Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Chapter III. Basic rights and liberties of a person and citizen

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Article 24. Main principle of rights and liberties of a person and citizen

I. Everyone, from the moment when they are born possesses inviolable and inalienable rights and liberties.

II. Rights and liberties envisage also responsibility and obligations of everyone to the society and other persons.

Article 25. Right for equality

I. All people are equal with respect to the law and law court.

II. Men and women possess equal rights and liberties.

III. The state guarantees equality of rights and liberties of everyone, irrespective of race, nationality, religion, language, sex, origin, financial position, occupation, political convictions, membership in political parties, trade unions and other public organizations. Rights and liberties of a person, citizen cannot be restricted due to race, nationality, religion, language, sex, origin, conviction, political and social belonging.

IV. No one may be harmed, granted allowances or privileges, or deprived from granting allowances and privileges on the basis of the grounds elaborated in Part III of this Article.

V. Equal rights shall be provided for everyone in relationship to the state institutions making decisions on rights and responsibilities and those having the competencies of state authority.

Article 26. Protection of rights and liberties of a person and citizen

I. Everyone has the right to protect his/her rights and liberties using means and methods not prohibited by law.

II. The state guarantees protection of rights and liberties of all people.

Article 27. Right for life

I. Everyone has the right for life.

II. Except extermination of enemy soldiers in a case of military aggression, when executing the sentence and in other cases envisaged by law, right of every person for life is inviolable.

III. Death penalty, until it is completely annulled, may be applied legally only in cases of especially grave crime against the state, life and health of a human being.

IV. Arms shall not be used against human beings except cases of necessary defence, urgent situations, whenever a criminal should be caught, to prevent a prisoner from running away, to prevent revolt against the state or coup.

Article 28. Right for freedom

I. Everyone has the right for freedom.

II. Right for freedom might be restricted only as specified by law, by way of detention, arrest or imprisonment.

III. Everyone legally being on the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic may travel without restrictions, choose the place of residence and travel abroad.

IV. Any citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic has the right to return to his/her country whenever he/she so desires.

Article 29. Ownership right

I. Everyone has the right to own property.

II. Neither kind of property has priority. Ownership right including right for private owners is protected by law.

III. Everyone might possess movable and real property. Right of ownership envisages the right of owner to possess, use and dispose of the property himself/herself or jointly with others.

IV. Nobody shall be deprived of his/her property without decision of law court. Total confiscation of the property is not permitted. Alienation of the property for state or public needs is permitted only after preliminary fair reimbursement of its cost.

V. The state guarantees succession rights.

Article 30. Right for intellectual property

I. Everyone has the right for intellectual property.

II. Copyright, patent rights and other rights for intellectual property are protected by law.

Article 31. Right to live in safety

I. Everyone has the right to live in safety.

II. Except cases envisaged by law it is prohibited to infringe on anybody's life, physical and spiritual health, property, living premises, to commit acts of violence.

Article 32. Right for personal immunity

I. Everyone has the right for personal immunity.

II. Everyone has the right to keep secret private or family life. It is prohibited to interfere with private or family life, except in cases established by law. Everyone has the right to be protected from unlawful interference in his or her private and family life.

III. It is not allowed to obtain, keep, use and disseminate information about a person’s private life without his or her consent. No one may be subjected to being followed, videotaped or photographed, tape recorded or subjected to other similar actions without his or her consent save activities in cases prescribed by law.

IV. The state guarantees everyone the right for confidentiality with respect to correspondence, telephone communications, post, telegraph messages and information sent by other communication means. This right might be restricted, as specified by legislation, to prevent crime or to find out true facts when investigating criminal case.

V. Everyone may become familiar with the materials collected in regards to him or her save in cases prescribed by law. Everyone has a right to demand correction or elimination of the information collected in regards to him or her, which does not correspond to the truth, is incomplete or collected through violation of the provisions of law.

Article 33. Right for sanctity of home

I. Everyone has the right for sanctity of his/her home.

II. Except cases specified by law or decision of law court nobody has the right to enter private home against the will of its inhabitants.

Article 34. Right for marriage

I. Everyone has the right to marry on reaching the age specified by legislation.

II. Marriages shall be concluded voluntarily. Nobody should be forced into marriage.

III. Family and marriage are protected by state. Maternity, paternity and childhood are protected by the law. The state provides support to large families.

