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Constitution of Macedonia (1991, rev. 2011)

1The following text is from the Constitute Project, who through a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License, has generously made this content available for use for noncommercial purposes. Follow (right-click) the links and read the annotation to learn more. 1

2


3Preamble

4Taking as the points of departure the historical, cultural, spiritual and statehood heritage of the Macedonian people and their struggle over centuries for national and social freedom as well as for the creation of their own state, and particularly the traditions of statehood and legality of the Krushevo Republic and the historic decisions of the Anti-Fascist Assembly of the People's Liberation of Macedonia, together with the constitutional and legal continuity of the Macedonian state as a sovereign republic within Federal Yugoslavia and the freely manifested will of the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia in the referendum of September 8th, 1991, as well as the historical fact that Macedonia is established as a national state of the Macedonian people, in which full equality as citizens and permanent co-existence with the Macedonian people is provided for Albanians, Turks, Vlachs, Romanies and other nationalities living in the Republic of Macedonia, and intent on:

5the establishment of the Republic of Macedonia as a sovereign and independent state, as well as a civil and democratic one;

6the establishment and consolidation of the rule of law as a fundamental system of government;

7the guaranteeing of human rights, citizens, freedoms and ethnic equality;

8the provision of peace and a common home for the Macedonian people with the nationalities living in the Republic of Macedonia; and on

9the provision of social justice, economic wellbeing and prosperity in the life of the individual and the community,

10the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia adopts THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA

11I. BASIC PROVISIONS

12ARTICLE 1

13The Republic of Macedonia is a sovereign, independent, democratic and social state.

14The sovereignty of the Republic of Macedonia is indivisible, inalienable and nontransferable.

15ARTICLE 2

16Sovereignty in the Republic of Macedonia derives from the citizens and belongs to the citizens.

17The citizens of the Republic of Macedonia exercise their authority through democratically elected Representatives, through referendum and through other forms of direct expression.

18ARTICLE 3

19The territory of the Republic of Macedonia is indivisible and inalienable.

20The existing borders of the Republic of Macedonia are inviolable.

21The borders of the Republic of Macedonia may be changed only in accordance with the Constitution.

22ARTICLE 4

23Citizens of the Republic of Macedonia have citizenship of the Republic of Macedonia.

24A subject of the Republic of Macedonia may neither be deprived of citizenship, nor expelled or extradited to another state.

25Citizenship of the Republic of Macedonia is regulated by law.

26ARTICLE 5

27The state symbols of the Republic of Macedonia are the coat of arms, the flag and the national anthem.

28The coat of arms, the flag and the national anthem of the Republic of Macedonia are adopted by law by a two-thirds majority vote of the total number of Assembly Representatives.

29ARTICLE 6

30The capital of the Republic of Macedonia is Skopje.

31ARTICLE 7

32The Macedonian language, written using its Cyrillic alphabet, is the official language in the Republic of Macedonia.

33In the units of local self-government where the majority of the inhabitants belong to a nationality, in addition to the Macedonian language and Cyrillic alphabet, their language and alphabet are also in official use, in a manner determined by law.

34In the units of local self-government where there is a considerable number of inhabitants belonging to a nationality, their language and alphabet are also in official use, in addition to the Macedonian language and Cyrillic alphabet, under conditions and in a manner determined by law.

35ARTICLE 8

36The fundamental values of the constitutional order of the Republic of Macedonia are:

37the basic freedoms and rights of the individual and citizen, recognized in international law and set down in the Constitution;

38the free expression of national identity;

39the rule of law;

40the division of state powers into legislative, executive and judicial;

41political pluralism and free, direct and democratic elections;

42the legal protection of property;

43the freedom of the market and entrepreneurship;

44humanism, social justice and solidarity;

45local self-government;

46proper urban and rural planning to promote a congenial human environment, as well as ecological protection and development; and

47respect for the generally accepted norms of international law.

48Anything that is not prohibited by the Constitution of by law is permitted in the Republic of Macedonia.

