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Afbeelding van Weesperstraat105 .NL VerzamelMetropoolgebouwWoning - Haitian Law Overview
Afbeelding van Weesperstraat105 .NL VerzamelMetropoolgebouwWoning - Haitian Law Overview
Afbeelding van Weesperstraat105 .NL VerzamelMetropoolgebouwWoning - Haitian Law Overview
Afbeelding van Weesperstraat105 .NL VerzamelMetropoolgebouwWoning - Haitian Law Overview
Afbeelding van Weesperstraat105 .NL VerzamelMetropoolgebouwWoning - Haitian Law Overview
Afbeelding van Weesperstraat105 .NL VerzamelMetropoolgebouwWoning - Haitian Law Overview
Afbeelding van Weesperstraat105 .NL VerzamelMetropoolgebouwWoning - Haitian Law Overview
Afbeelding van Weesperstraat105 .NL VerzamelMetropoolgebouwWoning - Haitian Law Overview
Afbeelding van Weesperstraat105 .NL VerzamelMetropoolgebouwWoning - Haitian Law Overview
Afbeelding van Weesperstraat105 .NL VerzamelMetropoolgebouwWoning - Haitian Law Overview
Afbeelding van Weesperstraat105 .NL VerzamelMetropoolgebouwWoning - Haitian Law Overview
Afbeelding van Weesperstraat105 .NL VerzamelMetropoolgebouwWoning - Haitian Law Overview
Afbeelding van Weesperstraat105 .NL VerzamelMetropoolgebouwWoning - Haitian Law Overview
Afbeelding van Weesperstraat105 .NL VerzamelMetropoolgebouwWoning - Haitian Law Overview
Afbeelding van Weesperstraat105 .NL VerzamelMetropoolgebouwWoning - Haitian Law Overview
Afbeelding van Weesperstraat105 .NL VerzamelMetropoolgebouwWoning - Haitian Law Overview
Afbeelding van Weesperstraat105 .NL VerzamelMetropoolgebouwWoning - Haitian Law Overview
Afbeelding van Weesperstraat105 .NL VerzamelMetropoolgebouwWoning - Haitian Law Overview
Afbeelding van Weesperstraat105 .NL VerzamelMetropoolgebouwWoning - Haitian Law Overview

The Legal System

Judicial Organization

Primary Sources

The Constitution


Law Reporters

Court Reporters

Sources of Legal Research

Background Information

Development of the Legal System

Laws and Compilation of Laws

Constitutional Law

Human Rights

Labor Law

Criminal Law

Business and Banking Law

Real Property and Cultural Property Law

Electoral Law

Natural Resources and Agriculture Law

Intellectual Property Law

Family Law

Maritime Law

Telecommunication Law

Tax Law

Treaties and International Agreements

Bilateral Treaties with the Dominican Republic

Legal Periodicals

General Information

Historical Background

Haiti is located on the western side of the island of Hispaniola, in the Caribbean Sea. With an area of 27,750 square kilometers and an estimated population of 8.5 million, Haiti has a high population density. More than half of its people live in rural areas. The country has an average life expectancy of 60 years, high rates of infant and maternal mortality, and a GNP per capita of USD 480. Haiti is classed among the least developed countries in the world.[1]

Christopher Columbus discovered Hispaniola on December 5, 1492. He established the first Spanish settlement in the Western Hemisphere, Fort Nativity, on December 25, 1492. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries French buccaneers used Turtle Island, off the northern coast of Hispaniola, as the base for their commercial activities in the Caribbean, invading and eventually occupying an extensive territory on the northwest side of the island. In 1697, by the Treaty of Ryswick, Spain recognized the right of the French to the western portion of the island and Hispaniola was divided into two. The French territory, with its capital at Cap-Français (now Cap-Haïtien), was named Saint-Domingue and became a prosperous economic colony engaged in exporting sugar, coffee, cotton, indigo and cocoa.[2] The prosperity and productivity of that colony was supported by a population of 25,000 free people of color (affranchis) and more than 700,000 African slaves.[3] In 1791, the non-white population of Haiti, led by Toussaint L’Ouverture and later by Jean-Jacques Dessalines, rebelled against the French, ending slavery and leading to independence on January 1, 1804. The newly independent country took the name Haiti, the aboriginal name of Hispaniola.

