Legal system of Kuwait

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Kuwait follows the "civil law system" modeled after the French legal system,[1][2][3] Kuwait's legal system is largely secular.[4][5][6] Sharia law governs only family law for Muslim residents,[5][7] non-Muslims in Kuwait have a secular family law. For the application of family law, there are three separate court sections: Sunni, Shia and non-Muslim.[8]

The court system in Kuwait is secular.[9][10] Unlike other Gulf states, Kuwait does not have Sharia courts.[10] Sections of the civil court system administer family law.[10] Kuwait has the most secular commercial law in the Persian Gulf region.[11]

The state[edit]

Kuwait is a constitutional country with a parliamentary government. About 85% of Kuwait's population (2.8 million in 2013) are Muslims.[12]

According to the United Nations, Kuwait's legal system is a mix of British common law, French civil law, Egyptian civil law and Islamic law.[13]

Constitution and judges[edit]

Roughly half of Kuwait's judges are non-citizens—mainly Egyptians. The non-citizen judges are on one-year to three-year contracts. The Constitution of Kuwait makes Islam the state religion. The 1961 Press and Publications Law prohibits the publication of any material that incites persons to commit crimes, creates hatred, or spreads dissension.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kuwaiti Constitution". World Intellectual Property Organization. The Kuwait Legal system is based on civil law jurisdiction; it is derived from Egyptian and French laws.
  2. ^ "Doing business in Kuwait". Thomson Reuters.
  3. ^ "Embassy of Switzerland" (PDF). Switzerland Global Enterprise. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  4. ^ Richard F. Nyrop. "Persian Gulf states: country studies". p. 80. In addition, Kuwait has established a secular legal system, unique among the Gulf states.
  5. ^ a b Arab Society: Class, Gender, Power, and Development. 1997. p. 417.
  6. ^ Robert L. Maddex. Constitutions of the World. p. 153.
  7. ^ The Law of the Near and Middle East: Readings, Cases, and Materials. p. 110.
  8. ^ "Kuwait, State of".
  9. ^ "State of Kuwait". London School of Economics (LSE). The court system in Kuwait is secular and tries both civil and criminal cases.
  10. ^ a b c The Development of Intellectual Property Regimes in the Arabian Gulf States. p. 23.
  11. ^ "Islamic Commercial Law and Economic Development". p. 10.
  12. ^ "Background Note: Kuwait". U.S. State Department. February 2009. Retrieved 25 July 2009.
  13. ^ "State of Kuwait, Public Administration Profile" (PDF). United Nations. p. 7.