Country Profile: South Sudan

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

Country Background

South Sudan is a landlocked country located in Eastern Africa. It is bounded by Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Central African Republic. The capital of South Sudan is Juba. The official language is English. The country's population in 2017 was approximately 13 million. Although there is conflicting data on the percentage of each religion within the population, South Sudan is a predominantly Christian country, and Islam is a minority religion. 

Constitution & Legal Structure

South Sudan 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 South Sudan was adopted in 2011—the same year the country gained independence from Sudan—and was amended most recently in 2013. The system of government is based on principles of separation and checks and balances and has three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. The South Sudanese legal system is built on a combination of statutory and customary laws.

Constitutional Status of Islamic Law

Islamic law has no constitutional status in South Sudan. 

Jurisdiction(s) of Islamic Law

Islamic law has no official jurisdiction of operation in South Sudan. 

Dominant School of Islamic Law

South Sudan has no official school of Islamic law. 

Sources of Law for Legal Research

Official Publications

  • Executive
  • Judicial
    • an overview of South Sudan's court system is available here in the GlobaLex summary

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].