Haiti underwent many insurrections during the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century. Struggles among the different classes to gain power, and neglected economic and social advancements, prompted a 1915 military occupation by the United States that lasted until 1934. During the second half of the twentieth century the Duvalier family ruled the country. François Duvalier (Papa Doc) was in power from 1957 till his death in 1971. His son, Jean-Claude (Baby Doc), succeeded him, but Jean-Claude was driven from the country in 1986, bringing to an end thirty years of personalist dictatorship.

Democracy was restored in March 1987 with the ratification of a new Constitution that provided for an elected bicameral Parliament (Assemblée nationale); an elected President and Prime Minister, as head of State and head of Government respectively; and a Supreme Court appointed by the President with parliamentary consent.[4]

The signing of the 1987 Constitution did not guarantee the end of political chaos, social unrest, violations of human rights, and economic instability. For the past decade, Haiti has seen a significant involvement of the international community in trying to promote good government, ensure political and social stability, and assist with sustainable disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration programs. On July 3, 1993, Jean-Bertrand Aristide and Raoul Cédras signed the Governor’s Island Agreement, sponsored by the United Nations (UN) and the Organization of American States (OAS), providing for a transition from a military to a civilian government, with the return of Aristide as President of the Republic.[5] This agreement was followed by several Resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly authorizing the deployment of successive international missions: UN Mission in Haiti (UNMIH), September 1993 to June 1996; UN Support Mission in Haiti (UNSMIH) June 1996 to July 1997; UN Transition Mission in Haiti (UNTMIH), August to November 1997; and UN Civilian Police Mission in Haiti (MIPONUH), December 1997 to March 2000. On February 29, 2004, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1529 (2004)[6] authorizing the deployment of the Multinational Interim Force (MIF). On April 30, 2004, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1542 (2004)[7] creating the United Nations Stability Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)[8].

Structure of the Government

The Haitian government is divided into three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial.

The legislative branch, or Parliament, consists of a Senate (30 seats) and a Chamber of Deputies (99 seats). Senators and Deputies are elected by direct vote for six- and four- year terms respectively, and they can be re-elected indefinitely. Parliament enacts laws on all matters of general interest.[9] Bills and other legislative acts enter into force with their publications in the official gazette, Le Moniteur.[10] Bills are numbered and printed in the Bulletin des Lois et Actes de la République d’Haïti.[11]

Executive power is vested in the President of the Republic, who is the head of State, and the Prime Minister, who is the head of the Government.[12] The President is elected to a five-year term and cannot be re-elected to a consecutive term.[13] He promulgates the laws, signs all international treaties and agreements, and submits them for ratification to Parliament. The President presides over the Council of Ministers (Conseil des ministres), and enacts Presidential Decrees (Arrêtés).

The President selects the Prime Minister from among the members of the majority party in Parliament. With the approval of the President, the Prime Minister chooses the members of the Council of Ministers, subject to parliamentary assent. The Prime Minister is responsible for law enforcement, and has the authority to issue rules and regulations.[14]

Judicial power is vested in the Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation), the Courts of Appeal, Courts of First Instance, Justice of the Peace Courts, and special courts. Their operation, organization, and jurisdiction are established by statute.[15]

The justices of the Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeal are appointed for ten years. Judges of the Courts of First Instance are appointed for seven years.[16] The Supreme Court’s justices are appointed by the President from a list of three candidates for each court seat submitted by the Senate. Sitting judges of the aforementioned three courts can be removed only under exceptional circumstances, thus safeguarding the judiciary’s independence from political interference.[17]

The Legal System

Judicial Organization

Haiti adopted the French civil law system, including the French judicial structure and codification system: Civil Code, Criminal Code, Commercial Code, Code of Civil Procedure, and Code of Criminal Procedure. All Codes were enacted between 1825 and 1835, and with minor changes they resembled their French antecedents. The Labor Code (1961) and Rural Code (1962) were enacted during the government of Francois Duvalier. Statutes are the main source of law, and French doctrine and jurisprudence are the basis for the interpretation of the law.[18]

Haïti’s judicature comprises four tiers. The Supreme Court is the highest court of the nation and provides a last recourse in matters decided at the appellate level. The Supreme Court also functions as Superior Magistrate Council, and as Constitutional Court ruling on the constitutionality of a law.[19]

At the second tier are the Courts of Appeal. There are five regional appellate courts, located at Port-au-Prince, Cap-Haitien, Gonaïves, Les Cayes, and Hinche. A judge president and two other judges sit in each court.

