16 Feb 2007

American Samoa Senate debating changes to judges' numbers and qualifications

10:05 am on 16 February 2007

The American Samoa Senate has passed the second reading of a bill that would change the number and qualifications of Samoan judges in the High Court.

Current law states that Samoan judges or Associate Judges are appointed by the Governor based on a recommendation from the chief justice and confirmed by the Senate.

They serve on the beach until they reach the retirement age of 65.

The Senate measure requires associate judges to be reconfirmed by the Senate every four years, increases the number of associate judges from five to nine and sets a new retirement age of 70.

If approved at the third reading today, the measure then goes to the House for consideration.