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Cook Islands laws now consolidated and freely accessible online

Tuesday 25 June 2024 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Court, National, Parliament

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Cook Islands laws now consolidated and freely accessible online
Prime Minister Mark Brown launches the newly consolidated Laws of the Cook Islands volume books and online platform where these laws can be accessed with a click of a button. PARLIAMENT/ 24062416

The Parliament of the Cook Islands, the Crown Law Office and Aotearoa New Zealand’s LexisNexis have collaborated to make the laws of the Cook Islands consolidated, accessible and clear.

In a historic moment, the newly consolidated laws of the Cook Islands are now available online, up-to-date and free to use.

Yesterday morning in Parliament, LexisNexis, a global leader in legal publishing, and the Government launched the website designed to simplify access to the laws of the country. The blessing ceremony for the Consolidated Laws of the Cook Islands volume books was also held.

In a statement, it was noted that this initiative, developed in collaboration with the Cook Islands Parliamentary Services and involving a major consolidation of laws project, marks a significant advancement in accessibility to the law therefore improving access to justice.

Tai Tura, Speaker of the House, in his opening delivery said: “Today marks a pivotal moment in our nation’s legal framework. A culmination of diligent effort and collaboration that underscores our commitment, progress, and unity.”

Prime Minister Mark Brown said: “The consolidation of our laws is important for several reasons – while the law itself can be a complicated thing – accessing it should not be.”

“We are all subject to the laws of the land and we should all have reasonable opportunity to see for ourselves just what those laws are and to view their finer points and details.

“That idea is at the heart of this whole project, creating what will be an incredibly valuable and useful resource that is freely accessible for everyone in the Cook Islands now and into the future.”

Brown said another important aspect of the law is that it is always evolving.

“Here we have a unique legal system that has evolved through the merging of custom, legislation, common law, and our written constitution…”

Last week’s awarding of Honorary Permanent Residency to Dr Alex Frame, who retired last year, was also acknowledged by Brown. This recognition honours Dr Frame’s contributions to the Cook Islands,

For over 40 years, Dr Frame provided constitutional and legal advice to the Cook Islands Government. He was also responsible for the only previous consolidation of laws published in 1994.

Deputy solicitor-general David Greig noted that Dr Frame’s advice has been very influential in maintaining a high standard of rule of law for decades.

Greig explained, “The consolidation is a step up in making the law of our country clearer and more certain and helping us maintain our good record of being a trustworthy jurisdiction in a troubled region.”

He acknowledges the proactive contribution of the New Zealand High Commission in providing funds for the project. 

“Rule of Law is important, it is tangible, and has to be nurtured daily if we are going to aspire for a fair community,” noted Greig.

The Laws of the Cook Islands website is accessible at https://cookislandslaws.gov.ck.

Comments

Sally Wyatt on 25/06/2024

An incredible achievement and what a legacy for the country. Well done to David Greig and the Crown Law team, and LexisNexis.