19 graduate in inaugural Customary Adjudication 

The 19 graduates in the inaugural Customary Adjudication Certificate were amongst those who graduated from the National University of Samoa last Friday

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – WEDNESDAY 10 APRIL 2019: Nineteen who graduated in the inaugural Customary Adjudication Course at the National University of Samoa last week, can make up the bench of the Lands and Titles Court as Judges and Assessors.

The inaugural class of four women and 15 males include five who are Assessors of the Lands and Titles Court and the rest are from the public service and private sector.

The Customary Adjudication Course was one of the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry that investigated issues pertaining to the handling of matters at the Lands and Titles Court.

The Commission’s recommendation was to set up a course at NUS for Lands and Titles Court Judges and Assessors only.

However, the Ministry dragged its feet and asked NUS to delay the course as they tried to sort out issues within the Lands and Titles Court.

With much time and effort into the course preparation, NUS then opened up the opportunity for anyone interested and enrolled twenty where 19 graduated last week.

The graduates and lecturers

The Course included Management and Practises in Court, Language and Culture, Legal Professional Ethics, Customary Law, Issues in Customary Adjudication and Legal Practises and Adjudication.

Course lecturers were Leasiolagi Dr. Malama Meleisea, Fesolai Aleni Sofara, Seiuli Vaifou Temese, Falenaoti Julie Tuiletufuga, Muliagatele Sesilia Lauano, Bridget Crichton and Matiu Matavai Tautunu.

While the graduates can qualify as judges, some of the graduates were well past 70 years and did the course for their own personal reasons.

Ten more are taking up this Course at the National University of Samoa.