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System of Government

System of Government
Key Institutions of the Hawaiian Government
Legislative Government
The Rule of Law and the Courts
Hawaiian Kingdom Supreme Court

Key Institutions of the Hawaiian Government

The institutions that make up the Hawaiian Government include:

  • The Legislative Assembly
  • The Monarch
  • The Nobles
  • The Representatives
  • Cabinet
  • Privy Council of State
  • President of the Legislative Assembly

The Legislative Assembly

The Legislative Department of the Kingdom is composed of the Monarch, the Nobles, and the Representatives, each of whom has a negative on the other, and in whom is vested full power to make all manner of wholesome laws. They judge for the welfare of the nation, and for the necessary support and defense of good government, provided it is not repugnant or contrary to the Constitution.

The Monarch

The Monarch is the Hawaiian Kingdom’s Head of State and is represented in the Hawaiian Islands by four (4) appointed Governors.

The Monarch opens each new session of the Legislature by reading a Speech from the Throne. The speech sets out the vision of the government for the country and the policies and actions it plans to undertake.

No law can be enacted without the signature of the Monarch and countersigned by one of the Ministers of the Cabinet.

The Nobles

The Nobles sit together with the elected Representatives of the people and cannot exceed thirty (30) in number. Nobles also have the sole power to try impeachments made by the Representatives.

Nobles are appointed by the Monarch for a life term and serve without pay. A person eligible to be a Noble must be a Hawaiian subject or denizen, resided in the Kingdom for at least five years, and attained the age of twenty-one (21) years. Nobles can introduce bills and serve on standing or special Committees established by the Legislative Assembly. Each Noble is entitled to one vote in the Legislative Assembly.

The Representatives

The Representatives sit together with the appointed Nobles and cannot exceed forty (40) in number. Each Representative is entitled to one vote in the Legislative Assembly. Representatives have the sole power to impeach any Cabinet Minister, officer in government or Judge, but the Nobles reserve the power to try and convict an impeached officer.

A person eligible to be a Representative of the people must be a Hawaiian subject or denizen, at least twenty-five years, must know how to read and write, understand accounts, and have resided in the Kingdom for at least one year immediately preceding his election. No person who is insane, or an idiot, or who shall at any time have been convicted of theft, bribery, perjury, forgery, embezzlement, polygamy, or other high crime or misdemeanor, can ever hold a seat as Representative of the people.

The people elect representatives from twenty-five (25) districts in the Kingdom. Elections occur biennially on even numbered years, and each elected Representative has a two (2) year term. Unlike the Nobles, Representatives are compensated for their term in office.

The Cabinet

The Cabinet consists of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of the Interior, the Minister of Finance, and the Attorney General of the Kingdom. The Cabinet is the Monarch’s Special Advisers in the Executive affairs of the Kingdom.

The Ministers are ex officio members of the Privy Council of State. The Ministers are appointed and commissioned by the Monarch, and hold office during the Monarch’s pleasure, subject to impeachment. No act of the Monarch has any effect unless countersigned by a Minister, who by that signature makes himself responsible.

Each member of the Cabinet keeps an office at the seat of Government, and is accountable for the conduct of his/her deputies and clerks. The Ministers also hold seats ex officio, as Nobles, in the Legislative Assembly.

On the first day of the opening of the Legislative Assembly, the Minister of Finance presents the Financial Budget in the Hawaiian and English languages.

Privy Council of State

The Monarch, by Royal Letters Patent, can appoint any of his subjects, who have attained the age of majority, a member of the Privy Council of State.

Every member of the Privy Council of State, before entering upon the discharge of his/her duties as such, takes an oath to support the Constitution, to advise the Monarch honestly, and to observe strict secrecy in regard to matters coming to his/her knowledge as a Privy Counselor.

The duty of every Privy Counselor:

  1. To advise the Monarch according to the best of his knowledge and discretion.
  2. To advise for the Monarch’s honor and the good of the public, without partiality through friendship, love, reward, fear or favor.
  3. Finally, to avoid corruption – and to observe, keep, and do all that a good and true counselor ought to observe, keep, and do to his Sovereign.

The President of the Legislative Assembly

The President is the Chair for conducting business in the House of the Legislative Assembly. He is elected by the members of the Legislative Assembly at the opening of the Session and appoints members to each of the select or standing committees.

The President preserves order and decorum, speaks to points of order in preference to other members, and decides all questions of order subject to an appeal to the House by any two members.





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