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Table of Contents

  1. Preamble
  2. CHAPTER I. SOVEREIGNTY
  3. FIRST SECTION. THE REPUBLIC OF SURINAME
  4. SECOND SECTION. TERRITORY
  5. THIRD SECTION. NATIONALITY
  6. FOURTH SECTION. STATE AND SOCIETY
  7. CHAPTER II. ECONOMIC GOALS
  8. CHAPTER III. SOCIAL GOALS
  9. CHAPTER IV. INTERNATIONAL PRINCIPLES
  10. CHAPTER V. BASIC RIGHTS, INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS
  11. CHAPTER VI. SOCIAL, CULTURAL AND ECONOMIC FIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS
  12. FIRST SECTION. THE RIGHT TO WORK
  13. SECOND SECTION. STATE CONCERN FOR LABOR
  14. THIRD SECTION. RIGHTS OF EMPLOYEES
  15. FOURTH SECTION. DUTIES OF THE STATE CONCERNING THE RIGHTS OF EMPLOYEES
  16. FIFTH SECTION. FREEDOM OF TRADE UNIONS
  17. SIXTH SECTION. RIGHTS OF TRADE UNIONS AND COLLECTIVE AGREEMENTS
  18. SEVENTH SECTION. RIGHT TO STRIKE
  19. EIGHTH SECTION. RIGHT TO PROPERTY
  20. NINTH SECTION. THE FAMILY
  21. TENTH SECTION. HEALTH
  22. ELEVENTH SECTION. YOUTH
  23. TWELFTH SECTION. EDUCATION AND CULTURE
  24. THIRTEENTH SECTION. EDUCATION
  25. CHAPTER VII. THE ECONOMIC SYSTEM
  26. CHAPTER VIII. THE SOCIAL ORDER
  27. CHAPTER IX. PRINCIPLES OF DEMOCRATIC STATE ORGANIZATION
  28. FIRST SECTION. POLITICAL DEMOCRACY
  29. SECOND SECTION. POLITICAL ORGANIZATIONS
  30. THIRD SECTION. BASIC PRINCIPLES FOR THE FUNCTIONING OF THE STATE ORGANS
  31. CHAPTER X. THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
  32. FIRST SECTION. ORGANIZATION AND COMPOSITION OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
  33. SECOND SECTION. ELECTION OF THE MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
  34. THIRD SECTION. MEMBERSHIP OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
  35. FOURTH SECTION. TERMINATION OF THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
  36. CHAPTER XI. THE LEGISLATURE
  37. FIRST SECTION. EXERCISE OF LEGISLATIVE POWERS
  38. SECOND SECTION. POWERS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
  39. THIRD SECTION. LEGISLATIVE PROCEDURE RIGHTS OF AMENDMENT INITIATIVE, INTERROGATION AND INVESTIGATION
  40. FOURTH SECTION. PROCEDURE
  41. FIFTH SECTION. IMMUNITY
  42. CHAPTER XII. THE PRESIDENT
  43. FIRST SECTION. GENERAL PROVISIONS
  44. SECOND SECTION. POWERS OF THE PRESIDENT
  45. CHAPTER XIII. THE COUNCIL OF STATE, THE GOVERNMENT, THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS AND THE MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS
  46. FIRST SECTION. THE COUNCIL OF STATE
  47. SECOND SECTION. THE GOVERNMENT
  48. THIRD SECTION. THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS
  49. FOURTH SECTION. UNDER-MINISTRIES
  50. CHAPTER XIV. THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL
  51. FIRST SECTION. IN GENERAL
  52. SECOND SECTION. COMPOSITION OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL
  53. CHAPTER XV. THE LEGAL SYSTEM
  54. FIRST SECTION. GENERAL PROVISIONS
  55. SECOND SECTION. THE JUDICIARY
  56. THIRD SECTION. COMPOSITION OF THE JUDICIAL POWER
  57. FOURTH SECTION. THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT
  58. FIFTH SECTION. THE PUBLIC PROSECUTION
  59. CHAPTER XVI. SUPERVISION OF THE EXPENDITURE OF STATE FINANCES
  60. CHAPTER XVII. ADVISORY COUNCILS
  61. CHAPTER XVIII. THE FINANCIAL AND MONETARY SYSTEM
  62. CHAPTER XIX. TAXES
  63. CHAPTER XX. THE PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
  64. CHAPTER XXI. THE REGIONAL GOVERNMENTS
  65. FIRST SECTION. IN GENERAL
  66. SECOND SECTION. DEMARCATION OF THE TERRITORY
  67. THIRD SECTION. REGIONAL REPRESENTATION
  68. FOURTH SECTION. JURISDICTION
  69. FIFTH SECTION. PROCEDURES
  70. CHAPTER XXII. REGIONAL LEGISLATION
  71. CHAPTER XXIII. REGIONAL AUTHORITIES
  72. CHAPTER XXIV. ARMY AND POLICE
  73. FIRST SECTION. THE NATIONAL ARMY
  74. SECOND SECTION. THE POLICE CORPS OF SURINAME
  75. CHAPTER XXV. DEFENSE OF THE STATE
  76. CHAPTER XXVI. THE PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY
  77. CHAPTER XXVII. TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS
  78. FIRST SECTION. FORMER CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
  79. SECOND SECTION. FORMER COMMON LAW
  80. CHAPTER XXVIII. REPEALED
  81. THIRD SECTION. COMING INTO FORCE OF INSTITUTIONS OF GOVERNMENT
  82. CHAPTER XXIX. RATIFICATION, PROMULGATION AND EFFECTIVE DATE

