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 THE REPUBLIC OF THE MARSHALL ISLANDS, trusting in God, the Giver of our life, liberty, identity and our inherent rights, do hereby exercise these rights and establish for ourselves and generations to come this Constitution, setting forth the legitimate legal framework for the governance of the Republic.
5We have reason to be proud of our forefathers who boldly ventured across the unknown waters of the vast Pacific Ocean many centuries ago, ably responding to the constant challenges of maintaining a bare existence on these tiny islands, in their noble quest to build their own distinctive society.
6This society has survived, and has withstood the test of time, the impact of other cultures, the devastation of war, and the high price paid for the purposes of international peace and security. All we have and are today as a people, we have received as a sacred heritage which we pledge ourselves to safeguard and maintain, valuing nothing more dearly than our rightful home on the islands within the traditional boundaries of this archipelago.
7With this Constitution, we affirm our desire and right to live in peace and harmony, subscribing to the principles of democracy, sharing the aspirations of all other peoples for a free and peaceful world, and striving to do all we can to assist in achieving this goal.
122. No legislative or executive instrument and no decision of any court or other government agency made on or after the effective date of this Constitution shall have the force of law in the Republic unless it has been made pursuant to this Constitution.
171. In interpreting and applying this Constitution, a court shall look to the decisions of the courts of other countries having constitutions similar, in the relevant respect, to the Constitution of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, but shall not be bound thereby; and, in following any such decision, a court shall adapt it to the needs of the Republic, taking into account this Constitution as a whole and the circumstances in the Republic from time to time.
21a.The Attorney General acting in the name of the people of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and all persons directly affected by an alleged violation of this Constitution, whether private individuals or public officials, shall have standing to complain of such violation in a case or controversy that is the subject of an appropriate judicial proceeding;
22b.any court of general jurisdiction, resolving a case or controversy implicating a provision of this Constitution, shall have power to make all orders necessary and appropriate to secure full compliance with the provision and full enjoyment of its benefits;
23c.the Government of the Republic and any local government shall not be immune from suit in respect of their own actions or those of their agents; but no property or other assets of the Government of the Republic or of any local government shall be seized or attached to satisfy any judgment.
261. Every person has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and belief; to freedom of speech and of the press; to the free exercise of religion; to freedom of peaceful assembly and association; and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
313. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to prevent government from extending financial aid to religiously supported institutions insofar as they furnish educational, medical or other services at no profit, provided such aid does not discriminate among religious groups or beliefs on the basis of a governmental preferences for some religions over others, and provided such aid goes no further than
33b.reimbursing such institutions for costs incurred in providing such services, but only with funds channeled through an organization open to all religious institutions that provide the services in question.
411. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
433. Any seizure of a person shall be deemed unreasonable as a matter of law unless the person is promptly informed of the cause of such seizure and is ensured a prompt opportunity to contest its legality before a judge.
444. A search of premises not belonging to or occupied by, the person who is believed to have committed a crime shall be deemed unreasonable as a matter of law unless the person whose premises are searched has been given a prior opportunity, in an adversary hearing, to challenge or comply with a subpoena identifying the persons or things to be produced, or the officer issuing a warrant for the search has reasonably determined that such prior notice and hearing would create an undue risk that the persons or things sought would be removed or otherwise made unavailable.
493. Bail shall not be required in an amount greater than needed to ensure that the accused will appear for trial, nor may any person be detained before trial when other means are available to provide reasonable assurance that he will not flee or gravely endanger the public safety.
504. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to be informed promptly and in detail of the nature and cause of the accusation against him; to a prompt judicial determination of whether there is good cause to hold him for trial; to a speedy and public trial before an impartial tribunal; to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defense; to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choice and, if he lacks funds to procure such assistance, to receive it free of charge if the interests of justice so require; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; and to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor.
515. There shall be a right to trial by jury, unless knowingly and voluntarily waived by the accused, whenever the applicable law makes the offense publishable by 3 or more years in prison or, in the case of an offense for which no maximum is specified, whenever the sentence actually imposed is 3 years or longer.
537. No person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, or against his spouse, parent, child, or sibling, or to give testimonial evidence against any such person whenever that evidence might directly or indirectly be used to obtain such person's criminal conviction.
548. No person shall be subjected to coercive interrogation nor may any involuntary confession or involuntary guilty plea, or any confession extracted from someone who has not been informed of his rights to silence and legal assistance and of the fact that what he says may be used against him, be used to support a criminal conviction.
5610. No person shall be preventively detained, involuntarily committed, or otherwise deprived of liberty outside the criminal process, except pursuant to [an] Act, subject to fair procedures, and upon a clear showing that the person's release would gravely endanger his own health or safety or the health, safety, or property of others.
581. No land right or other private property may be taken unless a law authorizes such taking; and any such taking must be by the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, for public use, and in accord with all safeguards provided by law.
614. Before any land right or other form of private property is taken, there must be a determination by the High Court that such taking is lawful and an order by the High Court providing for prompt and just compensation.
625. Where any land rights are taken, just compensation shall include reasonably equivalent land rights for all interest holders or the means to obtain the subsistence and benefits that such land rights provide.
