New era for Land and Titles Court

By Ilia L. Likou ,

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NEW START: Cabinet Ministers, officials of the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration with members of the Accredited Mediators of Samoa Association.

NEW START: Cabinet Ministers, officials of the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration with members of the Accredited Mediators of Samoa Association. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

A gathering at Tafa'igata last night signified an important step for the Accredited Mediators of Samoa Association (A.M.S.A.) and the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration (M.J.C.A.)

Held at the Samoa Cultural Center, the occasion was the official handing over by M.J.C.A. of Land and Titles Court Mediation matters to A.M.S.A.  

The Minister of Justice, Faaolesa Katopau Ainuu, spoke at the gathering attended by Accredited Mediators and guests.  

The move signals the Government's approval to outsource mediation services for matters relating to customary land and matai titles disputes where petitions have been lodged with the Land and Titles Mediation Division of the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration.

Over the past two months, the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration have been working in partnership with A.M.S.A. to develop a framework that will facilitate the mediation of L.T.C. matters by accredited mediators. 

A.M.S.A. believes that mediation delivered by its accredited mediators will help resolve L.T.C. disputes with the objectives of; 

• Saving relationships, especially family relationships where the parties are part and parcel of one large extended Samoan family, so it will help rebuild the relationships of estranged families.

• Also saving time, so the parties do not spend their time at the L.T.C in disputes that could stretch for years and across generations; and saving costs, where the parties get to resolve their own disputes with the help of the accredited mediator without spending too much money on taking the matter to court.

The Government believes that the services of A.M.S.A., in providing an independent accredited mediator, will allay public fears of biasness and collusion levelled against the Ministry of Justice Deputy Registrars who currently conduct mediation of L.T.C. matters. 

A.M.S.A. services for mediations of L.T.C. matters will commence on Monday 5 March 2018.

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