We, the People of Syria, building on the centuries-long traditions of statehood, proceeding from the responsibility before the past, present and future generations, resolute in our decision to affirm freedom and justice, and confirming our commitment to the Charter of the United Nations Organization, the Charter of the League of Arab States, the Charter of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Declaration of the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, solemnly declare our intention to do the following:
to ensure security, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state;
to live in peace and friendship with other peoples; to successfully establish a civil society;
to build a legal democratic state governed by the rule of law as expressed by the will of its people;
to ensure a decent standard of living for all in accordance with a just economic and social order.
In the name of the high intention noted above we adopt this Constitution by nation-wide referendum.
Chapter 1. Basic Principles
- The Syrian Republic is an independent sovereign state, based on the principle of the rule of the people by the people and for the people, the rule of law, equality of all before the law, social solidarity, respect for rights and freedoms and equality of rights and duties of all citizens regardless of any differences and privileges. The names Syrian Republic and Syria are equivalent.
- Syria relies on the unity of its nation and is a common and indivisible homeland for all its citizens. Preserving the national unity and territorial integrity of Syria is the obligation of the State and all its citizens.
- As a national heritage that promotes national unity, the Constitution shall guarantee the protection of cultural diversity of the Syrian society.
- Syria is a state with a republican form of government.
- The sole source of power in Syria shall be its multinational and multi faith people. The people shall exercise their sovereign right to freely and independently determine their own destiny. The People of Syria shall exercise their sovereignty in accordance with the Constitution directly by means of a referendum, and through their representatives elected on the basis of universal, equal, direct suffrage by free, secret and personal ballot.
- Nobody except authorized representatives elected by the people shall have the right to represent the people, speak for the people and make declarations on behalf of the people.
- No part of the Syrian people, or any social group or organization, or any person may usurp power. The usurpation of power is the gravest crime.
- No person may simultaneously occupy the position of a member of the People’s Assembly, a member of the Constituent Assembly, President of the Republic, Prime Minister, a deputy prime minister, a minister, or a member of the Supreme Constitutional Court.
- No person carrying another nationality, in addition to the nationality of Syria, may occupy the position of a member of the People’s Assembly, a member of the Constituent Assembly, President of the Republic, Prime Minister, a deputy prime minister, a minister, or a member of the Supreme Constitutional Court.
- The power shall be transferred in a peaceful manner, following a democratic process established by the Constitution and the law.
The State shall respect all religions and religious organizations, and ensure the freedom to perform all the rituals that do not prejudice public order. Religious organizations shall be equal before the law.
- The official language of the state is Arabic. The law shall regulate how the official language is used.
- Government agencies and organizations of the Kurdish cultural autonomy shall use Arabic and Kurdish equally.
- Syrian citizens shall be guaranteed the right to educate their children in their native language in state educational institutions and in private educational institutions that meet the educational standards.
- Each region shall have the right to use another majority language in addition to the official language as is regulated by the law, if such use was approved by a locally held referendum.
- The political system of the state shall be based on the principle of political pluralism, and exercising power democratically by secret ballot.
- Political parties shall respect the constitutional order, democratic principles, national sovereignty, and territorial integrity of the state.
- The law shall regulate the provisions and procedures related to the formation of political parties.
- Public office or public money may not be exploited for a political, electoral or party interest.
- Ideological diversity shall be recognized in Syria. No ideology shall be proclaimed as State ideology or as obligatory. Public associations shall be equal before the law.
- The State shall ensure security and protect the rights and freedoms of national and religious minorities.
- The establishment and activities of political parties and other public associations whose goals and activities are aimed at the forcible changing of the basis of the constitutional order and at violating the integrity of the State, at undermining its security, at engaging in terrorism, at creating armed units, at instigating religious, social, racial, national, and tribal strife; and that are based on sectarian, regional, class, professional discrimination, or on discrimination by gender or origin, may not be undertaken. Such organizations may not be part of the social and political system in Syria.
- Syria denounces terrorism in all its forms and shall ensure protection of its territories and population against terrorist threats.
- The Constitution shall have supreme legal force, direct effect and shall be applicable in the entire territory of Syria.
- Laws and other legal acts, which are adopted in Syria, must not contradict the Constitution.
- Universally recognized principles and norms of international law as well as international agreements of Syria shall be an integral part of its legal system. If an international agreement of Syria establishes rules, which differ from those stipulated by law, then the rules of the international agreement shall be applied.
