Matua v William

Court of Appeal

Civil Appeal
240 of 2023
08 May 2023
08 May 2023

Chief Justice Vincent Lunabek; Justice John Mansfield; Justice Ronald Young; Justice Dudley Aru; Justice Viran MolisaTrief; Justice Edwin Goldsbrough
Peau Matua
Iouiou Nangal William and Family
J Kaukare for the Appellant; E Molbaleh for the Respondent


1. To the extent necessary, the Appellants are given leave to appeal from the judgment of the Supreme Court given on 23 February 2023; 

2. The appeal is allowed; 

3. The orders of the Supreme Court made on 23 February 2023 are set aside. 

4. (a) The appeal to the Supreme Court is allowed to the extent that the order of the Magistrate’s Court made 21 October 2022 that the Magistrate’s Court would determine the Customary Law to apply by the Tanna Island Court when hearing and determining the relevant customary rights of ownership is set aside; 

(b) The orders of the Magistrate’s Court made on that date allowing the appeal and directing the matter be reheard by a differently constituted Island Court stand; 

5. There be no costs of this appeal or of the appeal to the Supreme Court. 

Dated at Port Vila, this 9th day of May, 2023




Hon. Chief Justice V Lunabek