Chapter 3 of the Syrian Constitution
|Syrian Arab Republic|
This article is part of the series:
|Text of the Constitution
|Preamble and Chapter 1
Powers of the State
The Judicial Authority
General and Transitory Provisions
Other countries · Law Portal
Chapter 3 of the Syrian Constitution is the third part of the Syrian constitution introduced on 13 March 1973. The chapter contains 19 articles in three parts. It discusses the structure and powers of the judiciary as well as constitutional amendments.
Court Judges and Public Prosecutors
Article 131 of the constitution stipulates that the president of the republic shall guarantee the independence of the judiciary and the judges with the help of the High Judicial Council. The president also presides over the High Judicial Council. The constitution states that verdicts in Syrian courts shall be issued "in the name of the Arab people of Syria." It also stipulates that the Minister of Justice shall preside over the office of the public prosecutor.
The Supreme Constitutional Court
The constitution defines the Supreme Constitutional Court as the highest judicial body in the republic. It is composed by four judges appointed by the president by decree, and the president himself. Members of the court serve renewable four-year terms and may not combine their position with any other official capacity in the legislative or executive authorities. The court has power to examine the constitutionality of laws passed by the People's Assembly, but may not examine laws passed by a referendum. The court also handles electoral disputes and the trial of the president.
Article 143 of the constitution defines the oath taken by members of the Supreme Constitutional Court as follows:
"I swear by the Almighty to respect the country's Constitution and laws and to carry out my duty with impartiality and loyalty."
Amending the Constitution
Proposals to amend the constitution can be submitted through the president or at least two-thirds of the People's Council. Amendments must be approved by both the president and a two-thirds majority in the People's Council. The Syrian constitution has seen very few amendments since it was adopted in 1973. Most notable of these was the amendment to require the president to be of the Muslim faith, and the one lowering the mandatory minimum age of the president from 40 to 34 years.