UPDATE: Introduction to Researching South Pacific Law

 

By Peter Murgatroyd

 

Peter Murgatroyd was formerly the Law Librarian of the University of the South Pacific and Campus Librarian of the Emalus Campus of the University, located in Port Vila, Vanuatu .   Peter has also managed the Information Resource Centre Manager at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme [SPREP], and was the Coordinator of the Pacific Environment Information Network [PEIN].  Prior to working at the University of the South Pacific, Peter was a library manager at two leading corporate law firms in New Zealand. 

 

Peter has been invited to speak on Pacific legal research issues at Conferences in Australia, New Zealand, Vanuatu and Great Britain.  Peter Murgatroyd was a member of the working group that established the online Pacific Legal Information Institute [PacLII].  He has had articles on Pacific legal resources published in the 'Australian Law Librarian,' 'Legal Information Management' and 'The Journal of Academic Librarianship.' 

 

Published July/August 2014
(Previously updated on February 2009)
See the Archive Version

 

 

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Sources of Law

2.1.                   Constitutions

2.2. Systems of Government

2.3.                  Court Systems
2.4.                  Additional Readings on the Context of Pacific Law

3. Primary Materials

3.1.                   Legislation

3.2.                  Case Law

4. Secondary Materials

4.1. Reference Materials

4.2. Periodicals (Law)

4.3. Periodicals (General)
4.4.                  Pacific Law Texts

 

5. Legal Education

6. Law Libraries

7. Booksellers
8. References

 

1. Introduction

The focus of this guide will be on providing a context and resource guide for researching the following small island states of the South Pacific: the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, and Vanuatu.  The scope of this research guide does not extend to the US Territories in the Pacific, the French Overseas Territories in the Pacific, Papua New Guinea, Australia, or New Zealand. 

 

Map/Still

 

The islands of the South Pacific consist of thousands of scattered islands spread across hundreds of thousands of square miles of Ocean.  The islands and people of the Pacific Islands can be divided into three distinct groupings: Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia. Melanesia includes Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and Vanuatu. Fiji is considered part of Melanesia because of its location; however its culture is much more like that of Polynesia. The Melanesian islands lie south of the equator. Micronesia means ‘tiny islands’. These islands lie north of Melanesia and most of them also lie north of the equator. More than 2000 islands make up Micronesia, most of which are low-lying coral islands. Micronesia includes Guam, the Caroline Islands, the Mariana Islands, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, and the single island of Nauru. Polynesia means ‘many islands’. It occupies the largest area in the South Pacific and includes the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga and Tuvalu.  The focus of this research guide will be on the islands of Polynesia and Melanesia.

 

2. Sources of Law

An understanding of the recent colonial and post-independence history of the islands is essential for identifying, accessing and understanding the relevant laws as they apply in each of the countries of the Pacific – in particular, which laws of England, New Zealand, Australia, France and the United States of America (USA) still have application in the Pacific.

 

By the late 1800s Britain, France, Germany, Spain and the USA were all competing for control of islands in the Pacific. After Spain’s defeat in the Spanish-American War of 1898, Germany and the USA took over the Spanish possessions in Micronesia. By the early 1900s Germany also held parts of Nauru, New Guinea and Samoa, and the USA controlled Hawaii and the rest of Samoa. France controlled New Caledonia and French Polynesia and shared control of the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu) with Britain. Britain held Fiji, Papua, Tonga, the southern Solomons, and the Gilbert (now Kiribati) and Ellice Islands (now Tuvalu). After Germany’s defeat in World War I (1914-18), Japan received control of the German possessions in Micronesia, New Zealand took over German Samoa, and Australia took control of northeastern New Guinea.

Through all these changes of rule, the Pacific islanders themselves had little or no voice in the government.

 

After World War II (1939-45) the United Nations (UN) decided that four areas in the Pacific should be governed as trust territories until they were ready for independence.

