Samoa Law Society defends judiciary

The Samoa Law Society has defended the judiciary over what it described as “derogatory statements” that have questioned the independence and integrity of the Courts. 

In a statement, the President of the Samoa Law Society, Leiataualesa Komisi Koria said media publications are inappropriate and lessens the public confidence in the Courts. 

“Recent publications in the news media have contained derogatory statements questioning the independence and integrity of Samoa’s judiciary,” said the President. 

“The statements in question disparage Samoa’s Superior Court, just as it is being called upon to carry out its Constitutional function of interpreting and applying the law as it relates to the 2021 General Elections. 

“All of these statements share a common thread in that they are devoid of any basis in fact.”

Leiataualesa said whether “it is borne of malice or political mischief or otherwise, this type of public speech is undesirable in our current political climate.” 

“This unsubstantiated rhetoric tends, wholly inappropriately, to lessen public confidence in our Courts at a time when the importance of their function has come into sharp focus.”

Furthermore, the Samoa Law Society echoes sentiments expressed by Chief Justice, His Honour Satiu Simativa Perese saying “the role of the Judiciary as the Independent Branch of Government is to do right...without fear or favour, affection or ill will.”

In addition, the President said there is no cause to question the independence of Samoa’s judiciary as an arm of the state. 

“Samoans can and should have every confidence in the ability of our judicial officers to act independently, impartially and fairly in the discharge of their duties. 

“The Society calls upon our community to pray for wisdom for our Judges, our leaders and public officials; and to exercise patience and discretion in these turbulent times.”

The Caretaker Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi has recently made claims accusing unnamed members of the judiciary of meeting with Fiame Naomi Mata’afa. 

He also called out Fiame, the leader of Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.), for criticising the Chief Justice and his early release from quarantine. 

Fiame responded that her comments were directly towards the preferential treatment on the Chief Justice's shortened quarantine and not a personal attack on him and his work. 

Read the full statement from the Law Society's President, Leiataualesa Komisi Koria below:

The Law Society wishes to address statements published recently in news media relating to the Samoan Judiciary and, in particular, the Honourable Justices of the Supreme Court of Samoa. 

Recent publications in the news media have contained derogatory statements questioning the independence and integrity of Samoa’s Judiciary. The statements in question disparage Samoa’s Superior Court, just as it is being called upon to carry out its Constitutional function of interpreting and applying the law as it relates to the 2021 General Elections. All of these statements share a common thread in that they are devoid of any basis in fact. 

Whether it is borne of malice or political mischief or otherwise, this type of public speech is undesirable in our current political climate. This unsubstantiated rhetoric tends, wholly inappropriately, to lessen public confidence in our Courts at a time when the importance of their function has come into sharp focus. 


The Samoa Law Society wholeheartedly echoes the sentiments expressed by Chief Justice Satiu Simativa Perese recently; namely that “the role of the Judiciary as the Independent Branch of Government is to do right ... without fear or favour, affection or ill will.” 

The Law Society considers that there is no cause to question the independence of Samoa’s Judiciary as an arm of the State. Samoans can and should have every confidence in the ability of our Judicial officers to act independently, impartially and fairly in the discharge of their duties. 

The Society calls upon our community to pray for wisdom for our Judges, our leaders and public officials; and to exercise patience and discretion in these turbulent times.

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