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Syria: The Draft Law for Professional Associations is Still Pending

STJ calls on the Supreme Constitutional Court to exercise its authority in monitoring the constitutionality of the law and its compatibility with Syria's international obligations

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A meeting of the Syrian Council of Ministers -AFP

Nearly two years ago, the draft law for professional associations in Syria was circulated. However, it has not been officially approved. Perhaps because it contains many gaps and violates the constitution and the international obligations of Syria, or probably because it arouses suspicion of several associations.[1]

Previously, Syrians for Truth and Justice (STJ) published a report on the most prominent violations and gaps related to this draft law. Moreover, this paper sheds light on several important criticisms of the draft law and calls for its official disapproval by the competent authorities. STJ also demands that the Supreme Constitutional Court exercises its authority to monitor the constitutionality of the draft law.

1.   Introduction:

On 29 August 2022, STJ published a report entitled “Syria: A Draft Law for Professional Associations Strips Away their Independence and Strengthens the Power of the Executive Branch”. The report concluded that the main purpose of the draft law[2] is to strengthen the influence of the Executive Branch over the professional associations, which violates the current constitution of 2012.

The Draft Law was prepared by a joint committee established under Resolution No. 1489 issued on 05 September 2021. It includes 15 chapters, and its articles are distributed as follows: definitions and objectives of the law (Articles 1 to 3), the mandate of the associations (Article 4), the conditions of membership (Article 5), the bodies of associations (Article 6), the formation of the General Assembly and its tasks (Articles 7 to 11), the Council (Articles 12 to 20), the Monitoring Commissions (Articles 21, 22), the mechanism for establishing branches (Articles 23, 24), the General Authority (Articles 25 to 30), the composition and functions of Branch Councils (Articles 31 to 35), the rights and duties of members (Articles 36, 37), the suspension of membership (Article 38), the Disciplinary Board and penalties (Articles 39 to 46), the revenues (Article 47), the dissolution of associations and councils (Articles 48 to 50), and final provisions related to the objection mechanism, the registration deadlines, and the judicial authority that revise the decisions of the councils (Articles 51 to 56).

You may read and download the full version of this legal report (26 pages) in PDF format by clicking here.

[1] The President of the Bar Association stated to “al-Watan”: the Draft Law for Professional Associations includes constitutional violations (Arabic). Al-Watan Newspaper. 23 August 2022. Accessed on 15 May 2023). https://alwatan.sy/archives/315213

[2] The Draft Law for Professional Associations. See Appendix No. 1 (Arabic).

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