Samoa’s Constitution of 1962 with Amendments through 2017

Judicial Independence

Article 9. Right to a fair trial 1. In the determination of his or her civil rights and obligations or of any charge against him or her for any offence, every person is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established under the law. Judgement shall be pronounced in public, but the public and representatives of news service may be excluded from all or part of the trial in the interests of morals, public order or national security, where the interests of juveniles or the protection of the private life of the parties so require, or to the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the court in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice.

Judicial Council or Parallel Institution

Article 72. 1. There shall be a Judicial Service Commission, which shall consist of: a. the Chief Justice, as President: b. the Attorney-General or, if for any reason the Attorney-General is unable to act, the Chairman of the Public Service Commission: c. a person nominated from time to time by the Minister of Justice. 2. No business shall be transacted by the Judicial Service Commission unless three members are present, and all questions proposed for decision by the Commission shall be decided by a majority of the votes of those members. 3. The power of appointing, promoting and transferring any judicial officer, other than the Chief Justice, and of dismissing any judicial officer, other than a Judge of the Supreme Court, is hereby vested in the Head of State, acting on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission.

Attorney General’s Office

Article 41. 1. The Head of State, acting on the advice of the Prime Minister, shall appoint an Attorney-General, who shall be a person qualified to be a Judge of the Supreme Court. 2. The Attorney-General shall advise on legal matters referred to him by the Head of State, Cabinet, the Prime Minister or a Minister and shall have power, exercisable in his discretion, to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence alleged to have been committed. 3. The Attorney-General shall have a right of audience in, and shall take precedence over any other person appearing before, any court or tribunal. […]

Human Rights Council

Reimagining justice: confronting contemporary challenges to the independence of judges and lawyers, June 26, 2023

General Assembly

Judicial independence in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, October 14, 2022

Human Rights Council

Protection of lawyers against undue interference in the free and independent exercise of the legal profession, June 21, 2022

General Assembly

Participation of women in the administration of justice, October 13, 2021

Human Rights Council

Report on Impact and challenges of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic for independent justice, June 28, 2021

General Assembly

Report on Disciplinary Proceedings Against Judges, October 15, 2020

Human Rights Council

Report: Independence of Public Prosecutors, Corruption and Human Rights, July 13, 2020

General Assembly - October 16, 2019

Report on the UN Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary

Human Rights Council - June 24, 2019

Report on freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly of judges and prosecutors