This Country Profile provides a basic overview of the legal history and institutional structures of the Gabonese Republic/Gabon (Republique Gabonaise), based on research produced by GlobaLex at NYU Law School and the Library of Congress. Under Gabon's Constitution, Islamic law (sharīʿa or fiqh) has no legal status.
Gabon is a Central African country located along the Equator, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. It is bounded by Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, and the Republic of the Congo. The capital of Gabon is Libreville. The official language is French. The country's population in 2017 was approximately 1.8 million. Gabon is a predominantly Christian country, with about 88% of the population Christian. Islam is the largest minority religion in Gabon, and Muslims make up about 6% of the country's population. Gabon is a member state of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
Constitution & Legal Structure
Gabon 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 system of government is based on principles of separation and checks and balances and has three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. The judicial power is exercised by supreme courts, appeals courts, and lower courts. It comprises of a number of autonomous specialized supreme courts: the Judicial Supreme Court, Administrative Supreme Court, Accounting Supreme Court, Constitutional Supreme Court, and Court of State Security. The legal system of Gabon is a mixed legal system based primarily on French civil law. Gabon's legal system has also been influenced by customary law/traditions.
Constitutional Status of Islamic Law
Islamic law has no constitutional status in Gabon.
Jurisdiction(s) of Islamic Law
Islamic law has no official jurisdiction of operation in Gabon.
Dominant School of Islamic Law
Gabon has no official school of Islamic law. The vast majority of the Muslim population in the country is Sunnī.
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].