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Constitution of Oman (1996, rev. 2011)

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3CHAPTER ONE. The State and the System of Governance

4ARTICLE (1

5The Sultanate of Oman is an Arab, Islamic, Independent State with full sovereignty and Muscat is its Capital.

6ARTICLE (2

7The religion of the State is Islam and Islamic Sharia is the basis for legislation.

8ARTICLE (3

9The official language of the State is the Arabic language.

10ARTICLE (4

11The Law determines the Flag, Emblem, Insignia and National Anthem of the State.

12ARTICLE (5

13The system of governance is Sultani, hereditary in the male descendants of Sayyid Turki bin Said bin Sultan, provided that whomever is to be chosen from amongst them as successor shall be a Muslim, mature, rational and the legitimate son of Omani Muslim parents.

14ARTICLE (6

15The Royal Family Council shall, within three days of the throne falling vacant, determine the successor to the throne.

16If the Royal Family Council does not agree on a choice of a Sultan for the Country, the Defence Council together with the Chairman of Majlis Al Dawla, the Chairman of Majlis Al Shura, and the Chairman of the Supreme Court along with two of his most senior deputies, shall instate the person designated by His Majesty the Sultan in his letter to the Royal Family Council.

17ARTICLE (7

18The Sultan, before exercising his powers, shall, in a joint session of Majlis Oman and the Defence Council, take the following oath:

19"I swear by Allah the Almighty to honour the Basic Statute of the State and the Laws and to fully safeguard the interests of the Citizens and their freedom and to preserve the independence of the Country and its territorial integrity".

20ARTICLE (8

21The Government shall continue to perform its functions as usual until the Sultan is chosen and exercises his authority.

22ARTICLE (9

23The Governance in the Sultanate shall be based upon justice, Shura and equality. The Citizens, pursuant to this Basic Statute and the conditions and provisions prescribed by the Law, shall have the right to participate in public affairs.

24CHAPTER TWO. The Principles Guiding the Policy of the State

25ARTICLE (10

26The Political Principles:

27Preserving the independence and sovereignty of the State and safeguarding its entity, security, stability and defending it against all aggression.

28Reinforcing ties of cooperation and reaffirming friendly relations with all states and nations on the basis of mutual respect, common interest, non-interference in the internal affairs and adherence to the international and regional charters and treaties and the generally recognized principles of international law conducive to the advancement of peace and security among states and nations.

29Laying suitable foundations for consolidating the pillars of genuine Shura emanating from the heritage of the Nation, its values and Islamic Sharia, taking pride in its history and adopting the useful contemporary means and instruments.

30Establishing a sound administrative system that guarantees justice, tranquillity and equality for the Citizens and ensures respect for the public order and the preservation of the supreme interests of the State.

31ARTICLE (11

32The Economic Principles

33The national economy is based on justice and the principles of free economy. Its essence is the constructive and fruitful cooperation between public and private activity. Its objective is the achievement of economic and social development in order to increase production and raise the standard of living of the Citizens according to the general plan of the State and within the limits of the Law.

34Freedom of economic activity is guaranteed within the limits of the Law, the public interest, and in a manner that ensures the integrity of the national economy. The State encourages savings and supervises the regulation of credit.

35All natural wealth and resources thereof are the property of the State, which shall preserve and utilise them in the best manner taking into consideration the requirements of the security of the State and the interests of the national economy. No concession or investment of any public resource of the Country shall be granted except by virtue of a law, for a limited period of time, and in a manner that preserves national interests.

36Public property is inviolable, the State shall protect it, and Citizens and residents shall preserve it.

37Private ownership is safeguarded and no one shall be prevented from disposing of his property except within the limits of the Law. No property shall be expropriated except for the public interest in cases stipulated by the Law and in the manner specified therein, provided that the person dispossessed shall be fairly compensated. Inheritance is a right governed by Islamic Sharia.

38General confiscation of property is prohibited. The penalty of specific confiscation shall only be imposed by virtue of a judicial decision and in such circumstances as prescribed in the Law.

