1The following text is from the Constitute Project, who through a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License, has generously made this content available for use for noncommercial purposes. Follow (right-click) the links and read the annotation to learn more.1
4We the people of Kiribati, acknowledging God as the Almighty Father in whom we put our trust, and with faith in the enduring value of our traditions and heritage, do now grant ourselves this Constitution establishing a sovereign democratic State.
17Whereas every person in Kiribati is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely—
21the provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations on that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest.
231. No person shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence under the law in force in Kiribati of which he has been convicted.
242. A person shall not be regarded as having been deprived of his life in contravention of this section if he dies as the result of the use, to such extent and in such circumstances as are permitted by law, of such force as is reasonably justifiable—
40i.in the case of a person who is, or is reasonably suspected to be, of unsound mind, addicted to drugs or alcohol, or a vagrant, for the purpose of his care or treatment or the protection of the community;
41j.for the purpose of preventing the unlawful entry of that person into Kiribati, or for the purpose of effecting the expulsion, extradition or other lawful removal of that person from Kiribati or for the purpose of restricting that person while he is being conveyed through Kiribati in the course of his extradition or removal as a convicted prisoner from one country to another; or
42k.to such extent as may be necessary in the execution of a lawful order requiring that person to remain within a specified area within Kiribati or prohibiting him from being within such an area, or to such extent as may be reasonably justifiable for the taking of proceedings against that person relating to the making of any such order, or to such extent as may be reasonably justifiable for restraining that person during any visit that he is permitted to make to any part of Kiribati in which, in consequence of any such order, his presence would otherwise be unlawful.
47and who is not released, shall be brought without undue delay before a court; and if any person arrested or detained upon reasonable suspicion of his having committed or being about to commit a criminal offence is not tried within a reasonable time, then, without prejudice to any further proceedings that may be brought against him, he shall be released either unconditionally or upon reasonable conditions, including in particular such conditions as are reasonably necessary to ensure that he appears at a later date for trial or for proceedings preliminary to trial.
54b.any labour required of any person while he is lawfully detained that, though not required in consequence of the sentence or order of a court, is reasonably necessary in the interests of hygiene or for the maintenance of the place at which he is detained;
55c.any labour required of a member of a disciplined force in pursuance of his duties as such or, in the case of a person who has conscientious objections to service as a member of a disciplined force, any labour that that person is required by law to perform in place of such service;
56d.any labour required during any period of public emergency or in the event of any other emergency or calamity that threatens the life and well-being of the community, to the extent that the requiring of such labour is reasonably justifiable in the circumstances of any situation arising or existing during that period or as a result of that other emergency or calamity, for the purpose of dealing with that situation; or
602. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question authorises the infliction of any description of punishment that was lawful in Kiribati immediately before the coming into operation of this Constitution.
621. No property of any description shall be compulsorily taken possession of, and no interest in or right over property of any description shall be compulsorily acquired, except where the following conditions are satisfied, that is to say—
63a.the taking of possession or acquisition is necessary or expedient in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, public health, town or country planning or the development or utilisation of any property for a public purpose; and
67ii.securing to any person having an interest in or right over the property a right of access to the High Court, whether direct or on appeal from any other authority, for the determination of his interest or right, the legality of the taking of possession or acquisition of the property, interest or right and the amount of any compensation to which he is entitled, and for the purpose of obtaining that compensation.
79viii.pursuant to rights granted to any person to prospect for or mine minerals where the law in question makes reasonable provision for the payment of royalties and provides for adequate compensation for disturbance of surface rights, except so far as that provision or, as the case may be, the thing done under the authority thereof is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society; or
82ii.property of a deceased person, a person of unsound mind, a person who has not attained the age of eighteen years or a person who is absent from Kiribati, for the purpose of its administration for the benefit of the persons entitled to the beneficial interest therein;
83iii.property of a person declared to be insolvent or a body corporate in liquidation, for the purpose of its administration for the benefit of the creditors of the insolvent or body corporate and, subject thereto, for the benefit of other persons entitled to the beneficial interest in the property; or
84iv.property subject to a trust, for the purpose of vesting the property in persons appointed as trustees under the instrument creating the trust or by a court or, by order of a court, for the purpose of giving effect to the trust.
853. Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting the making or operation of any law for the compulsory taking of possession in the public interest of any property, or the compulsory acquisition in the public interest of any interest in or right over property, where that property, interest or right is held by a body corporate established for public purposes by any law and in which no moneys have been invested other than moneys provided by the Government.
89a.in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, public health, town or country planning, the development or utilisation of mineral resources, or the development or utilisation of any other property in such a manner as to promote the public benefit;
91c.for the purpose of authorising an officer or agent of the Government, a local government council or a body corporate established by law for a public purpose to enter on the premises of any person in order to inspect those premises or anything thereon for the purpose of any tax, rate or duty or in order to carry out work connected with any property that is lawfully on those premises and that belongs to that Government, council or body corporate, as the case may be;
961. If any person is charged with a criminal offence, then, unless the charge is withdrawn, the case shall be afforded a fair hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial court established by law.
102e.shall be afforded facilities to examine in person or by his representative the witnesses called by the prosecution before the court, and to obtain the attendance and carry out the examination of witnesses to testify on his behalf before the court on the same conditions as those applying to witnesses called by the prosecution; and
104and, except with his own consent, the trial shall not take place in his absence unless he so conducts himself as to render the continuance of the proceedings in his presence impracticable and the court has ordered him to be removed and the trial to proceed in his absence.
1053. When a person is tried for any criminal offence, the accused person or any person authorised by him in that behalf shall, if he so requires and subject to payment of such reasonable fee as may be prescribed by law, be given within a reasonable time after judgment a copy for the use of the accused person of any record of the proceedings made by or on behalf of the court.
1064. No person shall be held to be guilty of a criminal offence on account of any act or omission that did not, at the time it took place, constitute such an offence, and no penalty shall be imposed for any criminal offence that is severer in degree or description than the maximum penalty that might have been imposed for that offence at the time when it was committed.
1075. No person who shows that he has been tried by a competent court for a criminal offence and either convicted or acquitted shall again be tried for that offence or for any other criminal offence of which he could have been convicted at the trial for that offence, save upon the order of a superior court in the course of appeal or review proceedings relating to the conviction or acquittal.
1108. Any court or other adjudicating authority prescribed by law for the determination of the existence or extent of any civil right or obligation shall be established or recognised by law and shall be independent and impartial; and where proceedings for such a determination are instituted by any person before such a court or other adjudicating authority, the case shall be given a fair hearing within a reasonable time.
1119. Except with the agreement of all the parties thereto, all proceedings of every court and proceedings for the determination of the existence or extent of any civil right or obligation before any other adjudicating authority, including the announcement of the decision of the court or other authority, shall be held in public.
11210. Nothing in the preceding subsection shall prevent the court or other adjudicating authority from excluding from the proceedings persons other than the parties thereto and their representatives to such extent as the court or other authority—
113a.may by law be empowered so to do and may consider necessary or expedient in circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice or in interlocutory proceedings or in the interests of decency, public morality, the welfare of persons under the age of eighteen years or the protection of the private lives of persons concerned in the proceedings; or
117b.subsection (2)(e) of this section to the extent that the law in question imposes reasonable conditions that must be satisfied if witnesses called to testify on behalf of an accused person are to be paid their expenses out of public funds; or
118c.subsection (5) of this section to the extent that the law in question authorises a court to try a member of a disciplined force for a criminal offence notwithstanding any trial and conviction or acquittal of that member under the disciplinary law of that force, so, however, that any court so trying such a member and convicting him shall in sentencing him to any punishment take into account any punishment awarded him under that disciplinary law.
