Legislature of the Marshall Islands

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Legislature of the Marshall Islands

Brenson Wase
since 3 January 2024
Vice Speaker
Issac Zacharias
since 3 January 2024
Seats33 members
Political groups
  Independent (33)
Length of term
4 years
single and multi-seat constituencies
Last election
20 November 2023
Meeting place
Capitol Building, Majuro

The Legislature of the Marshall Islands[2] has 33 members, elected for a four-year term in nineteen single-seat and five multi-seat constituencies.

History of Marshall Islands[change | change source]

The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) is a country made up of 29 coral atolls and 5 small islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, between Hawaii and Australia.

In 1978, the people of the Marshall Islands voted to become separate from the rest of Micronesia. They made their own Constitution in 1979, which officially made the Marshall Islands a self-governing country starting from May 1, 1979.[3]

Then, in 1986, they signed an agreement called the Compact of Free Association with the United States. This agreement gave the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) its freedom and independence on October 21, 1986. The RMI also joined the United Nations in 1991.

The Legislature[change | change source]

The Constitution of 1979 describes a government system where there is one group of lawmakers. However, the President is in charge of both the country and the government and is chosen by members of the Parliament. This setup makes the Marshall Islands' government a mix of a parliamentary and a presidential system. The Marshall Islands has a law-making group with two parts: the Nitijela, which has 33 seats filled by popular vote for four years and has the power to make laws, and the Council of Iroij, made up of 12 tribal chiefs who give advice on traditional matters.

The legal system of the Marshall Islands is based on laws from the time it was under American control, along with laws made by the local government, traditional laws, and common laws. For example, copyright, patent, and trademark laws from the United States also apply in the Marshall Islands.

Committees of the Nitijela[4][change | change source]

  • The Committee of the Whole
  • Permanent Standing Committees
  • Special Committees

References[change | change source]

  1. "History of the Nitijela". rmiparliament.org.
  2. "Marshallese-English Dictionary". www.trussel2.com.
  3. "Constitution of the Marshall Islands, Marshall Islands, WIPO Lex". www.wipo.int. Retrieved 2024-05-08.
  4. "Committees". rmiparliament.org. Retrieved 2024-05-08.