An Act to Provide a Government for the Territory of Hawaii


(Act of April 30, 1900, c 339, 31 Stat 141)


Law Journals and Reviews


Demolition of Native Rights and Self Determination: Act 55's Devastating Impact through the Development of Hawaii's Public Lands. 35 UH L. Rev. 297 (2013).

A Collective Memory of Injustice: Reclaiming Hawai`i's Crown Lands Trust in Response to Judge James S. Burns. 39 UH L. Rev. 481 (2017).





1. Definitions. That the phrase "the laws of Hawaii," as used in this Act without qualifying words, shall mean the constitution and laws of the Republic of Hawaii, in force on the twelfth day of August, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, at the time of the transfer of the sovereignty of the Hawaiian Islands to the United States of America.

The constitution and statute laws of the Republic of Hawaii then in force, set forth in a compilation made by Sidney M. Ballou under the authority of the legislature, and published in two volumes entitled "Civil Laws" and "Penal Laws," respectively, and in the Session Laws of the Legislature for the session of eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, are referred to in this Act as "Civil Laws," "Penal Laws," and "Session Laws."


This is the Act, as since amended, of April 30, 1900, c 339, 31 Stat 141 (2 Supp. R.S. 1141), prepared and recommended by a commission appointed by the President under the Joint Resolution of Annexation of July 7, 1898, 30 Stat 750 (2 Supp. R.S. 895). The formal transfer of sovereignty under that resolution took place Aug. 12, 1898, and this Organic Act, creating the Territory, took effect June 14, 1900. See Joint Resolution, RLH 1955, page 13, with notes thereto, for application of Federal Constitution and laws to Hawaii between annexation and establishment of territorial government. For decisions under this Organic Act, see notes to sections thereof.

For note relating to act of Congress, presidential proclamations, and executive orders, see the Chronological Note, RLH 1955, page 9.

The volumes mentioned in the second paragraph of this did not contain all the laws then in force referred to in the first paragraph, nor were all the laws therein contained then in force. The Civil Laws and Penal Laws were compilations, not enacted by the legislature. These laws were in general continued in force by Congress with certain exceptions and modifications: 6, 7, below: 23 Ops. 539; 114 Fed. 852, affirming 1 U.S.D.C. Haw. 75; 122 Fed. 587. Referred to in 16 H. 245; 22 H. 251. See also, as to continuation of Hawaiian laws, notes to other , especially 5, 6 and 7, and to Joint Resolution of Annexation, RLH 1955, page 13.



Previous Vol01_Ch0001-0042F Next