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Constitution of Moldova (1994, rev. 2006)

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3Preamble

4WE, the plenipotentiary representatives of the people of the Republic of Moldova, members of the Parliament,

5STARTING from the age-old aspirations of our people to live in a sovereign country, expressed by the proclamation of independence of the Republic of Moldova,

6TAKING DUE ACCOUNT to the continuity of the Moldavian people statehood within the historical and ethnic framework of its growing as a nation,

7STRIVING to satisfy the interests of citizens of a different ethnic origin, which together with the Moldavians, constitute the Republic of Moldova people,

8CONSIDERING the rule of law, civic peace, democracy, human dignity, fundamental human rights and freedoms, the free development of human personality, justice and political pluralism as supreme values,

9BEING AWARE of our responsibility and obligations towards the previous, present and future generations,

10REASSERTING our devotion to overall human values and desire to live in peace and harmony with all world-wide peoples, in compliance with the unanimously acknowledged principles and norms of the international law,

11We herewith adopt the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, and declare it as the SUPREME LAW OF OUR SOCIETY AND STATE.

12TITLE I. GENERAL PRINCIPLES

13ARTICLE 1. STATE OF THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA

141. The Republic of Moldova is a sovereign, independent, unitary and indivisible state.

152. The form of government of the State is the republic.

163. The Republic of Moldova is a democratic and governed by the rule of law State, in which human dignity, his/her rights and freedoms, the free development of human personality, justice and political pluralism represent supreme values and shall be guaranteed.

17ARTICLE 2. SOVEREIGNTY AND STATE POWER

181. National sovereignty resides with the Republic of Moldova people, who shall directly and through its representative bodies exercise it in the manners provided for by the Constitution.

192. Neither an individual person or a group of people, nor a social group, a political party or any other public organization may exercise the State power on their own behalf. The usurpation of the State power shall constitute the gravest crime against the people.

20ARTICLE 3. TERRITORY

211. The territory of the Republic of Moldova is inalienable.

222. The borders of the country shall be sanctioned by an organic law under the observance of unanimously recognized principles and norms of the international law.

23ARTICLE 4. HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS

241. Constitutional provisions on human rights and freedoms shall be interpreted and enforced in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, other conventions and treaties to which the Republic of Moldova is a party.

252. Wherever disagreements appear between the conventions and treaties on fundamental human rights to which the Republic of Moldova is a party and its domestic laws, priority shall be given to international regulations.

26ARTICLE 5. DEMOCRACY AND POLITICAL PLURALISM

271. Democracy in the Republic of Moldova shall be exercised under the conditions of political pluralism, which is incompatible with the dictatorship or totalitarianism.

282. No ideology may be instituted as official ideology of the State.

29ARTICLE 6. SEPARATION AND COOPERATION OF POWERS

30In the Republic of Moldova the legislature, the executive and the judiciary shall be separate and cooperate in the exercise of the assigned prerogatives pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution.

31ARTICLE 7. CONSTITUTION - THE SUPREME LAW

32The Constitution of the Republic of Moldova shall be the Supreme Law of the State. No law or any other legal act, which contravenes the provisions of the Constitution, shall have legal force.

33ARTICLE 8. OBSERVANCE OF THE INTERNATIONAL LAW AND INTERNATIONAL TREATIES

341. The Republic of Moldova pledges to observe the Charter of the United Nations Organization and the treaties to which it is a party, to institute relationships with other states on the basis of unanimously recognized principles and norms of the international law.

352. The coming into force of an international treaty containing provisions contrary to the Constitution shall be preceded by a revision of the latter.

36ARTICLE 9. FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES REGARDING PROPERTY

371. Property shall be public and private. It shall be constituted of material and intellectual goods.

382. No property may be used to the prejudice of human rights, liberties and dignity.

393. The market, free economic initiative and fair competition shall represent the main elements of the economy.

40ARTICLE 10. UNITY OF THE PEOPLE AND THE RIGHT TO NATIONAL IDENTITY

411. The State foundation is laid on the unity of the Republic of Moldova people. The Republic of Moldova is the common and indivisible motherland of all its citizens.

