PHOTO: Some SSIG marchers during a recent public awareness campaign in Savaii
APIA, SAMOA – FRIDAY 17 AUGUST 2018: The Samoa Solidarity International Group Global today announced that it is filing “a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of sections of the LTRA 2008 law which allows the registration of customary land leases and which when passed required the registration of all customary lands of Samoa in violation of Articles 102 and 109 of the Samoa Constitution, among others.”
In a press statement, SSIG said it has hired the Sapolu Law Firm to file its lawsuit with Josefina Fuimaono-Sapolu, Esq. as the lead attorney in this matter and has arrived in Samoa to file the lawsuit.
“She filed the Statement of Claim and Motion for a Declaratory Order on August 17, 2018,” said the statement.
“Samoa has long endured this violation of its constitution under a false representation that this law did not violate the constitution which prohibited alienation of customary land.
“The Government of Samoa has perpetrated this falsehood intentionally and deliberately with prior knowledge that such a law would in fact result in the unlawful transfer of customary land ownership from the extended family to a minority of the family members without the consent and proper compensation of the members of the family, who as a result of this unconstitutional law have been unduly and arbitrarily deprived of their ownership rights which registration of customary land causes.”