UPDATE: Researching Haitian Law
By Marisol Florén Romero
Marisol Florén Romero is the Assistant Director for Library Services and Foreign & International Law Librarian at Florida International University (FIU) College of Law
Table of Contents
- 1. General Information
- 2. The Legal System
- 3. Primary Sources
- 4. Sources of Legal Research
- 4.1. Background Information
- 4.2. The Legal System
- 4.3. Laws and Compilation of Laws
- 4.3.1. Business and Banking Law
- 4.3.2. Civil Law
- 4.3.3. Civil Procedure
- 4.3.4. Constitutional Law
- 4.3.5. Criminal Law
- 4.3.6. Criminal Procedure
- 4.3.7. Electoral Law
- 4.3.8. Family Law, Gender & Children’s Rights
- 4.3.9. Human Rights
- 4.3.10. Intellectual Property Law
- 4.3.11. Labor Law
- 4.3.12. Natural Resources and Agriculture Law
- 4.3.13. Real Property and Cultural Property Law
- 4.3.14. Tax Law
- 4.3.15. Telecommunications Law
- 4.3.16. Treaties and International Agreements
- 5. Legal Periodicals
- 6. Legal Education
- 7. The Profession
- 8. Portals, Legal Sites and Databases
- 9. Haitian & Government Sites
1. General Information
Haiti is located on the western side of the island of Hispaniola, in the Caribbean Sea. With an area of 10,714 square miles and an estimated population of 10.9 million, Haiti is classed among the least developed countries in the Western Hemisphere. 
The island of Hispaniola was discovered by Christopher Columbus on December 5, 1492 and became a part of the Spanish dominion in the New World. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, French buccaneers used Turtle Island, which is off the northern coast of Hispaniola, as the base for their commercial activities in the Caribbean. They also invaded and eventually occupied an extensive territory on the northwest side of the island, founding permanent settlements. 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. 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. In 1791, led by Toussaint L’Ouverture and later by Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the population 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.
During the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century, Haiti underwent many insurrections. The different classes struggled to gain power, which slowed down economic and social advancements, which prompted a military occupation of the country in 1915 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 until 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 dictatorship.
Democracy was restored in March 1987 with the ratification of a new Constitution that provided for the protection of fundamental human rights; separation of powers of the State; decentralization of government; an elected bicameral Parliament (Assemblée Nationale); an elected President, who serves as head of State; and the designation of a Prime Minister as head of Government. The signing of the 1987 Constitution did not guarantee the end of political chaos. Social unrest, violations of human rights, and economic instability continued. 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), which provided for a transition from a military to a civilian government, with the return of Aristide as President of the Republic.
This agreement was followed by several Resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly authorizing the deployment of successive international missions and peacekeeping operations, which were entrusted to observe and verify the respect to human rights and maintain a secure and stable environment in the country. On February 29, 2004, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1529 (2004)  authorizing the deployment of the Multinational Interim Force (MIF) and on April 30, 2004, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1542 (2004)  creating the United Nations Stability Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) . MINUSTAH’s mandate has evolved over time to adjust to the changing circumstances of the country. Among other duties, the mandate included maintenance of the rule of law, public safety and public order in Haiti, supporting the Haitian political process and promoting political dialogue and national reconciliation. The earthquake of January 12, 2010 followed by an outbreak of cholera that claimed 2,000 lives worsened Haiti’s social and economic conditions, prompting the United Nations Security Council to extend MINUSTAH’s mandate until October 15, 2012. 
For almost two decades, Haiti has seen a significant involvement of the international community in trying to promote good government, ensure political and social stability, strengthen the rule of law, and assist with sustainable development. Even though the MINUSTAH mandate ended in October 15, 2017, with the final withdrawal of the military presence, a new UN mission was established, the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH), to continue assisting government in strengthening the rule of law.
The Haitian government is divided into three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. The legislative branch, or Parliament, consists of a Senate and a Chamber of Deputies. 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.  Bills and other legislative acts enter into force with their promulgation and publication in the official gazette, Le Moniteur.  Bills are numbered and printed in the Bulletin des Lois et Actes de la République d’Haïti. 
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. The President is elected to a five-year term and cannot be re-elected to a consecutive term. He promulgates the laws, signs all international treaties and agreements, and submits them for ratification to Parliament.
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 through Orders (Arrêtés). 
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. 
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.  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. 