422. The State shall recognize and guarantee the right of all citizens to the preservation, development and expression of their ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity.

43ARTICLE 11. REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA - A NEUTRAL STATE

441. The Republic of Moldova proclaims its permanent neutrality.

452. The Republic of Moldova shall not allow the dispersal of foreign military troops on its territory.

46ARTICLE 12. SYMBOLS OF THE STATE

471. The Republic of Moldova has a flag, coat of arms and anthem.

482. The State flag of the Republic of Moldova shall be a tricolour. The colours are arranged vertically in the following order from the flagpole: blue, yellow, and red. The coat of arms is printed on the central yellow stripe of the tricolour.

493. The State coat of arms shall consist of a shield divided horizontally into two parts: the upper part being of a red chromatics and the lower part - blue chromatics with a superimposed auroch's head showing between its horns an eight-pointed star. On its right the auroch's head is flanked by a five-petalled rose, and on its left by a slightly rotated crescent. All heraldic elements present on the shield are of golden (yellow) colour. The shield is laid on the breast of a natural eagle holding in its beak a golden cross, in its right claw a green olive-tree branch and in its left claw a golden sceptre.

504. The State anthem of the Republic of Moldova shall be established by organic law.

515. The flag, coat of arms and anthem shall be considered the State symbols of the Republic of Moldova and shall be protected by law as such.

52ARTICLE 13. STATE LANGUAGE, USE OF OTHER LANGUAGES

531. The State language in the Republic of Moldova is the Moldavian language, and its writing is based on the Latin alphabet

542. The State shall acknowledge and protect the right to the preservation, development and use of the Russian language and other languages spoken within the territory of the State.

553. The State shall facilitate the study of languages of widespread international usage.

564. The manner of functioning of languages within the territory of the Republic of Moldova shall be established by organic law.

57ARTICLE 14. CAPITAL

58The capital of the Republic of Moldova is the city of Chisinau.

59TITLE II. FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS, FREEDOMS AND DUTIES

60CHAPTER I. GENERAL PROVISIONS

61ARTICLE 15. UNIVERSALITY

62All citizens of the Republic of Moldova shall enjoy the rights and freedoms granted to them by the Constitution and other laws and, are assigned the duties provided for thereby.

63ARTICLE 16. EQUALITY

641. The foremost duty of the State shall be the respect and protection of human person.

652. All citizens of the Republic of Moldova shall be equal before the law and public authorities, regardless of the race, nationality, ethnic origin, language, religion, sex, opinion, political affiliation, property or social origin.

66ARTICLE 17. CITIZENSHIP OF THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA

671. The citizenship of the Republic of Moldova shall be acquired, maintained or withdrawn under the conditions provided for by the organic law.

682. No one may be arbitrarily deprived of his/her citizenship or of the right to change the citizenship.

69ARTICLE 18. PROTECTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA CITIZENS

701. Citizens of the Republic of Moldova shall benefit by the State protection both within the country and abroad.

712. Citizens of the Republic of Moldova may not be extradited or expelled from the country.

72ARTICLE 19. LEGAL STATUS OF FOREIGN CITIZENS AND STATELESS PERSONS

731. Foreign citizens and stateless persons shall enjoy the similar rights and duties as the citizens of the Republic of Moldova, except for the terms under the law.

742. Foreign citizens and stateless persons may be extradited only in compliance with an international covenant, in terms of reciprocity or on the ground of a decision delivered by a law court.

753. The right to asylum shall be granted and withdrawn under the law and in compliance with the international treaties to which the Republic of Moldova is a party.

76ARTICLE 20. FREE ACCESS TO JUSTICE

771. Any individual person shall be entitled to obtain effective reparation from the part of competent courts of law against actions infringing upon his/her legitimate rights, freedoms and interests.

782. No law may restrict the access to justice.

79ARTICLE 21. PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE

80Any individual person indicted for having committed an offence shall be presumed innocent, until found guilty on legal grounds during a public trial in which all guarantees necessary for his/her defence have been brought forward.

