The Ivorian legal system
Civil law or Common law
The Ivorian legal system is based on the civil law.
Cote d’Ivoire became a French protectorate in 1889. French civil law applied during the colonial period. The country gained independence in 1960 and it maintained the French civil law system for the most part of the post-colonial period.
Traditional Law v Civil law
Both French civil law system and customary law apply as long as customary law is not repugnant to justice and morality.
The system has two levels of courts. These include the upper courts (Supreme Court, High Court of Justice, States Security Court) and the lower courts (Courts of Appeal, Courts of First Instance, Courts of Assize and the Justice of Peace Courts)
The Judiciary system is dived into three main jurisdictions. These areas include non-permanent jurisdictions, permanent jurisdictions and arbitral jurisdictions. There are two non-permanent jurisdictions. The first one is the High Justice Court which has jurisdiction to judge government officials for offences committed during their time in office. The second is the Court of Assize, which has jurisdiction to judge the highest and most severe crimes. They are held twice a year.
The permanent jurisdictions are made up of Appeal Courts, Courts of First Instance and supreme jurisdictions which include Court of Account, Court of Cassation and the State Council and the Common Justice and Arbitrage Court (CCJA).
There also exists a special jurisdiction called the Constitutional Council which ensures that the constitution is adhered to.
Membership to other zone economic systems
– The Central Bank of West African States (WAEMU)
– The Economic and Monetary Union of West Africa (UEMOA)
– The Organisation for the Harmonisation of Business Law in Africa (OHADA)
– The African Union, (A.U.)
– The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
– The African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
– The Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD)
– The Inter-African Conference on Social Security (CIPRES)
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