49II. BASIC FREEDOMS AND RIGHTS OF THE INDIVIDUAL AND CITIZEN

501. CIVIL AND POLITICAL FREEDOMS AND RIGHTS

51ARTICLE 9

52Citizens of the Republic of Macedonia are equal in their freedoms and rights, regardless of sex, race, colour of skin, national and social origin, political and religious beliefs, property and social status.

53All citizens are equal before the Constitution and law.

54ARTICLE 10

55The human right to life is irrevocable.

56The death penalty shall not be imposed on any grounds whatsoever in the Republic of Macedonia.

57ARTICLE 11

58The human right to physical and moral dignity is irrevocable.

59Any form of torture, or inhuman or humiliating conduct or punishment, is prohibited.

60Forced labour is prohibited.

61ARTICLE 12

62The human right to freedom is irrevocable.

63No person’s freedom can be restricted except by a court decision or in cases and procedures determined by law.

64Persons summoned, apprehended or detained shall immediately be informed of the reasons for the summons, apprehension or detention and on their rights. They shall not be forced to make a statement. A person has a right to an attorney in police and court procedure.

65Persons detained shall be brought before a court as soon as possible, within a maximum period of 24 hours from the moment of detention, and the legality of their detention shall there be decided upon without delay.

66Detention may last, by court decision, for a maximum period of 90 days from the day of detention.

67Persons detained may, under the conditions determined by law, be released from custody to conduct their defence.

68ARTICLE 13

69A person indicted for an offence shall be considered innocent until his/her guilt is established by a legally valid court verdict.

70A person unlawfully detained, apprehended or convicted has a right to legal redress and other rights determined by law.

71ARTICLE 14

72No person may be punished for an offence which had not been declared an offence punishable by law, or by other acts, prior to its being committed, and for which no punishment had been prescribed.

73No person may be tried in a court of law for an offence for which he/she has already been tried and for which a legally valid court verdict has already been brought.

74ARTICLE 15

75The right to appeal against individual legal acts issued in a first instance proceedings by a court, administrative body, organization or other institution carrying out public mandates is guaranteed.

76ARTICLE 16

77The freedom of personal conviction, conscience, thought and public expression of thought is guaranteed.

78The freedom of speech, public address, public information and the establishment of institutions for public information is guaranteed.

79Free access to information and the freedom of reception and transmission of information are guaranteed.

80The right of reply via the mass media is guaranteed.

81The right to a correction in the mass media is guaranteed.

82The right to protect a source of information in the mass media is guaranteed.

83Censorship is prohibited.

84ARTICLE 17

85The freedom and confidentiality of correspondence and other forms of communication is guaranteed.

86Only a court decision may authorize non-application of the principle of the inviolability of the confidentiality of correspondence and other forms of communication, in cases where it is indispensable to a criminal investigation or required in the interests of the defence of the Republic.

87ARTICLE 18

88The security and confidentiality of personal information are guaranteed. Citizens are guaranteed protection from any violation of their personal integrity deriving from the registration of personal information through data processing.

89ARTICLE 19

90The freedom of religious confession is guaranteed. The right to express one's faith freely and publicly, individually or with others is guaranteed. The Macedonian Orthodox Church and other religious communities and groups are separate from the state and equal before the law. The Macedonian Orthodox Church and other religious communities and groups are free to establish schools and other social and charitable institutions, by way of a procedure regulated by law.

91ARTICLE 20

92Citizens are guaranteed freedom of association to exercise and protect their political, economic, social, cultural and other rights and convictions.

93Citizens may freely establish associations of citizens and political parties, join them or resign from them.

94The programmes and activities of political parties and other associations of citizens may not be directed at the violent destruction of the constitutional order of the Republic, or at encouragement or incitement to military aggression or ethnic, racial or religious hatred or intolerance.

95Military or paramilitary associations which do not belong to the Armed Forces of the Republic of Macedonia are prohibited.

96ARTICLE 21

97Citizens have the right to assemble peacefully and to express public protest without prior announcement or a special license.

98The exercise of this right may be restricted only during a state of emergency or war.

99ARTICLE 22

100Every citizen on reaching 18 years of age acquires the right to vote. The right to vote is equal, universal and direct, and is exercised at free elections by secret ballot. Persons deprived of the right to practice their profession by a court verdict do not have the right to vote.