81ARTICLE 22. NON-RETROACTIVITY OF THE LAW

82No one shall be sentenced for actions or drawbacks, which did not constitute an offence at the time they were committed. No punishment more severe than that applicable at the time when the offence was committed shall be imposed.

83ARTICLE 23. RIGHT OF EVERY PERSON TO BE ACKNOWLEDGED ON HIS/HER RIGHTS AND DUTIES

841. Every one shall have the right to an acknowledged legal status.

852. The State shall ensure the right of everyone to be aware of his/her rights and duties. For this purpose, the State shall publish and make accessible all the laws and other normative acts.

86CHAPTER II. FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS

87ARTICLE 24. RIGHT TO LIFE, TO PHYSICAL AND MENTAL INTEGRITY

881. The State shall guarantee to everyone the right to life, to physical and mental integrity.

892. No one shall be subject to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishments or treatments.

903. The capital punishment shall be abolished. No one shall be sentenced to such a penalty, nor executed.

91ARTICLE 25. INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM AND SECURITY OF PERSON

921. Individual freedom and security of person shall be inviolable.

932. Search, detainment in custody or arrest of a person shall be allowed only in cases and pursuant to the procedure foreseen by the law.

943. The period of detention in custody may not exceed 72 hours.

954. Arrest shall be made under a warrant issued by a judge for a period of 30 days at the most. The arrested person may lodge a complaint with a hierarchically superior court of law on the legality of the warrant, under the terms of law. The term of detention may be extended, under the law, only by the judge or court of law to 12 months at the most.

965. The detained in custody or arrested person shall be informed without delay on the reasons of his/her detention or arrest, and notified of the charges against him/her, as soon as possible; the notification of the charges shall be made only in the presence of a lawyer, either chosen by the defendant or appointed ex officio.

976. The release of the detained or arrested person shall be mandatory, if the reasons of his/her detention or arrest have been eliminated.

98ARTICLE 26. RIGHT TO DEFENCE

991. The right to defence shall be guaranteed.

1002. Everyone shall be entitled to respond independently by appropriate legitimate means to an infringement of his/her rights and freedoms.

1013. Throughout the trial the parties shall have the right to be assisted by a lawyer, either chosen or appointed ex officio.

1024. Any interference with the activity of the persons carrying out the defence within legally established limits shall be punishable by law.

103ARTICLE 27. RIGHT OF FREE MOVEMENT

1041. The right of free movement throughout the country shall be guaranteed.

1052. Every citizen of the Republic of Moldova shall be guaranteed the right to settle his/her domicile or place of residence anywhere within the national territory, to travel abroad, to emigrate and to return to the country.

106ARTICLE 28. INTIMATE, FAMILY AND PRIVATE LIFE

107The State shall respect and protect the intimate, family and private life.

108ARTICLE 29. INVIOLABILITY OF DOMICILE

1091. The domicile and place of residence shall be inviolable. No one may enter or remain within the premises of a person's domicile or place of residence without his/her consent.

1102. The law shall allow the derogation from the provisions of paragraph (1) under the following circumstances:

111a.for carrying into effect of an arrest warrant or a court sentence;

112b.for forestalling of an imminent danger threatening a person's life, physical integrity and belongings;

113c.for preventing the spreading of an epidemic disease.

1143. Searches and investigations on the spot shall be ordered and carried out only under the terms of law.

1154. House searches at night shall be forbidden except for the cases of a flagrant misdemeanour.

116ARTICLE 30. PRIVACY OF CORRESPONDENCE

1171. The State shall ensure the privacy of letters, telegrams and other postal despatches, as well as of telephone calls and other legal means of communication.

1182. The law shall allow the derogation from the provisions of paragraph (1) in cases the latter is required in the interests of national security, state economic welfare, public order and offence prevention.

119ARTICLE 31. FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE

1201. The freedom of conscience shall be guaranteed and its manifestations should be in a spirit of tolerance and mutual respect.

1212. The freedom of religious worships shall be guaranteed and they shall organize themselves and operate according to their own statutes under the rule of law.

