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Customary Law

Marshall Islands, English

(1) The Traditional Rights Court shall be a court of record; shall consist of panels of 3 or more judges selected so as to include a fair representation of all classes of land rights, including, where applicable, the Iroijiaplap, Iroijedrik, Alap and Dri Jerbal; and shall sit at such times and places and be chosen on such a geographical basis, as to ensure fair and knowledgeable exercise of the jurisdiction conferred by this Section.
(2) The size, membership and procedures of the Traditional Rights Court shall be consistent with paragraph (1) of this Section, and shall be determined by the High Court unless and until the Nitijela makes provision for those matters by Act.
(3) The jurisdiction of the Traditional Rights Court shall be limited to the determination of questions relating to titles or to land rights or to other legal interests depending wholly or partly on customary law and traditional practice in the Republic of the Marshall Island.
(4) The jurisdiction of the Traditional Rights Court may be invoked as of right upon application by a party to a pending judicial proceeding; but only if the court in which such proceeding is pending certifies that a substantial question has arisen within the jurisdiction of the Traditional Rights Court.
(5) When a question has been certified to the Traditional Rights Court for its determination under paragraph (4), its resolution of the question shall be given substantial weight in the certifying court’s disposition of the legal controversy before it; but shall not be deemed binding unless the certifying court concludes that justice so requires. (Art. VI, Sec. 4)

Customary Law

Marshall Islands, English

(1) Nothing in Article II3 shall be construed to invalidate the customary law4or any traditional practice concerning land tenure or any related matter in any part of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, including, where applicable, the rights and obligations of the Iroijlaplap, Iroijedrik, Alap and Dri Jerbal.
(2) Without prejudice to the continued application of the customary law pursuant to Section 1 of Article XIII, and subject to the customary law or to any traditional practice in any part of the Republic, it shall not be lawful or competent for any person having any right in any land in the Republic, under the customary law or any traditional practice to make any alienation or disposition of that land, whether by way of sale, mortgage, lease, license or otherwise, without the approval of the Iroijlaplap, Iroijedrik where necessary, Alap and the Senior Dri Jerbal of such land, who shall be deemed to represent all persons having an interest in that land.
(3) Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed so as to preclude its application to every place within the traditional boundaries of the archipelago of the Republic. (Art. X, Sec. 1)

Customary Law

Marshall Islands, English

The Council of Iroij shall have the following functions:
(a) the Council may consider any matter of concern to the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and it may express its opinion thereon to the Cabinet;
(b) 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 oil third reading by the Nitijela;
(c) the Council shall have such other functions as may be conferred on it by or pursuant to Act. (Art. III, Sec. 2)

Customary Law

Marshall Islands, English

(1) There shall be a Council of Iroij of the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

(3) 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.

(5) 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) or (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 any 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.
… (Art. III, Sec. 1)

Customary Law

Marshall Islands, English

(1) In the exercise of its legislative functions, it shall be the responsibility of the Nitijela, whenever and to the extent considered appropriate, to declare, by Act, the customary law in the Republic of the Marshall Islands or in any part thereof. The customary law so declared may include any provisions which, in the opinion of the Nitijela, are necessary or desirable to supplement the established rules of customary law or to take account of any traditional practice.
(2) This Section shall not be construed to authorize the making of any law that would defeat an otherwise valid claim under Article II.5
(3) The Nitijela shall not proceed further than the first reading of any Bill or amendment to a Bill which, in the opinion of the Speaker, makes provision for any declaration pursuant to paragraph (1) of this Section unless a joint committee of the Council of Iroij and the Nitijela has been afforded a reasonable opportunity to make a report on the matters dealt within that Bill or amendment, and any such report has been published. (Art. X, Sec. 2)

Status of the Constitution

Marshall Islands, English

(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.
… (Art. XIII, Sec. 1)

Status of the Constitution

Marshall Islands, English

(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. (Art. I, Sec. 1)

Status of the Constitution

Marshall Islands, English

(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. (Art. I, Sec. 2)

Citizenship and Nationality

Marshall Islands, English

(1) Unless disqualified pursuant to paragraph (3) of this Section, any person who is not a citizen of the Republic of the Marshall Islands shall become a citizen by registration if, upon application, the High Court is satisfied either:
(a) that he has land rights; or
(b) that he has been resident in the Republic for not less than 3 years, and is the parent of a child who is a citizen of the Republic; or
(c) that he is of Marshallese descent and that in the interests of justice his application should be granted.
... (Art. XI, Sec. 2)

Citizenship and Nationality

Marshall Islands, English

The Nitijela may make provision by Act:
(a) for the acquisition of citizenship of the Republic of the Marshall Islands by registration in cases not falling within Section 2 of this Article;
(b) for the acquisition of citizenship of the Republic by naturalization;
(c) for depriving of citizenship of the Republic, consistently with Article II, any class of persons who are citizens of the Republic only by reason of provision made by Act pursuant to this Section;
(d) for depriving of citizenship of the Republic any class of persons who are citizens of the Republic and are or have become citizens of another country otherwise than by marriage:
(e) for the express renunciation by any person of citizenship of the Republic. (Art. XI, Sec. 3)