The Social Contract of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria

Before I share this document with you, let me explain why.

I am lonely. Very lonely. I am lonely for want of respect, friendship and understanding from my fellow human beings.

I have just moved to the city from a rural area. I do not know if this is the right decision. There is so much going on here, but because I am struggling to find work, most of it is inaccessible to me. Desperately, I characterise myself as an entrepreneur, in the hope that my skills with words can generate an income on a self-employment basis. I extol the wonders of WordPress that are at the tips of my fingers, but who has paid for those wonders, in this world where we are all interconnected, but some more equally than others?

In grave self-doubt, which is doubt of the modern culture that comprises my shaky identity and sense of self, I wonder what right I have to generate income on the back of a blog. What specialised skill sets have I developed, am I developing, that depend on the marketing lies of various corporations and the physical exploitation of workers, past and present?

I struggle to find a way forward.

I struggle with this framework of global capitalism that I must act within, or act against, or both.

Meanwhile, my interest and support remains for alternatives to global capitalism around the world, that strive to defend themselves against the capitalist juggernaut.

Particularly, the feminist and pluralist democratic experiment in Northern Syria has been truly inspirational. It is all I can do right now to share one of the defining political documents from the revolutionary regional government of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (DFNS -see below).

My mental health is at a low ebb. The capitalist world system itself must take some responsibility for that. Rates of depression and also so-called ‘schizophrenia’ are higher in so-called ‘developed’ countries than ‘developing’ ones.

I almost didn’t write a post today, which would have been a shame, making it very difficult for me to keep up my average of one post per week, which I’ve kept up since this blog began last autumn.

If just one new person seriously considers at least half of the document that I have reproduced below, with a humility and an openness to change and alternatives to the economic and political world system we live within, then my job today was well done.

The Social Contract of the DFNS

Preamble

We, peoples of Rojava-northern Syria, including Kurds, Arabs, Syriacs, Assyrians, Turkmen, Armenians, Chechens, Circassians, Muslims, Christians, Yezidis, and the different doctrines and sects, recognize that the nation-state has made Kurdistan, Mesopotamia, and Syria a hub for the chaos happening in the Middle East and has brought problems, serious crises, and agonies for our peoples.

The tyrannical nation-state regime, which has been unfair to the different components of Syrian people, has led the country to destruction and fragmentation of the society fabric. To end this chaotic situation, the democratic federal system is an optimal solution to address the national, social, and historical issues in Syria.

The democratic federalism of northern Syria is based on a geographic concept and an administrative and political decentralization; it is part of the united Syrian democratic federalism.

The consensual democratic federal system guarantees the participation of all individuals and groups, on equal levels, in the discussion, decision, and implementation of affairs. It takes ethnic and religious differences into consideration according to the characteristics of each group based on the principles of mutual coexistence and peoples’ fraternity. It guarantees the equality of all peoples in rights and duties, respects the charters of human rights, and preserves national and international peace.

Within the consensual democratic federal system, all segments of people, in particular women and youth, shall form their organizations and democratic institutions. The democratic federal system guarantees free practicing of all political, social, and cultural activities, and enjoying all the merits of free and equal life.

The democratic federal system of northern Syria adopts, in this contract, the physical and moral values of the Middle East. This document is approved by the free will of all the components of northern Syria and according to the principles of the democratic nation.

Title One

General Principles

Article /1/

This document is named: “The Social Contract of the Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria”. The preamble is considered an integral part of this contract.

Article /2/

The democratic federal system of northern Syria adopts the ecological and democratic system and women’s freedom.

Article /3/

The democratic federalism of northern Syria draws its legitimacy from the will of peoples and groups through free and democratic elections.

Article /4/

All languages in northern Syria are equal in all areas of life, including social, educational, cultural, and administrative dealings. Every people shall organize its life and manage its affairs using its mother tongue.

Article /5/

The Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria and its administration shall have a center and a special flag, along with the democratic federal Syria flag and it shall have an emblem; this is regulated by law.

Article /6/

The Oath

“I swear by the Almighty God and by the blood of Martyrs to abide by the social contract and its articles, preserve the peoples’ democratic rights and the values of Martyrs, protect the freedom, safety, and security of the regions of the Northern Syria Democratic Federalism, preserve the federal Syria, and work to achieve social justice according to the principle of the democratic nation.”

