Constitution of the Azerbaijan Republic
The people of Azerbaijan, continuing their centuries-long tradition of statehood, governed by the principles espoused in the Constitutional Act «On the State Independence of the Azerbaijan Republic» desirous of securing prosperity for society as a whole and for each individual, wishing to inculcate justice, freedom and security, recognizing their responsibility before past, present and future generations and exercising their sovereign rights, hereby solemnly declare the following intentions:
- to protect the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Azerbaijan Republic;
- to guarantee a democratic system within the framework of the Constitution;
- to achieve the establishment of a civil society;
- to build a law-based, secular State where the supremacy of law as an expression of the will of the people is guaranteed;
- to provide a worthy standard of living for all people in conformity with a just economic and social order;
- to remain faithful to universal human values, to live in peace, friendship and security with other nations, and towards this end, to cooperate with these nations for mutual benefit.
In the name of these worthy ideals, this Constitution is hereby adopted by popular vote.
First Section. General
Chapter I. People's power
Article 1. The source of power
I. The sole source of state power in the Azerbaijan Republic are the people of Azerbaijan.
II. People of Azerbaijan are citizens of the Azerbaijan Republic living on the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic and outside it who are subordinate to the Azerbaijan state and its laws which does not exclude standards of international legislation.
Article 2. Sovereignty of people
I. Sovereign right of the Azerbaijanian people is the right of free and independent determination of their destiny and establishment of their own form of governance.
II. The people of Azerbaijan exercise their sovereign right directly-by way of nation-wide voting-referendum, and through their representatives elected based on universal, equal and direct suffrage by way of free, secret and personal ballot.
Article 3. Questions solved by way of nation-wide voting-referendum
I. People of Azerbaijan may solve any questions involving their rights and interests by way of referendum.
II. The following questions may be solved only by way of referendum:
1) acceptance of the Constitution of the Azerbaijan Republic and introduction of amendments thereto;
2) change of state borders of the Azerbaijan Republic.
III. The following questions cannot be solved by way of referendum:
1) taxes and state budget;
2) amnesty and grant of pardon;
3) election, appointment of officials or appointment confirmation, election, appointment or appointment confirmation of which is respectively regarded as a power of legislative and/or executive power bodies. (1)
Article 4. Right to represent the people
No one except authorized representatives elected by the people will have the right to represent the people, speak on behalf of people and to make statements on behalf of people.
Article 5. Unity of people
I. The people of Azerbaijan are united.
II. Unity of the Azerbaijanian people constitutes the basis of the Azerbaijanian state. Azerbaijan Republic is mutual and indivisible motherland for all citizens of the Azerbaijan Republic.
Article 6. Inadmissibility of usurpation of power
I. No part of people of Azerbaijan, no social group or organization, no individual may usurp the right for execution of power.
II. Usurpation of power is the most grave crime against the people.
Chapter II. Basis of state
Article 7. Azerbaijanian state
I. Azerbaijanian state is democratic, legal, secular, unitary republic.
II. In terms of internal problems state power in the Azerbaijan Republic is limited only by law, in terms of foreign policy-by provisions resulting from international agreements, wherein the Azerbaijan Republic is one of the parties.
III. State power in the Azerbaijan Republic is based on a principle of division of powers:
- Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic exercises legislative power;
- executive power belongs to the President of the Azerbaijan Republic;
- law courts of the Azerbaijan Republic exercise judicial power.
IV. According to provisions of the present Constitution legislative, executive and judicial power interact and are independent within the limits of their authority.
Article 8. The Head of the Azerbaijanian state
I. The President of the Azerbaijan Republic is the Head of the Azerbaijanian state. He represents Azerbaijanian state both within the country and in its relations with foreign countries.
II. The President of the Azerbaijan Republic represents unity of Azerbaijanian people and provides continuity of the Azerbaijanian statehood.
III. The President of the Azerbaijan Republic is guarantor of independence and territorial integrity of the Azerbaijanian state, observance of international agreements wherein the Azerbaijan Republic is one of the parties.
IV. The President of the Azerbaijan Republic is guarantor of independence of judicial power.
Article 9. Military forces
I. In order to provide its safety and defend itself the Azerbaijan Republic establishes Military forces and other military troops
II. The Azerbaijan Republic rejects a war as a means of infringement on independence of other states and way of settlement of international conflicts.