 

British Fiji and Tonga gained their independence from the United Kingdom in 1970;the Solomon Islands in 1978; the Ellice Islands, renamed Tuvalu , also in 1978; the Gilbert Islands, which then became Kiribati , in 1979; and the New Hebrides, which Britain had administered jointly with France, in 1980.

 

Australia, Britain and New Zealand governed Nauru as a trust territory until 1968, when it too became independent.

 

New Zealand administered Western Samoa (now Samoa) until 1962 when it gained independence.  The Cook Islands became self-governing in free association with New Zealand in 1965 and Niue followed in 1974.  The Tokelau Islands were made a British protectorate in 1889. They were transferred to New Zealand’s administration in 1925.  A referendum for independence was held in February 2006 but failed to reach the two thirds majority necessary for Tokelau to become self governing; as such, Tokelau continues to be administered by New Zealand.

 

The Trust Territory of New Guinea was governed by Australia until 1973. It then became part of the self-governing territory of Papua New Guinea (PNG). PNG gained full independence in 1975.  The USA administered the Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands, encompassing all the islands of Micronesia, with the exception of Nauru. The Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia became independent nations in free association with the USA, as did Palau, in 1994.

 

In order to provide for independence or full internal self-government, a written constitution was enacted in each country of the region which was stated to be the supreme law. However, at the time of Independence, none of the countries of the region actually rejected their preexisting laws outright. Laws which remained included:

·        legislation in force in England (and in some cases its former colonies of Australia and New Zealand) at a particular date, often referred to as ‘the date of application’,

·        common law and equity, and

·        ‘colonial’ legislation (made by the legislature of the country before independence) 

 

In addition to the various sources of law indicated above, there is an increasing tendency to incorporate aspects of customary law as well. Legislation is in place currently in Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Kiribati and Tuvalu proposing that customary law be part of the law applied by all courts. Furthermore all countries, with the exception only of Tonga, have express provisions for customs or customary law to be used as the basis for determining rights to customary land. Much of what constitutes customary law is, however, not recorded in a written form but is passed on orally by Chiefs.

 

To summarize, all countries in the region have several different kinds of laws deriving from several different sources:

·        a written constitution (stated to be the supreme law)

·        written legislation enacted by the legislature of the country either during the period of dependency, or since independence or self-governance, and subsidiary legislation authorized by that legislation,

·        written legislation enacted by the legislature of the former colonial power and applied to, or adopted by, the dependent country, and subsidiary legislation authorized by that legislation,

·        written and unwritten rules of custom and customary law, and

·        unwritten rules of common law and equity

 

Sources of law for each of the countries of the region can be browsed from the Emalus Campus Library of the University of the South Pacific’s ‘Pacific Law Collection’ website.

 

2.1. Constitutions

All the countries of the region have a written constitution, except Tokelau, and all of these written constitutions are stated to be the supreme law in their respective countries. The written constitution of most countries in the region is to be found in the first volume of the revised laws of the country. Usually it appears as the first law in the first volume. In the revised laws of Samoa, however, the written constitution appears in the first volume but in strict alphabetical order under the letter “C,” and the constitution of Nauru is found in the collection of laws, 1965-1972, amongst the laws enacted for 1968, about halfway through the volume.

 

The Constitutions are freely available online via the Pacific Legal Information Institute website located at the Emalus Campus of the University of the South Pacific in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

 

The Constitutions of the following 12 countries: Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu are also gathered together in ‘Selected Constitutions of the South Pacific’/ Don Paterson, editor. Suva, Fiji: IJALS & USP, 2000 (the Fiji Constitution was omitted due to political instability and uncertainty in Fiji at the time of publication).

 

2.2. Systems of Government

The systems of government adopted by the island states of the south pacific largely resemble the forms of government in place within the former colonial powers in the Pacific.  Countries formerly associated with Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand now have parliamentary systems.  Kiribati elects from parliament a head of the executive who is also the head of state.  In Tonga, the King of Tonga is the Head of State.  Some former Commonwealth countries retained the British monarch as head of state, represented by a governor-general appointed by the Queen on the advice of the executive.

