Arab civilization, which is part of human heritage, has faced through its long history great challenges aimed at breaking its will and subjecting it to colonial domination, but it has always rose through its own creative abilities to exercise its role in building human civilization.
The Syrian Arab Republic is proud of its Arab identity and the fact that its people are an integral part of the Arab nation. The Syrian Arab Republic embodies this belonging in its national and pan-Arab project and the work to support Arab cooperation in order to promote integration and achieve the unity of the Arab nation.
The Syrian Arab Republic considers international peace and security a key objective and a strategic choice, and it works on achieving both of them under the International Law and the values of right and justice.
The Syrian Arab role has increased on the regional and international levels over the past decades, which has led to achieving human and national aspirations and achievements in all fields and domains. Syria has occupied an important political position as it is the beating heart of Arabism, the forefront of confrontation with the Zionist enemy and the bedrock of resistance against colonial hegemony on the Arab world and its capabilities and wealth. The long struggle and sacrifices of our people for the sake of its independence, progress and national unity has paved the way for building the strong state and promoting cohesion between the people and their Syrian Arab army which is the main guarantor and protector of the homeland’s sovereignty, security, stability and territorial integrity; thus, forming the solid foundation of the people’s struggle for liberating all occupied territories.
The Syrian society with all its components and constituents and through its popular, political and civil institutions and organizations, has managed to accomplish achievements that demonstrated the depth of civilizational accumulation represented by the Syrian society, its unwavering will and its ability to keep pace with the changes and to create the appropriate environment to maintain its human role as a historical and effective power in the march of human civilization.
Reference to country's history, Motives for writing constitution
Since the beginning of the 21st century, Syria, both as people and institutions had faced the challenge of development and modernization during tough regional and international circumstances which targeted its national sovereignty. This has formed the incentive to accomplish this Constitution as the basis for strengthening the rule of law.
Motives for writing constitution, Human dignity
The completion of this Constitution is the culmination of the people’s struggle on the road to freedom and democracy. It is a real embodiment of achievements, a response to shifts and changes, an evidence of organizing the march of the state towards the future, a regulator of the movement of its institutions and a source of legislation. All of this is attainable through a system of fundamental principles that enshrines independence, sovereignty and the rule of the people based on election, political and party pluralism and the protection of national unity, cultural diversity, public freedoms, human rights, social justice, equality, equal opportunities, citizenship and the rule of law, where the society and the citizen are the objective and purpose for which every national effort is dedicated. Preserving the dignity of the society and the citizen is an indicator of the civilization of the country and the prestige of the state.
Establishment of constitutional court
Title IV. The Supreme Constitutional Court
The Supreme Constitutional Court is an independent judicial body based in Damascus.
Constitutional court selection
The Supreme Constitutional Court consists of at least seven members, one of them shall be named president in a decree passed by the President of the Republic.
Outside professions of legislators
An individual cannot be a member of the Supreme Constitutional Court and a minister or a member of the People’s Assembly at the same time. The law states the other jobs that cannot be done by a member of the Court.
Constitutional court term length
The duration of membership of the Supreme Constitutional Court shall be four years renewable.
Constitutional court removal
Members of the Supreme Constitutional Court cannot be dismissed from its membership except in accordance with the law.
God or other deities, Oaths to abide by constitution
President and members of the Supreme Constitutional Court shall be sworn in before the President of the Republic in the presence of the Speaker of the People’s Assembly before they assume their duties. They repeat the following oath: “I swear by the Great Almighty to respect the Constitution and the laws of the country and to carry out my responsibilities with integrity and impartiality”.
Constitutional interpretation, Constitutional court powers
The mandate of the Supreme Constitutional Court is as follows:
- Control over the constitutionality of the laws, legislative decrees, bylaws and regulations;
Constitutionality of legislation
Expressing opinion, upon the request of the President of the Republic, on the constitutionality of the draft laws and legislative decrees and the legality of draft decrees;
- Supervising the election of the President of the Republic and organizing the relevant procedures;
- Considering the challenges made to the soundness of the measures of electing the President of the Republic and members of the People’s Assembly and ruling on these challenges;
Head of state removal
Trying the President of the Republic in the case of high treason;
- The law states its other authorities.
Constitutionality of legislation
The Supreme Constitutional Court is charged with control over the constitutionality of the laws as follows:
- Consider the unconstitutionality of the law and decide according to the following:
- If the President of the Republic or a fifth of the members of the People’s Assembly object to a law before it is passed, on the grounds of its unconstitutionality, it shall be suspended until the Court rules on it within 15 days of the date of lodging the objection at the Court. If the law is urgently needed, the Court shall rule on it within 7 days;
- If a fifth of the members of the People’s Assembly object to a legislative decree, on the grounds of its unconstitutionality within 15 days of it is being presented to the Assembly, the Court shall rule on it within 15 days of lodging the objection at the Court;
Head of state decree power
If the Court ruled that the law, the legislative decree or the bylaw was unconstitutional, the items found to be unconstitutional shall be annulled with retroactive effect and all their consequences shall be removed.
- Considering the claim of the unconstitutionality of a law or a legislative decree and ruling on it takes place as follows:
- If an opponent making a challenge claimed the unconstitutionality of a legal text applied by the court whose ruling is being challenged, and if the court considering the challenge found that the claim was serious and should be ruled on, it halts the proceedings of the case and refers it to the Supreme Constitutional Court;
- The Supreme Constitutional Court shall rule on the claim within 30 days of being entered in its register.
The Supreme Constitutional Court shall not consider the constitutionality of the laws put by the President of the Republic to a referendum and obtained the approval of the people.
Min age of const court judges, Eligibility for const court judges
The law regulates the principles of considering and ruling on the issues under the mandate of the Supreme Constitutional Court. The law states the number of its staff and the conditions which need to be met by its members. It also states their immunity, responsibilities, salaries and privileges.
Constitution amendment procedure
Title V. Amending the Constitution
- The President of the Republic, and so does a third of the members of the People’s Assembly, might propose amending the Constitution;
- The proposal for amending the Constitution shall state the text proposed to be amended and the reasons for making the amendment;
As soon as the People’s Assembly receives the proposal for amendment, it sets up a special committee to examine it.
- The Assembly discusses the proposal for amendment. If it approved it with a three quarters majority, the amendment shall be considered final provided that it is also approved by the President of the Republic.
Title VI. General and Transitional Provisions
The Preamble of the Constitution is considered part and parcel of the Constitution
Eligibility for first chamber, Eligibility for head of state, Eligibility for head of government, Eligibility for const court judges, Deputy executive, Eligibility for cabinet
No person carrying another nationality, in addition to the nationality of the Syrian Arab Republic, might occupy the office of President of the Republic, Vice-president, Prime Minister, deputy prime ministers, ministers, members of the People’s Assembly or members of the Supreme Constitutional Court.
This constitution shall not be amended before 18 months of coming into force.
The legislation in force and passed before approving this Constitution remain in force until they are amended in accordance with its provisions, provided that the amendment is done within a period of no longer than 3 years.
The term of office of the current President of the Republic terminates after 7 years of his being sworn in as President. He has the right to stand again for the office of President of the Republic. Provisions of Article 88 of this Constitution apply to him as of the next presidential elections.
Elections for the first People’s Assembly under this Constitution shall be held within 90 days of the date of its being approved through referendum.
This Constitution shall be published in the official bulletin and enters into force as of being approved.