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The Lebanese legal system has been influenced by a combination of Ottoman and Islamic principles, as well as civil law.  The Sharia is not established as a source of law in the 1926 Constitution, nor is there a State religion.  This is a result of the make-up of the population of Lebanon.  There are communities of Sunni and Shia Muslims, as well as eighteen official Christian denominations and a significant Druze community. Personal status matters are governed by the religious authorities of each community.  According to Article 242 of the 1962 Law on the Rights of the Family, the sources for the family law applied to Sunnis are Hanafi fiqh and the Ottoman Law of Family Rights (OLFR).  Jaafari fiqh and the OLFR are applied to the Shia Muslims and the Druze have a separate code.  The Christian denominations have their own codes, and due to the formerly significant Jewish population of Lebanon there is also a Jewish personal status code.

Available Information

reunite´s Summary Text for Lebanon 
Legal Texts

•    Constitution 1926

•    Druze Personal Status Law (Arabic)

•    Catholic Personal Status Law (Arabic)
•    Roman Orthodox Personal Status Law (Arabic)
•    Armenian Orthodox Personal Status Law (Arabic)
•    Syrian Orthodox Personal Status Law (Arabic)
•    Evangelical Personal Status Law (Arabic)
•    Jewish Personal Status Law (Arabic)

•    Taif Accord 1989

•    Arrangement on Mutual Cooperation in Combating Illegal Migration Between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Republic of Lebanon, 1997.

•    Arrangement Between Australia and the Republic of Lebanon Regarding Cooperation on Protecting the Welfare of Children, 1998.

•    Extract Qadi Pasha’s Code (French and Arabic)


•    Case, B v EL-B (Abduction: Sharia Law : Welfare of Child) Family Division [2003] 1 FLR 811. [2003] Fam Law 299


•    Convention on the Rights of the Child Report 1998


•    Family Law Summary (Emory)

•    Summary of the Judiciary (POGAR)

•    Summary International Parental Child Abduction (US State Department)

•    Summary of Judicial Structures, Nathan J. Brown