CONSTITUTION OF 1987
THE REPUBLIC OF HAITI
ITS EMBLEM AND ITS SYMBOLS
THE REPUBLIC OF HAITI
FIRST ARTICLE: Haiti is an indivisible, sovereign, independent,
cooperatist, free, democratic and social republic.
FIRST ARTICLE-1: The city of Port-au-Prince is the capital and the seat
of government. This seat may be moved elsewhere for reasons of force
ARTICLE 2: The national colors shall be blue and red.
ARTICLE 3: The emblem of the Haitian Nation shall be a flag with the
a. Two (2) equal sized horizontal bands: a blue one on top and a red one
b. The coat of arms of the Republic are: a Palette surmounted by the liberty
cap, and under the palms a trophy with the legend:
In Union there is Strength
ARTICLE 4: The national motto is: Liberty; Equality, Fraternity.
ARTICLE 4-1: The national anthem shall be the "Dessalinienne."
ARTICLE 5: All Haitians are united by a common languages of the
ARTICLE 6: The monetary unit shall be the gourde, which is divided into
ARTICLE 7: The cult of the personality is categorically forbidden.
Effigies and names of living personages may not appear on the currency, stamps,
seals, public buildings, streets or works of art.
ARTICLE 7-1: Use of effigies of deceased persons must be approved by
TERRITORY OF THE HAITIAN REPUBLIC
ARTICLE 8: The territory of the Haitian Republic comprises:
a. The western part of the island of Haiti and the adjacent island of la
Geneva, La Tortue, I'Ile à Vache, les Cayemittes, La Navase, La Grande
Caye and the other islands of the Territorial Sea;
It is bounded on the east by the Dominican Republic, on the north by the
Atlantic Ocean, on the south and west by the Caribbean Sea or Sea of the
b. The territorial sea and exclusive economic zone;
c. The air space over the land sea of the Republic.
ARTICLE 8-1: The territory of the Haitian Republic is inviolable and
may not be alienated either in whole or in part by any treaty or convention.
ARTICLE 9: The territory of the Republic is divided and subdivided into
Departments, Arrondissements, Comunes, Quartiers and Comunal actions.
ARTICLE 9-1: The law determines the number and boundaries of these
divisions and subdivisions, and regulates their organization and operation.
ARTICLE 10: The regulations governing Haitian nationality shall be
determined by law.
ARTICLE 11: Any person born of a Haitian father or Haitian mother who
are themselves native-born Haitians and have never renounced their nationality
possesses Haitian nationality at the time of birth.
ARTICLE 12: Haitian nationality may be adquired by naturalization.
ARTICLE 12-1: After five years of continuous residence in the territory
of the Republic, any foreigner may obtain Haitian nationality by
naturalization, in conformity with the regulations established by law.
ARTICLE 12-2: Haitians by naturalization shall be allowed to exercise
the right to vote but they must wait five(5) years after the date of their
naturalization to be eligible to hold public posts other than those reserved by
the Constitution and by law for native-born Haitians.
ARTICLE 13: Haitian nationality is lost by:
a. Naturalization in a foreign country;
b. Holding a political post in the service of a foreign government;
c. Continuous residence abroad of a naturalized Haitian without duly granted
authorization by a competent official. Anyone who loses his nationality in
this manner may not reacquire it.
ARTICLE 14: A naturalized Haitian may recover his Haitian nationality
by meeting all of the conditions and formalities imposed on aliens by the
ARTICLE 15: Dual Haitian and foreign nationality is in no case
BASIC RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF THE CITIZEN
THE NATURE OF CITIZENSHIP
ARTICLE 16: Citizenship entails both civil and political rights.
ARTICLE 16-1: The enjoyment, exercise , suspension and loss of these
rights are regulated by law.
ARTICLE 16-2: The age of majority is eighteen (18) years.
ARTICLE 17: Al Haitians, regardless of sex or marital status, who have
attained twenty-one years of age may exercise their political and civil rights
if the meet the other conditions prescribed by the Constitution and by law.
ARTICLE 18: Haitians shall be equal before the law, subject to the
special advantages conferred on native-born Haitians who have never renounced
RIGHT TO LIFE AND HEALTH
ARTICLE 19: The State has the absolute obligation to guarantee the
right to life, health, and respect of the human person for all citizens without
distinction, in conformity with the Universal Declaration of the Rights of
ARTICLE 20: The death penalty is abolished in all cases.
ARTICLE 21: The crime of high treason consists in bearing arms in a
foreign army against the Republic, serving a foreign nation in a conflict with
the Republic, in any official's stealing state property, intrusted to his
management, or any violation of the Constitution by those responsible for
ARTICLE 21-1: The crime of high treason is punishable by forced labor
for life without commutation of sentence.
ARTICLE 22: The State recognizes the right of every citizen to decent
housing, education, food and social security.
ARTICLE 23: The State has the obligation to ensure for all citizens in
all territorial divisions appropriate means to ensure protection, maintenance
and restoration of their health by establishing hospitals, health centers and
ARTICLE 24: Individual liberty is guaranteed and protected by the
ARTICLE 24-1: No one may be prosecuted, arrested or detained except in
the cases determined by law and in the manner it prescribes.
ARTICLE 24-2: Except where the perpetrator of a crime is caught in the
act, no one may be arrested or detained other than by written order of a
legally competent official.
ARTICLE 24-3: For such an order to be carried out, the following
requirements must be met:
a. It must formally state the reason in creole and in French for the arrest or
detention and the provision of the law that provides for punishment of the act
b. Legal notice must be given and a copy of the order must be left with the
accused at the time of its execution;
c. The accursed must be notified of his right to be assisted by counsel at all
phases of the investigation of the case up to the final judgment;
d. Except where the perpetrator of a crime is caught in the act, no arrest by
warrant and no search may take place between six (6) p.m. and six (6) a.m.
e. Responsibility for an offense is personal, and no one may be arrested in
the place of another.
ARTICLE 25: Any unnecessary force or restraint in the apprehension of a
person or in keeping him under arrest, or any psychological pressure or
physical brutality, especially during interrogation, is forbidden.
ARTICLE 25-1: No one may be interrogated without his attorney or a
witness of his choice being present.
ARTICLE 26: No one may be kept under arrest more than forty-eight (48)
hours unless he has appeared before a judge asked to rule on the legality of
the arrest and the judge has confirmed the arrest by a well-founded decision;
ARTICLE 26-1: In the case of a petty violation, the accursed shall be
referred to a justice of the peace, who shall then hand down a final
In the case for more serious offenses or crimes, an appeal may be filed,
without prior permission, simply by addressing a petition to the presiding
judge of the competent civil court, who, on the basis of the oral statement of
the prosecutor, shall rule on the legality of the arrest and detention, in a
special session of the court, without postponement or rotation of judges, all
other cases being suspended.
ARTICLE 26-2: If the arrest is judged to be illegal, the judge shall
order the immediate release of the arrested person and that order shall be
enforceable immediately, regardless of any appeal to a higher court or the
supreme court for an order forbidding enforcement of the judgment.
