Country Profile: Suriname

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

Country Background

Suriname is a country located in northern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. It is bounded by Guyana, French Guiana, and Brazil. The capital of Suriname is Paramaribo. The official language is Dutch, though English and Sranang Tongo are widely spoken as well. The country's population in 2017 was approximately 591,919 people. Suriname is a multi-religious country, with about 50% of the population Christian, 22% Hindu, and 14% Muslim (the highest percentage of Muslims in any South American country). Suriname is a member state of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Constitution & Legal Structure

Suriname declared its independence from the Netherlands in 1975, and is now 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 was adopted in 1987, and was most recently amended in 1992. 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 Suriname is a civil law system influenced by Dutch civil law.

Constitutional Status of Islamic Law

Islamic law has no constitutional status in Suriname 

Jurisdiction(s) of Islamic Law

Islamic law has no official jurisdiction of operation in Suriname.  

Dominant School of Islamic Law

Suriname has no official school of Islamic law.

Sources of Law for Legal Research

Official Publications

Unofficial Databases


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 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].