Constitution of Surinam (1987, rev. 1992)

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

4WE, THE PEOPLE OF SURINAME,

5inspired by the love for this Country and the belief in the power of the Almighty and guided by the centuries-long struggle of our people against colonialism, which was terminated by the establishment of the Republic of Suriname on 25 November 1975,

6taking the coup d'ètat of 25 February 1980 and the consequences thereof,

7conscious of our duty to combat and to prevent every form of foreign domination,

8resolved to defend and protect the national sovereignty, independence and integrity,

9assured of the will to determine our economic, social and cultural development in full freedom convinced of our duty to honor and to guarantee the principles of freedom, equality and democracy as well as the fundamental rights and freedoms of man,

10inspired by a civic spirit and by the participation in the construction, expansion and maintenance of a society that is socially just,

11determined to collaborate with one another and with all peoples of the world on the basis of freedom, equality, peaceful coexistence and international solidarity,

12SOLEMNLY DECLARE, TO ACCEPT, AS A RESULT OF THE PLEBISCITE HELD, THE FOLLOWING CONSTITUTION.

13CHAPTER I. SOVEREIGNTY

14FIRST SECTION. THE REPUBLIC OF SURINAME

15ARTICLE 1

161. The Republic of Suriname is a democratic State based upon the sovereignty of the people and on the respect and guarantee of the fundamental right and liberties.

172. The Suriname Nation shall determine in full freedom its economic social and cultural development.

18SECOND SECTION. TERRITORY

19ARTICLE 2

201. Suriname consists of the territory on the South American continent, which has been defined as such.

212. The State shall not alienate any territory or sovereign rights which it exercises over that territory.

223. The extent and boundaries of the territorial waters and the rights of Suriname to the adjacent continental shelf and the economic zone are determined by law.

23THIRD SECTION. NATIONALITY

24ARTICLE 3

251. Who is a Suriname national and who is a resident shall be decided by law.

262. Naturalization shall be regulated by law.

273. All Suriname citizens are allowed access into Suriname and are free to move about and to reside within Suriname, except in the cases, defined in the law.

284. All Suriname citizens shall be eligible for appointment to any public office in without discrimination.

295. The law shall determine in which public offices foreigners can be appointed.

306. The admission of foreigners and their expulsion shall be regulated by law.

317. The law shall determine the rules regarding the extradition of foreigners; extradition can only be effected on the basis of a treaty and in the manner determined by law.