Article /7/

“The Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria” consists of cantons based on democratic self-administrations, which depend on the democratic organizations of ideological, ethnic, feminine, cultural groups, and all social segments.

Article /8/

“The Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria” is based on the organized society and the free individual. In this framework, peoples’ local organizations, groups, and components are the basis of this federalism.

Article /9/

The democratic, environmental, and societal life are the basis for building an ecological democratic society in order not to harm, abuse, and destroy nature.

Article /10/

Coexistence shall be established within a fair, free and democratic society system according to the principles of the democratic nation, which are full of the spirit of fraternity between all peoples and groups in northern Syria.

Article /11/

“The Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria” is based on the principle of making the land, water, and resources publicly owned; it adopts ecological industry and societal economy; it does not allow exploitation, monopoly, and the objectification of women; it shall realize health and social insurance for all individuals.

Article /12/

The Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria adopts the co-presidency system in all political, social, administrative, and other fields. It considers it a main principle in equal representation of both genders. The co-presidency system contributes to organizing and establishing the democratic confederate system of women as a special entity.

Article /13/

Women’s freedom and rights and gender equality shall be guaranteed in society.

Article /14/

Women shall enjoy free will in the democratic family, which is based on mutual and equal life.

Article /15/

Youth are considered the leading and effective force in society and their participation shall be guaranteed in all fields of life.

Article /16/

Fair representation of all ethnic components in all the administrative institutions related to federalism shall be guaranteed according to demography of the region.

Title Two

Rights and General Freedoms

Article /17/

“The Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria” shall abide by the international declaration of human rights and all related charters of human rights.

Article /18/

The right to life is essential and guaranteed in this contract, which does not permit capital punishment.

Article /19/

Human dignity shall be preserved and it is not permissible to torture anyone psychologically or physically; the doer shall be punished.

Article /20/

Peoples, groups, and societal segments shall have the right to organize themselves freely. Cultural oppression and fusion, extermination, and occupation shall be considered a crime against humanity; resistance against these practices shall be considered legitimate.

Article /21/

Every canton or group shall have the right to decide its own affairs provided that it does not contradict this contract.

Article /22/

Freedom of faith, conscious, and thought and the right to self-organization and self-expression shall be guaranteed for all people.

Article /23/

Everyone shall have the right to participate in political life, run as a candidate, and elect according to the law.

Article /24/

No one shall be insulted or excluded on the basis of difference in colour, gender, race, religion, or belief.

Article /25/

Using violence, manipulation, and discrimination against women shall be considered a crime punished by law.

Article /26/

Women shall have the right to equal participation in all fields of life (political, social, cultural, economic, administrative, and others) and take decisions relevant to their affairs.

Article /27/

Youth shall have the right to organize themselves and occupy effective positions in all fields of life, taking their special characteristics into consideration.

Article /28/

Every defendant shall be presumed innocent until convicted by law.

Article /29/

Private places or houses may not be entered or inspected except by an order of judicial authority in cases of being caught in the act.

Article /30/

Individual freedom shall not be restricted without a legal basis.

Article /31/

The right to self-defence is sacred and shall not be restricted. The law shall guarantee to everyone the right to prosecution.

Article /32/

Everyone shall have the right to live in a sound ecological society.

Article /33/

Cultural, ethnic, and religious groups and components shall have the right to name its self-administrations, preserve their cultures, and form their democratic organizations. No one or component shall have the right to impose their own beliefs on others by force.

Article /34/

Education shall be free at all stages; the elementary and intermediate education is compulsory.

Article /35/

Every citizen shall have the right to work, health care, change residence, and get a house.

Article /36/

The rights of all workers, in work and social life, and support for their organizations shall be guaranteed and regulated by law.

Article /37/

Freedom of media, press, and publishing shall be guaranteed.

Article /38/

Every citizen shall have the right to get and access information.

Article /39/

All people shall have the right to develop and publicize their cultural and artistic activities.

Article /40/

Every human shall have the right to seek human and political asylum; the political refugee may not be returned to their country without their approval.

Article /41/

Wealth and natural resources are publicly owned; and their investment, management, and conditions of fair distribution shall be regulated by law.

