10 Dec 2008

Call for submissions on Solomons land dispute bill

2:18 pm on 10 December 2008

A Solomon Island academic is urging people to make submissions and give feedback on a new draft bill aiming to resolve tribal land disputes.

Dr Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka says current laws to settle land disputes in court are inadequate and lack in-depth knowledge of the country's diverse cultures and customs.

The Tribal Land Dispute Resolution Panels Bill is being widely distributed for comment - including on the internet.

Dr Kabutaulaka says people need to have their say on having a panel, made up of local chiefs and leaders, decide on tribal land disputes and applying customary law.

"Hopefully many Solomon Islanders will be able to look through it, see what some of the complexities are, some of the weaknesses, some of the challenges, and hopefully by the time it goes back to government it will be a much better looking document, than when it started."

Dr Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka is an East-West Centre research fellow in Hawaii.