COI report on laws to revamp the judiciary tabled in Parliament


The investigation report by a Parliamentary appointed Commission of Inquiry into the four versions of the LTC bills seeking to revamp the judiciary has been tabled in Parliament.

On Wednesday, Speaker of the House Lio Papalii Taeu Masepa’u says Parliamentarians will have ample time to go through the report and then it will be deliberated in its entirety at its next Parliament session.

The committee members are Deputy Speaker, Auapaau Mulipola Aloitafua and the Deputy Chairman is Loau Keneti Sio. Other Members sitting on the commission include Faleomavaega Titimaea Tafua, Laumatiamanu Ringo Purcell, Tuuu Anasii Leota and Alai’asa Sepulona Moananu. 

The terms of reference for the Committee to consider are the following:

(i) whether it breached any privileges in Parliament;

(ii) Consider whether an Offence was committed;

(iii) Consider whether it breached any provisions of the Legislative Assembly Powers and Privileges Ordinance 1960;

(iv) Consider punishment towards a Member that commits an offence in regards to this matter;

(v) Consider performing legal action accordingly when a Member breaches any privileges in Parliament;

(vi) To provide appropriate recommendations on this matter;

(vii)For the Committee to report back in the next Parliament Sitting.

 Last year Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa made the motion for a Commission before Parliament, to look into the amendments to the Constitution pertaining to the establishment of an Independent Lands and Titles Court does not address how the appointments are made, as well as salaries and benefits for the Judges of the LTC.

“The Lands and Titles Act 2020 does not include eligibilities for the position of Judges; the term of their contracts and if these issues are not enacted into the law it will jeopardize the independence of the Judiciary.

“Furthermore the management does not have the authority to make the appropriate policies for Judges of the LTC.”

The Prime Minister said the Lands and Titles Act 1981 was replaced with the LTC Act 2020, but there is a number of issues that need to be addressed.

This is one of the issues faced by the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration and only in Parliament, these matters can be addressed.