Constitution of Samoa 1960, as amended to 2013


Affirmative Action (Broadly)

(1) All persons are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection under the law.
(2) Except as expressly authorised under the provisions of this Constitution, no law and no executive or administrative action of the State shall, either expressly or in its practical application, subject any person or persons to any disability or restriction or confer on any person or persons any privilege or advantage on grounds only of descent, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, social origin, place of birth, family status, or any of them.
(3) Nothing in this Article shall –

(b) Prevent the making of any provision for the protection or advancement of women or children or of any socially or educationally retarded class of persons.
… (Art. 15)

Jurisdiction and Access

(1) The Supreme Court shall have such original, appellate and revisional jurisdiction as may be provided by Act.
(2) Without prejudice to any appellate or revisional jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, where in any proceedings before another Court (except the Court of Appeal) a question arises as to the interpretation or effect of any provision of this Constitution, the Supreme Court may, on the application of any party to the proceedings, determine that question and either dispose of the case or remit it to that other Court to be disposed of in accordance with the determination.
(3) The Head of State, acting on the advice of the Prime Minister, may refer to the Supreme Court for its opinion any question as to the interpretation or effect of any provision of this Constitution which has arisen or appears likely to arise, and the Court shall pronounce its opinion on any question so referred to it. (Art. 73)

Jurisdiction and Access

(1) An appeal shall lie to the Court of Appeal from any decision of the Supreme Court in any proceeding, if the Supreme Court certifies that the case involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation or effect of any provision of this Constitution.
(2) Where the Supreme Court has refused to give such a certificate, the Court of Appeal may, if it is satisfied that the case involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation or effect of any provision of this Constitution, grant special leave to appeal from that decision.
(3) Where such a certificate is given or such leave granted, any party in the case may appeal to the Court of Appeal on the ground that any such question as aforesaid has been wrongly decided and, with the leave of that Court, on any other ground. (Art. 80)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

(1) All persons are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection under the law.
(2) Except as expressly authorised under the provisions of this Constitution, no law and no executive or administrative action of the State shall, either expressly or in its practical application, subject any person or persons to any disability or restriction or confer on any person or persons any privilege or advantage on grounds only of descent, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, social origin, place of birth, family status, or any of them.
(3) Nothing in this Article shall –
(a) Prevent the prescription of qualifications for the service of Samoa or the service of a body corporate directly established under the law; or
(b) Prevent the making of any provision for the protection or advancement of women or children or of any socially or educationally retarded class of persons.
(4) Nothing in this Article shall affect the operation of any existing law or the maintenance by the State of any executive or administrative practice being observed on Independence Day:
PROVIDED THAT the State shall direct its policy towards the progressive removal of any disability or restriction which has been imposed on any of the grounds referred to in clause (2) and of any privilege or advantage which has been conferred on any of those grounds. (Art. 15)

Obligations of the State

… WHEREIN should be secured to all the people their fundamental rights; … (Preamble)

Judicial Protection

(1) Any person may apply to the Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings to enforce the rights conferred under the provisions of this Part.2
(2) The Supreme Court shall have power to make all such orders as may be necessary and appropriate to secure to the applicant the enjoyment of any of the rights conferred under the provisions of this Part. (Art. 4)

Judicial Protection

An appeal shall lie to the Court of Appeal from any decision of the Supreme Court in any proceedings under the provision of Article 4. (Art. 81)

