By World Constitutions

Browse the Encyclopedia of Law by World Constitutions

Constitutions of the Countries of the World

In the encyclopedia of Law there are the full-text, integrated versions of most of the worldÂ’s constitutions.

The Encyclopedia offers (in most cases, authoritative) translations of the constitutions of most countries. In some cases, complementing the official documents are introductory and comparative notes and cross references examining amendments, and highlighting pertinent historical, political, and economic factors.

List of Constitutions by Country

Country and Date:

Afghanistan January 4, 2004
Albania November 28, 1998
Algeria 1963
Andorra February 2, 1993
Angola 1975
Argentina May 1, 1853
Armenia July 5, 1995
Australia 1 January 1901
Austria October 1, 1920
Azerbaijan November 12, 1995
Bangladesh December 16, 1972
Bahrain 2002
Barbados November 30, 1966
Belarus March 15, 1994
Belgium February 7, 1831
Bolivia February 7, 2009
Bosnia and Herzegovina (Dayton Agreement, 1995) December 14, 1995
Bhutan July 18, 2008
Brazil October 5, 1988
Bulgaria July 12, 1991
Burundi March 9, 1992
Cameroon 2008
Canada July 1, 1867
Chad 1996
Chile March 11, 1981
China, People’s Republic of December 4, 1982
Hong Kong April 4, 1990
Macau December 20, 1999
China, Republic of (Taiwan) June 10, 2005
Colombia 1991
Congo, Democratic Republic of February 18, 2006
Croatia December 1990
Cuba 1976
Cyprus 1960
Czech Republic December 16, 1992
Denmark 1849
Dominican Republic 2010
East Timor 20 May 2002
Ecuador 2008
Egypt September 11, 1971
Estonia Põhiseadus 1992
Ethiopia 1987
Fiji 1997 (abrogated 2009)
Finland March 1, 2000
France October 4, 1958
Georgia August 24, 1995
Germany — titled Grundgesetz May 8, 1949
Greece 1975
Guatemala 1985
Guinea-Bissau 1984
Guyana 1980
Haiti 1994
Hungary 18 April 2011
Honduras 1982
Iceland June 17, 1944
India, Republic of January 26, 1950
Indonesia 1945
Iran October 24, 1979
Iraq 15 October 2005
Ireland December 29, 1937
Italy December 22, 1947
Japan May 3, 1947
Kazakhstan August 30, 1995
Kyrgyzstan June 27, 2010
Korea, Republic of July 17, 1948
Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of 2009
Kosovo June 15, 2008
Kuwait 1961
Latvia November 7, 1922
Lebanon May 23, 1926
Luxembourg 1868
Liberia July 3, 1985
Lithuania October 25, 1992
Liechtenstein 1921
Macedonia 2001
Malaysia 1957
Mali January 12, 1992
Malta 1964
Mauritius 1968
Mexico February 5, 1917
Moldova 1994
Monaco December 17, 1962
Mongolia January 13, 1992
Montenegro October 19, 2007
Nauru January 31, 1968
Netherlands — titled Grondwet 1815
Aruba — titled Staatsregeling August 19, 1985
Nepal 2007
Netherlands Antilles — titled Staatsregeling October 10, 2010
Nicaragua 1995
Niger July 18, 1999
Nigeria May 29, 1999
Norway May 17, 1814
Pakistan 1973
Paraguay 1992
Palestine — a Basic Law serves for the interim period May 28, 1964
Peru December 31, 1993
Philippines February 2, 1987
Poland April 2, 1997
Portugal April 25, 1976
Romania November 21, 1991
Russia December 12, 1993
Rwanda May 26, 2003
San Marino October 8, 1600
Serbia October 28–29, 2006
Singapore 1965
Slovakia September 1, 1992
Slovenia December 23, 1991
Somalia 2004
South Africa February 4, 1997
South Sudan July 9, 2011
Spain 1978
Sri Lanka September 7, 1978
Sudan 1998
Suriname 1987
Sweden 1974
Switzerland April 18, 1999
Syria 1973
Thailand 2007
Tonga November 4, 1875
Tunisia April 26, 1861
Turkey November 7, 1982
Turkmenistan May 18, 1992
Ukraine June 28, 1996
United States of America June 21, 1788
Uruguay 1997
Vanuatu 1980
Vatican City 2000
Venezuela 1999
Vietnam April 15, 1992


