Bhutan's civil and criminal codes are based on the Tsa
code established by the shabdrung in the
century. The Tsa Yig was revised in 1957 and ostensibly
with a new code in 1965. The 1965 code, however, retained
the spirit and substance of the seventeenth-century code.
problems, such as marriage, divorce, and adoption, usually
resolved through recourse to Buddhist or Hindu religious
modern Bhutan, village heads often judged minor cases and
officials adjudicated major crimes.
Trials in the 1980s were public, and it was the
practice of the
accuser and the accused each to put their cases in person
judges. There were no lawyers in Bhutan's legal system
1980s, and decisions were made on the facts of each case
presented by the litigants. Judges appointed by the Druk
were responsible for investigations, filing of charges,
prosecution, and judgment of defendants. Serious crimes
extremely rare throughout the twentieth century, although
were reports of increased criminal activity in the 1980s
1990s with the influx of foreign laborers, widening
disparities, and greater contact with foreign cultures.
Data as of September 1991