19 Feb 2009

Samoa to speed up lands and titles cases

11:07 am on 19 February 2009

Moves are underway in Samoa to speed up the court process for lands and titles cases.

The Ministry of Justice and Courts administration in Samoa says it plans to hear a backlog of Lands and Titles appeals.

The action follows criticisms from parliamentarians and the public about the ministry's slow process for hearings, with over 1,000 pending cases dating back to 1992.

Our correspondent in Apia, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia says a senior judge, Lesatele Rapi Va'ai, has been appointed to help the president of the Lands and Titles Court work through the backlog.

"Cases are now being lined up starting from this month so according to the CEO of Justice yesterday the ministry hopes that by the end of this year the backlog will be cleared."

Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia says a new multi-million dollar lands and title court, now under construction with funding from China, will allow for more cases to be heard at any one time.