Punawaiola Ka Huli Ao Digital Archives| Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law| William S. Richardson School of Law

Constitution and Statutes

Session Laws


Please Note

Our documents, where possible, are subjected to optical character recognition (OCR). This includes all of the session laws and statutes in our collection. The OCR output contains significant character recognition and formatting errors. Thus far our proofing has concentrated upon the records of the legislature and the Privy Council. Session laws and the statutes have yet to be corrected and reloaded. This data in our digital archives is raw OCR. We will endeavor to put up proofed copy as soon as possible.

Session Laws (1843 – current)

“Session laws” is a uniform title applied to the enactments of the law-making entities of the Kingdom, Provisional Government, Republic, Territorial, and state and county governments. Typically, individual enactments in session laws are titled “law, ““statute” or “act,” and are compiled and issued in chronological order, with or without an index.

Variations in title and name of the issuing body characterize session laws in the pre-statehood period. For example, the first volume of session laws included in this database is entitled The Laws and Resolutions Passed at the Annual Council of the Hawaiian Nobles and Representatives Convened according to the Constitution, at Lahaina, April, 1843; the last volume is entitled Laws of the Territory of Hawaii Passed by the Legislature at Its Special Session, 1909.

Issuing bodies for these are variously named:

Legislative Council (1841-1863) from the House of Nobles and the House of Representatives

Legislative Assembly (1864-1892)

Executive and Advisory Councils, Provisional Government (1893-1894)

Executive and Advisory Councils, Republic (1895)

Legislative Assembly, Special Session, Republic (1895)

Legislature, Republic (1896-1900)

Legislature, Territory (1901-1959)

Legislature, State (1959-current)

Links to current and archived session laws (back to 1999) are available at: Hawaii State Legislature Archives

Statute (1843 - )


A “statute” is a formal written enactment of a legislative authority that governs a particular jurisdiction (e.g., Kingdom, Provisional Government, Republic, Territory, and state and county). Common synonyms for “statute” include “law,” “act,” or “enactment.” Chronological compilations of statutes are commonly called “session laws;” topical compilations are commonly titled “code,” “compiled laws,” or “revised statutes.” “Codes” compile similar statutes by topic (e.g., penal code, which pulls together criminal statutes), and generally have a detailed index to facilitate access. These compilations typically incorporate legislative updates as well.



A “code” is a compilation of formal enactments of a legislative authority (e.g., acts of the Kingdom of Hawai`i, ordinances of the County of Maui) arranged by subject. These compilations may have variant titles, such as “compiled laws,” “revised statutes,” and the like. Typical features include a detailed topical index, and legislative updating.