The national judiciary consists of a Supreme Court, headed by a chief justice, and such subordinate courts as are established by statute. Justices are appointed by the president, with the advice and consent of Congress, and serve for life. The Supreme Court has both trial and appellate divisions. It may review cases heard in state or local courts if they require interpretation of the constitution, national law, or treaties, and it may hear appeals from the highest state court where permitted by a state's constitution.
State and municipal court systems have been established in each of the states. State courts have jurisdiction over all matters not within the exclusive jurisdiction of the national courts. Municipal courts have jurisdiction over civil and criminal matters arising within their municipalities.
The Micronesian constitution and judicial system are modeled after those of the United States. The civil and criminal laws also parallel those of the United States.
The constitution provides for an independent judiciary and the government respects this provision in practice.