1223. In the relationships between the religious cults any manifestation of discord shall be forbidden.

1234. The religious worships shall be autonomous, independent from the State and shall enjoy the latter's support, including by facilitating the religious assistance in the army, hospitals, penitentiaries, nursing homes and orphanages.

124ARTICLE 32. FREEDOM OF OPINION AND EXPRESSION

1251. Every citizen shall be guaranteed the freedom of thought and opinion, as well as the freedom of expression in public by way of word, image or any other means possible.

1262. The freedom of expression may not prejudice the honour, dignity or the right of the other person to hold his/her own viewpoint.

1273. The law shall forbid and prosecute all actions aimed at denying and slandering of the State and people, the instigation to sedition, war of aggression, national, racial or religious hatred, the incitement to discrimination, territorial separatism, public violence, or other manifestations encroaching upon the constitutional regime.

128ARTICLE 33. FREEDOM OF CREATION

1291. The freedom of the artistic and scientific creation shall be guaranteed. The creation whatsoever shall not be subject to censorship.

1302. The right of citizens to intellectual property, their material and moral interests related to various types of intellectual creation shall be protected by law.

1313. The State shall contribute to the preservation, development and propagation of national and world achievements in culture and science.

132ARTICLE 34. RIGHT OF ACCESS TO INFORMATION

1331. The right of a person to have access to any kind of information of public interest shall not be curtailed.

1342. Public authorities, pursuant to their assigned competence, shall be compelled to ensure that citizens are correctly informed both on public affairs and issues of personal interest.

1353. The right of access to information may not prejudice either the measures of citizens' protection or the national security.

1364. The state and private mass - media means shall be bound to provide the correct information to the public opinion.

1375. The public mass- media means shall not be subject to censorship.

138ARTICLE 35. RIGHT TO EDUCATION

1391. The right to education shall be put into effect by the compulsory comprehensive school system, lyceum education (secondary school) and vocational training, as well as the higher education system, and other forms of instruction and knowledge improvement.

1402. The State shall ensure, under the law, the right of anyone to choose the language in which the teaching and training are to be performed.

1413. The study of the official language shall be ensured within all types of educational institutions.

1424. The state education system shall be free.

1435. The educational institutions, including those not financed by the State, shall be set up and operate under the rule of law.

1446. Higher education institutions shall enjoy the right to autonomy.

1457. The state lyceum, vocational and higher education system shall be accessible to everyone on the basis of personal merits.

1468. The State shall ascertain, under the law, the freedom of religious education. The State education system shall be of a lay nature.

1479. The priority right to choose an appropriate field of instruction for the children lies with their parents.

148ARTICLE 36. RIGHT TO HEALTH PROTECTION

1491. The right to health protection shall be guaranteed.

1502. The minimum health insurance provided by the State shall be free.

1513. The structure of the national system of medical assistance and the necessary means aimed at protecting the individual physical and mental health shall be provided for by organic law.

152ARTICLE 37. RIGHT TO A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT

1531. Every human being shall have the right to live in an ecologically safe and healthy environment, to consume healthy food products and to use harmless household appliances.

1542. The State shall guarantee to anyone the right of free access and dissemination of the truthful information related to the environment state, living and working conditions, and the quality of food products and household appliances.

1553. Concealment or forgery of the information regarding the factors detrimental to human health shall be prohibited by law.

1564. Natural and legal entities shall be held liable for the damages caused to a person's health and property due to ecological trespasses.

157ARTICLE 38. RIGHT TO VOTE AND RIGHT TO STAND FOR ELECTION

1581. The people's will shall constitute the basis of the State power. This will is expressed by free elections periodically conducted and based on universal, equal, direct, secret and freely expressed suffrage.

1592. Except for the persons banned from voting by law, all citizens of the Republic of Moldova having attained the age of 18, including by the day of election, shall be entitled to vote.

1603. The right to stand for election shall be guaranteed, under the law, to all citizens of the Republic of Moldova enjoying the right to vote.

