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The State and the System of Ruling
The Sultanate of Oman is an Arab Islamic independent State and fully sovereign. Its capital
city is Muscat.
The religion of the State is Islam. The Islamic Sh ariah is a principal source for legislation.
The official language is Arabic.
The State flag, emblem, logos, honors and national anthem are laid down by law.
The regime of the Sultanate of Oman is Sultani hereditary within the male sons of Mr. Turki
Bin Saeed Bin Sultan. Thenceforward those who will be chosen to rule from among them
should be an adult, Muslim, and a legitimate son of Omani Muslim parents.
The Ruling Family Council, within 30 days as of the date the Sultan seat becomes vacant,
shall specify the name of the person to whom th e rule shall be transferred. If the Family
Council fails to agree on the name of the Sultan, the Defense Council shall appoint the person
the Sultan has recommended in his letter to the Ruling Family Council.
The Sultan, before practicing his authorities, shall, in a joint session of Oman Council & the
Defense Council take the following oath:
“I swear by Almighty God that I shall respect the Basic Law of the State, that I shall fully
defend the interests and freedoms of the people , and that I shall safeguard the independence
of the nation and the integrity of its territories.”
The government shall continue its work as us ual until a new Sultan is chosen and until he
starts practicing his authorities.
Justice, Shura and Equality are th e basis of rule. Citizens – according to this Basic Law, and
conditions and circumstances provided by the law – shall have the right to participate in
Principles Governing the Policy of the State
– Maintaining the independence and sovereignty of the State. Maintaining the personality,
security and stability and defending the state against any aggression.
– Enhancing cooperation and emphasizing friendsh ip with all states and peoples based on
mutual respect, joint interest, non interferen ce in internal affairs, consideration to
international and regional conventions and the generally acknowledged rules of the
international law which lead to the spread of peace and security between states and
– Building healthy basis for a correct Shura ste mming form the heritage of the nation, its
values and its Islamic Shariah. Building a nation proud of its history and embracing what
is beneficial from the modern methods and tools.
– Building a healthy administrative system that guarantees justice, security and equality for
citizens and guarantees respect for the general rules and the higher interest of the
1. The national economy is based on justice, and free market economy principles. Its basis
is constructive cooperation between the public and private activities. Its aim is to achieve
social and economic development that will lead to increase in production, improvement of
the standard of living for citizens according to the general plan of the State and within
the limits of the law.
2. The freedom of economic activities is guaran teed within the law and the general public
interest and in a way that ensures healthy national economy. The State encourages
saving, and supervises the regulation of credit.
3. All natural wealth and resources are State property. The State shall safeguard them and
exploit them properly, while observing the requirements of the security of the State and
of the welfare of the national economy. It is not permissible to grant any exclusive rights
or to allow investment in any of the resource s of the state except with a law, and for a
specified period of time and in a way that preserve the national interests.
4. Public funds are inviolate, the state shall protect them and every citizen and resident in
the state shall also protect them.
5. Private property is protected. No one shall be prevented from disposing of his property
within the limits of the law. No one shall be dispossessed of his property except for the
public good in the cases specified and the manner stated by law and provided that he is
6. Inheritance is a guaranteed right governed by the Islamic Shariah.
7. Public expropriation of funds is prohibited, and private expropriation shall be a penalty
only by judicial ruling in the cases prescribed by law.
8. Taxes and public costs are based on social justice and the development of the national
9. Public taxes shall only be established, amen ded and abolished by law, and persons shall
only be exempted from paying them wholly or in part in those cases prescribed by law.
10. It is not permissible to introduce a new tax or fee or any other right of any king with a
with a retroactive effect.
– Justice, equality, and equal opportunities for Omani people are the basis of the society
and are guaranteed by the state.
– Solidarity and sympathy form firm bond between citizens. Strengthening national unity is
a duty. The state shall ban any activity which leads conflict, separation or which affects
the national unity.