See Also

References and Further Reading

About the Author/s and Reviewer/s

Author: international

Constitutional Classification

1 Constitutional Justice
1.1 Constitutional jurisdiction
1.1.1 Statute and organisation Sources Constitution Institutional Acts Other legislation Rule issued by the executive Rule adopted by the Court Independence Statutory independence Administrative independence Financial independence

1.1.2 Composition, recruitment and structure Necessary qualifications Number of members Appointing authority Appointment of members Appointment of the President Functions of the President / Vice-President Subdivision into chambers or sections Relative position of members Persons responsible for preparing cases for hearing Staff Functions of the Secretary General / Registrar Legal Advisers
1.1.3 Status of the members of the court Term of office of Members Term of office of the President Privileges and immunities Professional incompatibilities Disciplinary measures Remuneration Non-disciplinary suspension of functions End of office Members having a particular status Status of staff

1.1.4 Relations with other institutions Head of State Legislative bodies Executive bodies Courts

1.2 Types of claim

1.2.1 Claim by a public body Head of State Legislative bodies Executive bodies Organs of federated or regional authorities Organs of sectoral decentralisation Local self-government body Public Prosecutor or Attorney -General Ombudsman Member states of the European Union Institutions of the European Union Religious authorities

1.2.2 Claim by a private body or individual Natural person Non-profit-making corporate body Profit-making corporate body Political parties Trade unions

1.2.3 Referral by a court

1.2.4 Initiation ex officio by the body of constitutional jurisdiction

1.2.5 Obligatory review

1.3 Jurisdiction

1.3.1 Scope of review Extension

1.3.2 Type of review Preliminary / ex post facto review Abstract / concrete review

1.3.3 Advisory powers

1.3.4 Types of litigation Litigation in respect of fundamental rights and freedoms Distribution of powers between State authorities Distribution of powers between central government and federal or regional entities Powers of local authorities Electoral disputes Litigation in respect of referendums and other instruments of direct democracy Admissibility Other litigation Restrictive proceedings Banning of political parties Withdrawal of civil rights Removal from parliamentary office Impeachment Litigation in respect of jurisdictional conflict Litigation in respect of the formal validity of enactments Litigation in respect of the constitutionality of enactments Limits of the legislative competence Litigation in respect of constitutional revision Conflict of Universally binding interpretation of Distribution of powers between the EU and member states Distribution of powers between institutions of the EU

1.3.5 The subject of review International Treaties Community law Primary legislation Secondary legislation Constitution Quasi-constitutional legislation and other rules having the force of law and other rules in force before the entry into force of the Constitution Decrees of the Head of State Quasi-legislative regulations Rules issued by federal or regional entities Parliamentary rules Rules issued by the executive Acts issued by decentralised bodies Territorial decentralisation Sectoral decentralisation Court decisions Administrative acts Government acts Failure to act or to pass legislation

1.4 Procedure

1.4.1 General characteristics

1.4.2 Summary procedure

1.4.3 Time-limits for instituting proceedings Ordinary time-limit Special time-limits Leave to appeal out of time

1.4.4 Exhaustion of remedies

1.4.5 Originating document Decision to act Signature Formal requirements Annexes Service

1.4.6 Grounds Time-limits Form Ex-officio grounds

1.4.7 Documents lodged by the parties Time-limits Decision to lodge the document Signature Formal requirements Annexes Service

1.4.8 Preparation of the case for trial Registration Notifications and publication Time-limits Preliminary proceedings Opinions Reports Evidence Inquiries into the facts by the Court Decision that preparation is complete

1.4.9 Parties Locus standi Interest Representation The Bar Legal representation other than the Bar Representation by persons other than lawyers or jurists Persons or entities authorised to intervene in proceedings

