Lebanon is an eastern Mediterranean country that has the most religiously diverse society in the Middle East, comprising 18 recognized religious sects. The primary religions are Islam (SunniShia, and a small number of Alawites and Ismailis) and Christianity (the Maronite Church, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Melkite Greek Catholic ChurchProtestantism, and the Armenian Apostolic Church). The Druze are about 5% of the citizens 

Statistics Lebanon, an independent firm, estimates that 67.6 percent of the citizen population is Muslim (31.9 percent Sunni, 31 percent Shia, and small percentages of Alawites and Ismailis). Statistics Lebanon estimates that 32.4 percent of the population is Christian.2019 Report on International Religious Freedom: Lebanon-https://www.state.gov/reports/2019-report-on-international-religious-freedom/lebanon/

It is also estimated that a large proportion of Lebanon’s population is refugees, UNHCR estimates that Lebanon remains the country hosting the largest number of refugees per capita, with the Government’s estimation of 1.5 M Syrian refugees + some 13,715 refugees of other nationalities.

Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) estimates between 250,000 and 280,000 Palestinians are living in the country as UN-registered refugees in 12 camps and surrounding areas and are mostly Sunni Muslims but also include Christians.UNHCR Lebanon: Fact sheet, January 2022-https://reliefweb.int/report/lebanon/unhcr-lebanon-fact-sheet-january-2022

Information About Muslim Family Laws And/or Practices in Lebanon

Main Laws That Govern Muslim Marriages

Lebanon lacks a civil code regulating personal status matters such as marriage and so relies on 15 separate personal religious-based status laws.

The main law that governs Muslim marriages is the Law of the Judicial Organization of the Sunni and Shia Judiciary Family Law issued on 16 July 1962.Law of the Judicial Organization of the Sunni and Shia Judiciary Family Law – https://learningpartnership.org/sites/default/files/resources/pdfs/Lebanon-Family-Law-Marriage-ShiaSunni-1962-Arabic.pdf

Articles 348 to 356 of this law govern marriage for Sunni and Shia Muslims in Lebanon.

In addition, ruling No. 46 entitled “Family Judgements”, issued in December 2011 by the Sunni Supreme Islamic Council and published in the Official Gazette in December, the 1917 Ottoman Law of Family Rights and the Personal Status Compendium by Qadri Pasha govern Muslim Sunni marriages.

On another note, Guide to Jafari Justice, drafted in 1994 by the President of the Supreme Jafari Court following complaints from lawyers about the lack of codification may be considered a reference that governs Shia Muslim marriage.

Equal Status in Marriage

Family law treats women and men unequally when it comes to their duties and responsibilities in marriage.

Personal Status Laws for Muslims include requirements for wives to obey their husbands. The husband has the right to his wife’s obedience and residence with him in one dwelling and to accompany him wherever he wants (unless the wife is required otherwise in the marriage contract).

If the wife violates the right to submit to obedience, he is able to put forth a claim for disobedience (nushuz), in which the wife is no longer entitled to maintenance. The rights of the wife are entitlement to dowry and the necessary maintenance of housing, clothing, food, and good treatment (cohabitation). Common rights are the right to enjoy each other, the right to have children, and the right to inherit.Lebanon- gender justice- Assessment of laws affecting gender equality and protection against gender-based violence – https://arabstates.unfpa.org/en/publications/gender-justice-law-lebanon

Family laws in Lebanon allow polygamy for Muslim men only (Sunni and Shia), the first wife can’t remarry nor consider it as evidence to claim for divorce. Additionally, her rights and the rights of their children, such as inheritance, are diminished by the rights of the second wife.Women Unequal Under Lebanon’ Law – https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/01/19/interview-women-unequal-under-lebanons-%20%20law#:~:text=In%20Lebanon%2C%20polygamy%20is%20legal,rights%20of%20the%20second%20wife

Minimum Age of Marriage

There is a divergence in the law for Sunnis and Shias concerning the minimum age for marriageUnderage Marriage Finally Banned By The ‘Supreme Islamic Sharia Council’ – https://www.the961.com/underage-marriage-banned-lebanon/ .

For Sunnis: The Sunni Supreme Islamic Council, approved on 12/12/2020 a resolution no. 62 which amended ruling no. 46/2011 and added a chapter on the marriage of underage girls.

The resolution raises the minimum age for marriage to 18 for males and females.

