The Arab nation
managed to perform a great role in building
human civilization when it was a unified nation. When the ties
of its national cohesion weakened, its civilizing role receded
and the waves of colonial conquest shattered the Arab nation's
unity, occupied its territory, and plundered its resources. Our
Arab nation has withstood these challenges and rejected the
reality of division, exploitation, and backwardness out of its
faith in its ability to surmount this reality and return to the
arena of history in order to play, together with the other
liberated nations, its distinctive role in the construction of
civilization and progress.
With the close of the first half of this century, the Arab
people's struggle has been expanding and assuming greater
importance in various countries to achieve liberation from direct
The Arab masses did not regard independence as their goal and
the end of their sacrifices, but as a means to consolidate their
struggle, and as an advanced phase in their continuing battle
against the forces of imperialism, Zionism, and exploitation
under the leadership of their patriotic and progressive forces in
order to achieve the Arab nation's goals of unity, freedom, and
In the Syrian Arab region, the masses of our people continued
their struggle after independence. Through their progressive
march they were able to achieve their big victory by setting off
the revolution of 8 March 1963 under the leadership of the
Socialist Arab Baath Party, which has made authority an
instrument to serve the struggle for the construction of the
United Socialist Arab society.
The Socialist Arab Baath Party is the first movement in the
Arab homeland which gives Arab unity its sound revolutionary
meaning, connects the nationalist with the socialist struggle, and
represents the Arab nation's will and aspirations for a future
that will bind the Arab nation with its glorious past and will
enable it to carry out its role in achieving victory for the cause
of freedom of all the peoples.
Through the party's militant struggle, the 16 Nov 1970
corrective movement responded to our people's demands and
aspirations. This corrective movement was an important
qualitative development and a faithful reflection of the party's
spirit, principles, and objectives. It created the appropriate
atmosphere for the fulfillment of a number of significant
projects in the interest of our large masses, primarily the
emergence of the state of the Confederation of Arab Republics
in response to the call for unity, which figures prominently in
the Arab conscience, which was buttressed by the joint Arab
struggle against imperialism and Zionism, regionalist disputes,
and separatist movements, and which was confirmed by the
contemporary Arab revolution against domination and
Under the aegis of the corrective movement, an important stop
was taken on the road leading to the consolidation of national
unity for our popular masses. Under the leadership of the
socialist Arab Baath Party, a national and progressive front with
developed conceptions emerged in such a manner as to meet
our people's needs and interests and proceed toward unifying
the instrument of the Arab revolution in a unified political
The completion of this Constitution crowns our people's
struggle on the road of the principle of popular democracy, is a
clear guide for the people's march toward the future and a
regulator of the movement of the state and its various
institutions, and is a source of its legislation.
The Constitution is based on the following major
1) The comprehensive Arab revolution is an existing and
continuing necessity to achieve the Arab nation's aspirations for
unity, freedom, and socialism. The revolution in the Syrian
Arab region is part of the comprehensive Arab revolution. Its
policy in all areas stems from the general strategy of the Arab
2) Under the reality of division, all the achievements by any
Arab country will fail to fully achieve their scope and will
remain subject to distortion and setback unless these
achievements are buttressed and preserved by Arab unity.
Likewise, any danger to which any Arab country may be
exposed on the part of imperialism and Zionism is at the same
time a danger threatening the whole Arab nation.
3) The march toward the establishment of a socialist order
besides being a necessity stemming from the Arab society's
needs, is also a fundamental necessity for mobilizing the
potentialities of the Arab masses in their battle with Zionism
4) Freedom is a sacred right and popular democracy is the ideal
formulation which insures for the citizen the exercise of his
freedom which makes him a dignified human being capable of
giving and building, defending the homeland in which he lives,
and making sacrifices for the sake of the nation to which he
belongs. The homeland's freedom can only be preserved by its
free citizens. The citizen's freedom can be completed only by
his economic and social liberation.
5) The Arab revolution movement is a fundamental part of the
world liberation movement. Our Arab people's struggle forms
a part of the struggle of the peoples for their freedom,
independence, and progress.
This constitution serves as a guide for action to our people's
masses so that they will continue the battle for liberation and
construction guided by its principles and provisions in order to
strengthen the positions of our people's struggle and to drive
their march toward the aspired future.
Part 1 Political Principles
Article 1 [Arab Nation, Socialist Republic]
(1) The Syrian Arab Republic is a democratic, popular,
socialist, and sovereign state. No part of its territory can be
ceded. Syria is a member of the Union of the Arab Republics.
(2) The Syrian Arab region is a part of the Arab homeland.
