Savalenoa Mareva appointed new Attorney General

Samoa has a new Attorney General. Savalenoa Mareva Betham-Annandale has been appointed to the role previously held by Lemalu Hermann Retzlaff who had resigned.

Contacted for a comment by the Samoa Observer, the new Attorney General confirmed the appointment.

“Glory to God. I am pleased to have been appointed as the Attorney General," she said. 

"I am extremely honoured and I also feel very privileged. I look forward to returning to the public service and serving in this role.

Savalenoa is a senior member of the legal fraternity in Samoa.

She has held many positions in the community including being a past President of the Samoa Law Society. 

She was recently appointed by Cabinet to sit on an Advisory Committee for the duration of the State of Emergency. 

Savalenoa and her husband, Lauaki Jason Annandale, own a law firm in Si’usega. She has over 20 years of professional experience. 

"In the legal field I have been an analyst, consultant, adviser, litigator (civil & criminal) and legislative drafter in the Samoan public and private sectors," she said. 

“I have also worked in policy areas, particularly in formulating, advising, implementing, monitoring and evaluating in the Samoan and New Zealand public sectors and the Samoan private sector. 

“I am an accredited mediator so I practice as a Mediator as well as, separately, a mediation adviser."

She was Legislative Drafter, legal consultant, litigator (civil & criminal), legal adviser, mediator, mediation adviser.

Savalenoa holds a Bachelor of Law from the University of the South Pacific in 1997. She also holds a B.A. in history from the University of Central Queensland in 1991. 

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi said on Radio Polynesian program, that a panel was appointed to interview the applicants for the A.G. position.  

A total of six people applied. “The panel who interviewed the applicants questioned with caution as they were tasked to find the applicant that who will head the attorney general’s office.” 

The Prime Minister said it was not easy to choose someone to head the attorney general office that employs close to 50 lawyers. 

“The attorney general has a great responsibility with legal powers to enabling them to charge officials as high as the country leader and appeal a court verdict.” 

The Prime Minister also emphasized the A.G.’s office works independently. 

“They also have the ability to question the legitimacy of the decision by the Judges and if there is a mistake in any ruling they have the ability to file an appeal.

“And there are countless rulings that have been appealed and therefore the A.G. carries a huge responsibility.” 

He said the A.G.’s office is afforded the ability to appeal cases under the Constitution. 

“Mareva applied and was recommended by the Panel and was accepted by the Cabinet (today),” said the Prime Minister.  

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