This Country Profile provides a basic overview of the legal history and institutional structures of the Republic of Tunisia (Al Jumhuriyah at Tunisiyah), based on research produced by GlobaLex at NYU Law School and the Library of Congress. Under Tunisia's Constitution, Islamic law (sharīʿa or fiqh) has no legal status.
Tunisia is a country located in Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea. It is bounded by Algeria and Libya. The capital of Tunisia is Tunis. The official language is Arabic, but French is used as the language of commerce. The country's population in 2017 was approximately 11.4 million. The official religion of Tunisia is Islam. Tunisia is a predominantly Muslim country, with about 99% of the population Muslim. Tunisia is a member state of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and Arab League.
Constitution & Legal Structure
Tunisia is referred to as a parliamentary republic, in which sovereignty belongs to the people and the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The current Constitution of Tunisia was adopted in 2014. 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 Tunisia is a mixed legal system of civil law—based on the French civil code—and Islamic law.
Constitutional Status of Islamic Law
Islamic law has no constitutional status in Tunisia.
Jurisdiction(s) of Islamic Law
Islamic law has no official jurisdiction of operation in Tunisia.
Dominant School of Islamic Law
Tunisia has no official school of Islamic law. The vast majority of the Muslim population in the country is Sunnī (adhering to the Mālikī school).
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].