Lawyers oppose bills in full force

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 09 May 2020, 5:00PM

More than 20 lawyers from public and private practitioners turned up in full force to support the evidence of the Samoa Law Society on Friday morning.

A lengthy submission from the Samoa Law Society into the proposed changes of the Land and Titles Court had to be deferred for another day when its full evidence could not be heard in one day. 

The 198-page submission from the legal fraternity was heard before the Special Parliamentary Committee tasked to review the Constitution Amendment Bill, Land and Titles Bill 2020 and Judicature Bill 2020. 

It could not be confirmed when the society will continue its submission. 

After weeks of research and preparation for their submission, S.L.S. President, Leiataualesa Komisi Koria said it was tremendous to finally share their concerns with the Parliamentary Committee. 

The lawyers were given the opportunity to go through each submission per issue to ensure the Committee heard their voices. 

“The environment was very professional and cordial. It started with prayer service and we felt very welcomed,” he said. 

Before the lawyers were called in to give evidence, a group of supporters gathered outside to show their support for the legal fraternity’s position on the bills. 

Leiataualesa acknowledged the supporters, who were mostly in green, saying they are happy if the community and groups feel the same way as they did about the proposed legislation.

He made it clear that they do not want to be seen as being anti-Government but had only wanted to be given the chance to voice their concerns before the bills move on to third reading in the Parliament. 

The Law Society has strongly opposed the content and effect of the three proposed legislations being reviewed and undergoing public consultation.

It is the Society’s position that the existing Land and Titles Court system is retained while resourcing the Court to address grievances raised by the public in the L.T.C. Commission of Inquiry in 2016. 

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 09 May 2020, 5:00PM

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