The Rights and Liberties of the Palau Constitution
122 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2011 Last revised: 7 Dec 2011
Date Written: October 26, 2010
In the nearly thirty years since the Constitution of the Republic of Palau went into effect, the constitutional jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of Palau has grown to such a quantum that allows it to refer primarily to its own case law without the need to look to other jurisdictions for guidance. This article - a mini-treatise of sorts - collects and reviews cases interpreting and applying the Palau Constitution through the sixteenth anniversary of Palau’s independence - October 1, 2010. Not all facets of the Constitution are included; the article focuses on the provisions of the Constitution that most directly affect the people: citizenship, suffrage, right to due process, equal protection of the laws, criminal procedure rights, and the like. Some higher-level administration issues (such as the designation of territory and states and the roles granted to traditional leaders) are included as well, but the focus is on individual rights and liberties. Aside from the text of the Constitution, the constitutional decisions of the Supreme Court of Palau are the most significant guideposts setting forth the meaning of the Constitution. This article analyzes the Supreme Court of Palau’s case law interpreting the Constitution to discern the extent - and limitations - of the rights and liberties granted by the Constitution.
Keywords: Republic of Palau, Constitutional law
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