Justice Minister, Matamua Vasati Pulufana has been named in the second application filed by the President of the Lands and Titles Court in relation to the suspension of LTC proceedings, specifically administrative services.
This was revealed in the Supreme Court yesterday, before the Chief Justice his Honour Satiu Simativa Perese.
Attorney General Su’a Hellen Wallwork was co-counsel with Deejay Fong representing their office and the Minister while Leilani Tamati represents President of the LTC Fepeulea’i Atilla Ropati.
The Chief Justice noted from the bench the need to deal with the second application first, and that is the “application for funding”.
The underlying issue is that the Government “is obliged to provide adequate resources and administrative support services, for the Judiciary to carry out its functions as an autonomous branch of Government”, and that the LTC is not in operation at all, said the Chief Justice.
Hence the need to give the second application priority, said the Chief Justice while the first application will be dealt with in due court.
Adding “the issue at hand is whether this court can stand by and not do anything whilst the Judicial body is being deprived of the necessary administrative support.”
Hearing has been set on 14 March, 2022, with final submissions to be filed the day before.
The first application mentioned above was filed last month by the LTC President, seeking declaratory orders on pickwick basis against the Attorney General’s office for the court to legalise the swearing in of the LTC’s Deputy, Vice President and LTC Judge.
The notice of motion for declaratory orders states the appointment of LTC rests with the LTC Komisi and once an appointment is made the Head of State acting on advice of the Komisi executes a warrant.
However the Head of State is refusing to execute the warrant on the basis of legal advice by the AG’s office.