This Country Profile provides a basic overview of the legal history and institutional structures of the Republic of Haiti (République d'Haiti), based on research produced by GlobaLex at NYU Law School and the Library of Congress. Under Haiti's Constitution, Islamic law (sharīʿa or fiqh) has no legal status.
Haiti is located in the Caribbean, in the western part of the island of Hispaniola sharing a border with the Dominican Republic. The capital of Haiti is Port-au-Prince. The native Taino name means "land of high mountains." The official languages are French and Creole. The country’s population in 2016 was approximately 10.5 million. Haiti is a predominantly Christian country, with about 55% of the population Roman Catholic and 29% Protestant. Voodoo was also recognized as an official religion in 2003.
Constitution & Legal Structure
Haiti is referred to as a semi-presidential republic. Haiti adopted the French civil law system, including the French judicial structure and codification system. There are three branches of government: executive, legislative, and judicial. The Parliament consists of a Senate and a House of elected Deputies. Haiti's judiciary is a four-tiered system with the Supreme Court as its highest court. After 29 years of dictatorship, Haiti reestablished a democratic government by proclaiming a new Constitution in 1987.
Constitutional Status of Islamic Law
Islamic law has no constitutional status in Haiti.
Jurisdiction(s) of Islamic Law
Islamic law has no official jurisdiction of operation in Haiti.
Dominant School of Islamic Law
Haiti has no official school of Islamic law.
Sources of Law for Legal Research
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].