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Oct 26, 2005 | 23:35 GMT

17 mins read

Full Text of Iraqi Constitution - Part I

THE PREAMBLE In the name of God, the most merciful, the most compassionate We have honored the sons of Adam. We are the people of the land between two rivers, the homeland of the apostles and prophets, abode of the virtuous imams, pioneers of civilization, crafters of writing and cradle of numeration. Upon our land the first law made by man was passed, the most ancient just pact for homelands policy was inscribed, and upon our soil, companions of the Prophet and saints prayed, philosophers and scientists theorized and writers and poets excelled. Acknowledging God's right over us, and in fulfillment of the call of our homeland and citizens, and in response to the call of our religious and national leaderships and the determination of our great (religious) authorities and of our leaders and reformers, and in the midst of an international support from our friends and those who love us, marched for the first time in our history toward the ballot boxes by the millions, men and women, young and old, on the thirtieth of January two thousand and five, invoking the pains of sectarian oppression sufferings inflicted by the autocratic clique and inspired by the tragedies of Iraq's martyrs, Shiite and Sunni, Arabs and Kurds and Turkmen and from all the other components of the people and recollecting the darkness of the ravage of the holy cities and the South in the Sha'abaniyya uprising and burnt by the flames of grief of the mass graves, the marshes, Al-Dujail and others and articulating the sufferings of racial oppression in the massacres of Halabcha, Barzan, Anfal and the Fayli Kurds and inspired by the ordeals of the Turkmen in Basheer and as is the case in the remaining areas of Iraq where the people of the west suffered from the assassinations of their leaders, symbols and elderly and from the displacement of their skilled individuals and from the drying out of their cultural and intellectual wells, so we sought hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder to create our new Iraq, the Iraq of the future free from sectarianism, racism, locality complex, discrimination and exclusion. Accusations of being infidels, and terrorism did not stop us from marching forward to build a nation of law. Sectarianism and racism have not stopped us from marching together to strengthen our national unity, and to follow the path of peaceful transfer of power and adopt the course of the just distribution of resources and providing equal opportunity for all. We the people of Iraq who have just risen from our stumble, and who are looking with confidence to the future through a republican, federal, democratic, pluralistic system, have resolved with the determination of our men, women, the elderly and youth, to respect the rules of law, to establish justice and equality to cast aside the politics of aggression, and to tend to the concerns of women and their rights, and to the elderly and their concerns, and to children and their affairs and to spread a culture of diversity and defusing terrorism. We the people of Iraq of all components and shades have taken upon ourselves to decide freely and with our choice to unite our future and to take lessons from yesterday for tomorrow, to draft, through the values and ideals of the heavenly messages and the findings of science and man's civilization, this lasting constitution. The adherence to this constitution preserves for Iraq its free union, its people, its land and its sovereignty. SECTION ONE: FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES Article 1: (The Republic of Iraq is a single, independent federal state with full sovereignty. Its system of government is republican, representative 61/27Parliamentary63/47 and democratic. This Constitution is the guarantor of its unity) Article 2: First: Islam is the official religion of the State and it is a fundamental source of legislation: A. No law that contradicts the established provisions of Islam may be established. B. No law that contradicts the principles of democracy may be established. C. No law that contradicts the rights and basic freedoms stipulated in this constitution may be established. Second: This Constitution guarantees the Islamic identity of the majority of the Iraqi people and guarantees the full religious rights of all individuals to freedom of religious belief and practice such as Christians, Yazedis, and Mandi Sabeans. Article 3: (Iraq is a country of many nationalities, religions and sects and is a founding and active member of the Arab League and is committed to its covenant. Iraq is a part of the Islamic world.) Article 4: First: The Arabic language and Kurdish language are the two official languages of Iraq. The right of Iraqis to educate their children in their mother tongue, such as Turkmen, Syriac and Armenian, in government educational institutions in accordance with educational guidelines, or in any other language in private educational institutions, is guaranteed. Second: The scope of the term official language and the means of applying the provisions of this article shall be defined by law which shall include: A. Publication of the official gazette, in the two languages; B. Speech, conversation and expression in official settings, such as the Council of Representatives, the Council of Ministers, courts, and official conferences, in either of the two languages; C. Recognition and publication of the official documents and correspondences in the two languages; D. Opening schools that teach the two languages, in accordance with the educational guidelines; E. Use of both languages in any settings enjoined by the principle of equality such as bank notes, passports and stamps. (Third: The federal institutions and agencies in the Kurdistan region shall use the Arabic and Kurdish languages.) Fourth: The Turkmen language and Syriac language are two other official languages in the administrative units in which they represent density of population. Fifth: Each region or governorate may adopt any other local language as an additional official language if the majority of its population so decide in a general referendum. Article 5: The law is sovereign. The people are the source of authorities and its legitimacy, which the people shall exercise in a direct general secret ballot and through their constitutional institutions. Article 6: Transfer of