This Country Profile provides a basic overview of the legal history and institutional structures of the Republic of Fiji (Republic of Fiji/Matanitu ko Viti), based on research produced by the Library of Congress. Under Fiji's Constitution, Islamic law (sharīʿa or fiqh) has no legal status.
Fiji is an island group located in Oceania. It is approximately two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand. The two largest islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, account for approximately 75% of the country's total land area. The capital of Fiji is Suva, which is located on Viti Levu Island. The official languages are English and Fijian. The country's population in 2017 was approximately 920,938 people. Fiji is a predominantly Christian country, with about 65% of the population Christian and 28% Hindu. Islam is the second largest minority religion in Fiji, and Muslims make up about 6% of the country's population. The Muslim community in Fiji is largely of Indian origin, as many Indians were brought to the Island by the British in the 19th century as indentured servants.
Constitution & Legal Structure
Fiji 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 Fiji was adopted in 2013 after the lifting of the Public Emergency Regulations, signifying the end of the military dictatorship in Fiji. 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 Fiji is a common law system based on English common law and influenced at the local level by customary laws/traditions.
Constitutional Status of Islamic Law
Islamic law has no constitutional status in Fiji.
Jurisdiction(s) of Islamic Law
Islamic law has no official jurisdiction of operation in Fiji.
Dominant School of Islamic Law
Fiji has no official school of Islamic law. The majority of the Muslim population in the country is Sunnī (adhering to the Ḥanafī 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. 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].