Hawai'i Statutory Compilations 1842-1993

87 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2019

See all articles by Roberta F Woods

Roberta F Woods

University of Hawaii School of Law (Retired)

Date Written: July 22, 2019


It would seem an easy task to compile a list of statutes and statutory codes and compilations for Hawaiʻi. Assemble the books, make a list, type it up, etc. There is no agreement in the prefaces to the various codes and compilations about the first laws and it seems that many of the people tasked with making a new compilation did not or could not find a complete set of laws from which to start.

Laws were promulgated both orally and in print until November 2, 1842, when Kauikeaouli, Kamehameha III, signed into law “An Act Pointing Out the Manner in which the Laws Shall be Promulgated.” This Act meant that from this point forward printed laws would be legal authority and ended the oral law tradition. Section 1 of the Act states, “Hereafter no law of the kingdom shall take effect without having been first printed and made public.”

After Hawaiʻi became a state in 1959, the first set of laws called the Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes began in 1968 and new compilations have been called Replacement Volumes. The last full set were the 1993 Replacement Volumes. Since then, individual volumes have been replaced by the Revisor of Statutes under the authority of Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes Chapter 23G. A full “code” has not been assembled since the 1869 Penal Code. Given the missing early historical notes and missing case annotations in the current compilations, codification is needed to correct the numerous errors found in the statutes.

Note: Includes Bibliography.

Keywords: Hawaii Revised Statutes, Revised Laws of Hawaii

Suggested Citation

Woods, Roberta F, Hawai'i Statutory Compilations 1842-1993 (July 22, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3424356 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3424356

Roberta F Woods (Contact Author)

University of Hawaii School of Law (Retired) ( email )

2515 Dole Street
Honolulu, HI 96822-2350
United States

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