Article /42/

Investment shall be in special projects, which take into account the ecological balance, provide necessary services for economic development, aim at meeting social needs, and contribute to activate and establish societal economic activities.

Article /43/

The right to private ownership shall be guaranteed unless it contradicts the common interest and shall be regulated by law.

Article /44/

The participation of all citizens in the legitimate defence of the Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria, or the Democratic Syria Federalism is a right and duty to deter any attack.

Article /45/

The rights of people with special needs shall be guaranteed, and a decent living for the disabled and old people shall be secured.

Article /46/

Child rights shall be preserved; labour and manipulation of child shall be prevented.

Title Three

Societal System

Chapter one

Article /47/

Peoples and groups in “The Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria” shall organize their free and democratic societal lives based on forming communes, societal institutions, unions, and assemblies. The democratic system of society shall be developed and established based on these institutions.

Article /48/

Communes

The commune is the essential basic organizational form of direct democracy. It is a system to make decisions and management within its organizational and administrative boundary. It works as an independent council in all stages of decision making.

Article /49/

The councils

They are the societal units which represent the people, discuss and decide its affairs, and formulate policies beginning with villages, neighbourhoods, towns, and districts. They protect society, ensure its continuity, and secure the realization of its goals, in the political, social, cultural, and economic fields. They organize society by enabling direct democracy and set rules and principles related to democratic and free life.

Article /50/

All councils shall be formed according to the following principles:

The councils consist of a sufficient number of elected members according to population; 60% of the representatives are directly elected by people, and 40% are elected by the components, groups, and social segments. This shall be regulated by a special law according to consensual democracy.

1. No member of the councils and executive boards shall be a candidate for co- presidency for more than two terms.

2. The council of the village, neighbourhood, town, region, or district, is formed by representatives who are democratically elected, within their residence boundary, by ethnic, religious, cultural groups, social segments, or communes. The electoral term is decided by the councils’ rules of procedure.

3. The councils elect a sufficient number of coordinating board members in the neighbourhood and town and the executive board of the town and region. They elect their co-presidents and organize their activities through committees.

4. The councils approve members of the justice systems and the internal security administration, and oversee them.

Chapter two

District councils

Article /51/

The district in the societal system of “Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria” is the extension of the city with its surroundings.

1. The district council is the legislative system elected by free voting of the peoples and groups and is formed according to election laws. It consists of a sufficient number of members according to population and size of the district.

2. It shapes the policies for the entire district and takes necessary decisions.

3. It organizes activities and forms committees according to the democratic nation principles.

4. It elects its executive board.

5. It approves the members of the justice office and local security administration in the district.

6. It monitors justice, internal security, and administrative systems in the district.

Article /52/

The executive board of the district

1. It consists of a sufficient number of members and two co-presidents elected by the district council.

2. It implements the decisions and applies the policies decided by the district council. It is responsible to the district council and provides it with reports on its regular activities.

3. It organizes and practices its activities through committees, which consist of sufficient numbers of members. The co-spokespersons in each committee shall coordinate its activities. The co-spokespersons of the committees shall be from executive board members of the district.

Chapter three

The canton system

Article/53/

The canton in the “Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria” is the self- administration unit, which consists of a district, more than one district, or some regions that share the same historical, demographical, economic, and cultural characteristics and are geographically integrated and connected.

Article /54/

Rights, authorities, and responsibilities of the cantons

1. The cantons of the democratic self-administration in the “Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria” shall organize themselves and administer their affairs according to the principles of the democratic self-administration in political, economic, social, internal security, health, educational, defense, and cultural areas. They shall enjoy the rights and authorities stated in the laws enshrined by “The Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria”.

2. Every canton shall organize itself according to the principles of self-sufficiency in the economic sector. It shall help in securing general social prosperity and richness in the “Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria” according to its strength and conditions; it shall take its share from the general budget of the federalism.

3. All cantons shall adopt a fair distribution of underground and over ground wealth in the “Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria” and “The Democratic Federal Syria” (petrol, water, mineral reserve, woods). The fair distribution of wealth is regulated by law.

4. Every canton shall have the right to build and develop its justice system provided that it does not contradict the social contract of the “Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria” and the treaties and charters of the of international human rights.

