The inaugural Samoa Government Lawyers conference themed, “Becoming Agents of Change” was held at the Sheraton Aggie Grey’s Resort in Apia over the past two days, for all lawyers of the public sector.
Hosted and organised by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) the initiative was in accordance with it’s mandate to supervise and train legal officers pursuant to the Attorney General’s Office Act 2013.
Reads a press statement from the Office of the Attorney General, “The Conference aims to provide a platform for Government Lawyers to engage in discussions on the laws that affect their respective working environments and provide critical training on certain areas of the legal services undertaken by Government Lawyers”.
Reverend Dr. Siaosi Salesulu of Vailele EFKS conducted the opening prayer and Honourable Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi spoke to officially launch the conference.
The opening was also attended by Australian High Commissioner Her Excellency Sara Moriarty, Central Bank Governor Maiava Atalina Ainuu-Enari, Electoral Commissioner Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio, and former Attorney General Tuatagaloa Aumua Ming Leung Wai.
The press statement outlines the purpose and objectives of the initiative.
“With the theme of “Becoming Agents of Change”, we hope that by informing and building the
capacity of Government lawyers to understand their legal mandate and issues affecting the legal landscape that they operate in, they will be better informed in order to provide
sound legal advice and contribute effectively to transformational changes effected by Government decisions, thereby, becoming constructive agents of change..”
“The first day of the Conference included seminars and open discussions focused on
current issues affecting the state of our laws and the role of Government Lawyers”.
Seminar topics discussed included; Ethical Obligations of Government Lawyers; State of
Emergency and the Rule of Law; Playing by the Rules: Electoral Laws; and Legal Pluralism –
Samoa 60 years on.
The second day of the Conference focused on capacity development training.
“These training sessions will include presentations from Government Lawyers on their legal mandates under their respective pieces of legislation and how these apply to the legal services they provide…
“The Office of the Attorney General hopes to make this Conference an annual event to build capacity and foster learning thus continuing to provide a platform for Government Lawyers to engage in active discussions on the laws effected by the Government of the day”.
The 2 day conference was made possible through funding received from the Attorney General’s Department of Australia through the Pacific Islands Law Officers’ Network