Description of Courts
Brunei gained its independence in January 1984 and remains an independent sovereign sultanate. Brunei is governed on the basis of the 1959 written Constitution along with the state ideology and philosophy which is ‘Malay Islamic Monarchy’. The three pillars of state ideology includes 1) norms of Malay culture, 2) The Islamic religion and 3) Monarchy as Brunei political framework.
Brunei’s legal system is based on the English common law, with an independent judiciary, a body of written common law judgments and statutes, and legislation enacted by the Sultan.
Brunei has also adopted the Syariah Law in 2014 that applies to Muslims and non-Muslims, with the enactment of the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013.
Brunei Darussalam’s enacted acts are compiled in volumes called “Laws of Brunei”. Currently, there are 193 Acts consisting of legislations that was passed prior to Independence Day and legislation enacted after it.
The 1959 Constitution states that Islam remains the official religion in Brunei Darussalam. Islamic laws in Brunei Darussalam are based on the Holy Qur’an and the Prophet’s Hadith.