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The Revolt of the Samoans

Where Law and Comic Opera Meet

Where Law and Comic Opera Meet

It is an amazing fact that, notwithstanding the incident just narrated, Mr. Woodward was allowed to continue in his office of Chief Judge, and to go on awarding substantially heavy penalties for offences lighter in reality than that to which he himself had pleaded guilty. Indeed, the whole Samoan judicature would seem to have taken on a comic opera turn round about this period; for, in the "Samoa Guardian" of July 14, which contained the report of the conviction of the Chief Judge, there is also a report of a sitting of the High Court. at which two Samoan chiefs, Fagaloa and Fuataga, were charged with having failed to obey an order of the Administrator banishing them from their respective districts. The Chief Judge (who had been fined only £3 for behaviour which might have led to violence and possibly bloodshed) sentenced the chiefs each to six months' imprisonment, and refused a stay of execution of sentence pending appeal! And the chiefs' offence was wholly passive, while that of the Chief Judge w; one of dangerous aggression.