(3) The people in the Syrian Arab region are a part of the Arab
nation. They work and struggle to achieve the Arab nation's
Article 2 [Republic, Sovereignty]
(1) The governmental system of the Syrian Arab region is a
(2) Sovereignty is vested in the people, who exercise it in
accordance with this Constitution.
Article 3 [Islam]
(1) The religion of the President of the Republic has to be
(2) Islamic jurisprudence is a main source of legislation.
Article 4 [Language, Capital]
The Arab language is the official language. The capital is
Article 6 [Flag, Emblem, Anthem]
The state flag, emblem, and the national anthem are the flag,
emblem, and the national anthem of the Union of the Arab
Article 7 [Oat]
The constitutional oath is as follows:
"I swear by God the Almighty to sincerely preserve the
republican, democratic, and popular system, respect the
constitution and the laws, watch over the interests of the people
and the security of the homeland, and work and struggle for the
realization of the Arab nation's aims of unity, freedom, and
Article 8 [Baath Party]
The leading party in the society and the state is the Socialist
Arab Baath Party. It leads a patriotic and progressive front
seeking to unify the resources of the people's masses and place
them at the service of the Arab nation's goals.
Article 9 [Organizations]
Popular organizations and cooperative associations are
establishments which include the people's forces working for
the development of society and for the realization of the
interests of its members.
Article 10 [People's Councils]
People's councils are establishments elected in a democratic
way at which the citizens exercise their rights in administering
the state and leading the society.
Article 11 [Armed Forces]
The armed forces and other defense organizations are
responsible for the defense of the homeland's territory and for
the protection of the revolution's objectives of unity, freedom,
The state is at the people's service. Its establishments seeks to
protect the fundamental rights of the citizens and develop their
lives. It also seeks to support the political organizations in
order to bring about self-development.
CHAN ROBLES VIRTUAL LAW LIBRARY : Part 2 Economic Principles
Article 13 [Economy]
(1) The state economy is a planned socialist economy which
seeks to end all forms of exploitation.
(2) The region's economic planning serves in achieving
economic integration in the Arab homeland.
Article 14 [Ownership]
The law regulates ownership, which is of three kinds:
(1) Public ownership includes natural resources, public utilities,
and nationalized installations and establishments, as well as
installations and establishments set up by the state. The state
undertakes to exploit and to supervise the administration of this
property in the interest of the entire people. It is the duty of
the citizens to protect this property.
(2) Collective ownership includes the property belonging to
popular and professional organizations and to production units,
cooperatives, and other social establishments. The law
guarantees its protection and support.
(3) Individual ownership includes property belonging to
individuals. The law defines its social task in serving the
national economy within the framework of the development
plan. This property should not be used in ways contrary to the
Article 15 [Expropriation]
(1) Individual ownership may not be expropriated except for
public interest and in return for just compensation in accordance
with the law.
(2) The public seizure of funds is permissible.
(3) Private seizure cannot be effected except through a judicial
(4) Private seizure ordered by law is permissible in return for
Article 16 [Agricultural Ownership]
The law defines the maximum of agricultural ownership in a
manner that guarantees the protection of the farmer and of the
agricultural worker against exploitation and insures increase in
Article 17 [Inheritance]
The right of inheritance is guaranteed in accordance with the
Article 18 [Savings]
Saving is a national duty protected, encouraged, and organized
by the state.
Article 19 [Taxes]
Taxes are imposed on an equitable and progressive bases which
achieve the principles of equality and social justice.
The exploitation of private and joint economic foundations must
seek to meet the social needs, increase the national income, and
achieve the people's prosperity.
Article 21 [Goals]
The educational and cultural system aims at creating a socialist
nationalist Arab generation which is scientifically minded and
attached to its history and land, proud of its heritage, and filled
with the spirit of struggle to achieve its nation's objectives of
unity, freedom, and socialism, and to serve humanity and its
Article 22 [Progress]
The educational system has to guarantee the people's continuous
progress and adapt itself to the ever-developing social,
economic, and cultural requirements of the people.
Article 23 [Socialist Education, Arts, Sports]
(1) The nationalist socialist education is the basis for building
the unified socialist Arab society. It seeks to strengthen moral
values, to achieve the higher ideals of the Arab nation, to
develop the society, and to serve the causes of humanity. The
state undertakes to encourage and to protect this education.
(2) The encouragement of artistic talents and abilities is one of
the bases of the progress and development of society, artistic
creation is based on close contact with the people's life. The
state fosters the artistic talents and abilities of all citizens.
(3) Physical education is a foundation for the building of
society. The state encourages physical education to form a
physically, mentally, and morally strong generation.
Article 24 [Science, Intellectual Property]
(1) Science, scientific research, and all scientific achievements
are basic elements for the progress of the socialist Arab society.
Comprehensive support is extended by the state.
(2) The state protects the rights of authors and inventors who
serve the people's interests.