32FOURTH SECTION. STATE AND SOCIETY

33ARTICLE 4

34The concern of the State is aimed at:

35a.The construction and maintenance of a national economy free from foreign domination;

36b.A Secured means of livelihood for the entire nation;

37c.Sufficient employment under the guarantee of freedom and justice;

38d.The sharing of everyone in the economic, social and cultural development and progress;

39e.Participation in the sense of citizenship during the construction, the expansion and the maintenance of a just society;

40f.Guaranteeing national unity and sovereignty.

41CHAPTER II. ECONOMIC GOALS

42ARTICLE 5

431. The economic objectives of the Republic of Suriname shall aim at the construction of a national economy, free from foreign domination and in the interest of the Surinamese nation.

442. The economic system within which the social-economic development takes place shall be characterized by joint, contemporaneous and equal functioning of state enterprises, private enterprises, enterprises in which the State and private persons participate in common and cooperative enterprises, according to rules of law applicable in that matter.

453. It is the duty of the State to promote and to guarantee as much as possible all types of entrepreneurial production.

46CHAPTER III. SOCIAL GOALS

47ARTICLE 6

48The social objectives of the State shall aim at:

49a.The identification of the potentialities for development of the own natural environment and the enlarging of the capacities to ever more expand those potentialities;

50b.Guaranteeing the participation of the community in the political life among other ways through national, regional and sectoral participation;

51c.Guaranteeing a government policy aimed at raising the standard of living and of well-being of the society, based upon social justice, the integral and balanced development of State and society;

52d.An equitable distribution of the national income, directed towards a fair distribution of well-being and wealth over all strata of the population;

53e.Regional spreading of public utilities and economic activities;

54f.The improvement of codetermination by the employees in companies and production units in the taking of decisions about production, economic development and planning;

55g.Creating and improving the conditions necessary for the protection of nature and for the preservation of the ecological balance.

56CHAPTER IV. INTERNATIONAL PRINCIPLES

57ARTICLE 7

581. The Republic of Suriname recognizes and respects the right of nations to self- determination and national independence on the basis of equality, sovereignty and mutual benefit.

592. The Republic of Suriname promotes the development of the international legal order and supports the peaceful settlement of international disputes.

603. The Republic of Suriname rejects any armed aggression, any form of political and economic pressure, as well as every direct or indirect intervention in the domestic affairs of other States.

614. The Republic of Suriname promotes the solidarity and collaboration with other peoples in the combat against colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, genocide and in the combat for national liberation, peace and social progress.

625. The Republic of Suriname promotes the participation in international organizations with a view to establishing peaceful coexistence, peace and progress for mankind.

63CHAPTER V. BASIC RIGHTS, INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS

64ARTICLE 8

651. All who are within the territory of Suriname shall have an equal claim to protection of person and property.

662. No one shall be discriminated against on the grounds of birth, sex, race, language, religious origin, education, political beliefs, economic position or any other status.

67ARTICLE 9

681. Everyone has a right to physical, mental and moral integrity.

692. No one may be submitted to torture, degrading or inhuman treatment or punishment.

70ARTICLE 10

71Everyone shall have, in case of infringement of one's rights and freedoms, a claim to an honest and public treatment of his complaint within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial judge.

72ARTICLE 11

73No person may be kept against his will from the judge whom the law assigns to him.

74ARTICLE 12

751. Everyone has the right to legal assistance before the courts

762. The law shall provide regulations with regard to legal aid for the financially weak.

77ARTICLE 13

78Loss of civil rights or the general forfeiture of all the property of an offender may not be imposed as a penalty or as a consequence of a penalty for any crime.

79ARTICLE 14

80Everyone has a right to life. This right shall be protected by the law.

81ARTICLE 15

82No one shall be obliged to do forced or compulsory labor.

83ARTICLE 16

841. Everyone has the right to personal liberty and safety.

852. No one will be deprived of his freedom, other than on grounds and according to proceedings determined by law.

863. Everyone who is deprived of his freedom has a right to a treatment in accordance with human dignity.

87ARTICLE 17

881. Everyone has a right to respect of his privacy, his family life, his home and his honor and good name.

892. No dwelling may be entered against the occupant's will except by order of an authority which has the power to give that order by virtue of law and subject to the conditions prescribed by the law.