39Taxes and general charges are based on justice and the development of the national economy.

40Imposition, amendment, and abolition of public taxes, shall only be by virtue of a law and no one is exempted from paying all taxes or part thereof except in the circumstances prescribed in the Law. It is not permissible to introduce a new tax, fee or any right of any type whatsoever with retrospective effect.

41ARTICLE (12

42The Social Principles

43Justice, equality, and equal opportunities between Omanis are pillars of the Society guaranteed by the State.

44Collaboration and compassion are intimate bonds amongst the Citizens. The reinforcement of the national unity is a duty. The State shall prevent anything that might lead to division, discord or disruption of the national unity.

45The family is the basis of the society and the Law regulates the means for protecting it, preserving its legitimate entity, strengthening its ties and values, safeguarding its members and providing suitable conditions to develop their potential and capabilities.

46The State guarantees aid for the Citizen and his family in cases of emergency, sickness, disability, and old age according to the social security scheme. The State shall work for the solidarity of the Society in bearing the burdens resulting from national disasters and catastrophes.

47The State is responsible for public health and the means of prevention and treatment of diseases and epidemics. The State endeavours to provide healthcare for every Citizen and encourages the establishment of private hospitals, polyclinics and medical institutions to be under its supervision and in accordance with regulations determined by the Law. The State also works for the conservation of the environment, its protection, and the prevention of pollution.

48The State enacts laws for the protection of the employee and the employer and regulates the relationship between them. Every Citizen has the right to engage in the work of his choice within the limits of the Law. It is not permissible to impose any compulsory work on anyone except by virtue of a law, for rendering a public service, and for a fair remuneration.

49Public employment is a national service entrusted to those who carry it out. The State employees, while carrying out their work, shall pursue the public interest and service of the Society. Citizens are considered equal in taking up public employment in accordance with the provisions stipulated by the Law.

50ARTICLE (13

51The Cultural Principles

52Education is a cornerstone for the progress of the Society which the State fosters and endeavours to disseminate and make accessible to all.

53Education aims to raise and develop the general cultural standard, promote scientific thought, kindle the spirit of research, respond to the requirements of economic and social plans, and build a generation that is physically and morally strong, which takes pride in its Nation, Country, and heritage and preserves its achievements.

54The State shall provide public education, work to combat illiteracy, and encourage the establishment of private schools and institutes under its supervision in accordance with the provisions of the Law.

55The State shall foster and preserve the national heritage, encourage the sciences, arts, literature, scientific research and assist in their dissemination.

56ARTICLE (14

57The Security Principles

58Peace is the objective of the State, and the safety of the Nation is a duty incumbent on every Citizen. The Defence Council shall undertake the consideration of the matters related to preserving the safety of the Sultanate and the defence thereof.

59Only the State establishes the armed forces, public security authorities and any other forces. All these forces belong to the Nation and their mission is to protect the State, ensure the safety of its territories, and guarantee the security and tranquillity of the Citizens. It is not permissible for any authority or group to establish military or paramilitary formations. The Law shall regulate the military service, general or partial mobilization, and the rights, duties, and rules of discipline of the armed forces, public security authorities, and any other forces the State decides to establish.

60CHAPTER THREE. The Public Rights and Duties

61ARTICLE (15

62Nationality is regulated by the Law and it is not permissible to denaturalise or revoke it except within the limits of the Law.

63ARTICLE (16

64It is not permissible to deport, exile, or prevent Citizens from returning to the Sultanate.

65ARTICLE (17

66All Citizens are equal before the Law and share the same public rights and duties. There shall be no discrimination amongst them on the ground of gender, origin, colour, language, religion, sect, domicile, or social status.

67ARTICLE (18

68Personal freedom is guaranteed according to the Law, and it is not permissible to arrest a person, search, detain, imprison, subject to residence detention, or restrict his freedom of residency or movement except in accordance with the provisions of the Law.

