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Samoa: Constitutional Amendment Makes Christianity the National Religion

(June 14, 2017) The Samoan Parliament reportedly unanimously passed the Constitution Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2016 (the Bill) during the week of May 29, 2017, and it is now awaiting assent from the Head of State. (Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu, Freedom of Religion Not Threatened: A.G., SAMOA OBSERVER (June 9, 2017); Parliament of Samoa, Daily Progress in the Maota 3 (May […]

Samoa: New Approval Guidelines for Arming Police Passed

(Mar. 14, 2017) On March 7, 2017, the Samoan Parliament voted to pass the Police Powers Amendment Bill 2017, which sets out the approval requirements for police officers in the country to be armed when carrying out their duties. (Police Powers Amendment Bill 2017, Parliament of Samoa website; Lagi Keresoma, Samoa Parliament Approves New Police Powers Bill, […]

Samoa: Citizenship Act Amended to Allow Second Generation Samoans Overseas to Claim Citizenship

(Aug. 24, 2016) On August 23, 2016, the Samoan Legislative Assembly (the unicameral Parliament of Samoa) passed a bill that enables people born outside the country who have at least one grandparent who is or was a Samoan citizen to be granted citizenship.  (Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 & Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016: Explanatory Memorandum, Parliament […]

Vanuatu: Amendments to Reserve Seats in Parliament for Women to Be Introduced

(May 27, 2016) On May 20, 2016, the Vanuatu Minister of Justice, Ronald Warsal, stated in a radio interview that the government would introduce a bill that would reserve a certain number of seats for women in the Parliament.  (Michael Walsh, Vanuatu Paves Way for Women’s Seats in Parliament, ABC NEWS (May 20, 2016).)  The […]

Samoa: New Crimes Act Comes into Force

(May 1, 2013) The Parliament of the Independent State of Samoa recently enacted the Crimes Act 2013, which replaces and modernizes the Crimes Ordinance 1961. (Crimes Act 2013, Parliament of Samoa website.) The new legislation came into force on May 1, 2013. The Crimes Act 2013 contains a range of new offenses, including “computer-related offences, […]

Samoa: New Companies Act Introduced

(Aug. 29, 2008) Samoa has introduced a new company law regime via the implementation of the Companies Act 2001. Commencing from July 2008, the new Act is a simplified version of New Zealand's Companies Act, 1993. It clarifies the corporate governance framework and simplifies the processes for incorporation and management of companies. (Companies Act 2001.)

Samoa: New Anti-Money Laundering Laws

(Dec. 2, 2007) Samoa has enacted new anti-money laundering legislation. This includes: Money Laundering Prevention Act 2007, which establishes a Money Laundering Prevention Task Force and a legislative basis for Samoa's Financial Intelligence Unit; increases the amount of money (cash or negotiable instruments) at a border crossing that requires mandatory reporting, now WST20,000 (approximately US$7,490); […]