Article 25 [Personal Freedom, Dignity, Equality]
(1) Freedom is a sacred right. The state protects the personal
freedom of the citizens and safeguards their dignity and
(2) The supremacy of law is a fundamental principle in the
society and the state.
(3) The citizens are equal before the law in their rights and
(4) The state insures the principle of equal opportunities for
Article 26 [Participation]
Every citizen has the right to participate in the political,
economic, social, and cultural life. The law regulates this
Article 27 [Boundaries of the Law]
Citizens exercise their rights and enjoy their freedoms in
accordance with the law.
Article 28 [Defense]
(1) Every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty by
a final judicial decision.
(2) No one may be kept under surveillance or detained except
in accordance with the law.
(3) No one may be tortured physically or mentally or be treated
in a humiliating manner. The law defines the punishment of
whoever commits such an act.
(4) The right of litigation, contest, and defense before the
judiciary is safeguarded by the law.
Article 29 [Criminal Laws]
What constitutes a crime or penalty can only be determined by
Article 30 [Retroactive Laws]
Laws are binding only following the date of their enactment and
cannot be retroactive. In other than penal cases, the contrary
may be stipulated.
Article 31 [Home]
Homes are inviolable. They may not be entered or searched
except under conditions specified by law.
Article 32 [Secrecy of Communication]
The privacy of postal and telegraphic contacts is guaranteed.
Article 33 [Residence, Move]
(1) A citizen may not be deported from the homeland.
(2) Every citizen has the right to move within the state's
territory unless forbidden to do so by a judicial sentence or in
implementation of public health and safety laws.
Article 34 [Asylum]
Political refugees cannot be extradited because of their political
principles or their defense of freedom.
Article 35 [Religion]
(1) The freedom of faith is guaranteed. The state respects all
(2) The state guarantees the freedom to hold any religious rites,
provided they do not disturb the public order.
Article 36 [Work]
(1) Work is a right and duty
of every citizen. The state
undertakes to provide work for all citizens.
(2) Every citizen has the right to earn his wage according to the
nature and yield of the work. The state must guarantee this.
(3) The state fixes working hours, guarantees social security,
and regulates rest and leave rights and various compensations
and rewards for workers.
Article 37 [Free Education]
Education is a right guaranteed by the state. Elementary
education is compulsory and all education is free. The state
undertakes to extend compulsory education to other levels and
to supervise and guide education in a manner consistent with
the requirements of society and of production.
Article 38 [Expression]
Every citizen has the right to freely and openly express his
views in words, in writing, and through all other means of
expression. He also has the right to participate in supervision
and constructive criticism in a manner that safeguards the
soundness of the domestic and nationalist structure and
strengthens the socialist system. The state guarantees the
freedom of the press, of printing, and publication in accordance
with the law.
Article 39 [Assembly]
Citizens have the right to meet and demonstrate peacefully
within the principles of the Constitution. The law regulates the
exercise of this right.
Article 40 [Defense]
(1) All citizens have the sacred duty to defend the homeland's
security, to respect its Constitution and socialist unionist
(2) Military service is compulsory and regulated by law.
Article 41 [Taxes]
The payment of taxes and public expenses is a duty in
accordance with the law.
Article 42 [Preservation of Unity]
It is a duty of every citizen to preserve the national unity and to
protect state secrets.
Article 43 [Citizenship]
The law regulates Syrian Arab citizenship and guarantees
special facilities for the Syrian Arab expatriates and their sons
and for the citizens of the Arab countries.
Article 44 [Family, Marriage, Children]
(1) The family is the basic unit of socity and is protected by the
(2) The state protects and encourages marriage and eliminates
the material and social obstacles hindering it. The state protects
mothers and infants
and exteds care to adolescents and youths
and provides them with the suitable circumstances to develop
Article 45 [Women]
The state guarantees women all opportunities enabling them to
fully and effectively participate in the political, social, cultural,
and economic life. The state removes the restrictions that
prevent women's development and participation in building the
socialist Arab society.
Article 46 [Insurance, Welfare]
(1) The state insures every citizen and his family in cases of
emergency, illness, disability, orphanhood, and old age.
(2) The state protects the citizens' health and provides them
with the means of protection, treatment, and medication.
Article 47 [Services]
The state guarantees cultural, social, and health services. It
especially undertakes to provide these services to the village in
order to raise ist standard.
Article 48 [Organizations]
The popular sectors have the right to establish unionist, social,
professional organizations, and production cooperatives. The
framework of the organizations, their relations, and the scope
of their work is defined by law.
Article 49 [Organizational Functions]
The popular organizations by law effectively participate in the
various sectors and councils to realize the following:
(1) Building the socialist Arab society and defending the
(2) Planning and guiding of the socialist economy.
