CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA
The Armenian People,
Recognizing as a basis the fundamental principles of Armenian statehood and the national aspirations engraved in the Declaration of Independence of Armenia,
Having fulfilled the sacred message of its freedomloving ancestors for the restoration of the sovereign state,
Committed to the strengthening and prosperity of the fatherland.
In order to ensure the freedom, general will being and civic harmony of future generations,
Declaring their faithfulness to universal values,
Hereby adopts the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia. CHAPTER 1
The Foundations of Constitutional Order
Article 1. The Republic of Armenia is a sovereign, democratic state, based on social justice and the rule of law.
Article 2. In the Republic of Armenia power lies with the people.
The people exercise their power through free elections and referenda, as well as through state and local self-governing bodies and public officials as provided by the Constitution. The usurpation of power by any organization or individual constitutes a crime.
Article 3. The elections of the President, the National Assembly and local self-governing bodies of the Republic of Armenia, as well as referenda, are held based on the right to universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot.
Article 4. The state guarantees the protection of human rights and freedoms based on the Constitution and the laws, in accordance with the principles and norms of international law.
Article 5. State power shall be exercised in accordance with the Constitution and the laws based on the principle of the separation of the legislative, executive and judicial powers. State bodies and public officials may execute only such acts as authorized by legislation.
Article 6. The supremacy of the law shall be guaranteed in the Republic of Armenia.
The Constitution of the Republic has supreme juridical force, and its norms are applicable directly.
Laws found to contradict the Constitution as well as other juridical acts found to contradict the Constitution and the law shall have no legal force.
Laws shall take effect only after official publication. Unpublished juridical acts pertaining to human rights, freedoms, and duties shall have no juridical force. International treaties that have been ratified are a constituent part of the legal system of the Republic. If norms are provided in these treaties other than those provided by laws of the Republic, then the norms provided in the treaty shall prevail.
International treaties that contradict the Constitution may be ratified after making a corresponding amendment to the Constitution.
Article 7. The multiparty system is recognized in the Republic of Armenia.
Parties are formed freely and promote the formulation and expression of the political will of the people. Their activities may not contravene the Constitution and the laws, nor may their structure and practice contravene the principles of democracy.
Parties shall ensure the openness of their financial activities.
Article 8. The right to property is recognized and protected in the Republic of Armenia. The owner of property may dispose of, use and manage the property at his or her discretion. The right to property may not be exercised so as to cause damage to the environment or infringe on the rights and lawful interests of other persons, society, or the state.
The state shall guarantee the free development and equal legal protection of all forms of property, the freedom of economic activity and free economic competition.
Article 9. The foreign policy of the Republic of Armenia shall be conducted in accordance with the norms of international law, with the aim of establishing good neighborly and mutually beneficial relations with all states.
Article 10. The state shall ensure the protection and reproduction of the environment and the rational utilization of natural resources.
Article 11. Historical and cultural monuments and other cultural values are under the care and protection of the state.
Within the framework of principles and norms of international law, the Republic of Armenia shall promote the protection of Armenian historical and cultural values located in other countries, and shall support the development of Armenian educational and cultural life.
Article 12. The state language of the Republic of Armenia is the Armenian.
Article 13. The flag (image 32)of the Republic of Armenia is tricolor made of three horizontal and equal strips of red, blue, and orange.
The coat of arms (image 33) of the Republic of Armenia depicts, in the center on a shield, Mount Ararat with Noah's ark and the coats of arms of the four kingdoms of historical Armenia. The shield is supported by a lion and an eagle while a sword, a branch, a sheaf, a chain and a ribbon are portrayed under the shield.
The national anthem of the Republic of Armenia is the "Our Fatherland."
The capital of the Republic of Armenia is Yerevan (image 9).
Fundamental Human and Civil Rights and Freedoms
Article 14. The procedures for acquiring and terminating citizenship of the Republic of Armenia are determined by law. Individuals of Armeniansorigin shall acquire citizenship of the Republic of Armenia through a simplified procedure.
A citizen of the Republic of Armenia may not be a citizen of another state simultaneously.
Article 15. Citizens, regardless of national origin, race, sex, language, creed, political or other persuasion, social origin, wealth or other status, are entitled to all the rights and freedoms, and subject to the duties determined by the Constitution and the laws.
Article 16. All are equal before the law and shall be given equal protection of the law without discrimination.
Article 17. Everyone has the right to life.
Until such time as it is abolished, the death penalty may be prescribed by law for particular capital crimes, as an exceptional punishment.
Article 18. Everyone is entitled to freedom and the right to be secure in their person. No one may be arrested or searched except as prescribed by law. A person may be detained only by court order and in accordance with legally prescribed procedures.
Article 19. No one may be subjected to torture and to treatment and punishment that are cruel or degrading to the individual's dignity.
No one may be subjected to medical or scientific experimentation without his or her consent.
Article 20. Everyone is entitled to defend his or her private and family life from unlawful interference and defend his or her honor and reputation from attack.
The gathering, maintenance, use and dissemination of illegally obtained information about a person's private and family life are prohibited.
Everyone has the right to confidentiality in his or her correspondence, telephone conversations, mail, telegraph and other communications, which may only be restricted by court order.
Article 21. Everyone is entitled to privacy in his or her own dwelling. It is prohibited to enter a person's dwelling against his or her own will except under cases prescribed by law.
A dwelling may be searched only by court order and in accordance with legal procedures.
Article 22. Every citizen is entitled to freedom of movement and residence within the territory of the Republic.
Everyone has the right to leave the Republic.
Every citizen is entitled to return to the Republic.
Article 23. Everyone is entitled to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. The freedom to exercise one's religion and beliefs may only be restricted by law on the grounds prescribed in Article 45 of the Constitution.
