Lebanon/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.1 Constitution

Paragraphs C and G in the preamble of the Lebanese constitution (issued in 1926 and amended afterward) pertaining to cultural affairs were added by virtue of Constitutional Law of 1990, in addition to articles 9, 10, 11 and 13.

Paragraph C

Lebanon is a parliamentary democratic republic based on respect for public liberties, especially the freedom of opinion and belief, and respect for social justice and equality of rights and duties amongst all citizens without discrimination.

Paragraph G

The even development among regions on the educational, social, and economic levels shall be a basic pillar of the unity of the state and the stability of order.

Article 9

There shall be absolute freedom of conscience. The state in rendering homage to the Most High shall respect all religions and creeds and guarantees, under its protection, the free practice of all religious rites provided that public order is not disturbed. It also guarantees that the personal status and religious interests of the population, to whatever religious sect they belong, is respected.

Article 10

Education is free insofar as it is not contrary to public order and morals and does not interfere with the dignity of any of the religions or creeds. There shall be no violation of the right of religious communities to have their own schools provided they follow the general rules issued by the state regulating public instructions.

Article 11 (amended by Constitution Law issued 9/111943)

Arabic is the official national language. A law determines the cases in which the French language may be used.

Article 13

The freedom to express one's opinion orally or in writing, the freedom of the press, the freedom of assembly, and the freedom of association are guaranteed within the limits established by law.

Article 19 (amended by virtue of Constitutional Law of 17/10/1927 and Constitutional Law of 21/9/1990)

A Constitutional Council is established to supervise the constitutionality of laws and to arbitrate conflicts that arise from parliamentary and presidential elections. The President, the President of the Parliament, the Prime Minister, along with any ten Members of Parliament, have the right to consult this Council on matters that relate to the constitutionality of laws. The officially recognized heads of religious communities have the right to consult this Council only on laws relating to personal matters, the freedom of belief and religious practice, and the freedom of religious education. The rules governing the organization, operation, composition, and modes of appeal of the Council are decided by a special law.

Chapter published: 07-04-2016