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United States Samoa Federal Supreme Court Options
Thank you, Madam Chairwoman and members of the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, for the occasion to speak about the possibilities of the Federal American Samoa Judge. American Samoa has always sought to preserve Fa'a Samoa, the Samoan way of being. Fa'a Samoa is deeply ingrained in American Samoa's municipal lands and materialism.
The maintenance of the municipal lands and river Main system led the American Samoa leadership in the 1950' to lay the foundation for their administration under the command of the Minister of the Interior. There was a last instance tribunal, the High Courts of American Samoa.
There was no federal district courthouse in American Samoa for the concern that it could damage Fa'a Samoa. Questions related to Fa'a Samoa, municipal property and the title of Samoa Municipality are as crucial and pertinent to the people of American Samoa today as they were sixty years ago. There have been several raises over the question of federal justice for American Samoa.
By the mid-1990s, following the release of a U.S. Samoa white-collar crimes investigation paper, serious efforts were made within the Department of Justice to draft a law that would set up a federal county courthouse in the area. Recently, at the behest of Congressman Faleomavaega, the U.S. government accountability office released a statement titled, AMERICAN SAMOA issues related to possible changes to the present system for assessing matters of federal law.
It offers an outstanding historic presentation and shows possibilities for addressing questions of federal legislation. There are a number of grounds for the establishment of federal justice in American Samoa: Strengthen the pursuit of deserving crimes by removing the present logistic barriers (high travelling expenses between Hawaii and the country, rare air traffic and the unavailability of testimonies and litigation preparations by witnesses), (2) deter criminals, (4) recover debt from the federal authorities.
It also sketches three possible sceneries for the establishment of a federal legal representation in American Samoa: Federal Supreme Court in American Samoa similar to other US jurisdictions, (3) Extended Federal Penal and Civilian Justice for the High Courts of American Samoa. Should federal justice be set up in American Samoa or not?
And if a federal court appearance is desired, what should it look like? There are no objections from the Ministry of the Interior to a system that takes more effective account of federal legislation related to American Samoa. This system should be supported by the American Samoa government through the American Samoa government leadership.
When introducing changes, the Department of the Interior considers that it will be important for federal justice not to involve federal authorities over municipal property law and the US Matthew family. Regarding the establishment of a federal legal representation in American Samoa, the Ministry proposes that the Subcommittee take fully into account the views of American Samoa regarding the most appropriate structures to best suit the needs of the federal administration and the area.