In an exception to Resolution 62, those wanting to marry before 18 must be at least 15 years old and the union requires the approval of both the minor and the legal guardian. Additionally, before the marriage can take place, a medical examination must be carried out to assess the mental, physical, and psychological condition of the minor who seeks to be married.

For Shias: with judicial permission and proving attainment of the legal age of puberty, 15 for males, and 9 for females.

Divorce Provisions for Women and Men

The criteria for women to access divorce are more stringent than those for men which leads to inequality between women and men.

Men subject to Sunni and Shia, personal status laws have an absolute right to unilaterally terminate a marriage at will. While legally spouses may agree to share the right to dissolve the marriage by giving the wife `Isma‘ or irrevocable power to initiate divorce herself, in the marriage contract the practice is largely rejected in a society in which divorce is widely considered to be a male right.

For Sunni: Without `Isma’, Sunni women can only initiate a divorce by filing for severance. Sunni courts often find women partly culpable in severance cases—even in cases with spousal violence or harm—reducing their dower. Some women pre-emptively relinquish their pecuniary rights to get their husbands to agree to initiate divorce. 

For Shia: Shia women have no access to severance, they can only seek “sovereign” divorce via a Ja’fari religious authority who can divorce a Shia woman on behalf of her husband. This divorce needs to be recognized by the Ja’fari courts to take legal effect. It is a lengthy process that does not guarantee success.Human Rights Watch Submission to the CEDAW Committee of Lebanon’s Periodic Report 62nd Session February 2015 – https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CEDAW/Shared%20Documents/LBN/INT_CEDAW_NGO_LBN_19385_E.pdf

Positive Feature(s) Under Muslim Family Law

Sharia courts in Lebanon, prioritize the alimony cases when it comes to timely delivery.

In Lebanon, when the wife files a claim for alimony, the judge immediately issues a decision on an alimony advance, which is expedited.  ruling No. 46 entitled “Family Judgements”,

In such cases, the decision can be implemented immediately in the enforcement division and once the husband is notified, a decision can be issued to imprison him if he does not pay within five days.

Administration Of And Access To Justice On Marriage And Family Matters

In Lebanon, the Kadhi court system is implementedLaw of the Judicial Organization of the Sunni and Shia Judiciary Family Law https://learningpartnership.org/sites/default/files/resources/pdfs/Lebanon-Family-Law-Marriage-ShiaSunni-1962-Arabic.pdf .

There are two levels of sharia courts. sharia courts of the first instance and a supreme sharia court in Beirut sitting with 3 kadhis and a civil judge acting as Attorney- General. Courts of the first instance are composed of one judge or several single judges.

After a marriage or a divorce takes place in the competent court, The mayor of the region organizes a marriage/divorce certificate.

The marriage/divorce certificate must be registered in the Personal Status Administration for official registration, although some marriages or divorces remain unregistered.

Failure to register in the Personal Status Administration for official registration does not invalidate Muslim marriages or divorces, as long as the marriage or divorce took place in the competent sharia court.

Constitutional Provisions and National Legislation

Constitutional Provisions

Paragraph C of the preamble to the Lebanese Constitution provides that the Lebanese Republic is founded on respect for fundamental rights and public freedoms, social justice, and the equality of all citizens, without discrimination or preference, with regard to rights and obligations.

Article 7 of the Constitution provides that all Lebanese citizens are equal before the law, that they enjoy civil and political rights on an equal basis, and that they are equally bound, without distinction, by public obligations and duties.

Meanwhile, Article 12 provides that all Lebanese citizens have the right to hold public-sector jobs, with no distinction save on grounds of merit and aptitude, following the conditions laid down by law.Replies of Lebanon to the list of issues and questions in relation to its sixth periodic report -https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/TreatyBodyExternal/countries.aspx?CountryCode=LBN&Lang=EN

Nonetheless, Article 9 guarantees that the personal status and religious interests – for whatever religious sect – shall be respected. As such, all matters related to religious interests and personal status regarding marriage, divorce, child custody, and inheritance– are at the discretion of applicable personal status laws and courts.Country Lebanon SIGI 2019 – https://www.genderindex.org/wp-content/uploads/files/datasheets/2019/LB.pdf

All marriage is governed by religious law in Lebanon and there is no domestic code for those who seek a civil marriage.Lebanese demand civil marriage on home soil – https://www.france24.com/en/20190223-lebanese-demand-civil-marriage-home-soil All personal status codes include discriminatory provisions for women in terms of legal age to marry and with regards to annulment. Though there is citizen demand for civil marriage in Lebanon and a draft civil marriage law, religious leaders have refused to support it and Parliament has yet to debate the bill.