1211. Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of conscience, and for the purposes of this section the said freedom includes freedom of thought and of religion, freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others, and both in public and in private, to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
1233. No religious community shall be prevented from providing religious instruction for persons of that community in the course of any education provided at any place of education which it wholly maintains or in the course of any education which it otherwise provides.
1244. Except with his own consent (or, if he is a person who has not attained the age of eighteen years, the consent of his guardian) no person attending any place of education shall be required to receive religious instruction or to take part in or attend any religious ceremony or observance if that instruction, ceremony or observance relates to a religion other than his own.
1266. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision which is reasonably required—
128b.for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedoms of other persons, including the right to observe and practise any religion without the unsolicited intervention of members of any other religion,
1321. Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of expression, and for the purposes of this section the said freedom includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference, freedom to receive ideas and information without interference, freedom to communicate ideas and information without interference and freedom from interference with his correspondence.
135b.for the purpose of protecting the reputations, rights and freedoms of other persons or the private lives of persons concerned in legal proceedings, preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, maintaining the authority and independence of the courts, or regulating the administration or the technical operation of telephony, telegraphy, posts, wireless or broadcasting; or
1391. Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of assembly and association, that is to say, his right to assemble freely and associate with other persons and in particular to form or belong to associations for the advancement or protection of his interests.
1461. No person shall be deprived of his freedom of movement, and for the purposes of this section the said freedom means the right to move freely throughout Kiribati, the right to reside in any part of Kiribati, the right to enter and to leave Kiribati and immunity from expulsion from Kiribati.
149a.for the imposition of restrictions on the movement or residence within Kiribati of any person or on any person’s right to leave Kiribati that are reasonably required in the interests of defence, public safety or public order;
150b.for the imposition of restrictions on the movement or residence within Kiribati or on the right to leave Kiribati of persons generally or any class of persons that are reasonably required in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, public health, environmental conservation or in fulfilment of the international treaty obligations of Kiribati;
153e.for the imposition of restrictions upon the movement or residence within Kiribati of public employees that are reasonably required for the purpose of ensuring the proper performance of their functions;
154f.for the removal of a person from Kiribati to be tried or punished in some other country for a criminal offence under the law of that other country or to undergo imprisonment in that other country in execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence under the law in force in Kiribati of which he has been convicted;
155g.for the imposition of restrictions, by order of a court, on the movement or residence within Kiribati of any person or on any person’s right to leave Kiribati either in consequence of his having been found guilty of a criminal offence under the law of Kiribati or for the purpose of ensuring that he appears before a court at a later date for trial or for proceedings relating to his extradition or lawful removal from Kiribati; or
156h.for the imposition of restrictions on the right of any person to leave Kiribati in order to secure the fulfilment of any obligations imposed upon that person by law, except so far as the provision or, as the case may be, the thing done under the authority thereof is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.
1574. If any person whose freedom of movement has been restricted by virtue only of such a provision as is referred to in subsection (3)(a) of this section so requests at any time during the period of that restriction not earlier than six months after he last made such a request during that period, his case shall be reviewed by an independent and impartial Tribunal.
1585. On any review by a Tribunal in pursuance of the preceding subsection of the case of a person whose freedom of movement has been restricted, the Tribunal may make recommendations concerning the necessity or expediency of continuing the restriction to the authority by which it was ordered but, unless it is otherwise provided by law, that authority shall not be obliged to act in accordance with any such recommendations.
1612. Subject to the provisions of subsections (6), (7) and (8) of this section, no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any written law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.
1623. In this section, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
166c.for the application, in the case of persons of any such description as is mentioned in the preceding subsection (or of persons connected with such persons), of the law with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other like matters that is the personal law applicable to persons of that description;
168e.whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in the preceding subsection may be subjected to any disability or restriction or may be accorded any privilege or advantage which, having regard to its nature and to special circumstances pertaining to those persons or to persons of any other such description, is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.