Limitations and/or Derogations

(1) When a Proclamation of Emergency has been made and so long as it remains in force, the Head of State may from time to time make such Orders (hereinafter referred to as Emergency Orders) as appear to him to be necessary or expedient for securing the public safety, the defence of Samoa and the efficient prosecution of any war in which Samoa may be engaged, for maintaining public order and the supplies and services essential to the life of the community, and generally for safeguarding the interests and maintaining the welfare of the community.
(2) Emergency Orders may empower or provide for empowering such authorities, persons or classes of persons as may be specified in the Orders to make regulations, rules or bylaws for any of the purposes for which Emergency Orders are authorised under the provisions of this Article to be made, and may contain such incidental and supplementary provisions as appear to the Head of State to be necessary or expedient for making effective the powers conferred under the provisions of clause (1).
(3) Every Emergency Order, if otherwise valid, shall have effect notwithstanding anything contained in Part II.3
(4) No provision of any Emergency Order, and no regulation, rule or by-law duly made under the provisions of any such Order, shall be invalid because it deals with any matter already provided for under any law or because of any inconsistency with any such law. (Art. 106)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

(1) All persons are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection under the law.
(2) Except as expressly authorised under the provisions of this Constitution, no law and no executive or administrative action of the State shall, either expressly or in its practical application, subject any person or persons to any disability or restriction or confer on any person or persons any privilege or advantage on grounds only of descent, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, social origin, place of birth, family status, or any of them.
(3) Nothing in this Article shall –
(a) Prevent the prescription of qualifications for the service of Samoa or the service of a body corporate directly established under the law;
… (Art. 15)

Political Rights and Association

(1) All citizens of Samoa shall have the right:

(c) to form associations or unions;
… (Art. 13)

National level

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Article, the Legislative Assembly shall consist of:
(a) one member elected for each of 41 territorial constituencies having such names and boundaries and including such villages or subvillages or villages and sub-villages as are prescribed from time to time by Act; (aa) six additional members being one additional member elected for each of such 6 of those territorial constituencies as are prescribed from time to time by Act;
(b) members elected by those persons whose names appear on the individual voters' roll.
(1A) Subject to this Article, women Members of the Legislative Assembly shall:
(a) consist of a minimum of 10% of the Members of the Legislative Assembly specified under clause (1) which for the avoidance of doubt is presently 5; and
(b) be elected pursuant to clause (1) or become additional Members pursuant to clause (1B), (1D) or (1E).
(1B) If, following any general election:
(a) all members elected under clause (1) are men, the prescribed number of women candidates (if any) with the highest number of votes shall become additional Members; or
(b) less than the prescribed number of women candidates are elected under clause (1), the remaining prescribed number of women candidates (if any) with the highest number of votes shall become additional Members for the purposes of clause (1A).
(1C) Clause (1B) does not apply if the prescribed number of women are all elected under clause (1).
(1D) If the seat of an additional Member becomes vacant, it shall, despite Article 48, be filled by the woman candidate (if any) who has the next highest number of votes at the last election or general election.
(1E) Subject to Article 48, if a seat under clause (1) held by a woman becomes vacant, to which a man is elected to fill that vacant seat, the woman candidate (if any) with the highest number of votes from that election or the last election or general election shall become the additional Member.
(1F) If, in the selection of the required number of women under clause (1B), (1D) or (1E), two (2) or more candidates have equal number of votes, the additional Member shall be selected by lot before the Electoral Commissioner with the presence of the candidates or their authorised representatives and at least two (2) police officers.
(1G) If a woman candidate becomes an additional Member of a constituency (irrespective of a woman candidate being elected to that constituency), no other woman candidate from the same constituency shall become an additional Member unless there is no other woman candidate from any other constituency to make up the required prescribed number.

(5) In this Article, unless the context otherwise requires:
“Additional Member” means a woman who is a Member of Parliament by virtue of clause (1B), (1D), or (1E) for the purposes of clause (1A);
“Highest number of votes” means the percentage of the total valid votes in a constituency polled by a woman candidate;
“Prescribed number” means the minimum number of woman Members of Parliament specified under clause (1A). (Art. 44)

Electoral Bodies

1. Within 3 years of Independence Day and at intervals of not less than 5 and not more than 6 years thereafter, the Head of State shall appoint the Registrar of Electors as an Electoral Commissioner to determine the number of Members of Parliament to be elected by the persons whose names appear on the individual voters' roll.
… (Second Schedule)