Haiti adopted the French civil law system, including the French judicial structure and codification system. Six codes were enacted between 1825 and 1826: The Civil Code, the Code of Civil Procedure, the Commercial Code, the Criminal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, and the Rural Code. With minor changes, these codes resembled their French antecedents. The Labor Code (1961) and a new 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. 
Haïti’s judicature comprises four tiers. The Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation) is the highest court of the nation and provides a last recourse in matters decided at the appellate level. 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 sixteen 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 who are responsible for conducting criminal investigations, issuing formal charges and sending cases to the Criminal Court, 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. Per Article 184.2 of the Haitian Constitution, the Superior Council of the Judiciary [Conseil Supérieur du Pouvoir Judicaire] is entrusted with the administration of the courts and exercises disciplinary authority over magistrates.
In addition to the ordinary courts, there are three specialized courts: the Labor Courts, the Juvenile Court, and the Land Courts, which deals with registration of property rights in the Artibonite Valley. Additionally, the High Court of Accounts (Cour Supérieure des Comptes et du Contentieux Administratif) is an administratively and financially independent court, 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 Constitutional reform of 2011 established the Constitutional Council (Conseil Constitutionnel) to ensure the constitutionality of laws, regulations and administrative acts of the Executive. The Council is composed of nine members appointed for nine years.
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.
3. Primary Sources
After twenty-nine years of dictatorship, Haiti reestablished a democratic government by proclaiming, on March 29, 1987, a new Constitution that is still presently in force with amendments introduced by Constitutional Law of May 9, 2011, promulgated on June 19, 2012. The Constitution defines the government of Haiti as indivisible, sovereign, independent, free, democratic and solidaire with a dual executive (President and Prime Minister) and a bicameral legislature. It recognizes Créole and French as official languages , 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 of elections.
Constitutional amendment of 2012 and consolidated text of the Haitian constitution, in French and English is found at,
- HeinOnline, World Constitutions Illustrated, fee-based database, Constitution 1987, Rev. 2012.
- Constitute Project, Constitution 1987, Rev. 2012 is available here.
- Haiti Justice, text of the Constitutional Law modifying the 1987 Constitution in French; see under Législation.
The original text of the 1987 Haitian constitution, in French, Creole or English, is found in several places, 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 (OAS - The Information Exchange Network for Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and Extradition) (French, English)
- Constitution 1987 (Association des Cours Constitutionnelles ayant en Partage l'Usage du Français (ACCPUF) (French).
The Civil Code, the Code of Civil Procedure, the Commercial Code, the Criminal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, and the Rural Code were all enacted between 1825 and 1826. The Labor Code (1961) and the Rural Code (1962) were enacted during the government of Francois Duvalier.
- Civil Code: Civil Code , République d’Haïti, Code Civil, décrète par la Chambre des Représentans, le 4 mars 1825, accepte par le Senat, le 26 dudit mois, et promulgue le 27 par le Président d’Haïti, in Six Codes d’Haïti, Suivis d’une Table Raisonnée des Matières (Port-au-Prince : Descauriet, 1828) available at Haitian Law Digital Collection.
- Code of Civil Procedure: Code of Civil Procedure  Code de Procédure Civile, donne au Palais National du Port-au-Prince, le 3 mai 1825, in Six Codes d’Haïti, Suivis d’une Table Raisonnée des Matières (Port-au-Prince : Descauriet, 1828), available at Haitian Law Digital Collection.
- Penal Code: Criminal Code, Code Pénal donné à la Chambre des Communes, le 8 mai 1826, au Sénat de la République, le 18 mai 1826 ; promulgué, le 19 mai 1826, in Six Codes d’Haïti, Suivis d’une Table Raisonnée des Matières (Port-au-Prince : Descauriet, 1828), available at Haitian Law Digital Collection.
- Code of Criminal Procedure: Criminal Procedure Code, Code d’Instruction Criminelle, donne en la Chambre des Communes, au-Port-au-Prince, le 29 mars 1826, au Senat de la République, 11 avril 1826, and promulgue le 12 avril 1826, in Six Codes d’Haïti, Suivis d’une Table Raisonnée des Matières (Port-au-Prince: Descauriet, 1828), available at Haitian Law Digital Collection.
- Code of Commerce: Commercial Code, Code of Commerce, donné au Palais National du Port-au-Prince, le 28 mars 1826, in Six Codes d’Haïti, Suivis d’une table raisonnée des matières (Port-au-Prince : Descauriet, 1828), available at Haitian Law Digital Collection.