III. The President of the Azerbaijan Republic is the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of Military Forces of the Azerbaijan Republic.
Article 10. Principles of international relations
Azerbaijan Republic develops its relations with other countries based on principles recognized in international legal standards.
Article 11. Territory
I. The territory of the Azerbaijan Republic is sole, inviolable and indivisible.
II. Internal waters of the Azerbaijan Republic, sector of the Caspian Sea (lake) belonging to the Azerbaijan Republic, air space over the Azerbaijan Republic are integral parts of the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic.
III. No part of territory of the Azerbaijan Republic may be estranged. The Azerbaijan Republic will not give any part of its territory to anybody; state borders of the Azerbaijan Republic might be changed only by free decision of its peoples made by way of referendum declared by Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic.
Article 12. The highest priority objective of the state
I. Ensuring the rights and liberties of a person and a citizen, decent living conditions for the citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan is the highest objective of the State.
II. Rights and liberties of a person and citizen listed in the present Constitution are implemented in accordance with international treaties wherein the Azerbaijan Republic is one of the parties.(2)
Article 13. Property
I. The property in the Azerbaijan Republic is inviolable and is protected by state.
II. The property may be state, private and municipal.
III. The property may not be used for restriction of rights and liberties of a person and citizen, interests of society and state, dignity of a person.
Article 14. Natural resources
Without prejudice to rights and interests of any physical persons and legal entities natural resources belong to the Azerbaijan Republic.
Article 15. Economic development and state
I. Development of economy based on various forms of property in the Azerbaijan Republic is aimed to prosperity of people.
II. Based on market relationships the Azerbaijani state creates conditions for development of a socially oriented economy, guarantees free business activity, prevents monopoly and unfair competition in economic relations.(2)
Article 16. Social development and state
I. Azerbaijanian state takes care about improvement of prosperity of all people and each citizen, their social protection and proper living conditions.
II. Azerbaijanian state participates in development of culture, education, public health, science, arts, protects environment, historical, material and spiritual heritage of people.
Article 17. Family, children and state
I. Family as a basic element of society is under special protection of the state.
II. Parents must take care of their children and their education. The state controls implementation of this responsibility.
III. Children who do not have parents or guardians and are deprived of parental care are under the protection of the State.
IV. It is prohibited to involve children in activities that may cause threat to their lives, health, and morality.
V. Children under the age of 15 may not be employed for work.
VI. The State control exercising of children's rights.(2)
Article 18. Religion and state
I. Religion in the Azerbaijan Republic is separated from state. All religions are equal before the law.
II. Spreading and propaganda of religion (religious movements), humiliating people's dignity and contradicting the principles of humanism are prohibited.
III. State educational system is secular.(2)
Article 19. Monetary unit
I. Monetary unit of the Azerbaijan Republic is manat.
II. Only National Bank has the right of introducing money into circulation and withdrawal them from circulation. National Bank of the Azerbaijan Republic belongs exclusively to the state.
III. Use of other monetary units, besides manat, on the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic is prohibited.
Article 20. Restrictions concerning state debts
Debts made with intention of assisting in revolts against the Azerbaijanian state or coup shall not be accepted by the Azerbaijan Republic as liabilities and paid.
Article 21. Official language
I. Azerbaijanian language is official language of the Azerbaijan Republic. Azerbaijan Republic provides development of the Azerbaijanian language.
II. Azerbaijan Republic ensures free use and development of other languages spoken by the people.
Article 22. Capital
Baku is the capital of the Azerbaijan Republic.
Article 23. Symbols of the Azerbaijanian state
I. State flag of the Azerbaijan Republic, State Emblem of the Azerbaijan Republic and State hymn of the Azerbaijan Republic are state symbols of the Azerbaijan Republic.
State flag of the Azerbaijan Republic consists of three horizontal stripes of same width. Upper stripe is blue, middle stripe is red, and the lower one is green; in the middle of red stripe on both sides of the flag white crescent with eight-pointed star are depicted. Width of the flag constitutes half of its length
III. Appearance of state flag of the Azerbaijan Republic and State Emblem of the Azerbaijan Republic, music and text of State hymn of the Azerbaijan Republic are specified by Constitutional Law of the Azerbaijan Republic.