How do we get our references?

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References are made to the Commission by the Prime Minister, Cabinet or the Attorney General (whether at the Commission's suggestion or otherwise).
  

References List

Note: To view legislation relevant to our references, visit the Samoa Legal Information Institute (SamLII).

Reference Status Issues Papers Final Reports

1. Crimes Ordinance 1961

One of the 3 major references into Criminal Law the review into the Crimes Ordinance 1961 was referenced to SLRC both by Cabinet and by the Attorney General. The project encompasses the review into not only modernizing the language of the law but also modernizing the mechanisms by which criminal offences such as rape, assault, and witchcraft to name a few are laid out and prosecuted. This review is done in an effort to keep the cultural integrity of Samoan values and tradition intact within the overall language of the law.

 

Published
June 2010

download

(IP 01/09)

English

Samoan

(Report 01/10)

2. Criminal Procedure Act 1972

The second major reference of the Criminal Law review series this project involves the Criminal Procedure Act 1972. This is a procedural law that sets out the series of steps or actions to be followed in order to validly to administer justice. General rules are often inadequate for this purpose. Failure to provide important detail reduces the ability of the law to guide action. This review is intended to make recommendations which will attempt to ensure that individual rights are protected through the just application of rules, while not losing sight of the interest of society as a whole

Final Report approved by Cabinet - February 2012

download

(IP 06/10)

download

(Report 07/12)

3. Prisons Act 1967

The review of the Prisons Act focuses on the shift towards a correctional approach whereby prisoners will be rehabilitated for integration into society when they have completed their sentence; hence a new correctional-focused legislation for prison administration in Samoa. The result of this review will be improving prison administration in Samoa that complies with international obligations under the relevant human rights conventions that Samoa is a party to, to the extent that it does not conflict with Samoan culture, customs and traditions.

Final Report approved by Cabinet - July 2011

download

(IP 07/10)

download

(Report 04/11)

4. Law Practitioners Act 1976

The review of the Law Practitioners Act 1976 aims at improving and updating legislation governing the legal profession in Samoa and also taking into account developments and trends in comparable jurisdictions. It also seeks to strengthen the disciplinary procedures contained in the Act to improve public confidence in the legal profession.

Final Report approved by Cabinet - July 2011

download

(IP 04/09)

download

(Report 05/11)

5. Coroners Ordinance 1959

The review of the Coroners Ordinance 1959 aims at improving and updating legislation governing the coroners work. There is a great need for a comprehensive and appropriate guide to assist and regulate the work of coroners in Samoa.

Final Report sent for tabling in Parliament - April 2012

download

(IP 02/09)

English

Samoan

(Report 02/11)

6. Commissions of Inquiry Act 1964

The review of the Commissions of Inquiry 1964 aims at improving and updating legislation governing any Commissions of Inquiry established in Samoa. It looks at appointment of members of the Commission, their powers, the scope of the investigative jurisdiction, and people entitled to be heard before the Commission and the process of publicizing their findings.

Final Report sent for tabling in Parliament - March 2013

download

(IP 05/09)

download

(Report 06/11)

7. Care and Protection Legislation (to protect children)

The review of the Care and Protection legislation to protect children and discusses existing legislation in Samoa that addresses care and protection issues relating to children in light of obligations under CRC. It will also make specific references to findings in a report by the Ministry of Women Community and Social Development on the Legislative Compliance Review of Samoa with the Convention on the Rights of a Child in 2006. Given the number of Acts involved, there will be a series of papers following this paper. This initial paper will focus on the Constitution of Samoa, the Infants Ordinance 1961 and the Young Offenders Act 2007.

Final Report approved by Cabinet - April 2013

download

(IP 03/09)

 download

(Report 11/13)

8. The protection of Samoa’s traditional knowledge and expressions of culture

The review of the protection of Samoa’s traditional knowledge and expressions of culture will look at approaches adopted by other jurisdictions to cater for the protection of their traditional knowledge and expressions of culture to help Samoa in determining a suitable approach to take. This review endeavours to formulate an articulated and reasoned legal policy for the protection of Samoa’s traditional knowledge and expressions of culture at the completion of this project.