- Fiscal Code: Tax Code , Code Fiscal Haïtien : recettes internes et communales, principales lois douanières, textes divers à caractère économique. Administration générale des contributions. Mars 1953 (Port-au-Prince : Imprimerie de L’Etat, 1953), available at Haitian Law Digital Collection.
- Labor Code: Labor Code , Code du Travail François Duvalier (Port-au-Prince : Département du travail et du bien-être social, Imprimerie de L’Etat, 1961), available at Haitian Law Digital Collection.
- Rural Code: Rural Code, Code Rural Dr. Francois Duvalier, Law of May 24, 1962. Le Moniteur No. 51 May 16, 1962, Amended by Decree of June 26, 1986, available at Haitian Law Digital Collection. Rural Code Code Rural, donné en la Chambre des Communes, le 21 avril 1826, le Sénat de la République le 4 mai 1826, promulgué le 6 mai 1826, in Six Codes d’Haïti, Suivis d’une Table Raisonnée des Matières (Port-au-Prince : Descauriet, 1828), see also Code Rural d’Haiti (Port-au-Prince : Imprimerie du Gouvernement, 1926). The 1926 rural code was abrogated in 1843 by the enactment of the Rural Code of 1862 [Code Rural d’Haiti of 1862], and later on by the Rural Code of 1962, all historical documents are available at Haitian Law Digital Collection.
- Le Moniteur, Journal Official de la République d’Haïti, no. 1, 1844- Port-au-Prince, published by the National Presses of the Republic of Haiti, available from No. 47, January 17, 1846 to 1973 at the Digital Library of the Caribbean.
- Bulletin des Lois et Actes de la République d’Haïti. Année 1832–1957, Port-au-Prince, Imprimerie du Gouvernement,  – 1957, available from 1875 to 1957 at Haitian Law Digital Collection.
- Lois et Actes du Conseil National de Gouvernement. [Vol. 1] –, 7 Févriers 1986– 7 Février 1988. [Port-au-Prince] : Conseil National, 1988, available at Haitian Law Digital Collection.
3.4. 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(?)– Available from 1859 through 1978 at Haitian Law Digital Collection.
The United States Department of State Background Notes: Haiti is an excellent source providing current and updated information on the country. The Background Notes describe the major historical events; reports on the economic assistance provided by the United States to the country, the state of bilateral economic relations and trade preferences. Through this page, one can link to other U.S. government agencies reporting on other issues and conditions of the country, including the legal system, human rights, or on national security issues; and contact information for doing business in Haiti.
For data on social and economic conditions of the country, see the country reports prepared by the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Haiti page.
To understand the court system and administration of justice in Haiti review the reports of the different international organizations involved in strengthening the rule of law in Haiti or addressing human rights issues; a description of some of these sources follow.
- Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) country reports. The latest report on Haiti, Observation of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Upon Conclusion of Its April 2007 Visit to Haiti. OEA/Ser/L/V/II.131 doc.36 (2008), available at country reports for Haiti for 2008, see here.
- Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Annual Reports on Human Rights Developments in the Region for 2008 and 2009, includes a section describing advancements in the administration of justice in Haiti. See as well the reports on the justice system, rule of law and elections in Haiti prepared by the Institute for Justice & Democracy.
- Douglas Clouatre, Haiti, pp. 647 – 652, in Legal Systems of the World, Herbert M. Kritzer, editor, (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2002), volume II. This article provides an overview of the legal system in Haiti.
- 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, the sources of law, the structure and organization of the courts, the procedures, legal education and the practice of law. The last section of the article briefly assesses the political events that occurred after the constitutional reform of 1987 through 1995.
- Gerald Perry, Haiti, inInternational Encyclopedia of Comparative Law, v. I. National Reports, H1 – H5 (J.C.B. Mohr, 1978).
- Decree of August 22, 1995 regulating the organization and operation of the courts, full text in French found on the web page of the OAS, Information Exchange Network for Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters. This Decree amends Law of September 18, 1985 on the organization of the judiciary. Alternatively on the webpage of Haiti Justice under Legislation.
- Law of December 17, 2007 regulating the Superior Council of the Judiciary and the Judiciary School.[
In addition to the official sources listed above, Foreign Law Guide (FLG) online database and E. P. & E. Trouillot’s Code de Lois Usuelles, are the most comprehensive sources for researching laws of Haiti in force.
- Foreign Law Guide (Brill Online Reference Works) is a fee based online database providing information on current sources of codes and legislation in jurisdictions of the world, including Haiti. This resource provides background information on the country and its legal system; it breaks down the legislation by subject areas identifying for each area the most important laws and regulations in force and links to online resources when available.
