Country Profile: Chile

This Country Profile provides a basic overview of the legal history and institutional structures of the Republic of Chile (República de Chile), based on research produced by GlobaLex at NYU Law School and the Library of Congress. Under Chile’s Constitution, Islamic law (sharīʿa or fiqh) has no legal status.

Country Background

Chile is located in Southern South America bordering the South Pacific Ocean. It is bounded by Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru. The capital of Chile is Santiago. The official language is Spanish. The country’s population in 2016 was approximately 17.7 million. Chile is a predominantly Christian country with about 67% of the population Roman Catholic.

Constitution & Legal Structure

Chile is referred to as a presidential republic, in which the sovereignty belongs to the people and the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The system of government is based on principles of separation and checks and balances and has three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial.

Constitutional Status of Islamic Law

Islamic law has no constitutional status in Chile.

Jurisdiction(s) of Islamic Law

Islamic law has no official jurisdiction of operation in Chile.

Dominant School of Islamic Law

Chile has no official school of Islamic law. 

Sources of Law for Legal Research

Official Publications

 Unofficial Databases

  • FAOLEX: Chile (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) database of national laws and regulations on food, agriculture, and renewable natural resources
  • GLIN Archive: Chile [1950-2011] (Law Library of Congress) includes summaries; full text is accessible from a Reading Room
  • NATLEX: Chile (International Labour Organization) database of national laws on labor, social security, and related human rights
  • RefWorld Legal Information: Chile (UNHCR)
  • WIPO Lex: Chile (World Intellectual Property Organization)


For an extended list of legal resources for this country, see the Library of Congress’s Research Guide, and for a narrative review, see the GlobaLex Foreign Law Research Guide (most updated version, where available). The Constitution is available in the LOC Guide in its original language and at Constitute in English and Arabic translation. For full versions of past constitutions, amendments, and related legislation, see HeinOnline World Constitutions Illustrated or Oxford Constitutions of the World [subscription required for each].