(3) Development of work conditions, safety, health, culture,
and all other affairs pertaining to the lives of the organization
(4) Achievement of scientific and technical progress and the
development of the means of production.
(5) Popular supervision of the machinery of government.
Part 1 Legislative Power
Article 50 [People's Assembly]
(1) The People's Assembly assumes legislative power in the
manner defined in this Constitution.
(2) The members of the People's Assembly are elected by
general, secret, direct, and equal ballot in accordance with the
provisions of the election law.
Article 51 [Term]
The People's Assembly is elected for 4 years beginning on the
date of its first meeting. This term can be extended by law
only in the state of war.
Article 52 [Representation]
A member of the People's Assembly represents the whole
people. His mandate may not be limited by any restrictions or
conditions. He must exercise his mandate guided by his honor
Article 53 [Membership]
The law defines the electoral districts and the number of the
members of the People's Assembly, provided that at least half
their number are workers and peasants. The law defines the
terms: worker and peasant.
Article 54 [Voters]
Voters are citizens of at least 18 years of age who are listed in
the civil status register and who meet the conditions specified in
the election law.
Article 55 [Election, Referendum]
The law provides for elections and plebiscites. It defines the
conditions to be met by members of the People's Assembly.
Article 56 [State Worker Candidacy]
State workers, including public sector workers, may nominate
themselves for membership in the Assembly. Except in the
cases defined by law, the elected member may take a leave in
order to join the Assembly. His position or work is reserved
for him and the period of leave is regarded as active duty.
Article 57 [Electoral Guarantees]
The electionlaw must include provisions guaranteeing:
1) Freedom of the voters in electing their representatives and
integrity of the election.
2) The right of the candidates to watch over the voting.
3) Punishment for those who tamper with the will of the voters.
Article 58 [Continuous Assembly]
(1) The elections are to be held within 90 days following the
date of the expiration of the Assembly's term.
(2) The People's Assembly reconvenes in accordance with the
law if no other Assembly is elected. It convenes after the lapse
of 90 days and remains in office until a new Assembly is
Article 59 [Vacancies]
If a seat becomes vacant for any reason, a member is elected to
this seat within 90 days after the vacancy, provided the
remaining period of the Assembly's term is not less than 6
months. Membership of the new member ends with expiration
of the Assembly's term. The election law defines the
conditions of membership vacancies.
Article 60 [First Meeting]
(1) The People's Assembly is invited to meet by a decree issued
by the President of the Republic within 15 days beginning on
the date of the announcement of the results of the elections.
The Assembly meets in accordance with the law on the 16th
day if no decree is inviting the Assembly to hold a session.
(2) At its first meeting, the Assembly elects its President and
the members of its secretariat.
Article 61 [Sessions]
The People's Assembly is convened in three ordinary sessions
yearly. It may also be convened in extraordinary sessions. The
Assembly's table of organization sets the dates and periods of
the sessions. The Assembly is invited to meet at extraordinary
sessions by a decision of the President of the Assembly, at the
written request of the President of the Republic, or at the
request of one-third of the members of the Assembly.
Article 62 [Electoral Control]
The People's Assembly rules on the validity of the membership
of its members if it is challenged in light of investigations
undertaken by the Supreme Constitutional Court within one
month of the Assembly's notification of the Court's verdict. A
member's membership in the Assembly is invalidated only by a
majority vote of its members.
Article 63 [Oath]
Before assuming office, each member of the Assembly publicly
takes before the Assembly the oath specified in Article 7.
Article 64 [Remuneration]
The compensations and allowances for the members of the
Assembly are defined by law.
Article 65 [Internal Organization]
The People's Assembly lays down its internal organization to
regulate the mode of work and the manner of carrying out its
Article 66 [Indemnity]
Members of the Assembly are not accountable before criminal
or civil courts for any occurrences or views they express, in
voting in public or secret sessions, or in the activities of the
Article 67 [Immunity]
Members of the Assembly enjoy immunity throughout the term
of the Assembly. Unless they are apprehended in the act of
committing a crime, no penal measures can be taken against
any member without the advance permission of the Assembly.
When the Assembly is not in session, permission must be
obtained from the President of the Assembly. As soon as it
convenes, the Assembly is notified of the measures taken.
Article 68 [Incompatibility]
(1) An Assembly member may not take advantage of his
Assembly membership in any activities.
(2) The law defines the activities which are incompatible with
membership in the Assembly.
Article 69 [President, Guard]
(1) The President of the People's Assembly represents, signs,
and speaks on behalf of the Assembly.
(2) The Assembly has a spacial guard which accepts the orders
of the President of the Assembly. No other armed force may
enter the Assembly building without permission of the President
of the Assembly.
