The Rule of Law and the Courts
Hawaiian government is based on a respect for the rule of law. Hawaiian subjects can rely on a society based on law and order, and can be assured that the law will be applied equally and impartially.
Impartial courts depend on an independent judiciary. The independence of the judiciary means that Judges are free from outside influence, and notably from influence from the Head of State. Initially, the first constitution of the country in 1840 provided that the Head of State serve as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, but this provision was ultimately removed by amendment in 1852 in order to provide separation between the executive and judicial branches. Article 65 of the Constitution of the country now provides that only the Legislative Assembly, although appointed by the Monarch, can remove Judges by impeachment.
Hawaiian Courts also enforce the rights guaranteed under the 1864 Constitution. The constitution guarantees:
- All men are free to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences; but this sacred privilege hereby secured, shall not be so construed as to justify acts of licentiousness, or practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of the Kingdom.
- All men may freely speak, write, and publish their sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right, and no law shall be enacted to restrain the liberty of speech, or of the press, except such laws as may be necessary for the protection of His Majesty the King and the Royal Family.
- All men shall have the right, in an orderly and peaceable manner, to assemble, without arms, to consult upon the common good, and to petition the King or Legislative Assembly for redress of grievances.
- The privilege of the writ of Habeas Corpus belongs to all men, and shall not be suspended, unless by the King, when in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety shall require its suspension.
- No person shall be subject to punishment for any offense, except on due and legal conviction thereof, in a Court having jurisdiction of the case.
- No person shall be held to answer for any crime in which the right of trial by Jury has been heretofore used, it shall be held inviolable forever, except in actions of debt or assumpsit in which the amount claimed is less than Fifty Dollars.
- No person shall be required to answer again for an offense, of which he has been duly convicted, or of which he has been duly acquitted upon a good and sufficient indictment.
- No person shall be compelled, in any criminal case, to be a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
- No person shall sit as a judge or juror, in any case in which his relative is interested, either as plaintiff or defendant, or in the issue of which the said judge or juror, may have, either directly or through a relative, any pecuniary interest.
- Involuntary servitude, except for crime, is forever prohibited in this Kingdom; whenever a slave shall enter Hawaiian Territory, he shall be free.
- Every person has the right to be secure from all unreasonable searches and seizures of his person, his house, his papers, and effects; and no warrants shall issue, but on probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.