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

Senegal became independent from France on 4 April 1960 as the Mali Federation. Dissolution of the federation with Mali on 20 August 1960 followed.

President Senghor and Prime Minister Mamadou Dia governed together under a parliamentary system. In December 1962, their political rivalry led to an attempted coup by Dia. The coup was put down and Dia was arrested and imprisoned.

Senegal adopted a new constitution which consolidated the President’s power. Senghor's party, the Senegalese Progressive Union (now the Socialist Party of Senegal) was the only legally permitted party until 1973. In 1980, President Senghor retired from politics, and handed power to his handpicked successor, Abdou Diouf, in 1981.

Senegal joined with The Gambia to form the confederation of Senegambia in 1982 but the union was dissolved in 1989. A southern separatist group in the Casamance region has clashed sporadically with government forces since 1982.

Diouf ruled for four terms until current President Abdoulaye Wade was elected in 2000. He was re-elected in February 2007. Wade has amended Senegal's constitution frequently to increase executive power and weaken opposition.

His attempt to change the constitution in June 2011 prompted large public protests and there is speculation that he is planning to run for a third term, despite the constitutional limit of two terms.

Senegal has a civil law system based on French law.

Senegal has a constitution dating from 2001.



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