This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Madagascar.

Madagascar became a French colony only in 1896 but regained independence on 26 June 1960 under the name of the Malagasy Republic, which followed a pro-Western policy until 1972 with the resignation of the President. A military coup in 1975 saw the country adopt the name Madagascar and enhance the programme of nationalisation and socialism embarked on in 1972. This policy was reversed in 1986 with Madagascar becoming a free-market economy, but with retention of military rule. Transitional government was introduced in 1991 and elections held over 1992-93. On 17 March 2009, democratically elected President Marc Ravalomanana stepped down and purported to transfer his authority to senior military figures, who in turn (after their arrest) handed over power to Andry Rajoelina, the mayor of Antananarivo. In October 2011 political stakeholders adopted a calendar toward new elections, put forward by mediators from the Southern African Development Community (SADC). In terms of this plan, a new Prime Minister was sworn in on 2 November 2011.

Madagascar has a civil law system based on the old French civil code, with customary law in matters of marriage, family, and obligation.

Madagascar has a constitution dating from 11 December 2010.


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