authority shall be made peacefully through democratic means as stipulated in this Constitution. Article 7: First: No entity or program, under any name, may adopt racism, terrorism, the calling of others infidels, ethnic cleansing, or incite, facilitate, glorify, promote, or justify thereto, especially the Saddamist Baath in Iraq and its symbols, regardless of the name that it adopts. This may not be part of the political pluralism in Iraq. This will be organized by law. Second: The State shall undertake combating terrorism in all its forms, and shall work to protect its territories from being a base or pathway or field for terrorist activities. Article 8: Iraq shall observe the principles of a good neighborliness, adhere to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states, endeavor to settle disputes by peaceful means, establish relations on the basis of mutual interests and reciprocity, and respect its international obligations. Article 9: First: A. The Iraqi Armed Forces and Security Services will be composed of the components of the Iraqi people with due consideration given to its balance and its similarity without discrimination or exclusion and shall be subject to the control of the civilian authority. The Iraqi Armed Forces shall defend Iraq and shall not be used as an instrument of oppression against the Iraqi people, shall not interfere in the political affairs and shall have no role in the transfer of authority. B. The formation of military militia outside the framework of the armed forces is prohibited. C. The Iraqi Armed Forces and its personnel, including military personnel working at the Ministry of Defense or any subordinate departments or organizations, may not stand for election to political office, campaign for candidates, or participate in other activities prohibited by the Ministry of Defense regulations. This ban encompasses the activities of the personnel mentioned above acting in their personal or official capacities. Nothing in this Article shall infringe upon the right of these personnel to cast their vote in the elections. D. The Iraqi National Intelligence Service shall collect information, assess threats to national security, and advise the Iraqi government. This service shall be under civilian control and shall be subject to legislative oversight and shall operate in accordance with the law and pursuant to the recognized principles of human rights. E. The Iraqi Government shall respect and implement Iraq's international obligations regarding the non-proliferation, non-development, non-production, and nonuse of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, and shall prohibit associated equipment, materiel, technologies, and delivery systems for use in the development, manufacture, production, and use of such weapons. Second: National service will be stipulated by law. Article 10: The holy shrines and religious places in Iraq are religious and cultural entities. The State is committed to confirming and safeguarding their sanctity, and guaranteeing the free practice of rituals in them. Article 11: Baghdad is the capital of the Republic of Iraq. Article 12: First: The flag, national anthem, and emblem of Iraq shall be fixed by law in a way that represents the components of the Iraqi people. Second: A law shall regulate the decorations, official holidays, religious and national occasions and the Hijri and Gregorian calendar. Article 13: First: This constitution is the sublime and supreme law in Iraq and shall be binding in all parts of Iraq without exception. Second: No law shall be enacted that contradicts this constitution. Any text in any regional constitutions or any other legal text that contradicts it is deemed void. SECTION TWO: RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES CHAPTER ONE: RIGHTS FIRST: Civil and Political RightsFIRST: Civil and Political Rights Article 14: Iraqis are equal before the law without discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, origin, color, religion, creed, belief or opinion, or economic and social status. Article 15: Every individual has the right to enjoy life, security and liberty. Deprivation or restriction of these rights is prohibited except in accordance with the law and based on a decision issued by a competent judicial authority. Article 16: Equal opportunities are guaranteed for all Iraqis. The state guarantees the taking of the necessary measures to achieve such equal opportunities. Article 17: First: Every individual shall have the right to personal privacy, so long it does not contradict the rights of others and public morals. Second: The sanctity of the homes is inviolable and homes may not be entered, searched, or put in danger, except by a judicial decision, and in accordance with the law. Article 18: (First: Iraqi nationality is the right of every Iraqi and shall be the basis of his citizenship.) (Second: An Iraqi is any person born to an Iraqi father or mother. This will regulated by law.) Third: A. An Iraqi citizen by birth may not have his nationality withdrawn for any reason. Any person who had his nationality withdrawn shall have the right to reclaim it, and this will be stipulated by law. B. The Iraqi nationality shall be withdrawn from the naturalized in the cases stipulated by law. Fourth: An Iraqi may have multiple nationalities. Everyone who assumes a senior, security sovereign position must abandon any other acquired nationality. This will be organized by law. Fifth: Iraqi citizenship shall not be granted for the purposes of the policy of settling people that cause an imbalance in the population composition of Iraq. Sixth: A law shall regulate the provisions of nationality. The competent courts shall consider the suits resulting from it. Article 19: First: The judiciary is independent and no power is above the judiciary except the law. Second: There is no crime or punishment except by a stipulation. The punishment shall only be for an act that the law considers a crime when perpetrated. A harsher sentence than the applicable sentence at the time of the offense may not be imposed. Third: Litigation shall be a safeguarded and guaranteed right for all. Fourth: The right to a defense shall be sacred and guaranteed in all phases of investigation and trial. Fifth: The accused is innocent until proven guilty in a fair legal trial. The accused may not be tried on the same crime for a second time after acquittal unless new evidence is produced. Sixth: Every person