 

Pacific Island legislatures are based on universal suffrage, however in Samoa only chiefs may be elected to parliament.  In parliamentary systems in the region, executive power is held by a cabinet, derived from and responsible to the legislature.  Legislative elections are held throughout the Pacific Islands.

 

2.3. Court Systems

During the colonial period, court systems were introduced along with laws.  These systems have remained in place throughout the region.  The regional model is hierarchical and typically consists of three levels: inferior courts, a superior court, and an appeal court, with the superior court having supervisory jurisdiction over the inferior courts.  Outside of this formal hierarchy, customary tribunals and courts often exist at the village level.  These customary courts and tribunals commonly do not have any formal legal recognition but are based on respect of customary authority.

 

 

 

 

Table 1:

 

 

Cook Islands:                      Sources of Law                                      Government                         Court Structure
Fiji*       :                                   Sources of Law                                      Government                        Court Structure
Kiribati:                                 Sources of Law                                      Government                         Court Structure

Nauru:                                                      Sources of Law                                      Government                         Court Structure

Niue:                                        Sources of Law                                     Government                         Court Structure

Samoa:                                                      Sources of Law                                      Government                         Court Structure

Solomon Islands:            Sources of Law                                      Government                         Court Structure

Tokelau:                                 Sources of Law                                      Government                         Court Structure

Tonga   :                                   Sources of Law                                      Government                         Court Structure

Tuvalu:                                                     Sources of Law                                      Government                         Court Structure

Vanuatu:                              Sources of Law                                      Government                         Court Structure

 

* Not available from PacLII.  Following a military coup in 2006, Fiji remains politically unstable.  A civilian-led coup in May 2000 ushered in a prolonged period of political turmoil. Parliamentary elections held in August 2001 provided Fiji with a democratically elected government led by Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase. Qarase was reelected in May 2006, but was ousted in a December 2006 military coup led by Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, who initially appointed himself acting president. In January 2007, Bainimarama was appointed interim prime minister. As at 1 July 2014, Bainimarama remains as Prime Minister.  Elections are scheduled for 2014/2015.


2.4. Additional Readings on the Context of Pacific Law

 

Further analysis and commentary can be found in the following publications:


Introduction to South Pacific Law 3rd ed./ Jennifer Corrin Care  and Don Paterson. South Yarra, [Australia] : MacMillan Education Australia, 2011

Pacific courts and legal systems / editors, Guy Powles and Mere Pulea Pacific courts and justice  . [Suva, Fiji] : University of the South Pacific in association with the Faculty of Law, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, 1988

 

South Pacific Islands legal systems / Michael A. Ntumy, general editor. Honolulu [Hawaii] : University of Hawaii Press, 1993.

The following texts have been selected by Professor Guy Powles of Monash University and Peter Murgatroyd, former Law Librarian at the University of the South Pacific, as particularly useful for gaining a fuller understanding of the historical and socio-cultural contexts of law in the South Pacific:

 

 

A kind of mending: restorative justice in the Pacific Islands / Sinclair Dinnen, Anita Jowitt and Tess Newton Cain (eds.), Pandanus , 2003

 

Blood on their banner: nationalist struggles in the South Pacific / David Robie, Zed Books, 1989.

 

Chiefs Today: Traditional Pacific Leadership and the Post-Colonial State / G. White & L. Lindstrom eds, Stanford, 1997

 

Class and Culture in the South Pacific / A.Hooper & ors eds, USP, Suva, 1987

 

Collective Human Rights of Pacific Peoples / Nin Tomas ed, NZHRC, 1998

 

Confronting Fiji Futures / Akram-Lodhi Haroon A (ed)  Australian National University, Canberra, 2000

 

Culture and Sustainable Development in the Pacific / A. Hooper ed, ANU, 2000

 

