Laws of the Canal Zone. Isthmus of Panama


Under the agreements concluded between the United States and the Republic of Panama in 1903‒4 regarding the construction and operation of an isthmian canal, the United States acquired control of the Panama Canal Zone, a swath of territory across Panama that in most places extended five kilometers on each side of the center line of the canal. The residents of the zone were mainly U.S. citizens and West Indians engaged in the construction and operation of the canal. An Isthmian Canal Commission, composed of U.S. military and civilian officials, was formed to promulgate laws for the zone during the period when the canal was under construction. This volume, published in 1921, is a compilation of the laws enacted by the Isthmian Canal Commission during the entire period of its operation, from August 16, 1904, to March 31, 1914. It reprints the complete contents of an earlier volume containing the texts of the 24 acts enacted by the commission between August 16, 1904, and March 1, 1905, and it includes a new section with the texts of 23 ordinances enacted between April 27, 1907, and September 15, 1913. The acts concern organizational and administrative matters, such as the setting up of a judiciary and the organization of municipal governments, as well as the establishment of a penal code dealing with the full range of crimes against persons, property, and public order. The ordinances generally deal with lesser matters, including, for example, the sale of intoxicating liquors and the licensing and regulation of motor vehicles. Under the terms of two treaties signed by the United States and Panama on September 7, 1977, the Panama Canal Zone was abolished on October 1, 1979, and its territory turned over to Panamanian control.

Date Created

Publication Information

Panama Canal Press, Mount Hope, Panama Canal Zone


Title in Original Language

Laws of the Canal Zone, Isthmus of Panama : enacted by the Isthmian Canal Commission, August 16, 1904, to March 31, 1914, annotated 1921

Type of Item

Physical Description

322 pages ; 24 centimeters

Last updated: July 12, 2017