– The family is the basis of society. The law or ganizes its protection, preserves its lawful
entity, strengthens its bonds and values, pro vides its members with care, provides the
appropriate conditions to develop their capacities and talents.
– The state shall guarantee assistance to the citizen in cases of emergencies, sickness,
impairment, old aging according to the social security law. It seeks the solidarity of the
society in carrying burdens of catastrophes and disasters.
– The State cares for public health and the State ensures the means of prevention from
diseases. It seeks to provide health care for every citizen, and it encourages the
establishment of hospitals, clinics and priv ate therapy houses under the supervision of
the state according to rules established by the law. It also preserves the nature, protect
it and prevents pollution.
– The government shall issue law to protect the worker and the employer and to regulate
the relation between them. Every citizen shall have the right to chose the work he wants
to perform within the limits of the law. It is not permissible to impose any compulsory
work on any person without a good reason and to serve a public service. In such case
the person who performs such work shall be justly paid.
– Public jobs are a national service entrusted to their incumbents, and State employees
shall have the public interest and the service of the society in mind when performing their
jobs. Citizens are equal in occupying a public job according to conditions specified by the
– Education is a basic element in the progress of the state. It shall give it its care and it
shall seek to promote it and to spread it.
– Education shall aim at raising the general cultural level and at developing it. It shall aim
and developing scientific thinking and encouraging scientific research. It shall seek to
respond the requirements of the social and econ omic plan. It shall seek to build a strong
generation physically and mora lly, a generation proud of its nation and its heritage, a
generation that will preserve the achievements made.
– The state shall provide public education and shall combat illiteracy. It shall encourage
the establishment of schools and private colleges under the supervision of the state and
according to the provisions of the law.
– The state shall sponsor the national heritage and preserve it. It shall encourage science,
arts, scientific research and shall contribute in promoting them.
– Peace is the goal of the state. The safety of the state is sacred duty of every citizen.
– The Defense Council shall be entrusted to look into issues related to the safety and
security of the state and to defend it.
– Only the state may establishes the armed forces, the general security and any other
forces. They all belong to the state. Their task is to protect the state, the integrity of its
territories, and the security and safety of citizens. No other body or group shall have the
right to form military or semi military bodies . A law shall organize the military service,
general or partial mobilization, rules of cond uct of armed forces, general security and any
other forces the state decides to form.
The nationality shall be organized by a law. No person shall be stripped of his nationality
except within the limits of the law.
It is prohibited to banish a citizen or prevent him from returning to the Sultanate.
People are equal before the law, they are equal in public rights and duties. There shall be no
discrimination among them on the basis of sex, origin, color, language, religion, sect,
ethnicity, or social status. .
Personal freedom is guaranteed under the la w. A person cannot be arrested, detained ,
imprisoned or searched, or his place of resi dence specified or his freedom of residence or
movement restricted, except under the provisions of the law.
A person cannot be detained or imprisoned in locations other than those designated in the
prison regulations covered by health and social care.
No person shall be subjected to physical or moral torture, or inducement, or undignified
treatment, and the penalty for so doing sha ll be specified by law. Any statement or
confession proved to have been made under to rture, inducement, or such treatment, or the
threat thereof, shall be null and void.
There shall be no crime and no punishment exce pt under a law, and punishment only for acts
committed subsequent to the effective date of the law providing for the same. Punishment
shall only be inflicted on the person who committed a crime.
An accused person is innocent until proved guilty in a legal trial in which he is assured of the
necessary guarantees to exercise the right of defense in accordance with the law. It is
forbidden to harm an accused person physically or morality.
Every person accused of an offence shall have the right to assign someone who has the
capacity to defend him in court. The law shall specify the conditions of the attendance of the
layer. It shall guarantee for those who do not have the financial means, the right to defend
their rights and means to access justice.
