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Hawai`i Legal Research: Hawai`i Laws

Links to online legal resources for researching Hawaii laws.

Thumbnail History

  • Captain James Cook killed at Kealakekua Bay, Hawaiʻi for attempted kidnapping of the high ranking chief Kalaniʻōpuʻu (Feb. 14, 1779)
  • Unification of the Hawaiian Islands by Kamehameha I (1795-1810)
  • Kingdom Period 1810-1893 (Haw. King.) (1810-Jan. 16, 1893)
  • Death of Kamehameha I (May 8, 1819)
  • Liholiho becomes Kamehameha II (1819 and reigns until July 14,1824)
    • End of Kapu System (Nov. 1819)
    • Missionaries from New England arrive (1820)
  • Kauikeaouli becomes Kamehameha III (June 6, 1825 – Dec. 15, 1854)
  • Alexander ʻIolani Liholiho becomes Kamehameha IV (Jan. 11, 1855 - Nov. 30, 1863)
  • Lot Kapuāiwa becomes Kamehameha V (Nov. 30, 1863 - Dec. 11, 1872) End of Kamehameha Era
  • William Charles Lunalilo is elected King (Jan. 8, 1873 - Feb. 3, 1874)
  • David Kalākaua is elected King (Feb. 12, 1874 - Jan. 20, 1891)
  • Liliʻuokalani becomes Queen (Jan. 29, 1891 - Jan. 17, 1893) She is the last monarch of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
  • Provisional Government 1893-1894 (Haw. Prov. Gov.) (Jan. 17, 1893-July 3, 1894)
  • Republic of Hawaii 1894-1898 (Haw. Rep.) (July 4, 1894-July 6, 1898)
  • Territory of Hawaii 1898-1959 (Haw. Terr.) (July 7, 1898-Aug. 20, 1959)
  • State 1959-date (Haw.) (Aug. 21, 1959-date)

This thumbnail history is important to legal research in Hawaiʻi.  It provides guidance as to where to look for laws during different historical periods.  For example, when Hawaiʻi was a Territory of the United States, U.S. federal law is where you would look.  Look to State of Hawaii laws after Aug. 21, 1959.

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Current Hawai`i Laws Online