Country Profile: Colombia

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

Country Background

Colombia is located in Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Panama and Venezuela. The capital of Colombia is Bogota. The official language is Spanish. The country’s population in 2016 was approximately 47 million. Colombia is a predominantly Christian country, with about 90% of the population Roman Catholic.

Constitution & Legal Structure

Colombia is referred to as a presidential republic. It is a civil law system based on West European legal systems. There are three branches of government: executive, legislative, and judicial. The legal system is civil law influenced by the Spanish and French civil codes.

Constitutional Status of Islamic Law

Islamic law has no constitutional status in Colombia.

Jurisdiction(s) of Islamic Law

Islamic law has no official jurisdiction of operation in Colombia.

Dominant School of Islamic Law

Colombia 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 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].