Custom and the Law / Paul de Deckker abd Jean-Yves Faberon eds., Asia Pacific Press, 2001

 

Custom at the Crossroads / J. Aleck & J. Rannells eds, UPNG Law, 1995

 

Customary Land Tenure and Sustainable Development : Complementarity or Conflict ? / R. Crocombe & ors eds, USP, 1995

 

Developing Cultural Criminology : Theory and practice  in Papua New Guinea Banks /  Cindi (ed)   Sydney Institute of C riminology Monograph Series   No.13, Sydney, 2000

 

Fiji and the World / B. Lal and T. Vakatora eds, USP, 1997

 

Fiji in Transition / B. Lal and T. Vakatora eds, USP, 1997

 

From Election to Coup in Fiji: the 2006 Campaign and its Aftermath / Jon Fraenkel and Stewart Firth.  IPS Publications, 2007.

 

Globalization and culture change in the Pacific Islands , Victoria S. Lockwood ed., Prentice Hall, 2004

 

Governance and Reform in the South Pacific / P. Lamour ed, ANU, 1998

 

Governance in Samoa / E. Hueffer & A. So’o eds, ANU, 2000

 

Heads of State in the South Pacific / Y.Ghai & J.Cottrell eds, USP, Suva, 1990


Introduction to South Pacific Law 3rd ed./ Jennifer Corrin Care  and Don Paterson. South Yarra, [Australia] : MacMillan Education Australia, 2011

 

Land, Custom and Practice in the South Pacific / R.G.Ward & E.Kingdon,eds Cambridge, 1995

 

Land Issues in the Pacific / R. Crocombe & and M. Meleisea eds, USP, 1994

 

Land Tenure in the Atolls / R.Crocombe,ed IPS, USP, 1987

 

Land Tenure in the Pacific 3 rd ed R.Crocombe,ed IPS, USP, 1987

 

Law, Government and Politics in Pacific Island States / Y.Ghai ed, USP, Suva, 1988

 

Law and empire in the Pacific: Fiji and Hawa’ii / Sally Engle Merry and Donald Brenneis (eds.), SAR Press, 2004

 

LAWASIA Conference Proceedings: Prospects for Human Rights in South Pacific / LAWASIA, 1985

 

Leadership in the Pacific islands: tradition and future /   Donald R; Lamour, Peter and Von strokirch, Karin (eds) National Centre for Development Studies, RSPAS, ANU, Canberra, 1998

 

Legal Pluralism / P. Sack & E. Minchin eds, ANU, 1986

 

Lo Bilong Yumi Yet: Law and Custom in Melanesia / Bernard Narokobi ed, USP, 1989

 

Making Land Work Volume one: Reconciling customary land and development in the Pacific.  Commonwealth of Australia, 2008

 

Making Land Work Volume two: Case studies on customary land and development in the Pacific.  Commonwealth of Australia, 2008.

 

The Manipulation of Custom: from uprising to intervention in the Solomon Islands /  Jon Fraenkel.  Victoria University Press, 2004.

 

Melanesia: Beyond Diversity Vols I & II / R.May & H.Nelson eds ANU, 1983

 

New Politics in the South Pacific / W. von Busch & ors eds, USP, Suva, 1994

 

Oceans in the new millenium : challenges and opportunities for the islands. PIM XXVII proceedings, November 8th-12 th   November 1999  - 'Pacem Maribus XXV!!'

 

Pacific Constitutions / P. Sack ed, ANU, 1982

 

Pacific Courts and Legal Systems / G.Powles & M.Pulea eds, USP, Suva, 1988

 

Pacific histories: ocean, land, people /  David Armitage and Alison Bashford (eds.). Palgrave Macmillan, 2014

 

Passage of change : law, society and governance in the Pacific / edited by Anita Jowitt and Dr  Tess Newton, Pandanus , 2003

 

Public Administration and Management in small states: Pacific Experience / Yash, Ghai (ed) IPS, USP, Suva 1990

 

Reconciling customary law and received law in Melanesia: the post-independence experience in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu / Kenneth Brown.  Darwin, NT : Charles Darwin University Press, 2005.

