Country Profile: Djibouti

This Country Profile provides a basic overview of the legal history and institutional structures of the Republic of Djibouti (Republique de Djibouti/Jumhuriyat Jibuti), based on research produced by GlobaLex at NYU Law School and the Library of Congress. Under Djibouti’s Constitution, Islamic law (sharīʿa or fiqh) has legal status.

Country Background

Djibouti is a country located in Eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. It is bounded by Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia. The capital of Djibouti is Djibouti (city). The official languages are French and Arabic. The country’s population in 2017 was approximately 865,267 people. The state religion of Djibouti is Islam. Djibouti is a predominantly Muslim country, with about 94% of the population Muslim and 6% Christian. Djibouti is a member state of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and Arab League.

Constitution & Legal Structure

Djibouti is referred to as a semi-presidential republic, in which sovereignty belongs to the people and the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The current Constitution of Djibouti was adopted 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 Djibouti is a mixed legal system based primarily on the French civil code, Islamic family law, and customary laws/traditions.

Constitutional Status of Islamic Law

Islamic law has constitutional status in Djibouti. Islam is the state religion, and the preamble of the Constitution describes sharīʿa as . . .

View Djibouti’s profile.