1695. Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of subsection (1) of this section to the extent that it makes provision with respect to standards or qualifications (not being standards or qualifications specifically relating to race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed) to be required of any person who is appointed to any office in the public service, any office in a disciplined force, any office in the service of a local government council or any office in a body corporate established directly by any law for public purposes.
1706. Subsection (2) of this section shall not apply to anything which is expressly or by necessary implication authorised to be done by any such provision of law as is referred to in subsection (4) or (5) of this section.
1717. Subsection (2) of this section shall not affect any discretion relating to the institution, conduct or discontinuance of civil or criminal proceedings in any court that is vested in any person by or under this Constitution or any other law.
1728. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section may be subjected to any restriction on the rights and freedoms guaranteed by sections 9, 11, 12, 13, and 14 of this Constitution, being such a restriction as is authorised by section 9 (2), 11 (6), 12 (2), 13 (2), or 14 (3), as the case may be.
1802. The Beretitenti, acting in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet, may at any time declare that a state of public emergency exists and make regulations for the purpose of dealing with the public emergency.
1824. A proclamation made under this section, if not sooner revoked, shall cease to have effect at the expiration of three days (or, in the case of a proclamation made otherwise than during a meeting of the Maneaba ni Maungatabu, thirty days) from the date of publication unless it has in the meantime been approved by a resolution of the Maneaba, and a proclamation that has been so approved shall remain in force so long as the resolution remains in force and no longer.
1835. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law of regulation shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of section 5, 6(2), 9, 11, 12, 13, 14 or 15 of this Constitution to the extent that the law or regulation in question makes in relation to any period or public emergency provision, or authorises the doing during any such period of any thing, that is reasonably justifiable in the circumstances of any situation arising or existing during the period for the purpose of dealing with that situation.
185a.he shall, as soon as reasonably practicable and in any case not more than ten days after the commencement of his detention, be furnished with a statement in writing, in a language that he understands, specifying in detail the grounds upon which he is detained;
186b.not more than fourteen days after the commencement of his detention, a notification shall be published at the office of the Beretitenti stating that he has been detained and giving particulars of the provision of law under which his detention is authorised;
187c.not more than one month after the commencement of his detention and thereafter during his detention at intervals of not more than six months, his case shall be reviewed by an independent and impartial Tribunal consisting of a Chairman appointed by the Chief Justice and two other members appointed by the Chief Justice sitting with the Public Service Commission;
1907. On any review by a Tribunal in pursuance of this section of the case of a detained person, the Tribunal may make recommendations concerning the necessity or expediency of continuing his detention to the authority by which it was ordered but, unless it is otherwise provided by law, that authority shall not be obliged to act in accordance with any such recommendations.
1931. Subject to the provisions of subsection (5) of this section, if any person alleges that any of the provisions of sections 3 to 16 (inclusive) of this Constitution has been, is being or is likely to be contravened in relation to him (or, in the case of a person who is detained, if any other person alleges such a contravention in relation to the detained person) then, without prejudice to any other action with respect to the same matter which is lawfully available, that person (or that other person) may apply to the High Court for redress.
197and may make such orders, issue such writs and give such directions as it may consider appropriate for the purpose of enforcing or securing the enforcement of any of the provisions of sections 3 to 16 (inclusive) of this Constitution:
198Provided that the High Court may decline to exercise its powers under this subsection if it is satisfied that adequate means of redress for the contravention alleged are or have been available to the person concerned under other provisions of this Constitution or under any other law.
1993. If in any proceedings in any subordinate court any question arises as to the contravention of any of the provisions of sections 3 to 16 (inclusive) of this Constitution, the person presiding in that court may, and shall if any party to the proceedings so requests, refer the question to the High Court unless, in his opinion, the raising of the question is merely frivolous or vexatious.
2004. The Maneaba ni Maungatabu may by law confer upon the High Court powers additional to those conferred by this section for the purpose of enabling that court more effectively to exercise the jurisdiction conferred upon it by this section.