ARTICLE 27: Any violation of the provisions on individual liberty are
arbitrary acts. Injured parties may, without prior authorization, appeal to
the competent courts, to bring suit against the authors and perpetrators of
these arbitrary acts, regardless of their rank or the body to which they
ARTICLE 27-1: Government officials and employees are directly liable
under civil and administrative criminal law for acts carried out in violation
of rights. In such cases, civil liability extends to the State as well.
FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
ARTICLE 28: Every Haitian has the right to express his opinions freely
on any matter by any means he chooses.
ARTICLE 28-1: Journalists shall freely exercise their profession within
the framework of the law. Such exercise may not be subject to any authorization
or censorship, except in the case of war.
ARTICLE 28-2: Journalists may not be compelled to reveal their sources.
However, it is their duty to verify the authenticity and accuracy of
information. It is also this obligation to respect the ethics of their
ARTICLE 28-3: All offenses involving the press and abuses of the right
of expression come under the code of criminal law.
ARTICLE 29: The right of petition is recognized. It is exercised
personally by one or more citizens but never in the name of a body.
ARTICLE 29-1: All petitions to the Legislative Branch must give rise to
the regulatory procedure for ruling upon their purpose.
FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE
ARTICLE 30: All religions and faiths shall be freely exercised.
Everyone is entitled to profess his religion and practice his faith, provided
the exercise of that right does not disturb law and order.
ARTICLE 30-1: No one may be compelled to belong to a religious
organization or to follow a religious teaching contrary to his convictions.
ARTICLE 30-2: The law establishes the conditions for recognition and
practice of religions and faiths.
FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY AND ASSOCIATION
ARTICLE 31: Freedom of unarmed assembly and association for political,
economic, social, cultural or any other peaceful purposes is guaranteed.
ARTICLE 31-1: Political parties and groups shall compete with each
other in the exercise of suffrage. They may be established and may carry outh
their activities freely. They must respect the principles of national and
democratic sovereignty. The law determines the conditions for their
recognition and operation, and the advantages and privileges reserved to
ARTICLE 31-2: The police authorities must be notified in advance of
assemblies outdoors in public places.
ARTICLE 31-3: No one may be compelled to join any association of any
EDUCATION AND TEACHING
ARTICLE 32: The State guarantees the right to education. It sees to
the physical, intellectual, moral, professional, social and civic training of
ARTICLE 32-1: Education is the responsibility of the State and its
territorial divisions. They must make schooling available to all, free of
charge, and ensure that public and private sector teachers are properly
ARTICLE 32-2: The first responsibility of the State and its territorial
divisions is education of the masses, which is the only way the country can be
developed. The State shall encourage and facilitate private enterprise in this
ARTICLE 32-3: Primary schooling is compulsory under penalties to be
prescribed by law. Classroom facilities and teaching materials shall be
provided by the State to elementary school students free of charge.
ARTICLE 32-4: Agricultural, vocational, cooperative and technical
training is a fundamental responsibility of the State and its communes.
ARTICLE 32-5: Preschool and maternal training, as well as nonformal
education are encouraged.
ARTICLE 32-6: Higher education shall be open to all, on an equal bases,
according to merit only.
ARTICLE 32-7: The State shall see to it that each territorial division,
Communal Section, Commune or Department shall have the essential educational
establishments adapted to the needs of their development, without however
prejudicing the priorities assigned to agricultural, vocational, cooperative
and technical training, which must be widely disseminated.
ARTICLE 32-8: The State guarantees that the handicapped and the gifted
shall have the means to ensure their autonomy, education and independence.
ARTICLE 32-9: The State and its territorial divisions have the duty to
make all necessary provisions to intensify the literacy campaign for the
masses. they encourage all private initiatives to that end.
ARTICLE 32-10: Teachers are entitled to a fair salary.
ARTICLE 33: There shall be freedom of education at all levels. This
freedom shall be exercised under the control of the State.
ARTICLE 34: Except where perpetrators of crimes are caught in the act,
the premises of educational establishments are inviolable. No police forces
may enter them except with the permission of the supervisors of those
ARTICLE 34-1: This provision does not apply when an educational
establishment is used for the purposes.
FREEDOM TO WORK
ARTICLE 35: Freedom to work is guaranteed. every citizen has the
obligation to engage in work of his choice to meet his own and his family's
needs, and to cooperate with the State in the establishment of a social
ARTICLE 35-1: Every employee of a private or public institution is
entitled to a fair wage, to rest, to a paid annual vacation and to a bonus.
ARTICLE 35-2: The State guarantees workers equal working conditions and
wages regardless of their sec, beliefs, opinions and marital status.
ARTICLE 35-3: Trade union freedom is guaranteed. any worker in the
public or private sector may join a union representing his particular
occupation solely to protect his work interests.
ARTICLE 35-4: Unions are essentially nonpolitical, nonprofit, and
nondenominational. No one may be forced to join a union.
ARTICLE 35-5: The right to strike is recognized under the limits set by
ARTICLE 35-6: The minimum age for gainful employment is set by law.
Special laws govern the work of minors and servants.
ARTICLE 36: Private property is recognized and guaranteed. The law
specifies the manner of acquiring and enjoying it, and the limits spliced upon
ARTICLE 36-1: Expropriation for a public purpose may be effected only
by payment or deposit ordered by a court in favor of the person entitled
thereto, of fair compensation established in advance by an expert evaluation.
If the initial project is abandoned, the expropriation is canceled. The
property may not be subject to any speculation and must be restored to its
original owner without any reimbursement for the small holder. the
expropriation measure is effective upon the startup of the project.
ARTICLE 36-2: Nationalization and confiscation of goods, property and
buildings for political reasons are forbidden.
No one may be deprived of his legitimate right of ownership other than by a
final judgment by a court of ordinary law, except under an agrarian reform.
ARTICLE 36-3: Ownership also entails obligations. Uses of property
cannot be contrary to the general interest.
ARTICLE 36-4: Landowners must cultivate, work, and protect their land,
particularly against erosion. the penalty for failure to fulfill this
obligation shall be prescribed by law.
ARTICLE 36-5: The right to own property does not extend to the coasts,
springs, rivers, water courses, mines and quarries. They are part of the
State's public domain.
ARTICLE 36-6: The law shall establish regulations governing freedom to
prospect for and work mines, or bearing earths, and quarries, ensuring an equal
share of the profits of such exloitation to the owner of the land and to the
Haitian State or its concessionnaires.
ARTICLE 37: The law shall set conditions for land division and
aggregation in terms of a territorial management plan and the well-being of the
communities concerned, within the framework of agrarian reform.
ARTICLE 38: Scientific, literary and artistic property is protected by
ARTICLE 39: The inhabitants of the Communal Sections have the right of
preemption for the exploitation of the State's land in the private domain
located in their locality.
