The legal system of Burundi is based on German and French civil codes and customary law. In 1987 there were 64 tribunals of first instance. The Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court are located in Bujumbura.
The 1992 Constitution established a number of new courts, including a constitutional court to review all new laws for conformity to the constitution. It also created a High Court responsible for resolving charges of high level crimes by high level government officials. A military court had jurisdiction over crimes by members of the military.
The military coup in 1996 abrogated the 1992 Constitution and replaced it by a transitional decree. The decree of 13 September 1996 provided for an independent judiciary, which in was dominated by the Tutsi ethnic group. The decree also provided for the right to privacy. Authorities generally respect the law requiring search warrants.