5. Every canton shall be responsible for organizing and strengthening its internal security system.

6. Every canton shall have the right to legitimate defense against foreign attacks, and it shall also be responsible to defend the “Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria” and “The Democratic Federal Syria”.

7. Every canton shall have the right to develop and establish diplomatic, economic, social, and cultural relations with the neighboring peoples and countries provided that they do not contradict the social contract of the “Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria” and the “Democratic Federal Syria”.

8. The components of each canton shall have the right to practice and establish their political, social, and cultural lives using their mother tongues and cultures.

9. The principles of rules and mechanisms of every item of the cantons’ rights, authorities, and responsibilities, stated above, shall be decided by separate and detailed laws.

Article /55/

Peoples’ assembly in the canton

1. It is a representative assembly for peoples and groups in each canton; it legislates, monitors, and shape general policies; its electoral term is four years; and its mechanism of work is regulated by law.

2. 40% of the canton’s assembly members are formed from directly and democratically elected representatives within the ethnic, religious, doctrinal, and cultural components; this shall be regulated by law. 60% of the people’s representatives are elected in general elections.

3. The first session is held sixteenth days after announcing final results in all regions by the high electoral commission. The co-presidents of the executive council shall call for holding the first session of the elected peoples’ assembly. If the first meeting was not held for inevitable reasons, the co-presidents of the executive council would decide another date within fifteen days. The quorum must be (50%+1) from the general attendance. The first meeting of the peoples’ assembly is headed by the oldest member; and the co- presidents and office are elected; the sessions shall be open unless there is a necessity according to its rules of procedure.

4. It is possible to extend for six months the term of the peoples’ assembly in extraordinary cases at request of quarter of the members or the assembly’s presidential office; the approval of two thirds of the assembly members is needed.

5. The assembly member shall enjoy immunity during his/her entire membership; he/she shall not be held accountable for their opinions; he/she shall not be prosecuted without the assembly’s permission unless being caught in the act; and the assembly’s office must be informed.

6. It shall shape policies and take decisions regarding social, economic, internal security, educational, health, and cultural fields in the canton.

7. It shall elect an office of six members including the co-presidents to organize and manage the assembly’s activities.

8. It monitors and supervises through its committees.

9. It elects the co-presidents of the executive council with two thirds majority and assigns them to form the executive council to approve it. It shall have the right to vote of no confidence in the executive council or any of its members.

10. It shall approve the members of the justice systems, internal security system, and media, publishing, and information council and monitors their activities.

11. It shall organize and conduct activities through committees. It shall hold regular meetings and meet when necessary.

12. It shall work according to its rules of procedure.

13. It shall enshrine and legislate on rules in the canton.

14. It shall approve the general budget of the canton.

15. It shall approve the general policy and the developmental plans of the canton.

16. It shall approve and give a general amnesty in the canton.

Article /56/

The executive council of the canton

1. It consists of the co-presidents, their deputies, and some boards; it shall adopt fair representation of peoples, groups, and social segments.

2. It is the executive system in the canton. It applies the decisions of the peoples’ assembly and justice institutions and provides it with regular reports on its activities.

3. It organizes itself through boards according to the principles of the democratic nation and forms its collective executive power accordingly. The council’s co-presidents assign tasks to boards.

4. The board is represented by two co-spokespersons chosen from executive council’s members. Each board consists of a sufficient number of members and representatives according to its activities.

5. The formation and organization of the executive council’s work and the relationship between the other administrations and institutions shall be regulated by law.

6. After the executive council is formed and given confidence, it releases a statement to decide its agenda for the next phase, and the council is committed to implement it during its term after approving it by the peoples’ assembly.

Chapter four

The democratic peoples’ conference

Article /57/

The democratic peoples’ conference represents all the peoples living in the “Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria”. It is a symbol of integration, fraternity, coexistence, and free democratic union of peoples in northern Syria. The conference includes Kurds, Arabs, Syriacs, Assyrians, Armenians, Turkmen, Circassians, and Chechens. From the doctrinal and cultural groups, it includes Muslims, Christians, and Yezidis. It takes into account the historical, demographic, geographic, religious, doctrinal, ethnic, and cultural structures and characteristics of all peoples and groups; and it is formed on the basis of their demands and will.