RIGHT TO INFORMATION
ARTICLE 40: The State has the obligation to publicize in the oral,
written and televised press in the Creole and French languages all laws,
orders, decrees, international agreements, treaties, and conventions on
everything affecting the national life, except for information concerning
RIGHT TO SECURITY
ARTICLE 41: No person of Haitian nationality may be deported or forced
to leave the national territory for any reason. No one may be deprived for
political reasons of his legal capacity and his nationality.
ARTICLE 41-1: No Haitian needs a visa to leave or return to the
ARTICLE 42: No citizen, whether civilian or military, may be denied
access to the courts open to him under the Constitution and the laws.
ARTICLE 42-1: Military personnel accused of the crime of high treason
against the country shall be tried in a court of ordinary law.
ARTICLE 42-2: Military courts have jurisdiction only:
a. In the case of violation by military personnel of regulations in the Manual
of Military Justice;
b. In the case of conflicts between members of the armed forces;
c. In the case of war.
ARTICLE 42-3: Cases of conflicts between civilians and military
personnel, abuses, violence and crimes perpetrated against a civilian by a
member of the military in the performance of his duties are under the
jurisdiction of courts for ordinary law.
ARTICLE 43: No house search or seizure of papers may take place except
under the terms of the law and in the manner prescribed by it.
ARTICLE 44: Persons detained temporarily awaiting trial must be held
separately from those who are serving sentence.
ARTICLE 44-1: Prisons must be operated in accordance with standards
reflecting respect for human dignity according to the law on this subject.
ARTICLE 45: No penalty may be established except by law nor applied
except in cases that the law determines.
ARTICLE 46: No own may be compelled in cases of crimes, minor offenses,
or petty violations to bear witness against himself or his relatives up to the
fourth degree of consanguinity or the second degree of affinity.
ARTICLE 47: No one may be compelled to take an oath except in the cases
and in the manner provided for by law.
ARTICLE 48: The State shall see to it that a Civil Pension Retirement
Fund is established in the public and private sectors. The fund shall receive
contributions from employers and employees, in accordance with the criteria and
in the manner established by law. The granting of a pension is a right and
not a privilege.
ARTICLE 49: Freedom and privacy of correspondence and any other forms
of communication are inviolable. They may be limited only by a well-founded
judicial ruling, according to the guarantees by law.
ARTICLE 50: Under the Constitution and the law, a jury is established
in criminal cases for violent crimes and political offenses.
ARTICLE 51: The law may not be made retroactive except in criminal
cases when it favors the accused.
DUTIES OF THE CITIZEN
ARTICLE 52: Citizenship entails civic duties. Every right is
counterbalanced by a corresponding duty.
ARTICLE 52-1: Civic duties are the citizen's moral, political, social
and economic obligations as a hole to the State and the country. These
a. To respect the Constitution and the national emblem;
b. To respect the laws;
c. To vote in elections without constraint;
d. To pay his taxes;
e. To serve on a jury;
f. To defend the country in the event of war;
g. To educate and improve himself;
h. To respect and protect the environment;
i. To respect scrupulously the revenues and properties of the State;
j. To respect the property of others;
k. To work to maintain peace;
l. To provide assistance to persons in danger;
m. To respect the rights and freedom of others.
ARTICLE 52-2: Failure to abide by these provisions shall be punishable
ARTICLE 52-3: Compulsory civic service for both sexes is established.
The terms thereof shall be set by law.
ARTICLE 53: The conditions under which aliens may be admitted to or
remain in the country are established by law.
ARTICLE 54: Aliens in the territory of the Republic shall enjoy the
same protection accorded to Haitians, under the law.
ARTICLE 54-1: Aliens enjoy civil, economic and social rights subject to
legal provisions on the right to own real property, the practice of a
profession, engaging in wholesale trade, serving as a commercial
representative, and engaging in import and export operations.
ARTICLE 55: The right to own real property is accorded to aliens
resident in Haiti for the needs of their sojourn in the country.
ARTICLE 55-1: However, aliens residing in Haiti may not own more than
one dwelling in the name Arrondissement. They may in no case engage int he
business of renting real estate. However, foreign companies engaged in real
estate promotion shall receive the benefits of a special status regulated by
ARTICLE 55-2: The right to own real property shall be accorded also to
aliens residing in Haiti and to foreign companies for the needs of their
agricultural, commercial, industrial, religious, humanitian or educational
enterprises, within the limits and under the conditions prescribed by law.
ARTICLE 55-3: No alien may be the owner of a building bounded by the
Haitian land order.
ARTICLE 55-4: The right terminates five(5) years after an alien ceases
to reside in the country or the operation of this companies have terminates,
pursuant to the law establishing regulations to be followed for the
transmission and liquidation of property owned by aliens.
ARTICLE 55-5: Violators of the above provisions and their accomplices
shall be punished as provided for in the law.
ARTICLE 56: An alien may be expelled from the territory of the Republic
if he becomes involved in the political life of the country, or in cases
determined by law.
ARTICLE 57: The right to asylum for political refugees is recognized.
ARTICLE 58: National sovereignty is vested in all citizens.
Citizens directly exercise the prerogatives of sovereignty by:
a. Electing the President of the Republic;
b. Electing members of the Legislature;
c. Electing members of all other bodies or all assemblies provided for by the
Constitution and by law.
ARTICLE 59: Citizens delegate the exercise of national sovereignty to
three (3) branches of government:
1. The Legislative Branch;
2. The Executive Branch;
3. The Judicial Branch.
The principle of separation of the Three (3) branches is embodied in the
ARTICLE 59-1: The Three (3) branches constitute the essential
foundation of the organization of the State, which is civil.
ARTICLE 60: Each branch is independent of the other two (2) in the
powers it exercises separately.
ARTICLE 60-1: None of them may, for any reason, delegate their powers
in all or in part, nor go beyond the bounds set for them by the Constitution
and by law.
ARTICLE 60-2: Each of the Three (3) branches is entirely responsible
for its own acts.
TERRITORIAL DIVISIONS AND DECENTRALIZATION
ARTICLE 61: The territorial divisions are the Communal Sections, the
Communes and the Departments.
ARTICLE 61-1: The law may create any other territorial division.
ARTICLE 62: The Communal Section is the smallest administrative
territorial entity of the Republic.
ARTICLE 63: Each Communal Section is administered by a council of three
(3) members elected by universal suffrage for four (4) years. They may be
re-elected an indefinite number of times.
Their mode of organization and operation is regulated by law.
ARTICLE 63-1: The Administrative Council of the Communal Section is
assisted in its work by an Assembly of the Communal Section.
ARTICLE 64: The state is obligated to establish for each communal
section the structures required for social, economic, civic and cultural
training of its population.
ARTICLE 65: Members of the Administrative Council of the Communal
a. Be Haitians and be at least twenty-five (25) years of age;
b. Have resided in the Communal Section for two (2) years before the elections
and continue to reside there:
c. Enjoy civil and political rights and never been sentenced to death, personal
restraint or penal servitude or the loss of civil rights.
