The Judicial Authority

Part 1 Court Judges and Public Prosecutors

Article 131 Independence of the Judiciary
The judicial authority is independent. The President of the Republic guarantees this independence with the assistance of the Higher Council of the Judiciary.

Article 132 Higher Council of the Judiciary
The President of the Republic presides over the Higher Council of the Judiciary. The law defines the method of its formulation, its powers, as well as its internal operating procedures.

Article 133 Independence of Judges
(1) Judges are independent. They are subject to no authority except that of the law.

(2) The honor, conscience, and impartiality of judges are guarantees of public rights and freedoms.

Article 134 Sentences
Sentences are issued in the name of the Arab people of Syria.

Article 135 Organization
The law organizes the judicial system along with its categories, types, and grades of judges. It also defines the regulations pertaining to the jurisdiction in the different courts.

Article 136 Status of Judges
The law defines the terms of appointment, promotion, transfer, discipline, and removal of judges.

Article 137 Public Prosecution
The public prosecution is a single juridical institution headed by the Minister of Justice. The law organizes its functions and powers.

Article 138 Administrative Jurisdiction
The Council of State exercises administrative jurisdiction. The law defines the terms of appointment, promotion, discipline, and removed of its judges.

Part 2 The Supreme Constitutional Court

Article 139 Membership
The Supreme Constitutional Court is composed of five members, of whom one will be the President, and all of whom are appointed by the President of the Republic by decree.

Article 140 Incompatibility
It is not permissible to combine the membership of the Supreme Constitutional Court with a ministerial post or membership in the People's Assembly. The law defines other functions which cannot be combined with court membership.

Article 141 Term
The term of membership of the Supreme Constitutional Court is 4 years subject to renewal.

Article 142 Dismissal
Members of the Supreme Constitutional Court cannot be dismissed from court membership except in accordance with the provisions of the law.

Article 143
Before assuming their duty, the President and members of the Supreme Constitutional Court take the following oath before the President of the Republic and in the presence of the speaker of the People's Assembly:

"I swear by the Almighty to respect the country's Constitution and laws and to carry out my duty with impartiality and loyalty."

Article 144 Electoral Control
The Supreme Constitutional Court determines the validity of the special appeals regarding the election of the members of the People's Assembly and submits to it a report on its findings.

Article 145 Constitutional Review
The Supreme Constitutional Court looks into and decides on the constitutionality of laws in accordance with the following:

1) Should the President of the Republic or a quarter of the People's Assembly members challenge the constitutionality of a law before its promulgation, the promulgation of such law is suspended until the court makes a decision on it within 15 days from the date the appeal was filed with it. Should the law be of an urgent nature, the Supreme Constitutional Court must make a decision within 7 days.

2) Should a quarter of the People's Assembly members object to the constitutionality of a legislative decree within 15 days of the date of the People's Assembly session, the Supreme Constitutional Court must decide on it within 15 days from the date the objection was filed with it.

3) Should the Supreme Constitutional Court decide that a law or a decree is contrary to the Constitution, whatever is contrary to the text of the Constitution is considered null and void with retroactive effect and has no consequence.

Article 146 No Review Of Referendum Laws
The Supreme Constitutional Court has no right to look into laws which the President of the Republic submits to public referendum and are approved by the people.

Article 147 Review of Drafts
The Supreme Constitutional Court, at the request of the President of the Republic, gives its opinion on the constitutionality of bills and legislative decrees and the legality of draft decrees.

Article 148 Constitutional Court Statute
The law determines the procedure of hearing and adjudicating in matters coming under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Constitutional Court. It also defines the court staff, the qualifications of its members, and prescribes their salaries, immunities, privileges, and responsibilities.

Part 3 Amending the Constitution

Article 149 Initiative, Majority
(1) The President of the Republic as well as a two-thirds majority of the People's Assembly members have a right to propose amending the Constitution.

(2) The amendment proposal includes the provisions to be amended and the reasons for it.

(3) Upon receipt of the proposal, the People's Assembly sets up a special committee to investigate it.

(4) The Assembly discusses the amendment proposal, and if approved by a two-thirds majority of its members, the amendment is considered final, provided it is approved by the President of the Republic. It will then be included in the body of the Constitution.