Article 70 [Membership Rights]
The members of the Assembly have the right to propose bills
and address questions and inquiries to the cabinet or any
minister in accordance with the Assembly's internal
Article 71 [Powers]
The People's Assembly assumes the following powers:
1) Nomination of the President of the Republic.
2) Approval of the laws.
3) Debate of cabinet policy.
4) Approval of the general budget and development plans.
5) Approval of international treaties and agreements connected
with state security; namely, peace and alliance treaties, all
treaties connected with the rights of sovereignty or agreements
which grant concessions to foreign companies or establishments,
as well as treaties and agreements which entail expenditures of
the state treasury not included in the treasury's budget, and
treaties and agreements which run counter to the provisions of
the laws in force or treaties and agreements which require
promulgation of new legislation to be implemented.
6) Approval of general amnesty.
7) Acceptance or rejection of the resignation of a member of
8) Withholding confidence in the cabinet or a minister.
Article 72 [Vote of No Confidence]
Confidence may not be withheld without the interrogation of the
cabinet or a minister. A request for withholding confidence has
to be made in accordance with a proposal submitted by at least
one-fifth of the members of the Assembly. Confidence in the
cabinet or a minister may be withheld by a majority of the
members of the Assembly. In the event of no confidence in the
cabinet, the Prime Minister must submit the cabinet's
resignation to the President of the Republic. A minister from
whom confidence has been withheld must also resign.
Article 73 [Committees]
The Assembly forms provisional committees from its members
to collect information and to find facts on the subjects
concerning the exercising of its jurisdiction.
Article 74 [Budget]
The draft budget is submitted to the Assembly two months
before the beginning of the fiscal year. The budget is not in
force unless it is approved by the Assembly.
Article 75 [Budge Vote]
Voting on the budget is chapter by chapter. The method of
preparing the budget is defined by law.
Article 76 [Fiscal Year]
Every fiscal year has one budget and the beginning of the fiscal
year is defined by law.
Article 77 [Continuing Budget]
If the Assembly fails to approve the budget before the
beginning of the new fiscal year, the previous fiscal year
remains in force until approval of the new fiscal year.
Revenues are obtained in accordance with the laws still in
Article 78 [Budget Changes]
No change in the budget's chapters is permissible except in
accordance with provisions of the law.
Article 79 [Budget Amendments]
During study of the budget, the Assembly has no right to
increase the estimates of revenues and expenditures.
Article 80 [New Expenditures]
After approval of the budget, the Assembly can approve laws
on new expenditures and revenues.
Article 81 [Tax Laws]
It is not permissible to impose taxes, to modify taxes, or to
cancel taxes except by law.
Final accounts for the fiscal year are submitted to the Assembly
within two years of the end of that year. The settlement of
accounts should be made by law. Amounts to be applied to the
settlement of accounts should be applied to the budget, subject
Section 1 The President of the Republic
Article 83 [Eligibility]
A candidate for the presidency must be an Arab Syrian,
enjoying his civil and political rights, and be over 40 years of
Article 84 [Election]
Upon the proposal of the Arab Socialist Baath Party regional
command, the Assembly issues the order for election of the
1) the candidacy is proposed to the citizens for
2) the referendum takes place upon the request of the President
of the Assembly;
3) the new president is elected before termination of the term of
the present President, within a period of not less than 30 days
and not more than 60 days;
4) the candidate becomes President of the Republic if he obtains
an absolute majority of the total votes. If he fails to obtain this
majority, the Assembly names another candidate. The same
procedures are followed concerning the election, provided this
takes place within 1 month from the time the results of the first
plebiscite were announced.
Article 85 [Term]
The President of the Republic is elected for 7 years according
to the Christian calendar, beginning at the date of the expiration
of the term of the incumbent President.
Article 86 [Incapacity]
If any temporary incapacity prevents the President of the
Republic from carrying out his duties, the Vice President takes
Article 87 [Resignation]
If the President of the Republic wishes to resign, he must
submit his resignation to the Assembly.
Article 88 [Re-Election]
The first Vice President of the Republic or the Vice President
named by the President, carries out the President's duties if the
President fails to do so. If the incapacity is permanent or in
case of death or resignation, a referendum takes place to elect a
new President in accordance with the provisions of Article
84, within a period not exceeding 90 days. If the
Assembly is dissolved or if its term is due to expire in less than
90 days, the first Vice President carries out the President's
duties until the new Assembly convenes.
Article 89 [Vacancy]
If the post of President becomes vacant and there is no Vice
President, the Prime Minister exercises all the President's
powers and jurisdictions until a new President is elected by
means of referendum within 90 days.