- Syria shall maintain good neighborly relations with other countries based on cooperation, mutual security and other principles stipulated by international legal rules.
- Syria denounces war as an infringement on other countries’ sovereignty and a means to resolve international conflicts.
- The territory of Syria is indivisible, inviolable and integral.
- The territory of Syria is inalienable. State borders may be changed only after a referendum among all Syrian citizens, as the expression of the will of the Syrian people.
- It is the State’s responsibility, and the duty and obligation of every Syrian citizen to safeguard the homeland’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. In accordance with law, the State shall provide support to the families of citizens who lost their lives while defending independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria.
- Citizens of Syria shall perform military service in accordance with law.
- To defend and safeguard the homeland, the State shall create the army and other armed forces.
- The army and other armed forces shall be under public oversight and shall defend Syria and its territorial integrity; they may not be used as an instrument of suppression of the people; they may not interfere in politics or participate in the transfer of power.
- Performing military or militarized activity outside the domain of state power is prohibited.
- In Syria the freedom of economic activity is guaranteed, and private, State, municipal and other forms of property shall be recognized. Property may not be used to infringe on human and civil rights and freedoms, public and State interests, and human dignity.
- Developing the economy on the basis of different forms of property is aimed at improving the people’s wellbeing. The State shall use market principles to bolster economic development, guarantee freedom of entrepreneurship and prevent monopolization and unfair competition in economic relations.
- The State shall ensure the free flow of goods and financial resources between the regions in accordance with the law.
- In accordance with the law, land resources may be subject to State, municipal and private ownership.
- Natural resources shall be publicly owned. The law shall regulate how utilization rights for natural resources or concessions are granted.
- The law shall regulate taxes and levies. The tax system shall be based on a fair basis.
- The State shall take steps to improve the wellbeing of its people in general and each of its citizens; to guarantee the individual’s social security and acceptable living standards.
- The State shall support development of culture, education, healthcare, science, and art; protect the environment, and safeguard the people’s historical, material and spiritual legacy.
- No discrimination by gender, origin, language or faith shall be allowed.
- The family shall be the nucleus of society and the State shall protect its existence and its religious, moral and patriotic value. The state shall also protect maternity, childhood and old age, take care of young children and youth and provide the suitable conditions for the development of their talents.
- The State shall provide women with all opportunities enabling them to effectively and fully contribute to the political, economic, social and cultural life, and the State shall work on removing the restrictions that prevent their development and participation in building society.
- Children shall have the right to be brought up, taken care of and educated by their parents. Parents shall be entitled to respect and care from their children, especially when parents require it, or due to an inability to work or because of old age.
- Slavery, trafficking in women and children, exploitation of children are prohibited and shall be prosecuted by law.
- Following a court’s decision individuals may be sentenced to compulsory labor the terms and duration of which are regulated by law. Compulsory labor may also be ordered by authorities during military service, and during the state of emergency – for the kinds of labor as stipulated by law.
- Public service shall be a responsibility and an honor the purpose of which is to achieve public interest and to serve the people.
- Citizens shall be equal in assuming the functions of public service. The law shall determine the conditions of assuming such functions and the rights and duties assigned to them.
- Protection of the environment shall be the responsibility of the state and society and it shall be the duty of every citizen.
- The State and the public shall share responsibility when managing natural and manmade disasters.
- Syria consists of constituent parts.
- The law states the number of constituent parts, their boundaries and status.
- The organization of local administrations is based on applying the principle of decentralization of authorities and responsibilities. The law states the relationship between these units and the central authority, their mandate, financial revenues and control over their work. It also states the way such administrations are appointed or elected.
- The law shall state the status of the Kurdish Cultural Autonomy.
- The monetary unit in Syria shall be the Syrian pound (lira).
- The National Bank of Syria is owned exclusively by the State and shall have the right to emit money and withdraw it from circulation.
- The capital of the state is Damascus.
- The flag of Syria consists of three colors: red, white and black, in addition to two stars, each with five heads of green color. The flag is rectangular in shape; its width equals two thirds of its length and consists of three rectangles evenly spaced along the flag, the highest in red, the middle in white and the lowest in black, and the two stars are in the middle of the white rectangle.
- The law identifies the state’s emblem and its national anthem.
- In cases provided for by the Constitution and/or by law citizens shall give the following oath: “I swear to observe the country’s Constitution, to respect and protect human and civil rights and freedoms, to safeguard the State’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, and to always act in the interests of the Syrian people.”