Country Profile: Zambia

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

Country Background

Zambia is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. It is bounded by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, Angola, and Zimbabwe. The capital of Zambia is Lusaka. The official language is English. While English is the most commonly used second language, the most spoken indigenous language in Zambia is actually Bemba. The country's population in 2017 was approximately 16 million. Zambia is a predominantly Christian country, with about 96% of the population Christian.

Constitution & Legal Structure

Zambia 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 Zambia was adopted in 1991, and was most recently amended in 2009. The system of government is based on principles of separation and checks and balances and has three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. The legal system of Zambia is a mixed legal system based primarily on English common law, and is also influenced by customary laws/traditions.  

Constitutional Status of Islamic Law

Islamic law has no constitutional status in Zambia. 

Jurisdiction(s) of Islamic Law

Islamic law has no official jurisdiction of operation in Zambia. 

Dominant School of Islamic Law

Zambia 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. 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].