1.4.10 Interlocutory proceedings Intervention Plea of forgery Resumption of proceedings after interruption Discontinuance of proceedings Joinder of similar cases Challenging of a judge Automatic disqualification Challenge at the instance of a party Request for a preliminary ruling by the Court of Justice of the EU
1.4.11 Hearing Composition of the bench Procedure In public / in camera Report Opinion Address by the parties

1.4.12 Special procedures

1.4.13 Re-opening of hearing

1.4.14 Costs Waiver of court fees Legal aid or assistance Party costs

1.5 Decisions

1.5.1 Deliberation Composition of the bench Chair Procedure Quorum Vote

1.5.2 Reasoning

1.5.3 Form

1.5.4 Types Procedural decisions Opinion Finding of constitutionality or unconstitutionality Annulment Consequential annulment Suspension Modification Interim measures

1.5.5 Individual opinions of members Concurring opinions Dissenting opinions

1.5.6 Delivery and publication Delivery Time limit Publication Publication in the official journal/gazette Publication in an official collection Private publication Press

1.6 Effects

1.6.1 Scope

1.6.2 Determination of effects by the court

1.6.3 Effect erga omnes Stare decisis

1.6.4 Effect inter partes

1.6.5 Temporal effect Entry into force of decision Retrospective effect (ex tunc) Limitation on retrospective effect Ex nunc effect Postponement of temporal effect

1.6.6 Execution Body responsible for supervising execution Penalty payment

1.6.7 Influence on State organs

1.6.8 Influence on everyday life

1.6.9 Consequences for other cases Ongoing cases Decided cases

2 Sources

2.1 Categories

2.1.1 Written rules National rules Constitution Quasi-constitutional enactments National rules from other countries Community law International instruments United Nations Charter of 1945 Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 Geneva Conventions of 1949 European Convention on Human Rights of 1950 Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees of 1951 European Social Charter of 1961 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination of 1965 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 1969 American Convention on Human Rights of 1969 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women of 1979 African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights of 1981 European Charter of Local Self-Government of 1985 Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989 Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities of 1995 Statute of the International Criminal Court of 1998 Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union of 2000 International conventions regulating Diplomatic and Consular Relations

2.1.2 Unwritten rules Constitutional custom General principles of law Natural law

2.1.3 Case-law Domestic case-law International case-law European Court of Human Rights Court of Justice of the European Communities Other international bodies Foreign case-law

2.2 Hierarchy

2.2.1 Hierarchy as between national and non-national sources Treaties and Constitutions Treaties and legislative acts Treaties and other domestic legal instruments European Convention on Human Rights and Constitutions European Convention on Human Rights and non-constitutional domestic legal instruments Community law and domestic law Primary Community legislation and constitutions Primary Community legislation and domestic nonconstitutional legal instruments Secondary Community legislation and constitutions Secondary Community legislation and domestic nonconstitutional instruments

2.2.2 Hierarchy as between national sources Hierarchy emerging from the Constitution Hierarchy attributed to rights and freedoms The Constitution and other sources of domestic law

