Lebanon 1926 Constitution (reviewed 2004)

Table of Contents


Preamble to the Constitution

  1. Lebanon is a sovereign, free, and independent homeland. An ultimate homeland for all its sons; unitary in terms of land, people, and institutions, within its boundaries; as provided in this Constitution, and as recognized internationally.
  2. Lebanon has an Arab identity and belonging. It is a founding active member of the Arab League, committed to its Charter; as it is a founding active member of the United Nations Organization, committed to its Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The State embodies these principles in all sectors and scopes without exception.
  3. Lebanon is a democratic parliamentary republic based upon the respect of public freedoms, freedom of opinion and freedom of belief; and of social justice and equality in rights and duties among all citizens, without distinction or preference.
  4. The people are the source of powers and of sovereignty, exercising them through constitutional institutions.
  5. The system is based upon the principle of separation of powers, their balance, and their cooperation.
  6. The economic system is free, guaranteeing individual initiative and private ownership.
  7. Balanced development of regions, culturally, socially, and economically, is a cornerstone of the State unity and the system stability.
  8. Eliminating political sectarianism is a basic national objective, to be achieved according to a transitional plan.
  9. The territory of Lebanon is one for all Lebanese. Every Lebanese has the right to reside on any part thereof, and enjoy it under the sovereignty of the law. No segregation of the people on any belonging whatsoever. No segregation, no partition, and no inhabitation.
  10. There is no legitimacy to any authority contradicting the charter of co-existence.

Chapter One. The State and its Territory

Article 1

Lebanon is an independent state, with indivisible unity, and complete sovereignty. Its boundaries are the same defining it currently.

North: From the mouth of Al-Nahr Al-Kabir along a line following the course of the River to the point of its confluence with Wadi Khalid, its tributary, at the height of Jisr Al-Kamar.

East: The summit line separating Wadi Khalid from Wadi Al-Assi River (Oronte), crossing the villages of Muaissara, Harbata, Heit, Abish, Fissan at the height of the two villages of Brina and Matriba. This line follows the boundaries of Northern Baalbeck from the northeasterly side and the southeasterly side, then the boundaries of Baalbeck, Al-Bikaa, Hassbiya, and Eastern Rashiya.

South: The current southern boundaries of Sour and Marjayoun.

West: The Mediterranean Sea.

Article 2

No part of the Lebanese territory may be alienated or ceded.

Article 3

The boundaries of administrative areas may not be altered except according to a law.

Article 4

The Grand Lebanon is a Republic, whose capital is Beirut.

Article 5

The Lebanese flag is comprised of red, white, and red horizontal stripes. The cedar in green occupies the center of the white stripe. The size of the white stripe is equivalent to the size of both the red stripes. The cedar is in the center, with its apex touching the red upper stripe, and its base touching the red lower stripe. The size of the cedar is equivalent to a third of the size of the white stripe.

Chapter Two. The Lebanese, their Rights, and their Obligations

Article 6

The Lebanese nationality and the manner in which it is acquired, retained and lost, shall be determined according to the law.

Article 7

All Lebanese are equal before the law. They equally enjoy civil and political rights, and assume obligations and public duties without any distinction among them.

Article 8

Personal freedom is guaranteed and protected by the law. No one can be arrested, jailed or suspended except according to the rules of the law. No offense can be determined and no penalty can be imposed except according to the law.

Article 9

Freedom of conscience is absolute. In assuming the obligations of glorifying God, the Most High, the State respects all religions and creeds and safeguards the freedom of exercising the religious rites under its protection, without disturbing the public order. It also guarantees the respect of the system of personal status and religious interests of the people, regardless of their different creeds.

Article 10

Education is free so long as it does not disturb the public order, does not violate the morals, and does not touch the dignity of any religion or creed. The rights of communities to establish their own private schools cannot be violated, provided that they comply with the general requirements laid down by the State with respect to public education.

Article 11

The Arabic language is the official national language. The conditions under which the French language is to be used are determined by law.

Article 12

Every Lebanese has the right to public employment, without any distinction, except on qualification and merit according to the conditions laid down by the law. A special code shall be established to safeguard the rights of employees in the areas to which they belong.

Article 13

The freedom of opinion, expression through speech and writing, the freedom of the press, the freedom of assembly, and the freedom of association, are all guaranteed within the scope of the law.

Article 14

The dwelling is inviolable. No one is entitled to enter therein except under the conditions and manners prescribed by the law.

Article 15

The ownership is protected by the law. Ownership of any one cannot be expropriated except for reasons of public utility under the conditions prescribed by the law and upon fair compensation to him.