161ARTICLE 39. RIGHT OF ADMINISTERING

1621. Citizens of the Republic of Moldova shall benefit by the right to take part in the administration of public affairs, either directly or through their representatives.

1632. The access to a public office shall be guaranteed by law to any citizen of the Republic of Moldova.

164ARTICLE 40. FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY

165Meetings, demonstrations, rallies, processions or any other assembly shall be free and may be organized and conducted only peacefully and without the use of any weapon whatsoever.

166ARTICLE 41. FREEDOM OF PARTIES AND OTHER SOCIO-POLITICAL ORGANISATIONS

1671. All citizens shall be free to associate in parties and other socio-political organizations. These organizations shall contribute to the definition and expression of the citizens' political will and take part in the election process under the rule of law.

1682. All parties and other socio-political organizations shall be equal before the law.

1693. The State shall ensure the protection of the legitimate rights and interests of parties and other socio-political organizations.

1704. Parties and other socio-political organizations, which by their objectives or activities, are engaged in fighting against political pluralism, the principles of the state governed by the rule of law, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova shall be declared unconstitutional.

1715. Secret associations shall be forbidden.

1726. The activity of parties consisting of foreign nationals shall be forbidden.

1737. The organic law shall lay down those public offices whose holders may not join political parties.

174ARTICLE 42. RIGHT TO SET UP AND JOIN TRADE - UNIONS

1751. Any employee shall enjoy the right to set up and join trade - unions as to defend his/her interests.

1762. Trade - unions shall be founded and conduct their activities pursuant to their statutes under the law. They shall contribute to the protection of the employees' professional, economic and social interests.

177ARTICLE 43. RIGHT TO WORK AND LABOUR PROTECTION

1781. Every person shall benefit by the right to work, to freely choose his/her profession and workplace, and to equitable and satisfactory working conditions, as well as to the protection against unemployment.

1792. All employees shall have the right to social protection of labour. The protecting measures shall bear upon the labour safety and hygiene, working conditions for women and young people, the introduction of a minimum wage per economy, week- ends and annual paid leave, as well as the difficult working conditions and other specific situations.

1803. The length of the working week shall not exceed 40 hours.

1814. The right to hold labour bargaining and the binding nature of collective agreements shall be guaranteed.

182ARTICLE 44. PROHIBITION OF FORCED LABOUR

1831. Forced labour shall be prohibited.

1842. It shall not be regarded as forced labour:

185a.any service of military character or activities performed in lieu thereof by those who, under the law, are exempted from compulsory military service;

186b.the work of a sentenced person, carried out under normal conditions, during detention or conditional release;

187c.services such as required to deal with calamities or other dangers, as well as those which are part of normal civil obligations, as foreseen by law.

188ARTICLE 45. RIGHT TO STRIKE

1891. The right to strike shall be acknowledged. Strikes may be unleashed only with the view of protection the employees' professional interests of economic and social nature.

1902. The law shall set forth conditions governing the exercise of the right to strike, as well as the responsibility for illegal unleash of the strikes.

191ARTICLE 46. RIGHT TO PRIVATE PROPERTY AND ITS PROTECTION

1921. The right to possess private property and the debts incurred by the State shall be guaranteed.

1932. No one may be expropriated unless for a matter of public utility, established, under the law, against a fair and previously determined compensation.

1943. No assets legally acquired may be seized. The legal nature of the assets' acquirement shall be presumed.

1954. Goods intended for, used or resulted from misdemeanours or offences shall be seized only under the law.

1965. The right to hold private property shall coerce to the observance of duties as regarding the environment protection and maintenance of good neighbourhood, as well as other tasks incumbent upon the owner, under the law.

1976. The right to inherit private property shall be guaranteed.

198ARTICLE 47. RIGHT TO SOCIAL ASSISTANCE AND PROTECTION

1991. The State shall be bound to take actions aimed at ensuring to every person and to his/her family a decent standard of living, health protection and welfare including food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and the necessary social services.

2002. All citizens shall have the right to be socially secured in case of: unemployment, disease, disability, widowhood, old age or other cases of loss of the subsistence means, due to certain circumstances beyond their control.

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