Every person arrested or detained shall be imme diately informed of the reasons for his arrest
or detention. He shall have the right to contact who ever he deems suitable or to ask for
assistance, in the manner regulated by the law. He shall be quickly informed of accusations
brought against him. The person who is defending him shall have the right to complain to the
court against the procedure that has restricted the freedom of the detained person. The law
shall regulate the right to complain in a way which will guarantee a decision during a
specified period, otherwise the detained person shall be released.
Every person shall have the right to go to court. The law shall specify procedures and
necessary conditions to practice this right. The state shall guarantee, as much as possible,
the accessibility of justice and quick judicial ruling.
It is not permissible to conduct any medical or scientific experiments on humans without their
Dwellings are inviolate. They cannot be entered or searched without the permission of their
occupants as laid down and in the manner provided by law.
Freedom to perform religious rites in accordance with the customs observed in the country is
guaranteed on the condition that such practice does not violate the public order or morality.
Freedom to express one’s opinion and publish it by word of mouth, in writing or otherwise is
guaranteed under the rules and conditions laid down by law
The freedom of postal, telegraphic, telephonic , electronic communication and other means of
communication is safeguarded and its confidenti ality is guaranteed. Communications shall not
be censored or their confidentiality breach ed, postponed or confiscated except under
conditions specified by law and in accordan ce with procedures prescribed by law.
The freedom of the press, printing and publishing is guaranteed under the rules and
conditions laid down by law. Any material that leads to enticement, harms the security of the
state and the dignity of the humans an d their rights shall be banned.
The freedom to associate is guaranteed under the rules and conditions laid down by law.
The freedom to form associations on national principles, for lawful objectives and by peaceful
means is guaranteed under the rules and conditions laid down by law. It is not permissible to
form societies with military, secret or with aims against the state. No person shall be forced
to join an association.
Any individual may address the public authorities on personal and public issues by means and
conditions specified by the law.
Every foreigner legally residing the Sultanate shall enjoy the protection of his life and his
property according to the law. He shall respect the society, its traditions, and norms.
It is not permissible to return political asylums to their countries. The laws and international
conventions and treaties shall specify the provisions for returning criminals.
Defending the country is a sacred national duty. Serving in the armed forces in an honor to
citizens and it shall be regulated by the law.
Preserving national unity and the secrets of the state is the duty of all citizens.
Paying taxes and public fees is a duty according to the law.
Respect of the Basic Law of the state, laws, orde rs issued by public authorities implementing
these laws, respect for the public order and morality is the duty of all citizens of the
The Head of the State
The Sultan is the Head of State, and the commander of the armed forces. He is inviolate, his
respect is a duty, and his orders shall be obeyed. He is the symbol of the national unity and
the loyal protector and defender of the state.
The Sultan is entrusted with the following:
Safeguarding independence of the state, the in tegrity of its territories, protection of its
internal and external security, protecting the rights of citizens and their freedoms,
guaranteeing the rule of law and directing the general policies of the state.
Take emergency procedures to face any danger threatening the Sultanate, the unity of its
territories, the security of its people and their interests or hinders the state institutions from
performing their tasks.
Represent the state inside the Sultanate and in relations other countries in all international
Presides the council of ministers or assigns somebody to preside it.
Presides specialized councils or assigns those to preside them.
Assigns the deputies of the council of ministers and ministers and those of similar positions,
and dismiss them from their titles.
Assigns judges and dismiss the.
Assigns general secretaries of ministers and those of similar positions and dismiss them.
Declares emergency, general mobilization, war, an d ratify peace treaties according to the law.
Issues law and ratify them.
Signs international treaties and conventions according to the provisions of the law, authorize
their signing, issue decrees to be ratified.
Assigning political representatives in other countries and at the international organizations
and dismiss them from their positions according to the restrictions and conditions stated by
the law and accredit the representatives of foreign States and organizations.
The Sultan may abate or commute a sentence.
He grants accolades and military ranks.
