Chief Justice's arrival Friday
The newly appointed Chief Justice, His Honour Satiu Simativa Perese will arrive on Friday
“It is the only available flight that I can come on. And the swearing-in [ceremony] has been scheduled on 5 June, 2020,” said His Honour Satiu.
The new Chief Justice was appointed last month and was scheduled to be sworn in last Friday; however, due to the border closures, the ceremony had to be postponed.
“I will arrive on 22 May and will most certainly be quarantined for 14 days and the ceremony will proceed as soon as I am cleared from [that] process,” he said.
His Honour Satiu said that it is highly unlikely that he would be quarantined at The Chief Justice’s residence.
“I don’t think that will be the case. I will be looking for accommodation when I arrive in Samoa, as the Chief Justice’s residence is no longer available,” he told the Samoa Observer.
The official residence was occupied by the former Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Falefatu Tiavaasu’e Sapolu and his family; however they had since moved out.
“I do have a brother there, but I don’t want to impose on him and his family; so I’ll most likely be quarantined at a hotel when I get there,” said the 57-year-old.
Last month His Honour Satiu said he was humbled to be appointed.
Having left Samoa for New Zealand when he was seven years old, Satiu said it had always been a dream to return to serve its people.
But the Chief Justice said his role was not necessarily what he had dreamt of.
He said it was during a mass in July last year that a gospel reading about “knocking on the door” struck him.
“It was the Monday after that mass I decided to send an expression of interest to Samoa [for the position],” he said.
“That was my knocking on the door.”
In a recent interview with the Samoa Observer His Honour Satiu said he's looking forward to returning to Samoa to take the lead in the Judiciary and is looking forward to continuing the work that has been done by working with Justices of the Supreme Court, Judges of the District Court, all the Judges and officials of the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration.
“I think together we will make an amazing team of Judges serving Samoa and the legal system.” he said.
But the transition for Satiu to return to Samoa will not be a major one as he has families on the island. He said he hopes to also use the opportunity to take a strong role in his village affairs and the fa’amatai.
Chief Justice Satiu was born in Magiagi and began his education at Magiagi Primary School before his family moved to New Zealand where he continued his college and tertiary education.
Satiu is the son of Satiu Fea Leasuasu Perese of Salimu, Fagaloa and mother Ulufafo Samau of Tanugamanono.
He graduated with an L.L..B. from Victoria University of Wellington in 1989, and was conferred with an L.L.M. with Honours from Columbia University in New York in 1996. He was also awarded a Harkness Fellowship in 1995 from the Commonwealth Fund in New York, in recognition of his leadership.
He has 30 years of experience as a lawyer that began in 1990 in the Crown Law Office in Wellington, New Zealand. He, later on, moved to Auckland to become a Staff Solicitor and then Associate in 1993.
His current areas of practice as a barrister include judicial review, human rights, immigration, employment, properties securities, commercial litigation, company insolvency, property, land, trust law, charitable trusts, professional negligence, and criminal law litigation.
Satiu was admitted to the bar in Samoa in 1999, and has been admitted on a case by case in the Cook Islands. Over his 30 years of experience in the law and justice sector, Satiu was a member of the Human Rights Review Tribunal from 2003-2009. He was a member of the Auckland Crown Solicitor Prosecution Panel. He was also the Chair of the Cabinet of New Zealand appointed Board of the National Pacific Radio Trust, and a he was the President of the Pacific Lawyers Society from 2000-2002.
Satiu is a matai of Salimu, Fagaloa.