PM warns judiciary

APIA – Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi has warned the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration.

He has told them Parliament has the power to remove any judge if it’s necessary.

This can be through a motion and a vote in Parliament.

The PM issued the warning in response to concerns raised by Falealili Member of Parliament, Fuimaono Samuelu Te’o, when Parliament discussed the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) last week.

“If Parliament perceives the judges are not doing their job accordingly, we can remove them by way of motion and a vote,” Mr Tuilaepa said.

“The judiciary should pay attention prudently, when members of Parliament are elaborating issues.

“It is also important the prevailing mutual respect among the Executive Branch, Legislative and the Judiciary.”

Mr Tuilaepa said it was important for the judiciary to heed the concerns raised by members of Parliament because they represented their respective districts.

He revisited the past and Parliament’s Commission of Inquiry into the Land and Titles Court.

“If judges had continuously refused the demand for them to appear, the committee would have set aside the mutual respect and summon them and if they still did not attend, Parliament has the power to act accordingly.

“At the same time, Parliament should be cautious in utilising that authority and it will be the last resort for Parliament.”