Lebanon/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.2 Division of jurisdiction

Constitutional studies have been developing since the 1920s thanks to law and political and administrative science schools and also to the efforts of many pioneering researchers, most notably Edmund Rabbat.

On the other hand, the war periods gave legal scholars the opportunity to study the possible, the impossible, the easy and the impregnable in terms of amendment of the constitution.

According to his book General Theory in Lebanese Constitutional System, Dr. Antoine Masra says that researches in the Lebanese constitution were mostly restricted to the study of powers and jurisdictions and their balance, in addition to some ideology issues such as sect and identity. These researches however neglected all matters related to cultural and educational dimensions, values and customs, thus ignoring the cultural foundation of constitutional science.

This shortcoming resulted in a continuous and often useless debate about many cultural and educational issues whose principles are firmly determined by the Lebanese constitution but neglected by constitutional researches.

Exploring the cultural and educational content of the Lebanese constitution removes many elements of the politicized cultural and educational disputes and establishes integration and cooperation relations between the official and the private components and helps consolidating a unifying Lebanese and Arab culture.

Every time and a while educational policy makers in Lebanon tend to declare certain legislations and principles without referring to the education-related provisions in the Lebanese constitution, which set up the frameworks and help keep conflicts within certain limits. These education-related provisions are fixed prior to the 1926 constitution and are still active after the 21 Sep. 1990 amendments. The National Reconciliation Document states – in its first part – that balanced development of regions on the cultural, social and economic level is mainstay of the unity and stability of the state. Similarly, the preface of Lebanese Constitution reinforces respect for public liberties, particularly freedom of opinion and belief, social justice and equality between citizens. Article 10 of the Constitution also consolidates freedom of education, freedom of religious communities to have their own schools. Finally, article 13 emphasizes freedom of opinion, freedom of the press, and the freedom to assembly and association.

Chapter published: 07-04-2016