Other National Laws

Domestic violence (DV) is not a recent issue facing the Lebanese society, however, it began to receive more public attention in the last 20 years, given the presence of multiple factors such as the rise in the number of crimes in parallel to the increased coverage of research, media, and social media, which resulted in the creation of public anger towards the official silence and lack of governmental reaction (Khadra et al., 2014). The UNFPA (2010) reported that 55% of women in Lebanon were exposed to either verbal or physical violence. Another report mentioned that between 2010 and 2013, 26 Lebanese women were killed in domestic settings.DISSECTING LEBANESE LAW 293 ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: ARE WOMEN PROTECTED? – https://www.aub.edu.lb/ifi/Documents/publications/policy_briefs/2016-2017/20170716_domestic_violence.pdf

Despite these numbers, the Lebanese legal framework lacked a text that criminalizes domestic violence and crimes. Regardless of the presence of the criminal law’s “article 550” that arrests a murderer or a suspect in light of the occurrence of a crime, the process of criminalizing a domestic crime or abuse through the use of this article was deemed to be difficult.

The draft law that aims at protecting women and the rest of their family members from DV and physical abuse, faced political and religious hindrances but found its way to the legislative committee of the Parliament and later to the final legislative session through systematic activism and advocacy by civil society.Ibid

On 1 May 2014, The Lebanese Parliament passed Law No. 293 Protecting Women and other Family Members from Domestic Violence, Law 293’s implications have been authorized to protect all women present on the Lebanese lands including the Muslim population.

Law No. 293/2014 is a relatively recent addition to the domestic framework, it codifies crimes of SGBV committed within a family setting, extending measures of protection to victims/survivors and related policing and prosecution reforms.

The law, however, was inconsistent with Lebanon’s legal obligations under international law. The law applied an overly restrictive definition of domestic violence that fails to include many forms, acts, and manifestations of SGBV taking place within family settings.Accountability for sexual and gender-based violence in Lebanon. https://www.icj.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Lebanon-GBV-Guidance-Publications-Reports-Thematic-report-2020-ENG.pdf

Thus, on 30 December 2020, The Parliament in the Republic of Lebanon approved several amendments to Law 293/2014 for the protection of women and other family members from domestic in order to ensure more protection for victims of domestic violence and their children.Amendments to Law 293/2014 –

In 2017, Lebanon repealed Article 522 of the Penal Code,Abolishing Lebanon’s “rape law”: spotlight on ABAAD’s campaign – https://www.girlsnotbrides.org/articles/abolishing-lebanons-rape-law-spotlight-on-abaads-campaign/ which allowed rapists to escape punishment by marrying their victims.

Lebanon’s Criminal Code prescribes several criminal penalties for various SGBV but does not sufficiently address, and adequately legislate against all forms of SGBV.

Regional or International Human Rights Principles

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)

On 16 April 1997, The Lebanese state signed and ratified the 1981 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which lays out women’s social, economic, political, and civil rights, and stipulates non-discrimination and equality. Although the signing and ratification of CEDAW helped the Lebanese state to achieve big strides for women, it had some reservations. These reservations included Article 9 (2), which seeks to give men and women equal rights with regards to the power to pass on their nationality to their children. Other reservations were against Article 16 (1) (c) (d) (f) and (g), which addresses the eradication of discrimination against women in family and marriage matters, such as the rights and responsibilities in marriage, guardianship, and personal rights, including choosing a “family name and a profession.” Additionally, the Lebanese state decreed that it does not commit to Article 29’s paragraph 1 which gives the options of referral to a) arbitration or b) the International Court of Justice, in the event of a disagreement on the interpretation of CEDAW clauses. These reservations evoked responses from countries like Denmark, as well as the Committee for the Follow-Up on Women’s Issues, to question the Lebanese state’s commitment to CEDAW. It is worth noting that these reservations were maintained, and the National Commission for Lebanese Women made little effort to amend them.Signing and ratifying CEDAW – https://civilsociety-centre.org/content/signing-and-ratifying-cedaw

The last CEDAW review was on 1 March 2022.CEDAW/C/LBN/CO/6- https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/TreatyBodyExternal/countries.aspx?CountryCode=LBN&Lang=EN