The Sultan shall be assisted in preparing the general policy of the state and in its
implementation the council of ministers and the specialized councils.
The council of ministers implements the general policies of the state and shall mainly
– Submitting the recommendations to the Sultan in economic, political, social, executive,
and administrative issues of concern to th e state including suggesting draft laws and
– The interests of citizen and guaranteeing necessary services, enhancing their social,
economic, health and cultural conditions.
– Specifying aims and public policies of social, economic and administrative development
and suggesting the measures needed for their implementation and the best use of
financial, economic and human resources.
– Discuss the developmental plans prepared by specialized bodies and submitting them to
the Sultan for ratification and follow up on their implementation. Supervising the
administrative apparatus of the state, its performance to its duties, and coordination
between its units. General supervision of law, decrees, regulations, decisions, treaties,
conventions, rulings of courts in a way that guarantees compliance.
– Any other competencies granted by the Sultan or by the provisions of the law.
The prime minister shall preside the sessions of the council of ministers. He may authorize
one of his deputies to preside the session in his absence.
In case of the absence of the prime minister and his deputies, the Sultan shall assign
whoever he deems fit to preside the sessions.
The meetings of the council of ministers shall be legal with the attendance of the majority of
its members. Its sessions shall be confidential. The decisions shall be taken with the
approval of the majority of the attendees.
The council of minister shall set-up its internal regulations including the work regulations.
The council shall have a general secretariat to provide it with the needed number of staff to
assist it in performing its tasks.
When the Sultan assigns a prime his jurisdicti ons and competencies shall be specified in the
decree of his assignment.
The Prime Minister, the deputy prime minister and the ministers shall be:
a. Holders of Omani nationality from birth according to the law.
b. Shall not be below 35 years old.
Before exercising their duties, the prime minister , deputies of prime minister and the minister
shall swear the following oath:
” I swear by Almighty God that I shall be loyal to my Sultan and to the country, shall respect
the Basic Law and the effective laws of the State. I shall fully preserve the safely and
integrity of the territories of the state, its in terests and the interests of its people and shall
perform my work honestly and sincerely.”
The deputies of the prime minister and the ministers shall supervise the affairs of their units
and implement the public policies of the government. They shall set-up the policies of their
units and follow-up on their implementation.
The members of the council of ministers are, in solidarity, politically responsible before the
Sultan on the implementation of the public polic y of the state. Each of them is personally
responsible before the Sultan on the way he pe rforms his task and practices his competencies
in his ministry or unit.
Members of the council of ministers shall not hold ministerial positions and be at the same
time members of boards of ay shareholding co mpany. The government units they preside or
supervise may not deal with a company or instit ution they have direct or indirect personal
interest with. In all cases, they should target in their conduct the interest of the nation and
the higher public interest. They shall not exploit their official positions in any way that serves
their personal interest or the interests of those related to them.
The remuneration of the prime minister deputi es and the ministers, during office and after
retirement shall be specified by the Sultan orders.
The provisions of articles (49), (50), (51), (52) , (53), and (54) shall apply on those who have
the status of minister.
The Specialized councils
Specialized councils shall be created and thei r jurisdictions and the assignment of its
members shall be established upon Sultani decrees.
The law shall specify the following issues and bodies responsible for them:
– Collection of taxes and fees and other pub lic funds and means of their disposal.
– Protection of government property, its admi nistration and restrictions on means of
disposing of this property.
– The general budgets of the state and the final accounts.
– Independent general budgets, anne xed budgets and final accounts
– Financial supervision of the state
– Loans granted or obta ined by the state
– The monetary, banks, and weight and measurement standards.
– Salaries, remunerations, compensations, aid, and rewards paid from the treasury of the
Oman Council shall be formed of:
1. The Shura Council (Consultative Council)
2. The State Council
The law shall show the jurisdictions of each council, its term, and its structure, its members,
conditions of membership, means of selecting and assigning them, reasons for their dismissal
and other organizations provisions.
