L.T.C. bills consultation nearing completion
Public consultation on three bills proposing an autonomous Land and Titles Court is nearing completion, with less than ten submissions left.
This was confirmed by the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, Tiatia Graeme Tualaulelei.
The remaining submissions are from individuals, including the second part of the Samoa Law Society’s position.
Chaired by Member of Parliament for Fa’asaleleaga No. 1, Gatoloaifa’ana Amataga Gidlow, the Committee featuring seven other M.P.s was tasked to carry out public consultation at the end of April.
“It will resume next week and there are less than ten submissions left including those from the Judges,” said Tiatia.
Asked about the Samoa Law Society who was told to complete their submission on a later date, the Clerk assured that the lawyers will have their turn to do so before the Committee wraps up.
Lawyers from the society had been making public appearance to express their opposition to the three bills.
The legal fraternity had described the package of legislation as “fundamentally and technically defective” alleging it is an attack on the stability of the justice system and the operation of the Rule of Law.
The Clerk of L.A. was unable to give an estimate of how many villages in total and individuals that have already appeared before the Parliamentary Committee reviewing the bills.
But following the consultations in Savai’i, Tiatia at the time said there were some fifty-plus villages that made submissions.
He said the main provision opposed by villages was the limitation of matai sao to five with villagers expressing concerns on the lengthy procedure of delivering decisions.
The majority of the villages in Upolu that the Samoa Observer reported on from the consultation supported the proposed changes with very few being firm on their position to oppose it.
Recently, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi emphasised the important role of the Parliamentary Committee and the public consultation aspect of the bills.
He said this is an open opportunity for the country to offer their advice and recommendations on what needs to be changed to strengthen the law-making process.
Tuilaepa added that most of the concerns seem to be about the limiting of matai sa'o for each family to five.
But such things are "easy to alter", he said.
"This is why consultations are important. This is where it shows how wrong the announcements have been from those who do not understand and those trying to deceive (the country).”