Article 90 [Oath]
Before taking his post, the President takes the constitutional
oath before the People's Assembly in accordance with Article
Article 91 [Liability]
The President cannot be held responsible for actions pertaining
directly to his duties, except in the case of high treason. A
request for his indictment requires a proposal of at least
one-third of the members of the People's Assembly and an
Assembly decision adopted by a two-thirds majority in an open
vote at a special secret session. His trial takes place only
before the Supreme Constitutional Court.
Article 92 [Remuneration]
The protocol, privileges, and compensation of the post of the
President of the Republic are established by law.
Article 93 [Functions]
(1) The President of the Republic insures respect for the
Constitution, the orderly functioning of public authorities, and
the preservation of the state.
(2) The President of the Republic exercises executive
authority on behalf of the people within the limits defined in
Article 94 [Policy]
The President of the Republic, through consultation with the
cabinet, lays down the state's general policy and supervise its
Article 95 [Appointments]
The President of the Republic appoints one or more Vice
Presidents and delegates some of his duties to them. The
President also appoints the Prime Minister and his deputies and
the ministers and their deputies, accepts their resignations, and
dismisses them from their posts.
Article 96 [Oath]
Before assuming their posts, the Vice Presidents take the
Constitutional oath specified in Article 7 before the
President of the Republic.
Article 97 [Cabinet Meeting, Reports]
The President of the Republic can call a cabinet meeting under
his Chairmanship. He can also request reports from the
Article 98 [Veto]
The President of the Republic promulgates the laws approved
by the People's Assembly, he may veto these laws through a
decision, giving the reasons for this objection, within a month
after their receipt by the President. If the Assembly again
approves them by a two-thirds majority, the President of the
Republic has to issue them.
Article 99 [Decrees]
The President of the Republic issues decrees, decisions, and
orders in accordance with the legislation in effect.
Article 100 [War and Peace]
The President of the Republic can declare war and general
mobilization and conclude peace following the approval by the
Article 101 [State of Emergency]
The President of the Republic can declare and terminate a state
of emergency in the manner stated in the law.
Article 102 [Diplomacy]
The President of the Republic accredits the heads of diplomatic
missions to foreign governments and accepts the accreditation of
the heads of foreign diplomatic missions to him.
Article 103 [Commander-in-Chief]
The President of the Republic is the supreme commander of the
army and the armed forces. He issues all the necessary
decisions and orders in exercising this authority. He can
delegate some of his authority.
Article 104 [Treaties]
The President of the Republic ratifies and abolishes internal
treaties and agreements in accordance with the provisions of the
Article 105 [Amnesty]
The President of the Republic can issue amnesty and
Article 106 [Decorations]
The President of the Republic can bestow decorations.
Article 107 [Dissolution of Parliament]
(1) The President of the Republic can dissolve the People's
Assembly through a decision giving the reasons. Elections are
held within 90 days from the date of the dissolution.
(2) He may not dissolve the People's Assembly more than once
for the same reason.
Article 108 [Extraordinary Sessions, Addresses]
(1) The President of the Republic can call on the People's
Assembly to convene an extraordinary session.
(2) He can also address the Assembly through messages and can
make statements before the Assembly.
Article 109 [Appointment of Officials]
The President of the Republic appoints civilian and military
officials and terminates their services in accordance with the
Article 110 [Initiative]
The President of the Republic may draft project laws and
submit them to the Assembly for approval.
Article 111 [Assuming Legislative Authority]
(1) The President of the Republic assumes legislative authority
when the People's Assembly is not in session, provided that all
the legislation issued by him is referred to the People's
Assembly in its first session.
(2) The President of the Republic can assume legislative
authority even when the Assembly is in session if it is
extremely necessary in order to safeguard the country's national
interests or the requirements of national security, provided that
the legislation issued by him is referred to the People's
Assembly in its first session.
(3) The People's Assembly can abolish or amend the legislation
as provided for in Paragraph (1) and (2), or by law by a
two-thirds majority of the members attending the session,
provided their number is not less than the Assembly's absolute
majority and provided that the amendment or abolition does not
have a retroactive effect. If the Assembly does not abolish or
amend this legislation, then it is considered legally approved
and there will be no need for a vote on it.
(4) The President of the Republic assumes legislative authority
in the interim period between two assemblies. Legislation
issued by the President during this period is not referred to the
People's Assembly. Its validity as regards amendments or
abrogation are the same as with existing laws.
Article 112 [Referenda]
The President of the Republic can hold public referenda on
important issues affecting the country's highest interests. The
results of the referenda are binding and effective on the date of
their promulgation. The President of the Republic issues the
Article 113 [Emergency Measures]
In case of a grave danger or situation threatening national unity
or the safety and independence of the homeland or obstructing
state institutions from carrying out their constitutional
responsibilities, the President of the Republic can take
immediate measures necessitated by these circumstances.
