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References on the Tongan Constitution

Compiled by Guy Powles and published online by the Emalus Campus Library

The Constitution of Tonga (1875) , as amended and revised to 1988.

Introduction to Governance in Tonga

Tonga (CIA Factbook)


Afeaki, Emeliana (1983) "Tonga: the last Pacific Kingdom' in Ron Crocombe & others, eds, Politics in Polynesia, IPS, USP,Suva, pp.57-58.

Biersack, Aletta (1990)   'Blood and Garland: Duality in Tongan history' on P. Herda, J. Terrell and N. Gunson, eds Tongan Culture and History (Papers from the  first THA Conference, Canberra, 1989), Department of Pacific & Asian History, RSPacS, ANU, Canberra, pp.46-58.

Campbell, Ian (2001) Island Kingdom: Tonga Ancient and Modern, 2nd edition, Canterbury University Press, Christchurch.

Campbell, Ian (2005) 'The Quest for Constitutional Reform in Tonga' 40 Journal of Pacific History (1) pp.91-104.

Ewins, Roy  (1998)  Changing Their Minds: Tradition and Politics in Contemporary Fiji and Tonga'. Papers presented at the Convention on the Constitution and Democracy in Tonga, Nuku'alofa

Hau'ofa, Epeli  (1992)  'The Social Context of the Pro-Democracy Movement in Tonga', Papers presented at the Convention on the Constitution and Democracy in Tonga, Nuku'alofa

Helu, Futa  (1992)  'Democracy bug bites Tonga' in R. Crocombe & Ors, eds Culture and Democracy in the South Pacific  IPS, USP, Suva, pp.139-152.

Latukefu, Sione  (1974)  Church and State in Tonga, Canberra.

Latukefu, Sione (1975)  The Tongan Constitution: A Brief History to Celebrate its Centenary  Tonga Traditions Committee, Nuku'alofa

Latukefu, Sione (1993)  'The Pro-Democracy Movement in Tonga' 28 Journal of Pacific History (3) 52.

Laki, M. Niu  (1988)  'The Constitution and Traditional Political System in Tonga' in Yash Ghai, ed Law, Government and Politics in the Pacific Islands States  IPS, USP, Suva, pp.304-9.

Powles, Guy  (1979)  'The Persistence of Chiefly Power and its Implications for Law and Political Organisation in Western Polynesia', PhD thesis, Australian National University.

Powles, Guy (1990a)  'The Early Accommodation of Traditional and English Law in Tonga', in P. Herda, J. Terrell and N. Gunson, eds Tongan Culture and History (Papers from the 1st THA Conference, Canberra, 1987) p.145.

Powles, Guy (1990b)  'Traditional Authority in the Contemporary Pacific: Conflict and Compromise in Legal and Political Systems' in 9th Commonwealth Law Conference" Conference Papers  Commerce Clearing House NZ Ltd, Auckland, pp.571-9.

Powles, Guy (1992a)  'The Tongan Constitution: Some Realities'. Paper presented at the Convention on the Constitution and Democracy  in Tonga, Nuku'alofa

Powles, Guy (1992b)  'Changing Pacific Island Constitutions: Methods and Philosophies' Vol. 22 Victoria University of Wellington Law Review, Monograph 4, pp.63-83.

Rutherford, Noel (1971)  Shirley Baker and the King of Tonga, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

St Julian, Charles (1857)  Official Report on Central Polynesia Sydney

Taufe'ulungaki, Ana  (1992)  Papers Presented at the Convention on the Constitution and Democracy in Tonga

Taumoepeau, Aisea & Taumoepeau, Alisi (1997)  'Tonga' Asia Pacific Constitutional Yearbook 1997 Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies, University of Melbourne, pp. 297-310.

Thaman, Konai (2004)  'Whose Values and What Responsibility? Cultural and Cognitive Democracy in Education' Keynote address, Pacific Circle Consortium Conference, Suva.

Thomson, Basil  (1894)  The Diversions of a Prime Minister and (1939) The Scene Changes London.

Tupou, David  (1990)  'A Review of How the Legislative and Judicial Westminster Model Has Functioned Alongside Traditional Indigenous Systems: the Tongan Experience' in 9th Commonealth Law Conference: Conference Papers  Commerce Clearing House NZ Ltd., pp.589-594.


Four recent court judgments concerning the roles of the branches of Government (the King, Privy Council, Legislative Assembly and Courts) under the Constitution, and its interpretation.

Lali Media Group Ltd v Lavaka Ata [2003] TOSC 30; C 0219 2003 (26th May, 2003) [whether the courts can review the authority of the King in Privy Council to make orders-in-council and ordinances]

'Utoikamanu v Lali Media Group Ltd [2003] TOCA 6; CA 04 & 10 2003 (25th July, 2003) [appeals from the above Supreme Court decision]

Taione v Kingdom of Tonga [2004] TOSC 48; CV 374 2004 (15th October, 2004) [whether an amendment to the Constitution concerning 'freedom of press' was itself unconstitutional]

Flyniu v Ata [2004] TOSC 49; CV 575 2004 (15th November, 2004) [whether the courts can review the type of decision (to introduce a 'one airline' policy) made by the Government in this case]


24 September 2005

2005 Peter Murgatroyd & Guy Powles
Last updated 17 October 2012

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