101ARTICLE 23

102Every citizen has the right to take part in the performance of public office.

103ARTICLE 24

104Every citizen has a right to petition state and other public bodies, as well as to receive an answer.

105A citizen cannot be called to account or suffer adverse consequences for attitudes expressed in petitions, unless they entail the committing of a criminal offence.

106ARTICLE 25

107Each citizen is guaranteed the respect and protection of the privacy of his/her personal and family life and of his/her dignity and repute.

108ARTICLE 26

109The inviolability of the home is guaranteed.

110The right to the inviolability of the home may be restricted only by a court decision in cases of the detection or prevention of criminal offences or the protection of people’s health.

111ARTICLE 27

112Every citizen of the Republic of Macedonia has the right of free movement on the territory of the Republic and freely to chose his/her place of residence. Every citizen has the right to leave the territory of the Republic and to return to the Republic. The exercise of these rights may be restricted by law only in cases where it is necessary for the protection of the security of the Republic, criminal investigation or protection of people’s health.

113ARTICLE 28

114The defence of the Republic of Macedonia is the right and duty of every citizen. The exercise of this right and duty of citizen is regulated by law.

115ARTICLE 29

116Foreign subjects enjoy freedoms and rights guaranteed by the Constitution in the Republic of Macedonia, under conditions regulated by law and international agreements. The Republic guarantees the right of asylum to foreign subjects and stateless persons expelled because of democratic political convictions and activities. Extradition of a foreign subject can be carried out only on the basis of a ratified international agreement and on the principle of reciprocity. A foreign subject cannot be extradited for political criminal offences. Acts of terrorism are not regarded as political criminal offences.

1172. ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS

118ARTICLE 30

119The right to ownership of property and the right of inheritance are guaranteed. Ownership of property creates rights and duties and should serve the wellbeing of both the individual and the community. No person may be deprived of his/her property or of the rights deriving from it, except in cases concerning the public interest determined by law. If property is expropriated or restricted, rightful compensation not lower than its market value is guaranteed.

120ARTICLE 31

121Foreign subjects in the Republic of Macedonia may acquire the right of ownership of property under conditions determined by law.

122ARTICLE 32

123Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, protection at work and material assistance during temporary unemployment.

124Every job is open to all under equal conditions.

125Every employee has a right to appropriate remuneration.

126Every employee has the right to paid daily, weekly and annual leave. Employees cannot waive this right.

127The exercise of the rights of employees and their position are regulated by law and collective agreements.

128ARTICLE 33

129Everyone is obliged to pay tax and other public contributions, as well as to share in the discharge of public expenditure in a manner determined by law.

130ARTICLE 34

131Citizens have a right to social security and social insurance, determined by law and collective agreement.

132ARTICLE 35

133The Republic provides for the social protection and social security of citizens in accordance with the principle of social justice.

134The Republic guarantees the right of assistance to citizens who are infirm or unfit for work.

135The Republic provides particular protection for invalid persons, as well as conditions for their involvement in the life of the society.

136ARTICLE 36

137The Republic guarantees particular social security rights to veterans of the Anti-Fascist War and of all Macedonian national liberation wars, to war invalids, to those expelled and imprisoned for the ideas of the separate identity of the Macedonian people and of Macedonian statehood, as well as to members of their families without means of material and social subsistence.

138The particular rights are regulated by law.

139ARTICLE 37

140In order to exercise their economic and social rights, citizens have the right to establish trade unions. Trade unions can constitute confederations and become members of international trade union organizations.

141The law may restrict the conditions for the exercise of the right to trade union organization in the armed forces, the police and administrative bodies.

142ARTICLE 38

143The right to strike is guaranteed. The law may restrict the conditions for the exercise of the right to strike in the armed forces, the police and administrative bodies.

144ARTICLE 39

145Every citizen is guaranteed the right to health care.

146Citizens have the right and duty to protect and promote their own health and the health of others.

147ARTICLE 40

148The Republic provides particular care and protection for the family.

149The legal relations in marriage, the family and cohabitation are regulated by law.

