Fundamental Provisions


a. Lebanon is a sovereign, free, and independent country.  It is a final homeland for all its citizens.  It is unified in its territory, people, and institutions within the boundaries defined in this constitution and recognized internationally.
b. Lebanon is Arab in its identity and in its association.  It is a founding and active member of the League of Arab States and abides by its pacts and covenants.  Lebanon is also a founding and active member of the United Nations Organization and abides by its covenants and by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  The Government shall embody these principles in all fields and areas without exception.
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 among all citizens without discrimination.
d. The people are the source of authority and sovereignty; they shall exercise these powers through the constitutional institutions.
e. The political system is established on the principle of separation, balance, and cooperation amongst the various branches of Government.
f. The economic system is free and ensures private initiative and the right to private property.
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 the system.
h. The abolition of political confessionalism is a basic national goal and shall be achieved according to a gradual plan.
i. Lebanese territory is one for all Lebanese.  Every Lebanese has the right to live in any part of it and to enjoy the sovereignty of law wherever he resides.  There is nosegregation of the people on the basis of any type of belonging, and no fragmentation, partition, or colonization.
j. There is no constitutional legitimacy for any authority which contradicts the 'pact of communal coexistence'.
This Constitutional Law shall be published in the Official Gazette.

                          Part A. On the State and its Territories:

Article 1  [Territory]
Lebanon is an independent, indivisible, and sovereign state.  Its frontiers are those which now bound it:
On the North: From the mouth of al-Kabir River, along a line following the course of this river to its point of junction with Khalid Valley opposite al-Qamar Bridge.
On the East: The summit line separating the Khalid Valley and al-Asi River (Orontes) and passing by the villages of Mu'aysarah, Harbanah, Hayt, Ibish, Faysan to the height of the two villages of Brina and Matraba.  This line follows the northern boundary of the Ba`albak District at the northeastern and south eastern directions, thence the eastern boundaries of the districts of Ba`albak, Biqa', Hasbayya, and Rashayya.
On the South: The present southern boundaries of the districts of Sûr (Tyre) and Marji`yun.
On the West: The Mediterranean.
Article 2  [Territorial Integrity]
No part of the Lebanese territory may be alienated or ceded.
Article 3  [Administrative Areas]
The boundaries of the administrative areas may not be modified except by law.
Article 4  [Republic, Capital]
Greater Lebanon is a Republic the capital of which is Beirut.
Article 5  [Flag]
The Lebanese flag is composed of three horizontal stripes, a white stripe between two red ones.  The width of the white stripe is equal to that of both red stripes.  In the center of and occupying one third of the white stripe is a green Cedar tree with its top touching the upper red stripe and its base touching the lower red stripe.
                     Part B. The Rights and Duties of the Citizen

Article 6  [Nationality]
Lebanese nationality and the manner in which it is acquired, retained, and lost is to be determined in accordance with the law.
Article 7  [Equality]
All Lebanese are equal before the law.  They equally enjoy civil and political rights and equally are bound by public obligations and duties without any distinction.
Article 8  [Personal Liberty, nulla poena sine lege]
Individual liberty is guaranteed and protected by law.  No one may be arrested, imprisoned, or kept in custody except according to the provisions of the law.  No offense may be established or penalty imposed except by law.
Article 9  [Conscience, Belief]
There shall be absolute freedom of conscience.  The state inrendering homage to the Most High shall respect all religions and creeds and guarantees, under its protection, the free exercise 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, Confessional Schools]
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  eligious communities to have their own schools provided they follow the general rules issued by the state regulating public instruction.
Article 11  [Official National Language]
Arabic is the official national language.  A law determines the cases in which the French language may be used.
Article 12  [Public Office]
Every Lebanese has the right to hold public office, no preference being made except on the basis of merit and competence, according to the conditions established by law.  A special statute guarantees the rights of state officials in the departments to which they belong.
Article 13  [Expression, Press, Assembly, Association]
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 14  [Home]
The citizen's place of residence is inviolable.  No one may enter it except in the circumstances and manners prescribed by law.
Article 15  [Property]
Rights of ownership are protected by law.  No one's property may be expropriated except for reasons of public utility in cases established by law and after fair compensation has been paid beforehand.