- Code de Lois Usuelles, edited by Ertha P. Trouillot and Ernst Trouillot, (Montreal: Editions SEMIS, 1998). 2 vols. This book is a compilation of laws of general application from tax, administrative, family, banking and credit laws, to criminal, procedural and immigration laws.
For historical compilations of laws see:
- Linstant Pradine, Recueil Général des Lois et Actes du Gouvernement d'Haïti depuis la Proclamation de son Indépendance jusqu'à nos Jours mis en ordre et publié par…, (Paris, A. Durand, 1860 – 1888). 8 v. This book is an annotated compilation of Haitian laws enacted from 1804 to 1845. Volumes 7 (1840-1843) and volume 8 (1843-1845) were edited by Emmanuel Edouard. Volumes 4, 5 and 6 are available at the Haitian Law Digital Collection
- ClaudiusGanthier,Recueil des Lois et Actes de la République d'Haïti de 1887 à 1904, (Port-au-Prince, 1907-1912). 3 vols, available at the Haitian Law Digital Collection.
- Etienne Mathon, Annuaire de Législation Haïtienne ... contenant les lois votées par les Chambres législatives en l'année 1904 et les principaux arrêtés d'intérêt général / [edited by] Etienne Mathon, (Port-au-Prince: Im. J. Verrollot, 1905-1920). This print source covers laws enacted from 1904 to 1918.
For business and banking laws in Haiti see the following sources:
- Banque de la République d’Haïti, under Supervision, one finds the main laws regulating the banking system in Haiti, including Loi sur les Banques et Autres Institutions Financières, Le Moniteur, Spécial No. 4, July 20, 2012.
- The Doing Business Library of the World Bank provides access to banking and credit laws, commercial and company laws, labor laws, tax laws, and land and building laws. See under Choose Economies / Haiti and Choose Laws – Banking and Credit Laws.
- Haiti Embassy in Washington, selected Invest in Haiti and under Resources describing the legal environment for business and investment in Haiti including banking norms and regulations. Among the documents we find the text of the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act of 2006, known as HOPE (I); and the full text of the Law on the modernization of government corporations (Loi sur la Modernisation des Entreprises Publiques), Le Moniteur no 151, 75-A, October 10, 1996. The HOPE I Act was amended in 2008 (HOPE II) and extended for 10 years. See full text of both acts on the web page of the GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDSYS).
- Law on the Investment Code, Law of November 26, 2002, modifying the Decree of October 30, 1989, Le Moniteur, Special No. 4, November 26, 2002, (English and French) available on the website of the OAS, Foreign Trade Information System (SICE), under Investment, National Legislation, Haiti. Alternatively on Haïti Justice under Accès Aux Codes.
For print sources see:
- Dennis Kelly, Haiti Business Law and Finance: A Guide for Non-Haitian Lawyers and NGO’s (Quisqueya Legal Publishing 2016), a current comprehensive analysis of Haitian business and finance law including among other related topics contracts, secured transactions, negotiable instruments, labor legislation, bankruptcy, arbitration, real property and mortgages.
- Commercial Code  Code de Commerce: exécutoire à partir du 1er juillet 1827, révisé par le décret-loi du 22 décembre 1944 : mis à jour, avec en appendice les lois et conventions commerciales, Jean Vandal. 2eme ed. revue et augmentée (Edityav 2001).
- Commercial Code Code de Commerce, Loi du 27 Mars 1826, modifiée par le Décret-loi du 22 décembre 1944) annoté & mis à jour par Menan Pierre-Louis, (Les Editions Fardin 1987).
- 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 in certain areas such as public lands, forestry, water and mining legislation, patents and trademarks, copyright, and property.
- Civil Code , Code Civil d'Haïti: Chambre des Communes, 4 mars 1825, sénat 20 août 1825, promulgation 27 mars 1825 / mis à jour para Jean Vandal (Port-au-Prince : Edityav, 2005)updated and annotated.
- Civil Code , Code Civil Haïtien annoté et mis à 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) updated and annotated.
- 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), annotated.
- Code of Civil Procedure , Code de Procédure Civile 1963, vote le 17 Septembre 1963 par L’Assemblé Législative Promulgue le 17 Janvier 1964. – Edition du Barreau de Port-au-Prince, 1965 (Imprimerie de L’Etat 1965), available at Haitian Law Digital Collection.
The following sources contain historical texts of Haitian constitutions and relevant treatises on Haitian constitutional law.
