Fepulea'i Roma: Samoa's newest Supreme Court Judge

The Supreme Court of Samoa is set to welcome its newest Justice on Wednesday.

The new Judge is Fepulea'i Ameperosa Roma, whose appointment was confirmed by the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration (M.J.C.A.), Moliei Simi Vaai.

Ms. Vaai is also the Secretary of the Judiciary Services Commission. 

“I confirm [the] appointment of Judge Fepuleai Ameperosa Roma as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Samoa by the J.S.C. in its meeting on Monday, 6 Jan 2020,” said Ms. Vaai in response to queries. 

Justice Fepuleai, a former District Court Judge, will be sworn in by the Head of State, His Highness, Tuimaleali’ifano Sualauvi Va’aletoa II, at his residence in Vailele on Wednesday morning.

The new Supreme Court Judge will join Acting Chief Justice, His Honour Vui Clarence Nelson, Justice Mata Keli Tuatagaloa, Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala Warren and Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke in the high Court. 

Ms. Vaai also confirmed the resignation of Justice Vaepule Vaemoa Vaai effective 31 December 2019. 

Justice Fepulea'i was first sworn in as a District Court Judge in January 2014. 

He is the son of former Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (C.C.C.S.) Chairman, Rev. Elder Tavita Roma and Tailua Roma of Salailua and Alafua. 

A former graduate of the University of the South Pacific (U.S.P) he was the youngest Judge to be sworn in the Samoan Judiciary when he became District Court Judge. 

Prior to joining the bench he worked in partnership with his colleague Fepuleai Patrick Fepuleai at their Fepuleai and Roma Law Firm. 

He is married to lawyer Diana Roma with five children. 

On Friday last week, the District Court also welcomed Judge Loau Donald Kerslake to the bench.

Justice Vui during the opening ceremony for the Justice sector said the appointment of the Judges are essential to meet the increasing number of cases in the Land and Titles Court and the Civil and Criminal Courts. 

“The proliferation in cases being matched only by the complexity and ingenuity of the arguments and issues advanced by the lawyers and the parties bringing such claims,” he said. 

“Other measures will be adopted both by the Judiciary and the Ministry as the year progresses in order to cope with this ever increasing workload.”

The Ministry of Justice had also identified the reduction of Court delays as one of three key goals for 2020. 

Other objectives is improvement of its record management systems and professional staff development and upgrading of existing facilities.

*This story has been changed to reflect a correction about Justice Fepulea'i's parents. The original story referred to the "late Tailua Roma." This was not correct. The error is regretted.

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