Links to CEDAW reports that refer to Muslim family laws and practices

  1. CEDAW/C/LBN/6- para 204-205-206-207-208 Sixth Periodic Lebanon State Party Report (2019)
  2. CEDAW/C/LBN/4-5 – para 211 https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/TreatyBodyExternal/countries.aspx?CountryCode=LBN&Lang=EN
  3. CEDAW/C/LBN/3 – From para 325 to para 363https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/TreatyBodyExternal/countries.aspx?CountryCode=LBN&Lang=EN
  4. CEDAW/C/LBN/2- page 25-26-27https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/TreatyBodyExternal/countries.aspx?CountryCode=LBN&Lang=EN
  5. Equality Now, The Lebanese Council to Resist Violence Against Women (LECORVAW), Women Alive and the Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights submitted a report for consideration during Lebanon’s sixth periodic review by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (‘the Committee’) during its 81st Session (07 Feb 2022 – 04 Mar 2022https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=INT%2FCEDAW%2FCSS%2FLBN%2F47479&Lang=en

Links to Concluding Observations That Refer to Reform of Muslim Family Laws and Practices

  1. CEDAW/C/LBN/CO/6- para 53-54https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/TreatyBodyExternal/countries.aspx?CountryCode=LBN&Lang=EN
  2. CEDAW/C/LBN/CO/4-5- para 45https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/TreatyBodyExternal/countries.aspx?CountryCode=LBN&Lang=EN
  3. CEDAW/C/LBN/CO/3 – para 45https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/TreatyBodyExternal/countries.aspx?CountryCode=LBN&Lang=EN
  4. A/60/38(SUPP) paras. 77-126https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/TreatyBodyExternal/countries.aspx?CountryCode=LBN&Lang=EN

Link to Musawah’s CEDAW reports on Lebanon

Musawah Thematic Report on Lebanon (2015)

Any other relevant regional or international treaty or convention signed by Lebanon

Other treaties

Ratification status of international treaties

  1. Lebanon has ratified several international conventions that seek to protect and promote human rights in general and women’s rights, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Lebanon is also committed to implementing the Beijing Platform for Action. 
  2. Convention on the Rights of the Childhttps://www.unicef.org/lebanon/convention-rights-child
  3. Official report on follow-up of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action (1995) and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly (2000)https://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/Review/responses/LEBANON-English.pdf
  4. 25 Years after Beijing: Women Fighting Inequality in Lebanonhttps://ngocsw.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Lebanon-Parallel-Report-Final-5-10-2020.pdf

Sustainable Development Goals

Work on the Sustainable Development Goals in Lebanonhttps://lebanon.un.org/en/sdgs

Lebanon endorsed the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and also the SDGs in September 2015.

After a new President was elected in October 2016 and a national conciliation government was formed in December 2016, the government’s engagement towards Agenda 2030 accelerated.Lebanon Voluntary National Review of Sustainable Development Goals, 2018- https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/19624LebanonVNR2018.pdf- page 29 to 31

In June 2017, the Council of Ministers established a national committee to oversee and guide the roll-out of the SDGs in Lebanon. The committee is chaired by the Prime Minister and includes more than 50 state officials at DG level to ensure work continues regardless of political developments.Decent work and the 2030 agenda for sustainable development- http://sdglebanon.pcm.gov.lb/Files/reports/ILO.pdf

The committee has launched a website dedicated to the present the progress of this national committee towards achieving the 2030 Agenda.Lebanon’s official SDGs webpage- http://sdglebanon.pcm.gov.lb/

Lebanon’s overall performance in the 2022 Arab Region SDG Index ranked 7th out of 21 countries in the Arab region. Lebanon scored 63.6. In addition, referring to the SDG dashboard – Current assessment, major challenges remain concerning SDG5.2022 Arab Region SDG Index and Dashboard Report – page 62-63 – https://www.arabsdgindex.com/static/downloads/files/MBRSG-UNSDSN- AGDA_2022_SDG_Index_and_Dashboard_En_w.pdf

Key Resources About Muslim Family Law

By government agencies/committees

The national machinery and the relevant ministries continue to call for the age of 18 to be adopted as the minimum legal age for marriage.

In that connection, the National Commission for Lebanese Women launched a campaign to prevent the marriage of minors and has participated in several seminars in Parliament regarding the matter.