ARTICLE 66: Communes have administrative and financial autonomy. Each
Commune of the Republic is administered by a Council, known as the Municipal
Council, of three (3) members elected by universal suffrage.
ARTICLE 66-1: The President of the council bears the title of Mayor.
He is assisted by Deputy Mayors.
ARTICLE 67: The Municipal Council is assisted in its work by a
Municipal Assembly composed, among others, of a representative of each of its
ARTICLE 68: The Municipal term is four (4) years, and its members may
be re-elected for an indefinite number of terms.
ARTICLE 69: The mode of organization and operation of the Commune and
the Municipal Council are regulated by law.
ARTICLE 70: Members of a Municipal Council must:
a. Be Haitians;
b. Have attained twenty-five (25) years of age;
c. Enjoy civil and political rights;
d. Have never been sentenced to death, personal restraint or penal servitude or
the loss of civil rights;
e. Have resided at least three (3) years in the Commune and undertake to reside
there for the duration of their terms.
ARTICLE 71: Each Municipal Council is assisted at its request by a
Technical Council furnished by the Central Government.
ARTICLE 72: The Municipal Council may be dissolved for negligence,
embezzlement, or maladministration, legally determined by a court of competent
If it is dissolved, the Departmental Council shall immediately fill the vacancy
and call upon the Permanent Electoral Council to elect, in sixty (60) days
starting from the date the Council is dissolved, a new Council and shall manage
the affairs of the Commune for the remainder of the term. This procedure also
applies to vacancies occurring for any other reason.
ARTICLE 73: The Municipal Council manages its resources for the
exclusive benefit of the Municipality and renders its accounts to the Municipal
Assembly which in turn reports to the Departmental Council.
ARTICLE 74: The Municipal Council has priority in management of the
State's real property in the private domain located within the limits of its
Commune. They may not be subject to any transaction without the prior consent
of the Municipal Assembly.
ARTICLE 75: The Arrondissement is an administrative division that may
comprise several Communes. Its organization and operations are governed by
ARTICLE 76: The Department is the largest territorial division. It
comprises the Arrondissements.
ARTICLE 77: The Department has legal personality and is autonomous.
ARTICLE 78: Each Department is administered by a Council of three (3)
members elected for four (4) years by the Departmental Assembly.
ARTICLE 79: Members of the Departmental Council are not necessarily
drawn from the Assembly, but they must:
a. Be Haitians and at least twenty-five (25) years of age;
b. Have resided in the Department three (3) years before the elections and
undertake to remain there during their term;
c. Enjoy civil and political rights and have newer been sentenced to death,
personal restraint, or penal servitude or the loss of civil rights.
ARTICLE 80: The departmental Council is assisted in its work by a
Departmental Assembly made up of:
One (1) representative form each Municipal Assembly.
ARTICLE 80-1: The following may attend Assembly meetings in an advisory
a. Deputies and Senators of the Department;
b. One (1) representative of each socie-professional association or union;
c. The Departmental Delegate;
d. The Director of Public Services of the Department.
ARTICLE 81: The Departmental Council draws up the Department's
development plan in cooperation with the Central Government.
ARTICLE 82: The organization and operations of the Departmental Council
and the Departmental Assembly are regulated by law.
ARTICLE 83: The Departmental Council manages its financial resources
for the exclusive benefit of the Department and renders its accounts to the
Departmental Assembly, which in turn reports to the Central Government.
ARTICLE 84: The Departmental Council may be dissolved in the event of
embezzlement or maladministration legally determined by a court of competent
If it is dissolved, the Central Government appoints a Provisional Commission
and calls upon the Permanent Electoral Council to elect a new Council for the
remainder of the term within sixty (60) days of the dissolution.
DELEGATES AND VICE DELEGATES
ARTICLE 85: In each Departmental Capital, the Executive Branch appoints
a Representative, who bears the title of Delegate. A Vice Delegate placed
under the authority of the Delegate is also appointed in each Arrondissement
ARTICLE 86: Delegates and Vice Delegates ensure coordination and
control of public services and exercise no repressive police function.
Other duties of delegates and Vice Delegates are determined by law.
ARTICLE 87: The Executive is assisted by an Interdepartmental Council,
the members of which are designated by the Departmental Assemblies on the basis
of one (1) per Department.
ARTICLE 87-1: This Representative chosen form among the members of the
Departmental Assemblies serves as liaison between the Department and the
ARTICLE 87-2: The interdepartmental Council, in concert with the
executive, studies and plans projects for decentralization and development of
the country from the social, economic, commercial, agricultural and industrial
ARTICLE 87-3: It attends working meetings of the Council of Ministers,
when they discuss subjects mentioned in the preceding paragraph and has the
right to vote.
ARTICLE 87-4: Decentralization must be accompanied by deconcentration
of public services with delegation of power and industrial
decompartmentalization for the benefit of the departments.
ARTICLE 87-5: The law determines the organization and operation of the
Interdepartmental Council, and the frequency of the meetings of the Council of
Ministers, in which it participates.
THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH
ARTICLE 88: Legislative power shall be vested in two (2) representative
Houses. One (1) House of Deputies and one (1) Senate, comprising the
Legislature or Parliament.
THE HOUSE OF DEPUTIES
ARTICLE 89: The House of Deputies is a body composed of members elected
by direct suffrage by the citizens and is responsible for exercising, on their
behalf and in concert with the Senate, the functions of the Legislative
ARTICLE 90: Each Municipal Authority comprises an electoral district
and elects one (1) Deputy.
The law sets up to three (3) the number of Deputies at the level of large
Pending application of the above subparagraphs, the number of Deputies may not
be fewer than seventy (70).
ARTICLE 90-1: Deputies are elected by an absolute majority of votes
cast in the Primary Assemblies, according to the conditions and in the manner
prescribed by the Electoral Law.
ARTICLE 91: To be elected a member of the House of Deputies, a person
1. Be a native Haitian and have never renounced his nationality;
2. Have attained twenty-five (25) years of age;
3. Enjoy civil and political rights and never have been sentenced to death,
personal restraint or penal servitude or the loss of civil rights for any crime
of ordinary law;
4. Have resided at least two (2) consecutive years prior to the date of the
elections in the electoral district he is to represent;
5. Own at least one real property in the district and practice a profession or
6. Have been relieved, if need be, of his responsibilities as a manager of
ARTICLE 92: Deputies are elected for four (4) years and may be
reelected an indefinite number of times.
ARTICLE 92-1: The take office on the second Monday of January, and sit
in two (2) annual meetings. The duration of their term comprises a legislative
ARTICLE 92-2: The first session runs from the second Monday of January
to the second Monday of May; the second session, from the second Monday of June
to the second Monday of September.
