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Kiribati has dedicated legislation on terrorism, adopted in 2005. The definition of terrorism has carve-outs for the exercise of certain fundamental rights and for acts that comply with the law of armed conflict. The maximum penalty for terrorist offences is life imprisonment.

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in Domestic Law

A terrorist act is defined in Section 3(1) of the 2005 Measures to Combat Terrorism Act is an act or omission in or outside Kiribati that:

(a) constitutes an offence within the scope of a counter terrorism convention; or

(b) is mentioned in subsection (2).

(2) For paragraph (1)(b), the act or omission -

(a) must (i) involve death or serious bodily injury to a person; or (ii) involve serious damage to property; or (iii) endanger a person's life; or (iv) create a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public; or (v) involve the use of weapons; or (vi) involve introducing into the environment, distributing or exposing the public to any (A) dangerous, hazardous, radioactive or harmful substance; or (B) toxic chemical; or (C) microbial or other biological agent or toxin; or (vii) involve serious disruption to any system or the provision of services directly related to essential infrastructure; and

(b) must be intended or, by its nature and context, reasonably be regarded as being intended (i) to intimidate the public or a section of the public; or (ii) to compel a government or an international organisation to do, or refrain from doing, any act; and

(c) must be made for the purpose of advancing a political, ideological or religious cause.

Section 3(3) of the 2005 Act stipulates that an act or omission mentioned above does not include an act or omission that:

(a) is committed as part of an advocacy, protest, demonstration, dissent or industrial action and is not intended to result in any harm mentioned in subsection (2)(i), (ii), (iii) or (iv); or

(b) occurs in a situation of armed conflict and is, at the time and in the place it occurred, in accordance with rules of international law applicable to the conflict.

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties


Kiribati is a State Party to all of the main United Nations treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Global Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1973 Convention on Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons State Party
1979 Hostage-Taking Convention State Party
1997 Terrorist Bombings Convention State Party
1999 Terrorist Financing Convention State Party
2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention State Party

There is no regional treaty on terrorism in the Pacific Islands Forum to which Kiribati can adhere.

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

The offence of hostage-taking is subject to fifteen years in prison.S. 33, 2005 Measures to Combat Terrorism Act.The offence of terrorist bombing is subject to life imprisonment.S. 39(2), 2005 Measures to Combat Terrorism Act.

Terrorist financing, supplying weapons to a terrorist group, and recruiting members of a terrorist group are all offences that carry the penalty of life imprisonment.Ss. 10, 14, and 15, 2005 Measures to Combat Terrorism Act.

Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies at Domestic Level

The Kiribati Police do not have a dedicated counterterrorism unit.


Kiribati 2005 Measures to Combat Terrorism Act