At the third tier are the Courts of First Instance. These are courts of original jurisdiction in civil, commercial, or criminal matters, with a single judge presiding. A Public Prosecutor’s Office is designated for each Court of First Instance. Also at the third tier are examining magistrates, responsible for conducting criminal investigations, issuing formal charges and sending a case to the Criminal Court, to the Division of Minor Offenses, or to the Civil Court - or for issuing a non-suit. The decisions of the Courts of First Instance may be appealed to the Courts of Appeal and to the Supreme Court.

Justices of the peace are at the fourth tier, forming the base of the judicial structure. These puisne judicial officers have jurisdiction over small claims in civil, commercial, and criminal matters.

In addition to the ordinary courts there are four special courts: the Labor Courts; the Juvenile Court; the Land Court, dealing with registration of property rights in the Artibonite Valley; and the High Court of Accounts, which hears appeals and claims for damages by individuals against the State. This court also has an administrative function auditing the accounts of the State. The decisions of the Labor Courts and the Land Court are only appealable to the Supreme Court.[20]

Haiti accepts compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on questions of international law, and of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) for the settlement of trade disputes within CARICOM.[21]

Primary Sources

The Constitution

The Constitution of March 29, 1987 is currently in force. This new Constitution defines the government of Haiti as a cooperativist, free, democratic social republic with a dual executive (President and Prime Minister) and a bicameral legislature. It recognizes Créole as an official language along with French[22], prohibits the cult of personality, stresses the protection of fundamental rights, and provides for the decentralization of the government by entrusting administrative and financial autonomy to the départements and communes. The Constitution also creates an Electoral Council, responsible for the organization elections.


Civil Code [Code Civil Haïtien], annoté et mis a jour par Menan Pierre-Louis [adopté par La Chambre des Communes le 4 Mars, Décrété par le Senat le 20 Mars et promulgué le 27 Mars 1825, (Port-au-Prince 1993).[23]

Code of Civil Procedure [Code de Procédure Civile], annoté par René Matard. Loi de 19 Sep 1963, in force 17 Jan 1964, (Editions du Soleil 1981). The 1943 edition of the Code of Civil Procedure is available at Digital Library of the Caribbean

Criminal Code [Code Pénal], voté a la Chambre des Communes, le 29 Juillet, au Sénat de la République, le 10 Aout; Promulgué, le 11 Aout, 1835. Annoté par Menan Pierre-Louis, (L’Imprimerie Domond 1996).

Code of Criminal Procedure [Code d’Instruction Criminelle],Voté a la Chambre des Représentants, le 14 Juillet, Au Sénat de la République, le 31 Juillet, Promulgué, le 31 Juillet 1835, annoté par Menan Pierre-Louis, (L’Imprimerie Domond 1995). The Code of Criminal Procedure of 1826 is available at Digital Library of the Caribbean.

Commercial Code [Code de Commerce], Loi du 27 Mars 1826, modifiée par le Décret-loi du 22 décembre 1944) annoté par Menan Pierre-Louis, (Les Editions Fardin 1987). The Commercial Code of 1827 Code is available at Digital Library of the Caribbean.

Tax Code [Code Fiscal] mis à jour 1998, par Joseph Paillant, (Imprimerie Deschamps 1998).

Labor Code [Code du Travail de la République d’Haïti], Jean-Frédéric Sales, (Presse de l’Université Quisqueya 1992). This is the text of the 1961 Code and its updates.

Rural Code [Code Rural], Law of May 24, 1962. Le Moniteur No. 51 May 16, 1962, Amended by Decree of June 26, 1986.

Law Reporters

Le Moniteur, Journal Official de la République d’Haïti, no. 1- 6 December 1862- Port-au-Prince, 1862- is published by the National Presses of the Republic of Haiti.

· Bulletin des Lois et Actes de la République d’Haïti. Année 1832–, Port-au-Prince, Imprimerie du Gouvernement, [1832] –

Lois et Actes du Conseil National de Gouvernement. [Vol. 1]–, 7 Feb 1986–. [Port-au-Prince] Conseil National, 1988–

Court Reporters

· Bulletin des Arrêts du Tribunal de Cassation Rendus en Toutes Matières: Affaires Civiles, Criminelles et Urgentes. No. 1–, (1856?)– . Port-au-Prince, Imprimerie de l’Etat, 1856(?)–

Sources of Legal Research

Background Information

The following sources provide background information on the country. They describe the major historical events; the social and economic conditions of the country; and structure of government. They also include an analysis of the legal system, reports on the situation of human rights, or on national security issues; and contact information for doing business in Haiti.

