Tuvalu
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Features of Constitution1

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

Constitution2

Constitution Year 1978
Last Amended As of 1989, last amendment was in 1989
Source World Intellectual Property Organization
Translation Original was written in English
Current as of 1989 (later amendments not included)

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2

Preamble

"AND WHEREAS the people of Tuvalu, acknowledging God as the Almighty and Everlasting Lord and giver of all good things, humbly place themselves under His good providence and seek His blessing upon themselves and their lives;
"AND WHEREAS the people of Tuvalu desire to constitute themselves as an independent State based on Christian principles
, the Rule of Law, and Tuvaluan custom and tradition;
�THESE PRINCIPLES, under the guidance of God, are solemnly adopted and affirmed as the basis of this Constitution, and as the guiding principles to be observed in its interpretation and application at all levels of government and organized life.


11. The fundamental human rights and freedoms

(1) Every person in Tuvalu is entitled, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, color, religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs, or sex, to the following fundamental rights and freedoms: �
�(e) freedom of belief (see section 23); and


18. Slavery and forced labor

(1) �no-one shall�
(e) be held in slavery or servitude; or
(f) be required to perform forced labor.
(2) For the purposes of this section�
�(b) forced labor does not include�
�(iv) in the case of a person who proves that he has a conscientious objection to compulsory service as a member of a naval, military or air force � labor which he is required by law to perform in place of such service;


23. Freedom of belief

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Part, and in particular to�
(a) the succeeding provisions of this section; and
(b) section 29 (protection of Tuvaluan values, etc.); and
(c) section 31 (disciplined forces of Tuvalu); and
(d) section 32 (foreign disciplined forces); and
(e) section 33 (hostile disciplined forces); and
(f) section 36 (restrictions on certain rights and freedoms during public emergencies),
except with his consent no-one shall be hindered in the exercise of his freedom of belief.
(2) For the purposes of this section, freedom of belief includes �
(a) freedom of thought, religion and belief; and
(b) freedom to change religion or belief; and
(c) freedom, either alone or with others, to show and to spread, both in public and in private, a religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
(3) A religious community is entitled, at its own expense �
(a) to establish and maintain places of education; and
(b) subject to the maintenance of any minimum prescribed educational standards, to manage any place of education that it wholly maintains; and
(c) subject to subsection (4), to provide religious instruction for members of the community in the course of any education that it provides.
(4) Except with his consent, no-one attending a place of education shall be required �
(a) to receive religious instruction; or
(b) to take part in or attend a religious ceremony or observance, if the instruction, ceremony or observance relates to a religion or belief other than his own.
(5) No-one shall be compelled �
(a) to take an oath or make an affirmation that is contrary to his religion or belief; or
(b) to take an oath or make an affirmation in any manner that is contrary to his religion or belief. (a) in the interests of �
(i) defense; or
(ii) public safety; or
(iii) public order; or
(iv) public morality; or
(v) public health; or
(b) for the purpose of protecting the rights or freedoms of other persons, including the right to observe and practice any religion or belief without the unsolicited intervention of members of any other religion or belief.
(7) Nothing in or done under a law shall be considered to be inconsistent with this section to the extent that the law makes reasonable provision �
(a) requiring a person who proves that he has a conscientious objection to performing some reasonable and normal traditional, communal or civic obligation, or to performing it at a particular time or in a particular way, to perform instead, some reasonably equivalent service of benefit to the community; or
(b) for the exclusion of such a person and his household from any benefit arising out of the performance of those obligations by others until the equivalent service has been performed.
(8) The protection given by this section to freedom of religion or belief applies equally to freedom not to have or hold a particular religion or belief, or any religion or belief.
(9) A reference in this section to a religion includes a reference to a religious denomination and to the beliefs of a religion or religious denomination.


27. Freedom from discrimination

(1) In this section, discrimination refers to the treatment of different people in different ways wholly or mainly because of their different �
�(e) religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs,
in such a way that one such person is for some such reason given more favorable treatment or less favorable treatment than another such person.
(2) Subject to the provisions of this Part, and in particular to �
(a) the succeeding provisions of this section; and
(b) section 31 (disciplined forces of Tuvalu); and
(c) section 32 (foreign disciplined forces); and
(d) section 33 (hostile disciplined forces); and
(e) section 36 (restrictions on certain rights and freedoms during public emergencies),
no-one shall be treated in a discriminatory manner.
...(6) Nothing in or done under a law shall be considered to be inconsistent with subsection (2) to the extent that the law provides that any person may be subjected to any restriction on the rights and freedoms guaranteed by �
�(b) section 23 (freedom of belief); and


29. Protection of Tuvaluan values, etc.

(1) The Preamble acknowledges that Tuvalu is an Independent State based on Christian principles, the Rule of Law, Tuvaluan values, culture and tradition, and respect for human dignity.
(2) This includes recognition of �
(a) the right to worship, or not to worship, in whatever way the conscience of the individual tells him; and
(b) the right to hold, to receive and to communicate opinions, ideas and information.
(3) Within Tuvalu, the freedoms of the individual can only be exercised having regard to the rights or feelings of other people, and to the effect on society.
(4) It may therefore be necessary in certain circumstances to regulate or place some restrictions on the exercise of those rights, if their exercise �
(a) may be divisive, unsettling or offensive to the people; or
(b) may directly threaten Tuvaluan values or culture.
(5) Subject to section 15 (definition of "reasonably justifiable in a democratic society") nothing contained in a law or done under a law shall be considered to be inconsistent with section 23 (freedom of belief) or 24 (freedom of expression) to the extent that the law makes provision regulating or placing restrictions on any exercise of the right �
(a) to spread beliefs; or
(b) to communicate opinions, ideas and information;
if the exercise of that right may otherwise conflict with subsection (4).


36. Restrictions on certain rights and freedoms during public emergencies

Nothing in or done under a law shall be considered to be inconsistent with �
�(d) section 23 (freedom of belief); or...
to the extent that the law �
(i) makes any provision, in relation to a period of public emergency; or
(j) authorizes the doing, during any such period, of any thing, that is reasonably justifiable for the purpose of dealing with any situation that arises or exists during that period.


48. The Sovereign of Tuvalu

(1) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of Tuvalu and of Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth, having at the request of the people of Tuvalu graciously consented, is the Sovereign of Tuvalu and, in accordance with this Constitution, the Head of State.
(2) The Royal Style and Titles are as determined by Act of Parliament.


Schedule 4: Oaths and Affirmations

1. Oath, etc., of Allegiance

I, ..................................................., do swear (or solemnly affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Sovereign of Tuvalu.
(So help me God)


2. Oath, etc., of Office of Governor-General

I, .................................................., do swear (or solemnly affirm) that I will well and truly serve the Sovereign of Tuvalu in the office of Governor-General of Tuvalu (or in the performance of the functions of the Governor-General of Tuvalu under Section 52 of the Constitution).
(So help me God)

3. Oath, etc., of Office of Member of Cabinet

I, .................................................., being a member of the Cabinet for Tuvalu. do swear (or solemnly affirm) that �
I will to the best of my judgment, at all times when required to do so, freely give my counsel and advice for the good management of the affairs of Tuvalu.
I will not on any account, at any time whatsoever, disclose the counsel, advice, opinion or vote of any member of the Cabinet.
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 Tuvalu, or as otherwise required or permitted by law, 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.
In all things I will be a true and faithful member of the Cabinet.
(So help me God)


Schedule 5: Transitional Provisions

�MINISTERIAL RESPONSIBILITIES
�PRIME MINISTER
�Religious Affairs

Sources

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 arda@pop.psu.edu if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.