The judicial system consists of courts of first instance, a High Court of Appeal, and a Supreme Court. Each of the five administrative districts also has a customary court. The legal system is a blend of French codified law, Shari'ah (Islamic law) and customary law of the native nomadic peoples.
The 1992 constitution is modeled on the 1958 French constitution. The judiciary is not completely independent of the executive branch. A state security court handles political trials and cases involving purported threats to national security. Political trials may be applied to the Supreme Court.
The Constitutional Council rules on the constitutionality of laws. The constitution states that the accused enjoys a presumption of innocence and has the right to counsel.