US Department of State, background note - Haiti

Library of Congress, a country study - Haiti

Library of Congress, country profile - Haiti

UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, country profiles - Haiti

Development of the Legal System

For an historical view of the development of the legal system in Haiti, the work of Chantal Hudicourt Ewald continues to be the most comprehensive source. To understand the court system and administration of justice in Haiti today I would recommend reviewing the reports of the different international organizations addressing human rights issues or involved in judicial reforms in Haiti; a description of some of these sources follow.

Chantal Hudicourt Ewald, The Legal System of Haiti, in 7 Modern Legal Systems Cyclopedia (Hein, 1995) (looseleaf). Hudicourt reviews the historical development of the legal system in Haiti until 1980, the sources of law, the structure and organization of the courts, the procedures, legal education and the practice of law. The 1995 update of this article is limited to briefly assessing the political events that occurred after the constitutional reform of 1987.

Gerald Perry, Haiti, In International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law, v. I. National Reports, H1 – H5 (J.C.B. Mohr, 1978). The article on Haiti was written in October 1969.

Thomas Reynolds & Arturo A. Flores, Haiti, in Foreign Law: Current Sources of Codes and Basic Legislation in Jurisdictions of the World (F.B. Rothman, 1989), I-A. (loose leaf). Released on 9/2003.

Haiti: Failed Justice or the Rule of Law? Challenges Ahead for Haiti and the International Community. OEA/Ser/L/V/II.123 doc.6 rev 1, (2005).

Constitutional Law

The text of the constitution in force in Haiti, in French, Creole or English, can be found in several sources, among which are:

Constitution 1987 (Georgetown Political Database of the Americas) (French, English)

Constitution 1987 (Embassy of the Republic of Haiti, Washington) (Creole, French, English)

Constitution 1987 (Droit Francophone) (French)

Constitution 1987 (The Information Exchange Network for Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and Extradition / OAS) (French, English)

Constitution 1987 (ACCPUF) (French)

Gisberth H. Flanz, Haiti, 1984-1987, in Constitutions of the Countries of the World (Albert P. Blaustein & Gisbert H. Flanz, 1987).

Gisberth H. Flanz introduces the 1987 Constitution of Haiti analyzing the chronology of political events starting in 1984 which lead to the proclamation of the 1987 constitutional reform, highlighting the major changes brought by this constitution. The database contains the text of the 1987 Haitian constitution in French and English.

Constitution 1801

This Constitution was promulgated by Toussaint L’Ouverture in 1801 proclaiming himself as Governor for life of Saint-Domingue. The constitution is hosted by the University Pierre Mendes at Grenoble, France.

Luis Mariñas Otero, Las Constituciones de Haiti (Ediciones Cultura Hispánica 1968).

This book compiles the text in Spanish of the 33 constitutional reforms proclaimed by Haiti between 1801 and 1964, discussing the historical context and the main changes of each reform.

Mirlande H. Manigat, Traité de Droit Constitutionnel Haïtien (Université Quisqueya 2000). 2 vols.

Human Rights

Report of Haiti’s Truth and Justice Commission (1995) (alternatively here).

Haiti’s Truth and Justice Commission was created in March 28, 1995 to investigate the violation of human rights under the de facto military dictatorship (September 29, 1991 - October 14, 1995).

U.S. Department of State.

Under Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor / Human Rights / Country Reports / by year, one may find: Haiti, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. See reports for the following years: 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, and 1999.

UN Security Council – Resolutions

The United Nations Security Council Resolutions can be found in chronological order on the site of the UN Security Council. See Resolutions On the Question of Haiti for the following years: 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993

See also, UN Security Council. Mission Reports. Report of the Security Council Mission to Haiti, 13 to 16 April, 2005. S/2005/302

Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Annual Reports.

Almost every Annual Report of the IACHR presents the state of compliance by Haiti with human rights conventions. See annual reports for the following years: 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 1998 1997 1991 1990 1988-1989 1986-1987 1985-1986. See also reports for years 1984-1985, 1983-1984, 1981-1982, 1977, 1976, 1975, 1974, 1973, and 1971.

· IACHR, Special Reports: Haiti: Failed Justice or the Rule of Law? Challenges ahead for Haiti and the International Community, 26 October 2005 OEA/Ser/L/V/II.123, doc.6 rev 1.

