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4With the ultimate purpose to strengthen the Nation; to guarantee the freedom, ensure democracy and institutional stability, exalt human dignity, promote social justice, general welfare, regional integration and invoking the protection of God, we decree the Political Constitution of the Republic of Panama.
9Public power emanates solely from the people. It is exercised by the State, in conformity with this Constitution, through Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches of Government, which act within limits and separately, but in harmonious cooperation.
11The territory of the Republic of Panama comprises the land surface, the territorial sea, the undersea continental shelf, the subsoil and the air space between Colombia and Costa Rica, in accordance with the boundary treaties concluded by Panama with those States.
293.The offspring of parents who are Panamanian by naturalization, born outside the territory of the Republic, provided they establish their domicile in the Republic of Panama and state their desire to elect Panamanian citizenship, not later than one year after reaching legal age.
321.Aliens with five years of continuous residence within the territory of the Republic, if, after having reached legal age, they declare their intention to become naturalized, expressly renounce their citizenship of origin or any other citizenship, and establish that they have a command of the Spanish language and an elementary knowledge of Panamanian geography, history and political organization;
332.Aliens with three years of continuous residence within the territory of the Republic, who have children born on the national territory of Panamanian father or mother, or who have a spouse of Panamanian citizenship, provided they make the statement and submit the evidence to which the preceding section refers;
36Persons born abroad who before their seventh birthday were adopted by Panamanian nationals are Panamanians by virtue of the Constitution without need of a naturalization certificate. In this case nationality is acquired from the moment when the adoption is entered into the Panamanian Civil Register.
38Regulations concerning naturalization shall be established by law. The State may refuse the request for a naturalization certificate for reasons of morality, security, health, and physical or mental impairment.
41Panamanian nationality derived from or acquired by naturalization shall be lost for the same reasons. There is express renunciation when the person states in writing to the Executive Authority that he/she desires to abandon Panamanian citizenship; and implied renunciation when the person acquires the citizenship of a foreign state, or enters the service of an enemy State.
51The authorities of the Republic are established for the purpose of protecting the lives, honor and property of all nationals, wherever they may be, and of aliens who are under the Republic's jurisdiction, of ensuring the effectiveness of individual and social rights and duties, and of observing and enforcing the Constitution and the Law.
52The rights and guarantees recognized by this Constitution must be considered as minimum standards which do not exclude others which are related to fundamental rights and the dignity of the individual.
54Private persons are solely responsible to the authorities for violation of the Constitution or the Law. Public Officers are responsible, for the same reasons, and also for exceeding their authority, or for dereliction in the performance of their duties.
58All Panamanians and aliens are equal before the Law, but the Law, for reasons of labor, health, morality, public security and national economy, may subject to special conditions, or may deny the exercise of specific activities to aliens in general. Likewise, the Law or the Authorities may, according to circumstances, take measures that exclusively affect nationals of certain countries, in case of war, or in accordance with what may be established in international treaties.
60No one may be deprived of his/her liberty except by warrant from a competent authority, issued in accordance with legal formalities, and for reasons previously defined by law. Those executing said order are obliged to give a copy thereof to the person concerned, if he/she requests it.
62No one may be detained for more than twenty-four hours without being brought before a competent authority. Public Officers who violate this precept shall suffer immediate loss of employment and shall be subject to all other penalties established by law, concerning this violation.
66Persons accused of committing a crime have the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, at a public trial, under due process of law. Whoever is arrested shall have the right, from that moment, to legal counsel in all police and judiciary proceedings.
69Every individual arrested for reasons not specified or without the legal formalities prescribed by this Constitution or by law, shall be released upon his/her or another person's petition through the writ of habeas corpus which can be submitted immediately after the arrest, regardless of the applicable penalty.
71The writ of habeas corpus may also be submitted if a real or actual threat to liberty exists or if the form or the conditions of the arrest or the place where the arrested person is being detained put his/her physical, mental or moral integrity at risk or infringe his/her right of defense.
75No person is obliged to testify against himself, his/her spouse, relatives to the fourth degree of consanguinity or second degree of marital relations in criminal, correctional or police proceedings.
77The domicile, or residence, is inviolable. No one may enter therein without the consent of the owner, except by warrant of a competent authority and for a specific purpose, or to assist the victims of a crime or disaster.
