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Launch of SamLII - Samoa Legal Information Institute

 

The Samoa Legal Information Institute (SamLII) website, www.samlii.org , was launched on Friday 8 June by the Prime Minister of Samoa. The website allows free access to Samoan legal information, including legislation and judgments of the Supreme, District and Land and Titles Court.


Samoa’s own legal information website was established in response to concern over the future of the Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute (PacLII), due to funding difficulties.  In the keynote speech at the launch of SamLII, the Chief Justice of Samoa, Patu Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu, also referred to the inclusion of judgments of the Land and Titles Court (facilitating access by members of the public), together with the essential usefulness of this type of website to the work of the Samoan Courts, lawyers and law students, as additional reasons for the establishment SamLII.
 
SamLII has been funded under the Samoa Law and Justice Sector Programme.  The programme, funded by AusAid, has provided ST$100 000 for the establishment of SamLII during its first year, and a commitment to fund the website for the next three years.   Both PacLII and the Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII) provided technical assistance and advice to the project.  Staff will now be recruited to operate SamLII from within Samoa.  
 
Samoa is the first country in the Pacific Islands region to establish a national Legal Information Institute (LII).  SamLII is the 41st LII to be established in the world, and will be linked to the international LII network. 
 
A related online legal information initiative in 2011 was Nauru’s development of Ronlaw (www.ronlaw.gov.nr), a custom designed database to manage Nauru’s legal information.  This website provides free access to up to date versions of Nauruan legislation, gazettes and court decisions as well as historical versions of legislation. This project was funded by NZ Aid through the Legal Information Access Project and is intended to compliment information available on PacLII.