Country Profile: El Salvador

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

Country Background

El Salvador is located in Central America bordering the North Pacific Ocean between Guatemala and Honduras. The capital of El Salvador is San Salvador. The official language is Spanish. The country’s population in 2016 was approximately 7 million. El Salvador is a predominantly Christian country, with about 57% of the population Roman Catholic.

Constitution & Legal Structure

El Salvador is referred to as a presidential republic, in which sovereignty belongs to the people and the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The current Constitution of El Salvador was adopted in 1983. 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 El Salvador.

Jurisdiction(s) of Islamic Law

Islamic law has no official jurisdiction of operation in El Salvador.

Dominant School of Islamic Law

El Salvador has no official school of Islamic law. 

Sources of Law for Legal Research

Official Publications

 Unofficial Databases


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 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].