Codification and Creation of Community & Customary Laws in the South Pacific and Beyond

ANU Codification Conference 2018

Event details


Date & time

Thursday 26 July 2018 to Friday 27 July 2018


Sir Roland Wilson Building, Seminar room 1.02, Building #120, ANU
ANU Canberra




Miranda Forsyth

Conference Output

A series of Department of Pacific Affairs (DPA) InBriefs is planned following this conference. 1000 word summaries are also made available below for each speaker/presentation.

A special issue of the Journal of South Pacific Law is currently in development.


The format for the conference is set out in the Conference Program. You can also view and download the program under the Downloads tab.


A document of all speaker bios and abstracts is available in the Conference Program.


Speakers’ Powerpoint presentations and/or written papers from the conference sessions provided under the following sessions. Audio recordings from the Conference are available via the links below:

Day 1 Session 1

Day 1 Session 2

Day 1 Session 3

Day 2 Session 1

Day 2 Session 2

Day 2 Session 3


Miranda Forsyth- Presentation

Day 1/Session 1: Historical perspectives on the codification of custom

Michael Goddard- The origin and effects of the ‘patrilineal’ rule among the Motu-Koita of Papua New Guinea Presentation

Daniel Midena

Day 1/Session 2: Community law making initiatives in the Pacific

Lilly Kolts Be’Soer & Joe Kolts Wusik- Community Laws(Lo) by 3 communities in Jiwaka Province Presentation

Ruth Kissam

Ahmad Hallak- From Tribal Rules to Local Law: codifying traditional rules of fighting in Papua New Guinea Presentation

Rachel England- Kastom law and the Sustainable Development Goals on Tanna Island (Vanuatu)

Lee-Anne Sackett- Codifying Customary Law on Ambrym Island, Vanuatu Presentation

Don Paterson- A Collection of Traditional and Contemporary Customs of Islands of Vanuatu- A Tribute to the Government and People of Vanuatu

Day 1/Session 3: By-laws and customary codification in environmental management

Dirk Steenbergen & Pita Neihapi

Victor David & Carine David- Presentation

Daniel Robinson & Margaret Raven- Customary laws and community protocols in the Pacific: Next steps under the Nagoya Protocol Presentation

Day 2/Session 1: Codification of custon led by the state

Derek Futaiasi

Watson Simiong- Presentation

Oona Le Meur- Codifying Customary Law in New-Caledonia: Custom’s pen and paper

Nathan Onom- Presentation

Day 2/Session 2: Gendered dimensions, the codification of custom

Safua Akeli Amaama- Navigating CEDAW obligations and ‘custom’ in Samoa

Jojiana Cokanasiga- Codifying custom and the situtation of women in a Fijian village setting Presentation

Mema Motusaga- Village By-Laws in Samoa and the incusion of women and persons with disability

Roshika Deo- Fiji’s Gender Equality Commitments and the iTaukei Village (General) By-Law, 2016 Presentation

Day 2/Session 3: Gendered dimensions, the codification of custom

Siobhan McDonnell

Bridget Crichton- Gender Equity in Samoan Laws: Progress vs Contradictions Presentation

Ramona Boodoosingh & Penelope Schoeffel- Codification of customary regulations by village councils in Samoa: Some social and gender issues

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet