48 U.S. Code § 1561 - Rights and prohibitions

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No law shall be enacted in the Virgin Islands which shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law or deny to any person therein equal protection of the laws.
In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to be represented by counsel for his defense, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, to have a copy thereof, to have a speedy, and public trial, to be confronted with the witnesses against him, and to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor.
No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law, and no person for the same offense shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment, nor shall be compelled in any criminal cause to give evidence against himself; nor shall any person sit as judge or magistrate in any case in which he has been engaged as attorney or prosecutor.
All persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties in the case of criminal offenses, except for first-degree murder or any capital offense when the proof is evident or the presumption great.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted.
No law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be enacted.
No person shall be imprisoned or shall suffer forced labor for debt.
All persons shall have the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus and the same shall not be suspended except as herein expressly provided.
No ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted.
Private property shall not be taken for public use except upon payment of just compensation ascertained in the manner provided by law.
The right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated.
No warrant for arrest or search shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.
Slavery shall not exist in the Virgin Islands.
Involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted by a court of law, shall not exist in the Virgin Islands.
No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech or of the press or the right of the people peaceably to assembly  [1] and petition the government for the redress of grievances.
No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
No person who advocates, or who aids or belongs to any party, organization, or association which advocates, the overthrow by force or violence of the government of the Virgin Islands or of the United States shall be qualified to hold any office of trust or profit under the government of the Virgin Islands.
No money shall be paid out of the Virgin Islands treasury except in accordance with an Act of Congress or money bill of the legislature and on warrant drawn by the proper officer.
The contracting of polygamous or plural marriages is prohibited.
The employment of children under the age of sixteen years in any occupation injurious to health or morals or hazardous to life or limb is prohibited.
Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to limit the power of the legislature herein provided to enact laws for the protection of life, the public health, or the public safety.
No political or religious test other than an oath to support the Constitution and the laws of the United States applicable to the Virgin Islands, and the laws of the Virgin Islands, shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the Government of the Virgin Islands.
The following provisions of and amendments to the Constitution of the United States are hereby extended to the Virgin Islands to the extent that they have not been previously extended to that territory and shall have the same force and effect there as in the United States or in any State of the United States: article I, section 9, clauses 2 and 3; article IV, section 1 andsection 2, clause 1; article VI, clause 3; the first to ninth amendments inclusive; the thirteenth amendment; the second sentence of section 1 of the fourteenth amendment; and the fifteenth and nineteenth amendments: Provided, however, That all offenses against the laws of the United States and the laws of the Virgin Islands which are prosecuted in the district court pursuant to sections  [2] 1612(a) and (c) of this title may be had by indictment by grand jury or by information, and that all offenses against the laws of the Virgin Islands which are prosecuted in the district court pursuant to section 1612 (b) of this title or in the courts established by local law shall continue to be prosecuted by information, except such as may be required by local law to be prosecuted by indictment by grand jury.
All laws enacted by Congress with respect to the Virgin Islands and all laws enacted by the territorial legislature of the Virgin Islands which are inconsistent with the provisions of this subsection  [2] are repealed to the extent of such inconsistency.

[1]  So in original. Probably should be “assemble”.

[2]  So in original. Probably should be “section”.


(July 22, 1954, ch. 558, § 3,68 Stat. 497; Pub. L. 85–851, § 1,Aug. 28, 1958, 72 Stat. 1094; Pub. L. 90–496, § 11,Aug. 23, 1968, 82 Stat. 841; Pub. L. 98–213, § 5(d),Dec. 8, 1983, 97 Stat. 1460; Pub. L. 98–454, title VII, § 701,Oct. 5, 1984, 98 Stat. 1737.)
References in Text

This chapter, referred to in text, was in the original “this Act”, meaning act July 22, 1954, ch. 558, 68 Stat. 497, as amended, known as the Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1541 of this title and Tables.

1984—Pub. L. 98–454substituted provisions to the effect that offenses prosecuted under section 1612 (a) and (c) of this title shall be prosecuted by indictment or information while those prosecuted under section 1612 (b) of this title shall be prosecuted by information only, for provisions which provided that all prosecutions would be by information except where provided otherwise by local laws in the proviso in penultimate par.
1983—Pub. L. 98–213inserted “article VI, clause 3;” in penultimate par.
1968—Pub. L. 90–496inserted provisions extending to the Virgin Islands the enumerated provisions of and amendments to the Constitution of the United States, and provisions repealing, to the extent of any inconsistency, all laws enacted by Congress with respect to the Virgin Islands and all laws enacted by the territorial legislature of the Virgin Islands which are inconsistent with the provisions of this section.
1958—Pub. L. 85–851prohibited political or religious test but required loyalty oath as qualification to any office or public trust.
Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–454effective on ninetieth day following Oct. 5, 1984, see section 1005 ofPub. L. 98–454, set out as a note under section 1424 of this title.
Effective Date of 1968 Amendment

Pub. L. 90–496, § 11,Aug. 23, 1968, 82 Stat. 841, provided that the amendment made by that section is effective on the date of enactment of Pub. L. 90–496, which was approved Aug. 23, 1968.

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48 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large

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43 CFR - Public Lands: Interior



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