This website offers an introduction to the many ways judicial systems can be structured, the work of international tribunals, and the field of international rule of law. More information about the site can be found here.

Legal Traditions










Country Profiles


Rule of Law


Legal Systems Around the World

Every nation has a unique legal system that reflects its history, culture, and government structure. Along with the civil and common law traditions, religious law plays a role in many parts of the world. This map offers a basic overview of the world’s judicial systems, including legal tradition, highest court, and selected features. More information about nations not included in the Country Profiles section will be added overtime.

Hover over a country on the map to learn more about its legal system; to find a specific country, use the search option by clicking on the magnifying glass on the top-left corner.

Recent Content

Dove holding an olive branch
In countries that have experienced a sustained period of conflict, repression, or human rights violations, the existing justice system may not be equipped to provide adequate recourse. In the aftermath of sustained periods of strife, political and legal institutions may…
Image of a roundtable for a Judicial Council meeting
Many countries have an entity known as a judicial council, responsible for different aspects of judicial governance, from overseeing the judicial career to promoting professional standards and court efficiency. Recent reform initiatives have focused on ensuring that judicial councils operate…
Line drawing of Islamic man, women, and two children
There is a perception that many Muslim-majority countries have legal systems governed entirely by Islamic law (also commonly referred to as Shariah). This is the case in a small number of countries. Classical Countries adhering to the classical model of Islamic law either…