Information on Tribal Court Codes

Tribal Court Codes are important to the function of the Tribal Court.  The codes can provide details for tribal government structures and procedures, outline the laws that the tribal government will enforce, regulate activities in the village, provide for a smooth flow of government and continuity between administrations, and will promote respect from other governments and institutions.  Perhaps most importantly, tribal court codes can protect the Native cultural activities and traditions specific to the Tribe.  Though developing a written code may seem like a daunting task, there are helpful resources available.

PowerPoint presentation on Tribal Constitutions & Codes presented by UAF Bristol Bay Campus, BBNA, and Alaska Legal Services Corporation. 
Drafting Codes

When your Tribe decides to draft tribal court codes, it may be helpful to use these discussion items when getting started:  

Tribal Codes can cover a diverse range of subject areas.  For example, a Tribe can develop codes regarding tribal government structures and procedures, law and order, domestic relations, health and safety, land management, natural and cultural resources, and tribal business operations.  The Tribe would then further develop law in each of those areas.  

As an example, a Tribe that developed a Law & Order Code may further want to develop specific codes regarding underage drinking, trespass, vandalism, theft, minor assaults, truancy, juvenile curfew, disorderly conduct, alcohol regulation, etc. 

Other Resources

Tanana Chiefs Conference Tribal Court Materials

Tribal Wellness Court Information