78Labor, social security and health officials, upon presentation of valid identification, may make domiciliary visits, or inspections of work centers, to check on the fulfillment of social and public health laws.
80Every person may travel freely throughout the National territory and change domicile, or residence, without restrictions, other than those which the transit, fiscal, health, and immigration laws or regulations may prescribe.
82The penitentiary system is based on principles of security, rehabilitation and social defense. It is unlawful to apply measures which may damage the physical, mental, or moral integrity of incarcerated individuals.
86Correspondence and other private documents are inviolable and shall not be searched or seized except by warrant of a competent authority, for specific purposes and in accordance with the legal formalities. In any case no notice shall be taken of matters alien to the object of the search or seizure.
87The registration of letters and other documents or papers shall always take place in the presence of the person concerned or of a member of his/her family, or, in their absence, of two honorable neighbors living near the place.
992.Captains of ships or aircraft outside the port or the airport are authorized to suppress insubordination or mutiny, or to maintain order on board, or to detain provisionally any actual or presumed offender.
101In case of manifest violation of a Constitutional or legal precept, to the detriment of any person, the order of a superior does not relieve from responsibility the agent who executed it. Exception is made of individuals of the Public Forces when they are in actual service, in which case the responsibility falls exclusively on the immediate superior who gave the order.
103All religions may be professed and all forms of worship practiced freely, without any other limitation than respect for Christian morality and public order. It is recognized that the Catholic religion is practiced by the majority of Panamanians.
107Every person may express his/her opinion freely, either orally, in writing or by any other means, without being subject to prior censorship. Legal responsibility (liability) will, however, be incurred when by any of these means, the reputation or honor of persons is assailed, or when social security or public order is attacked.
109All inhabitants of the Republic have the right to assemble peacefully, without arms, for lawful ends. Public demonstrations or gatherings in open air are not subject to permission. Only previous notification of the local Administrative Authorities, twenty four hours in advance, is required to hold such gatherings.
110Authorities may take Police action to prevent or restrain abuse of this right, when the form in which it is exercised causes, or may cause, traffic disturbances, breach of the peace, or violation of the rights of others.
112The formation of companies, associations, or foundations that are not contrary to morals or legal order, is permitted. These may obtain recognition as juridical persons. Recognition shall not be granted to associations whose ideologies are based on the supposed superiority of any race or ethnic group or which defend or promote racial discrimination. The capacity, recognition and regulation of these companies and other juridical persons shall be determined by Panamanian law.
114Every person is free to exercise any profession or trade, subject to regulations established by law with respect to competence, morality, social welfare and security, professional affiliation, public health, unionization, and compulsory dues.
121Every person has a right of access to his/her personal information contained in data banks or public or private registries and to request their correction and protection, as well as their deletion in accordance with the provisions of the law.
124Every person has a right to ask for accessible information or information of general interest stored in data banks or registries administered by public servants or by private persons providing public services, unless access has been limited by written regulation or by legal mandate, and to request their lawful processing and correction.
126Every person may submit a writ of habeas data in order to enforce the right to access to his/her personal information stored in official or private data banks or registries, if in the latter case the data bank or registry is run by a business which provides a service to the public or deals with information.
131Ministers of religious faiths and members of religious orders, aside from the performance of duties inherent to their missions, may hold public posts only when such are positions related to social welfare, public education, or scientific research.
133Laws have no retroactive effect, except those of public order or social interest when such is expressed. In criminal matters the law favorable to the accused always has preference and retroactivity, even though the judgment may have become final.
140The State recognizes and guarantees the right of every person to obtain quality goods and services, truthful, clear and sufficient information about the characteristics and the substance of the goods and services which he/she purchases, as well as the freedom of choice and the right to conditions of fair and equitable treatment.
141The law shall establish the mechanisms necessary to guarantee these rights, the education and the means of defense of the consumer and user, the compensation of damages caused and the sanctions applicable to the violation of these rights.
143When the application of a law enacted for reasons of public benefit or social interest results in a conflict between private rights and the need recognized by the law itself, private interest must yield to the public or social interest.
147The State is always responsible for all expropriations that the Executive Authority thus carries out, and for the losses and damage caused by the seizure, and will pay the value thereof as soon as the determining cause for the expropriation or seizure ends.