IACHR, Country Reports, monitoring the situation of human rights in Haiti. See the following country reports: 1995, 1994, 1993, 1990, 1988, 1979, and 1969.

Annual and special reports of the IACHR are also available at the Inter American Human Rights Database, American University, Washington College of Law.

Human Rights Watch.

Search under information by country / Americas / Haiti. This source is arranged in chronological order and provides an overview of human rights developments in Haiti. Also under Human Rights Watch / Publications / Haiti, one can find information on internal displacements, the use of children as soldiers and the social and legal conditions of Haitians in the Dominican Republic.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

Under countries, OHCHR in Haiti, this site provides access to reports of the UN Human Rights Bodies regarding Haiti’s status of ratification of Human Rights Conventions; resolutions and statements of the General Assembly regarding Haiti; and the reports of independent experts appointed by the Secretary General informing on the situation of human rights in Haiti.

Amnesty International

Under Learn about human rights / Select a country / Haiti, for issues on prison conditions, political prisoners, violence against women, discrimination, and migrant Haitian rights in the Dominican Republic.


The site of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) includes not only the background information for this particular mission but also the background information, mandate resolutions, facts and figures, and deployment maps for the following previous international missions in Haiti: United Nations Mission in Haiti UNMIH (1993-1996); United Nations Support Mission in Haiti UNSMIH (1996-1997); United Nations Transmission Mission in Haiti UNTMIH (1997); and United Nations Civilian Police Mission in Haiti, MIPONUH (1997-2000).

Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH)

The IJDH is a non-governmental organization based in Haiti working towards reconstruction of democracy, justice and human rights, disseminating information on human rights, pursuing legal cases, and cooperating with human rights groups in Haiti and abroad. IJDH publishes IJDH Human Rights Reports.

Additional information on human rights in Haiti can be found by searching the following web sites:

Human Rights Latin America

Human Rights Internet (HRI) 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997

National Coalition for Haitian Rights (NCHR)

Peace Brigades International - Haiti

Labor Law

Labor Code, September 12, 1961, updated by Decree of February 24, 1984.

Labor Code, September 12, 1961, updated by Decree of February 24, 1984 and Law of June 4, 2003

NATLEX (International Labor Organization)

NATLEX is the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) database on labor and labor related legislation and agreements. Browse by country / Haiti. Besides the Labor Code and other Haitian laws on labor, social security, non discrimination, child labor, collective bargaining and industrial relations, NATLEX includes two bilateral agreements between Haiti and the Dominican Republic on employment of temporary sugarcane workers.

Francois Latortue, Le Droit du Travail en Haïti (3d ed. 2001). Chapter 2 examines the evolution of labor laws and social rights in Haiti.

Criminal Law

Penal Code

See alternatively here

See alternatively here updated by Decree August 11, 2005

Code of Criminal Instruction

See alternatively here

Code of Criminal Instruction (1826) - Digital Library of the Caribbean

Law of November 29, 1994, on the National Police, Le Moniteur nº 103, December 28, 1994.

See alternatively here

Law of August 7, 2001, relative to the Suppression and Control of Illicit Drug Trafficking

Moniteur nº 156, October 4, 2001. The electronic file is incomplete.

See alternatively here

Law of February 21, 2001 Money Laundering Law, Proceeds from Illicit Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Offenses. Le Moniteur No. 30, April 5, 2001, and Le Moniteur N° 97, December 3, 2001.

See alternatively here

See alternatively here

UN Office on Drugs and Crime

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime database, UNODOC’S Online, contains the laws on drug abuse, prevention and treatment, national control measures related to demand, supply and traffic of licit and illicit drugs, criminal sanctions and international cooperation. See country pages / Haiti.

Business Law and Banking Law

For business law and doing in business in Haiti see the following sources:

Bank of the Republic of Haiti, under Supervision Bancaire one can retrieve commercial, mortgage bank laws, and prudential norms.

Banking Law. Decree of November 14, 1980.

Le Moniteur no. 82, November 17, 1980

Law of August 28, 1984. Creation and functioning of mortgage banks.

[Banques d’Epargne et de Logement] Le Moniteur no. 64, September 6, 1984.

Law of August 17, 1979, on the creation of the Bank of the Republic of Haiti.

Le Moniteur No. 72, September 11, 1979.

Doing Business (World Bank)

The Doing Business Library of the World Bank provides access to the constitution, banking and credit laws, commercial and company laws, labor laws, tax laws, and land and building laws. Select an economy / Haiti.