Head of State

There shall be a Head of State of Samoa to be known as O le Ao o le Malo. (Art. 16)

Head of State

(1) The Head of State shall be elected by the Legislative Assembly under the provisions of the First Schedule.
(2) A person shall not be qualified to be elected to the office of Head of State:
(a) if he is not a person qualified to be elected as a Member of Parliament; or
(b) if he does not possess such other qualifications as the Legislative Assembly may determine from time to time by resolution;
… (Art. 18)

Government

(1) There shall be a Cabinet of Ministers, who shall have the general direction and control of the executive government of Samoa and shall be collectively responsible therefore to Parliament.
(2) Cabinet shall be appointed as follows:
(a) the Head of State shall appoint as Prime Minister to preside over Cabinet a Member of Parliament who commands the confidence of a majority of the Members of Parliament;
(b) the Head of State shall, acting on the advice of the Prime Minister, appoint not fewer than eight nor more than twelve other Members of Parliament to be Ministers;
(b.a) the Head of State shall, acting on the advice of the Prime Minister, appoint one of the Ministers appointed under sub-clause (b) to be Deputy Prime Minister;
… (Art. 32)

Legislature

There shall be a Parliament of Samoa, which shall consist of the Head of State and the Legislative Assembly. (Art. 42)

Legislature

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Article, the Legislative Assembly shall consist of:
(a) one member elected for each of 41 territorial constituencies having such names and boundaries and including such villages or subvillages or villages and sub-villages as are prescribed from time to time by Act;
(aa) six additional members being one additional member elected for each of such 6 of those territorial constituencies as are prescribed from time to time by Act;
(b) members elected by those persons whose names appear on the individual voters' roll.
(1A) Subject to this Article, women Members of the Legislative Assembly shall:
(a) consist of a minimum of 10% of the Members of the Legislative Assembly specified under clause (1) which for the avoidance of doubt is presently 5; and
(b) be elected pursuant to clause (1) or become additional Members pursuant to clause (1B), (1D) or (1E).
(1B) If, following any general election:
(a) all members elected under clause (1) are men, the prescribed number of women candidates (if any) with the highest number of votes shall become additional Members; or.
(b) less than the prescribed number of women candidates are elected under clause (1), the remaining prescribed number of women candidates (if any) with the highest number of votes shall become additional Members for the purposes of clause (1A).
(1C) Clause (1B) does not apply if the prescribed number of women are all elected under clause (1).
(1D) If the seat of an additional Member becomes vacant, it shall, despite Article 48, be filled by the woman candidate (if any) who has the next highest number of votes at the last election or general election.
(1E) Subject to Article 48, if a seat under clause (1) held by a woman becomes vacant, to which a man is elected to fill that vacant seat, the woman candidate (if any) with the highest number of votes from that election or the last election or general election shall become the additional Member.
(1F) If, in the selection of the required number of women under clause (1B), (1D) or (1E), two (2) or more candidates have equal number of votes, the additional Member shall be selected by lot before the Electoral Commissioner with the presence of the candidates or their authorised representatives and at least two (2) police officers.
(1G) If a woman candidate becomes an additional Member of a constituency (irrespective of a woman candidate being elected to that constituency), no other woman candidate from the same constituency shall become an additional Member unless there is no other woman candidate from any other constituency to make up the required prescribed number.
(2) The number of members to be elected under the provisions of sub-clause (b) of clause (1) shall be determined under the provisions of the Second Schedule.
(3) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the mode of electing members of the Legislative Assembly, the terms and conditions of their membership, the qualifications of electors, and the manner in which the roll for each territorial constituency and the individual voters' roll shall be established and kept shall be prescribed by law.
(4) Members of the Legislative Assembly (including additional Members) shall be known as Members of Parliament.
(5) In this Article, unless the context otherwise requires:
“Additional Member” means a woman who is a Member of Parliament by virtue of clause (1B), (1D), or (1E) for the purposes of clause (1A);
“Highest number of votes” means the percentage of the total valid votes in a constituency polled by a woman candidate;
“Prescribed number” means the minimum number of woman Members of Parliament specified under clause (1A). (Art. 44)

