Samoa Village Fono Act Amendments To Avoid Rights Violations

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PM: Arbitrary village justice could violate human rights

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 2, 2015) – The Prime Minister of Samoa is calling for amendments to the Village Fono Act which he says currently allows arbitrary justice to be handed out by village

Tuila'epa Sai'lele Malielegaoi told parliament the changes are necessary to ensure that village decisions do not breach people's constitutional rights.

Tuila'epa says some of the decisions made by Matai under the twenty year old Village Fono Act have been disputed by penalised persons or families in court causing embarrassment to the system.

[PIR editor’s note: RNZI also reported that ‘The Samoan government is proposing a change to village by-laws to help curb rising levels of domestic violence and drug and alcohol abuse in village communities. … The Minister of Women, Community and Social Development, Tolofua Ivalelei Leiataua says the proposed changes would require Village Fono Councils to produce an exhaustive list of village by laws and corresponding penalties to avoid controversial rulings.’]

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