Court decision a good lesson for all church leaders


Lawyer Leulua’ialii Olinda Woodroffe says the recent  decision by Samoa’s the court of appeal would be good lesson for the all church leaders to follow.

“The churches take a lot of money from the people and we need to change the attitude of ministers,” she said.

“They are not God. They go to church that supposedly help(s) the people to embrace values that are written in the bible, but they don’t.”

Leulua’ialii was speaking after Samoa’s court of appeal has ruled that the Elders Committee of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa’s removal the elder was illegal.

The judgment said dismissed elder’s right to observance of the principles of natural justice was not honoured.

The supreme court, last year, had ruled in favour of the church.

Woodroffe has been acting on behalf of a Congregation Christian Church elder Reverend Kerita Reupena who whom the Elders Committee removed from his position while he was serving in Queeensland.

The sacking followed an internal dispute over the tenure of another minister in Sydney and a separate issue of allocation of church money to a parish on the island of Savai’i.

In 2015 Reupena took legal action against the Elders Committee for unlawful dismissal.

In May of that year the court issued an injunction which reinstated Reupena to the position.

The church ignored the injunction while also seeking a clarification from the Chief Justice.

Subsequently Chief Justice Patu ruled against Reupena’s  claim and dismissed the case.

The Chief Justice also dismissed an interim injunction.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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