Legislature

(1) A person shall be qualified to be elected as a Member of Parliament who:
(a) is a citizen of Samoa; and
(b) is not disqualified under the provisions of this Constitution or of any Act.
… (Art. 45)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

(1) All land in Samoa is customary land, freehold land or public land.
(2) Customary land means land held from Samoa in accordance with Samoan custom and usage and with the law relating to Samoan custom and usage.
(3) Freehold land means land held from Samoa for an estate in fee simple.
… (Art. 101)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

It shall not be lawful or competent for any person to make any alienation or disposition of customary land or of any interest in customary land, whether by way of sale, mortgage or otherwise howsoever, nor shall customary land or any interest therein be capable of being taken in execution or be assets for the payment of the debts of any person on his decease or insolvency:
PROVIDED THAT an Act of Parliament may authorise:
(a) the granting of a lease or licence of any customary land or of any interest therein;
(b) the taking of any customary land or any interest therein for public purposes. (Art. 102)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

There shall be a Land and Titles Court with such composition and with such jurisdiction in relation to Matai titles and customary land as may be provided by Act. (Art. 103)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

(2) Subject to the provisions of clause (3), land which immediately before Independence Day is, under the provisions of the Samoa Act 1921, Samoan land, European land or Crown land shall, on and after Independence Day, be held, under the provisions of this Constitution, as customary land, freehold land or public land, respectively.
(3) All land in Samoa which immediately before Independence Day is vested in the Crown in right of the Government of New Zealand shall, on Independence Day, become freehold land held by Her Majesty the Queen in right of the Government of New Zealand for an estate in fee simple. (Art. 123)

Protection from Violence

No person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. (Art. 7)

Protection from Violence

(1) No person shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour.
… (Art. 8)

Status of the Constitution

(1) This Constitution shall be the supreme law of Samoa.
(2) Any existing law and any law passed after the date of coming into force of this Constitution which is inconsistent with this Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void. (Art. 2)

Religious Law

WHEREAS sovereignty over the Universe belongs to the Omni-present God alone, and the authority to be exercised by the people of Samoa within the limits prescribed by His commandments is a sacred heritage;
WHEREAS the Leaders of Samoa have declared that Samoa should be an Independent State based on Christian principles and Samoan custom and tradition; … (Preamble)

Customary Law

WHEREAS sovereignty over the Universe belongs to the Omni-present God alone, and the authority to be exercised by the people of Samoa within the limits prescribed by His commandments is a sacred heritage;
WHEREAS the Leaders of Samoa have declared that Samoa should be an Independent State based on Christian principles and Samoan custom and tradition; … (Preamble)

Customary Law

A Matai title shall be held in accordance with Samoan custom and usage and with the law relating to Samoan custom and usage. (Art. 100)

Customary Law

(1) All land in Samoa is customary land, freehold land or public land.
(2) Customary land means land held from Samoa in accordance with Samoan custom and usage and with the law relating to Samoan custom and usage.
… (Art. 101)

Customary Law

There shall be a Land and Titles Court with such composition and with such jurisdiction in relation to Matai titles and customary land as may be provided by Act. (Art. 103)

Customary Law

(1) In this Constitution, unless it is otherwise provided or the context otherwise requires: …
“Law” being in force in Samoa; and includes this Constitution, any Act of Parliament and any proclamation, regulation, order, by-law or other act of authority made thereunder, the English common law and equity for the time being in so far as they are not excluded by any other law in force in Samoa, and any custom or usage which has acquired the force of law in Samoa or any part thereof under the provisions of any Act or under a judgment of a Court of competent jurisdiction.
… (Art. 111)

Affirmative Action (Broadly)

