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Law on Associations

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Encyclopedia of Arabic Legislations – Lebanon Associations – Law

Ottoman Law on Associations Law 1

Section One

Article 1 – An association is a group composed of several individuals who unite their
information and efforts in a permanent fashi on and the goal of which is not to divide

Article 2 2 – No permit is initially needed to found an association. However, in all cases
the government must be notified of the associ ation after it is founded in accordance with
Article 6.

Article 3 – Founding an associations on any unlawful basis which violates the provisions
of laws and public documents or which aims to jeopardize the comfort of the monarchy
and integrity of state property, change the form of the current government, or politically
discriminate between different Ottoman citizens is not permitted. The attestations of
such will be refused and they will be di ssolved by decree issued by the Council of

Article 4 – Founding political associations for th e promotion of Arab nationalism or on
the basis of individual nationality is forbidden.

Article 5 – Members of an association must not be under 20 years of age, have been
convicted of a crime, or have been deprived of civil rights.

Article 6 – Founding secret associations is strict ly forbidden based on the fact that
founders must immediately provide a signed and stamped statement which includes the
address of the association, a statement of its goal, its main office, the names of those in
charge of running its affairs as well as their titles and location, to the Ministry of Interior
if the association is centered in Istanbul or to the foremost civil official if it is centered
abroad. Along with providing th is attestation, two copies of the statutes must be attached
to which have been endorsed with th e official seal of the association.

After attestation, the manner of operation is announced by the founders and the
government must be immediately informed of any amendment or change that occurs in
the statutes of the associati on, its administrative body, or its lo cation with the legal effect
of such amendment or change being exer cised on a third party from the day the
government is informed of it. This must be enumerated in a designated ledger and
presented to the judicial or civ il government at any time requested.

Article 7 – An administrative body must be present at the main office of each association
and consist of at least two pe rsons and, if the association ha s branches, each branch must
1 Issued on 8/3/1325 (Hijri) – (1909 AD) 2 Amended in the law issued 5/26/1938

have an administrative body connected to the central body and these bodies must keep
three ledgers. The first of these contains th e identity of the members of the association
and the date that they joine d. The second contains the head quarters of the administrative
body, its correspondence, and notifications. The third contains the type and amount of
receipts and expenses of the association. Thes e ledgers must be presented to the judicial
and civil government at any time requested.

Article 8 – Each association having provided a statement according to Article 6 can
advance to the courts through an intermediary as either plaintiff or defendant, as
mentioned in Article 9, and can manage and administer, with the exception of any
necessary subsidies from the state: 1) the monetary shares given to it by members on the
condition that the shares do not exceed 24 gold coins per year; 2) the location designated
for administering the association and the mee ting of its members; 3) the non-moveable
assets necessary for carrying out the intended goal as given in its own statutes.
Associations are prohibited from administer ing non-moveable property other than this.

Article 9 – Requests and claims raised to commi ssioners, courts and formal councils in
the name of associations for the sake of its interests cannot be conducted except by means
of a sealed petition which has been signed and stamped by the director or the general
secretary with his personal sign ature and stamp. The identity of individuals such as these
operating in the name of the association is stated in the statutes of the association.

Article 10 – A member of a association can resign at any time he wishes, even if the
statutes dictate otherwise, but only after fulfilling the monetary portion of the current year
which has begun.

Article 11 – Associations are prohibited from bri nging to or keeping on the premises of
its meeting place all types of firearms or injurious weapons except for those clubs
specializing in fishing and sw ord fighting where, with the knowledge of the police, the
weapons needed can be presented on demand.

Article 12 – The founder, administrative body and owne r or renter of the meeting place of
associations that do not declare themselv es and notify the government by providing it
with the statement in accordance with Articles 2 and 6, are punished with a monetary fine
of five to 25 gold coins in addition to th e association being banned by the government.
Likewise, if the associati on has been founded for one of the harmful or prohibited
purposes outlined in Article 3 or the two pe nal codes, then each party is sentenced
individually with the fine particular to that law.

Those who participate in an associati on, committee, or body in any manner which
directly or by means of an intermediary seeks to jeopardize the operation of the public
good are punished with imprisonment of six months to three years, with a monetary fine
of 25 to 200 Lebanese-Syrian Lira, or with one of these two punishments.

3 This paragraph added by Legislative Decree No. 41 of 9/28/1932

Article 13 – Those who violate the provisions of Articles 4, 5, 7 and 9 and the related
notification and declaration in the provisions of Article 6 are punished with a monetary
fine of two to ten gold coins and, upon repeat offense, with double this amount. Those
who violate this law by maintaining a associ ation that has been banned in accordance
with Article 12 or who renews its establishment and administration is punished with a
monetary fine of 10 to 50 gold coins and im prisonment of two months to one year.
Anyone who turns a location belonging to him into a meeting place for a banned
association is punished likewise.

Article 14 – If an association has been banned by the government or dissolved with the
consent and option of its members or by virtue of its internal statutes and a text exists in
the statutes regarding its assets, then this is placed in operation. Otherwise, the resolution
given by the general body of the association is placed in operation. If an association has
been banned and was founded for one of the harmful or prohibited goals m
previously in Article 3, the governme nt takes and retains its assets.

Article 15 – Clubs are treated like the associations discussed in this chapter.

Article 16 – Those associations which presently ex ist must, within two months from the
date this law is published, provide the statem ent and fulfill the condition of declaration in
accordance with Articles 2 and 6 and be successful in operating according to the
provisions of all articles.

Section Two

Article 17 – Whether the association is considered to serve the public welfare is
dependent on agreement of the state to a reso lution from the State Counsel. This type of
association can perform all th e lawful and non-prohibited tran sactions of its statutes.
Shares and drafts owned by the association should in all cases by enumerated and, for
those belonging to the bearer, be converted to its name. As fo r assets gifted or willed to
the association, which cannot be non-moveab le except with special permit from the
government, if the gifted or willed item is a non-moveable asset and there is no need for
it to perform a function of the association, then it is sold and stated in the resolution the
acceptance of which specified the time period during which the item had to be sold.
Money obtained in place of the item sold is turned over to the fund of the association.

Article 18 – The police may inspect associations a nd clubs and they must therefore open
their meeting places at all times to th e police commissioners but only once the
commissioners have demonstrated, as necessary , that the entrance to the meeting place is
based on real need. They must produce an o fficial paper which includes the order and
occassion for entering that locati on which is given to them in Istanbul by the Ministry of
Police and in the administrative districts by the foremost local civil official or his

Article 19 – The Ministers of Interior and Justice are charged with execution of this law.