Haiti Embassy in Washington

The site of the Embassy of the Republic of Haiti in Washington, section on business, includes norms and regulations regarding business and investment in Haiti, business associations and a guide to investment, internal taxes and fees, and labor related laws.

Loi sur la modernisation des entreprises publiques, Le Moniteur no 75-A, October 10, 1996.

Labor Code and its implications, internal taxes and fees.

Centre de Recherche et d’Information Juridique (CRIJ), under Bibliothèque Virtuelle / Droit Haïtien / Code de Lois. See the following codes:

Investment Code, Law of November 26, 2002, modifying the Decree of October 30, 1989

Alternatively here (English)

Customs Code (Code Douanier), Decree of May 5, 1987, modifying the Decree of August 28, 1962.

Théophile J. B. Richard, François Latortue & Pierre Chauvet, A Statement of the Laws of Haiti in Matters Affecting Business (3rd., Organization of American States 1974). This summary of laws and regulations of Haiti on commercial related matters is still a valid source certain areas such as public lands, forestry, water and mining legislation, patents and trademarks, copyright, and property.

Real Property and Cultural Property Law

Rural Code (1962) Le Moniteur No. 51 May 16, 1962, amended by Decree of June 26, 1986.

Code Rural de Boyer 1826, avec les commentaires de Roger Petit-Frère, Jean Vandal, Georges W. Werleigh (Archives Nationales d’Haïti 1992). Digital Library of the Caribbean

Francois Blancpain, La Condition des Paysans Haïtiens: Du Code Noir aux Codes Rureaux (Editions Karthala 2003). See pages 184 – 194 for a chronology of laws on abolition of slavery, land distribution and tenure, and property rights.

Joint Ownership Law [Loi sur la copropriété], August 13, 1984, Moniteur, No. 82.

Recueil des Textes Législatives Concernant la Protection du Patrimoine Culturel Mobilier (Unesco 1981) [The Protection of Movable Cultural Property: Compendium of Legislative Texts], Law of April 23, 1940, and Decree Law of October 31, 1941.

Electoral Law

Electoral Law, Decree of February 3, 2005.

Electoral Law, July 1999 (Alternatively here)

Natural Resources and Agriculture Law

Rural Code (1962) Le Moniteur No. 51 May 16, 1962, amended by Decree of June 26, 1986.

Code Rural de Boyer 1826, avec les commentaires de Roger Petit-Frère, Jean Vandal, Georges W.Werleigh (Archives Nationales d’Haïti 1992). Digital Library of the Caribbean.

Faolex, Fishlex, and Ecolex, provides the full text of national laws, regulations, treaties, and secondary sources on environmental law, food and agriculture, renewable natural resources, forest, fisheries and aquaculture.

UNESCO. Environment and Development in Coastal Regions and in Small Islands (Lois Relatives à l'Environnement Côtier et à la Pêche en Haïti) CSI Info 13 (2002).

This publication contains an abridged version of Haiti’s fisheries and environmental laws as they relate to the protection and management of coastal environments, text in French and Creole.

Intellectual Property Law

For intellectual property, patents and trademark laws see the following sites to identify relevant intellectual property laws in force:


Law on Literary and Artistic Property, of October 8, 1885; Law of December 14, 1922; and Patents and Trade Marks Decree of June 19, 1960.

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

The database Collection of Laws for Electronic Access (CLEA) – Legislative Texts of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) cites the relevant Haitian trademark laws but does not provide access to the fulltext: Law of July 17, 1954, on Trademarks (Loi sur l'enregistrement et les cessions des marques de fabrique ou de commerce du 17 juillet 1954) and Law of July 14, 1956, amending the Trademarks Law of July 17, 1954.

Family Law

Representing Children Worldwide (RCW), Yale Law School’s website, provides a summary and analysis of legal instruments for the protection of children in Haiti. Browse under: Jurisdiction research/ Caribbean/ Haiti.

CRIJ, Rights of the Children [Droit de L’Enfant]

Laws related to children, violence against children, adoption, articles on juvenile delinquency and treaties and conventions on the rights of children ratified by Haiti.

Maritime Law

Oceans and Law of the Sea

The information system of the United Nations Division of Ocean Affairs and Laws of the Seas (DOALOS) maintains a comprehensive database on national maritime delimitation, legislation and treaties of countries around the world. Under maritime space legislation and treaties database, access database by countries / Latin American and Caribbean States / Haiti. See the laws establishing the boundary of the territorial waters of the Republic of Haiti, and the Agreements on delimitation of the maritime boundaries between the Republics of Colombia and Haiti (1979), and the Republic of Cuba and Haiti (1977).

