The State of Brunei (alternatively known as the Sultanate of Brunei) (Behasa Melayu: Negeri Brunei Darussalam or State of Brunei, Abode of Peace) is an absolute monarchy located on the northern coast of the island of Borneo. It is surrounded by Sarawak on 3 sides. Prior to 1 January 1984, Brunei was a British protectorate, with the Sultan of Brunei remaining as the local head of state.
Since becoming independent in 1984, Brunei has been a very loyal member state of the British Commonwealth. The ruling Sultan, Hassanal Bolkiah, is one of the world's richest men. Bruneians have a very high standard of living, because the economic system is mainly based on the oil industry, but tourism is becoming increasingly an important economic activity.
See also: List of Bruneian Privy Council cases.
Although Brunei is an independent monarchy, the highest institution that is part of the court system is the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, which sits in London, England. There is a unique arrangement in which the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council makes a report to the Sultan of Brunei instead of to Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain