Supreme Court of Haiti

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The Supreme Court of Haiti (French: Cour de Cassation) is the highest court in the Haitian legal system. The Supreme Court building is located in Port-au-Prince.


The Constitution of Haiti[1] stipulates that Supreme Court justices are appointed by the President from a list submitted by the Senate of three persons per court seat.[2] It is unsure whether they are appointed for 10 years (Art. 174 says so) or for life (Art. 177 says so).[3]

Historically the Court has frequently reversed its own opinions and its justices have often been replaced. Almost all new governments have a Supreme Court of their own choosing.[4]


The Supreme Court of Haiti interprets and expounds all congressional enactments brought to it in cases, and as such it interprets state law. It also has superseding power over all courts to examine departmental and federal statutes and executive actions, determining whether they conform to the country's Constitution. The Labor Courts and the Land Court are only appealable to the Supreme Court, as opposed to the Juvenile Court and the High Court of Accounts.[5]

If the constitutionality of a law, statute, or an executive action is ruled against by the Supreme Court, its decision can be overcome if the Constitution is amended by the people parliaments or if the Court overrules itself. Decisions by the Court do not pertain to specific cases, rather are intended to encompass interpretation of legislature and executive authority, actually developing the way laws are interpreted. The Cour de Cassation therefore potentially yields the highest power in the Haiti governmental system.[6]

Palais de Justice[edit]

The Palais de Justice[7] (the Supreme Court building) was heavily damaged and partially collapsed as a result of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[8]

Chief Justices of the Supreme Court[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Article 175
  3. ^ IBP, Inc. 2015. Haiti Labor Laws and Regulations Handbook - Strategic Information and Basic Laws. p. 15–. ISBN 978-1-329-05813-2.
  4. ^ Irwin P. Stotzky, 1999. Silencing the Guns in Haiti: The Promise of Deliberative Democracy. University of Chicago Press. p. 99. ISBN 978-0-226-77627-9.
  5. ^ IBP, Inc. 2013. Haiti Labor Laws and Regulations Handbook - Strategic Information and Basic Laws. p. 103. ISBN 978-1-4387-7907-2.
  6. ^ Rene Chery, 2011. Women and Children's Tribulation In Haiti. Xlibris Corporation. p. 247. ISBN 978-1-4628-8814-6.
  7. ^ CNN, Anderson Cooper 360, airdate 25 January 2010
  8. ^ Lacey, Marc (2010-01-24). "Cultural Riches Turn to Rubble in Haiti Quake". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-23.