For electronically available sources see:
- The Haitian Law Digital Collection developed by the Law Library Microform Consortium (LLMC) and the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC), provides open access to the historical texts of the Constitutions of Haiti and constitutional reforms since 1801.
- Heinonline, World Constitutions Illustrated / Haiti, comprehensive collection of primary and secondary sources covering Haiti’s constitutions and constitutional amendments, treatises and relevant scholarly articles, and bibliography of selected constitutional works.
- Louis Joseph Janvier, Les Constitutions d’Haïti, 1801 – 1885 (C. Marpon et E. Flammarion 1886), available at Haitian Law Digital Collection.
- J.B. Dorsainvil, Eléments de Droit Constitutionnel : Etude Juridique et Critique sur la Constitution de la République D’Haïti (M. Giard & E. Brière 1912), available at Haitian Law Digital Collection.
For print sources see:
- Mirlande H. Manigat, Traité de Droit Constitutionnel Haïtien (Université Quisqueya 2000). 2 vols.
- 1801 – 1987, Deux Siècles de Constitutions Haïtiennes: Textes Complets de 28 Constitutions dont 12 Amendements (Editions Fardin 1998), 2 volumes, compilation of Haiti’s twenty eight (28) constitutions and twelve (12) constitutional amendments.
- Luis Mariñas Otero, Las Constituciones de Haití (Ediciones Cultura Hispánica 1968).
This book is an annotated compilation in Spanish of 35 constitutional reforms proclaimed by Haiti between 1801 and 1964; it discusses the historical context and the main changes of the different constitutional reforms.
- The Penal Code (French) with amendments to 1988 is found on the web page of the OAS, Information Exchange Network for Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and Extradition. Alternative see Haiti Justice, under Accès Aux Codes.
The OAS Network also includes the following criminal laws:
- Act of November 29, 1994 on the creation, organization and functioning of the Haiti’s National Police, Le Moniteur nº 103, December 28, 1994.
- Law of February 21, 2001 Money Laundering, Law on Proceeds from Illicit Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Offenses, Le Moniteur No. 156, December 3. Alternatively on Lexadin
- Act of August 7, 2001, relative to the Suppression and Control of Illicit Drug Trafficking
Moniteur nº 156, October 4, 2001. Alternatively on Lexadin
For print sources see: 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); see earlier editions of the penal code at Haitian Law Digital Collection.
- Code of Criminal Instruction (French) is found on the web page of the OAS, Information Exchange Network for Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and Extradition. Alternative on the website of Haiti Justice, under Accès Aux Codes
For print sources, see:
- 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).
- Electoral Decree of 2015, Décret Electoral, Le Moniteur no. 1, Special, March 2, 2015, available at Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) Alternative on the website of Haiti Justice, under Législation.
4.3.8. Family Law, Gender & Children’s Rights
- Adoption Law (Loi Reformant L’Adoption), Le Moniteur, no. 213, Extraodinaire, November 15, 2013, available on Haiti Justice, under Législation, abrogates the 1974 adoption law.
- The United States Department of State, under Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor / Human Rights / Country Reports / by year, reports on human rights practices since 1999 – women’s issues, domestic violence, and children’s rights in Haiti are among other human rights covered in these reports. See also (1) the Annual Reports of the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), sections on the protection of women and children’s rights in Haiti; (2) the reports of the independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti available at OHCHR in Haiti, and (3) the reports submitted by State Parties [Haiti] under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discriminations against Women (CEDAW)
- Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH). The IJDH is working towards reconstruction of democracy, justice and human rights, pursuing legal cases, and cooperating with human rights groups in Haiti, see the section on Women’s Rights, reporting on gender-based violence in Haiti.
- The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Gender and Land Rights Database, contains country level information on social, economic, political and cultural issues related to women's property and use rights ingrained in the Civil Code, Labor Code, Family Code; the database also reports on customary law, policies and institutional mechanisms enforcing or Other international organizations such as Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) regularly report on women’s rights in Haiti:
- « Nobody Remembers Us » Failure to Protect Women’s and Girls’ Right to Health an Security in Post Earthquake Haiti (Human Rights Watch, August 2011), available here.
- The Right of Women to Live Free of Violence and Discrimination in Haiti, OEA/SER.L/V/II.doc 64, March 10, 2009, available here.
- The United States Department of State, under Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor / Human Rights / Country Reports / by year, one may find Reports on Human Rights Practices since 1999 –.
- 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: 2009, 2008,2007, 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.
- 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 since 1971 -.