Article 24. Everyone is entitled to assert his or her opinion. No one shall be forced to retract or change his or her opinion.
Everyone is entitled to freedom of speech, including the freedom to seek, receive and disseminate information and ideas through any medium of information, regardless of state borders.
Article 25. Everyone has the right to form associations with other persons, including the right to form or join trade unions.
Every citizen is entitled to form political parties with other citizens and join such parties. These rights may be restricted for persons belonging to the armed forces and law enforcement organizations.
No one shall be forced to join a political party or association.
Article 26. Citizens are entitled to hold peaceful and unarmed meetings, rallies, demonstrations and processions.
Article 27. Citizens of the Republic of Armenia who have attained the age of eighteen years are entitled to participate in the government of the state directly or through their freely elected representatives.
Citizens found to be incompetent by a court ruling, or duly convicted of a crime and serving a sentence may not vote or be elected.
Article 28. Everyone is entitled to private property and inheritance. Foreign citizens and persons without citizenship shall not have the right to own land, except in cases prescribed by law. The owner may be deprived of private property only by a court in cases prescribed by law.
Private property may be alienated for the needs of society and the state only under exceptional circumstances, with due process of law, and with prior equivalent compensation.
Article 29. Every citizen is entitled to freedom of choice in employment.
Everyone is entitled to wages that are fair and that are no lower than the minimum established by the state, and to working conditions which meet sanitary and safety requirements.
Citizens are entitled to strike in the defense of their economic, social and work interests. The procedures and restrictions applicable to the exercise of this right shall be prescribed by law.
Article 30. Everyone is entitled to rest.
The maximum work period, rest days, and minimum duration of annual paid vacation shall be prescribed by law.
Article 31. Every citizen is entitled to an adequate standard of living for himself or herself and his or her family, to adequate housing, as well as to the improvement of living conditions. The state shall provide the essential means to enable the exercise of these rights.
Article 32. The family is the natural and fundamental cell of society. Family, motherhood, and childhood are placed under the care and protection of society and the state.
Women and men enjoy equal rights when entering into marriage, during marriege, and in the course of divorce.
Article 33. Every citizen is entitled to social security during old age, disability, sickness, loss of an income earner, unemployment and in other cases prescribed by law.
Article 34. Everyone is entitled to the preservation of health. The provision of medical care and services shall be prescribed by law.
The state shall put into effect health care protection programs for the population and promote the development of sports and physical education.
Article 35. Every citizen is entitled to education.
Education shall be free of charge in state secondary educational institutions.
Every citizen is entitled to receive higher and other specialized education free of charge and on a competitive basis, in state educational institutions.
The establishment and operation of private educational institutions shall be prescribed by law.
Article 36. Everyone is entitled to freedom of literary, artistic, scientific and technical creation, to benefit from the achievements of scientific progress and to participate in the cultural life of society.
Intellectual property shall be protected by law.
Article 37. Citizens belonging to national minorities are entitled to the preservation of their traditions and the development of their language and culture.
Article 38. Everyone is entitled to defend his or her rights and freedoms by all means not otherwise prescribed by law.
Everyone is entitled to defend in court the rights and freedoms engraved in the Constitution and the laws.
Article 39. Everyone is entitled to restore any rights which may have been violated, as well as to a public hearing by an independent and impartial court, under the equal protection of the law and fulfilling all the demands of justice, to clear himself or herself of any accusations. The presence of the news media and representatives of the public at a judicial hearing may be prohibited by law wholly or in part, for the purpose of safeguarding public morality, the social order, national security, the safety of the parties, and the interests of justice.
Article 40. Everyone is entitled to receive legal assistance. Legal assistance may be provided free of charge in cases prescribed for by law.
Everyone is entitled to legal counsel from the moment he or she is arrested, detained, or charged.
Every convicted person is entitled to have his or her conviction reviewed by a higher court, in a manner prescribed by law. Every convicted person is entitled to request a pardon or mitigation of any given punishment.
Compensation for the harm caused to the wronged party shall be provided in a manner prescribed by law.
Article 41. A person accused of a crime shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a manner prescribed by law, and by a court sentence properly entered into force.
The defendant does not have the burden to prove his or her innocence. Accusations not proven beyond a doubt shall be resolved in favor of the defendant.
Article 42. A person shall not be compelled to be a witness against himself or herself or against his or her spouse, or against a close relative.
The law may foresee other circumstances relieving a person from the obligation to testify. Illegally obtained evidence shall not be used.
A punishment may not exceed that which could have been met by the law in effect when the crime was committed.
A person shall not be considered to be guilty for a crime if at the time of its commission the act was not legally considered a crime.
Laws limiting or increasing liability shall not have retroactive effect.
Article 43. The rights and freedoms set forth in the Constitution are not exhaustive and shall not be construed to exclude other universally accepted human and civil rights and freedoms.
Article 44. The fundamental human and civil rights and freedoms established under Articles 23 27 of the Constitution may only be restricted by law, if necessary for the protection of state and public security, public order, public health and morality, and the rights, freedoms, honor and reputation of others.
Article 45. Some human and civil rights and freedoms, except for those provided under Articles 17, 20, 39, and 41 43 of the Constitution, may be temporarily in a manner prescribed by law, in the event of martial law, or in cases prescribed under paragraph 4 of Article 55 of the Constitution.
Article 46. Everyone shall pay taxes, duties, and make other mandatory payments in amounts and manners prescribed by law.
Article 47. Every citizen shall participate in the defense of the Republic of Armenia in a manner prescribed by law.
Article 48. Everyone shall uphold the Constitution and the laws, and respect the rights, freedoms and dignity of others.
The exercise of rights and freedoms shall not serve toward the violent overthrow of the Constitutional order, for the instigation of national, racial, or religious hatred or for the incitement to violence and war.
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