Charting the Legal Systems of the Western Pacific Islands: A Legal Research Guide

Hein Cites, New Book Kaylyn Zurawski

  • Only available resource on researching early and current legal systems of the Western Pacific Islands
  • Helps researchers easily identify current and historical primary and secondary sources on this topic
  • Links historical resources to current legislation in force
  • Outlines key untraditional resources which fill documentation gaps in pre-independence legal systems
  • Succinctly summarizes Great Britain’s involvement in the Western Pacific
  • Key research guide for anyone with an interest in the region’s colorful but difficult legal landscape! 

About This Title

The Pacific region holds a cluster of 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 suggest 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.


About the Author

Victoria J. Szymczak is the Law Library Director, Legal Research Coordinator and an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Hawai‘i, William S. Richardson School of Law. Professor Szymczak received her J.D. and LL.M. in Comparative and International Law from Duke University School of Law, and her M.S.L.I.S. from Pratt Institute. At Richardson, she is responsible for institutionalizing legal research programming for first year and upper-class students in addition to her activities as the Law Library Director. Collections at the University of Hawaii School of Law Library include historical and current legal materials of Pacific island nations. This publication is a direct result of her collection analysis regarding the areas of focus for the Law School and her classes on Pacific Island legal systems.

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Charting the Legal Systems of the Western Pacific Islands:
A Legal Research Guide
(Legal Research Guides Volume 70)
Item #: 1006060
ISBN: 9780837740515
Pages: xv, 60p.
1 Volume…….$70.00
Published: Getzville; William S. Hein & Co., Inc.; 2017

*Standing order customers automatically receive this title


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