English

(1) All persons are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection under the law.
(2) Except as expressly authorised under the provisions of this Constitution, no law and no executive or administrative action of the State shall, either expressly or in its practical application, subject any person or persons to any disability or restriction or confer on any person or persons any privilege or advantage on grounds only of descent, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, social origin, place of birth, family status, or any of them.
(3) Nothing in this Article shall –

(b) Prevent the making of any provision for the protection or advancement of women or children or of any socially or educationally retarded class of persons.
… (Art. 15)

Jurisdiction and Access

English

(1) The Supreme Court shall have such original, appellate and revisional jurisdiction as may be provided by Act.
(2) Without prejudice to any appellate or revisional jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, where in any proceedings before another Court (except the Court of Appeal) a question arises as to the interpretation or effect of any provision of this Constitution, the Supreme Court may, on the application of any party to the proceedings, determine that question and either dispose of the case or remit it to that other Court to be disposed of in accordance with the determination.
(3) The Head of State, acting on the advice of the Prime Minister, may refer to the Supreme Court for its opinion any question as to the interpretation or effect of any provision of this Constitution which has arisen or appears likely to arise, and the Court shall pronounce its opinion on any question so referred to it. (Art. 73)

Jurisdiction and Access

English

(1) An appeal shall lie to the Court of Appeal from any decision of the Supreme Court in any proceeding, if the Supreme Court certifies that the case involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation or effect of any provision of this Constitution.
(2) Where the Supreme Court has refused to give such a certificate, the Court of Appeal may, if it is satisfied that the case involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation or effect of any provision of this Constitution, grant special leave to appeal from that decision.
(3) Where such a certificate is given or such leave granted, any party in the case may appeal to the Court of Appeal on the ground that any such question as aforesaid has been wrongly decided and, with the leave of that Court, on any other ground. (Art. 80)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

(1) All persons are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection under the law.
(2) Except as expressly authorised under the provisions of this Constitution, no law and no executive or administrative action of the State shall, either expressly or in its practical application, subject any person or persons to any disability or restriction or confer on any person or persons any privilege or advantage on grounds only of descent, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, social origin, place of birth, family status, or any of them.
(3) Nothing in this Article shall –
(a) Prevent the prescription of qualifications for the service of Samoa or the service of a body corporate directly established under the law; or
(b) Prevent the making of any provision for the protection or advancement of women or children or of any socially or educationally retarded class of persons.
(4) Nothing in this Article shall affect the operation of any existing law or the maintenance by the State of any executive or administrative practice being observed on Independence Day:
PROVIDED THAT the State shall direct its policy towards the progressive removal of any disability or restriction which has been imposed on any of the grounds referred to in clause (2) and of any privilege or advantage which has been conferred on any of those grounds. (Art. 15)

Obligations of the State

English

… WHEREIN should be secured to all the people their fundamental rights; … (Preamble)

Judicial Protection

English

(1) Any person may apply to the Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings to enforce the rights conferred under the provisions of this Part.2
(2) The Supreme Court shall have power to make all such orders as may be necessary and appropriate to secure to the applicant the enjoyment of any of the rights conferred under the provisions of this Part. (Art. 4)

Judicial Protection

English

An appeal shall lie to the Court of Appeal from any decision of the Supreme Court in any proceedings under the provision of Article 4. (Art. 81)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

(1) When a Proclamation of Emergency has been made and so long as it remains in force, the Head of State may from time to time make such Orders (hereinafter referred to as Emergency Orders) as appear to him to be necessary or expedient for securing the public safety, the defence of Samoa and the efficient prosecution of any war in which Samoa may be engaged, for maintaining public order and the supplies and services essential to the life of the community, and generally for safeguarding the interests and maintaining the welfare of the community.
(2) Emergency Orders may empower or provide for empowering such authorities, persons or classes of persons as may be specified in the Orders to make regulations, rules or bylaws for any of the purposes for which Emergency Orders are authorised under the provisions of this Article to be made, and may contain such incidental and supplementary provisions as appear to the Head of State to be necessary or expedient for making effective the powers conferred under the provisions of clause (1).
(3) Every Emergency Order, if otherwise valid, shall have effect notwithstanding anything contained in Part II.3
(4) No provision of any Emergency Order, and no regulation, rule or by-law duly made under the provisions of any such Order, shall be invalid because it deals with any matter already provided for under any law or because of any inconsistency with any such law. (Art. 106)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