 

Reflections on Violence in Melanesia / S. Dinnen & A. Ley eds, ANU, 2000

 

Resources, Development and politics in the Pacific Islands / S.Henningham & R.May eds Crawford House, 1992

 

Rule of law, legitimate governance & development in the Pacific / Iutisone Salevoa.  Canberra: ANU Press, 2005.

 

Sources of Law in the South Pacific Region / Jennifer Corrin Care ed. The Journal of Pacific Studies Volume 21, 1997.

 

South Pacific Foreign Affairs Handbook / S.Hoadly, Allen & Unwin, 1992

 

South Pacific Islands Legal Systems / M.Ntumy, ed, Uni of Hawaii Press, 1993;

South Pacific land systems / Don Paterson & Sue Farran. USP, Suva, 2013

 

South Pacific Land Tenure Conflict Symposium
Proceedings and papers delivered at the South Pacific Land Tenure Conflict Symposium 10-12 April 2002.

 

Tides of History: the Pacific Islands in the 20 th Century / K.Howe & ors eds, Allens, 1994;

 

Transactions and creations : property debates and the stimulus of Melanesia / edited by Eric Hirsch and Marilyn Strathern.  Oxford : Berghann Books , 2005.

 

Tu Galala: Social Change in the Pacific / D.Robie ed Wellington, 1992

 

 

 

*‘Occasional’ Series, ‘Working’ Papers, Annual Reports, Conference Papers, Yearbooks and Workshop Proceedings are also rich sources of material and should not be overlooked.  Of particular note are the regional political summaries in the Asia-Pacific Constitutional Yearbook and also those published in Contemporary Pacific.

3. Primary Materials

 

The PacLII website is the most complete repository of Pacific primary materials on the Internet.  PacLII contains collections of legislation and judgments from around the Pacific.  It is also the home of the Journal of South Pacific Law , detailed historical and constitutional notes discussing sources of law for the region, and provides access to the hardcopy law collection of the Emalus Campus Library .

 

PacLII has also developed specialized collections in the following areas:

Intellectual property

Maritime law

 

PacLII also developed a directory of International Treaties & Agreements, etc. in the South Pacific; see Pacific Islands Treaty Series .  However this directory was last updated in 2009 due to resource constraints.

 

The largest physical repository of primary materials for the South Pacific is the Emalus Campus Library of the University of the South Pacific, located in Port Vila, Vanuatu.  Requests for copies of materials can be made via the Emalus Library website .

 

Full holdings of the Emalus Campus Library can be browsed online , as can indices to consolidations of laws for the region and indices to published law report series of the region.

 

The University of the South Pacific’s Laucala Campus Library Pacific Collection , located in Suva, Fiji, also has a significant hardcopy collection of Pacific primary legal materials and associated historical documentation.  The Western Pacific Archives , located in Auckland University Library (New Zealand), are also a rich source of primary historical materials relating to the administration of the Western Pacific from 1877-1978. 

*In addition to ‘Introduction to researching South Pacific law’ another useful reference point for access to pacific primary materials is Law of the Pacific Islands: A guide to web based resources’ b

 

 

 

3.1. Legislation

Many of the countries in the Pacific Islands region have published consolidations of their statutes.

Cook Islands Laws (1994)
Laws of Fiji (1985)
Laws of the Gilbert & Ellice Islands (1973)
Laws of Kiribati (1980)
Marshall Islands (2012)
Laws of Nauru (1966)
Niue Laws (2006)
Papua New Guinea (1982 loose-leaf; Selected Laws of Papua New Guinea, 2000)
The Laws of the Solomon Islands (1997)
Consolidated Acts of Samoa (2013) – see also [Western] Samoa Statutes Reprint (1920-1977) & (1978-1996)

