Country Profile: Dominican Republic

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

Country Background

The Dominican Republic is located in the Caribbean between Cuba and Puerto Rico, sharing the Island of Hispaniola with Haiti. The capital of the Dominican Republic is Santo Domingo. The official language of the Dominican Republic is Spanish. The country’s population in 2016 was approximately 11 million. The Dominican Republic is a predominantly Christian country, with about 95% of the population Roman Catholic.

Constitution & Legal Structure

The Dominican Republic is referred to as a presidential republic. The system of government is based on principles of separation and checks and balances and has three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. The first constitution was promulgated in 1844 immediately after the nation achieved independence from Haiti. By 1966, the Dominican Republic had adopted 35 constitutional amendments. In 2010, the Dominican Republic promulgated a new Constitution (Official Gazette No. 10561).

Constitutional Status of Islamic Law

Islamic law has no constitutional status in the Dominican Republic.

Jurisdiction(s) of Islamic Law

Islamic law has no official jurisdiction of operation in the Dominican Republic.

Dominant School of Islamic Law

The Dominican Republic 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].