English

(1) All persons are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection under the law.
(2) Except as expressly authorised under the provisions of this Constitution, no law and no executive or administrative action of the State shall, either expressly or in its practical application, subject any person or persons to any disability or restriction or confer on any person or persons any privilege or advantage on grounds only of descent, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, social origin, place of birth, family status, or any of them.
(3) Nothing in this Article shall –
(a) Prevent the prescription of qualifications for the service of Samoa or the service of a body corporate directly established under the law;
… (Art. 15)

Political Rights and Association

English

(1) All citizens of Samoa shall have the right:

(c) to form associations or unions;
… (Art. 13)

National level

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Article, the Legislative Assembly shall consist of:
(a) one member elected for each of 41 territorial constituencies having such names and boundaries and including such villages or subvillages or villages and sub-villages as are prescribed from time to time by Act; (aa) six additional members being one additional member elected for each of such 6 of those territorial constituencies as are prescribed from time to time by Act;
(b) members elected by those persons whose names appear on the individual voters' roll.
(1A) Subject to this Article, women Members of the Legislative Assembly shall:
(a) consist of a minimum of 10% of the Members of the Legislative Assembly specified under clause (1) which for the avoidance of doubt is presently 5; and
(b) be elected pursuant to clause (1) or become additional Members pursuant to clause (1B), (1D) or (1E).
(1B) If, following any general election:
(a) all members elected under clause (1) are men, the prescribed number of women candidates (if any) with the highest number of votes shall become additional Members; or
(b) less than the prescribed number of women candidates are elected under clause (1), the remaining prescribed number of women candidates (if any) with the highest number of votes shall become additional Members for the purposes of clause (1A).
(1C) Clause (1B) does not apply if the prescribed number of women are all elected under clause (1).
(1D) If the seat of an additional Member becomes vacant, it shall, despite Article 48, be filled by the woman candidate (if any) who has the next highest number of votes at the last election or general election.
(1E) Subject to Article 48, if a seat under clause (1) held by a woman becomes vacant, to which a man is elected to fill that vacant seat, the woman candidate (if any) with the highest number of votes from that election or the last election or general election shall become the additional Member.
(1F) If, in the selection of the required number of women under clause (1B), (1D) or (1E), two (2) or more candidates have equal number of votes, the additional Member shall be selected by lot before the Electoral Commissioner with the presence of the candidates or their authorised representatives and at least two (2) police officers.
(1G) If a woman candidate becomes an additional Member of a constituency (irrespective of a woman candidate being elected to that constituency), no other woman candidate from the same constituency shall become an additional Member unless there is no other woman candidate from any other constituency to make up the required prescribed number.

(5) In this Article, unless the context otherwise requires:
“Additional Member” means a woman who is a Member of Parliament by virtue of clause (1B), (1D), or (1E) for the purposes of clause (1A);
“Highest number of votes” means the percentage of the total valid votes in a constituency polled by a woman candidate;
“Prescribed number” means the minimum number of woman Members of Parliament specified under clause (1A). (Art. 44)

Electoral Bodies

English

1. Within 3 years of Independence Day and at intervals of not less than 5 and not more than 6 years thereafter, the Head of State shall appoint the Registrar of Electors as an Electoral Commissioner to determine the number of Members of Parliament to be elected by the persons whose names appear on the individual voters' roll.
… (Second Schedule)

Head of State

English

There shall be a Head of State of Samoa to be known as O le Ao o le Malo. (Art. 16)

