Somali Contract Law: Constitutional and Comparative Perspectives

  • Salvatore Mancuso


The Somali legal system had a very peculiar development. After colonisation, the independent country adopted a Civil law based legal system largely influenced by Italian law. The Civil Code adopted in 1973 was modeled on the Egyptian homologue enriched with other influences, mainly Italian. From the constitutional perspective, the country had three constitutions before the collapse of the state, followed recently by a provisional constitution that introduces a federal system to try to keep the unity of the State under the federal umbrella. The 1973 Somali Civil Code is formally still in force, as after the fall of Siad Barre the state failure brought with it the lack of any authority capable of updating or changing the legal system. This contribution first examines the Somali constitutional development, then gives a brief overview of Contract law in the Somali Civil Code in a comparative perspective. Thereafter, it frames this Contract law regime in the new federal (provisional) constitution, with emphasis on how this could affect possible future changes in the contract law regulation. This investigation also considers other federal experiences on the African Continent.



The preparation of the present chapter has been possible also thanks to the grant of the Van Calker Research Fellowship at the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law in Lausanne (Switzerland) for the period May–June 2017.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Salvatore Mancuso
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Comparative LawUniversity of PalermoPalermoItaly
  2. 2.African LawXiangtan UniversityXiangtanChina
  3. 3.University of Paris I Panthéon-SorbonneParisFrance

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