ARTICLE 92-3: The House of Deputies is completely replaced every four
ARTICLE 93: Beside the duties conferred upon it by the Constitution as
a branch of the Legislature, the House of Deputies has the duty of arraigning
the Chief of State, the Prime Minister, the Ministers and the Secretaries of
State before the High Court of Justice, by a majority of two-thirds (2/3) of
this members. the other powers of the House of Deputies are assigned by the
Constitution and by law.
ARTICLE 94: The Senate is a body composed of members elected by direct
suffrage of the citizens and charged with exercising on their behalf, in
concert with the House of Deputies, the duties of the Legislative Branch.
ARTICLE 94-1: The number of Senators is set at three (3) per
ARTICLE 94-2: A Senator of Republic is elected by universal suffrage by
an absolute majority of votes in the Primary Assemblies held in the geographic
Departments, under the terms prescribed by the Electoral Law.
ARTICLE 95: Senators are elected for six (6) years and may be reelected
an indefinite number of times.
ARTICLE 95-1: The Senate is permanently session.
ARTICLE 95-2: The Senate may however adjourn, but not during the
Legislative Section. When it adjourns, it leaves a permanent, committee
charged with handling current business. The committee may not make any
decisions, except to convene the Senate.
In emergencies, the Executive may also convene the Senate before the end of the
ARTICLE 95-3: One-third (1/3) of the Senate is prefaced every two (2)
ARTICLE 96: To be elected to the Senate, a person must:
1. Be a native-born Haitian and never have renounced his nationality;
2. Have attained thirty (30) years of age;
3. Enjoy civil and political rights and never have been sentenced to death,
personal restraint or penal servitude or the loss of civil rights for a crime
of ordinary law;
4. Have resided in the Department he will represent, at least four (4)
consecutive years prior to the date of the elections;
5. Own at least one (1) real property in the Department and practice a
profession or trade there;
6. Have been relieved, if need be, of his responsibilities as a manager of
ARTICLE 97: In addition to the responsibilities incumbent upon it as a
branch of the Legislature, the Senate shall have the following powers:
1. To propose to the Executive the list of Supreme Court (Court de Cassation)
justices according to the provisions of the Constitution;
2. Constitute itself as a High Court of Justice;
3. Exercise all other powers assigned to it by this Constitution and by law.
THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
ARTICLE 98: The meeting in a single Assembly of the two (2) branches of
the Legislature constitutes the National Assembly.
ARTICLE 98-1: The National Assembly meets to open and close each
session and in all cases provided for by the Constitution.
ARTICLE 98-2: The powers of the National Assembly are limited and may
not be extended to matters other than those especially assigned to it by the
ARTICLE 98-3: The Assembly's powers are:
1. To receive the constitutional oath of the President of the Republic;
2. To ratify any decision to declare war when all efforts at conciliation have
3. To approve or reject international treaties and conventions;
4. To amend the Constitution according to the procedure indicated herein;
5. To ratify decisions of the Executive to move the seat of the Government in
cases determined by the first article of this Constitution;
6. To decide on when a state of siege shall be declared, to order with the
Executive that Constitutional guarantees shall be suspended, and to decide on
any request to renew that measure;
7. To contribute to selecting members of the Permanent Electoral Council,
pursuant to Article 92 of this Constitution;
8. To receive at the opening of each session the report on the Government's
ARTICLE 99: The National Assembly is presided over by the President of
the Senate, assisted by the President of the House of Deputies acting as Vice
President. the Secretaries of the Senate and the House of Deputies are the
Secretaries of the National Assembly.
ARTICLE 99-1: In the event the President of the Senate is unable to
discharge his duties, the National Assembly shall be presided over by the
President of the House of Deputies, and the Vice President of the Senate shall
then become Vice President of the National Assembly.
ARTICLE 99-2: In the event the two (2) Presidents are unable to
discharge their duties, the two (2) vice Presidents shall replace them,
ARTICLE 100: Sessions of the National Assembly are public. However,
they may be held in closed session at the request of five (5) members, and the
resumption of public sessions shall then be decided by an absolute majority.
ARTICLE 101: In emergencies, when the Legislature is not in session,
the Executive Branch may call a special session of the National Assembly.
ARTICLE 102: The National Assembly may not meet or take decisions and
pass resolutions without a majority of each of the two (2) Houses being
ARTICLE 103: The Legislature has its seat in Port-au-Prince. However,
depending on the circumstances, this seat may be transferred elsewhere to the
same place and at the same time as that of the Executive Branch.
EXERCISE OF LEGISLATIVE POWER
ARTICLE 104: A session of the Legislature dates from the opening of the
two (2) Houses meeting as the National Assembly.
ARTICLE 105: In the interval between regular sessions and in
emergencies, the President of the Republic may call a special session of the
ARTICLE 106: The Chief of the Executive Branch reports on that measure
by a message.
ARTICLE 107: In the event the Legislature is convened in special
session, it may not decide on any matter other than that for which it was
ARTICLE 107-1: However, any Senator or Deputy may introduce a matter of
general interest in an Assembly of which he is a member.
ARTICLE 108: Each House checks and validates the credentials of its
members and is the final judge of any disputes that may arise in this regard.
ARTICLE 109: The members of each House shall take the following oath:
"I swear to discharge my duties, to maintain and safeguard the rights of the
people, and to be faithful to the Constitution".
ARTICLE 110: Meetings of the two (2) Houses are public. Each House may
meet in closed session at the request of five (5) members, and the decision to
resume public meetings shall then be taken by a majority vote.
ARTICLE 111: The Legislature takes the laws on all matters of public
ARTICLE 111-1: Laws may be initiated by each of the two (2) Houses as
well as by the Executive Branch.
ARTICLE 111-2: However, only the Executive Branch may initiate budget
laws, laws concerning the assessment, percentage and manner of collecting taxes
and contributions, and laws designed to generate revenues or to increase
revenues and expenditures of the Government, Bills introduced on these matters
must be voted on first by the House of Deputies.
ARTICLE 111-3: In the event of disagreement between the two (2) Houses
regarding the laws mentioned in the preceding paragraph, each House shall
appoint, by voting on a list of an equal number of members, a parliamentary
committee that will make a final decision on the disagreement.
ARTICLE 111-4: If a disagreement occurs with regard to any other law,
a decision on it will be postponed until the following session. If, at that
session, and even in the case of replacement of the Houses no agreement is
reached on the law when it is introduced again, each House shall appoint, by
taking a vote on a list of an equal number of members, a parliamentary
committee to decide on the final text that will be submitted to the two (2)
Assemblies, beginning with the one that originally voted on the law. If these
additional deliberations produce no result, the Bill or proposed law will be
ARTICLE 111-5: In the event of disagreement between the Legislature and
the Executive Branch, the disagreement shall, at the request of one of the
parties, be referred to the Conciliation Committee provided for in Article 206
ARTICLE 111-6: If the Committee fails to reach a decision it shall draw
up a report of nonconciliation, which it shall remit to the two (2) high
parties and inform the Supreme Court thereof.
