Constitution of Azerbaijan

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The Constitution of Azerbaijan (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan konstitusiyası) was adopted on 12 November 1995 by popular referendum. This Constitution was the first Constitution of independent Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan Democratic Republic founded in 1918 and existed 23 month until 1920 was not able to adopt its onstitution. Therefore the history of Constitution building in Azerbaijan generally starts from the period of Azerbaijan being part of Soviet Union. The first Constitution of Azerbaijan SSR was adopted in 1921 and was in accordance with the Constitution of USSR. The last Constitution of Azerbaijan SSR was adopted in 1978, 21 april and also was in line and form of USSR Constitution. The first Constition of independent Azerbaijan consists of 5 chapters, 12 sections and 147 articles. It was amended on 24 August 2002 and again on 18 March 2009. It carries the "highest legal force" in Azerbaijan as per article 147.[1] The most recent amendments to the Constitution were approved after the Constitutional referendum held on 26 September 2016.[2] In 2002, 31 amendments made to 22 articles, in 2009, 41 amendments made to 29 articles and in 2016, 23 articles were amended and new 6 new articles were added. 12 November is celebrated as the day of the Constituion of Azerbaijan Republic and it's a national holiday.

Preamble

The Preamble to the Constitution specifies, in order to "provide prosperity and welfare of the whole society and each individual", that the following objectives be declared:[1]

Chapter 1, General Provisions

Section 1, People's Power

Section 1 establishes the source of state power being the Azerbaijani people and their unity, and states that most political issues are to be solved by referendum, defining as en exception taxation, state budget, amnesty and pardon. It defines that only authorized representatives elected by people have the right to represent the people, speak on behalf of people and to make statements on behalf of people. It also bans the usurpation of power.[1]

Section 2, Fundamentals of the State

Section 2 establishes the basic principles, aims and role of the state of Azerbaijan, defines the head of a state and concepts in regard to military forces, property, natural resources, social, economic and development issues as well as state symbols, principles of foreign relations and the official language. It also establishes basis for religion and state, montery unit, restrictions concerning state depts and capital.[1]

Chapter 2, Major Freedoms, Rights and Responsibilities

Section 3, Principal Human and Civil Rights and Freedoms

Section 3 establishes the major rights and freedoms of citizens of Azerbaijan, including human rights, property rights, equality rights and intellectual property rights, civil rights, the rights of the accused, the right to strike, social security, the right to vote and freedom of speech, conscience and thought.[1]

Section 4, Principal Obligations of Citizens

Section 4 obliges citizens to obey laws, pay taxes, observe loyalty to and respect for the state of Azerbaijan and its symbols and states that it is the "duty of every Person" to participate in national defense, protection of national and historical monuments and protection of the environment.[1] According to the Opinion of the Venice Commission, the latest modifications to the Constitution made in September 2016 Referendum are evaluated as positive steps in the direction of strengthening of constitutional protection of human rights. Introduction of the concept of “human dignity”, the right to “conscientious treatment excluding arbitrariness”, constitutionalisation of the principle of proportionality in human rights protection has been welcomed by the Commission.[3]

Chapter 3, State Power

Section 5, Legislative Power

Section 5 establishes the National Assembly of Azerbaijan (Milli Majlis), its powers and its capacities.[1] It defines number of deputies, Procedure of elections of deputies , Term of authority of a calling of Milli Majlis, Requirements to candidates to the posts of deputies, End of the term of authority of deputies, sessions of National Assembly, deprivation of deputies of their mandates and loss of powers by the deputy, Immunity of deputies, and etc.

Section 6, Executive Power

Section 6 establishes the post of President of Azerbaijan and the President's requirements, duties, capacities and powers, as well as those of his Cabinet.[1]

The 18 March 2009 amendment lifted the previous term limit of two five-year terms for the office of President, allowing President Ilham Aliyev to run for a third term after his second term ends in 2013.[4]

Section 7, Judicial Power

Section 7 establishes the Azerbaijani judicial system and Constitutional and Supreme Courts.[1]

Section 8, Nakhichivan Autonomous Republic

Section 8 establishes the autonomous government of the Nakhichivan region and its legislature (Ali Majlis).[1]

Chapter 4, Local Self-Government

Section 9, Municipalities

Section 9 establishes the basic structure of municipalities in Azerbaijan.[1]

Chapter 5, Justice and Law

Section 10, Legislative System

Section 10 upholds the Constitution as having the "highest legal force" and that no laws or decrees may contradict it; it also establishes the legislative system of the country, based upon the Constitution, referenda, laws, presidential decrees, resolutions of the Cabinet and Acts of executive bodies.[1]

Section 11, Changes in the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Section 11 establishes the process of amending the Constitution through referendum, and stipulates what sections of the Constitution cannot be cancelled.[1]

Section 12, Additions to the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Section 12 establishes the process of adding provisions to the Constitution through referendum.[1]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Text of the Constitution
  2. ^ "Referendum on changes to the Constitution of Azerbaijan - EEAS - European External Action Service - European Commission". EEAS - European External Action Service. Retrieved 2017-07-03. 
  3. ^ "Venice Commission Preliminary Opinion". 
  4. ^ Azerbaijan lifts term limits, ResetDOC, 19 April 2009

External links

  • English translation of the Constitution on Presidential website
  • Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan (as last amended on August 24, 2002) at www.WIPO.int
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