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- Legal System
Nauru’s legal system is based on English Common Law and acts passed by the Nauru Parliament. Full recognition of Nauru customary law is acknowledged in the Custom and Adopted Laws Act of 1971. Magistrates preside over both the District Court which hears civil and criminal cases, acting as the coroner, and the Family Court. The Chief Justice heads the Supreme Court which has original and appellate jurisdiction. The final court of appeal in the Nauru justice system is the Australian High Court. In addition, there is a Public Service Appeal Board and the Police Appeal Board which are presided over by the Chief Justice along with another judge.
Lawyers must be qualified to practice in New Zealand, UK, Ireland or Australia and must hold a law degree from a recognised institution to act as a barrister or solicitor in Nauru. In addition to barristers and solicitors, Nauru’s legal system relies on pleaders to facilitate legal proceedings. Pleaders, similar to paralegals, are not qualified lawyers and do not have to hold a degree in law but they must reside in Nauru and undergo training and examination as mandated by Nauru’s Chief Justice. Private law firms are scarce in Nauru, with no lawyers currently practicing privately; however, many pleaders work independently and offer services to the public. Most barristers and solicitors work in-house for the government; as of 2011 there were seven lawyers working for various governmental ministries and agencies. The Nauru Law Society is the main professional body in Nauru and is part of the South Pacific Lawyers Association.
Not included in the World Economic Forum, The Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013.