The 1979 constitution provides for a High Court, with a chief justice and other judges, to act as the supreme court. There is also a Court of Appeal and magistrates' courts. Island courts were established in 1965 to deal with civil and criminal offenses. Native land courts have jurisdiction over property claims. High Court and Court of Appeal judges are appointed by the president.
The judiciary is independent and free from government influence. Civil rights and civil liberties are guaranteed in the constitution and respected in practice. Procedural due process safeguards are based on English common law. The trials are fair and public. The law prohibits the arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home and correspondence. The government authorities respect these provisions.