Tokelau Laws (1997) & (2004)
The Laws of Tonga (1988 rev. ed.)
Tuvalu Consolidated Legislation (2008)
The Laws of the Republic of Vanuatu (2006) [Eng.] / [Fr]

 

3.2. Case Law

Law reports

The following South Pacific law reports series have been published. It should be noted that publication of the various reports is often sporadic. Although the publication of the various reports is continuing, there can be lengthy gaps between volumes.  Indices to these volumes can be browsed from PacLII (follow the links below)

 

Also of note:

  • Law Reports of the Commonwealth (1980-)
    The Law Reports of the Commonwealth are published in three parts – Criminal, Commercial, and Constitutional and Administrative. The reports publish important decisions from around the Commonwealth, including the Pacific Islands. 
  • New Zealand Administrative Reports
    The NZAR's also regularly report Pacific judgments. 

 

4. Secondary Materials

 

4.1. Reference Materials 

Bibliographies :

Pacific law bibliography / compiled by Jacqueline D. Elliott 2nd ed. Hobart, Tas. : Pacific Law Press, 1990

 

Encyclopedias and Yearbooks :

The Pacific Islands : an encyclopedia / edited by Brij V. Lal and Kate Fortune. Honolulu, Hawaii : University of Hawai'i Press, 2000.

 

Pacific Islands Yearbook / edited by Norman & Ngaire Douglas 17th ed. Suva, Fiji : Fiji Times Ltd., 1994 Location:  REF 990 Pac. 1994

 

The Far East and Australasia Yearbook . London [England] : Europa Publications.

4.2. Periodicals (Law)

Pacific Law Journal Index
The 'Pacific Law Journal Index'  consolidates article references identified in Jacqui Elliot's 'Pacific Law Bibliography' 2ed., 'Wilsons Index to Legal Periodicals Online', the University of Hawaii's 'Pacific Journals Index' and 'Agis Plus Text online' into one database.  The database
 is organized by tabs, each tab for a particular jurisdiction.

 

The foremost periodicals examining legal issues in the south pacific are the Journal of South Pacific Law , published by the School of the Law of the University of the South Pacific, and the Melanesian Law Journal published by the University of Papua New Guinea.  Both periodicals are available online via PacLII .

Other journals that give particularly good coverage of Pacific legal issues include:

4.3. Periodicals (General)

 

Journals of particular interest include the following:

  • Contemporary Pacific: a Journal of Island Affairs *
  • Development Bulletin (ANU)
  • Isla: a Journal of Micronesian Studies
  • Journal of Pacific History (ANU)
  • The Journal of Pacific Studies (USP)
  • The Journal of the Polynesian Society
  • Journal of Solomon Island Studies
  • Man and Culture in Oceania (Japanese Society for Oceanic Studies)
  • Micronesian Counselor (Full text articles addressing social and development issues)
  • Oceania
  • Pacific Economic Bulletin (ANU)
  • Pacific News Bulletin (Pacific Concerns Resource Centre)
  • Pacific Perspective (USP)
  • Pacific Studies (Brigham Young Uni, Hawaii)
     

* Of particular note in Contemporary Pacific are the regional legal / political summaries that are included yearly.

4.4. Pacific Law Texts

 

A freedom of information law for Fiji / Citizens Constitutional Forum (2004)

 

The big seven : human rights conventions and judicial declarations / Pacific Regional Rights Resource Team. Suva, Fiji : Pacific Regional Rights Resource Team, 2005

 

Civil procedure and courts in the South Pacific / Jennifer Corrin Care. 2 nd ed. London: Cavendish, 2004.

 

Collective human rights of Pacific peoples / conference organising committee, Ngapere Hopa ... [et al.] ; editor, Nin Tomas.  [Auckland, N.Z.] : University of Auckland, [1998].

 

Commercial law and practice in the South Pacific / Mohammed Ahmadu & Robert Hughes.  London: Cavendish, 2006.