ARTICLE 111-7: Within two weeks of receipt of this report, the
disagreement shall be referred to the Supreme Court. Sitting as a full court,
the Court shall hand down its decision forthwith, setting all other matters
aside. Its decision shall be final and is binding on the high parties. If,
meanwhile, the high parties reach agreement, the terms of the agreement shall
as a matter of course terminate the procedure under way.
ARTICLE 111-8: In no case may the House of Deputies or the Senate be
dissolved or adjourned, nor shall the terms of their members be extended.
ARTICLE 112: Each House shall, in accordance with its regulations
appoint its staff, establish discipline for them and determine the manner in
which they shall perform their duties.
ARTICLE 112-1: Each House may impose on its members for reprehensible
conduct, by a two thirds (2/3) majority vote, disciplinary penalties, except
ARTICLE 113: Any member of the Legislature shall be disqualified as a
Deputy or Senator, if, during his term, he has received a final sentence by a
court of regular law, which renders him ineligible to serve.
ARTICLE 114: Members of the Legislature are inviolable form the day the
take oath up to the expiration of their term, subject to the provisions of
Article 115 below.
ARTICLE 114-1: They may at no time be prosecuted or attacked for the
opinions and votes cast by them in the discharge o their duties.
ARTICLE 114-2: No member of the Legislature shall be subject to civil
imprisonment during his term of office.
ARTICLE 115: No member of the Legislature may during his term be
arrested under ordinary law for a crime, a minor offense or a petty violation,
except by authorization of the House of which he is a member, unless he is
apprehended in the act of committing an offense punishable by death, personal
restraint or penal servitude or the loss of civil rights. In that case, the
matter is referred to the House of Deputies or the Senate without delay of the
Legislature is in session, and if not, it shall be taken up the next regular or
ARTICLE 116: Neither of the two (2) Houses may sit or take action
without the presence of a majority of its members.
ARTICLE 117: All acts of the Legislature must be approved by a majority
of the members present, unless otherwise stipulated in this Constitution.
ARTICLE 118: Each House has the right to investigate matters brought
ARTICLE 119: All bills must be voted on article by article.
ARTICLE 120: Each House has the right to amend and to divide articles
and amendments proposed. Amendments voted on by one House may be part of a
bill only after it has been voted on by the other House in the same forme and
in identical terms. No bill shall become a law until it has been voted on in
the same form by the two (2) Houses.
ARTICLE 120-2: Any bill may be withdrawn from discussion so long as it
has not been finally voted upon.
ARTICLE 121: Any bill passed by the Legislature shall be immediately
forwarded to the President of the Republic, who, before promulgation it, has
the right to make objections to it in all or in part.
ARTICLE 121-1: In such cases, the President of the Republic send back
the bill with his objections to the House where it was originally passed, If
the bill is amended by that house, it is sent to the other Houses with the
ARTICLE 121-2: If the bill thus amended is voted on by the second
House, it will be sent back to the President of the Republic for
ARTICLE 121-3: If the objection are rejected by the House that
originally passed the bill, it shall be returned to the other House with the
ARTICLE 121-4: If the second House also votes to reject it, the bill is
sent back to the President of the Republic, who must then promulgate it.
ARTICLE 121-5: Rejection of the objection is voted on by either House
by the majority stipulated in Article 117. In such cases, the votes of each
House shall be taken by secret ballot.
ARTICLE 121-6: If in either House the Majority stipulated in the
preceding paragraph is not obtained for the rejection, the objections are
ARTICLE 122: The right of objection must be exercised within eight (8)
full days starting with the date of the receipt of the bill by the President of
ARTICLE 123: If within the prescribed deadline, the President of the
Republic has made no objection, the bill must be promulgated unless the session
of the Legislature has ended before exploration of the deadline, in which case,
the bill is deferred. At the opening of the following session, the bill thus
deferred is sent to the President of the Republic to exercise his right of
ARTICLE 124: A bill rejected by one of the two (2) Houses may not be
introduced again in the same session.
ARTICLE 125: Bills and other acts of the Legislature and the National
Assembly shall enter into force with their promulgation and their publication
in the Official Gazette (Journal Official) of the Republic.
ARTICLE 125-1: Bills shall be numbered and included in the printed and
numbered bulletin entitled BULLETIN OF LAWS AND ACTS.
ARTICLE 126: The bill is dated on the day of it final adoption by the
two (2) Houses.
ARTICLE 127: No one may submit petitions in person to the
ARTICLE 128: Only the Legislature Branch has the authority to interpret
laws, which it does by passing a law.
ARTICLE 129: Each member of the Legislature receives a monthly stipend
from the time he takes oath.
ARTICLE 129-1: Service as a member of the Legislature is incompatible
with any other due remunerated by the State, except that of teacher.
ARTICLE 129-2: Every member of the two (2) Houses has the right to
question and interpellate a member of the Government or the entire Government
on events and acts of the Administration.
ARTICLE 129-3: As interpellation request must be seconded by five (5)
members of the body concerned. it becomes a vote of confidence or of censure
when passed by a majority of that body.
ARTICLE 129-4: When the interpellation request ends in a votes of
censure on a question concerning a Government program or declaration of general
policy, the Prime Minister must submit his Government's resignation to the
President of the Republic.
ARTICLE 129-5: The president must accept that resignation and appoint
new Primer Minister, pursuant to the provisions of this Constitution.
ARTICLE 129-6: The Legislature may not pass more than one vote of
censure a year on a question concerning a Government program or declaration of
ARTICLE 130: In the case of the death, resignation, disqualification,
judicial interdiction, or acceptance of a duty incompatible with that of a
member of the Legislature, the Deputy or Senator shall be replaced in his
Electoral District for only the remainder of his term by a by-election called
by the Primary Electoral Assembly to be conducted by the Permanent Electoral
Council in the month he vacancy occurs.
ARTICLE 130-1: The election shall take place within thirty (30) days
after convocation of the Primary Assembly, pursuant to the Constitution.
ARTICLE 130-2: The same procedure shall apply in the absence of an
election or in the event that elections are declared null and void by the
Permanent Electoral Council in one or more Electoral Districts.
ARTICLE 130-3: However, if the vacancy occurs during the last regular
session of the Legislature or after that session, a by-election may not be
ARTICLE 131: The following may not be elected members of the
1. Government concessionnaires or contractors for the performance of public
2. Representatives or agents of Government contractors or concessionnaires, or
companies or corporations that have Government concessions or contracts;
3. Delegated, Vice Delegates, judges, and officers of the Public Prosecutor's
Office whose duties have not terminated six (6) months before the date set for
4. Any person who comes under the other cases of ineligibility stipulates by
this Constitution and by law.
ARTICLE 132: Members of the Executive Branch and the Director Generals
of Government departments may not be elected members of the Legislature unless
they resign at least one (1) year before the date of the elections.
THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH
ARTICLE 133: The Executive power is vested in:
a. The President of the Republic, who is the Head of State.
b. The Government, which is headed by a Prime Minister.
THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
ARTICLE 134: The President of the Republic is elected in direct
universal suffrage by an absolute majority of votes. If that majority is not
obtained in the first election, a second election is held.
Only the two (2) candidates who, if such be the case, after the withdrawal of
more favored candidates, have received the largest number of votes in the first
election may run in the second election.
ARTICLE 134-1: The term of the President is five (5) years. This term
begins and ends on the February 8 following the date of the elections.
ARTICLE 134-2: Presidential election shall take place the last Sunday
of November in the fifth year of the President's term.
ARTICLE 134-3: The President of the Republic may not be re-elected. He
may serve an additional term only after an interval of five (5) years. He may
in no case run for a third term.
ARTICLE 135: To be elected President of the Republic of Haiti, a
a. Be a native-born Haitian and never have renounced Haitian nationality;
b. Have attained thirty-five (35) years of age by the election day;
c. Enjoy civil and political rights and never have been sentenced to death,
personal restraint or penal servitude or the loss of civil rights for a crime
of ordinary law;
d. Be the owner in Haiti of at least one real property and have his habitual
residence in the country;
e. Have resided in the country for five (5) consecutive years before the date
of the elections;
f. Have been relieved of this responsibilities if he has been handling public
ARTICLE 135-1: Before taking office, the President of the Republic
shall take the following oath before the National Assembly: "I swear before God
and the Nation faithfully to observe and enforce the Constitution and the laws
of the Republic, to respect and cause to be respected the rights of the Haitian
people, to work for the greatness of the country, and to maintain the nation's
independence and the integrity of its territory".
DUTIES OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
ARTICLE 136: The President of the Republic, who is the Head of State,
shall see to the respect for and enforcement of the Constitution and the
stability of the institutions. He shall ensure the regular operations of the
public authorities and the continuity of the State.
ARTICLE 137: The President of the Republic shall choose a Prime
Minister from among the members of the majority party of the Parliament. In
the absence of such a majority, the President of the Republic shall choose his
Prime Minister in consultation with the President of the Senate and the
President of the House of Deputies.
In either case, the President's choice must be ratified by the Parliament.
ARTICLE 137-1: The President of the Republic shall terminate the duties
of the Prime Minister upon the letter's submission of the Government's
ARTICLE 138: The President of the Republic is the guarantor of the
nation's independence and the integrity of its territory.
ARTICLE 139: He shall negotiate and sign all international treaties,
conventions and agreements and submit them to the National Assembly for
ARTICLE 139-1: He shall accredit ambassadors and special envoys to
foreign powers, receive letters of accreditation from ambassadors of foreign
powers and issued exequatur to consuls.
ARTICLE 140: He declares war, and negotiates and signs peace treaties
with the approval of the National Assembly.
ARTICLE 141: With the approval of the Senate, the President appoints,
by a decree issued in the Council of Ministers, the Commander-in-chief of the
armed forces, the Commander-in-chief of the police, ambassadors and consul
ARTICLE 142: By a decree issued in the Council of Ministers, the
President of the Republic appoints the directors general of the civil service,
and delegates and vice delegates of Departments and Arrondissements.
He also appoints, with the approval of the Senate, Administrative Councils of
ARTICLE 143: The President of the Republic is the nominal head of the
armed forces, but he never commands them in person.
ARTICLE 144: He has the seal of the Republic affixed to all laws and
promulgates them within deadline stipulated by the Constitution. Before the
expiration of that deadline, he may avail himself of his right of objection.
ARTICLE 145: He sees to the enforcement of judicial decisions, pursuant
to the law.
ARTICLE 146: The President of the Republic has the right to pardon and
commute sentences in all res judicate cases, except for sentences handed down
by the High Court of Justice as stipulated in this Constitution.
ARTICLE 147: He may grant amnesty only for political matters as
stipulated by law.
ARTICLE 148: If the President finds it temporarily impossible to
discharge his duties the Executive Authority shall be vested in the Council of
Ministers under the Presidency of the Prime Minister, so long as the disability
ARTICLE 149: Should the office of the President of the Republic become
vacant for any reason, the President of the Supreme Court of the Republic, or
in his absence, the Vice President of that Court, or in his absence, the judge
with the highest seniority and so on by order of seniority, shall be invested
temporarily with the duties of the President of the Republic by the National
Assembly duly convened by the Prime Minister- The election of a new President
for a new five (5) year term shall be held at least forty-five (45) and no more
than ninety (90) days after the vacancy occurs, pursuant to the Constitution
and the Electoral Law.
ARTICLE 149-1: The acting President may in no case be a candidate in
the next presidential election.
ARTICLE 150: The President of the republic shall have no powers other
than those accorded to him by the Constitution.
ARTICLE 151: At the opening of each annual session of the Legislature,
the President of the Republic shall deliver a message to the Legislature on the
State of the Nation. This message may not be debated.
ARTICLE 152: The President of the Republic shall receive a monthly
salary from the Public Treasury upon taking the oath of office.
ARTICLE 153: The President of the Republic shall have his official
residence in the National Palace, in the capital city, unless the seat of the
Executive Branch is moved.
ARTICLE 154: The President of the Republic presides over the Council of
ARTICLE 155: The Government is composed of the Prime Minister, the
Ministers and Secretaries of State. The Prime Minister is the head of the
ARTICLE 156: The Government conducts the policy of the Nation. It is
responsible before Parliament under the terms stipulated by the Constitution.
ARTICLE 157: To be appointed Prime Minister, a person must:
1. Be a native-born Haitian, and never have renounced Haitian nationality;
2. Have attained thirty (30) years of age;
3. Enjoy civil and political rights and never have been sentenced to death,
personal restraint or penal servitude or the loss of civil rights;
4. Own real property in Haiti and practice a profession there;
5. Have resided in the county for five (5) consecutive years;
6. Have been relieved of his responsibilities if he has been handling public
POWERS OF THE PRIME MINISTER
ARTICLE 158: With the approval of the President, the Prime Minister
shall choose the members of his Cabinet of Ministers and shall go before
Parliament to obtain a vote of confidence on his declaration of general policy.
The vote shall be taken in open ballot, and an absolute majority of both Houses
In the event of a vote of nonconfidence by one of the two (2) Houses, the
procedure shall be repeated.
ARTICLE 159: The Prime Minister enforces the laws. In the event of the
President of the Republic's absence or temporary inability to perform his
duties, or at his request, the Prime Minister presides over the Council of
Ministers. He has the power to issue rules and regulations but he can never
suspend or interpret laws, acts or decrees, nor refrain from enforcing them.
ARTICLE 159-1: In concert with the President of the Republic, he is
responsible for national defense.
ARTICLE 160: The Prime Minister appoints and dismisses directly or by
delegation Government officials, according to the provisions of the
Constitution and the law on the general regulations for Government
ARTICLE 161: The Prime Minister and the Ministers may appear before the
two (2) Houses to support bills and the objections of the President of the
Republic and to reply to interpellation.
