This is an overview of an internet research on legislation in Syria (as of December 2018). This overview aims to serve as a starting point to facilitate the research into legal texts. However, it should not replace independent verification of the different legal texts as to their currency, validity and accuracy. Please also bear in mind that official translations of legal texts only exist in rare cases.

Researching Laws

The website of the Syrian Parliament (Majlis asch-Scha’ab) provides a database that enables a search for laws and decrees. The website is available in Arabic only. It offers an overview of all current legislation and shows the title and the number of each legislation as well as the date it came into force.

The Syrian state news agency SANA regularly publishes laws and amendments to laws that have recently come into force. These publications are accessible via the following link:

The database Refworld that is operated by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) provides English translations of selected legislation:

To access the collection of national laws of Turkey on, please follow this link.


The current constitution of the Syrian Arab Republic came into force in 2012. The original in Arabic as well as an English translation were published by the Constitute Project and are accessible via the following links:

Criminal Law

The Penal Code with the legislation number 148 was adopted in 1949 and is still in force. The website of the Syrian Ministry of Justice provides an undated version of the Penal Code. The amendments to the Penal Code that are listed further below have not been incorporated into this legal text:

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) provides a version of the Penal Code containing amendments up to 1974 on its website:

No translation of the Syrian Penal Code could be found.

On its website the International Labour Organization (ILO) features two amendments to the Penal Code that were adopted in 2011 and 2013. The texts of these amendments are available in Arabic, a short summary in English is also provided:

A search in the legislation data base of the Syrian Parliament revealed that the last amendment to the Penal Code was adopted in 2018

Criminal Procedure Code

On its website the Alkarama Foundation provides an Arabic version of the Syrian Criminal Procedure Code (Legislative Decree No. 112 of 13 March 1950). At the bottom of the page, the text of an amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code of 2000 (Legislative Decree No. 8 of 2000 amending the Criminal Procedure Code) is added to the Code:

  • Criminal Procedure Code, Legislative Decree No. 112 of 13 March 1950 [قانون أصول المحاكمات الجزائية, المرسوم التشريعي 112 تاريخ 13/3/1950],

13 March 1950

No translation of the Criminal Procedure Code could be found.

Military Penal Law

An Arabic version of the Military Penal law of 1950 is available on the website of Alkarama Foundation:

An unofficial English translation of excerpts of the Military Penal Law of 1950 was published by UNHCR and is available via the following link:

UNHCR also published an unofficial translation of Legislative Decree No. 8 of 2016 that grants a general amnesty for crimes of internal and external desertion and for the crimes stated in the Military Service Law committed prior to 17 February 2016. It is available via the following link:

In June 2018 the Washington-based Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP) reports on a further partial Military Service Amnesty concerning certain individuals accused of deserting or avoiding military service:

Citizenship Law

The Syrian Law on Citizenship was adopted in 1969 through Presidential Decree No. 276.

The Arabic version of this presidential decree is available on the website of the Syrian parliament:

  • Legislative Decree No. 276 of 1969 regarding the Syrian Arab Citizenship [المرسوم التشريعي رقم 276 للعام 1969 المتعلق بالجنسية العربية السورية],
    24 November 1969

A translation of the Law on Citizenship of 1969 is provided by UNHCR and available via the following link:

The Norwegian Refugee Council and the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion have created an overview of the most important legal provisions regarding the acquisition and the loss of the Syrian Citizenship:


(all links accessed December 2018)

13 March 1950

Cite as:

ACCORD - Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation: Syrian Arab Republic Law Guide, December 2018