 

Company law in the South Pacific / Robert Hughes and Mohammed L. Ahmadu. Suva, Fiji : Institute of Justice and Applied Legal Studies, University of the South Pacific, 2001.

 

Converging currents : custom and human rights in the Pacific .  (Study paper; 17).  Wellington, NZ : New Zealand Law Commission, 2006

 

Criminal Laws of the South Pacific : text and materials on criminal law and procedure in the South Pacific / Mark Findlay.  2nd ed.  Suva [Fiji] : IJALS, The University of the South Pacific, 2000.

Custom and the law / Paul de Deckker and Jean-Yves Faberon (editors).  ANU, Canberra : Asia Pacific Press, 2001.

 

Environmental law of the South Pacific: consolidated report of the review of environmental law in the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kingdom of Tonga, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands / Ben Boer (ed.).  SPREP / IUCN, 1996

Essays and documents on human rights in the Pacific .  (Victoria University at Wellington Law library / Monograph; no.4) Wellington, N.Z. : Victoria University Press, 1992.

Essential principles of contract and sales law in the Northern Pacific : Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau and the Marshall Islands, and the United States Territories / Daniel P. Ryan.  Lincoln, NE [USA IUniverse, 2005.

 

External trade and investment law : an introductory guide / Mohammed L. Ahmadu. Suva, Fiji: IJALS, 2001.

Fiji income tax law / Peter N. Fulcher.  (Laws of the South Pacific series).  Suva, Fiji : Institute of Justice and Applied Legal Studies, University of the South Pacific, 1999.

Guidelines for developing national legislation for the protection of traditional knowledge and expressions of culture based on the Pacific Model Law 2 .  Noumea : Secretariat of the Pacific Community, 2006

 

International law issues in the South Pacific / edited by Geoff Leane and Barbara Von Tigerstrom.  Aldershot, England : Ashgate, 2005

 

Introduction to South Pacific Law 3rd ed./ Jennifer Corrin Care  and Don Paterson. South Yarra, [Australia] : MacMillan Education Australia, 2011

A kind of mending : restorative justice in the Pacific Islands / Edited by Sinclair Dinnen, Anita Jowitt and Tess Newton Cain. Canberra : Pandanus Books, 2003.

 

Law and the family in the South Pacific / Sue Farran. USP, Suva, 2011

 

Law for Pacific women : a legal rights handbook / P. Imrana Jalal.  Suva, Fiji : Fiji Women's Rights Movement, 1998

The law of banking in Fiji : a practical guide / by Mohammed L. Ahmadu.  London : Avon Books, 1998

Lo bilong yumi yet = Law and custom in Melanesia / Bernard Narokobi; editors, Ron Crocombe, John May and Paul Roche.  Goroka, PNG : Melanesian Institute for Pastoral and socio-Economic Service; [Suva, Fiji]: USP, 1989.

Pacific Constitutions: proceedings of the Canberra Law Workshop VI. / Peter Sacks editor.  Canberra Australian National University 1982

Pacific courts and legal systems / editors, Guy Powles and Mere Pulea. [Suva, Fiji] : University of the South Pacific in association Monash University, 1988. 

Passage of change : law, society and governance in the Pacific / edited by Anita Jowitt and Dr Tess Newton. Canberra : Pandanus Books, 2003.

Proving customary law in the common law Courts of the South Pacific / Jean Zorn and Jennifer Corrin Care.  London : British Institute of International and Comparative Law, 2002.

 

Public  health law in the Pacific: a reviewers companion / Genevieve House. WHO, 2012

 

Selected constitutions of the South Pacific / Don Paterson, editor. Suva, Fiji : IJALS & USP, 2000.

 

Sources of law in the South Pacific / edited by Jennifer Corrin Care. [This issue published as vol. 21 of 1997 of the Journal of Pacific Studies. Copy 3 held in permanent reserve collection. See web link for details of contents.]  Suva, Fiji School of Social and Economic Development, USP 1997.