has the right to be treated with justice in judicial and administrative proceedings. Seventh: The proceedings of a trial are public unless the court decides to make it secret. Eighth: Punishment is personal. Ninth: A law does not have a retroactive effect unless the law stipulates otherwise. This exclusion shall not include laws relating to taxes and fees. Tenth: Criminal law does not have a retroactive effect, unless it is to the benefit of the accused. Eleventh: The court shall delegate a lawyer at the expense of the state for an accused of a felony or misdemeanor who does not have a defense lawyer. Twelfth: A. (Unlawful) detention is prohibited. B. detention or arrest is prohibited in places not designed for it, pursuant to prison regulations covered by health and social care and subject to the scrutiny of the law. Thirteenth: The preliminary investigative documents must be submitted to the competent judge in a period not to exceed twenty-four hours from the time of the arrest of the accused. It may be extended only once and for the same period. Article 20: The citizens, men and women, have the right to participate in public affairs and to enjoy political rights including the right to vote, to elect and to nominate. Article 21: First: No Iraqi shall be surrendered to foreign entities and authorities. Second: A law shall regulate the right of political asylum to Iraq. No political refugee shall be surrendered to a foreign entity or returned forcibly to the country from which he fled. Third: No political asylum shall be granted to a person accused of committing international or terrorist crimes or any person who inflicted damage on Iraq. SECOND: Economic, social and cultural liberties Article 22: First: Work is a right for all Iraqis so as to guarantee them a decent living. Second: The law regulates the relationship between employees and employers on economic basis and with regard to the foundations of social justice. Third: The State guarantees the right of forming and joining professional associations and unions. This will be organized by law. Article 23: First: Personal property is protected. The proprietor shall have the right to benefit from, exploit and utilize personal property within the limits of the law. Second: No property may be taken away except for the purposes of public benefit in return for just compensation. This will be organized by law. Third: A. Every Iraqi has the right to own property throughout Iraq. No others may possess immovable assets, except as exempted by law. B. Owning property for the purposes of population change shall be prohibited. Article 24: The State guarantees freedom of movement of Iraqi manpower, goods and capitals between regions and governorates. This will be organized by law. Article 25: The State guarantees the reform of the Iraqi economy in accordance with modern economic principles to ensure the full investment of its resources, diversification of its sources and the encouragement and the development of the private sector. Article 26: The state guarantees the encouragement of investments in the various sectors. This will be organized by law. Article 27: First: Public property is sacrosanct, and its protection is the duty of each citizen. Second: The provisions related to the protection of State properties and its management and the conditions for its disposal and the limits under which none of these properties can be relinquished shall all be regulated by law. Article 28: First: No taxes or fines may be imposed, amended, exempted or pardoned from, except in accordance with law. Second: Low wage earners shall be exempted from taxes in a manner that ensures the upholding of the minimum wage required for survival. This will be organized by law. Article 29: First: A. The family is the foundation of society; the State preserves its entity and its religious, moral and patriotic values. B. The State guarantees the protection of motherhood, childhood and old age and shall care for children and youth and provides them with the appropriate conditions to further their talents and abilities. Second: Children have right over their parents in regard to upbringing, care and education. Parents shall have right over their children in regard to respect and care especially in times of need, disability and old age. Third: Economic exploitation of children shall be completely prohibited. The State shall take the necessary measures to protect them. Fourth: All forms of violence and abuse in the family, school and society shall be prohibited. Article 30: First: The state guarantee to the individual and the family — especially children and women — social and health security and the basic requirements for leading a free and dignified life. The state also ensures the above a suitable income and appropriate housing. Second: The State guarantees the social and health security to Iraqis in cases of old age, sickness, employment disability, homelessness, orphanage or unemployment, and shall work to protect them from ignorance, fear and poverty. The State shall provide them housing and special programs of care and rehabilitation. This will be organized by law. Article 31: First: Every citizen has the right to health care. The state takes care of public health and provide the means of prevention and treatment by building different types of hospitals and medical institutions. Second: Individuals and institutions may build hospitals or clinics or places for treatment with the supervision of the state and this shall be regulated by law. Article 32: The State cares for the handicapped and those with special needs and ensure their rehabilitation in order to reintegrate them into society. This shall be regulated by law. Article 33: First: Every individual has the right to live in a safe environment. Second: The State undertakes the protection and preservation of the environment and biological diversity. Article 34: First: Education is a fundamental factor in the progress of society and is a right guaranteed by the state. Primary education is mandatory and the state guarantees to eradicate illiteracy. Second: Free education is a right for all Iraqis in all its stages. Third: The State encourages scientific research for peaceful purposes that serve man and supports excellence, creativity, invention and the different aspects of ingenuity. Fourth: Private and public education is guaranteed. This shall be regulated by law.

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