27 Jun 2012

Samoa village council to appeal against compensation ruling

2:15 pm on 27 June 2012

The village council of Tanugamanono in Samoa says it will appeal against a supreme court ruling that they pay 450,000 US dollars in compensation to a family in the village.

The court ruled that several village chiefs and orators should pay the money after a council decision led to the destruction of the family's house, three cars and plantation.

The council says its decision to appeal is on the basis they did not agree with many aspects of Justice Pierre Slicer's ruling.

In a statement, they say the ruling will have wider and more serious implications on the very existence of village councils, and the concept of matai leadership and their jurisdiction in the village.

The statement also says because the dispute lies within the confines of Samoan culture and village tradition, the council has also asked its attorney to request the appeals court to have a Samoan judge on the bench who understands Samoan culture and village protocols.