Projects

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Our Completed Projects

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Law Practitioners Act 1976 (April 2015)

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.

Media Regulation (February 2015)

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.

National Heritage Board (January 2015)

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.

Judicature Ordinance 1961 (January 2015)

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.

Care and Protection Legislation [to protect children] (January 2015)

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.

District Court Act 1969 (October 2014)

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.

Criminal Procedure Act 1972 (October 2014)

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 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 interests of society as a whole

Prisons Act 1967 (August 2014)

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 to which Samoa is a party, to the extent that it does not conflict with Samoan culture, customs and traditions.

Commissions of Inquiry Act 1964 (March 2013)

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.

The Freedom of Religion Village Fono Act 1990 (March 2013)

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 carried out in collaboration with MWCSD and other law and justice sector agencies.

Coroners Ordinance 1959 (April 2012)

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.

International Date Line (May 2011)

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

Crimes Ordinance 1961 (June 2010)

One of the 3 major references into Criminal Law, the review into the Crimes Ordinance 1961 was referenced to SLRC by both 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