Royal Court of Justice

Royal Court Of Justice

Royal Court of Justice

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The Bhutanese Royal Court of Justice is the government body which oversees the judicial system of Bhutan. Senior Judges of the courts are appointed by the monarch. Bhutan's legal system is based on Indian law and English common law. The Royal Court of Justice is based in the capital Thimphu.


The Bhutanese justice system has always suffered from a lack of qualified officers with most of the office-holders being civil servants. Until the passing of the National Judicial Service Act of 2007, Judges were still a part of the Bhutanese civil service. In the present High Court, only Justice Tshering Wangchuk has a degree in law.

Codification in 2008 constitution

In 2008, the Constitution of Bhutan codified the substantive and procedural framework of the Royal Court of Justice. Article 21 of the Constitution establishes a system of royal appointments for the High Court and Supreme Court, and sets forth the role of each level of administration.

The Chief Justice, an appointee of the King, sits for a five-year term and chairs the National Judicial Commission, a royal agency. (Art. 21, §§ 4, 6, 17) The Chief Justice is to participate in several extrajudicial functions, including the Recency Council; presiding over joint sessions of the Parliament of Bhutan for abdication procedures; and presiding over political impeachment proceedings. (Art. 2, §§ 8, 23; Art. 32, §...
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