All About PacLII
The Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute
), in partnership with the University of the South Pacific School of Law
promotes free access to South Pacific laws and material (case law, legislation,
treaties, Law Reform Commission documents, etc.) via the Internet. AustLII
(Australian Legal Information
Institute) assists PacLII in mark-up processing, database structure, search
engine facilities, and some other aspects of technical
up to date are PacLII’s databases?
Case law databases
The last update for case law databases can be established by
looking for the 'Most recent decision' line at the top of each database main
page. Click on the following link to see an example for the Vanuatu Supreme
In each database,
sessional legislation has a
chronological index by year and in this way it is possible to check the latest
legislation. Consolidated legislation is current as at the consolidation
Also note that PacLII's last update date
displayed on the main page of each legislation database is the date on which
PacLII last updated the database. Click on the following link to see an example
for Vanuatu Sessional
PacLII does not add annotations, comments or
change the content of any legislation. To check for the most recent
amendments or most up-to-date currency details for any piece of legislation
online, you will need to confirm details with the official body of the country
that is responsible for the legislation.
do you choose the cases which will be reported?
PacLII does not choose which cases will be
reported. The courts/tribunals etc. determine which cases should be published by
PacLII. PacLII does not make these decisions and will publish any legal material
received from the official originating bodies.
are the means in which you are kept informed of new legal information such as
Acts, amendments, regulations, recent judgments, etc.?
PacLII has contacts within the courts and governments in the
region who supply cases and legislation as they are released in print and
electronic format. Print copies are scanned and edited for publication on
our website. We work closely with the University of the South Pacific Law School
to achieve this. It is important to be aware that some Courts
and Legislatures are quicker than others at supplying the cases and legislation
for varying reasons.
will missing materials be added to PacLII?
PacLII is moving forward quickly however there
are still many legal materials that are yet to be placed on the database.
Progress can be affected, for example, by: (i) intermittent supply of materials
by jurisdictions (ii) a backlog of paper materials which need to be scanned,
formatted and proofed; (iii) poor quality paper copies which require
verification with the originating jurisdiction.
As soon as new electronic
materials are received from the relevant offices, however, they are placed on
How can I obtain a judgment
or Act which is not currently available on PacLII?
If PacLII does not have a case you need and it
is within the scope of jurisdiction, please feel free to contact PacLII through
the Feedback Form
we will endeavor to obtain a copy to publish on the website.
I obtain PacLII databases on CD-ROM/DVD-ROM?
PacLII will provide a limited number of free
CD-ROM/DVD-ROMs to public legal and judicial bodies covered under PacLII
jurisdictions. Unfortunately, PacLII has neither the staff nor the funding
to be able to offer this service to others.
To request a
CD-ROM/DVD-ROM, please leave your name and organization along with a
note requesting these materials on the PacLII Feedback
you mail me a paper copy of a piece of legislation or decision?
Unfortunately, we cannot do this as PacLII has
neither the staff nor the funding to be able to offer this service. Please print
your own copy of these materials from the downloadable or online copies which we
make available on the website.
How do I cite cases which use medium neutral
information about citing cases on PacLII.
The publication of a certain
case is a breach of my privacy. Will you remove it?
PacLII is committed to ensuring that reported
case law on its website respects the delicate balance between the privacy
interests of persons in appropriate cases, and the need to ensure the openness
of the judicial system, judicial independence, maintaining public confidence in
the justice systems through fair, consistent, and accurate reporting of
judgments, and compliance with all bans on publication and any other legal
requirements related to the non-disclosure of information.
PacLII publishes cases as supplied by the courts in the South
Pacific region and is only one of the mechanisms by which courts and tribunals
publish their decisions. Many cases are also reported in a number of paper-based
series of law reports.
If you would like a judgment removed
from PacLII, please contact the originating court for permission to do so.
If the court agrees with your request, ask them to contact PacLII with official
instructions for removal.
I reproduce PacLII materials?
This depends on the type of material, and the
method of reproduction. PacLII is proudly a "free to air" service, but
nonetheless our detailed markup is subject to copyright and cannot be copied for
commercial purposes. The markup is absolutely not in the public domain as far as
any sort of commercial reproduction is concerned. Other value added material
produced by PACLII may also be subject to copyright, and not freely
Additionally, most Courts, Tribunals, Governments and other
bodies claim copyright on their decisions, legislation and other materials.
PacLII publishes these materials on its website with the permission of the
relevant copyright holder(s). To reproduce these materials, you should seek
permission from the relevant copyright holder(s).
LII cannot give you permission to
reproduce such materials.
For more information you should
contact PacLII feedback
about the specific PacLII materials which you want to reproduce. You can also
consult our Copyright
How can I contact somebody from PacLII?
- PacLII Feedback and Report an Error are
the most closely monitored and preferred contact channel, used for making
queries, reporting problems or asking for new features / databases. Responses
will be made as soon as possible.
- Contact Us provides telephone, fax and (snail) mail details for when email is not
contact individuals, see Personnel.
