ARTICLE XIII TRANSITIONAL
Section 1. Existing Law to Continue.
(1) Subject to this Constitution:
(a) the existing law shall, until repealed or revoked, and subject to any amendment thereof, continue in force on and after the effective date of this Constitution;
(b) all rights, obligations and liabilities arising under the existing law shall continue to exist on and after the effective date of this Constitution and shall be recognized, exercised and enforced accordingly.
(2) Any right, obligation or liability expressly acquired on behalf of the people of the Marshall Islands acting through their elected representatives shall become, on and after the effective date of this Constitution, a right, obligation or liability of the Government of the Marshall Islands. (3) Nothing in paragraphs (1) or (2) of this Section shall affect the extent to which any right, obligation or liability of the Administering Authority, or of the Government of the Trust Territory or of the Marshall Islands District of the Trust Territory shall become, on and after the effective date
of this Constitution, a right, obligation or liability of the Government of the Marshall Islands.
Section 2. Municipal Councils to be Local Governments.
Every Municipal Council, whether chartered or not, existing immediately before the effective date of this Constitution shall be a local government for the purposes of Article IX.
Section 3. Transition to Government under this Constitution.
Notwithstanding any other provision in this Constitution, and only for so long as their terms require, this Constitution shall have effect subject to any transitional provisions either made as described in Section 5 of this Article by the Marshall Islands Nitijela, or made as described in Section 7 of this Article by or pursuant to resolution of the Constitutional Convention, for the purpose of enabling any institution or officer of the government of the Marshall Islands District of the Trust Territory to function, as from the effective date of this Constitution, as an institution or officer of the Government of the Marshall Islands, or for the purpose of otherwise enabling this Constitution to function in an orderly manner as from its effective date.
Section 4. Conformity with the Trusteeship Agreement.
Notwithstanding any other provision in this Constitution, and only for so long as the Trusteeship Agreement extends to the Marshall Islands as part of the law of the Marshall Islands, this Constitution shall have effect subject to any transitional provisions made as described in section
5 of this Article by the Marshall Islands Nitijela for the purpose of enabling the Government of the Marshall Islands under this Constitution to be conducted in conformity with the Trusteeship Agreement.
Section 5. Provisions Made by the Marshall Islands Nitijela.
For all or any of the purposes referred to in Section 3 or Section 4 of this Article, the applicable transitional provisions shall be those made, before the effective date of this Constitution, by Act of the legislature of the Marshall Islands District of the Trust Territory, known as the Marshall Islands Nitijela. confirmed by Order of the Secretary of the Interior of the United States.
Section 6. Implementation of a Compact of Free Association with the United States.
For the purpose of achieving consistency between this Constitution and any provision of a Compact of Free Association between the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Government of the United States, and only for so long as that provision is in force, this Constitution shall have effect, notwithstanding any of its other provisions, subject to such provisions for that purpose as may be made by Act and be duly certified by the Speaker as having been approved by a majority of the votes validly cast in any plebiscite in which the people of the Marshall Islands also approve that Compact of Free Association.
Section 7. Residual Responsibility of the Constitutional Convention.
If at any time before the effective date of this Constitution transitional provisions for all or any of the purposes referred to in Section 3 of this Article are adopted by or pursuant to a resolution of the Constitutional Convention, in the exercise of its responsibility to make adequate provision for the exercise of governmental functions, those transitional provisions shall have effect for all intents and purposes as part of this Constitution, and shall prevail over any inconsistent provisions made as described in Section 5 of this Article.
ARTICLE XIV - GENERAL
Section 1. Definitions.
In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires: “Child” includes adoptive child;
“Constitutional Convention”, in relation to Article XIII, means the Constitutional Convention by which this Constitution was adopted; and, in relation to Article XII, has the meaning assigned to it in that Article;
“Customary law” means any custom having the force of law in the Republic of the Marshall Islands; and includes any Act declaring the customary law;
“Debt charges” include interest, sinking fund charges, the repayment or amortization of debt, and all expenditure in connection with the raising of loans on the security of the revenues of the Republic or of the General Fund, and the service and redemption of the debt thereby created;
“Existing law” means the law in force in the Marshall Islands immediately before the effective date of this Constitution: and includes any legislative or executive instrument having the force of law made or passed before that effective date and coming into force on or after that effective date;
“Financial year” means the year beginning on 1 October or such other period of twelve months as may be prescribed by Act:
“General election” means an election of all the members of the Nitijela held pursuant to Section 12 or Section 13 of Article IV;
“Joint committee” means a committee of members of the Council of Iroij and of the Nitijela, acting jointly:
“Joint conference” means a joint conference between members of the Council of Iroij and members of the Nitijela;
“Land rights” mean any right in any land in the Republic under the customary law or any traditional practice:
“Member of the Nitijela” means a person who has been declared elected to represent any electoral district and is holding office as a member of the Nitijela; and, unless the context otherwise requires, every reference in this Constitution to a member of the Nitijela shall, during any period between the dissolution of the Nitijela and the first meeting of the Nitijela after a general election, be read as a reference to a person who was a member of the Nitijela immediately before that dissolution;
“Municipal ordinance” means any ordinance duly enacted before the effective date of this Constitution by any municipality in the Republic, in exercise of powers granted under the laws of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands;
“Parent” includes adoptive parent;
“President elect” means the member of the Nitijela who has been elected to the office of President pursuant to Section 3 of Article V, in the period between that election and the time when he is either appointed to office or his election ceases to have effect, pursuant to Section 4 of Article V;“Qualified voter” means a person having the right to vote in any electoral district at an election of a member or members of the Nitijela;
“Total membership,” in relation to the Nitijela, means the total number of members of the Nitijela provided for in or pursuant to Section 2 of Article IV; “Vote of no confidence” means a motion of no confidence in the Cabinet made, voted upon and carried by a majority of the total membership of the Nitijela. [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” However, Amendment #1 specifically exempted from its terms reference to the Marshall Islands in defining the term “Existing Law”]
Section 2. Persons Performing the Functions of an Office.
