Home Syria’s Constitutional Process

Syria’s Constitutional Process

by wael.m

Syrians for Truth and Justice (STJ) brought forth the idea of the project ‘Syrian Voices for an Inclusive Constitution’ in response to the United Nations-sponsored agreement on the formation of a Constitutional Committee.

Recognizing the foundational role constitutions play and the importance of a fair constitution-building process, the UN established the Syrian Constitutional Committee by Resolution 2254. The Committee comprised members of the Syrian Government, the opposition Syrian Negotiations Commission, and the civil society. In 2019, the Committee held its first meeting during which the constituent assembly declared its determination to amend or adopt a new Syrian Constitution as part of the path toward national peace and stability.

While UN General Secretary António Guterres calls the Constitutional Committee part of a “Syrian-owned and Syrian-led” peace process, there has been significant controversy surrounding which Syrian communities are represented in the Constitutional Committee and the role foreign powers have played in choosing them. Both Turkey and Russia influenced the delegates chosen in the Syrian Constitutional Committee, testifying to the impact foreign powers continue to have not only on the Syrian conflict but on the Syrian peace-building process. This prompted STJ to launch a project aims at bringing the voices of local Syrian communities to the members of the Constitutional Committee.

Believing that effective and inclusive participation is fundamental to a fruitful Constitution-making process, STJ sought through this project to ensure the participation of all Syrian components and constituents, especially those who feel not properly represented in the Committee. The Middle East Institute described the Committee as “strongly skewed against the Kurds, who compromise only 4% of its total membership, less than half of their percentage of the population as a whole.”

In 2020, STJ held consultations throughout the country on the subjects of citizenship, distribution of power, a transitional constitution process for Syria, and the inclusion of social and environmental justice.

STJ organized the data retrieved from these consultations in a series of five reports entitled,



  1. The Formation and Responsibilities of the Syrian Constitutional Committee;
  2. Syria’s Diversity Must be Defended and Supported by Law;
  3. Transitional Justice and the Constitution Process in Syria;
  4. Governance and Judicial Systems in the Syrian Constitution;
  5. Socio-Ecological Justice and the Syrian Constitution.

STJ also published a sixth report that provides an executive summary of all previous reports, outlines project activities, and highlights its key recommendations and findings.

This project is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)

On the Way to a New Syrian Constitution: How to Draw Upon the Experiences of Other Countries?


In 2021, Syrians for Truth and Justice (STJ), with support from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), held a series of dialogue sessions to brief Syrians of different affiliations on the experiences of four countries in constitution drafting. Among these experiences, there are the successful, the partly successful, and the failed in being neutral, unbiased, and inclusive.


These dialogue sessions were a continuation of consultations started in 2020 under the title ‘Syrian Voices for an Inclusive Constitution’ that called for the promotion of the representation of minorities and marginalized communities in the new Syrian Constitution. The sessions resulted in a set of papers available at…… 


Organizers of the consultations intended to choose the majority of participants from northeastern and western Syria, taking into account gender and ethnic diversity. The participants included Arabs, Yazidis, Assyrians, Armenians, Syriacs, and others who have never participated in any similar meetings on the constitutional process in Syria.


As part of the project, STJ published four papers on the constitutional experiences of Iraq, Türkiye, Lebanon as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina. The papers approach these experiences with the Syrian situation and provide recommendations regarding issues of citizenship, diversity, inclusion of minorities, and enhancing their participation in the Syrian constitutional process. 

Through 2022 and 2023, Syrians for Truth and Justice (STJ) held extensive dialogue sessions on topics of social justice, transitional justice, diversity, and minority inclusion, gender and constitution, political participation, and water security. These sessions aimed to build the capacity of a variety of Syrian men and women and were part of a wider project named ‘Bridging the Gap between Syrians and the Constitutional Committee’, supported and funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Notably, NED has previously supported other constitution-related projects such as, ‘Syrian Voices for an Inclusive Constitution’ and ‘On the Way to a New Syrian Constitution; How to Draw Upon the Experiences of Other Countries?’.

The ‘Bridging the Gap between Syrians and the Constitutional Committee’ project seeks to enhance communication between representatives of local communities and members of the Syrian Constitutional Committee with the aim to ensure inclusiveness and wider representation of Syrians in all phases of the constitution-making process.

The sessions resulted in a carefully crafted recommendations made by participants to the stakeholders. For developing content of the papers that will come out of the sessions, STJ conducted consultations in cooperation with constitutional specialists.


Based on the results of the dialogue sessions and consultations, STJ prepared the following papers,

  1. Transitional Justice is the Guarantee to Achieve Sustainable Peace;
  2. Social Justice and the Syrian Constitution: Theoretical Texts and Neglected Rights;
  3. Gender-Sensitive Transitional Justice is an Essential Requirement to Support the Transitional Path.

For any questions and/or suggestions related to this project, please do not hesitate to contact us at editor@stj-sy.org 

This project is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)

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