Excerpts From the Iraqi Constitution

Compiled by Jefferson Morley
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 11, 2005; 2:05 PM

Note: Excerpted from the translation provided by the Associated Press.

From the Preamble

"We the people of Iraq who have just risen from our stumble, and who are looking with confidence to the future through a republican, federal, democratic, pluralistic system, have resolved with the determination of our men, women, the elderly and youth, to respect the rules of law, to establish justice and equality to cast aside the politics of aggression, and to tend to the concerns of women and their rights, and to the elderly and their concerns, and to children and their affairs and to spread a culture of diversity and defusing terrorism."

Basic Principles

Articles 1-2: "The Republic of Iraq is an independent sovereign state. Its system of government is republican, representative (Parliamentary), democratic and federal. Islam is the official religion of the State and it is a fundamental source of legislation. No law that contradicts the established provisions of Islam may be established. No law that contradicts the principles of democracy may be established. No law that contradicts the rights and basic freedoms stipulated in this constitution may be established."

Article 3: "Iraq is a country of many nationalities, religions and sects, and is a part of the Islamic world, is a founding and active member of the Arab League, and is committed to its covenant."

Article 5: "The law is sovereign. The people are the source of authorities and its legitimacy, which the people shall exercise in a direct general secret ballot and through their constitutional institutions."

Article 7: "No entity or program, under any name, may adopt racism, terrorism, the calling of others infidels, ethnic cleansing, or incite, facilitate, glorify, promote, or justify thereto, especially the Saddamist Baath in Iraq and its symbols, regardless of the name that it adopts. This may not be part of the political pluralism in Iraq. This will be organized by law."

Article 9: "The Iraqi Armed Forces and Security Services will be composed of the components of the Iraqi people with due consideration given to its balance and its similarity without discrimination or exclusion and shall be subject to the control of the civilian authority. The Iraqi Armed Forces shall defend Iraq and shall not be used as an instrument of oppression against the Iraqi people, shall not interfere in the political affairs and shall have no role in the transfer of authority.

   ...The Iraqi Government shall respect and implement Iraq's international obligations regarding the non-proliferation, non-development, non-production, and non-use of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, and shall prohibit associated equipment, materiel, technologies, and delivery systems for use in the development, manufacture, production, and use of such weapons."  

Rights and Freedoms

Article 22: "Work is a right for all Iraqis so as to guarantee them a decent living."

Article 23: "Personal property is protected. The proprietor shall have the right to benefit from, exploit and utilize personal property within the limits of the law."

Article 31: "Every citizen has the right to health care. The state takes care of public health and provide the means of prevention and treatment by building different types of hospitals and medical institutions."

Article 34: "Education is a fundamental factor in the progress of society and is a right guaranteed by the state. Primary education is mandatory and the state guarantees to eradicate illiteracy."

Article 35: ...All forms of psychological and physical torture and inhumane treatment shall be prohibited. Any confession coerced by force, threat, or torture shall not be relied on. The victim shall have the right to compensation in accordance with the law for material and moral damages incurred."

Article 38: "The freedom of communication, and mail, telegraphic, electronic, and telephonic correspondence, and other correspondence shall be guaranteed and may not be monitored, wiretapped or disclosed except for legal and security necessity and by a judicial decision."

Legislative Powers

Articles 47-48 : "The federal legislative power shall consist of the Council of Representatives and the Federation Council.....The Council of Representatives shall consist of a number of members, at a ratio of one representative per 100,000 Iraqi persons representing the entire Iraqi people. They shall be elected through a direct secret general ballot."

The President

Article 64: "The President of the Republic is the Head of the State and a symbol of the unity of the country and represents the sovereignty of the country. He safeguards the commitment to the Constitution and the preservation of Iraq's independence, sovereignty, unity, the security of its territories in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution."

Article 65: "A nominee to the Presidency must ...be an Iraqi by birth, born to Iraqi parents ... at least 40 years old ... [and] be of good reputation and political experience, and known for his integrity, righteousness, fairness and loyalty to the homeland."

The Cabinet

Articles 73-74: "The President of the Republic shall name the nominee of the Council of Representatives bloc with the largest number to form the Cabinet within 15 days from the date of the election of the president of the republic.

...The Prime Minister-designate shall undertake the naming of the members of his Cabinet within a period not to exceed 30 days from the date of his designation.

... The conditions for assuming the post of the Prime Minister shall be the same as those for the President of the Republic, provided that he is at least 35 years old and has a college degree or its equivalent."

The Judiciary

Article 85: "Judges are independent and there is no authority over them except that of the law. No authority shall have the right to interfere in the Judiciary and the affairs of Justice."

Powers of Federal Authorities

Article 108: "Oil and gas are the ownership of all the people of Iraq in all the regions and governorates."

Article 109: "The federal government with the producing governorates and regional governments shall undertake the management of oil and gas extracted from current fields provided that it distributes oil and gas revenues in a fair manner in proportion to the population distribution in all parts of the country with a set allotment for a set time for the damaged regions that were unjustly deprived by the former regime and the regions that were damaged later on, and in a way that assures balanced development in different areas of the country, and this will be regulated by law."

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