Special Committee recommends to turn report over to AG and Police


The Special Inquiry Parliamentary Committee has recommended turning its report over to the Attorney General’s office and the Ministry of Police and Prisons for appropriate actions. 

This is in relation to the four different copies of the three controversial bills that revamp the Judiciary as a whole which were discussed in Parliament on Tuesday.  

Chairman of the Committee, Deputy Speaker Mulipola Aloitafua Mulipola motioned for Parliament to approve the Special Inquiry Committee’s report regarding issues raised by the Attorney General on the Constitution Amendment Act 2020 and Land and Titles Act 2020. 

He said the Committee has thoroughly reviewed the matter and found that there are 4 different versions of the two Acts and as reviewed “they are not the same”. Mulipola is referring to the Land and Titles Act 2020 and the Constitution Amendment Act 2020.  

He outlined in Parliament the provisions in the Standing Orders (111-113) which identify the process if amendments need to be inserted into an Act that has already been assented to by the Head of State.  

The Chairman said the handling of the two bills was done in a “corruptive manner and that the Legislative Assembly should take full responsibility for this matter.”  

He also highlighted that the Committee investigated several witnesses: the Commissioner of the Samoa Law Reform Commission (SLRC), Former AG, and President of the Land and Titles Court.  

He said one of the witnesses, mentioned that only the Samoan version of the report was tabled in Parliament and that once the Head of State endorsed the Bills on the 5th January 2021, they found out that the copy uploaded is not the same as the assented copy.  

Noting that after many months of public consultations, the Bills were still incomplete and that different versions of the Acts would lead to differences in interpretations.  

Furthermore, investigations uncovered that the Office of the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly (OCLA)  did not follow the process of signing the Certificate of Amendment.  

The Office used the Certificate of Amendment that was signed on the 5th of January 2021 to make the changes later on. Adding that the Committee found in its investigation that there were certain individuals who wanted to insert amendments that were not passed in Parliament.

The Committee recommended that this report be approved by the Parliament, the immediate disposal of these Acts; and also recommended those affected in the changing of these Acts unlawfully be referred to AG and Police for further investigation.