2.2.3 Hierarchy between sources of Community law

2.3 Techniques of review

2.3.1 Concept of manifest error in assessing evidence or exercising discretion

2.3.2 Concept of constitutionality dependent on a specified interpretation

2.3.3 Intention of the author of the enactment under review

2.3.4 Interpretation by analogy

2.3.5 Logical interpretation

2.3.6 Historical interpretation

2.3.7 Literal interpretation

2.3.8 Systematic interpretation

2.3.9 Teleological interpretation

2.3.10 Contextual interpretation

2.3.11 Pro homine/most favourable interpretation to the individual
3 General Principles

3.1 Sovereignty

3.2 Republic/Monarchy

3.3 Democracy

3.3.1 Representative democracy

3.3.2 Direct democracy

3.3.3 Pluralist democracy

3.4 Separation of powers

3.5 Social State

3.6 Structure of the State

3.6.1 Unitary State

3.6.2 Regional State

3.6.3 Federal State

3.7 Relations between the State and bodies of a religious or ideological nature

3.8 Territorial principles

3.8.1 Indivisibility of the territory

3.9 Rule of law

3.10 Certainty of the law

3.11 Vested and/or acquired rights

3.12 Clarity and precision of legal provisions

3.13 Legality

3.14 Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege

3.15 Publication of

3.15.1 Ignorance of the law is no excuse

3.15.2 Linguistic aspects

3.16 Proportionality

3.17 Weighing of interests

3.18 General interest

3.19 Margin of appreciation

3.20 Reasonableness

3.21 Equality

3.22 Prohibition of arbitrariness

3.23 Equity

3.24 Loyalty to the State

3.25 Market economy

3.26 Principles of EU law

3.26.1 Fundamental principles of the Common Market

3.26.2 Direct effect

3.26.3 Genuine co-operation between the institutions and the member states

4 Institutions

4.1 Constituent assembly or equivalent body

4.1.1 Procedure

4.1.2 Limitations on powers

4.2 State Symbols

4.2.1 Flag

4.2.2 National holiday

4.2.3 National anthem

4.2.4 National emblem

4.2.5 Motto

4.2.6 Capital city

4.3 Languages

4.3.1 Official language(s)

4.3.2 National language(s)

4.3.3 Regional language(s)

4.3.4 Minority language(s)

4.4 Head of State

4.4.1 Vice-President / Regent

4.4.2 Temporary replacement

4.4.3 Powers Relations with legislative bodies Relations with the executive bodies Relations with judicial bodies Promulgation of International relations Powers with respect to the armed forces Mediating powers

4.4.4 Appointment Necessary qualifications Incompatibilities Direct/indirect election Hereditary succession

4.4.5 Term of office Commencement of office Duration of office Incapacity End of office Limit on number of successive terms

4.4.6 Status Liability Legal liability Immunity Civil liability Criminal liability Political responsibility

4.5 Legislative bodies

4.5.1 Structure

4.5.2 Powers Competences with respect to international agreements Powers of enquiry Delegation to another legislative body Negative incompetence

4.5.3 Composition Election of members Appointment of members Term of office of the legislative body Duration Term of office of members Characteristics Duration End

4.5.4 Organisation Rules of procedure President/Speaker Sessions Committees Parliamentary groups
4.5.5 Finances

4.5.6 Law-making procedure Right to initiate legislation Quorum Majority required Right of amendment Relations between houses

4.5.7 Relations with the executive bodies Questions to the government Questions of confidence Motion of censure

4.5.8 Relations with judicial bodies

4.5.9 Liability

4.5.10 Political parties Creation Financing Role Prohibition

4.5.11 Status of members of legislative bodies

4.6 Executive bodies

4.6.1 Hierarchy

4.6.2 Powers

4.6.3 Application of Autonomous rule-making powers Delegated rule-making powers

4.6.4 Composition Appointment of members Election of members End of office of members Status of members of executive bodies

4.6.5 Organisation

4.6.6 Relations with judicial bodies

4.6.7 Administrative decentralisation

4.6.8 Sectoral decentralisation Universities

4.6.9 The civil service Conditions of access Reasons for exclusion Lustration Remuneration Personal liability Trade union status

4.6.10 Liability Legal liability Immunity Civil liability Criminal liability Political responsibility

4.7 Judicial bodies

4.7.1 Jurisdiction Exclusive jurisdiction Universal jurisdiction Conflicts of jurisdiction

4.7.2 Procedure

4.7.3 Decisions

4.7.4 Organisation Members Qualifications Appointment Election Term of office End of office Status Incompatibilities Discipline Irremovability Officers of the court Prosecutors / State counsel Powers Appointment Election Term of office End of office Status Languages Registry Budget

4.7.5 Supreme Judicial Council or equivalent body

4.7.6 Relations with bodies of international jurisdiction

4.7.7 Supreme court

4.7.8 Ordinary courts Civil courts Criminal courts

4.7.9 Administrative courts

4.7.10 Financial courts

4.7.11 Military courts

4.7.12 Special courts

4.7.13 Other courts

4.7.14 Arbitration

4.7.15 Legal assistance and representation of parties The Bar Organisation Powers of ruling bodies Role of members of the Bar Status of members of the Bar Discipline Assistance other than by the Bar Legal advisers Legal assistance bodies

