While the key tenets of the legal system of Lebanon are based upon both the Shari'a law ("Islamic Religious Law") and the French civil law system, much of Lebanon's legislation also derives from legal principles inherent within the Ottoman Empire.
By way of its constitution, which was amended on 21 September 1990, Lebanon constitutes a parliamentary democracy. The President is the head of the State of Lebanon and is charged with responsibility for promulgating the laws adopted by the Lebanese Parliament. In contrast, the Lebanese Prime Minister oversees the Executive Branch and presides over the Cabinet of ministers, which is responsible for implementing the executive functions of Lebanon.
Lebanon has a tripartite judicial system, namely: civil courts, commercial courts and criminal courts. The Court of Cassation of Lebanon is the final court of appeal, reserved to hear cases of high value or particular significance.
In many civil law jurisdictions in the region, the concepts of legal professional privilege and "without prejudice" communications do not exist per se, and the parties have the right to use any document which may support their position in civil litigation. This is the position in Lebanon, whose constitution does not contain any express provision in respect of legal professional privilege.