The Beninese legal system - Le système juridique béninois - Sunulex Africa - La plateforme des droits africains

The Beninese legal system

Benin has a civil law system.

Historical Background

Before colonization, traditional law applied as the main legal system in Benin. Colonization of Benin begun in the late 19th century where the French colonials imposed the French civil law system. Benin gained independence in 1960 and continued with the application of French civil laws. Most current legislation derives from the French civil law system.

Traditional law vs/ civil law

Both traditional law and civil law apply. Traditional law applies mostly in village courts.

The judiciary system

The judiciary system in Benin is divided into two main levels of courts. These are the High Courts and the Subordinate Courts. The high courts include the Supreme Court, Constitutional Court as well as the High Court. The Subordinate Courts include Court of Appeal, District Courts, Village Courts, and the Assize Courts.

Membership to other zone economic systems

Bénin is a member of  :

  – 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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