- The IACHR, Country Reports, monitoring the situation of human rights in Haiti. See the following country reports: 2008, 2005, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1990, 1988, 1979, and 1969
- Human Rights Watch (HRW) Search under Countries / Americas / Haiti. HRW provides an overview of human rights developments in Haiti.
- United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), under Human Rights by Country, one finds 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 Countries / Haiti, for issues on prison conditions, political prisoners, violence against women, discrimination, and migrant Haitian rights in the Dominican Republic.
- The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH). The IJDH is a non-governmental organization 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. Topics covered include politics & democracy, women’s rights, housing rights, prisoners, immigrant’s rights and housing and health issues. The website contains an overview of the trial, documents and commentaries of the prosecution of former president Jean Claude Duvalier.
For intellectual property, patents and trademark laws see:
- WIPO Lex, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) database contains national laws and treaties on copyright, trademark, patents and industrial designs for Haiti.
- Decree of October 12, 2005, on Copyright (2005), Le Moniteur, No. 23, March 2006, on WIPO Lex.
4.3.11. Labor Law
For online sources see:
- The Labor Code updated to 2003, is on the website of NATLEX, the International Labor Organization (ILO) database, browse by country / Haiti In addition to the Labor Code, one finds 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. Not all sources include the full text. Alternatively see Haiti Justice.
For print sources see:
- François Latortue, Le Droit du Travail en Haïti (3d éd. 2001). Chapter 2 examines the evolution of labor laws and social rights in Haiti. This is an annotated edition of the labor code of Haiti.
- Rural Code (1962) Le Moniteur No. 51 May 16, 1962, amended by Decree of June 26, 1986 available at Faolex. Faolex is the online database of national laws and regulations on food, agriculture and renewable natural resources of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Doing a search in Faolex will retrieve enacted laws on forestry, mining, boundary waters, protection of environment and natural resources, and regulating irrigation in Haiti.
- The legal framework for operation and requirements of fishing vessels, water boundaries with neighboring countries and international agreements to which Haiti is a party can be found in Fishlex as well as in Ecolex.
- Laws relating to the Coastal Environment and Fisheries in Haiti (Lois Relatives à l'Environnement Côtier et à la Pêche en Haïti, Unesco 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.
- 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).
- The Office of Mining and Energy of Haiti, Bureau des Mines et de L’Energie d’Haïti, see under Mines et Carrières, includes laws encouraging mineral exploration throughout the territory.
- Rural Code (1962) Le Moniteur No. 51 May 16, 1962, and Decree of June 26, 1986, amending the Rural Code; available at Faolex. Faolex contains as well the full text of Joint Ownership Act (Loi sur la copropriété), August 13, 1984, Moniteur, No. 82.
- FAO Gender and Land Rights Database, contains country level information on social, economic, political and cultural issues related to women's property and use rights ingrained in the Civil Code, Labor Code, Family Code; the database also reports on customary law, policies and institutional mechanisms enforcing or preventing women’s land rights. See country reports, Haiti.
- Collection of Legislative Texts Concerning the Protection of Movable Cultural Property: Haiti (UNESCO, 1981) covering Acts of April 23, 1940, and Decree Law of October 31, 1941, available on the webpage of the UNESCO Documentation Center (UNESDOC).
For print sources see:
- 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.
- Customs Code , Code Douanier, Decree of May 5, 1987, is available at Haiti Justice under Access aux Codes.
- Internal Revenue Law (2005), Décret du 29-09-2005 modifiant celui du 29-09-1986 relatif à l'Impôt sur le Revenu.
- For print sources see: Gélin I. Collot, Traité de Droit Fiscal: Contribution a la Promotion du Droit et à la Réforme Judiciaire en Haïti (Imprimerie Henri Deschamps 2006).
- Tax Code , Code Fiscal mis a jour 1998, by Joseph Paillant. Port-au-Prince : Imprimerie Deschamps, 1998.
4.3.15. Telecommunications Law
The National Telecommunication Counsel (CONATEL) is the official institution regulating telecommunications in Haiti. On the website of CONATEL, under Documentations one finds the laws and norms regulating telecommunications in Haiti, see the following sources:
- Organic Law of CONATEL, August 20, 1987, Le Moniteur, 68, describing the structure, mission, and functions of CONATEL.
- Decree October 12, 1977, Loi sur les Télécommunications, granting to the State the monopoly of telecommunication services.
- Decree of October, 30 1969, creating the National Telecommunications Counsel (CONATEL), Le Moniteur, No. 105.
