Samoa
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AG to Strike Out SSIG’s motion for a Declaratory Injunction on LTRA 2008

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – 03 APRIL 2023: The Supreme Court has set 26 April 2023 to hear the strike out motion by the Attorney General against the Samoa Solidarity International Group’s (SSIG) application for a declaratory injunction against the Lands & Titles Registration Act (LTRA) 2008.

The Attorney General’s office is the respondent and has claimed the application as “frivolous, vexatious and abuse of Court proceedings and therefore has no prospects of success.”

The application also claims the application is defective and misconceived and purely a “layman’s interpretation of the law.”

The Claim
SSIG is challenging the procedures which administer the Act if it violates an individual’s rights due to process and principles protected by the Constitution, and as understood under the Rule of law of a democratic government.

The group is seeking a court injunction to prohibit the Government from “implementing, maintaining and enforcing provisions of the LTRA 2008.”

SSIG was unpresented during court proceedings last week and Nonu Ueni Fonoti who spoke on their behalf informed the Court that Tanya Toailoa was the lawyer granted by Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren after they sought legal aid.

However, presiding Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke clarified to the group that no legal aid is granted in civil claims except serious criminal matters when an accused is unrepresented.

Justice Clarke also informed SSIG that Tanya’s presence at Court was as an Amicus Curriae or Intervener or friend of the court, and her role is to assist all parties to the matter including the Court.

The court then took a brief break for Tanya to consult with SSIG members, who then agreed to withdraw their legal aid application and concentrate on the strike out notion.

“We withdraw our application for now but will hear the strike out motion and maybe by then we would have secured a lawyer to represent us,” said Nonu.

The matter is now set for hearing of the Attorney Generals strikeout motion on 26 April 2023.