Country Profile: Chad

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

Country Background

Chad is a landlocked country located in Central Africa. It is bounded by Libya, Cameroon, Sudan, Nigeria, Niger, and the Central African Republic (CAR). The capital of Chad is N'Djamena. The official languages are French and Arabic. The country's population in 2017 was approximately 12.1 million. Chad is a predominantly Muslim country, with about 52% of the population Muslim and 44% Christian. Chad is a member state of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation

Constitution & Legal Structure

Chad 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 Chad was adopted in 1996. The system of government is based on principles of separation and checks and balances and has three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. An amendment in 2005 abolished presidential term limits. The legal system of Chad is a mixed legal system of civil and customary law.  

Constitutional Status of Islamic Law

Islamic law has no constitutional status in Chad. 

Jurisdiction(s) of Islamic Law

Islamic law has no official jurisdiction of operation in Chad. 

Dominant School of Islamic Law

Chad has no official school of Islamic law. The vast majority of Muslims in Chad are Sunnī (adhering to the Mālikī school).

Sources of Law for Legal Research

Official Publications

Unofficial Databases

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