Sataua rejects L.T.C. bills, calls for more time

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 10 July 2020, 7:56PM

The Village Council of Sataua Savai'i has rejected three bills proposing major restructuring in the Judiciary as well as a promise to recognise "communal rights" over individual rights in the Constitution.  

They want the Government to give members of the public more time to discuss and understand the implication of changes they are proposing.

Representatives from Sataua who appeared before the Special Parliamentary Committee this week say the proposed legislations have been “rushed” with very little time for consultation. 

The position from Sataua and four other villages on the big island of Savai’i was confirmed in a video posted by the Legislative Assembly Office from the Committee's session in Savai'i.

“We have made our submission and have appealed [to the Committee] to leave it for now,” said one of the matai from Sataua. 

“We rejected [the bills] and the consultation is rushed with very little time given to meet [with villages].

“If only there was more time the Committee would consult with the country but for now it should be left like that until a later time to discuss…”

The Parliamentary Committee has been in Savai’i since the second week of May for consultation on the Constitution Amendment Bill 2020, Land and Titles Court Bill 2020 and Judicature Bill 2020. 

The Committee is scheduled to commence consultation in Upolu next week. 

Other villages in Savai’i that appeared before the Committee this week are Vaisala, Auala, Papa and Fagasa who have thrown their support behind the Government’s proposed legislation. 

The village of Fagasa said they initially objected to the bills but they now have a better understanding of the proposed changes and have supported it. 

As for Auala, the villagers have accepted the three bills on conditions that the Committee will accept their recommendations they have expressed during the consultation. 

It was not clear from the Legislative Assembly video what the recommendations the village had asked to be considered. 

Attempts to get a comment from the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, Tiatia Graeme Tualaulelei, have been unsuccessful.

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 10 July 2020, 7:56PM

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