Source: (1999) Paper presented at the History of Crime, Policing and Punishment Conference. Canberra, Australia, 9-10 December 1999. Canberra, Australia: Australian Institute of Criminology.In this paper Newton examines the means whereby principles of custom and customary law have been incorporated into the criminal process, particularly at the sentencing stage, in countries in the South Pacific region. Newton looks at constitutional recognition of custom and customary law, legislative provisions relating to sentencing and customary principles, the role of lower subordinate courts in taking custom and customary law into account, and sentencing decisions of superior courts with respect to the same. The final section deals with some fundamental issues and questions that arise in relation to the place of customary law in the socio-legal environment of the South Pacific region.