The democratic peoples’ conference shall ensure the right of the peoples and groups to establish democratic self-administrations. It ensures doctrinal, ethnic and cultural freedom by law. It shall adopt the democratic system in organizing the society and enabling it to live within economic and ecological balance.

The democratic peoples’ conference views the organization of democratic self-administration cantons, groups, and local units as the basis of the democratic federal system. It aims at unifying all groups under the northern Syria democratic federalism by their own free will.

Article /58/

Forming and organizing the democratic peoples’ conference

1. Members of the democratic peoples’ conference are elected once every four years by people according to electoral law and the population of each canton.

2. The democratic peoples’ conference makes legislations and generally represents the peoples and groups in the “Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria”.

3. Members of the democratic peoples’ conference are elected as follows: 40% of them are democratically and directly elected from ethnic, religious, doctrinal, and cultural components, depending on population, and from social segments, depending on their organizational level in society, according to electoral law. 60% from the peoples’ representatives are directly elected by people in general elections.

4. The democratic peoples’ conference shall be administered by the “presidency office”, which consists of two co-presidents and four deputies. The two candidates for the presidency office and the co-presidents are suggested for the conference by consent of representatives of groups and social segments in the general conference.  The co-presidents are elected by absolute majority while members of the presidency office are elected by half plus one vote in the general conference session.

5. The democratic peoples’ conference works through committees. It gives the final draft of the resolutions and projects which are proposed to the general conference meeting. It can form the necessary committees when needed. Its activities are done in light of the rules of procedure.

Article /59/

Tasks of the democratic peoples’ conference

1. It elects the co-presidents and the conference presidency office.

2. It elects the co-presidents of the executive council with two thirds majority and assigns it to form the executive council in a month to approve it. It shall have the right to vote of no confidence in the executive council or any of its members.

3. It shapes the general policy and decides the strategic goals in all areas of society life.

4. It prepares or amends the social contract at request of a quarter of conference members and on approval of two thirds of its members.

5. It declares the state of peace and war in the “Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria”.

6. It legislates on all laws related to the “Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria”.

7. It monitors the boards through committees.

8. The conference holds regular and extraordinary meetings, evaluates its activities, plans future activities, and discusses proposed projects and approves them.

9. It approves the members of justice council, internal security system, media, publishing and information council, and the high commission for elections and supervises their activities.

10. It approves the appointment and promotion of the general leadership of the military council and monitors its activities.

11. It discusses and approves the charters and treaties concluded with cross- national institutions, States, or different groups in the name of the “Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria”.

12. It is possible to extend the electoral term of the democratic peoples’ conference for six months in extraordinary cases at request of a quarter of the members or the conference presidency office and on approval of two thirds of its members.

13. It approves the accession of a region or canton to the “Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria” after accepting the social contract.

14. It approves the general budget of the “Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria”.

15. It approves and provides a general amnesty in the “Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria”.

Article /60/

Tasks of the conference presidency office

1. It represents “the democratic peoples’ conference in the democratic federalism of northern Syria”, and it is responsible for arranging, coordinating, implementing and supervising all conference activities.

2. It organizes and supervises the meetings of the general conference.

3. It activates, monitors, and supervises the committees.

Article /61/

The executive council of federalism

1. It is formed by a sufficient number, and both genders are equally represented. Fair representation of peoples, groups, and social segments in the canton is adopted. Membership of the executive council can be given to 20% of those who are not members in the conference.

2. Members of the executive council are elected from among the candidates suggested by cantons’ councils from conference members. Other members are suggested to replace those who are not approved by the conference taking into consideration fair representation of the cantons.

3. Co-presidents of the cantons’ executive councils shall have the right to attend the meetings of the executive council of federalism when necessary.

4. Co-presidents of the cantons’ executive councils shall not have the right to be candidates for the co-presidency of the federalism executive council.

5. The co-presidents represent the executive council and lead its activity.

Article /62/

Tasks of the executive council of federalism

1. It implements decisions and applies policies shaped and decided by the democratic peoples’ conference in the Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria.

2. It conducts diplomatic activities in the name of the “Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria”.

3. It ensures coordination and cooperation between cantons in political, economic, social, and cultural areas.

4. It supervises and monitors the boards’ work.

5. It provides reports to the democratic peoples’ conference in the “Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria”.