69ARTICLE (19

70It is not permissible to detain or imprison in places other than those designated for such purpose under the laws of prisons, where health and social care are provided.

71ARTICLE (20

72No person shall be subjected to physical or psychological torture, inducement or demeaning treatment. The Law stipulates punishment of whomever commits such acts. Any statement or confession proven to have been obtained under torture, inducement, demeaning treatment, or the threat of any of these acts, shall be deemed void.

73ARTICLE (21

74There shall be no crime except by virtue of a Law. There shall be no punishment, except for acts subsequent to the entry into force of the Law wherein such acts are stated. Punishment shall be personal.

75ARTICLE (22

76The accused is innocent until proven guilty in a legal trial in which the essential guarantees to exercise his right of defence in accordance with the Law are guaranteed. It is not permissible to harm an accused either bodily or mentally.

77ARTICLE (23

78The accused has the right to appoint a person capable of undertaking his defence during the trial. The Law shall define the circumstances where the presence of a lawyer on behalf of the accused is required, and shall ensure, for those who are financially unable, the means to seek judicial redress and defend their rights.

79ARTICLE (24

80Any person who is arrested or detained shall immediately be informed of the reasons for his arrest or detention. He has the right to contact whomever he wants to inform him of what has taken place or to get his assistance in the manner regulated by the Law, and he shall be promptly informed of the charges against him. He or his representative shall have the right to petition the court against the action restricting his personal freedom. The Law shall regulate the right of petition in a manner which ensures that the disposal of the petition will be within a specified period, failing which he must be released.

81ARTICLE (25

82Litigation is a protected right and it is guaranteed to all people. The Law shall prescribe the procedures and conditions necessary to exercise this right, and the State shall guarantee, as far as possible, the approximation of judicial authorities to litigants and the prompt settlement of cases.

83ARTICLE (26

84It is not permissible to conduct any medical or scientific experiment on any human being without his free consent.

85ARTICLE (27

86Residences are inviolable. It is not permissible to enter them without the permission of their residents, except in the cases specified by the Law and in the manner stipulated therein.

87ARTICLE (28

88The freedom to practice religious rites according to recognised customs is protected, provided it does not violate the public order or contradict morals.

89ARTICLE (29

90The freedom of opinion and expression thereof through speech, writing and other means of expression is guaranteed within the limits of the Law.

91ARTICLE (30

92The freedom of correspondence by post, telegraph, telephone conversations, and other means of communication is protected and its confidentiality is guaranteed. It is not permissible to monitor, search, disclose the confidentiality of, delay, or confiscate the same, except in cases specified by the Law and in accordance with the procedures stated therein.

93ARTICLE (31

94The freedom of the press, printing, and publishing is guaranteed according to the terms and conditions prescribed by the Law. Anything that leads to discord, affects the security of State, or prejudices human dignity or rights, is prohibited.

95ARTICLE (32

96The Citizens have the right to assemble within the limits of the Law.

97ARTICLE (33

98The freedom of forming societies on national basis, for legitimate objectives, by peaceful means, and in a manner that does not conflict with the provisions and objectives of this Basic Statute, is guaranteed in accordance with the terms and conditions prescribed by the Law. It is prohibited to form societies the activity of which is adverse to the order of society, secretive, or of a military nature. It is not permissible to force anyone to join any society.

99ARTICLE (34

100The Citizens have the right to address public authorities on personal matters or matters in connection with public affairs, in the manner and conditions specified by the Law.

101ARTICLE (35

102Every foreigner who is legally present in the Sultanate shall enjoy protection for himself and his property in accordance with the Law. He shall observe the values of the Society and respect the traditions and sentiments thereof.

103ARTICLE (36

104The extradition of political refugees is prohibited. Laws and international treaties shall determine the rules for the extradition of criminals.

105ARTICLE (37

106Defending the Nation is a sacred duty, and coming forward to serve the armed forces is an honour for the Citizens regulated by the Law.

107ARTICLE (38

108Preserving the national unity and safeguarding the secrets of the State is a duty incumbent upon every Citizen.

