Ministry of Justice, Courts and Administration Structure

mjca structure

Minister of Justice

ministerHon. Faaolesa Katopau T Ainuu

Our Minister

Afioga Faaolesa Fuimaono Katopau T Ainuu is the successful candidate representing the Constituency of Vaimauga Sisifo Number 2 and this is his first term in Parliament. He is a lawyer by profession who holds many academic achievements and honours to his name. His work experience is extensive in the legal profession as he holds legal practicing licenses in various countries (ie. Samoa, Hawaii and American Samoa). He is also a very active member of the community and has or still holds board membership and presidency positions in various organizations and corporations.


  • * University of Hawaii at Manoa WSR School of Law – Juris Doctor (J.D.) 1992. Completed half of the course work towards a Master in Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree.
  • * U.S.I.U., San Diego, California – Bachelor of Arts (International Relations & Economics – 1988)
  • * American Samoa Community College – Associate of Arts (A.A.) 1986
  • * University of the South Pacific, Suva Fiji – Four years of course work in Chemistry and Mathematics (1981 –1984)
  • * St Josephs College Lotopa 1977 to 1980 – 5 subject pass in the U.E. Examination
  • * Marist Brothers Primary School Mulivai – Primer 1 to Form 2


  • 6/2012 - 6/2015 – Chairman, Electric Power Corporation (EPC) Board of Directors
  • * 2010-2016 - Private practice on own account trading as Ainuu Law Firm
  • 10/1996 – 4/2010 – Partner with Meredith and Ainu'u Law Firm
  • 9/1995 - 4/1997 – Development Bank of American Samoa - Legal Counsel
  • * 9/1993 - 9/ 1995 – Associate Attorney, Hall & Associates Law Firm
  • 5/1992 – 8/1992 – Law Clerk, Office of the Public Defender, State of Hawaii
  • 5/1991 – 8/1991 – Law Clerk, Department of the Attorney General, State of Hawaii
  • 5/1990 – 8/1990 – Law Clerk, Intermediate Court of Appeals, State of Hawaii


  • Vice President of the Samoa Law Society since December 2007
  • President, Marist Brothers Old Boys Association, American Samoa 1996 to 1999
  • Vice-President of the American Samoa Bar Association, 1995 –1996
  • President, Pacific Islands Law Students Association, UH School of Law 1991-1992
  • Vice-President, Pacific-Asian Legal Studies Student Association, UH School of Law
  • * President, University of Hawaii, Samoan Students Association, 1990-1991

Chief Executive Officer

ceoPapalii John Taimalelagi Afele


Papalii John Taimalelagi Afele has been a full time serving member of the public service since August 2003. On his return from university studies, he worked for the Public Service Commission. He currently holds a Bachelor’s of Art Degree and throughout his years of service, he has undertaken many training, attended various seminars and represented Samoa in many local and international conferences. Papalii, first commenced work with the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration in 2008 and since then he has ascended through the hierarchy structure of the Ministry, evident in his current position as CEO since February 2016.

Papalii is dedicated and devoted to serving the people of Samoa, and leading the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration to achieving ‘quality and accessible justice for all.


"Quality and Accessible Justice for All"


“To provide a Service that is S.A.F.E.R:

S – simple,

A – accessible,

F – fair,

E – efficient & Effective and

R – responsive”

to the people of Samoa and to all our key stakeholders.

Values and Principles

These are the fundamentals values and principles which will: underlie and be instilled in the everyday work of the Ministry, inform our strategic goals and guide employees in all that we say and do.



Strategic Goals, Strategies and Key Performance Indicators

Provided hereunder is the matrix presenting the prioritized goals, strategies and KPIs of MJCA. This is what we will do in the lifetime of this Plan to deliver our mission and achieve our organizational vision. We want to ensure that our systems and the services we provide are accessible, fair and responsive, delivering best value for money, and maintain the integrity and governance of our dual justice systems.


Corporate Plan 2016 - 2020

Ministers Foreword

It is long established that a well functioning justice system in the foundation of a healthy democracy. The dual justice system of Samoa is integral to this principal in building a nation based on justice and the rule of law. The government of Samoa through the suppoort of the Law and Justice Sector, recognizes this and commits to improving both the formal and informal justice systems of Samoa. Therefore efforts to strengthen law and justice institutions are important because it can provide a critical lever for improved community safety and relevant and responsive dispute resolution.

The Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration a key player and lead agency .....


Report for the Financial Year 2014  2015

- View report


MJCA is responsible for the effective administration of the following mandates. These mandates give MJCA legislated authority to operate dually as an arm of Judiciary and that of the Executive

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Act 2007
  • Arbitration Act 1976
  • Administration Act 1975
  • Carrier Act 1975
  • Commissions of Inquiry Act 1964
  • Community Justice Act 2008
  • Coroners Ordinance 1959
  • Criminal Procedure Act 1972
  • Declaratory Judgment Act 1988
  • Defamation Act 1992/1993
  • District Courts Amendment Act 2016
  • Divorce & Matrimonial Causes Ordinance 1961
  • Divorce & Matrimonial Causes Amendment Act 2010
  • Evidence Ordinance 1961
  • Extradition Act 1974
  • Film Control Act 1978
  • Indecent Publications Ordinance 1960
  • Infants Ordinance 1961
  • International Criminal Court Act 2007
  • Film Control Amendment Act 2010
  • Industrial & Provident Societies Act 1968
  • Judgment Summons Act 1965
  • Judicature Ordinance 1961
  • view more

General Functions

The roles and responsibilities of MJCA include: Providing sound policy advice to government through the Minister. The Ministry facilitates input from the public to the justice system

  • Providing sound policy advice to government through the Minister. The Ministry facilitates input from the public to the justice system in the development of justice-related legislation, and communicates to the public, on behalf of the Government, the intent and implementation requirements of new legislations;
  • Providing judicial support through the administration, case management, technology, human resource support, and funding for judicial training and development. The Ministry looks at improving court processes and service design through joint Ministry-judicial efforts;
  • Leading the Law and Justice Sector through the Law and Justice Sector Secretariat by providing advice, coordinating and leading sector projects and activities, managing planning and budgeting process, at the same time report on sector’s outcomes; 
  • Providing registry services, claims administration, research services, hearings management, negotiates for the settlement of historical claims and land in settlements;
  • Provision of quality censoring services including awareness and enforcement responsibilities;
  • Providing quality information and reporting for Courts sentencing and management of community based sentences;
  • Facilitating mediation for matters of maintenance, custody and affiliation, including any related prosecution and monitoring in the interest of child and family safety, court annexed on civil and criminal matters, plus facilitation of mediation for land and title disputes;
  • Management and processing of cases for Lands and Titles Court and Registration of Matai titles;
  • Resolving court-imposed monetary penalties and infringement fines, and collection of fines ; and
  • Support and corporate functions to include human resource management, information and communications technology, digitisation services, court security, project management, finance management , planning and reporting, and facilities and office management.

About MJCA

Ministry of Justice, Courts and Administration

Mulinuu, Samoa

P.O. Box 49


Upolu Numbers:

  • phone : (685) 22671 - 74
  • Fax : (685) 21050

Savaii Numbers:

  • Phone : (685) 53514
  • Fax : (685) 53513
Please address all correspondences to the Chief Executive Officer / Registrar of the Courts.

© 2016 Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration. All rights reserved.