PHOTO: The Chief Justice of the Solomon Islands, Sir Albert Palmer accepting his Ava during the welcome and opening of the week long Pacific Judiciary Conference in Samoa this morning.
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – MONDAY 24 SEPTEMBER 2018: Emerging issues affecting and challenging the Pacific are under the Pacific Judiciary Conference’s focus in Apia, this week.
Issues such as Climate Change, Money Laundering, People Movement, Cyber Crime, Technology, Trans-National Crime, Marine Littering, Intellectual Property Rights, Environment and Off-Shore Banking to name a few.
Speaking at the opening of the conference, Chief Justice Patu Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu said the conference is an opportunity to exchange views, information and to discuss issues of mutual interest and common concern relating to the law and administration of justice within the region
“It is a chance to interact amongst us and renew old and establish new contacts,” said Patu.
On the theme “Addressing Emerging Issues In The Pacific” Patu highlighted Samoa’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism such as Mediation, Arbitration, the use of Therapeutic Court (Special Court) and the use of technology in the work of the Courts.
One aspect that he believes must be upheld is the continuing need for the judiciary’s independence, and he will present a paper on this during the conference.
Deputy Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa opened the conference acknowledging Chief Justice Patu for steering the conference twice to Samoa.
Fiame reiterated the importance of last year’s Pacific Islands Forum hosted in Samoa on the theme “The Blue Pacific- Our Sea of Islands, Our Security through the Sustainable Development, Management and Conservation which speaks at the very heart of Pacific Regionalism.”
She said fundamental to the Pacific Peace and Security is the Rule of Law and she commended CJ Patu for promoting regionalism through the conference theme and the discussion of issues of importance to the survival of the Pacific.
“The Pacific as a whole is affected by many challenges and each country has a unique way of responding legally,” said Fiame. However, she hopes the conference would look at a conservative approach.
She believes that whilst the challenge is the same, some countries respond better, others are less equipped and the Pacific needs to look at it collectively, conservatively and to continue meeting even after the conference.
The conference started with the Samoan traditional welcome Ava ceremony. The PJC is held every two years and Samoa has hosted it three times in 1971, 1999 and in 2018.
The delegates are Chief Justices, Judges, Senior Judges and legal delegations from around the Pacific.
Mateo Luccehetti, a Cyber Crime Program Officer from the Council of Europe will speak on the Budapest Convention and the fight against Cyber Crime.