150Parents have the right and duty to provide for the nurturing and education of their children. Children are responsible for the care of their old and infirm parents.

151The Republic provides particular protection for parentless children and children without parental care.

152ARTICLE 41

153It is a human right freely to decide on the procreation of children.

154The Republic conducts a humane population policy in order to provide balanced economic and social development.

155ARTICLE 42

156The Republic particularly protects mothers, children and minors.

157A person under 15 years of age cannot be employed.

158Minors and mothers have the right to particular protection at work.

159Minors may not be employed in work which is detrimental to their health or morality.

160ARTICLE 43

161Everyone has the right to a healthy environment to live in.

162Everyone is obliged to promote and protect the environment.

163The Republic provides conditions for the exercise of the right of citizens to a healthy environment.

164ARTICLE 44

165Everyone has a right to education. Education is accessible to everyone under equal conditions. primary education is compulsory and free.

166ARTICLE 45

167Citizens have a right to establish private at schools at all levels of education, with the exception of primary education, under conditions determined by law.

168ARTICLE 46

169The autonomy of universities is guaranteed. The conditions of establishment, performance and termination of the activities of a university are regulated by law.

170ARTICLE 47

171The freedom of scholarly, artistic and other forms of creative work is guaranteed.

172Rights deriving from scholarly, artistic or other intellectual creative work are guaranteed.

173The Republic stimulates, assists and protects the development of scholarship, the arts and culture.

174The Republic stimulates and assists scientific and technological development.

175The Republic stimulates and assists technical education and sport.

176ARTICLE 48

177Members of nationalities have a right freely to express, foster and develop their identity and national attributes.

178The Republic guarantees the protection of the ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity of the nationalities.

179Members of the nationalities have the right to establish institutions for culture and art, as well as scholarly and other associations for the expression, fostering and development of their identity.

180Members of the nationalities have the right to instruction in their language in primary and secondary education, as determined by law. In schools where education is carried out in the language of a nationality, the Macedonian language is also studied.

181ARTICLE 49

182The Republic cares for the status and rights of those persons belonging to the Macedonian people in neighbouring countries, as well as Macedonian expatriates, assists their cultural development and promotes links with them.

183The Republic cares for the cultural, economic and social rights of the citizens of the Republic abroad.

1843. GUARANTEES OF BASIC FREEDOMS AND RIGHTS

185ARTICLE 50

186Every citizen may invoke the protection of freedoms and rights determined by the Constitution before the regular courts, as well as before the Constitutional Court of Macedonia, through a procedure based upon the principles of priority and urgency.

187Judicial protection of the legality of individual acts of state administration, as well as of other institutions carrying out public mandates, is guaranteed.

188A citizen has the right to be informed on human rights and basic freedoms as well as actively to contribute, individually or jointly with others, to their promotion and protection.

189ARTICLE 51

190In the Republic of Macedonia laws shall be in accordance with the Constitution and all other regulations in accordance with the Constitution and law. Everyone is obliged to respect the Constitution and the laws.

191ARTICLE 52

192Laws and other regulations are published before they come into force. Laws and other regulations are published in "The Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia" at most seven days after the day of their adoption. Laws come into force on the eighth day after the day of their publication at the earliest, or on the day of publication in exceptional cases determined by the Assembly. Laws and other regulations may not have a retroactive effect, except in cases when this is more favourable for the citizens.

193ARTICLE 53

194Attorneyship is an autonomous and independent public service, providing legal assistance and carrying out public mandates in accordance with the law.

195ARTICLE 54

196The freedoms and rights of the individual and citizen can be restricted only in cases determined by the Constitution.

197The freedoms and rights of the individual and citizen can be restricted during states of war or emergency, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. The restriction of freedoms and rights cannot discriminate on grounds of sex, race, colour of skin, language, religion, national or social origin, property or social status.

198The restriction of freedoms and rights cannot be applied to the right to life, the interdiction of torture, inhuman and humiliating conduct and punishment, the legal determination of punishable offences and sentences, as well as to the freedom of personal conviction, conscience, thought and religious confession.

1994. FOUNDATIONS FOR ECONOMIC RELATIONS

200ARTICLE 55

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