In addition, the Supreme Council conducted a national awareness-raising campaign in 2018 that addressed family education, parenting roles, intergenerational solidarity, positive education and the family budget.CEDAW/C/LBN/6 – page 32 – https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/TreatyBodyExternal/countries.aspx?CountryCode=LBN&Lang=EN


By international bodies

  1. In June 2020, The Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA) launched, with the support of the European Union, through the EU Madad Fund, and in partnership with UNICEF, its Strategic Plan for the Protection of Women and Children for the period of 2020-2027https://www.unicef.org/lebanon/press-releases/ministry-social-affairs-launched-partnership-unicef-its-2020-2027-strategic-plan
  2. The WORLD Policy Analysis Center submitted a report for consideration for the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women 79th Pre-Session Working Group, November 2020.WORLD Policy Analysis Center -https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/TreatyBodyExternal/countries.aspx?CountryCode=LBN&Lang=EN
  3. The World Bank and UN Women published a Gender Assessment to provide an up-to-date, holistic reference on the state of women in Lebanon against the broader perspective of general development outcomes while taking into consideration the multiple crises Lebanon is facing.THE STATUS OF WOMEN IN LEBANON -https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/36512/The-Status-of-Women-in-Lebanon-Assessing-Womens-Access-to-Economic-Opportunities-Human-Capital-Accumulation-and-Agency.pdf?sequence=1

National Groups and Campaigns Working on Muslim Family Law

In Lebanon, the emergence of women’s movements and organizations were on the rise after the war in Lebanon (1975-1990) and were initiated during major historical changes in the Arab World. Voting, citizenship, and working rights have witnessed developments over the past few decades, contributing to the advancement of women’s rights throughout the country.Women’s Achievements In Lebanon – https://civilsociety-centre.org/gen/women-movements-timeline/4939#event-political-rights-the-right-to-vote-and-to-be-elected

In recent years, civil society organizations have been increasing awareness about child marriage through their holding of different workshops and campaigns, such as the one launched by The Lebanese Democratic Women’s Gathering (RDFL) in 2017 titled #NotBefore18. These organizations have also been using media as a tool to spread messages. The latest video made by KAFA titled “A LAW AS OLD AS MY GRANDFATHER CANNOT BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY” succeeded in steering up public opinion about personal status law.https://kafa.org.lb/en/node/40

Also ABAAD continues her campaign to end violence against women and girls and launched in that occasion a national campaign under the banner ‘DEYMAN WAATA’.https://www.abaadmena.org/programmes/advocacy-and-policy-development/project-619f4f26c0ec60-17330818 

The Beirut Bar Association unveiled a draft law that if adopted would make civil marriage possible in Lebanon.Lawyers to present new draft law on civil marriage -https://www.rightsobserver.org/blog/lawyers-to-present-new-draft-law-on-civil-marriage

Reform Timeline

Article 9 of the Constitution guarantees the freedom of religion as well as the respect for the different systems relating to personal status matters of all religious communities.Article 9 of Lebanon’s Constitution, https://www.constituteproject.org/constitution/Lebanon_2004.pdf?lang=en Resulting in Article 9, Lebanon does not have a unified law that relates to personal status matters. Instead, there are 15 separate personal status laws for the country’s various officially recognized religious communities (currently, 18 in totalLebanon debates controversial election laws again (2016), http://gulfnews.com/news/mena/lebanon/lebanon-debates-controversial-electoral-law-again-1.1818517 ) which are administered by separate religious courts.

25 October 1917

The Ottoman Family Law

The Ottoman Family Lawhttp://www.arabwomenlegal-emap.org/cawtar_documentcountry/%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%88%D9%86%20%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82%20%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%A6%D9%84%D8%A9%20%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%AB%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%8A%20%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%B1%2025-10-1917_BCFC1B9C35DDE41190C000155D628419/%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%88%D9%86%20%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82%20%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%A6%D9%84%D8%A9%20%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%AB%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%8A%20%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%B1%2025-10-1917.pdf

13 January 1955

Legislative Decree No. 18

Under which The Sunni Muslim community was declared independent in its religious affairshttps://awkafakkar.com/%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B1%D8%B3%D9%88%D9%85-18-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%B9%D9%86-%D9%85%D8%AC%D9%84%D8%B3-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%86%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%A8-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%84%D8%A8%D9%86%D8%A7%D9%86/

