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Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

Tonga, English

No lease, sub-lease, transfer of a lease or of a sub-lease shall be granted—
(a) without the prior consent of Cabinet where the term is ninety-nine years, or less, or
(b) without the prior consent of Privy Council where the term is over ninety-nine years,
Provided that no consent shall be granted to a lease by a widow of the land of her deceased husband. (Clause 114)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

Tonga, English

The following is the law of succession to hereditary estates and titles:
Children lawfully born in wedlock only may inherit and the eldest male child shall succeed and the heirs of his body but if he have no descendants then the second male child and the heirs of his body and so on until all the male line is ended. Should there be no male child the eldest female child shall succeed and the heirs of her body and if she should have no descendants the second female child and the heirs of her body and so on until the female line is ended. And failing direct heirs the property shall revert to the eldest brother of the owner of the property beginning with the eldest and his heirs in succession to the youngest and their heirs in accordance with the law of inheritance. And if the brothers have no descendants it shall descend to the eldest sister and the female line as provided in the case of the male line. And if these should have no descendants and there should be no legitimate heir it shall revert to the Crown in accordance with the one hundred and twelfth clause. But should a female be next in succession to the title of a noble or of a hereditary chief the next male heir shall inherit the title and estates. But should such female afterwards have a legitimate male issue the title and estates shall revert to the male issue of the female upon the death of the male in possession of the estate:
Provided that the female that is the heir shall occupy the town allotment and the plantation lands appertaining to such title but the hereditary estates that is the lands occupied by the people shall be held by the inheritor of the title. …
And whereas by Tongan custom the noble Niukapu forms part of the 'Ulutolu line, now therefore it is decreed that in the event the holder of the estate and title of Niukapu is not a descendant by blood of the original Niukapu before 1875, such estate and title shall revert at the death of such holder to a descendant by blood of the Niukapu line. (Clause 111)12

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

Tonga, English

All the land is the property of the King and he may at pleasure grant to the nobles and titular chiefs or matabules one or more estates to become their hereditary estates. It is hereby declared by this Constitution that it shall not be lawful for anyone at any time hereafter whether he be the King or any one of the chiefs or the people of this country to sell any land whatever in the Kingdom of Tonga but they may lease it only in accordance with this Constitution and mortgage it in accordance with the Land Act. And this declaration become a covenant binding on the King and chiefs of this Kingdom for themselves and their heirs and successors for ever. (Clause 104)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

Tonga, English

Since it appears to be the will of God that man should be free as He has made all men of one blood therefore shall the people of Tonga and all who sojourn or may sojourn in this Kingdom be free for ever. And all men may use their lives and persons and time to acquire and possess property and to dispose of their labour and the fruit of their hands and to use their own property as they will. (Clause 1)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

Tonga, English

No person may succeed to any tofi'a or any title until he has attained the age of twenty one years, save for members of the Royal Family who shall be deemed to have attained maturity at eighteen years of age. (Clause 27)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

Tonga, English

Tongan male subjects by birth of or over the age of 16 years may be granted town allotments and tax allotments out of estates granted in pursuance of this Constitution with the consent of or upon consultation with the estate holder and out of the lands of the Crown, by the Minister of Lands. Such allotments shall be hereditary and shall be of such size and at an annual rent as may be determined by law. A widow shall have the right to succeed according to law, to her deceased husband's tax and town allotments. (Clause 113)13

Customary Law

Tonga, English

The following is the law of succession to hereditary estates and titles:
Children lawfully born in wedlock only may inherit and the eldest male child shall succeed and the heirs of his body but if he have no descendants then the second male child and the heirs of his body and so on until all the male line is ended. Should there be no male child the eldest female child shall succeed and the heirs of her body and if she should have no descendants the second female child and the heirs of her body and so on until the female line is ended. And failing direct heirs the property shall revert to the eldest brother of the owner of the property beginning with the eldest and his heirs in succession to the youngest and their heirs in accordance with the law of inheritance. And if the brothers have no descendants it shall descend to the eldest sister and the female line as provided in the case of the male line. And if these should have no descendants and there should be no legitimate heir it shall revert to the Crown in accordance with the one hundred and twelfth clause. But should a female be next in succession to the title of a noble or of a hereditary chief the next male heir shall inherit the title and estates. But should such female afterwards have a legitimate male issue the title and estates shall revert to the male issue of the female upon the death of the male in possession of the estate:
Provided that the female that is the heir shall occupy the town allotment and the plantation lands appertaining to such title but the hereditary estates that is the lands occupied by the people shall be held by the inheritor of the title. …
And whereas by Tongan custom the noble Niukapu forms part of the 'Ulutolu line, now therefore it is decreed that in the event the holder of the estate and title of Niukapu is not a descendant by blood of the original Niukapu before 1875, such estate and title shall revert at the death of such holder to a descendant by blood of the Niukapu line. (Clause 111)17

Customary Law

Tonga, English

There shall be but one law in Tonga for chiefs and commoners for non-Tongans and Tongans. No laws shall be enacted for one class and not for another class but the law shall be the same for all the people of this land. (Clause 4)

Customary Law

Tonga, English

No person may succeed to any tofi'a or any title until he has attained the age of twenty one years, save for members of the Royal Family who shall be deemed to have attained maturity at eighteen years of age. (Clause 27)

Status of International Law

Tonga, English

It shall be lawful for the King to make treaties with Foreign States provided that such treaties shall be in accordance with the laws of the Kingdom. … (Clause 39)