Head of State

English

(1) The Head of State shall be elected by the Legislative Assembly under the provisions of the First Schedule.
(2) A person shall not be qualified to be elected to the office of Head of State:
(a) if he is not a person qualified to be elected as a Member of Parliament; or
(b) if he does not possess such other qualifications as the Legislative Assembly may determine from time to time by resolution;
… (Art. 18)

Government

English

(1) There shall be a Cabinet of Ministers, who shall have the general direction and control of the executive government of Samoa and shall be collectively responsible therefore to Parliament.
(2) Cabinet shall be appointed as follows:
(a) the Head of State shall appoint as Prime Minister to preside over Cabinet a Member of Parliament who commands the confidence of a majority of the Members of Parliament;
(b) the Head of State shall, acting on the advice of the Prime Minister, appoint not fewer than eight nor more than twelve other Members of Parliament to be Ministers;
(b.a) the Head of State shall, acting on the advice of the Prime Minister, appoint one of the Ministers appointed under sub-clause (b) to be Deputy Prime Minister;
… (Art. 32)

Legislature

English

There shall be a Parliament of Samoa, which shall consist of the Head of State and the Legislative Assembly. (Art. 42)

Legislature

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Article, the Legislative Assembly shall consist of:
(a) one member elected for each of 41 territorial constituencies having such names and boundaries and including such villages or subvillages or villages and sub-villages as are prescribed from time to time by Act;
(aa) six additional members being one additional member elected for each of such 6 of those territorial constituencies as are prescribed from time to time by Act;
(b) members elected by those persons whose names appear on the individual voters' roll.
(1A) Subject to this Article, women Members of the Legislative Assembly shall:
(a) consist of a minimum of 10% of the Members of the Legislative Assembly specified under clause (1) which for the avoidance of doubt is presently 5; and
(b) be elected pursuant to clause (1) or become additional Members pursuant to clause (1B), (1D) or (1E).
(1B) If, following any general election:
(a) all members elected under clause (1) are men, the prescribed number of women candidates (if any) with the highest number of votes shall become additional Members; or.
(b) less than the prescribed number of women candidates are elected under clause (1), the remaining prescribed number of women candidates (if any) with the highest number of votes shall become additional Members for the purposes of clause (1A).
(1C) Clause (1B) does not apply if the prescribed number of women are all elected under clause (1).
(1D) If the seat of an additional Member becomes vacant, it shall, despite Article 48, be filled by the woman candidate (if any) who has the next highest number of votes at the last election or general election.
(1E) Subject to Article 48, if a seat under clause (1) held by a woman becomes vacant, to which a man is elected to fill that vacant seat, the woman candidate (if any) with the highest number of votes from that election or the last election or general election shall become the additional Member.
(1F) If, in the selection of the required number of women under clause (1B), (1D) or (1E), two (2) or more candidates have equal number of votes, the additional Member shall be selected by lot before the Electoral Commissioner with the presence of the candidates or their authorised representatives and at least two (2) police officers.
(1G) If a woman candidate becomes an additional Member of a constituency (irrespective of a woman candidate being elected to that constituency), no other woman candidate from the same constituency shall become an additional Member unless there is no other woman candidate from any other constituency to make up the required prescribed number.
(2) The number of members to be elected under the provisions of sub-clause (b) of clause (1) shall be determined under the provisions of the Second Schedule.
(3) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the mode of electing members of the Legislative Assembly, the terms and conditions of their membership, the qualifications of electors, and the manner in which the roll for each territorial constituency and the individual voters' roll shall be established and kept shall be prescribed by law.
(4) Members of the Legislative Assembly (including additional Members) shall be known as Members of Parliament.
(5) In this Article, unless the context otherwise requires:
“Additional Member” means a woman who is a Member of Parliament by virtue of clause (1B), (1D), or (1E) for the purposes of clause (1A);
“Highest number of votes” means the percentage of the total valid votes in a constituency polled by a woman candidate;
“Prescribed number” means the minimum number of woman Members of Parliament specified under clause (1A). (Art. 44)

