 2018 with the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, stating that Patu had cases he needed to deal with before he retires from office. 

As of today, a choice of new Chief Justice has not been made known. 

The Minister of Justice, Faaolesa Katopau Ainu’u, and M.J.C.A. C.E.O. did not respond to queries about a new Chief Justice. 

The acting Chief Justice is Justice Vui Clarence Nelson, who has been in that role since the retirement of Patu. 

Tuilaepa had told the media earlier that he still has not received the “secret whisper” from God about who will become the new Chief Justice. 

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