Constitutional Provisions

The 1968 Constitution of Nauru guarantees the right to life but it is stipulated that the right will not be violated

where it results from the use, to such an extent and in such circumstances as is permitted by law, of such force as is reasonably justifiable in the circumstances of the case-
(a) for the defence of a person from violence;
(b) for the defence of public property;
(c) in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained; or
(d) for the purpose of suppressing a riot, insurrection or mutiny.S. 4(2), 1968 Constitution of Nauru.

It is not permissible under international law to use firearms purely to protect property.

Section 7 of the Constitution provides that: "No person shall be subjected to torture or to treatment or punishment that is inhuman or degrading." The Constitution does not otherwise regulate police use of force.

Section 13(1) provides that: "Persons have the right to assemble and associate peaceably".

Treaty Adherence

Global Treaties

Adherence to Selected Human Rights Treaties
1966 Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Signatory
ICCPR Optional Protocol 1 N/A
1984 Convention against Torture (CAT) State Party
Competence of CAT Committee to receive individual complaints No
CAT Optional Protocol 1 State Party
Adherence to International Criminal Law Treaties
1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court State Party

Regional Treaties

There is not yet a regional human rights treaty to which Pacific nations can adhere despite discussions going back decades as to the possibility of establishing a regional mechanism.

National Legislation

Police Use of Force

Section 270 of the 2016 Crimes Act allows a police officer to arrest a person without warrant if the officer "suspects, on reasonable grounds, that the person has committed, is
committing or is about to commit a criminal offence and also considers that the arrest is reasonably necessary". 

Section 42A(1) of Part II(A) of the 2016 Crimes Act makes it lawful for a police officer who witnesses an unlawful assembly to arrest any person the officer:

(a) finds taking part in the unlawful assembly; or
(b) believes on reasonable grounds to be about to join in or renew the unlawful assembly.

There is not believed to be specific legislation governing police use of firearms.  

Police Oversight

Section 36(1) of the 1972 Police Act makes it a disciplinary offence for a police officer to engage in "unlawful or unnecessary exercise of authority resulting in loss or injury to any other person or to the Republic".



Police use of force was not addressed by the most recent Universal Periodic Review of Nauru under the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2015. Nauru has not yet come before the Committee against Torture.


There is no regional human rights mechanism addressing police use of force in Nauru.


1968 Constitution of Nauru

2016 Crimes Act of Nauru

2011 Criminal Code of Nauru

1972 Police Act of Nauru