Legislature

English

(1) A person shall be qualified to be elected as a Member of Parliament who:
(a) is a citizen of Samoa; and
(b) is not disqualified under the provisions of this Constitution or of any Act.
… (Art. 45)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

(1) All land in Samoa is customary land, freehold land or public land.
(2) Customary land means land held from Samoa in accordance with Samoan custom and usage and with the law relating to Samoan custom and usage.
(3) Freehold land means land held from Samoa for an estate in fee simple.
… (Art. 101)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

It shall not be lawful or competent for any person to make any alienation or disposition of customary land or of any interest in customary land, whether by way of sale, mortgage or otherwise howsoever, nor shall customary land or any interest therein be capable of being taken in execution or be assets for the payment of the debts of any person on his decease or insolvency:
PROVIDED THAT an Act of Parliament may authorise:
(a) the granting of a lease or licence of any customary land or of any interest therein;
(b) the taking of any customary land or any interest therein for public purposes. (Art. 102)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

There shall be a Land and Titles Court with such composition and with such jurisdiction in relation to Matai titles and customary land as may be provided by Act. (Art. 103)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

(2) Subject to the provisions of clause (3), land which immediately before Independence Day is, under the provisions of the Samoa Act 1921, Samoan land, European land or Crown land shall, on and after Independence Day, be held, under the provisions of this Constitution, as customary land, freehold land or public land, respectively.
(3) All land in Samoa which immediately before Independence Day is vested in the Crown in right of the Government of New Zealand shall, on Independence Day, become freehold land held by Her Majesty the Queen in right of the Government of New Zealand for an estate in fee simple. (Art. 123)

Protection from Violence

English

No person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. (Art. 7)

Protection from Violence

English

(1) No person shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour.
… (Art. 8)

Status of the Constitution

English

(1) This Constitution shall be the supreme law of Samoa.
(2) Any existing law and any law passed after the date of coming into force of this Constitution which is inconsistent with this Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void. (Art. 2)

Religious Law

English

WHEREAS sovereignty over the Universe belongs to the Omni-present God alone, and the authority to be exercised by the people of Samoa within the limits prescribed by His commandments is a sacred heritage;
WHEREAS the Leaders of Samoa have declared that Samoa should be an Independent State based on Christian principles and Samoan custom and tradition; … (Preamble)

Customary Law

English

WHEREAS sovereignty over the Universe belongs to the Omni-present God alone, and the authority to be exercised by the people of Samoa within the limits prescribed by His commandments is a sacred heritage;
WHEREAS the Leaders of Samoa have declared that Samoa should be an Independent State based on Christian principles and Samoan custom and tradition; … (Preamble)

Customary Law

English

A Matai title shall be held in accordance with Samoan custom and usage and with the law relating to Samoan custom and usage. (Art. 100)

Customary Law

English

(1) All land in Samoa is customary land, freehold land or public land.
(2) Customary land means land held from Samoa in accordance with Samoan custom and usage and with the law relating to Samoan custom and usage.
… (Art. 101)

Customary Law

English

There shall be a Land and Titles Court with such composition and with such jurisdiction in relation to Matai titles and customary land as may be provided by Act. (Art. 103)

Customary Law

English

(1) In this Constitution, unless it is otherwise provided or the context otherwise requires: …
“Law” being in force in Samoa; and includes this Constitution, any Act of Parliament and any proclamation, regulation, order, by-law or other act of authority made thereunder, the English common law and equity for the time being in so far as they are not excluded by any other law in force in Samoa, and any custom or usage which has acquired the force of law in Samoa or any part thereof under the provisions of any Act or under a judgment of a Court of competent jurisdiction.
… (Art. 111)

1

Links to all sites last visited 2 March 2016

2

Part II on Fundamental Rights.

3

Part II on Fundamental Rights.