4.7.16 Liability Liability of the State Liability of judges

4.8 Federalism, regionalism and local self-government

4.8.1 Federal entities

4.8.2 Regions and provinces

4.8.3 Municipalities

4.8.4 Basic principles Autonomy Subsidiarity

4.8.5 Definition of geographical boundaries

4.8.6 Institutional aspects Deliberative assembly Status of members Executive Courts

4.8.7 Budgetary and financial aspects Finance Arrangements for distributing the financial resources of the State Budget Mutual support arrangements

4.8.8 Distribution of powers Principles and methods Implementation Distribution ratione materiae Distribution ratione loci Distribution ratione temporis Distribution ratione personae Supervision Co-operation International relations Conclusion of treaties Participation in international organisations or their organs

4.9 Elections and instruments of direct democracy

4.9.1 Competent body for the organisation and control of voting

4.9.2 Referenda and other instruments of direct democracy Admissibility Effects

4.9.3 Electoral system Method of voting

4.9.4 Constituencies

4.9.5 Eligibility

4.9.6 Representation of minorities

4.9.7 Preliminary procedures Electoral rolls Registration of parties and candidates Ballot papers

4.9.8 Electoral campaign and campaign material Campaign financing Campaign expenses Access to media

4.9.9 Voting procedures Polling stations Polling booths Voting Identity checks on voters Record of persons having voted Casting of votes

4.9.10 Minimum participation rate required

4.9.11 Determination of votes Counting of votes Electoral reports

4.9.12 Proclamation of results

4.9.13 Post-electoral procedures

4.10 Public finances

4.10.1 Principles

4.10.2 Budget

4.10.3 Accounts

4.10.4 Currency

4.10.5 Central bank

4.10.6 Auditing bodies

4.10.7 Taxation Principles

4.10.8 Public assets Privatisation

4.11 Armed forces, police forces and secret services

4.11.1 Armed forces

4.11.2 Police forces

4.11.3 Secret services

4.12 Ombudsman

4.12.1 Appointment

4.12.2 Guarantees of independence Term of office Incompatibilities Immunities Financial independence

4.12.3 Powers

4.12.4 Organisation

4.12.5 Relations with the Head of State

4.12.6 Relations with the legislature

4.12.7 Relations with the executive

4.12.8 Relations with auditing bodies

4.12.9 Relations with judicial bodies

4.12.10 Relations with federal or regional authorities

4.13 Independent administrative authorities

4.14 Activities and duties assigned to the State by the Constitution

4.15 Exercise of public functions by private bodies

4.16 International relations

4.16.1 Transfer of powers to International institutions

4.17 European Union

4.17.1 Institutional structure European Parliament Council Commission Court of Justice of the EU

4.17.2 Distribution of powers between the EU and member states

4.17.3 Distribution of powers between institutions of the EU

4.17.4 Legislative procedure

4.18 State of emergency and emergency powers

5 Fundamental Rights

5.1 General questions

5.1.1 Entitlement to rights Nationals Nationals living abroad Citizens of the European Union and non-citizens with similar status Foreigners Refugees and applicants for refugee status Natural persons Minors Incapacitated Detainees Military personnel Legal persons Private law Public law

5.1.2 Horizontal effects

5.1.3 Positive obligation of the state

5.1.4 Limits and restrictions Non-derogable rights General/special clause of limitation Subsequent review of limitation

5.1.5 Emergency situations

5.2 Equality

5.2.1 Scope of application Public burdens Employment In private law In public law Social security Elections

5.2.2 Criteria of distinction Gender Race Ethnic origin Citizenship or nationality Social origin Religion Age Physical or mental disability Political opinions or affiliation Language Sexual orientation Civil status Differentiation ratione temporis