Telecommunication Law

The National Telecommunication Counsel (CONATEL) is the official institution regulating telecommunications in Haiti. On the website of CONATEL, under Legislation are the following telecommunication laws:

Decree October 12, 1977, granting to the State the monopoly of telecommunication services; Alternatively here

Decree of October, 30 1969, creating the National Telecommunications Counsel (CONATEL). Le Moniteur, No. 105.

Organic Law of CONATEL, August 20, 1987, Le Moniteur, 68, describing the structure, mission, and functions of CONATEL.

Tax Law

Code Fiscal mis a jour 1998, by Joseph Paillant. Port-au-Prince : Imprimerie Deschamps, 1998. pp. 562.

Gélin I. Collot, Traité de Droit Fiscal: Contribution a la Promotion du Droit et a la Réforme Judiciare en Haïti (Imprimerie Henri Deschamps 2006).

See also

Décret relatif à la Carte d'Identification Fiscale (2005) [Fiscal Identity Card]

Internal Taxes and Fees see A Guide to Investing in Haiti

Treaties and International Agreements

Haiti signed and ratified on July 2, 2002 the Treaty of Chaguaramas, which allowed for the establishment of CARICOM, the Caribbean Community and Single Market Economy (CSME). Haiti is also a signatory, since December 15, 1989, to the ACP/EC Convention, better known as the Lomé Convention. For other treaties and international agreements signed by Haiti see:

United Nations Treaty Series

For multilateral and bilateral agreements, treaties, and conventions signed by Haiti and registered with the General Secretariat of the United Nations.

SICE (Foreign Trade Information System)

For the full text of trade agreements and bilateral investment treaties in force signed by Haiti with France (1984), Germany (1973), United Kingdom (1985), and the United States (1983).

Information Exchange Network for Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and Extradition. For bilateral treaties on extraditon signed by Haiti with Great Britain (1874) and with the United States (1904).

CRIJ (Centre de Recherche et d’Information Juridique)

CRIJ makes accessible the texts of the extradition treaties signed with Great Britain in 1974 and with the United States in 1904. The arbitration and conciliation treaty signed with Denmark in 1928 and a bilateral trade agreement with Denmark signed on October 21, 1937.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

Under countries / Human Rights in the World / Latin American and Caribbean Region / Haiti, gives the Status of Ratification of human rights conventions, and reports on compliances with the conventions. Haiti is signatory of the following human rights conventions: The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR), 1966; Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (CED), 2007; Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) 1980; International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), 1972; Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), 1990; Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (CRC-OP-AC), 2002; and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography (CRC-OP-SC), 2002.

Bilateral Treaties with the Dominican Republic

For bilateral treaties with the Dominican Republic, a recommended resource is the Treaties database of the Ministry of Foreign Relations of the Dominican Republic (SEREX).


Under Tratados y Acuerdos/ keyword search/ Haiti, this resource provides access to the text of Treaties and Agreements signed by Haiti with the Dominican Republic.

Legal Periodicals

Chronique Judiciaire d’Haïti, No. 1– , Oct 1980– . Port-au-Prince. L. Lacarriére, 1980– . Monthly publication.

Revue de Droit et d’Economie, Faculté de Droit et des Sciences Economiques (FDSE), Université d’Etat d’Haïti (UEH), No. 1 – Janvier-Juin, 2004. Presmmart Imprimerie, Port-au-Prince.

Revue de la Société de Législation, v. 1, April 1, 1892 - Port-au-Prince, Imprimerie de La Jeunesse, 1892 – 1914 ; available at The Digital Library of the Caribbean (Dloc).

Revue Juridique de l’Université de Quisqueya. Vol. 1, no 1 (janv./juin 1994) – irregular; only three issues have been published to date.


Haiti Observateur (New York)

This weekly newspaper is published in New York for the Haitian community. The site of the newspaper contains archival editions of the previous six months, from July to December 2006. See also the database Haiti Observateur (HAITIOBSVR) in Westlaw.

Alter Presse (Haiti)

News in English, French, Spanish and Creole.

Haiti Info

Compilation of news articles on Haiti appearing in the world media. News is in the original language of the media where they were published.