636. Whenever the taking of land rights forces those who are dispossessed to live in circumstances reasonably requiring a higher level of support, that fact shall be considered in assessing whether the compensation provided is just.
658. An interest in land or other property shall not be deemed "taken" if it is forfeited pursuant to law for non-payment of taxes or debt or for commission of crime, or if it is subjected only to reasonable regulation to protect the public welfare.
743. There shall be a prompt hearing on any application for a writ of habeas corpus, and if it appears that the person being detained is being held in violation of this Constitution or other law of the Republic, the judge with whom the application was filed shall order the immediate release of the person being detained, subject to reasonable provisions for appeal by the detaining authority.
754. In the case of a person detained pursuant to a criminal conviction or sentence, the judge with whom the application was filed shall determine whether the judgment underlying the challenged detention was rendered without jurisdiction or in violation of the detained person's rights under this Constitution or other law of the Republic and shall set the judgment aside and order the prisoner's release if either infirmity is found.
776. Insofar as a determination under paragraph (4) or (5) of this Section requires a ruling on a controverted matter, the judge with whom an application for habeas corpus has been filed shall treat as conclusive and prior determination of a court of record in which the applicant had a full and fair opportunity to litigate the matter, providing such determination either was ultimately upheld on appeal or was knowingly and voluntarily permitted to stand without challenge by the applicant.
791. No person shall be subjected to ex post facto punishment--such as punishment in excess of that validly applicable at the time the act in question was committed, or punishment imposed by a procedure less favorable to the accused than that validly applicable at the time the act was committed.
84No person shall be imprisoned for debt; nor shall any person be imprisoned for failure to pay a fine assessed as punishment for a crime unless he has been afforded a reasonable time to make payment and has been found to have the means to do so.
86No person shall be conscripted to serve in the armed forces of the Republic of the Marshall Islands except in time of war or imminent danger of war as certified by the Cabinet, and no person shall be conscripted if, after being afforded a reasonable opportunity to do so, he has established that he is a conscientious objector to participation in war.
892. No law and no executive or judicial action shall, either expressly, or in its practical application, discriminate against any persons on the basis of gender, race, color, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, place of birth, family status or descent.
941. Every person has the right to invoke the judicial process as a means of vindicating any interest preserved or created by the law, subject only to regulations which limit access to courts on a non-discriminatory basis.
952. Every person has the right to participate in the electoral process, whether as a voter or as a candidate for office, subject only to the qualifications prescribed in this Constitution and to election regulations which make it possible for all eligible persons to take part.
98The Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands recognizes the right of the people to health care, education, and legal services and the obligation to take every step reasonable and necessary to provide these services.
100The Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands recognizes the right of the people to responsible and ethical government and the obligation to take every step reasonable and necessary to conduct government in accord with a comprehensive code of ethics.
1193. If, in any district, a person or group of persons becomes recognized, pursuant to the customary law or to any traditional practice, as having rights and obligations analogous to those of Iroijlaplap, that person, or a member of that group nominated by the group, shall be deemed to be eligible to be a member of the Council of Iroij as though he were an Iroijlaplap.
122b.before the expiration of any calendar year, the eligible persons in that district shall endeavor to reach agreement among themselves as to which of them shall be the member or members from that district during the next calendar year;
123c.if, by the date of the first meeting of the Council in any calendar year, there has been no such agreement, the Nitijela shall as soon as practicable proceed, by resolution, to appoint one or more of the eligible persons to be the member or members from that district;
124d.the selection of any member, whether by the eligible persons themselves or by the Nitijela, shall take account of the need for a reasonable rotation among the eligible persons in that district, but any member may serve for two or more terms, consecutively or otherwise.
1255. If, in the case of any district, there is for any reason no person eligible to be a member of the Council of Iroij in accordance with paragraphs (2) and (3) of this Section, the Council of Iroij shall as soon as practicable proceed, by resolution, to appoint as a member of the Council a person who, in the opinion of the Council, having regard to the customary law and traditional practice, is qualified by reason of his family ties to a person who, but for that reason, would have been eligible to be a member of the Council from that district.
1308. Any question that arises concerning the right of any person to be or to remain a member, or the deputy of a member, of the Council of Iroij, or to exercise the rights of a member, shall be referred to and determined by the High Court.
134b.the Council may request, in accordance with Section 3 of this Article, the reconsideration of any Bill affecting the customary law, or any traditional practice, or land tenure, or any related matter, which has been adopted on third reading by the Nitijela;
1371. Subject to paragraph (8) of this Section, the Clerk of the Nitijela shall transmit to the Clerk of the Council of Iroij, for reference to the Council, a copy of every Bill adopted on third reading by the Nitijela.
1382. The Council of Iroij may, within 7 days after the date of such transmittal, adopt a resolution expressing its opinion that a Bill so transmitted to the Council affects the customary law or a traditional practice, or land tenure, or a related matter, and requesting the Nitijela reconsider the Bill, or it may sooner, by writing signed by the Chairman of the Council, record its decision not to adopt any such resolution.