153Every person against whom a Public Officer shall issue or execute a mandatory order or an injunction violating the rights and guarantees established by this Constitution, shall have the right of the order being revoked upon his/her petition or the petition of any other person.
154The writ for protection of constitutional guarantee (amparo de garantías constitucionales), to which this Article refers, shall be subject to summary proceedings and the Cognizance of Courts of Law.
156In case of foreign war or internal disturbance that threatens peace or public order, all, or a part, of the Republic may be declared in a State of Emergency, and the guarantees of Articles 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 29, 37, 38, and 44 of this Constitution, may be temporarily suspended, partially or totally.
157The State of Emergency and the suspension of Constitutional guarantees mentioned above shall be declared by the Executive Branch through a Decree, agreed upon in Cabinet Council. The Legislative Branch, in its own right, or at the request of the President of the Republic, shall take cognizance of the State of Emergency if it lasts longer than ten days, and confirm or revoke, totally or partially, the measures adopted by the Cabinet Council relative to said State of Emergency.
158When the conditions that had motivated the State of Emergency Decree cease to exist, the Legislative Branch, if it is in session, or, if not, the Cabinet Council, shall rescind the Decree and end the State of Emergency.
162The State shall protect the physical, mental and moral health of minors and shall guarantee their rights to support, health, education and social security. In an equal manner, the elderly and the sick who are destitute shall have the right to this protection.
166The de facto union of persons of different sex with the legal capacity to enter into marriage which is sustained for five consecutive years in conditions of single partnership and stability shall produce the full effects of a civil marriage.
167To this end, it shall be sufficient the interested parties jointly request the Civil Registrar to register the de facto union. As long as this request has not been made, the marriage may be proved, for the purpose of claiming the rights pertaining thereto, by any of the spouses concerned in accordance with the procedures established by law. However, the Public Ministry, in the interest of morals and of the law, or third persons who assert rights susceptible of being affected by the registration, may object to the registration or challenge it subsequently on the ground that the declaration is contrary to the facts.
170Parents are obliged to support, educate and protect their children to ensure their proper physical and spiritual upbringing and development, and the latter are obliged to respect and assist their parents.
173Parents have, with respect to their children born out of wedlock, the same duties as towards their children born in wedlock. All children are equal according to law, and have the same rights of inheritance in intestate successions. The rights of minors or incapacitated children and of destitute parents in testate successions, shall be recognized by law.
175Investigation of paternity shall be regulated by law. Classifications as to the nature of the relationship are abolished. There shall not be entered any statement establishing differences of birth, or, on the civil status of the parents, in the registration records, or in any attestation, baptismal or christening records, or certificate referring to the relationship.
176Authority is hereby granted to the father of a child born before the effective date of this Constitution to protect the child by the provisions of this Article, by means of rectifying any record or attestation in which any classification may have been established with respect to said child. The consent of the mother is not required but if the child is of legal age, he/she must give his/her consent thereto. In acts of acknowledgement of paternity, anyone who is legally affected by said act may oppose this measure.
179The State shall protect the social and economic development of the family and shall organize the family homestead, determining the nature and amount of property that must constitute it, on the basis that it is inalienable and un-attachable.
185The functioning of a special jurisdiction over minors, which among other duties, shall take cognizance of suits concerning the investigation of paternity, family desertion, and juvenile behavior problems, shall be organized and determined by law.
188Work is a right and duty of the individual and accordingly the State is obliged to devise economic policies to promote full employment, and to ensure to every workman the necessary conditions for a decent existence.
190Every workman in the service of the State, of public or private enterprises or private persons, is guaranteed a minimum wage or salary. Workers of enterprises specified by law shall share in the profits thereof in accordance with the economic conditions of the country.
192Rules of periodic adjustment of the minimum salary or wage of the worker shall be set by law, to cover the normal requirements of his/her family, to improve worker's standard of living according to specific conditions of each economic region and activity. The law may also determine the method of fixing minimum salaries or wages for professions or trades.
196A like wage or salary shall always be paid for like work under identical conditions, irrespective of the person who performs it, without taking into account sex, nationality, age, race, social standing, political or religious ideologies.