Dr Lalotoa Mulitalo is visiting the UQ Law School on a 3 month sabbatical to complete a book on the consequences of legal pluralism for law reform in the South Pacific. This work is being conducted under the auspices of the Legitimus Project, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the TC Beirne School of Law.
The book will be based on findings from Lalotoa’s PhD studies at UQ, undertaken from 2011- 2013 under the supervision of Professor Jennifer Corrin. After completing her PhD, Dr. Mulitalo lecturered in the School of Law at the University of the South Pacific in 2014. From May 2015 to May 2016 she held the position of Parliamentary Legal Counsel with the Samoan Parliament, providing legal advice to Members of Parliament as well as the Clerk and the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. In this role she provided explanations of the draft Bills to help Members better understand the intentions of different Bills, and the purposes for which they were drafted. In addition, Dr.Mulitalo presented the proper legal contexts to law proposals and advised on the proposed benefits and likely direct impacts of a Bill, and on the possible place/position of a Bill in the fabric of the current and existing laws of Samoa.
Dr Mulitalo’s book will explore law reform processes which may produce effective laws for populations with strong traditional systems, to inform approaches to law making which are beneficial to South Pacific Islands and other similar post colonial societies with plural legal systems.