Charting the legal systems of the western Pacific islands : a legal research guide

Szymczak, Victoria, author

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  • Creator by Victoria J. Szymczak
  • Format Books
  • Publication Getzville, New York : William S. Hein & Co., Inc., 2017.
  • Series
  • Physical Details
    • 1 online resource (xv, 60 pages)


  • The Pacific region holds a cluster emerging nations that are attempting to reconcile a British-styled legal system with indigenous customary law. This union often creates conflict especially in areas of criminal law, human rights, family law, hereditary rights and property law. This guide provides a framework to support historical and current research on the legal systems of Pacific island nations which were under control of the British High Commissioner of the Western Pacific prior to their independence in the latter half of the 20th century: Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. Parts I and II highlight difficulties researching these legal systems and suggests solutions. Part III reviews the legal history of the former British dependencies including the roles of prerogative instruments, British Parliamentary laws, localized legislation, and case law. Part IV provides strategies to fill gaps in documentation. Part V assesses research tools in the current legal system. The guide concludes with an appendix of primary resources for both pre-independence and post-independence legal authority.--Publisher.


  • Includes bibliographical references.


  • Introduction and scope -- Before setting sail -- Origins -- Strategies for filling the gaps of protectorate and colonial documentation -- Post independence sources of law -- Review of resources -- Appendix I. Chart of island name variations -- Appendix 2. Proclamation -- Appendix 3. King's regulation
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