IV. Rights of wife and husband are equal. Care and education of children constitute both right and responsibility of parents.

V. Responsibility of children is to respect parents, look after them. Children who are of age (18) and capable of working must support disabled parents.

Article 35. Right to work

I. Labor is the basis of personal and public prosperity.

II. Everyone has the right to choose independently, based on his/her abilities, kind of activity, profession, occupation and place of work.

III. Nobody might be forced to work.

IV. Labor agreements are concluded voluntarily. Nobody may be forced to conclude labor agreement.

V. Based on decisions of the law court there might be cases of forced labor, terms and conditions being specified by legislation; forced labor is permissible due to orders of authorized persons during the term of army service, state of emergency or martial law.

VI. Everyone has the right to work in safe and healthy conditions, to get remuneration for his/her work without any discrimination, not less than minimum wages rate established by the state.

VII. Unemployed persons have the right to receive social allowances from the state.

VIII. The state will do its best to liquidate unemployment.

Article 36. Right for strikes

I. Everyone has the right to be on strike, both individually and together with others.

II. Right for strike for those working based on labor agreements might be restricted only in cases envisaged by the law. Soldiers and civilians employed in the Army and other military formations of the Azerbaijan Republic have no right to go on strike.

III. Individual and collective labor disputes are settled in line with legislation.

Article 37. Right for rest

I. Everyone has the right for rest.

II. For those working based on labor agreements 8-hour working day, national holidays and at least one paid vacation with duration of at least 21 calendar days are guaranteed.

Article 38. Right for social protection

I. Everyone has the right for social protection.

II. Most vulnerable persons must get support, in the first place, from members of their families.

III. Everyone has the right for social protection on reaching specific age according to legislation, in case of illness, disability, loss of bread-winner in the family, due to unemployment and in other cases envisaged by legislation.

IV. Minimum sum of pensions and social allowances is specified by law.

V. The state creates possibilities for development of charitable activity, voluntary social insurance and other forms of social protection.

Article 39. Right to live in healthy environment

I. Everyone has the right to live in healthy environment.

II. Everyone has the right to gain information about true ecological situation and to get compensation for damage done to his/her health and property because of violation of ecological requirements.

III. No one may cause threat or damage to the environment and natural resources to the extent that it is higher than the limit prescribed by law.

IV. The state guarantees the preservation of ecological balance and protection of the species of wild plants and animals determined by law.

Article 40. Right for culture

I. Everyone has the right to take part in cultural life, to use organizations and values of culture.

II. Everyone must respect historical, cultural and spiritual inheritance, take care of it, protect historical and cultural memorials.

Article 41. Right for protection of health

I. Everyone has the right for protection of his/her health and for medical care.

II. The state takes all necessary measures for development of all forms of health services based on various forms of property, guarantees sanitary-epidemiological safety, creates possibilities for various forms of medical insurance.

III. Officials concealing facts and cases dangerous for life and health of people will bear legal responsibility.

Article 42. Right for education

I. Every citizen has the right for education.

II. The state guarantees free obligatory secondary education.

III. The system of education is under the state control.

IV. The state guarantees continuation of education for most gifted persons irrespective of their financial position.

V. The state establishes minimum educational standards.

Article 43. Right for home

I. Nobody might be deprived of his/her home.

II. The state assists in construction of living premises, takes special measures for realization of right for home.

Article 44. Right for nationality

I. Everyone has the right to keep his/her nationality.

II. Nobody may be forced to change his/her nationality.

Article 45. Right to use mother tongue

I. Everyone has the right to use his/her mother tongue. Everyone has the right to be educated, carry out creative activity in any language, as desired.

II. Nobody may be deprived of right to use his/her mother tongue.

Article 46. Right to defend the honor and dignity

I. Everyone has the right to defend his/her honor and dignity.

II. Dignity of a person is protected by state. Nothing must lead to humiliation of dignity of human being.

III. Nobody must be subject to tortures and torment, treatment or punishment humiliating the dignity of human beings. Medical, scientific and other experiments must not be carried out on any person without his/her consent.

Article 47. Freedom of thought and speech

I. Everyone may enjoy freedom of thought and speech.

II. Nobody should be forced to promulgate his/her thoughts and convictions or to renounce his/her thoughts and convictions.