109ARTICLE (39

110Paying taxes and public dues is a duty according to the Law.

111ARTICLE (40

112Respecting the Basic Statute of the State, the Laws and orders issued by the public authorities in their implementation thereof, observing public order, and respecting public morals is a duty incumbent upon all residents of the Sultanate.

113CHAPTER FOUR. The Head of State

114ARTICLE (41

115His Majesty the Sultan is the Head of State and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, his person is inviolable, respect of him is a duty, and his command is obeyed. He is the symbol of national unity and the guardian of the preservation and the protection thereof.

116ARTICLE (42

117His Majesty the Sultan discharges the following functions:

118Preserving the independence of the Country and its territorial integrity, protecting its internal and external security, safeguarding the rights and freedoms of the Citizens, ensuring the rule of law, and directing the general policy of the State.

119Taking prompt measures to counter any danger threatening the safety of the Sultanate, its territorial integrity, or the security and the interests of its people, or hindering the institutions of the State from performing their functions.

120Representing the State internally and towards other states in all international relations.

121Presiding over the Council of Ministers or appointing a person to preside.

122Presiding over the Specialized Councils or appointing a person to preside.

123Establishing and regulating the units of the administrative apparatus of the State and the abolishment thereof.

124Appointing Deputies to the Prime Minister, Ministers, and their equivalents and relieving them of their office.

125Appointing Undersecretaries of ministries, Secretaries-General, and their equivalents and relieving them of their office.

126Appointing senior judges and relieving them of their office.

127Declaring state of emergency, general mobilisations, war, and concluding peace. The Law specifies the rules thereof.

128Promulgating and ratifying Laws.

129Signing international conventions and treaties according to the provisions of the Law or authorising their signature and promulgating Decrees ratifying the same.

130Appointing political representatives to other states and international organisations and relieving them of their office according to the limits and conditions prescribed by the Law, as well as accepting the credentials of representatives of other states and international organisations.

131Pardoning or commuting any penalty.

132Conferring orders of honour and military ranks.

133ARTICLE (43

134His Majesty the Sultan shall be assisted in formulating and implementing the general policy of the State by a council of ministers and specialised councils.

135ARTICLE (44

136The Council of Ministers is the authority entrusted with the implementation of the general policies of the State and in particular undertakes the following:

137Submitting recommendations to His Majesty the Sultan in economic, political, social, executive, and administrative matters of concern to the Government including proposing draft laws and decrees.

138Protecting the interests of the Citizens and ensuring the availability of the necessary services to them, and enhancing their economic, social, health, and cultural standards.

139Determining the objectives and the general policies for economic, social, and administrative development and proposing the necessary means and measures for their implementation which ensure the best utilisation of the financial, economic and human resources.

140Discussing development plans prepared by competent authorities after presenting them to Majlis Oman, submitting these plans to His Majesty the Sultan for approval, and following up their implementation.

141Discussing proposals of ministries relevant to the implementation of their respective competencies and taking appropriate recommendations and decisions in this regard.

142Supervising the functioning of the administrative apparatus of the State, following up the performance of its duties and coordinating among its units.

143Supervising generally the implementation of the Laws, decrees, regulations, decisions, treaties, agreements and judgements of the courts in a manner that ensures adherence thereto.

144Discharging any other competence delegated by His Majesty the Sultan or vested by the provisions of the Law.

145ARTICLE (45

146The Prime Minister shall preside over the meetings of the Council of Ministers and may entrust one of his Deputies to conduct the meetings which he does not attend. If the Prime Minister and his Deputies are absent His Majesty the Sultan shall authorise whom His Majesty sees appropriate to conduct the meetings.

147ARTICLE (46

148The meetings of the Council of Ministers shall be made valid by the presence of the majority of its members. Its deliberations shall be confidential and its decisions shall be taken by the majority of the members present.

149ARTICLE (47

150The Council of Ministers shall set its internal regulations, including the rules for performing the duties therein, and shall have a Secretariat General provided with a sufficient number of staff to assist it in performing its duties.