The rule of the law is the basis of governing of the state. The honor of the judges, and their
probity and impartiality of judges is the guarantee of rights and freedoms.
The judiciary authority is independent. It shall be handled by the different types and degrees
of courts that issue their ruling according the provisions of the law.
No authority shall prevail over the judgment of a judge. Judges are not subject to removal
from office except in the cases specified by the law. No authority may interfere in issues of
the judiciary. Such interference is considered a punishable crime by law. The law shall
specify the conditions that apply to judges, the procedures of their assignment, their transfer,
their promotion, the guarantees pertaining to them and the conditions for their removal from
office and other related provisions.
The various types and degrees of the courts sha ll be regulated by law, and the law shall state
their functions and jurisdiction. Military courts shall only look into military crimes committed
by members of the armed forces and general secu rity. It shall not cover other crimes except
in case of martial laws and with in limits specified by the law.
Court hearings shall be held in public except if the court decides to make it confidential for
considerations of public order or morality reasons. In all case the sentence shall be issued in
a public hearing session.
The public prosecutor shall look into general cases in the name of the society. It shall
supervise issues of judicial discipline, the app lication of criminal law, follow guilty persons,
and apply the law. The law shall organize the public prosecution, its jurisdictions and the
conditions and guarantees given to those who are appointed in this profession.
Only by law, general cases may be given to th e general security in minor cases and as an
exception according to condit ions stated by the law.
The law shall organize the lawyers’ profession.
The judiciary shall have a higher council to supervise the good functioning of the courts and
other supporting bodies. The law shall specify the jurisdictions of the council in employment
issues of judges and public prosecution.
The law shall organize means of resolving admi nistrative conflicts by a special court or
department. The law shall specify its regulations and its means of practicing administrative
The law shall organized means of resolving con flicts over jurisdictions between the different
levels of the judiciary and conflicts related to provisions.
The law shall organize the jurisdictions of the party that shall give the legal opinion to the
ministries and other government bodies. The ch osen party shall draft the laws, regulations,
and decisions and shall review them. The law shall also specify the means of representation
of the state and other public institutio ns and bodies before the judiciary.
The law shall specify the judicial authority of the judgse in conflicts related to the extent of
compliance of laws and regulations with the Basic Law of the state and its compliance with its
provisions. It shall specify its jurisdictions and the procedures to be followed.
Sentences shall be issued and implemented in th e name of the Sultan. Failure or refusal to
apply these sentences by specialized public empl oyees shall be considered a punishable crime
by the law. In this case, those who obtained th e verdict shall have the right to refer the case
directly to the specialized court.
The application of this Basic Law shall not br each the treaties and agreements which Oman
has concluded with states and international organizations.
It is impermissible to suspend any provision of this Basic Law except during the proclamation
of martial law, and within the limits prescribed by the law.
Laws are published in the Official Gazette within two weeks of their issue, and are enforced
directly after the date of their publicatio n unless otherwise specified by the law.
The provisions of the laws apply only to what o ccurs from the date the laws came into force,
and have no retroactive effect unless otherwis e stated. This exception does not include
criminal laws and financial fees and taxes law.
Treaties and conventions shall not have the force of law unless they are ratified. In any case,
no treaty or convention shall have confiden tial conditions contradicting its declared
All decisions made laws, regulations, decrees, orders, and decision in force shall stay effective
in the condition that their provisions do not co ntradict with the provisions of this Law.
The specialized authorities shall issue the inexistent laws needed for this Law during two
years as of the date it enters into force.
Laws and procedures that have the force of la w shall comply with the provisions of the Basic
Law of the state.
No state authority shall issue regulations, decisions or directives which contradict the
provisions of laws and decrees in force or in ternational treaties and conventions which are
part of the law of the state.
This law shall not be amended exce pt in the way it was issued.