government: constitutional monarchy
state of civil and political rights: Partly free
constitution: ratified 18 July 2008
legal system: civil law based on Buddhist religious law
legislative system: new bicameral Parliament consists of the non-partisan National Council and the National Assembly
judicial system: Supreme Court of Appeal in the person of the King; High Court whose judges are appointed by the King
religion: Lamaistic Buddhist 75%, Indian- and Nepalese-influenced Hinduism 25%
year of last executions: 0-0-0
death sentences: 0
international treaties on human rights and the death penalty:
Convention on the Rights of the Child
On March 20, 2004 the King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuk, issued a royal decree (“kasho”) abolishing the death penalty in the kingdom.
Capital punishment has been in the country’s laws for premeditated murder and treason since the codification of the Thrimzhung Chhenmo (supreme law) in 1953, but it has not been applied since 1964.
Although capital punishment existed in law, it was not invoked. Even if the courts awarded capital punishment the King had the legal authority to repeal it.
On December 18, 2008, Bhutan abstained on the Resolution on a Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty at the UN General Assembly.
On December 19, 2016, such as in 2014, 2012 and 2010, Bhutan voted in favour of the Resolution on a Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty at the UN General Assembly.