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Hawaii Supreme Court

The Hawaii Supreme Court is the Court of last resort in the State of Hawaii.  The Supreme Court is composed of a Chief Justice and four Associate Justices.  The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is the administrative head of the Courts in Hawaii.  The Governor, with the consent of the Senate, appoints the Justices from a list of nominees presented to the Governor by the Judicial Selection Commission.  Each Justice is initially appointed for a ten year term.  After initial appointment, the Judicial Selection Commission determines whether a Justice will be retained in office.

The Hawaii Supreme Court is authorized to consider appeals that are properly brought before the Court upon applications for writs of certiorari to the Intermediate Court of Appeals and applications for transfer from the Intermediate Court of Appeals.

Additionally, the Supreme Court also hears:

  1. reserved questions of law from the Circuit Courts, the Land Court, and the Tax Appeal Court;
  2. certified questions of law from Federal Courts;
  3. applications for writs to Judges and other public officers;
  4. complaints regarding elections;

Each appeal is decided on the basis of the written record. In some cases, the court may hear oral arguments. The Court takes no evidence, except in original proceedings. Each justice, or a substitute from the Intermediate Court of Appeals or the Circuit Court, participates in every substantive matter before the Court.

The Hawaii Supreme Court is empowered to license, regulate and discipline attorneys of the Hawaii Bar.

Under Article VI, Section 5 of the Hawaii Constitution, the Supreme Court has the power to reprimand, discipline, suspend with or without salary, retire or remove from office any Justice or Judge for misconduct or disability.  Additionally, the Supreme Court is also empowered to create a commission on judicial discipline which shall have authority to investigate and conduct hearings concerning allegations of misconduct or disability and to make recommendations to the Supreme Court concerning reprimand, discipline, suspension, retirement or removal of any Justice or Judge.

Pursuant to Article VI, Section 7 of the Hawaii Constitution, the Supreme Court shall have power to promulgate rules and regulations in all civil and criminal cases for all courts relating to process, practice, procedure and appeals, and such rules and regulations have the force and effect of law.

Hawaii Courts Website:

Inside Hawaii Supreme Court