The law of Bhutan derives mainly from legislation and treaties. Prior to the enactment of the Constitution, laws were enacted by fiat of the King of Bhutan. The law of Bhutan originates in the semi-theocratic Tsa Yig legal code, and was heavily influenced through the twentieth century by English common law. As Bhutan democratizes, its government has examined many countries' legal systems and modeled its reforms after their laws.
The supreme law of Bhutan is the Constitution of 2008. Under the Constitution, laws are passed through a bicameral process requiring the assent of the National Assembly and National Council of Parliament, as well as the assent of the King. The final authority on law of Bhutan and its interpretation is the Supreme Court. Laws enacted in Bhutan prior to the Constitution of 2008 remain intact insofar as they do not conflict with the Constitution.
Much of Bhutanese law is premised on promoting Gross National Happiness, a fundamental principle of the Constitution.
The law of Bhutan is enforced by the national police, established in 1965. The judicial system of Bhutan, namely the Royal Court of Justice, brings and hears cases and interprets the law of Bhutan. Agencies of Ministries within the Lhengye Zhungtshog (Cabinet) as well as independent Commissions are established by law to implement relevant laws, provide regulations, and establish procedural frameworks.
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