1393. The Clerk of the Council of Iroij shall forthwith transmit to the Clerk of the Nitijela, for reference to the Speaker, a copy of any such resolution or decision, together with any observations on the Bill which the Council may wish to make.
1404. The Speaker may, pursuant to Section 21 of Article IV, certify that a Bill required to be transmitted to the Council of Iroij has been passed by the Nitijela, if he is satisfied that the Council has, in relation to that Bill, adopted no resolution pursuant to paragraph (2) of this Section within the period of 7 days referred to in that paragraph, or has sooner recorded its decision not to adopt any such resolution.
1415. If, in relation to any Bill, the Council of Iroij has adopted a resolution pursuant to paragraph (2) of this Section, the Nitijela may proceed to reconsider the Bill, together with any observations of the Council thereon.
1426. In the course of any such reconsideration, the Speaker may, in consultation with the Chairman of the Council of Iroij, arrange for the holding of a joint conference between members of the Council and members of the Nitijela, for the purpose of endeavoring to reach agreement about the consent of the Bill.
1437. After reconsidering the Bill, the Nitijela may decide not to proceed with the Bill, or may amend the Bill in any manner it thinks fit, or may, by resolution, reaffirm its support for the Bill without amendment.
1448. The provisions of paragraph (1) of this Section shall not apply to an Appropriation Bill or a Supplementary Appropriation Bill or to any Bill which the Nitijela has amended or reaffirmed, pursuant to paragraph (7) of this Section.
1459. The Speaker may, pursuant to Section 21 of Article IV, certify that a Bill to which paragraph (5) of this Section relates has been passed by the Nitijela, if he is satisfied that it has been amended or reaffirmed pursuant to paragraph (7) of this Section.
1491. The Chairman and the Vice-Chairman of the Council of Iroij shall be the members of the Council elected to those offices by a majority of the members present and voting at a meeting of the Council.
1502. The Council of Iroij shall, by secret ballot, proceed to elect the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman, before the dispatch of any other business, at the first meeting of the Council of Iroij in each calendar year, and shall so proceed to elect a member of the Council to fill any vacancy in the office of Chairman or Vice-Chairman, before the dispatch of any other business, at the first meeting of the Council after the occurrence of the vacancy.
1561. The Chairman shall preside over any meeting of the Council of Iroij at which he is present and shall have the other functions conferred on him by this Constitution or by or pursuant to Act or to a resolution of the Council.
1572. If the Chairman is not present at any meeting of the Council of Iroij, or, through absence, illness or any other cause, he is unable to perform any other function of his office, or the office of Chairman is vacant, the Vice-Chairman shall preside over that meeting or perform that function until the Chairman is again present at that meeting or able to perform that function.
1583. If, on any occasion, there is neither a Chairman nor a Vice-Chairman who is able to preside over any meeting of the Council of Iroij or perform any other function of the Chairman, then, until the Chairman or the Vice-Chairman is again able to perform that function, it shall be performed by the oldest member of the Council who is available.
1601. The Council of Iroij shall meet in regular session during any period when the Nitijela is meeting in regular session, and in special session during any period when the Nitijela is meeting in special session, and shall remain in regular or special session, as the case may be, during such period after the date of termination of every session of the Nitijela as may be necessary to permit the Council to adopt a resolution or record its decision in relation to any Bill transmitted to it, pursuant to Section 3 of this Article.
1612. The Council of Iroij shall meet in Special session at any other time fixed by the Chairman of the Council, or by the Clerk of the Council acting at the request of not less than 9 members, and shall remain in such special session until such date as the Council may decide.
1721. A member of the Council of Iroij who is prevented by absence, illness or any other cause from attending any meeting of the Council or of any committee thereof or of any joint committee or joint conference may appoint a person who is qualified by reason of his family ties to that member to be his deputy at that meeting.
1732. If, at any meeting of the Council of Iroij, or of any committee thereof or of any joint committee or joint conference, any member is absent, and is not represented by a deputy appointed by him, or the seat of any member is vacant, the Council of Iroij may, by resolution, appoint a person who, in the opinion of the Council, having regard to the customary law and any traditional practice, is qualified by reason of his family ties to that member to be his deputy at that meeting.
1771. Neither the Council of Iroij nor any member of the Council shall be subject to any proceeding outside that body, or subjected to any liability, civil or criminal, in relation to the casting of any vote, the making of any statement, the publication of any document or the taking of any other action as part of the official business of the Council of Iroij.
1782. The Council of Iroij shall not be disqualified from the transaction of business by reason only that there is a vacancy among its members, or that, in any case where Section 9 of this Article applies, no appointment of a deputy has been made pursuant to that Section.
1793. Nothing done in the course of the official business of the Council of Iroij shall be questioned on the ground that some person who acted as a member of the Council or the deputy of a member in relation to that matter was not qualified so to act.
1811. There shall be a Clerk of the Council of Iroij who shall be an officer of the Public Service and shall have the functions conferred on him by this Constitution or by or pursuant to Act or to a resolution of the Council.
190c.to make all other laws which it considers necessary and proper for carrying into execution any of its other powers, or any power vested by this Constitution in any other government agency or any public officer.