The President of the Republic can form specialized
organizations, councils, and committees. The powers and
jurisdiction of these bodies are specified in the decisions
Section 2 The Council of Ministers
Article 115 [Cabinet]
(1) The cabinet is the state's highest executive and
administrative body. It consists of the President of the Council
of Ministers, his deputies, and the ministers. It supervises the
execution of the laws and regulations and the work of the state
machinery and institutions.
(2) The President of the Council of Ministers supervises the
activities of the ministers.
(3) The compensations and allowances of the President of the
Council of Ministers, his deputies, the ministers, and their
deputies are fixed by law.
Article 116 [Oath]
The President of the Council of Ministers, his deputies, and the
ministers and their deputies take the constitutional oath, as
specified in Article 7, before the President of the
Republic and before they assume their responsibilities,
whenever a new cabinet is formed. In the case of a cabinet
reorganization, only the new ministers takes the oath.
Article 117 [Responsibility]
The President of the Council of Ministers and the ministers are
responsible before the President of the Republic.
Article 118 [Policy Statements]
(1) Upon its formation, the cabinet submits a statement to the
People's Assembly on its general policy and programs of
(2) The Cabinet submits annual statements to the People's
Assembly on implementation of the development plans and
Article 119 [Minister]
The Minister is the highest administrative authority in his
ministry. He carries out the state's general policy where it
concerns his ministry.
Article 120 [Incompatibility]
While in office, the ministers are not permitted to be members
of the Board of Directors of any private company, act as its
agents, participate in any commercial or industrial transaction,
or undertake any liberal profession. While in office, the
ministers are not permitted to be directly or indirectly involved
in the contracts, tenders, or works carried out by the state
ministries, departments, or establishments, or by public sector
Article 121 [Liability]
The law defines the civil and penal responsibilities of the
Article 122 [Continuing Cabinet]
On the expiration of the term of the President of the Republic
or in the case of his permanent inability to discharge his duties
for any reason, the cabinet continues to manage the affairs of
the state until the new president names a new cabinet.
Article 123 [Criminal Liability]
The President of the Republic has a right to refer a minister to
trial for whatever crimes he commits while in his post or
because of it, in accordance with provisions of the Constitution
and the law.
Article 124 [Suspension]
An accused minister is suspended as soon as the indictment is
issued and until the court arrives at a decision regarding the
charges brought against him. His resignation or dismissal does
not prevent committing him to trial. The trial and its
procedures are in accordance with the law.
Article 125 [Compatibility]
Cabinet and People's Assembly membership may be combined.
Article 126 [Deputy Ministers]
The provisions applicable to the ministers are also applicable to
the deputy ministers.
Article 127 [Powers]
The cabinet has the following powers:
1) Participation with the President of the Republic in drawing
up and carrying out the state's general policy.
2) Steering, coordinating, and following up the work of the
ministries and all the state's public departments and
3) Drawing up the state's general budget project.
4) Preparing draft laws.
5) Preparing the development plan, developing production, and
exploiting national resources and everything that will strengthen
the economy and increase the national income.
6) Contracting and granting loans in accordance with the
provisions of the Constitution.
7) Concluding agreements and treaties in accordance with the
provisions of the Constitution.
8) Following up the enforcement of the laws, preserving the
state's security, and safeguarding the rights of the citizens and
the state's interest.
9) Issuing administrative and executive decisions in accordance
with laws and regulations, and supervising their
Article 128 [Other Powers]
In addition to the cabinet's powers, the Prime Minister and the
ministers discharge the duties mentioned in valid legislation,
provided they are not in conflict with the powers given to other
state authorities by this Constitution.
Article 129 [Councils]
(1) The Local People's Councils
are bodies which exercise
their powers within the administrative units in accordance with
(2) The administrative units are defined in accordance with the
provisions of the law.
Article 130 [Powers]
The law defines the powers of The Local People's Councils, the
method of electing and forming them, the rights and duties of
their members, and all relevant regulations.
Part 1 Court Judges and Public Prosecutors
Article 131 [Independence of the Judiciary]
The judicial authority is independent. The President of the
Republic guarantees this independence with the assistance of the
Higher Council of the Judiciary.
Article 132 [Higher Council of the Judiciary]
The President of the Republic presides over the Higher Council
of the Judiciary. The law defines the method of its
formulation, its powers, as well as its internal operating
Article 133 [Independence of Judges]
(1) Judges are independent. They are subject to no authority
except that of the law.
(2) The honor, conscience, and impartiality of judges are
guarantees of public rights and freedoms.
Article 134 [Sentences]
Sentences are issued in the name of the Arab people of Syria.
Article 135 [Organization]
The law organizes the judicial system along with its categories,
types, and grades of judges. It also defines the regulations
pertaining to the jurisdiction in the different courts.