South Pacific Handbook of Treaties and other legal instruments in the field on environmental law .  (UNEP/SPREP Publication series on Environmental Law and Policy ; no. 1).  Apia, Nairobi : SPREP, UNEP, 1998.

South Pacific Islands legal systems / Michael A. Ntumy, general editor.  Honolulu [Hawaii] : University of Hawaii Press, 1993.

South Pacific property law / Susan Farran & Don Paterson.  London : Cavendish, 2004.

Succession Law in the South Pacific / Robert A. Hughes.  Suva, Fiji : Institute of Justice and Applied Legal Studies, University of the South Pacific, 1999.

Trust law in the South Pacific / Robert A. Hughes. Suva, Fiji : Institute of Justice and Applied Legal Studies, The University of the South Pacific.

4.5. Internet Resources

 

PacLII : The Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute (PacLII) provides free internet access to legislation and case law for jurisdictions in the South Pacific. Islands covered by the service include American Samoa, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Guam, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. A site search form allows specific database selection and query with Boolean functionality. The service includes links to other legal materials for the South Pacific jurisdictions, including treaties and conventions, journals, and legal associations. PacLII is an initiative developed by the University of the South Pacific School of Law in cooperation with the Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII).

 

The PacLII databases contain primary materials – legislation, case law, and treaties – obtained from countries in the South Pacific by PacLII. Editing and preparation of most material for publication is done by PacLII staff. Further mark-up processing, database structure, search engine facilities, and some other aspects of technical infrastructure are provided by AustLII. The South Pacific parts of the WorldLII index are jointly prepared by PacLII and AustLII. The overall PacLII facility is managed jointly by USP School of Law.

 

Pacific Islands Treaty Series :

The Pacific Islands Treaty Series, otherwise known as "PITS," was originally developed to be a comprehensive treaty database for the Pacific Islands region, publishing bilateral and multilateral treaties which Pacific Island states have entered into amongst themselves, as well as with nations and organizations external to the region.

In addition, some treaties are included in the PITS database if they are relevant to the Pacific Island states and territories which are the focus of the PITS site, even if they do not have any Pacific Island state parties.  The PITS database focuses on 20 countries and territories in the Pacific.

Unfortunately due to resource constraints the PITS database has not been updated since 2009

The Pacific Legal Gateway :

The Pacific Legal Gateway is a PacLII project designed to be a portal for Pacific legal research.

The objective of this Gateway is to provide access to legal content and research resources for Pacific Island jurisdictions. The Pacific Legal Gateway assembles many pertinent Pacific regional legal information resources.

 

Pacific Judicial Development Program :

 

The Pacific Judicial Development Programme (Program) provides a valuable and responsive modality for development engagement in promoting justice, the rule of law and good governance across the Pacific region. It is a regionally-owned judicial leadership network which is well-established and demonstrably resilient over the past decade and a half.


5. Legal Education

 

The University of the South Pacific School of Law offers both undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in law.  The USP law programme is taught from the Emalus Campus of the University of the South Pacific and is available in face-to-face mode as well as via online distance delivery.

 

The University Of Papua New Guinea School Of Law offers both undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in law. 

6. Law Libraries

 

The Emalus Campus Library of the University of the South Pacific is the largest repository of pacific legal materials in the region, and provides a document delivery service for materials from its extensive collection.

7. Booksellers

 

Pacific law texts are available from the University of the South Pacific bookshop .  The catalogue is available online and orders can be made via the internet.


8. References

 

Introduction to South Pacific Law 3rd ed./ Jennifer Corrin Care  and Don Paterson. South Yarra, [Australia] : MacMillan Education Australia, 2011

Pacific courts and legal systems / editors, Guy Powles and Mere Pulea Pacific courts and justice  . [Suva, Fiji] : University of the South Pacific in association with the Faculty of Law, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, 1988

The Pacific Islands : an encyclopedia / edited by Brij V. Lal and Kate Fortune. Honolulu, Hawaii : University of Hawai'i Press, 2000.