Final Report in progress

download

(IP 08/10)

 

9. The Freedom of Religion - Village Fono Act  1990

Cabinet has referred down the freedom of religion issue to SLRC to look into ways in which we can legislate to bring harmony into the Village setting through the Village Fono Act. This now coincides with a general reference into the Village Fono Act which SLRC will carry out in collaboration with MWCSD and other law and justice sector agencies.

Final Report sent for tabling in Parliament - March 2013
N/A

 

download

(Report 09/12)

10. International Date Line

This project entails widespread consultation to ascertain whether Samoa should be in the same time zone as New Zealand.

Published in - May 2011

download

(May 2011)

N/A

11. Judicature Ordinance 1961

In November 2008, the Samoa Law Reform Commission was given a reference into the laws regulating the Samoan Court processes by the Cabinet and the Attorney General. The reference includes the review and reform of the Judicature Ordinance 1961, District Court Act 1969, the Supreme Court (Civil Procedure Rules) and Magistrate Court Rules.

Final Report approved by Cabinet - April 2011

N/A

download

(Report 02/11)

12. District Court Act 1969

In November 2008, The SLRC received from the Cabinet the reference to review and reform the District Court Act 1969. This reference formed part of the Commission's review and reform of Samoa's legislation governing the courts. 

Final Report in progress

download

(IP 09/12)

 

13. Media Regulation

On the 15 November 2011, the Attorney General referred to the SLRC a reference to examine the need for a body to regulate the media in Samoa, and to make recommendations for the establishment of such body.

Final Report approved by Cabinet - July 2012

download

(16 December 2011)

download

(Report 10/12)

14. National Heritage Board

On the 01 February 2012, the Prime Minister and the Attorney General asked the Samoa Law Reform Commission to examine the feasibility and appropriateness of setting up a National Heritage Board to preserve Samoa's various national heritage sites. The terms of reference specifically ask the Commission to research how national heritage boards overseas are established and operated.

 

Final Report approved by Cabinet - May 2013

download

(June 2012)

download

(2013)

15. Civil Procedure Rules (Magistrate & Supreme Court Rules)

Issues Paper Series No. 2 in progress

download

(IP 10/12)

 

16. Sex Offenders' Register

 On 05 February 2013, the Attorney General referred to SLRC a request to assess:a) whether the establishment of a sex offenders' register would be appropriate for Samoan ; and b) whether such a register would be likely to result in a reduction of a sex offender's recidivism. The ultimate goal of having in place a sex offenders. The United Kingdom, United States of America (USA), Canada, Australia and New Zealand have introduced the use of sex offenders' registers. The assumption that sex offenders have a higher rate of recidivism than other offenders is a central basis for registration and notification laws.

Discussion Paper approved by Cabinet - April 2013

English

Samoan

(2013)

 

17. Alcohol Reform

In March 2013, the Attorney General requested the Commission to consider and propose possible law reform relating to the sale and consumption of alcohol in Samoa, with the objective of reducing harm caused by alcohol abuse. Possible areas identified by the Attorney General include but are not limited to the following; a) adequacy of current liquor licensing and enforcement thereof; b) alcohol taxation and pricing; c) availability of cheap liquor; d) controlling alcohol content in liquor; e) advertising; f) responsibilities of parents, village councils and churches with  respect to adolescent drinking; and g) introduction of age limits for the consumption of alcohol.

The proposed reference is in light of an increased number of alcohol related incidents, including serious offences such as homicide, rape, assaults and affray and traffic accidents, where the abuse of alcohol is a contributing factor. An additional issue identified by a member of the judiciary is the question of whether there should be a limit on alcohol content of both imported and locally manufactured liquors. In 2012, a review of the current Liquor Act 2011 was called for by a member of the judiciary, to investigate the alcohol content of these liquors.

 

Issues Paper in progress

   

 

  

Pipeline Projects

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18.       Evidence Act 1961

19.       CEDAW Legislative Compliance review

20.       Compliance with environmental obligations

  
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