903. The confidentiality of correspondence, telephone and telegraph is inviolable except in the cases described by law.

91ARTICLE 18

92Everyone has the right of freedom of religion and philosophy of life.

93ARTICLE 19

94Everyone has the right to make public his thoughts or feelings and to express his opinion through the printed press or other means of communication, subject to the responsibility of all as set forth in the law.

95ARTICLE 20

96Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful association and assembly, taking into consideration the rules to be determined by law for the protection of public order, safety, health and morality.

97ARTICLE 21

981. The right to demonstrate peacefully is recognized.

992. The use of that right can, for the protection of public order, safety, health and morality, be submitted to limitation through the law.

100ARTICLE 22

1011. Everyone has the right to submit written petitions to the competent authority.

1022. The law regulates the procedure for handling them.

103ARTICLE 23

104In case of war, danger of war, state of siege or state of emergency or for reasons of state security, public order and good morals, the rights mentioned in the Constitution may be submitted to limitations by law, which will be in force during a certain time, depending on the circumstances, in compliance with the international rules applicable in respect thereof.

105CHAPTER VI. SOCIAL, CULTURAL AND ECONOMIC FIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS

106FIRST SECTION. THE RIGHT TO WORK

107ARTICLE 24

108The state shall take care of the creation of conditions in which an optimal satisfaction of the basic needs for work, food, health care, education, energy, clothing and communication is obtained.

109ARTICLE 25

110Labor is the most important means of human development and an important source of wealth.

111ARTICLE 26

1121. Everyone has the right to work, in accordance with his capacities.

1132. The duty to work is inseparably linked to the right to work.

1143. Everyone has the right of free choice of profession and work, except for regulations imposed by law.

1154. Everyone has the right of initiative for economic production.

116SECOND SECTION. STATE CONCERN FOR LABOR

117ARTICLE 27

1181. It shall be the duty of the State to guarantee the right to work, as much as possible by:

119a.Following a planned policy, aimed at full employment;

120b.Forbidding the discharge without sufficient cause or for political or ideological reasons;

121c.Guaranteeing equal opportunity in the choice of profession and type of work and forbidding that access to any function or profession by prevented or limited on grounds of sex;

122d.Promoting professional training for employees.

1232. The State shall take care of the creation of conditions for the optimal promotion of initiatives for economic production.

124THIRD SECTION. RIGHTS OF EMPLOYEES

125ARTICLE 28

126All employees have, independent of age, sex, race, nationality, religion or political opinions, the right to:

127a.Remuneration for their work corresponding to quantity, type, quality and experience on the basis of equal pay for equal work;

128b.The performance of their task under humane conditions, in order to enable self- development;

129c.Safe and healthy working condition;

130d.Sufficient rest and recreation.

131FOURTH SECTION. DUTIES OF THE STATE CONCERNING THE RIGHTS OF EMPLOYEES

132ARTICLE 29

133It is the duty of the State to indicate the conditions for work, remuneration and rest to which employees are entitled, especially by:

134a.Making regulations with regard to wages, time of work, about conditions and special categories of workers;

135b.Supplying special protection on the job for women before and after pregnancy, for minors, disabled persons and for those who are engaged in work which demands special efforts or who work in unhealthy or dangerous conditions.

136FIFTH SECTION. FREEDOM OF TRADE UNIONS

137ARTICLE 30

1381. Employees are free to establish trade unions to foster their rights and interests.

1392. For the exercise of the rights of trade unions the following freedoms are guaranteed indiscriminately:

140a.Freedom to join or not to join a trade union;

141b.The right to participate in trade union activities.

1423. Trade unions shall be governed by the principles of democratic organization and management, based on regular elections of their boards of directors through secret ballot.

143SIXTH SECTION. RIGHTS OF TRADE UNIONS AND COLLECTIVE AGREEMENTS

144ARTICLE 31

1451. The trade unions shall have the power to defend the rights and interests of the employees they represent and for whom they assume responsibility.