Legal Education

The Faculté de Droit et des Sciences Économiques (FDSE) of the State University of Haiti (Université d’Etat d’ Haïti), located in Port-au-Prince, is the oldest law school in Haiti. It started in 1860 as the School of Law of Port-au-Prince, and changed in the late 1940’s to the School of Law and Economics.

[1] See UNICEF, The State of the World’s Children 2008, (2007), statistical tables 113, 115, 135, 139, available at http://www.unicef.org/sowc08/report/report.php.

[2] Robert Debs Heinl & Nancy Gordon Heinl, Written in Blood: The Story of the Haitian People, 1492-1995 (University Press of America 2005) at 29.

[3] Id. at 29.

[4] Douglass Clouatre, Haiti, in Legal Systems of the World, 647 – 652 (Herbert M. Kritzer, ed., ABC-CLIO 2002). See also, Gerald Perry, Haiti, in International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law, National Reports H4 (J.C.B. Mohr 1978).

[5] See David Malone, Decision-Making in the UN Security Council: The Case of Haiti, 1990-1997, (Clarendon Press, 1998).

[6] UN Security Council Resolution 1529 (2004), UN Doc. S/RES/1529 (2004) (29 February 2004), available at http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N04/254/10/PDF/N0425410.pdf?OpenElement

[7] UN Security Council Resolution 1542 (2004), UN Doc. S/RES/1542 (2002) (30 April 2004), available at http://ods-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N04/332/98/PDF/N0433298.pdf?OpenElement

[8] IACHR. Haiti: Failed Justice or the Rule of Law? Challenges Ahead for Haiti and the International Community, OEA/Ser/L/V/II.123 doc.6 rev 1 (26 October, 2005), at 8-9, available at http://www.cidh.org/countryrep/HAITI%20ENGLISH7X10%20FINAL.pdf

[9] Haitian Const, Art. 111.

[10] Id. Art. 125.

[11] Id. Art. 125-1.

[12] Id. Art. 133

[13] Id. Art. 134-1.

[14] Id. Art. 159

[15] Id. Art. 173. See also Decree of August 22, 1995, Relative to Judicial Organization (Décret Relatif á la Organisation Judiciaire), available at http://www.crijhaiti.com/fr/?page=decret_du_22_aout_95

[16] Haitian Const. Art. 174.

[17] Id. Art. 177.

[18] Thomas Reynolds & Arturo Flores, Haiti, in Foreign Law: Current Sources of Codes and Basic Legislation in Jurisdictions of the World, 3 (Fred B. Rothman, 1997) updated 8/2003. See also, Gerald Perry, Haiti in International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law, National Reports, v. 1 at H4.; see also, Jean Marie Mondésir, Le Droit Haïtien at http://www.chez.com/juristehaitien/; see also Jean Marie Mondésir, La Codification en Haïti at http://membres.lycos.fr/civiliste/

[19] Haitian Const. Art. 183. See also La Cour de Cassation d’ Haïti, (Composition, Attributions, Procedures, Effects of its Decisions, and Rules of the Court), available at http://www.accpuf.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=128&Itemid=185

[20] IACHR, supra note 8, at 30-31.

[21] Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice available at http://www.caricom.org/jsp/secretariat/legal_instruments/agreement_ccj.pdf; see also Legal System of the Republic of Haiti available at www.oas.org/juridico/mla/en/hti/en_hti-int-des-sys.doc. For further discussion of the jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice and Haiti see, Duke E. Pollard, The Caribbean Court of Justice: Closing the Circle of Independence (2004).

[22] Haitian Const. Art. 5.

[23] Le Code Civil Haïtien, http://www.chez.com/juristehaitien/pages_textes/droit_haitien/p_code_civil.htm this article on the Civil Code of Haiti provides excerpts of those articles relative to change of name, marriage, divorce and property.

[24] Art. 5 Decree of March 29, 1979 regulating the law profession. See also, Jean Marie Mondésir, La Profession d’Avocat en Haïti, available at http://membres.lycos.fr/civiliste/ (Ordre des Avocats).

[25] See WPF Reports 10, 11, and 32 focuses on the 1995 post-peace reconstruction in Haiti: Jennifer L. McCoy Haiti: Prospects for Political and Economic Reconstruction (WPF Report No. 10, 1995); and Robert I. Rotberg, Haiti's Turmoil: Politics and Policy under Aristide and Clinton (WPF Report No.32, 2003).

Hauser Global Law School Program, New York University School of Law

40 Washington Square South, New York, New York 10012-1099

Telephone: (212) 998-6691, Facsimile: (212) 995-

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