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Event Details
Event Constitutional Renewal in the Pacific Islands
Date(s) Friday 26th August 2005
Saturday 27th August 2005
Sunday 28th August 2005
Organiser University of the South Pacific
Constitutional Renewal in the Pacific Islands

An international conference and workshop



Emalus Campus, Port Vila, Vanuatu,

26-28 August, 2005.


It is now several decades since most Pacific Island countries attained independence or self-determination. Given the considerably changed environment - the end of the cold war, the rapid spread of globalizing tendencies and consequent impact on national sovereignty,  the rising awareness of the complex interplay between state and market, and the new significance of civil society - it is timely to inquire into how well Pacific constitutions are faring.    Across the Pacific, individual states are engaged in constitutional dialogue in their own unique circumstances:  in post-conflict circumstances Bougainville has written a constitution to establish its unique status within Papua New Guinea; Solomon Islands is deliberating on a federal model much mooted ever since independence in 1978; the constitutional status of Tokelau and Niue is under discussion;  a parliamentary committee is inquiring into the Constitution of the Republic of Fiji; a Constitutional Committee is considering revisions to the Constitution of the Republic of Nauru; and amendments to the Constitution of Vanuatu have been enacted and are awaiting approval by a referendum before coming into effect. .    


In the context of such current constitutional dialogue the University of the South Pacific is convening a conference in 2005 to consider the state of Pacific Island Constitutions and Constitutionalism: is the promise of constitutionalism delivering on its ideals of protecting individual rights and adequately restraining and ordering the use of public power? How well are the ‘modified Westminster’ constitutions performing? What is driving the current programs of constitutional revision?  Why have so few previous constitutional revision exercises led to so little thorough-going revision?  How do national constitutions relate to Pacific Island Country’s ever-expanding regional and international commitments?  Do the Pacific constitutions give adequate attention to constitutional desires of local communities?   Do the Pacific constitutions give adequate attention to traditional customary values and practices?  What interrelationships are there between constitutional provisions, political stability, economic performance, and governance?


To register your interest in presenting a paper or in facilitating a workshop, contact:


Professor Graham Hassall                                   or             Professor Don Paterson

Pacific Institute of Advanced Studies                               Emeritus Professor of Law

in Development and Governance                                       School of Law,

The University of the South Pacific                                  The University of the South Pacific

Suva                                                                                       Emalus Campus

Fiji Islands                                                                             Port Vila, Vanuatu

Email:                                         Email: