Kingdom of Hawai`i Constitution of 1840
DECLARATION OF RIGHTS, BOTH OF THE PEOPLE AND CHIEFS.
“God hath made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on the earth,” in unity and blessedness. God has also bestowed certain rights alike on all men and all chiefs, and all people of all lands.
These are some of the rights which He has given alike to every man and every chief of correct deportment; life, limb, liberty, freedom from oppression; the earnings of his hands and the productions of his mind, not however to those who act in violation of laws.
God has also established government, and rule for the purpose of peace; but in making laws for the nation it is by no means proper to enact laws for the protection of the rulers only, without also providing protection for their subjects; neither is it proper to enact laws to enrich the chiefs only, without regard to enriching their subjects also, and hereafter there shall by no means be any laws enacted which are at variance with what is above expressed, neither shall any tax be assessed, nor any service or labor required of any man, in a manner which is at variance with the above sentiments.
PROTECTION FOR THE PEOPLE DECLARED.
The above sentiments are hereby published for the purpose of protecting alike, both the people and the chiefs of all these islands, while they maintain a correct deportment; that no chief may be able to oppress any subject, but that chiefs and people may enjoy the same protection, under one and the same law.
Protection is hereby secured to the persons of all the people, together with their lands, their building lots, and all their property, while they conform to the laws of the kingdom, and nothing whatever shall be taken from any individual except by express provision of the laws. Whatever chief shall act perseveringly in violation of this constitution, shall no longer remain a chief of the Hawaiian Islands, and the same shall be true of the Governors, officers,and all land agents.
But if any one who is deposed shall change his course, and regulate his conduct by law, it shall then be in the power of the chiefs to reinstate him in the place he occupied previous to his being deposed.
It is our design to regulate our kingdom according to the above principles and thus seek the greatest prosperity both of all the chiefs and all of the people of these Hawaiian Islands. But we are aware that we cannot ourselves alone accomplish such an object–God must be our aid, for it is His province alone to give perfect protection and prosperity.–Wherefore we first present our supplication to HIM, that he will guide us to right measures and sustain us in our work.
It is therefore our fixed decree,
I. That no law shall be enacted which is at variance with the word of the Lord Jehovah, or at variance with the general spirit of His word. All laws of the Islands shall be in consistency with the general spirit of God’s law.
II. All men of every religion shall be protected in worshipping Jehovah, and serving Him, according to their own understanding, but no man shall ever be punished for neglect of God unless he injures his neighbor, or bring evil on the kingdom.
III. The law shall give redress to every man who is injured by another without a fault of his own, and shall protect all men while the conduct properly, and shall punish all men who commit crime against the kingdom or against individuals, and no unequal law shall be passed for the benefit of one to the injury of another.
IV. No man shall be punished unless his crime be first made manifest, neither shall he be punished unless he be first brought to trail in the presence of his accusers, and they have met face to face, and the trail having been conducted according to law, and the crime made manifest in their presence, the punishment may be inflicted.
V. No man or chief shall be permitted to sit as judge of act on a jury to try his particular friend (or enemy), or one who is especially connected with him. Wherefore if any man be condemned or acquitted, and it shall afterwards be made to appear, that some one who tried him acted with partiality for the purpose of favoring his friend (or injuring his enemy), or for the purpose of enriching himself, then there shall be a new trial allowed before those who are impartial.”