16 July 1972

The law regulating the Sunni and Jafari Sharia judiciary

Under which the content applied by the courts of these sects has been determined – Article number 242https://learningpartnership.org/sites/default/files/resources/pdfs/Lebanon-Family-Law-Marriage-ShiaSunni-1962-Arabic.pdf

19 December 1967

Law No. 72 – The Law regulating Affairs of the Shia Muslim Community

Under which The Shia Muslim community was declared independent in its religious affairsLaw No 72\67- http://site.eastlaws.com/GeneralSearch/Home/ArticlesTDetails?MasterID=158758


The Guide to Jafari Justice

The Guide to Jafari Justice drafted by the President of the Supreme Jafari Court الأحوال الشخصية في المحكمة الجعفرية- para 3- https://al-akhbar.com/Lebanon/330812


An optional civil marriage law was proposed

President Elias Hrawi proposed an optional civil marriage law, which gained approval from the cabinet only to be halted amid widespread opposition from the country’s religious authoritiesLebanese demand civil marriage on home soil – https://www.france24.com/en/20190223-lebanese-demand-civil-marriage-home-soil

1 January 2011

Ruling No. 46 entitled “Family Judgements”

Issued by High Islamic Council for the Sunni Confession published in the Official Gazette in December 2012 under the Cabinet Resolutions (under which the age of custody for Sunni sect was raised to 12 and other family issues were clearly codified).Ruling No. 46 entitled “Family Judgements”,%D8%AA%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%AE%3A%2001%2F10%2F2011&text=%D8%A8%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%A1%20%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89%20%D8%A3%D8%AD%D9%83%D8%A7%D9%85%20%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B1%D8%B3%D9%88%D9%85%20%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D8%B4%D8%AA%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%B9%D9%8A,%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%BA%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%A1%20%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%82%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%8A%D9%86%20%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D9%86%D8%B8%D9%85%D8%A9%20%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%AA%D9%85%D8%AF%D8%A9%20%D9%85%D9%86%D9%87%D8%A7).

29 August 2011

Law No. 177, which amended Article 242 of the Law of 16 July 1962

According to Law No. 177 of 2011 – which only applies to the Sunni confession-, Sharia judges must now abide by decisions of the High Islamic Council for the Sunni Confession in matters of personal status laws and may only go back to the Ottoman Family Law of 25 October 1917 if “there is no text” on a specific family issue.Law no 177/2011 –


First civil marriage recognised in Lebanon

Then-Interior Minister Marwan Charbel signed off on the civil marriage certificate of a Sunni-Shiite couple. Their civil marriage was the first to be recognised in Lebanon.Civil marriage resurfaces as hot topic in Lebanon’s politics – https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2019/02/lebanon-civil-marriage-religious-authorities-new-government.html

7 May 2014

Law No. 293 Protecting Women and other Family Members from Domestic Violence passsed

7 May 2016

Ruling No 43 amended

Issued by High Islamic Council for the Sunni Confession published in the Official Gazette on 19 May 2016 (Under which Article 2 of “Family judgments” ruling was amended and so the value of dowry in marriage contracts concluded before 1 January 1993).Ruling No 43 –

August 2016

Passports of minor children requiring consent of mother and father

General Security issued a decision requiring the consent of the mother and father before a passport could be issued to a minor (18 years or younger), whereas previously the father’s consent was sufficient for minor children between the ages of 7 and 18 to be issued a passport. Those two decisions have profoundly limited the ability of men to exploit their position of power and deprive mothers of their children. CEDAW/C/LBN/6 -para 163- https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/TreatyBodyExternal/countries.aspx?CountryCode=LBN&Lang=EN

28 March 2017

Regulating Child Marriage

Proposed law regulating the marriage of minors.Lebanon: pass bill to end child marriage – https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/04/12/lebanon-pass-bill-end-child-marriage

14 September 2017

Ruling exempting rape perpetrators from prosecution if they marry their victims, rescinded

Act No. 53 (rescinds Article 522 of the Penal Code, which exempted the perpetrator of rape from prosecution if the rapist married the victim).Act No. 53/2017 –

7 November 2018

Withdrawing Lebanon's reservation to Article 9 of CEDAW

The Office of the Speaker of Parliament deposited a proposed law aimed at withdrawing the reservation of Lebanon to Article 9 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women concerning granting women equal rights with men concerning the nationality of their children.CEDAW/C/LBN/6 – para 51 – https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/TreatyBodyExternal/countries.aspx?CountryCode=LBN&Lang=EN

