Nitijela

Article Index

CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE MARSHALL ISLANDS

PREAMBLE

WE, 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.

We 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.

This 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.

With 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.

We extend to other peoples what we profoundly seek from them: peace, friendship, mutual understanding, and respect for our individual idealism and our common humanity. [By way of Constitutional Amendment #1, the term  “Marshall Islands”  as that  term  is first used herein,  was replaced  with the term “Republic  of the Marshall Islands”  that Amendment also replaced  the term “Marshall Islands”  as it appears subsequently herein, with the term “Republic”. By way of Constitutional Amendment #2, the third Paragraph was amended by making the following change to the last sentence of that Paragraph: “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.”]

ARTICLE I

SUPREMACY OF THE CONSTITUTION

Section 1.    This Constitution to be Supreme Law.

  1. This Constitution shall be the supreme law of the Republic of the Marshall Islands; and all judges and other public officers shall be bound thereby.
  2. 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. [By way of Constitutional Amendment #1, the term “Marshall Islands” as that term is first used herein, was replaced with the term “Republic of the Marshall islands”;  that Amendment also replaced the term  “Marshall Islands”  as it appears subsequently herein, with the term “Republic”]

Section 2.    Inconsistency  with this Constitution.

  1. Any existing law and any law made on or after the effective date of this Constitution, which is inconsistent with this Constitution, shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.
  2. Any other action taken by any person or body on or after the effective date of this Constitution, which is inconsistent with this Constitution, shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be unlawful.

Section 3.    Interpretation and Application  of this Constitution.

  1. 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.
  2. In all cases, the provisions of this Constitution shall be construed to achieve the aims of fair and democratic government, in the light of reason and experience. [By  way  of Constitutional Amendment #1. the term “Marshall Islands”  as that term is first used herein, was replaced  with the term “Republic  of the Marshall Islands” that Amendment also replaced the term “Marshall Islands” as it appears subsequently herein, with the term “Republic”]

Section 4.    Enforcement of this Constitution.

Subject to this Constitution’s express limitations on the judicial power,

  1. 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 by 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;
  2. 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; and
  3. 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. [By way of Constitutional  Amendment #1, the term “Marshall Islands” as that term is first used herein, was replaced  with the term “Republic  of the Marshall Islands”; that Amendment also replaced the term “Marshall Islands”  as it appears subsequently herein, with the term “Republic”]