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Marshall Islands

The Marshall Islands has dedicated counterterrorism legislation from 2002. There is no carve-out for the exercise of fundamental human rights. The counterterrorism law was amended in 2020 to strengthen the prevention of terrorist financing.

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in Domestic Law

A "terrorist act" is defined in Section 105 of the 2002 Counterterrorism Act as follows:

any act that is intended, or by its nature or context can be reasonably regarded as intended, to intimidate the public or any portion of the public, or to compel a government or an international or regional organization to do or refrain from doing any act, and:

(a) involves the seizing or detaining, and threatening to kill, injure, harm, or continue to detain, another person;

(b) endangers the life of any person;

(c) creates a risk to the health or the safety of the public, or to any portion of the public;

(d) endangers the national security or national defense of any country;

(e) involves substantial damage to property;

(f) involves the hijacking, seizure or sabotage of any conveyance (including an aircraft, vessel, ship, or vehicle), or of any fixed platform attached to the continental shelf;

(g) involves any act that is designed to disrupt or destroy an electronic system, including, without limitation: (i) an information system; (ii) a telecommunications system; (iii) a financial system; (iv) a system used for the delivery of essential government services; (v) a system used for, or by, an essential public utility; (vi) a system used for, or by, a transport system;

(h) involves any act that is designed to disrupt the provision of essential emergency services such as the police, civil defense and medical services.S. 105(38), 2002 Counterterrorism Act.

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties

The Marshall Islands is a State Party to most 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 not party


There is no regional treaty on terrorism to which the Marshall Islands can adhere.

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

Any person convicted of a terrorist offence against the 2002 Act is generally punishable by at least 30 years in prison and a term of not more than life imprisonment.S. 107, 2002 Counterterrorism Act.  

Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies at Domestic Level

The Marshall Islands Police Department is the country's main law enforcement agency. The United States is responsible for the nation's defence.


Marshall Islands 2002 Counterterrorism Act

Marshall Islands 2020 Counterterrorism (Amendment) Act