First Tongan to be appointed to the court of appeal

Tonga’s court of appeal has appointed a Tongan to its panel, the first in Tonga’s history.

Lord Tevita Tupou of Kolofo’ou was appointed in Nuku‘alofa last week along with Hon Justice Rodney Hansen of New Zealand to join the panel of judges that would review 16 appeals including nine criminal, six civil cases and one land case.

The appointment was announced by the Appeal Court’s Vice-President Hon Mr Justice Peter Salmon during the court of appeal opening session this week.

The judges for the Court of Appeal of Tonga were usually foreign nationals selected  from Commonwealth jurisdictions.

Throughout his career Lord Tupou of Kolofo’ou, who was formerly known as Tevita Poasi Tupou, was Tonga’s first attorney general in 1988 but before that he was the crown solicitor.

He was appointed as interim speaker of Parliament in 2010 by His Late Majesty King George V.

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