Law and Compliance in Syria

Overview by

Business Contract

General Observation
Economic security plays a capital role in the Syrian economy, notably in the real estate or agriculture contracts, building (mortgage or company's contract), trade, consumer's credit, etc.
Law Applicable to the Contract
In spite of the important reforms to attract new FDI, the Syrian legal system is still marked by the procedures and decisions taken in an arbitrary way. The legal system undergoes through lack of transparency, promptness and efficiency and it still functions in an individual case basis. This is the reason why the contract established between the foreign company and the Syrian entity is extremely important. The legal actions that could follow are usually settled by negotiation or arbitrage.
Other Laws Which Can Be Used in Domestic Contracts
The languages mostly used in international contracts are Arabic and English.

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Legal Framework of Business

Equity of Judgments

Independence of Justice
The judiciary is controlled by the ruling party. 
Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
Foreign nationals cannot expect an impartial trial from the country’s judicial system.
The Language of Justice
Arabic is the judicial language used in the country and the laws are only drawn up in Classic Arabic.
Recourse to an Interpreter
Having an interpreter is possible.
Legal Similarities
The main source of law in Syria is the constitution of 1973. The country’s legal system is based on a combination of the French and the Ottoman civil laws. Religious law is used for all that concerns family rights. Syria has not accepted the mandatory ICJ jurisdiction.

The Different Legal Codes

Consult the database of  the American Library of Congress All the Syrian law texts.
Checking National Laws Online

Find Legal Experts in Syria on

The Jurisdictions

The Supreme Constitutional Court The authority that rules the entire judicial system. The Supreme Constitutional Court is composed of a Chief Judge and four judges nominated by a presidential decree for a period of four years.
Civil Court It is the justice court which stands for civil and minor crimes. There is one court in each of the 14 districts.
Criminal Court It is a bench court for the most serious crimes. There is one in each district along with a court of appeals and a court of cassation.
"Personal Status Matters" Court Courts qualified to deal with matters regarding personal status:  Tribunal of the Sharia for the Sunni and Shiite Muslims, Tribunal Madhabi for the Druzes and Tribunal Ruhi for the Christians and Jewish.

Court Officials

They represent the accused or the victim. They can appeal a decision at the Court of Appeal or at the Court of Cassation. However, the appeals are difficult to win because the courts do not provide a transcription of the debates.
They preside over the courts. There is not a jury. The trials are public, except those that involve minors or sexual offenses.
Find more on about Legal and Compliance Issues in Syria.

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