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 (OAS, 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). Documents are available in English, Spanish, or French.
- The Information Exchange Network for Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and Extradition, for bilateral treaties on extradition signed by Haiti with Great Britain (1874) and with the United States (1904).
- UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) under Human Rights by Country / Haiti gives the Status of Ratification of human rights conventions, and reports on compliances with the conventions.
For bilateral treaties with the Dominican Republic, see the following source:
- [Bilateral Agreements between the Dominican Republic and Haiti] Convenios Bilaterales entre la República Dominicana y la República de Haití see here.
- 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.
6. Legal Education
Legal education in Haiti is a four-year program in which students must complete a final project [memoire the sortie] to obtain a bachelor’s degree in law (Licence en Droit). After completion of the course requirements, students need to do a practice [stage] under the supervision of a licensed lawyer [Batonnier de l’Ordre des Avocats].
Three Universities in Haiti confer law degrees: the State University of Haiti [L'Université d’Etat Haïti]; the Quisqueya University (Université Quisqueya), a private university in Port-au-Prince established in 1992; and the L'École Supérieure Catholique de Droit de Jérémie (ESCDROJ).Under the State University system there are eight sites in different Departments, each site with a law school. The sites are: (1) Faculté de Droit et des Sciences Economiques (FDSE) in Port-au-Prince, established in 1859, is the oldest law school in Haiti; (2) École de Droit et d'Économie de Port-de-Paix (EDEPP); (3) École de Droit de Hinche (EDH); (4) École de Droit de Jacmel (EDJ); (5) École de Droit et des Sciences Économiques des Cayes (EDSEC); (6) École de Droit et des Sciences Economiques de Fort-Liberté (EDSEFL); (7) École de Droit et des Sciences Économiques des Gonaïves (EDSEG); and (8) Faculté de Droit, des Sciences Économiques et de Gestion du Cap-Haïtien.
The Bar (Ordre du Barreau) is the professional association that rules the practice of law in Haiti, and it is regulated by Decree of March 29, 1979. The practice of law is strictly reserved to Haitian citizens. Lawyers must accredit a Bachelor’s degree in Law from the State University of Haiti or an equivalent title from a national or foreign university plus two years of practice [le stage] obtaining a certificate of professional aptitude from The Bar [Batonnier de l’Ordre des Avocats].
8. Portals, Legal Sites and Databases
Listed below are the most relevant databases, portals and legal sites providing access to the legal literature of Haiti and information significant to researching Haitian law.
- Foreign Law Guide (FLG, published by Brill. This is a subscription database. See Haiti under Countries.
- The World Law Guide (Lexadin). Lexadin identifies Haitian legal sources and organizes these sources by the following areas of law: constitutional law, litigation and court procedure, administrative law, labor law, construction law, e-commerce, criminal law, commercial law, and intellectual property. It also provides links to Haitian legal sites, which are mainly government websites.
- The Haitian Law Digital Collection, contains the resources contributed by the Law Library Microform Consortium’ s (LLMC) Haiti Legal Patrimony Project and the Caribbean institutions members of the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC).
- Internet Archive contains historical collections in digital format and offers open and free access to Haitian legal literature, mainly from American and Canadian libraries. It also contains an extensive collection of Haitian XIX century and beginning of the XX century laws.
- The National Library of France Gallica Digital Library, provides open access to XIX century Haitian legal literature.
- Lyonette Louis-Jacques, Starting Points for Researching Haitian Law, Slaw, September 16, 2011, reviews the range of resources available to scholars to locate Haitian law, from online catalogues, research guides, databases, to blogs and list serves supported by information specialists.
- Law Library of Congress, Guide to Law Online: Haiti
- The Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti
9. Haitian & Government Sites
The following Haitian websites contain legal information:
- Bank of the Republic of Haiti [Banque de la République d’Haïti]
- Bureau des Mines et de L’Energie d’Haïti
- CFI Haiti [Centre de Facilitation Des Investissements Haïti, CFI] describes the requirements for establishing an enterprise in Haiti, and information on trade and investment agreements.
- CONATEL, The National Telecommunications Council [Conseil National des Télécommunications]
- Customs [Administration General des Douane]
- Government Procurement [Commission Nationale de Marches Publics]
- Haiti Justice[
- Haiti Trade Information Portal [Portail d”Information Commerciale d’Haïti]
- Le Juriste Haïtien
- Ministry of Environment [Ministère de L’Environnement]
- Ministry of Public Transportation and Communications [Ministère des Travaux Publics, Transports et Communications]
 See UNCTAD, World Economic Situation and Prospects Reports (United Nations, 2017) at 157, available at http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/wesp2017_en.pdf.
