Country Profile: Togo

This Country Profile provides a basic overview of the legal history and institutional structures of the Republic of Togo/Togolese Republic (Republique Togolaise), based on research produced by GlobaLex at NYU Law School and the Library of Congress. Under Togo's Constitution, Islamic law (sharīʿa or fiqh) has some legal status

Country Background

Togo is a country located in Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin. It is bounded by Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Benin. The capital of Togo is Lome. The official language is French. However, Ewe and Mina are the most common languages in the south of Togo, while Kabye and Dagomba are most common in the north. The country's population in 2017 was approximately 8 million. About 51% of the population are adherents of traditional religions, 25% are Christian, and 20% are Muslim. The government recognizes three main faiths as state religions: Catholicism, Protestantism, and Islam. Other religions are required to register with the government as associations. Togo is a member state of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation

Constitution & Legal Structure

Togo 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 Constitution was adopted in 1992, and it was amended most recently in 2007. 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 Togo blends African traditional law and the Napoleonic Code in civil and criminal cases. In practice, the judiciary is subject to the influence and control of the executive branch. 

Constitutional Status of Islamic Law

Islamic law has no constitutional status in Togo.

Jurisdiction(s) of Islamic Law

Islamic law has some official jurisdiction of operation in Togo. Under the umbrella of traditional law, sharīʿa is used primarily in matters of personal status for Togolese Muslims. 

Dominant School of Islamic Law

Togo has no official school of Islamic law. The majority of the Muslim population in the country is Sunnī (adhering to the Mālikī school).

Sources of Law for Legal Research

Official Publications

Unofficial Databases

  • FAOLEX: Togo (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) database of national laws and regulations on food, agriculture, and renewable natural resources.
  • NATLEX: Togo (International Labour Organization) database of national laws on labor, social security, and related human rights.
  • RefWorld Legal Information: Togo (UNHCR)
  • WIPO Lex: Togo (World Intellectual Property Organization)
  • Juricaf: Togo selected court decisions in French


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].