6. The executive council in the “Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria” organizes itself through boards and forms its executive collective strength according to the dimensions of the democratic nation.

7. Every board consists of at least six members including the co-presidents who monitor and coordinate its work; they shall be from the executive council’s members.

8. The boards in the executive council of the democratic federalism of northern Syria monitor, support, and coordinate the work of the cantons’ boards.

Chapter five

Media, publishing, and information institution

Article /63/

1. Media, publishing, and information institution shall organize itself independently according to the principle of free and democratic publishing and media. It shall help develop and support media and publishing institutions and ensure free media activities within legal frameworks. It shall not allow monopoly in the field of media and publishing; it shall monitor and supervise the realization of freedom of media in accordance with the freedom of society to receive news and necessary information. It shall also be assigned to ensure fair and equal financial support for all media and publishing systems according to legal frameworks.

2. The institution consists of a sufficient number of members, half of them are elected by the conference or cantons’ councils and they include representatives of components and social segments; and the other half are elected by national media institutions.

3. It conducts activities according to the principles of media and publishing law. It organizes itself according to fields of work and it forms committees and conduct activities according to the principles of its rules of procedure.

4. The peoples’ assembly in the cantons and the democratic peoples’ conference monitor its activities.

Chapter six

The legitimate defense force

Article /64/

The “Syrian Democratic Forces” are the armed defense forces in the “Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria”. It depends on voluntary recruits of the people on one hand, and self-defense duty on the other. It is assigned to defend and protect the Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria and the Democratic Federal Syria from any attack or possible foreign threat. It ensures protecting citizens’ lives and properties. It organizes itself in a semi-independent way according to the recruitment system law. Its activities are supervised by the democratic peoples’ conference and defense board.

Chapter seven

The social contract council

Article/65/

The social contract council consists of a number of judges, lawyers, and law figures; their number, selection method, and the council’s work is decided by law and approved with two thirds of members of the democratic peoples’ conference. When choosing the members of the social contract council, the peoples’ conference shall take into consideration representing all components.

Article /66/

Tasks of social contract council

1. It interprets the social contract items.

2. It ensures that the laws issued by the peoples’ conference, decisions issued by the executive council, and the laws and decisions issued by the cantons’ councils are not contradicted.

3. It settles any differences related to the application of this contract between the democratic peoples’ conference, the executive council, and justice council.

4. It settles any differences between the federalism and the cantons or between cantons.

5. If any party gave evidence to challenge the constitutionality of a legal item applied by a court and the court which is considering the challenge found that the evidence is reliable and should be ruled on, it shall stop the case and refer the evidence to the social contract council.

6. It approves the results of the elections and general referendums.

Chapter eight

Justice system

Article /67/

The democratic justice system solves the problems related to justice and social rights through peoples’ participation and self-organization. Justice vision is based on the moral principles of the democratic society. It aims at building a society which adopts a democratic approach and vision and ecology that believes in freedom of women and societal life and organizes itself on the basis of democratic society. Services of justice are conducted through social participation and the organization of democratically formed local units.

Article /68/

Justice principles

1. Social justice is considered a basis to organize and self- protect society. It depends on solving social problems related to justice in the villages, neighborhood, and district communes. It solves problems by means of dialogue, negotiation, and mutual consent.

2. Actions which harm social life and environment are considered a crime. When a crime is committed, victims have the opportunity to defend their rights. Society shall have the right to assess the damage, criticize and give suggestions, and participate in decision making.

3. Punishments shall aim at rehabilitating guilty people, force them to substitute for damage, develop awareness, and correctly include them in social life.

4. Regarding the problems related to peoples, groups, and social segments, they shall have the right to form justice mechanisms and develop special solution methods provided that they do not contradict the social contract or basic human rights.

5. Regarding issues related to general interests and security of all peoples and groups, they are settled in justice systems which represent the whole society.

6. Special feminine organizations and equal representation of women are the basis in the field of justice and its institutional activities. Women-related decisions are dealt with by feminine justice systems.

Article /69/

Ways of organization and basics of work

Justice systems consist of reconciliation committees, justice offices, investigation committees, justice council, and feminine justice council. They are the main institutions which are active to achieve and establish social justice; and their members are elected by popular councils.

