New Zealand Law Society - Growing concern over personal attacks on lawyers in Samoa

Growing concern over personal attacks on lawyers in Samoa

The New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa is concerned the Samoan judiciary and Samoan lawyers are facing intensified attacks as the political situation in Samoa remains unresolved.

"In Samoa, it is the court’s role to independently interpret and apply the constitution," says Tiana Epati, President of the Law Society.

"The judiciary must be protected from interference and personal attacks as it works to resolve these issues."

It is not appropriate for parties to attempt to interfere with the judicial process through unfounded and personal complaints about the judges and lawyers involved.

"Samoa’s lawyers have sworn to provide independent legal advice to those who require it and must be free to do so without fear for their livelihoods and professional reputations," adds Ms Epati.

The Law Society urges all parties in Samoa to respect the independence of the judiciary, and to promote the rule of law through the peaceful transition of power and adherence to court decisions.

The Law Society has shared its concerns with New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.