The Government of the Republic of Nauru

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Consolidation of Legislation Project

Current status of legislative and case law collection in Nauru

Nauru's laws comprise:

  • a number of Ordinances from the pre-independence administration which are still in force;
  • certain laws of the United Kingdom, Papua New Guinea and Australia which have been adopted by Nauru and are still in force;
  • Acts of Parliament passed since independence in 1968;
  • Regulations;
  • precedents of the Supreme Court of Nauru; and
  • customary law.

Of these, all are expressed in written form except customary law. However, there is at present no complete collection of Nauruan laws currently in force. There is also no complete list or index of legislation, and complete list or index of all Supreme Court decisions. Many ordinances and Acts of Parliament have been amended over the years, but no consolidation of legislation has been undertaken to consolidate all amendments into new authorised reprints of current legislation. To remedy these problems, Nauru is about to embark on a project for the consolidation of legislation and the development of a coordinated system for the management of legal information. The Project has been designed by the Office of Parliamentary Counsel and the Justice Department, and is being generously funded by New Zealand AID.


Importance of access to legal information

In order for the public administration and in particular the justice sector to function effectively it is essential that all of the laws in force in Nauru are known and accessible. All public officers need to be aware of the legal framework within which they operate and of the laws with which they are required to comply. Government departments need to have access to, and be thoroughly familiar with, all of the laws that they are responsible for administering. It is also a key aspect of the rule of law and democratic governance that laws be accessible to the public. Access to accurate and complete legislation, case law, regulations and gazettes is therefore vital for good governance, transparency and accountability of the machinery of government and for effective public scrutiny of the government and administration.

Project outline

The project will involve the consolidation and reprint of all Nauruan legislation. A mechanism will be put in place to ensure that the Parliament, the Supreme Court and the Justice Department each have a properly organised, complete and up to date collection of all legislation and subordinate legislation and that all case law is accessible. A complete hard copy collection of all laws and regulations will be consolidated and housed in the Supreme Court Library. A complete electronic database of all laws of Nauru will be available online (PacLII) and offline in the Justice Department and Parliament. The project is expected to commence in early 2010 and to be completed by the end of 2010.

Project management

The project will be jointly coordinated by two NZAID consultants: a Document Management Specialist and a Legal Drafting Specialist, under the guidance of the Project Coordinating Committee, which will comprise key local stakeholders and be chaired by the Parliamentary Counsel. NZAID will select the consultants through a request for tenders.



The goal of the project is to:

  • Strengthen human rights and good governance in Nauru, in particular transparency of government;
  • Strengthen the capacity of Nauru's legal and judicial system;
  • Improve access to Nauruan legal information for the government, administration, legal practitioners, students and the community in a manner that is sustainable over the long term.

The goal of Phase One (Scoping Study) is to ensure the project is properly designed and feasible, and mapping out project timeframes and budgets.



The objectives of Phase One (Scoping Study) are to:

  • Facilitate commencement of the project by assessing the project design and feasibility, and making informed projections in relation to project timeframes and budgets
  • Identify project risks and optimal solutions for mitigating or minimising risks.


The objectives of Phase Two (Project)are to:


Objective 1:
Complete an audit of existing collections of laws housed in Parliament, Supreme Court and Justice Department and audit of all laws currently in force in Nauru.

Objective 2:
Effect the consolidation and reprint of all amended laws (including passage of enabling legislation), and production and filing of authorised copies of all legislation and subordinate legislation in force in Nauru.

Objective 3:
Develop an electronic database of legislation, subordinate legislation, gazettes and case law and facilitate its ongoing maintenance.

Objective 4:
Develop and implement a coordinated system for the ongoing management of legal information (including defined responsibilities for maintaining comprehensive hard copy and electronic collections).


Objective 5:
Develop (and facilitate the ongoing maintenance of) a cooperative relationship with PacLII.