4 Jul 2017

Samoa court struck out action against appeal court judge

2:16 pm on 4 July 2017

Samoa's Supreme Court has struck out legal action brought by New Zealand-based lawyer Olinda Woodroffe.

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Photo: 123rf

Ms Woodroffe was suing a Samoa Court of Appeal judge, former New Zealand High Court judge Justice Robert Fisher, and Samoa's Attorney General for $US2.4m dollars.

The case relates to a family land dispute hearing in 2016 in which she brought an appeal against a Supreme Court decision.

Ms Woodroffe was suing Justice Fisher for his comments in the appeal case.

In her ruling, Supreme court Judge, Mata Keli Tuatagaloa, concluded the doctrine of judicial immunity applies to Justice Fisher.

Ms Woodroffe says she expected this outcome but she won't let the matter go, and will now pursue it the court of appeal.

"She is wrong to say Judicial immunity covers rudeness because it's been covered in cases in England, the United States that judges go outside their duty to act fairly and honestly and also act with good manners then the immunity is taken off."

Judicial Immunity is a form of legal immunity which protects judges and others employed by the judiciary from liability resulting from their judicial actions.