Constitution of Syria

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Syrian Arab Republic
Coat of Arms of Syria

This article is part of the series:
Syrian Constitution of 13 March 1973

Text of the Constitution
Arabic, English
Preamble and Chapter 1
Basic Principles
Chapter 2
Powers of the State
Chapter 3
The Judicial Authority
Chapter 4
General and Transitory Provisions

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The current Constitution of the Syrian Arab Republic was adopted on 26 February 2012. It delineates the basic function of that state's government. Among other things, it determines Syria's character to be Arab, democratic, and republican; it outlines its ideologies in a secular fashion. Further, in line with pan-Arab ideology, it describes the country as a region of the wider Arab world and its people as an integral part of the Arab nation.


Older versions of the constitution include one drafted by Ibrahim Hananu, the Provisional Constitution of 25 April 1964, and one adopted on 13 March 1973. The previous version, in use until 27 February 2012, entrenched the power of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party, its §8 describing the party as "the leading party in the society and the state", even if Syria was not, as is often believed, a one-party system in formal terms.[1] Effective power in Syria rests with the President of the Republic (since 2000, Bashar al-Assad, re–elected in 2014), who, according to §84 of the old constitution, was elected in an uncontested popular referendum on the proposal of the Syrian branch of the Ba'ath Party. However, in accordance with the new constitution, other parties withheld an opportunitity to assume presidential roles in the country, evident as of the 2014 Syrian election.

The constitution guarantees equal rights and opportunities under the law, supplemented by labor laws which guarantee equal pay and maternity benefits for women.[2]

2012 revision[edit]

During the 2011–2012 Syrian uprising, a new constitution was put to a referendum. Amongst other changes,

  • it abolished the old article 8 which entrenched the power of the Ba'ath party. The new article 8 reads: "The political system is based on the principle of political pluralism, and rule is only obtained and exercised democratically through voting.";[3]
  • in a new article 88, it introduced presidential elections and limited the term of office for the president to seven years with a maximum of one re-election.[3]

The referendum resulted in the adoption of the new constitution, which came into force on 27 February 2012.[4]


This current constitution was a result of a constitutional referendum held in Syria on 26 February 2012. In response to the Syrian uprising, President Bashar al-Assad ordered a new constitution to be drafted. This constitutional referendum was not monitored by foreign observers.

The Constitution is divided into 6 parts (excluding the Introduction) which are called Chapters.

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Basic Principles
  • Chapter 2: Rights, Freedoms and the Rule of Law
  • Chapter 3: State Authorities
  • Chapter 4: The Supreme Constitutional Court
  • Chapter 5: Amending the Constitution
  • Chapter 6: General and Transitional Provisions


  1. ^ "Syria's Assad to 'End' One-Party Rule". 15 February 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  2. ^ Hamand, J. "Girls ahead in Syria". People Planet. 2: 17. PMID 12318179.
  3. ^ a b "English Translation of the Syrian Constitution". Qordoba. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  4. ^ "Presidential Decree on Syria's New Constitution". Syrian Arab News Agency. 28 February 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2012.

External links[edit]