26 November 2018

Bill to Amend Violence Against Women Act

Ten MPs submitted a bill to amend the Law 293 on the Protection of Women and Family Members Against Domestic Violence at the initiative of the organization KAFA (Enough) Violence & Exploitation.Comments on the Bill to Amend Lebanon’s Domestic Violence Law – https://english.legal-agenda.com/comments-on-the-bill-to-amend-lebanons-domestic-violence-law/


National Plan of Action on Preventing and Addressing Child Marriage

The Ministry of Social Affairs and the Supreme Council for Children developed a national plan of action for preventing and addressing child marriage.CEDAW/C/LBN/6 -para 127- https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/TreatyBodyExternal/countries.aspx?CountryCode=LBN&Lang=EN


Residency of foreign spouse in Lebanon granted in case of dispute with Lebanese partner

General Security issued a decision at the beginning of 2019 pursuant to which the residency of a foreign spouse would not be withdrawn, and a foreign spouse is granted residency for one year in the event of a dispute between a Lebanese national who has children with a foreign spouse.

This decision has profoundly limited the ability of men to exploit their position of power and deprive mothers of their children.CEDAW/C/LBN/6 -para 163- https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/TreatyBodyExternal/countries.aspx?CountryCode=LBN&Lang=EN

21 May 2019

Draft Law enabling Lebanese women with foreign spouses to pass nationality to their children

The National Commission submitted to the Prime Minister a draft law that would enable Lebanese women married to foreigners to pass on their nationality to their children.CEDAW/C/LBN/6 -para 162-( c )- https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/TreatyBodyExternal/countries.aspx?CountryCode=LBN&Lang=EN

27 July 2019

Announcement on age of custody for the Shiite sect

A seminar organized by the “Ta3a Nehki” group in the city of Tire under the title “Raising the age of custody for the Shiite sect. The president of the Ja`fari courts, Sheikh Muhammad Kanaan, announced the preparation to launch a conditions book including “the right of a woman to be her own representative to divorce her in the event that her husband has been imprisoned for more than a year, or if he has been absent for more than two years, and she also has the right to require custody after the divorce for her children until they reach the legal age if abused her.”

Until now, these reforms have not been officially issued under a decision.عين على دفتر شروط إتمام عقد الزواج في المحاكم الجعفرية… هل من جديد؟- http://www.khiyam.com/news/article.php?articleID=32724

April 2020

Circular on Filing a Domestic Violence Report

A circular No. 68/sad/2020, which was issued by the Office of the Public Prosecutor at the Court of Cassation. In that circular, judicial police are instructed to file a report immediately in all domestic violence cases, even when the offence is not cognizable. CEDAW/C/LBN/RQ/6 – Access to justice – page 10 – https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/TreatyBodyExternal/countries.aspx?CountryCode=LBN&Lang=EN

12 December 2020

Raising the Minimum Age of Marriage

The Sunni Supreme Islamic Council, approved a resolution No. 62 which amended ruling No. 46/2011 and added a chapter on the marriage of underage girls.

The resolution (No. 62 date 12/12/2020) raises the minimum age for marriage to 18 for males and females those wanting to marry before 18 must be at least 15 years old and the union requires the approval of both the minor and the legal guardian.Resolution No. 62 –,%D8%AA%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%AE%3A%2012%2F12%2F2020&text=%D9%88%D9%84%D9%80%D9%85%D8%A7%20%D9%83%D8%A7%D9%86%20%D9%81%D8%B1%D8%B6%20%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89%20%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%80%D9%85%D9%83%D9%84%D9%81,%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D9%82%D8%AF%D8%8C%20%D9%88%D8%A5%D9%86%20%D8%A8%D8%B5%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%A9%20%D9%85%D9%88%D8%AC%D8%B2%D8%A9%20%D9%88%D9%85%D9%83%D8%AB%D9%81%D8%A9.

30 December 2020

Amendments to the Domestic Violence Law

Law N.204/2020, The Parliament in the Republic of Lebanon approved several amendments to Law 293/2014 for the protection of women and other family members from domestic violence in order to ensure more protection for victims of domestic violence and their children.Law No. 204/2020 –



This country page was prepared by Lawyer Ranim R. Osman as a collaboration under the Campaign for Justice in Muslim Family Laws.