III. Propaganda provoking racial, national, religious and social discord and animosity is prohibited.

Article 48. Freedom of conscience

I. Everyone enjoys the freedom of conscience.

II. Everyone has the right to define his/her attitude to religion, to profess, individually or together with others, any religion or to profess no religion, to express and spread one's beliefs concerning religion.

III. Everyone is free to carry out religious rituals, however this should not violate public order and contradict public morals.

IV. Religious beliefs and convictions do not excuse infringements of the law.

V. No one shall be forced to express (to demonstrate) his or her religious faith and belief, to execute religious rituals and participate in religious ceremonies.

Article 49. Freedom of meetings

I. Everyone has the right for meetings.

II. Everyone has the right, having notified respective governmental bodies in advance, peacefully and without arms, meet with other people, organize meetings, demonstrations, processions, place pickets.

Article 50. Freedom of information

I. Everyone is free to look for, acquire, transfer, prepare and distribute information.

II. Freedom of mass media is guaranteed. State censorship in mass media, including press is prohibited.

III. Everyone’s right to refute or react to the information published in the media and violating his or her rights or damaging his or her reputation shall be guaranteed.

Article 51. Freedom of creative activity

I. Everyone is free to carry out creative activity.

II. The state guarantees freedom in literary-artistic, scientific-technical and other kinds of creative activity.

Article 52. Right for citizenship

A person having political and legal relations with the Azerbaijan Republic and also mutual rights and obligations is the citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic. A person born on the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic or by citizens of the Azerbaijan Republic is the citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic. A person is the citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic if one of his/her parents is the citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Article 53. Guarantee of right for citizenship

I. In no circumstances a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic may be deprived of citizenship of the Azerbaijan Republic.

II. In no circumstances a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic may be expelled from the Azerbaijan Republic or extradited to foreign state.

III. The Azerbaijan Republic ensures legal protection and patronizes citizens of the Azerbaijan Republic temporarily or permanently living outside the Republic.

Article 54. Right to take part in political life of society and state

I. Citizens of the Azerbaijan Republic have the right to take part in political life of society and state without restrictions.

II. Any citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic has the right himself to stand up to the attempt of rebellion against the state or state coup.

Article 55. Right to take part in governing the state

I. Citizens of the Azerbaijan Republic have the right to take part in governing the state. They may exercise said right themselves or through their representatives.

II. Citizens of the Azerbaijan Republic have the right to work in governmental bodies. Officials of state bodies are appointed from citizens of the Azerbaijan Republic. Foreign citizens and stateless citizens may be employed into state organizations in an established order.

Article 56. Electoral right

I. Citizens of the Azerbaijan Republic have the right to elect and be elected to state bodies and also to take part in referendum.

II. Those recognized incapable by law court have no right to take part in elections and in referendum.

III. Participation in elections of military personnel, judges, state employees, religious officials, persons imprisoned by decision of law court, other persons specified in the present Constitution and laws might be restricted by law.

Article 57. Right to appeal

I. Citizens of the Azerbaijan Republic have the right to appeal personally and also to submit individual and collective written applications to state bodies. Each application should be responded to in an established order and term.

II. Citizens of the Azerbaijan Republic have the right to criticize activity or work of state bodies, their officials, political parties, trade unions, other public organizations and also activity or work of individuals. Prosecution for criticism is prohibited. Insult or libel shall not be regarded as criticism.

Article 58. Right for joining

I. Everyone is free to join other people.

II. Everyone has the right to establish any union, including political party, trade union and other public organization or enter existing organizations. Unrestricted activity of all unions is ensured.

III. Nobody may be forced to joint any union or remain its member.

IV. Activity of unions intended for forcible overthrow of legal state power on the whole territory of the Azerbaijan Republic or on a part thereof is prohibited. Activity of unions which violates the Constitution and laws might be stopped by decision of law court.

Article 59. Right for business activity

Everyone may, using his/her possibilities, abilities and property, according to existing legislation, individually or together with other citizens, carry out business activity or other kinds of economic activity not prohibited by the law.

Article 60. Guarantee of rights and liberties by law court

I. Legal protection of rights and liberties of every citizen is ensured.

II. Everyone may appeal to law court regarding decisions and activity (or inactivity) of state bodies, political parties, trade unions, other public organizations and officials.