ARTICLE 162: Acts of the Prime Minister are countersigned, if need by
the Ministers responsible for enforcing them. The Prime Ministers may be
assigned a Ministerial portfolio.
ARTICLE 163: The Prime Minister and the Ministers are jointly
responsible for the acts of the President of the Republic and of their
ministers that they countersign. They are also responsible for enforcement of
the laws in the areas of their competence.
ARTICLE 164: The duties of the Prime Minister and of a member of the
Government are incompatible with membership in the Parliament. If such a case
occurs, the member of Parliament must choose one duty or the other.
ARTICLE 165: In the event of the Prime Minister's resignation, the
government remains in place until the appointment of a successor, in order to
transact current business.
THE MINISTERS AND SECRETARIES OF STATE
ARTICLE 166: The President of the Republic presides over the Council of
Ministers. The number of Ministers may be no fewer than ten (10).
When he deems it necessary, the Prime Minister may appoints Secretaries of
State to the Ministers.
ARTICLE 167: The number of Ministers is set by law.
ARTICLE 168: Holding a ministerial post is incompatible with the
exercise of all other public employment, except for higher education.
ARTICLE 169: Ministers are responsible for the acts of the Prime
Minister that they countersign. They are jointly responsible for enforcement
of the laws.
ARTICLE 169-1: In no case may an oral or written order of the President
of the Republic or of the Prime Minister release Ministers from the
responsibilities of their office.
ARTICLE 170: The Prime Minister, the Ministers and the Secretaries of
State receive monthly salaries established by the Budgetary law.
ARTICLE 171: Ministers appoint certain categories of Government
employees by delegation of the Prime Minister, according to the conditions set
by the law on Government operations.
ARTICLE 172: When one of the two (2) Houses during an interpellation
calls into question the responsibility of a Minister by a vote of censure
passed by an absolute majority of its members, the Executive shall recall the
ARTICLE 173: The Judicial Power shall be vested in the Supreme Court
(Court de Cassation), the Courts of Appeal, Courts of First Instance, Courts of
Peace and special courts, whose number, composition, organization, operation
and jurisdiction are set by law.
ARTICLE 173-1: Civil rights cases are exclusively the competence of the
ARTICLE 173-2: No court and no jurisdiction in disputed matters may be
established except by law. No special court may be established under any name
ARTICLE 174: Judges of the Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeal are
appointed for ten (10) years. Judges of the Courts of First Instance are
appointed for seven (7) years. Their term begins at the time they take their
oath of office.
ARTICLE 175: Supreme Court justices are appointed by the President of
the Republic form a list submitted by the Senate of three (3) persons per court
seat. Judges of the Courts of Appeal and Courts of First Instance are
appointed from a list submitted by the Departmental Assembly concerned;
Justices of the Peace are appointed from a list draw up by the Communal
ARTICLE 176: The law regulates the conditions required for serving as a
judge at any level. A School of the Magistrature shall be established.
ARTICLE 177: Judges of the Supreme Court, the Courts of Appeal and the
Courts of First Instance are appointed for life. They may be removed from
office only because of a legally determined abuse of authority or be suspended
following and indictment leveled against them. They may not be reassigned,
without their consent, even in the case of a promotion. Their service may be
terminated during their term of office only in the event of a duly determined
permanent physical or mental incapacity.
ARTICLE 178: The Supreme Court does not try cases on their merits.
Nevertheless, in all cases other than those submitted to a jury, when a case
between the same parties is tried upon second appeal, even with an incidental
plea of defense, the Supreme Court, accepting the appeal, shall not remand the
case to a lower court but shall rule on the merits, sitting as a full court.
ARTICLE 178-1: However, in the case of appeals from temporary
restraining orders or orders of examining magistrates, grants of appeal
pronounced in connection with such orders or form final sentences of the Peace
Courts or decisions of special courts, the Supreme Court, admitting the appeal,
shall pronounce a decision without remanding the case.
ARTICLE 179: The duties of a judge are incompatible with any other
salaried duties, except for education.
ARTICLE 180: Court proceedings are public. However, they may take
place in closed session in the interest of public order and good morals, at the
decision of the Court.
ARTICLE 180-1: Sentences may not be delivered in closed session in
cases of political offenses or offenses involving the press.
ARTICLE 181: All order or judgments shall state the founds for the
decision and shall be handed down in a public hearing.
ARTICLE 181-1: Orders or judgments are delivered and executed in the
name of the Republic, They shall include writs of execution to officers of the
Public Prosecutor's Office and agents of the police and armed forces. Acts of
notaries shall be put in the same form when their compulsory execution is
ARTICLE 182: The Supreme Court rules on both fact and law in all cases
of decisions handed down by military courts.
ARTICLE 183: When litigation is referred to it, the Supreme Court,
sitting as a full Court, shall rule on the unconstitutionality of the laws.
ARTICLE 183-1: The interpretation of a law given by the Houses of the
Legislature shall be imposed for the purpose of that law without retroactively
taking away any rights acquired by res judicata.
ARTICLE 183-2: The Courts shall apply Government decrees and
regulations only insofar as they are in conformity with the law.
ARTICLE 184: The law determines the jurisdiction of the courts and
tribunals, and regulates the manner of preceedings before them.
ARTICLE 184-1: The law also provides for disciplinary penalties to be
taken against judges and officers of the Public Prosecutor's Office, except for
Supreme Court Justices, who are under the jurisdiction of the High Court of
Justice for abuse of authority.
THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
ARTICLE 185: The Senate may constitute itself as a High Court of
Justice. the proceedings of this Court are presided over by the President of
the Senate, assisted by the President and Vice President of the Supreme Court
as Vice President and Secretary, respectively, except where the Justices of the
Supreme Court and officers of the public Prosecutor's Office assigned to that
court are involved in the accusation, in which case, the Senators, one of whom
shall be designated by the accused, and the Senators so appointed shall not be
entitled to vote.
ARTICLE 186: The House of Deputies, by a majority of two-thirds (2/3)
of its members, shall indict:
a. The President of the Republic for the crime of high treason or any other
crime or offense committed in the discharge o his duties;
b. The Prime Minister, the Ministers and the Secretaries of State for Crimes of
high treason and embezzlement or abuse of power or any other crimes or offenses
committed in the discharge of their duties;
c. Members of the Permanent Electoral Council and the Superior Court of
Auditors and the Court of Administrative Disputes for serious offenses
committed in the discharge of their duties;
d. Supreme Court justices and officer of the Public Prosecutor's Office before
the Court for abuse of authority;
e. The Protector of Citizens (protecteur du citoyen).
ARTICLE 187: Members of the High Court of Justice serve on an
individual bases, and no opening proceedings, take the following oath;
"I swear before God and before the Nation to judge with the impartiality and
the firmness appropriate to an honest and free man, according to my conscience
and my deep-seated conviction".
ARTICLE 188: The High Court of Justice shall designate, by secret
ballot and an absolute majority of votes, from among its members a Committee of