For more detailed information about finding Acts
and Regulations, consult the Legislation Help
For more information about finding Case Law, consult the Case Law Help
do I use the Search function?
You can either search from the top of PacLII's
home page using a simple search or the Full Search Form for a more advanced
search. PacLII Search
page provides more information.
isn't search working properly?
Firstly, remember that the SINO search engine
uses a common words list, for example,
. These words will not be picked up
in a search. The current list of common words is available at the SINO common words
If, however, this is not the problem, or there is a
technical error in the search results page, please let PacLII know via the PacLII Report an
PacLII provide an alert service informing users of new additions to the
As present we do not provide an alerting service.
People are encouraged to check the PacLII website frequently. PacLII also
posts all new additions, grouped by jurisdictions, on the home page in the
section “News &
PacLII provide research services?
Cases, legislation and any other documents on PacLII can be
downloaded free of charge. However, if you require research assistance,
PacLII is able to provide commercial organisations with research services.
Our resources include information on PacLII, Pacific Island legal material held
in the Law School Library and overseas subscription databases. Costs for
these services depend upon the type of request. Please contact PacLII through
the Feedback Page
order to inquire further about these services.
What is the Pacific Island
Treaties Series (PITS)
The Pacific Islands
, otherwise affectionately known as "PITS", aims to be a
comprehensive treaty database for the Pacific Islands region publishing
bilateral and multilateral treaties which Pacific Island states have entered
into amongst themselves, as well as with nations and organisations external to
the region. In addition, some treaties are included in the PITS database if they
are relevant to the Pacific Island states and territories that are the focus of
the PITS site even if they do not have any Pacific Island state parties.
The PITS website publishes full text treaties, and if possible, their
corresponding status reports. These status reports, where possible, list the
domesticating legislation that gives effect to the treaties at national or
domestic level. The domesticating legislation is an extended feature unique to
the PITS database which inter alia indicates the commitment of the Pacific
Island states to their rights and obligations at international law.
What is a Treaty?
A treaty, for the purposes of the PITS, is any
instrument of agreement that falls within the definition of a Treaty under the
Vienna Convention Art. 2 (1) (a), being “an international agreement
concluded between States in written form and governed by international law,
whether embodied in a single instrument or in two or more related instruments
and whatever its particular designation.” ( Vienna Convention Art. 2 (1)
Common designations include conventions, agreements,
agreement by exchange of notes, memorandum of understanding as well as charters,
codes, framework conventions, outline convention etc. All these legal
instruments are represented in the Pacific Islands Treaty Series.
What is a PITS treaty?
The PITS database however is narrowed down to only
include the bilateral and multilateral treaties pertaining to the 22 Pacific
Island countries and territories listed above. A treaty is included in the
Pacific Islands Treaty Series because of three possible reasons:
1. the treaty is an international treaty and one or
more Pacific Island country or territory has consented to be a party to that
2. the treaty is a Pacific Islands Regional Treaty.
That is, a bilateral or multilateral treaty that is contracted to or on behalf
of the Pacific Island state(s); OR
3. the treaty is relevant to the Pacific Island
countries and territories even if none of them are parties to the treaty.
Why is the PITS database
not up to date?
Unfortunately, since April 2009, these databases have
not been regularly updated due to Editor for the Pacific Islands Treaty
Series Editor's departure. Staff shortages at PacLII have meant that this
database is currently on hold.
Explorer crashes when I try to print something from PacLII.
Microsoft Internet Explorer version 4 is known
to crash when trying to print a document with a long title. The only real
solution is to upgrade to the latest version of IE. You can get it for free from
workaround is to save the file to disk and load it into a capable word processor
such as Microsoft Word. You can then print the document from there with no
I am concerned about my
access being logged. Do you do this?
Yes. We log access for a number of reasons,
including research, development, security, maintenance and for statistics
generation. We currently log accesses using a slightly enhanced version of the
Common Logfile format which produces logs similar to the
188.8.131.52 - - [29/Aug/2006:07:59:09 +1100]
"GET /vu/cases/VUMC/1996/1.html HTTP/1.1" 200 37354 "http://www.paclii.org/vu/cases/VUMC/1996/" "Mozilla/4.0
(compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1)"
This information includes details on
your host address, time of access, exact request, response status code, size of
data transmitted, HTTP referer (where you were last), browser version and
operating system. This information is never publicly released by PacLII, and is
only used for research subject to privacy guarantees. See the PacLII Privacy
Policy for full details of the privacy guarantees.
have found a broken link
(ie links which produce a file not found
) can usually be fixed and should be reported to PacLII Report an Error
page, with details of the URL of the page where the link is located and what you
expected to find.
Note that we cannot
fix broken links which are not located on our web site. If the broken link is on
another web site, please contact that website's webmaster and not PacLII.
I am having a technical
Please report any technical problems on the PacLII Report an Error
page. We endeavor to fix these errors within 24 hours of the problem being
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