Article 136 [Status of Judges]
The law defines the terms of appointment, promotion, transfer,
discipline, and removal of judges.
Article 137 [Public Prosecution]
The public prosecution is a single juridical institution headed by
the Minister of Justice. The law organizes its functions and
Article 138 [Administrative Jurisdiction]
The Council of State exercises administrative jurisdiction. The
law defines the terms of appointment, promotion, discipline,
and removed of its judges.
Article 139 [Membership]
The Supreme Constitutional Court is composed of five
members, of whom one will be the President, and all of whom
are appointed by the President of the Republic by decree.
Article 140 [Incompatibility]
It is not permissible to combine the membership of the Supreme
Constitutional Court with a ministerial post or membership in
the People's Assembly. The law defines other functions which
cannot be combined with court membership.
Article 141 [Term]
The term of membership of the Supreme Constitutional Court is
4 years subject to renewal.
Article 142 [Dismissal]
Members of the Supreme Constitutional Court cannot be
dismissed from court membership except in accordance with the
provisions of the law.
Before assuming their duty, the President and members of the
Supreme Constitutional Court take the following oath before the
President of the Republic and in the presence of the speaker of
the People's Assembly:
"I swear by the Almighty to respect the country's Constitution
and laws and to carry out my duty with impartiality and
Article 144 [Electoral Control]
The Supreme Constitutional Court determines the validity of the
special appeals regarding the election of the members of the
People's Assembly and submits to it a report on its findings.
Article 145 [Constitutional Review]
The Supreme Constitutional Court looks into and decides on the
constitutionality of laws in accordance with the following:
1) Should the President of the Republic or a quarter of the
People's Assembly members challenge the constitutionality of a
law before its promulgation, the promulgation of such law is
suspended until the court makes a decision on it within 15 days
from the date the appeal was filed with it. Should the law be of
an urgent nature, the Supreme Constitutional Court must make
a decision within 7 days.
2) Should a quarter of the People's Assembly members object
to the constitutionality of a legislative decree within 15 days of
the date of the People's Assembly session, the Supreme
Constitutional Court must decide on it within 15 days from the
date the objection was filed with it.
3) Should the Supreme Constitutional Court decide that a law or
a decree is contrary to the Constitution, whatever is contrary to
the text of the Constitution is considered null and void with
retroactive effect and has no consequence.
Article 146 [No Review Of Referendum Laws]
The Supreme Constitutional Court has no right to look into laws
which the President of the Republic submits to public
referendum and are approved by the people.
Article 147 [Review of Drafts]
The Supreme Constitutional Court, at the request of the
President of the Republic, gives its opinion on the
constitutionality of bills and legislative decrees and the legality
of draft decrees.
Article 148 [Constitutional Court Statute]
The law determines the procedure of hearing and adjudicating
in matters coming under the jurisdiction of the Supreme
Constitutional Court. It also defines the court staff, the
qualifications of its members, and prescribes their salaries,
immunities, privileges, and responsibilities.
Article 149 [Initiative, Majority]
(1) The President of the Republic as well as a two-thirds
majority of the People's Assembly members have a right to
propose amending the Constitution.
(2) The amendment proposal includes the provisions to be
amended and the reasons for it.
(3) Upon receipt of the proposal, the People's Assembly sets up
a special committee to investigate it.
(4) The Assembly discusses the amendment proposal, and if
approved by a two-thirds majority of its members, the
amendment is considered final, provided it is approved by the
President of the Republic. It will then be included in the body
of the Constitution.
Article 150 [Preamble is Part of Constitution]
The preamble of this Constitution is considered an integral part
Article 151 [First Amendments]
This Constitution may not be amended before the lapse of 18
months from the date it comes into effect.
Article 152 [Temporary Election Control]
Until the Supreme Constitutional Court is formed, the general
body of the Court of Cessation has the jurisdiction to examine
appeals regarding the validity of the election of the members of
the People's Assembly after such appeals are referred to it by
the President of the Assembly. The court submits to the
President of the Assembly a report of its findings.
Article 153 [Old Laws]
Legislation in effect and issued before the proclamation of this
Constitution remains in effect until it is amended so as to be
compatible with its provisions.
Article 154 [Term of President]
The term of the incumbent President of the Republic expires
after 7 years of the Christian Era from the date of the
announcement of his election as President of the Syrian Arab
Article 155 [First Parliamentary Elections]
Elections for the first People's Assembly are held under the
Constitution within 90 days from the date it is declared
approved by a public referendum.
Article 156 [Publication, Enforcement]
The President of the Republic publishes this Constitution in the
Official Gazette and it is considered in effect from the date of
its approval by a public referendum.