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    CONSTITUTION OF THE

    REPUBLIC OF PALAU

    PALAU CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION

    January 28 April 2, 1979, Koror, Palau

TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Page PREAMBLE 41

    I. TERRITORY 42

    II. SOVEREIGNTY AND SUPREMACY 42 III. CITIZENSHIP 43

    IV. FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS 44

    V. TRADITIONAL RIGHTS 46

    VI. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE NATIONALGOVERNMENT 46

    VII. SUFFRAGE 47

    VIII. EXECUTIVE 47

    IX. OLBIIL ERA KELULAU 50

    X. JUDICIARY 55

    XI. STATE GOVERNMENTS 57

    XII. FINANCE 58

    XIII. GENERAL PROVISIONS 60 ? 1 National and

    Official Language 60 ? 2 Controlling Version in Case of Conflict 60 ? 3 Initiative 60 ? 4 Secession 60 ? 5 Annexation

    60

    ? 6 Harmful Substances Ban 61 ? 7 Eminent Domain 61 ? 8 Alien Ownership 61 ? 9 Land Tax prohibition 61 ? 10 Return of Public Lands 61 ? 11 Capital of Palau 61 ? 12 Right to Bear Arms 61 ? 13 Right to Bear Arms 62

    XIV. AMENDMENTS 62

    XV. TRANSITION 63 FIRST AMENDMENT 69 INDEX 70

PREAM BLE In exercising our inherent sovereignty, W e, the people ofPalau Proclaim and reaffirm

    our im m em orial right To be suprem e in these islands of Palau, our hom eland. W e renew our dedication to preserve and enhance our traditional heritage, our national identity and our respect for peace, freedom and justice for all m ankind. In establishing this Constitution of the sovereign Republic

    of Palau, W e venture into the future W ith full reliance on our own efforts And the divine guidance of

    Alm ighty G od.

ARTICLE I TERRITORY Section 1. Palau shall have jurisdiction and sovereignty over

    its territory which shall consist of all of the islands of the Palauan archipelago, the internal waters, the territorial waters, extending to two hundred (200) nautical miles from a straight archipelagic baseline, the seabed, subsoil, water column, insular shelves, and airspace over land and water, unless otherwise limited by international treaty obligations assumed by Palau. The straight archipelagic baseline shall be drawn from the northernmost point of Ngeruangel Reef, thence east to the northernmost point of Kayangel Island and

    around the island to its eastern point, south to the

    easternmost point of the Babeldaob barrier reef, south to the easternmost point of Helen’s Reef, west from the southernmost point of Helen’s Reef to the easternmost point of Tobi Island and then around the island to its westernmost point, north to the westernmost point of Fana Island, and north to the westernmost point of Ngeruangel Reef and then around the reef to the point of origin. Section 2. Each State shall have exclusive ownership of all living and

    non-living resources, except highly migratory fish, from the land to twelve (12) nautical miles seaward from the traditional baselines; provided, however, that traditional fishing rights and practices shall not be impaired. Section 3. The

    national government shall have the power to add territory and to extend jurisdiction.

    Section 4. Nothing in this Article shall be interpreted to violate the right of innocent passage and the internationally recognized freedom of the high seas.

    ARTICLE II SOVEREIGNTY AND

    SUPREMACY

    Section 1. This Constitution is the supreme law of the land.

    Section 2. Any law, act of government, or agreement to which a government of Palau is a party, shall not conflict with this Constitution and shall be invalid to the extent of such conflict.

    Section 3. Major governmental powers including but not limited to defense, security, or foreign affairs may be delegated by treaty, compact, or other agreement between the sovereign Republic of Palau and another sovereign nation or international organization, provided such treaty,

    compact or agreement shall be approved by not less than two-thirds (2/3)

    of the members of each house of the Olbiil Era Kelulau and by a majority of the votes cast in a nationwide referendum conducted for such purpose, provided, that any such agreement which authorizes use, testing, storage or disposal of nuclear, toxic chemical, gas or biological weapons intended for use in warfare shall require approval of not less than three-fourths

    (3/4) of the votes cast in such referendum.

ARTICLE II SOVEREIGNTY AND

    SUPREMACY

    Section 1. This Constitution is the supreme law of the land.

    Section 2. Any law, act of government, or agreement to which a

    government of Palau is a party, shall not conflict with this Constitution and shall be invalid to the extent of such conflict.

    Section 3. Major governmental powers including but not limited to defense, security, or foreign affairs may be delegated by treaty, compact, or other agreement between the sovereign Republic of Palau and another sovereign

    nation or international organization, provided

    such treaty, compact or agreement shall be approved by not less than two-thirds (2/3) of the members of each house of the Olbiil Era Kelulau and by a majority of the votes cast in a nationwide referendum conducted for such

    purpose, provided, that any such agreement which authorizes use, testing, storage or disposal of nuclear, toxic chemical, gas or biological weapons intended for use in warfare shall require approval of not less than three-fourths

    (3/4) of the votes cast in such referendum.

    ARTICLE III

    CITIZENSHIP

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