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 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".
|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|
|1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court||State Party|
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.
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 254 of the 2011 Criminal Code of Nauru Force makes it lawful
for a person who is engaged in the lawful execution of any sentence, process, or warrant, or in making any arrest, and for any person lawfully assisting him, to use such force as may be reasonably necessary to overcome any force used in resisting such execution or arrest.
Section 42A(1) of the 2016 Crimes Act makes it lawful for a person who witnesses an unlawful assembly:
(a) to interfere to prevent the continuance or renewal of it, using the force that is reasonably necessary for that purpose and proportionate to the danger from the assembly; and
(b) to detain any person who is committing or about to join in or renew the unlawful assembly for the period that is reasonably necessary to give the person into the custody of a police officer.
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.