 Robert Debs Heinl & Nancy Gordon Heinl, Written in Blood: The Story of the Haitian People, 1492-1995 (University Press of America 2005) at 29.
 John D. Garrigus, Before Haiti: Race and Citizenship in French Saint-Domingue (Palgrave 2006), for the development of the Creole society, the rising economic power of the free people of color and the origins of the Haitian revolution that led to independence.
 Douglass Clouatre, Haiti, in Legal Systems of the World, 647 – 652 (Herbert M. Kritzer, ed., 2002); see also, Gerald Perry, Haiti, in International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law, National Reports H4 (J.C.B. Mohr 1978); see also, Haiti Const. Art. 137.
 See David Malone, Decision-Making in the UN Security Council: The Case of Haiti, 1990-1997, (Clarendon Press 1998).
 These Resolutions were, UN/OAS International Civil Mission in Haiti (MICIVH), February 1993 to July 31, 1997; 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
 UN Security Council Resolution 1529 (2004), UN Doc. S/RES/1529 (2004) (29 February 2004)
 UN Security Council Resolution 1542 (2004), UN Doc. S/RES/1542 (2002) (30 April 2004)
 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.
 Resolution 2012 (2011), The Security Council extends the mandate of MINUSTAH until 15 October 2012 and adjusts Mission's overall force levels, S/RES/2012(2011)] of 14 October 2011.
 UN Resolution 2350 (2017), 13 April 2017, S/RES/2350 (2017).
 Constitution of the République d’Haïti, Art. 92-3, and 95.
 Id. Art. 111.
 Id. Art. 125.
 Id. Art. 125-1.
 Id. Art. 133.
 Id. Art. 134-1 and 13-3.
 Id. Art. 139 and 144.
 Id. Art. 159.
 Id. Art. 173. See also Decree of August 22, 1995, relative to the organization and functions of the courts. Le Moniteur, no. 150, amending Act of September 18, 1985.
 Const. Art. 174.
 Id. Art. 177. See also, Law Creating the Superior Council of the Judiciary [Loi Creant Le Conseil Superieur du Povoir Judiciaire], Le Moniteur, No. 112, December 20, 2007, available at Haiti Justice under Legislation.
 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 available at http://www.chez.com/juristehaitien/; see also Jean Marie Mondésir, La Codification en Haïti available at http://membres.lycos.fr/civiliste/.
 Const. Art. 173.
 See Law on the Status of the Magistrates (Loi Portant Statut de la Magistrature), Le Moniteur, No. 112, December 20, 2007, regulating judges and magistrates.
 Const. Art. 200. See also, Décret Etablissant l’Organisation et le Fonctionnement de la Cour Supérieure des Comptes et du Contentieux Administratif désignés sous le sigle CSCCA, Le Moniteur, No. 24, March 10, 2006, available at Haiti Justice under Legislation
 Const. Arts. 190bis, 190bis-1, 190ter-2.
 Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice available at http://www.caribbeancourtofjustice.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/ccj_agreement.pdf; see also Legal System of the Republic of Haiti available at http://www.oas.org/juridico/mla/en/hti/index.html. 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).
 Const. Art. 5.
 Id. Art. 61.
 Id. Art. 191.
 As a consequence of the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the Law Library Microform Consortium (LLMC) and a group of member libraries launched the LLMC Haiti Legal Patrimony Project. The LLMC Haiti Legal Patrimony Project brings together, in electronic format, and provides access to Haitian legal resources in many law libraries around the world. LLMC includes legislative, administrative, and judicial materials, treatises and US documents related to Haiti. All materials for the LLMC Haiti Legal Patrimony Project are available through LLMC Digital and open access through the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC).
 Loi Portant Statut de la Magistrature, Loi Relative à L’Ecole de la Magistrature (EMA), Loi Créant Le Conseil Supérieur du Pouvoir Judicaire, Le Moniteur, No. 112, December 20, 2007.
 At the time of this research, only the listed government portals had active website. One of the most important portals providing access to Haitian laws is the Haitian Parliament. The website was not active at the time of this research.
 The Center for Research and Legal Information (CRIJ) publishes the portal Haiti Justice. CRIJ maintains one of most important legal websites in Haiti. This site contains codes and legislation on criminal and labor matters, business and civil law matters, and commentaries on various legal issues.