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The Algerian legal system has been influenced by French civil law, but the personal status law is based on Islamic Law, and Article 222 of the Family Code declares that Sharia is a residual source of law.  Article 2 of the 1976 Constitution establishes that Islam is the religion of the State.  The Algerian Code shares many aspects with the Moroccan Code and is generally conservative in character in comparison with the Tunisian Code. The Algerian Family Code came into force in 1984 after a series of delays created by the tensions been conservative Islamists and feminist groups.  The code was an attempt at a compromise that did not satisfy either group.  The Family Code was amended and approved in 2005. These amendments enshrine some reforms that give women more equality in personal status matters, for example in divorce.

The Maliki School of Islamic principles has the most influence in Algeria, although there is an Ibadi minority.  There are small Jewish and Christian minorities in Algeria.

Available Information

•    reunite’s Summary Text for Algeria

Legal Texts

•    Constitution 1989

•    Civil Code 75-58 1975 (French)

•    Family Code 84-11 1984  (French)

•    Unofficial Translation of the Family Code 1984 (extract)

•    Penal Code 66-156 1966 (French)

•    Code of Civil Procedure 66-154 1966 (French)

•    Code of Criminal Procedure 66-155 1966 (French)

•    Nationality Code 70-86 1997 (French)

•    Unofficial Translation of the Nationality Code 1997 (Extract)

•    Convention Relating to Children of Separated Franco-Algerian Couples Decree 88-879 1988


•    Case, B (Minors) (Wardship: Power to Detain), Re (CA) Court of Appeal, 20 May, 1994.


•    Algeria Overview, Carnegie Foundation


•    Summary of Family Law (Emory Project)

•    Summary of the Judiciary, Program on Governance in the Arab Region (POGAR)

•    Summary of the Judicial System (US State Department)

•    Summary of Judicial Structures, Nathan J. Brown