A reference to the holder of any office provided for in this Constitution includes any person who, for the time being, is performing the functions of that office pursuant to law.
Section 3. Determination of Quorum and Right to Vote.
In any case where this Constitution prescribes the number of the members of any body which shall constitute a quorum, that number shall include the member of that body who is for the time being presiding over its deliberations; and that member shall have the right to vote on any question.
Section 4. Dates, Days and Periods of Time.
(1) In any case where this Constitution prescribes a date, or a means of fixing a day, or a period of time, for the performance of any duty or for the happening of any event or for any other purpose:
(a) that day, or the last day of that period shall be calculated by excluding the day from which any period of time begins to run;
(b) if that date or day or the last day of that period falls on a Sunday or a public holiday it shall be deemed to fall on the next day that is not a Sunday or a public holiday.
(2) In any case where the date or day prescribed by or pursuant to this Constitution for any
election or for the meeting of any session of the Nitijela has passed, and no valid election has been held or no session of the Nitijela has met, that election shall be held or that session of the Nitijela shall meet as soon thereafter as practicable; and if no other means is provided by or pursuant to this Constitution for fixing a new date or day for that election or the meeting of that session of the Nitijela, a new date or day may be fixed by the High Court.
Section 5. Authentic Text.
The Marshallese and English texts of this Constitution shall be equally authentic, but, in case of difference, the Marshallese text shall prevail.
Section 6. Effective Date of this Constitution.
Subject to the prior approval of this Constitution by a majority of the votes validly cast in a referendum, the effective date of this Constitution shall be May 1, 1979.
A referendum was held on 11 December 1990, on Constitutional amendments pursuant to Article XII, Section 4 of the Constitution, the Constitutional Amendments (Referendum) Act 1990 (P.L. 1990-100), and the Elections and Referenda Act 1980 (P.L. 1980-20, as amended). The following Constitutional Amendments and operative provisions were adopted at a Constitutional Convention held in Majuro, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, from 19 February 1990 to 17 April 1990, pursuant to Article XII, Section 4 of the Constitution, and were approved by two-thirds of the votes validly cast in said referendum of all qualified voters. Certification of the Amendments was made on 14 March 1991, pursuant to Article XII, Section 4(1) of the Constitution and Section
5(2) of the Constitutional Amendments (Referendum) Act
1990 (P.L. 1990-100).
Amendment No. 1.
The Constitution is am ended by inserting the words “Republic of the” before the words “Marshall Islands” where they appear, or appear for the first time in the Title, the Preamble and any Section of the Constitution, and by substituting the word “Republic” for the words “Marshall Islands” where they appear for a second time or more in the Preamble and any Section of the Constitution, except in the case of Article X , Section 1 (4) and the definition of “existing law” in Article X IV , Section 1(1); and the effect of this amendment shall be as if the Constitution had always so referred to “the Republic of the Marshall Islands” or “the Republic.”
Amendment No. 2
The third paragraph of the Preamble of the Constitution is amended as follows:
“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 no thing more dearly than our rightful ho me on the islands within the traditional boundaries of this archipelago.”
Amendment No. 35
Article X , Section of the Constitution is amended by adding the following new paragraph (4):
“(4) Nothing in this Constitution shall b e construed so as to preclude its application to every place within the traditional boundaries of the archipelago of the Marshall Islands.”
Amendment No. 40.
Any amendment to the Constitution adopted by this Constitutional Convention and duly certified by the Speaker in accordance with Article X II, Section 4(l), as having been approved by two-thirds of the votes validly cast in a referendum of all qualified voters:
(a) shall, as provided by that Section, be valid for all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution, subject only to such grammatical and numerical changes as may be necessary to enable the text of the Constitution as amended to be read as a consistent whole; and
(b) shall enter into force on the date of the Speaker’s certificate.