The Supreme Court resides in Algiers. Its main directive is to ensure the equal and just application of law in all parts of the country. The Supreme Court has four major divisions: a Private Law chamber for civil and commercial cases, a Social Division that presides over issues of social security and labor, a Criminal Court, and an Administrative Division. The court has appellate authority over lower court decisions through the power of abrogation. This appellate power is more limited than United States notions of judicial review. The Supreme Court can review lower court decisions only on questions of procedure, not questions of legal dispute. When overruled, lower court decisions are returned to the lower courts for retrial. The Supreme Court issues no legal decisions and lacks jurisdiction over government actions and/or the constitutionality of government decrees. Traditionally, the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of sharia law over contemporary secular law.
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