The Sāmoan Government has announced the appointment of Afioga Satiu Simativa I Perese as the new Chief Justice of Sāmoa.
Chief Justice Perese is 58 years old and is currently practising as a barrister in Auckland. He was born in Maagiagi and began his education at Maagiagi Primary School before his family moved to New Zealand where he continued his college and tertiary education. He is the son of Satiu Fea Leasuasu Perese of Salimu, Fagaloa and mother Ulufafo Samau of Tanugamanono.
He graduated with LLB from Victoria University of Wellington in 1989. His study continued in the mid-1990s when he was awarded a Harkness Fellowship in 1995 and studied at Columbia University Law School in New York, gaining an LLM from Columbia in 1996 with a Certificate of Achievement with Honours in Foreign and International Law.
He was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in June 1990 and began his legal career with the Crown Law Office in Wellington. He later moved to Auckland to work in law firms until he became a barrister sole.
His current areas of practice encompass and not restricted to judicial review, human rights, immigration, employment, properties securities, commercial litigation, company insolvency, property, land, trust law, charitable trusts, professional negligence, and criminal law litigation.
Mr Perese was admitted to the bar in Sāmoa in 1999, and has been admitted on a case by case basis in the Cook Islands.
He was a member of the Human Rights Review Tribunal from 2003-2009. He was a member of the Auckland Crown Solicitor Prosecution Panel. He was also Chair of the Cabinet of New Zealand appointed Board of the National Pacific Radio Trust, and he was the President of the Pacific Lawyers Society from 2000-2002.
Satiu Perese is a matai of Salimu, Fagaloa.