1. Reconciliation committees solve conflicts and disputes and achieve peace and social concord. They organize themselves everywhere and at all levels as needed from commune to canton; their members are from volunteers and socially respected people.

2. Justice offices are the systems which organize themselves in towns, districts, and where necessary to eliminate injustice against communities and individuals and achieve justice. Members are suggested by justice councils in the canton and voted for by peoples’ assemblies in districts. Justice offices are formed in towns and regions as necessary.

3. Investigation committees are specialized justice systems which investigate and reveal crimes to achieve justice. They carry out their tasks after being voted for and approved by the council in their residence area.

4. Justice councils in the cantons organize and supervise justice institutions in the cantons. Members are chosen by peoples’ assembly in the canton through voting. They ensure fair and democratic representation of peoples, groups, and social segments based on quota for justice institutions.

5. The justice council in the Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria is responsible for supervising and monitoring the justice system. It provides reports, projects, and draft of resolutions regarding justice activities to the democratic peoples’ conference. It ensures reciprocal coordination between cantons. Members are suggested by cantons’ justice councils and voted for by democratic peoples’ conference.

6. Women’s justice council in the democratic federalism of Northern Syria deals with all issues and affairs related to women and family. It has the right to monitor and coordinate with the cantons’ judicial councils.

Chapter nine

The high commission for elections

Article /70/

1. One third of its members are suggested by the justice council in the Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria; the other two thirds are suggested by representatives of components and social segments; all of them are approved by the democratic peoples’ conference.

2. It consists of sufficient specialized number. It is responsible for planning, organizing, and conducting popular referendums regulated by law, electing general assembly members of the democratic peoples’ conference, electing peoples’ councils members in the cantons, and all legal and democratic elections according to law.

3. The high commission for elections settles the cases of objection to elections, and its resolutions cannot be appealed against; it works according to its rules of procedure.

4. It organizes and forms the elections commission in the cantons. One third of its members are suggested by the justice council in the canton, and the other two thirds are suggested by representatives of components and social segments; and it is approved by the peoples’ council in the cantons.

5. The elections commission in the cantons organizes and forms their committees in districts according to its rules of procedure.

6. It can send its members as observers in the elections of the political parties and official institutions in the federalism and cantons.

Title four

General principles

Article /71/

The relationship between the “Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria” and the “Democratic Federalism of Syria” shall be identified at all levels according to a consensual democratic constitution.

Article /72/

All elected administrations shall be subject to supervision from the bodies that elected them. Electoral systems shall have the right to vote of no confidence in their representatives when necessary; this shall be regulated by law.

Article /73/

Referendum shall be held in all decisive issues related to public interest, like the formulation of the social contract, concluding or revoking international treaties, or amending the system’s form.

Article /74/

Local components shall have the right to object the decisions of the general systems, which contradict their interests and do not agree with their will and aims, if the objection is not settled by general consensus through presenting the decisions to the intended people to approve it.

Article /75/

In case the decisions of the cantons or local components are contradicted with the general interests or the social contract, these decisions can be refuted by the social contract council.

Article /76/

Ecological life and balance shall be maintained.

Article /77/

Natural resources are society’s wealth and they shall be invested and used according to the needs of the cantons; this shall be regulated by law.

Article /78/

Investing foreign capital shall be allowed within legal frameworks and approval of the democratic peoples’ conference and the peoples’ assembly in the canton.

Article /79/

Political parties and movements may be established, and may freely organize themselves and practice their activities within a legal framework.

Article /80/

Social institutions and organizations, like collectives, associations, syndicates, unions, chambers, and other, may organize themselves freely within the framework of laws in the “Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria”. Democratic organizations of social segments may be developed and supported in all areas.

Article /81/

No member in the democratic peoples’ conference and the peoples’ council in the cantons may have the right to be a candidate for more than two consecutive terms.

Article /82/

Electors and candidates’ age shall not be less than eighteen for all institutions and councils in the federal system. Conditions for candidacy and election are regulated by a special law.

Article /83/

The amendment of the general principles of this contract requires agreement with the peoples’ assemblies in the cantons and approval of 75% of the members of democratic peoples’ conference.

The Constituent Assembly of the Democratic Federalism of Northern Syria

29.12.2016

 

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