Cook Islands

ISO3
COK
Date of publication
January 1970

FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) and other development partners are working together with countries to prepare Voluntary Guidelines that will provide practical guidance to states, civil society, the private sector, donors and development specialists on the responsible governance of tenure. By setting out principles and internationally accepted standards for responsible practices, the Voluntary Guidelines will provide a framework and point of reference that stakeholders can use when developing their own policies and actions. Regional Consultations on the proposed Voluntary Guidelines are an important part of the process. They bring together regional representative, multidisciplinary groups to assess regional priorities and issues that should be considered when the Voluntary Guidelines are an important part of the process. They bring together regionally representative, multidisciplinary groups to assess regional priorities and issues that should be considered when the Voluntary Guidelines are drafted. The regional consultation for the Pacific Islands was hosted by the Government of Samoa, and was opened by Mr Taulealeausumai Laavasa Malua, Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Samoa. The consultation was co-organized by the University of South Pacific, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, and the FAO Subregional Office for the Pacific Islands. It was attended by 43 people, from 12 Pacific countries, who combined their broad range of expertise to identify the issues contained in the assessment for the Pacific Region. Participants were drawn from the public sector, civil society, private sector and academia, and came from Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. In addition, people from the Federated States of Micronesia, Niue and Papua New Guinea were invited but were unable to attend.

Date of publication
October 2005
Geographical focus

This Act amends the Leases Restrictions Act 1976 in section 2 by the defining "Minister" as the Minister of Justice. It also redefines the functions of Leases Approval Tribunal, repeals section 6 inserts a new section by stipulating that nothing in the Unit Titles Act 2005 shall affect the principal Act.

Date of publication
January 1979

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) - currently ratified by 187 countries - is the only human rights treaty that deals specifically with rural women (Art. 14). Adopted in 1979 by the United Nations Generally Assembly, entered into force in 1981. The Convention defines discrimination against women as follows:

For the purposes of the present Convention, the term "discrimination against women" shall mean any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field (Art. 1).

The Convention covers civil and political rights, as well as economic, social and cultural rights. Notably, it contains obligations on State Parties also in respect of discrimination by private parties, or in private contexts. Furthermore, CEDAW considers both de jure (in law) and de facto (in practice) discrimination. States that ratified - or otherwise acceded to - the Convention are legally bound to put its provisions in practice, even if they made reservations, which shouldn't be in any way "incompatible with the object and purpose" of the Convention (Art. 28).

Because it sets an international standard of women's human rights in areas such as education, employment, health care, marriage and family relations, politics, finance, and law, CEDAW provides a platform for lobbying governments to promote gender equality and hold them accountable at international level. CEDAW has been an important advocacy tool of the women's movement over the last 30 years.

States Parties of the Convention should submit periodic reports to the CEDAW Committee on the legislative, judicial, administrative or other measures which they have adopted to give effect to the provisions of the Convention (Art. 18). Civil society can present "shadow reports".  

Art. 14, 15 and 16 of CEDAW specifically deal with rural women, ownership of land, inheritance rights and right to access property. You can read the Convention on the OHCHR website, where you can also find information on past and current Sessions of the CEDAW Committe, including official States' Reports and civil society "shadow reports", the Committee's Concluding Observations, and General Recommendations.

Finally, you can find information for NGO participation.

Date of publication
January 2007
Geographical focus

This Act amends the Unit Titles Act by deleting the Schedule thereto and substituting the Schedule attached to this Act. The Schedule specifies Islands to which this Act applies.

Date of publication
October 2005
Geographical focus

This Act concerns the subdivision of land into units, the establishment of rights relating to such units and provides rules relative to unit titles.

Date of publication
February 2006
Geographical focus

These Regulations amend the Leases Restrictions Regulations 1977 by inserting new provisions concerning criteria to be applied by the Tribunal in a decision on any application for approval of a lease, sublease, assignment of lease or assignment of sublease to a non-resident. The criteria of assignment of lease concern citizenship of the Cook Islands, procedures regarding information to natives and consent of assembled owners resident on the island. In addition, the Act sets out the procedure where any of the owners in the land concerned opposes the transaction and sets out other conditions for approval of transactions regarding the (assignment of) lease or sublease by the Tribunal.

Geographical focus

This Act regulates the (grant of) administration of real and personal estates of deceased persons. Administration means probate of the will of a deceased person, and includes letters of administration of the estate of a deceased person, granted with or without a will annexed, for general, special, or limited purposes, and in the case of a trustee corporation includes an order to administer and an election to administer.

Geographical focus

This Act regulates the (grant of) administration of real and personal estates of deceased persons. Administration means probate of the will of a deceased person, and includes letters of administration of the estate of a deceased person, granted with or without a will annexed, for general, special, or limited purposes, and in the case of a trustee corporation includes an order to administer and an election to administer.

Date of publication
October 1952
Geographical focus

This Act contains rules relative to a wide range of matters regarding ownership and other rights in relation with (the use of) property and in particular real property.

Geographical focus

This Act makes provision for the conservation of nature and the protection of the environment in the Cook Islands. It shall apply to such parts of the Cook Islands and Cook Islands waters as are specified from time to time by the Queen's Representative by Order in Executive Council. The Act consists of 57 sections divided into 11 Parts.

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