Article 61. Right for legal advice

I. Everyone has the right for obtaining qualified legal advice.

II. IIn specific cases envisaged by legislation legal advice shall be rendered free, at the governmental expense.

III. Every citizen has the right for the lawyer's advice from the moment of detention, arrest or accusation with crime by competent state bodies.

Article 62. Inadmissibility of change of legal jurisdiction

Everyone has the right for consideration of his/her case in the law court specified by the legislation. Case of the person shall not be considered in other law court without the person's consent.

Article 63. Presumption of innocence

I. Everyone is entitled for presumption of innocence. Everyone who is accused of crime shall be considered innocent until his guilt is proved legally and if no verdict of law court has been brought into force.

II. A person under suspicion of crime must not be considered guilty.

III. A person accused of crime does not need to prove his/her innocence.

IV. Proofs received against the law must not be used when administering justice.

V. Nobody may be accused of crime without the verdict of law court.

Article 64. Inadmissibility of repeated conviction for one and the same crime

Nobody may be repeatedly sentenced for one and the same crime.

Article 65. Right for repeated appeal to the law court

Every person convicted by the law court has the right to appeal, as specified by the law, to the higher law court asking for reconsideration of the verdict and also for pardon and mitigation of the sentence.

Article 66. Inadmissibility of testifying against relations

Nobody may be forced to testify against him/herself, wife (husband), children, parents, brother, sister. Complete list of relations against whom testifying is not obligatory is specified by law.

Article 67. Rights of Those Detained, Arrested and Accused charged of a Crime

I. Every person who has been detained, arrested, accused charged of a crime by an authorized state body shall be informed immediately about his or her rights, and reasons for the detention, arrest, and institution of criminal proceedings shall be explained.

II. Every person accused of a criminal offence shall be heard before being sentenced.

Article 68. Right for compensation of losses

I. Rights of the person suffered from crime and also from usurpation of power are protected by law. Suffered person has the right to take part in administration of justice and demand for compensation of losses.

II. Everyone has the right for compensation by the state of losses borne as a result of illegal actions or non-action of state bodies or their officials.

Article 69. Right of foreign citizens and stateless persons

I. Foreign citizens and stateless persons staying in the Azerbaijan Republic may enjoy all rights and must fulfil all obligations like citizens of the Azerbaijan Republic if not specified by legislation or international agreement in which the Azerbaijan Republic is one of the parties.

II. Rights and liberties of foreign citizens and stateless persons permanently living or temporarily staying on the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic may be restricted only according to international legal standards and laws of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Article 70. Right for political refuge

I. In accordance with recognized international legal standards the Azerbaijan Republic grants political refuge to foreign citizens and stateless persons.

II. Extradition of persons persecuted for their political beliefs and also for acts which are not regarded as crime in the Azerbaijan Republic is not permitted.

Article 71. Protection of rights and liberties of a human being and citizen

I. To observe and to protect rights and liberties of a human being and citizen specified in the Constitution-is responsibility of bodies of legislative, executive and legal power.

II. No one may restrict implementation of rights and liberties of a human being and citizen. Everyone’s rights and freedoms are limited by the grounds provided for in this Constitution and laws, as well as by the rights and freedoms of others.

III. Rights and liberties of a human being and citizen may be partially and temporarily restricted on announcement of war, martial law and state of emergency, and also mobilization, taking into consideration international obligations of the Azerbaijan Republic. Population of the Republic shall be notified in advance about restrictions as regards their rights and liberties.

IV. Nobody, in no circumstances may be forced to promulgate his/her religious and other beliefs, thoughts and to be persecuted for such.

V. None of the provisions of Constitution may be interpreted as regulation directed to prohibition of rights and liberties of a human being and citizen.

VI. Rights and liberties of a human being and citizen act on the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic by themselves.

VII. Any arguments related to violation of rights and liberties of a human being and citizen are settled in law courts.

VIII. No one will be responsible for acts which were not considered criminal at the moment of their implementation. If after the crime new law was introduced envisaging no responsibility or mitigation of responsibility, said new law shall apply.

IX. Everyone may conduct actions not prohibited by law and no one may be forced to conduct actions not envisaged by law.

X. The state institutions may function only on the basis of this Constitution, in the manner and within the boundaries prescribed by law.