151ARTICLE (48

152If His Majesty the Sultan appoints a Prime Minister, his competences and powers shall be determined in the Decree appointing him.

153ARTICLE (49

154Any appointed Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, or Minister shall be:

155A.Of Omani nationality by origin in accordance with the Law.

156B.Aged not less than thirty years of the Gregorian calendar.

157ARTICLE (50

158Before assuming their powers, the Prime Minister, his Deputies, and the Ministers shall take the following oath before His Majesty the Sultan:

159"I swear by Allah the Almighty to be faithful to my Sultan and my Country, to honour the Basic Statute of the State and the applicable Laws of the State, to fully protect its entity and territorial integrity, to fully safeguard its interests and those of its Citizens and to perform my duties faithfully and honestly".

160ARTICLE (51

161The Deputies to the Prime Minister and the Ministers shall supervise the affairs of their units, implement the general policy of the Government therein, draw the guidelines of the unit and follow up the implementation thereof.

162ARTICLE (52

163Members of the Council of Ministers are politically collectively responsible before His Majesty the Sultan for the implementation of the general policy of the State. Each of them is individually accountable to His Majesty the Sultan for the manner in which he performs his duties and exercises his authority in his respective Ministry or unit.

164ARTICLE (53

165Members of the Council of Ministers shall not combine their ministerial office with chairmanship of or membership to a board of directors of any public joint-stock company. The Government units which they are in charge of or supervise shall not deal with any company or establishment in which they have a direct or indirect interest. They shall always, by their conduct, pursue the interests of the Country and work in furtherance of the public benefit. They shall not exploit their official positions in any manner whatsoever whether for their own benefit or for the benefit of those with whom they have a special relation.

166ARTICLE (54

167Emoluments of the Deputies of the Prime Minister and the Ministers during their term of office and after their retirement shall be determined by the orders of His Majesty the Sultan.

168ARTICLE (55

169The provisions of Articles (49), (50), (51), (52), (53), and (54) shall apply to all those of a rank of Minister.

170ARTICLE (56

171The Specialised Councils shall be established, their powers specified, and their members appointed by virtue of Royal Decrees. The said Councils shall be associated with the Council of Ministers unless their establishing Decrees state otherwise.

172ARTICLE (57

173The Law shall prescribe the provisions concerning the following matters and the authorities responsible thereof:

174Collecting taxes, fees, and other public monies and the procedures for their disbursement.

175Maintaining and managing the property of the State, the conditions for its disposal and the limits within which part of these properties can be assigned.

176The General Budget of the State and the Final Account.

177The autonomous and supplementary general budgets and their final accounts.

178The financial auditing of the State.

179Loans extended or obtained by the State.

180Currency, banks, standards, measures, and weights.

181Affairs of salaries, pensions, compensation, subsidies, and rewards charged to the Treasury of the State.

182CHAPTER FIVE. Majlis Oman

183ARTICLE (58

184Majlis Oman shall consist of:

1851.Majlis Al Dawla.

1862.Majlis Al Shura

187ARTICLE (58)(BIS

188Majlis Al Dawla shall consist of a chairman and members whose number, inclusive of the Chairman, shall not exceed the total number of members of Majlis Al Shura, and whom shall be appointed by virtue of a Royal Decree.

189ARTICLE (58)(BIS 1

190Members of Majlis Al Dawla shall be selected from the following categories:

191Former Ministers, Undersecretaries of the ministries, and their equivalents.

192Former ambassadors.

193Former senior judges.

194Retired senior officers.

195Those who are known for their competence and experience in the fields of science, arts, and culture, and professors of universities, colleges, and higher institutes.

196Dignitaries and businessmen.

197Persons who had performed great services to the Nation.

198Whomever His Majesty the Sultan chooses and who does not fall under the previous categories.

199ARTICLE (58)(BIS 2

200Without prejudice to Article 58 (bis1), whomever is chosen as a member of Majlis Al Dawla shall be:

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