Solomon Islands
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Features of Constitution1

Is there a constitution? Yes
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion? Yes


Constitution Year 1978
Last Amended not amended
Source World Intellectual Property Organization
Translation Original was written in English
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2


We the people of Solomon Islands, proud of the wisdom and the worthy customs of our ancestors, mindful of our common and diverse heritage and conscious of our common destiny, do now, under the guiding hand of God, establish the sovereign democratic State of Solomon Islands;

Article 3: Fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual

Whereas every person in Solomon Islands is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, color, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely:-
(a) life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
(b) freedom of conscience of expression and of assembly and association; and
(c) protection for the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without compensation,
the provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection of those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by an individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest.

Article 6: Protection from slavery and forced labor

(1) No person shall be held in slavery or servitude.
(2) No person shall be required to perform forced labor.
(3) For the purposes of this section, the expression "forced labor" does not include -
(a) any labor required in consequence of the sentence or order of a court;
(b) any labor required of any person while he is lawfully detained that, though not required in consequence of the sentence or order of a court, is reasonably necessary in the interests of hygiene or for the maintenance of the place at which he is detained;
(c) any labor required of a member of a disciplined force in pursuance of his duties as such or, in the case of a person who has conscientious objections to service as a member of a naval, military or air force, any labor that that person is required by law to perform in place of such service;
(d) any labor required during any period of public emergency or in the event of any other emergency or calamity that threatens the life and well-being of the community, to the extent that the requiring of such labor is reasonably justifiable in the circumstances of any situation arising or existing during that period or as a result of that other emergency or calamity, for the purpose of dealing with that situation; or
(e) any labor reasonably required as part of reasonable and normal communal or other civic obligations.

Article 11: Protection of freedom of conscience

(1) Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of conscience, and for the purposes of this section the said freedom includes freedom of thought and of religion, freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others, and both in public and in private, to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
(2) Every religious community shall be entitled, at its own expense, to establish and maintain places of education and to manage any place of education which it wholly maintains.
(3) No religious community shall be prevented from providing religious instruction for persons of that community in the course of any education provided at any place of education which it wholly maintains or in the course of any education which it otherwise provides.
(4) Except with his own consent (or, if he is a person who has not attained the age of eighteen years, the consent of his guardian) no person attending any place of education shall be requires to receive religious instruction or take part in or attend any religious ceremony or observance if that instruction, ceremony or observance relates to a religion other than his own.
(5) No person shall be compelled to take any oath which is contrary to his religion or belief or to take any oath in a manner which is contrary to his religion or belief.
(6) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision which is reasonably required -
(a) in the interest of defense, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or
(b) for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedoms of other persons, including the right to practice and observe any religion without the unsolicited intervention of members of any other religion, and except so far as that provision or, as the case may be, the thing done under the authority thereof is shown not to be reasonably be justifiable in a democratic society.
(7) Nothing in this section shall affect the power of Parliament to prescribe the curriculum and related matters in all places of education within Solomon Islands.
(8) References in this section to a religion shall be construed as including references to a religious denomination, and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly.

Article 116B: Appointments, etc. of teachers

(1) Power to make appointments to the offices to which this section applies (including power to confirm appointments) and to remove and to exercise control over persons holding or acting in such offices is vested in the Teaching Service Commission.
(2) The Teaching Service Commission may, subject to such conditions as it thinks fit, delegate any of its powers under this section by directions in writing to any member of the Commission or to any public officer or to any provincial government officer.
(3) Before making any appointment to a school set up by a Provincial Assembly or a Church or other body, the Teaching Service Commission shall consult the relevant education authority.
(4) This section applies to teachers in primary schools and secondary schools.


1. Oath of Allegiance

I, ..................., do swear [or solemnly affirm] that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Her Heirs and Successors, according to law. [So help me God.]

2. Oath for the due execution of the office of Governor-General

I, ...................., do swear [or solemnly affirm] that I will well and truly serve Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Her Heirs and Successors, in the office of Governor-General of Solomon Islands. [So help me God.]

3. Oath for the due execution of the office of member of the Cabinet

I, ....................., being a member of the Cabinet, do swear [or solemnly affirm] that I will to the best of my judgment, at all times when so required, freely give my counsel and advice to the Governor-General of Solomon Islands (or any other person for the time being lawfully performing the functions of that office) for the good management of the public affairs of Solomon Islands, and I do further swear [or solemnly affirm] that I will not on any account, at any time whatsoever, disclose the counsel, advice, opinion or vote of any particular member of the Cabinet, and that I will not, except with the authority of the Cabinet and to such extent as may be required for the good management of the affairs of Solomon Islands, directly or indirectly reveal the business or proceedings of the Cabinet or any matter coming to my knowledge in my capacity as a member of the Cabinet and that in all things I will be a true and faithful member of the Cabinet. [So help me God.]


1.  Data under the "Features of Constitution" heading are drawn from coding of the U.S. State Department's 2008 International Religious Freedom Reports conducted by researchers at the Association of Religion Data Archives. The article by Brian Grim and Roger Finke describes the coding of the International Religious Freedom reports. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

2.  The constitutional excerpts shown above are reproduced from the websites given in the "Source" field; the links to these websites were active as of May 2011. Where the constitutional text shown on these websites was provided in a language other than English, this text was translated to English by ARDA staff with assistance from web-based translation utilities such as Google Translate and Yahoo! Babel Fish. Constitutional text was converted to American English where applicable. Constitutional clauses were judged to contain religious content based largely on the standards used in the construction of the Religion and State Constitutions Dataset collected by Jonathan Fox. Emphases were added to the text by ARDA staff to highlight religious content in articles that also contain content that does not pertain to matters of religion. The data on this page were correct to the best of the knowledge of the ARDA as of the date listed in the "Current as of" field shown above. Please contact us at if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.

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