« AnteriorContinuar »
I894-] THE CONSTITUTION. 291
which overturned the monarchy. He is respected and honoured by all classes and factions in the community.
"The Electorate consists of all male adult citizens who take an oath of allegiance to the Republic.
"Asiatics are not eligible to citizenship or to vote.
"The President has the power of veto, which may be overridden by a two-thirds vote of each House.
"Character of Laws, —The foundation of the legal system of the country is the Common Law of England.
"The penal law and practice are codified, and there are no penal offences except those enumerated in the code.
"The civil law, practice, and procedure are partially codified, and are in general as much like those of the several American States as the law of one State is like that of another.
"The text-books and law reports of England and the United States are cited as authority in the courts in the same manner that they are in this country.
"The members of the Supreme and Circuit Court bars are nearly all Americans, or were educated in American law schools. The attorneys in the District Courts are mostly native Hawaiians, educated in Honolulu.
"Themain judicial system consists of District and Circuit Courts and a Supreme Court.
"District Courts. — There are about thirty District Courts. They have jurisdiction over civil matters involving not more than $300, and over misdemeanours. They also commit, for trial by jury, persons accused of felony, exercising the functions of an American grand jury. The grand-jury system has not been adopted.
"An appeal lies from the District to the Circuit or Supreme Court.
"Circuit Courts. —There are four Circuit Courts, with appellate jurisdiction over appeals from the District Courts, and original jurisdiction over all civil suits involving more than $300, and over persons committed for trial for felonies; in all equity, admiralty, and probate cases, and over special proceedings, such as habeas corpus, etc. Each Circuit Court is presided over by one judge. All jury trials are held in the Circuit Courts.
"Juries. — The same class of cases are tried by jury as in the United States. Juries consist of twelve men, but nine can render a verdict in both civil and criminal cases. Jury can be waived in both civil and criminal cases, except capital cases.
"The Supreme Court consists of three judges, with exclusive jurisdiction to decide certain special pro
1894] THE COURTS. 293
ceedings, and the validity of elections to the Legislature; concurrent jurisdiction with the Circuit judges concerning habeas corpus and certain other special proceedings; and appellate jurisdiction over exceptions and appeals from District or Circuit Courts. Cases are tried promptly, and the courts are ably and honestly conducted.
"The judges are appointed by the President — District judges for two years, Circuit judges for four years, and Supreme Court judges for life.
"The required qualifications of a voter for Representatives are ability to read and write Hawaiian or English, and the payment of all taxes due; and for Senators, in addition thereto, an income of $600 per annum, or the ownership of real estate worth $1,500, or personal property worth $3,000.
"The Legislature consists of a Senate elected for six years, and a House of Representatives elected for two years, each consisting of fifteen members.
"The Legislative Procedure is practically the same as in the United States. Each measure, in order to become law, has to pass three readings before each House, and be signed by the President.
"The Committee system is the same as in American legislative bodies."
Apart from the uprising of January, 1895, the new Government, whose principles were thus defined, continued to strengthen its position and win the faith and goodwill of the people. The Hon. Albert S. Willis, the American Minister, died suddenly in December of this year, and was succeeded by Mr. Mills, who was made Charg£ d'Affaires. Upon Mr. McKinley's election Mr. Harold W. Sewell, son of the Free Silver candidate for the Vice-Presidency with Mr. Bryan, was appointed Minister. Mr. Sewell, however, was not of Mr. Bryan's political belief, having been a strong supporter of Mr. McKinley.
CHAPTER XXIII. ANCIENT CUSTOMS.
THE ancient Hawaiians were never cannibals. It was customary among many of the Polynesians to eat portions of the bodies of enemies, the heart and the brains, as certain of the American Indians have been known to do, in the belief that they would thereby acquire the courage of an adversary which had commanded their admiration. Unlike the Samoans and Maoris, their handsome faces and figures were not disfigured by tattooing. As is inevitable among people where the authority of the chief or king was absolute, there was great oppression, great cruelty, and indifference to life. If a man of the common people stood upon an eminence where his shadow fell across the chief's path, if he climbed a tree or placed himself in any position more elevated than the chief, he was put to death. At the launching of a new canoe a man was sacrificed; and when a new hut was built, under each of the four corners was placed a portion of a human body.