The Northern Marianas Judiciary Historical Society was founded in August of 2004 as a Non-Profit Corporation intent on increasing public knowledge of the judiciary. This goal would be achieved through acquisition and dissemination of knowledge concerning the history of the Commonwealth judiciary and sponsorship of educational events and activities in the community. The Pre-Law Program, the biennial Law and the Freshmen Seminars, and the Judges in the Classroom outreach efforts have provided for regular knowledge and experience interchanges. For the younger members of our society the Mock Trial and the Attorney General’s Cup competitions have been annual focuses of the Society’s attention and resources. Additionally, the Society has acquired and preserved documents, objects of personal property, memorabilia and pictures associated with the persons and events of the Judiciary. Displays are maintained for visitors’ viewing within the courts of the Commonwealth.
In mid 2022 the Summer Pre-Law Program will again be held. First conducted in 1991, the three week instructional program offers educational support to those thinking about a career in the law. Among other activities, two professors from the mainland come to Saipan to teach introductory law classes.
Thirty-five of the Program’s graduates have earned law degrees, and many have returned to the Commonwealth to practice. The Northern Mariana Islands Historical Society is primary sponsor of the event.
The Board of Trustees is comprised of the Chief Justice as the Honorary Chairman, the two Associate Justices, the Presiding Judge and five members of the community at large.
In 2011 the Historic Society, with partial funding from the Northern Mariana Island Council for the Humanities, published the collaborative work of many people on the evolution of the justice system in the Northern Mariana Islands, entitled: The Northern Mariana Islands Judiciary, a Historical Perspective.
The book reveals how the current independent and co-equal branches of government emerged over five centuries of changing legal structures, first installed by Spain, Germany, and Japan and after the World War II by the United States Naval Military Government and then the Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands. This book chronicles these diverse legal systems and also examines the current Commonwealth judiciary. This unique focus affords readers a rarely-seen perspective of the court system in the Marianas, and an understanding of the efforts taken to ensure that the Commonwealth is a society governed by the rule of law.
The book, donated to libraries throughout the Western Pacific, can be accessed on line by clicking on the links below:
(Please Note: Depending on the speed of your internet connection, documents may take a minute or two to load.)