5.2.3 Affirmative action

5.3 Civil and political rights

5.3.1 Right to dignity

5.3.2 Right to life

5.3.3 Prohibition of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment

5.3.4 Right to physical and psychological integrity Scientific and medical treatment and experiments

5.3.5 Individual liberty Deprivation of liberty Arrest Non-penal measures Detention pending trial Conditional release Prohibition of forced or compulsory labour

5.3.6 Freedom of movement

5.3.7 Right to emigrate

5.3.8 Right to citizenship or nationality

5.3.9 Right of residence

5.3.10 Rights of domicile and establishment

5.3.11 Right of asylum

5.3.12 Security of the person

5.3.13 Procedural safeguards, rights of the defence and fair trial Scope Constitutional proceedings Civil proceedings Criminal proceedings Litigious administrative proceedings Non-litigious administrative proceedings Effective remedy Access to courts “Natural judge”/Tribunal established by law Habeas corpus Double degree of jurisdiction Suspensive effect of appeal Right to a hearing Right to participate in the administration of justice Right of access to the file Public hearings Trial by jury Public judgments Right to be informed about the decision Trial/decision within reasonable time Independence Impartiality Prohibition of reformatio in peius Rules of evidence Reasoning Equality of arms Adversarial principle Languages Presumption of innocence Right to remain silent Right not to incriminate oneself Right not to testify against spouse/close family Right to be informed about the reasons of detention Right to be informed about the charges Right to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of the case Right to counsel Right to paid legal assistance Right to examine witnesses

5.3.14 Ne bis in idem

5.3.15 Rights of victims of crime

5.3.16 Principle of the application of the more lenient law

5.3.17 Right to compensation for damage caused by the State

5.3.18 Freedom of conscience

5.3.19 Freedom of opinion

5.3.20 Freedom of worship

5.3.21 Freedom of expression

5.3.22 Freedom of the written press

5.3.23 Rights in respect of the audiovisual media and other means of mass communication

5.3.24 Right to information

5.3.25 Right to administrative transparency Right of access to administrative documents

5.3.26 National service

5.3.27 Freedom of association

5.3.28 Freedom of assembly

5.3.29 Right to participate in public affairs Right to participate in political activity

5.3.30 Right of resistance

5.3.31 Right to respect for one’s honour and reputation

5.3.32 Right to private life Protection of personal data

5.3.33 Right to family life Descent Succession

5.3.34 Right to marriage

5.3.35 Inviolability of the home

5.3.36 Inviolability of communications Correspondence Telephonic communications Electronic communications

5.3.37 Right of petition

5.3.38 Non-retrospective effect of law Criminal law Civil law Social law Taxation law

5.3.39 Right to property Expropriation Nationalisation Other limitations Privatisation

5.3.40 Linguistic freedom

5.3.41 Electoral rights Right to vote Right to stand for election Freedom of voting Secret ballot Direct / indirect ballot Frequency and regularity of elections

5.3.42 Rights in respect of taxation

5.3.43 Right to self fulfilment

5.3.44 Rights of the child

5.3.45 Protection of minorities and persons belonging to minorities

5.4 Economic, social and cultural rights

5.4.1 Freedom to teach

5.4.2 Right to Education

5.4.3 Right to work

5.4.4 Freedom to choose one’s profession

5.4.5 Freedom to work for remuneration

5.4.6 Commercial and industrial freedom

5.4.7 Consumer protection

5.4.8 Freedom of contract

5.4.9 Right of access to the public service

5.4.10 Right to strike

5.4.11 Freedom of trade unions

5.4.12 Right to intellectual property

5.4.13 Right to housing

5.4.14 Right to social security

5.4.15 Right to unemployment benefits

5.4.16 Right to a pension

5.4.17 Right to just and decent working conditions

5.4.18 Right to a sufficient standard of living

5.4.19 Right to health

5.4.20 Right to culture

5.4.21 Scientific freedom

5.4.22 Artistic freedom

5.5 Collective rights

5.5.1 Right to the environment

5.5.2 Right to development

5.5.3 Right to peace

5.5.4 Right to self-determination

5.5.5 Rights of aboriginal peoples, ancestral rights





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