1462. Trade unions shall be involved in:

147a.The preparation of labor legislation;

148b.The creation of institutions of social security and other institutions aimed at serving the interests of employees;

149c.The preparation for and the control of the execution of economic and social plans

1503. Trade unions shall have the right to conclude collective labor agreements. The rules concerning the powers to conclude collective labor agreements and the sphere of application of their rules shall be determined by law.

151ARTICLE 32. RIGHTS OF EMPLOYERS

152The associations for the defense of business entrepreneurs shall have the power to defend the rights and interests of those whom they represent and for whom they assume responsibility.

153SEVENTH SECTION. RIGHT TO STRIKE

154ARTICLE 33

155The right to strike is recognized subject to the limitations which stem from the law.

156EIGHTH SECTION. RIGHT TO PROPERTY

157ARTICLE 34

1581. Property, of the community as well as of the private person, shall fulfill a social function. Everyone has the right to undisturbed enjoyment of his property subject to the limitations which stem from the law.

1592. Expropriation shall take place only in the general interest, pursuant to rules to be laid down by law and against compensation guaranteed in advance.

1603. Compensation need not be previously assured if in case of emergency immediate expropriation is required.

1614. In cases determined by or through the law, the right to compensation shall exist if the competent public authority destroys or renders property unserviceable or restricts the exercise of property rights for the public interest.

162NINTH SECTION. THE FAMILY

163ARTICLE 35

1641. The family is recognized and protected.

1652. Husband and wife are equal before the law.

1663. Every child shall have the right to protection without any form of discrimination.

1674. Parents shall have the same responsibilities towards legal or natural children.

1685. The State recognizes the extraordinary value of motherhood.

1696. Working women shall be entitled to paid maternity leave.

170TENTH SECTION. HEALTH

171ARTICLE 36

1721. Everyone shall have a right to health.

1732. The State shall promote the general health care by systematic improvement of living and working conditions and shall give information on the protection of health.

174ELEVENTH SECTION. YOUTH

175ARTICLE 37

1761. Young people shall enjoy special protection for the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights, among which are:

177a.Access to education, culture and work;

178b.Vocational schooling;

179c.Physical training, sports and recreation;

1802. The primary goal of youth policy shall be the development of the personality of the young person and of the concept of service to the community.

181TWELFTH SECTION. EDUCATION AND CULTURE

182ARTICLE 38

1831. Everyone shall have a right to education and cultural expression.

1842. Education shall be free, subject to State supervision of all public educational institutions, in order that the national education policy and educational standards laid down by the State shall be observed.

1853. The practice of science and technology shall be free.

1864. The State shall promote the kind of education and the conditions under which school education and other forms of education can contribute to the development of a democratic and socially just society.

1875. The State shall promote the democratization of culture by promoting the enjoyment of culture and cultural relations and through assuring the availability of those cultural creations to all citizens by means of cultural and recreational organizations, information media and other suitable channels.

188THIRTEENTH SECTION. EDUCATION

189ARTICLE 39

190The State shall recognize and guarantee the right of all citizens to education and shall offer them equal opportunity for schooling. In the execution of its education policy the State shall be under the obligation:

191a.To assure obligatory and free general primary education;

192b.To assure durable education and to end analphabetism;

193c.To enable all citizens to attain the highest levels of education, scientific research and artistic creation, in accordance with their capacities;

194d.To provide, in phases, free education on all levels;

195e.To tune education to the productive and social needs of the society.

196CHAPTER VII. THE ECONOMIC SYSTEM

197ARTICLE 40

198In order to promote the socioeconomic development towards a socially just society, a development plan shall be determined by law, taking into consideration the national and socioeconomic goals of the State.

199ARTICLE 41

200Natural riches and resources are property of the nation and shall be used to promote economic, social and cultural development. The nation has the inalienable right to take complete possession of its natural resources in order to utilize them to the benefit of the economic, social and cultural development of Suriname.

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