PERISCOPE -Occasional Analysis Brief Vol. 12 2022: The Rule of Law & an Independent Judiciary in Samoa - Regional Programme Australia and the Pacific
PERISCOPE - Occasional Analysis Brief Series
The Independent State of Samoa is a small island state located beneath the flightpath roughly half way between New Zealand and the Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific Ocean, comprising 190,000 people of Polynesian ethnicity spread over two large and two smaller islands. Samoa's people have long since boasted abouth strength of its unique culture and near absolute Christian observance, and were first in the Pacific region to declare independence from colonial control in 1962.
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About the Author
Taulapapa Brenda Heather-Latu
Brenda Heather-Latu is a New Zealand educated and trained barrister and solicitor who has practiced law for 35 years. Initially based in Wellington/New Zealand (where she was a Crown Counsel with the Crown Law Office and a government legal adviser), Brenda later on migrated to Samoa where she worked for the Samoan Government for 10 years, including 9 1/2 years as Samoa's longest serving Attorney General.
Since 2007, Brenda has worked in private practice with her husband Matafeo George Latu (Latu Lawyers) in Apia/Samoa, specialising in commercial, constitutional and public law. She has also a range of other interests including local and regional legal consultancies, and has worked as a Trainer with the Samoa Institute of Directors since 2005. She is also a Regional Adviser for the newly established Australia Pacific Security College 'PSC' based at the Australian National University in Canberra/Australia.
Brenda has had a particular interest in ethical and effective leadership for many years and further expanded that interest after being nominated by the Rt Hon Helen Clark, the then Prime Minister of New Zealand, and being selected by the Council of World Women Leaders, as Samoa's representative in the first group of Pacific women to attend the Kennedy School of Government's Executive Program called 'Leaders in Development', held at Harvard University in 2002.
She chairs the Pacific Leadership Foundation which runs the Emerging Pacific Leaders Dialogue (EPLD) every four years (since 2006) and has been a Board member of the Commonwealth Study Conference (CSC)(Australia); the Association of Emerging Leaders Dialogues (International) and Leadership in Samoa, a charitable trust based in Samoa.
In 2014, Brenda was bestowed with the chiefly title of 'Taulapapa' from the village of Fogapoa, in the District of Safotulafai, on the Island of Savai'i.
In the same year, she was appointed the Honorary British Consul to Samoa and reports to the British High Commissioner to Samoa.
Brenda is a Director of Habitat for Humanity (New Zealand) based in Auckland/New Zealand and a Director of the International Centre for Democratic Partnerships 'ICDP' based in Sydney/Australia.
She is a serving as Judicial Officer for World Rugby and currently chairs Oceania Rugby's Judicial Committee.