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Southeast Asian Region Countries Law

General Country Information

The Lao People's Democratic Republic is a socialist State under the one-party system of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party. It is one of the few remaining communist regimes in the world. Formerly part of French Indochina, Laos gained its independence in 1955. In 1975 a constitutional monarchy was replaced by the current system of government.

The following resources include general country information - history, demographics, economy, politics and government etc.

Doing Business in Lao PDR

Lao PDR Legal System

Laos inherited a typical civil law-based legal system from the French colonial administrators. The original civil codes took Lao customary law into account. After independence, Lao law remained undeveloped until the early 1990s - since then Lao PDR's ambitious plan to develop and revise its laws has seen at least 120 new or modernised laws, according to the Official Gazette website. The revised laws follow the typical forms and approach of French civil law, but foreign models are also followed. Customary law is widely practiced by ethnic Laotian peoples, but not formally recognised as part of State law.
Source: Foreign Law Guide - Laos - Legal History


Sources of Law

The primary source of law is legislation. There are two types of legislation in Lao PDR: legislation of general application and legislation of specific application. See more detail on the Globalex guide. International treaties and agreements that Lao PDR has ratified are also a source of law. Jurisprudence is not recognised as a source of law.

Rule of Law

Recent Reports from the Human Rights Resource Centre include:

Update on the Rule of Law for Human Rights in ASEAN: The Path to Integration (2016)

See also the Rule of Law and Human Rights in Lao PDR page on the Human Rights in ASEAN website. 


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