Samoa Law Reform and Legal Pluralism: Critical Challenges to Achieving Legal Recognition of Fa’atama and SOGIEC

Fa’amatuainu, Bridget
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Journal Article
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University of Canterbury

In this article, I draw attention to Samoa'.s women'.s gender quota cases which brought into question the legal and constitutional language adopted in laws, constitutional interpretation, human rights, judicial independence of the courts and rule of law in conflict with Samoan customs. What the constitutional cases demonstrate is a more modern egalitarian Samoan legal and political system which highlights how this modern conception of justice undermines the Samoan political and legal values that traditionally begin with fostering and enhancing fundamental interpersonal relations first, because it is there that we observe the modern state or community"s most fundamental values with respect to the politico-legal realm. This article argues for a critical examination of these ongoing challenges and tensions first before considering whether the best pathway for recognition of the status of fa'atama and diverse sexual orientation, gender identity expression and sex characteristics (SOGIEC) representation is achievable in Samoa.

1801 Law , 48 Law and legal studies
Canterbury Law Review, ISSN: 0112-0581 (Print); 0112-0581 (Online), 30, 97-122.
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