Return to Homepage



THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA

As amended of 25 April 2001

I. HISTORICAL FOUNDATIONS

.

Considering the presented historical facts and universally accepted principles of the modern world, as well as the inalienabile and indivisible, non-transferable and non-exhaustible right of the Croatian nation to self-determination and state sovereignty, including its fully maintained right to secession and association, as basic provisions for peace and stability of the international order, the Republic of Croatia is established as the national state of the Croatian nation and the state of the members of autochthonous national minorities: Serbs, Czechs, Slovaks, Italians, Hungarians, Jews, Germans, Austrians, Ukrainians and Ruthenians and the others who are citizens, and who are guaranteed equality with citizens of Croatian nationality and the realization of national rights in accordance with the democratic norms of the United Nations Organization and the countries of the free world.
Respecting the will of the Croatian nation and all citizens, resolutely expressed in the free elections, the Republic of Croatia is hereby founded and shall develop as a sovereign and democratic state in which equality, freedoms and human rights are guaranteed and ensured, and their economic and cultural progress and social welfare promoted.

II. BASIC PROVISIONS


Article 1

The Republic of Croatia is a unitary and indivisible democratic and social state.

Power in the Republic of Croatia derives from the people and belongs to the people as a community of free and equal citizens

The people shall exercise this power through the election of representatives and through direct decision-making.

Article 3

Freedom, equal rights, national equality and equality of genders, love of peace, social justice, respect for human rights, inviolability of ownership, conservation of nature and the environment, the rule of law, and a democratic multiparty system are the highest values of the constitutional order of the Republic of Croatia and the ground for interpretation of the Constitution.

Article 5

In the Republic of Croatia laws shall conform with the Constitution, and other rules and regulations shall conform with the Constitution and law.

Everyone shall abide by the Constitution and law and respect the legal order of the Republic of Croatia.

Article 9

Croatian citizenship, its acquisition and termination shall be regulated by law.

No Croatian citizen shall be exiled from the Republic of Croatia or deprived of citizenship, nor extradited to another state.

Article 10

The Republic of Croatia shall protect the rights and interests of its citizens living or residing abroad, and shall promote their links with the homeland.

Parts of the Croatian nation in other states shall be guaranteed special concern and protection by the Republic of Croatia.

Article 12

The Croatian language and the Latin script shall be in official use in the Republic of Croatia.

In individual local units, another language and the Cyrillic or some other script may be introduced into official use along with the Croatian language and the Latin script under conditions specified by law.

III. PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS
1. General Provisions

Article 14

Everyone in the Republic of Croatia shall enjoy rights and freedoms, regardless of race, color, gender, language, religion, political or other belief, national or social origin, property, birth, education, social status or other characteristics.

All shall be equal before the law.

Article 15

Members of all national minorities shall have equal rights in the Republic of Croatia.

Equality and protection of the rights of national minorities shall be regulated by the Constitutional Act which shall be adopted in the procedure provided for the organic law.

Besides the general electoral right, the special right of the members of national minorities to elect their representatives into the Croatian Parliament may be provided by law.

Members of all national minorities shall be guaranteed freedom to express their nationality, freedom to use their language and script, and cultural autonomy.

Article 16

Freedoms and rights may only be restricted by law in order to protect freedoms and rights of others, public order, public morality and health.

Every restriction of freedoms or rights shall be proportional to the nature of the necessity for restriction in each individual case.

Article 17

During a state of war or an immediate threat to the independence and unity of the State, or in the event of severe natural disasters, individual freedoms and rights guaranteed by the Constitution may be restricted. This shall be decided by the Croatian Parliament by a two-thirds majority of all members or, if the Croatian Parliament is unable to meet, at the proposal of the Government and upon the counter-signature of the Prime Minister, by the President of the Republic.

The extend of such restrictions shall be adequate to the nature of the danger, and may not result in the inequality of persons in respect of race, color, gender, language, religion, national or social origin.

Not even in the case of an immediate threat to the existence of the State may restrictions be imposed on the application of the provisions of this Constitution concerning the right to life, prohibition of torture, cruel or degrading treatment or punishment, on the legal definitions of penal offenses and punishments, or on freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

Article 20

Anyone who violates the provisions of the Constitution concerning the human rights and fundamental freedoms shall be held personally responsible and may not be exculpated by invoking a superior order.

2. Personal and Political Freedoms and Rights

Article 26

All citizens of the Republic of Croatia and aliens shall be equal before the courts, government bodies and other bodies vested with pubic authority.

Article 32

Anyone lawfully within the territory of the Republic of Croatia shall enjoy the liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence.

Every citizen of the Republic of Croatia shall have the right to leave the State territory at any time and settle abroad permanently or temporarily, and to return to his homeland at any time.

The liberty of movement within the Republic of Croatia and the right to enter or leave it may exceptionally be restricted by law, if this is necessary to protect the legal order, or health, rights and freedoms of others.

Article 33

Foreign citizens and stateless persons may obtain asylum in the Republic of Croatia, unless they are prosecuted for non-political crimes and activities contrary to the basic principles of international law.

No alien lawfully within the territory of the Republic of Croatia shall be expelled or extradited to another state, except in pursuance of a decision made in accordance with a treaty and law.

Article 39

Any call for or incitement to war, or resort to violence, national, racial or religious hatred, or any form of intolerance shall be prohibited and punishable by law.

Article 40

Freedom of conscience and religion and freedom to manifest religion and other convictions shall be guaranteed.

Article 41

All religious communities shall be equal before the law and shall be separated from the State.

Religious communities shall be free, in conformity with law, publicly to perform religious services, to open schools, educational and other institutions, social and charitable institutions and to manage them, and shall them, and shall in their activity enjoy the protection and assistance of the State.

Article 43

Everyone shall be guaranteed the right to freedom of association for the purposes of protection of their interests or promotion of their social, economic, political, national, cultural and other convictions and objectives. For this purpose, everyone may freely form trade unions and other associations, join them or leave them, in conformity with law.

The exercise of this right shall be restricted by the prohibition of any violent threat to the democratic constitutional order and independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Republic of Croatia.

Article 44

Every citizen of the Republic of Croatia shall have the right, under equal conditions, to take part in the conduct of public affairs, and to have access to public services.

Article 45

All Croatian citizens of the Republic of Croatia who have reached the age of eighteen years shall have universal and equal suffrage. This right shall be exercised through direct elections by secret ballot.

In elections for the Croatian Parliament and for the President of the Republic, the Republic of Croatia shall ensure suffrage to its citizens who are abroad at the time of the elections, so that they may vote in the countries in which they are or in any other way specified by law.

Article 47

Military service and the defense of the Republic of Croatia shall be the duty of every capable citizen of the Republic of Croatia.

Conscientious objection shall be allowed to all those who for religious or moral reasons are not willing to participate in the performance of military service in the armed forces. Such persons shall be obliged to perform other duties specified by law.

IV. ORGANIZATION OF GOVERNMENT

1. The Croatian Parliament

Article 82

Laws (organic laws) which regulate the rights of national minorities shall be passed by the Croatian Parliament by a two-thirds majority vote of all representatives.

Laws (organic laws) which elaborate the constitutionally defined human rights and fundamental freedoms, the electoral system, the organization, authority and operation of government bodies and the organization and authority of local and regional self-government shall be passed by the Croatian Parliament by a majority vote of all representatives.

The decision provided by Article 7 section 2 and Article 8 of the Constitution shall be passed by the Croatian Parliament by a two-thirds majority of all representatives.

Article 87

The Croatian Parliament may authorize the Government of the Republic of Croatia, for a maximum period of one year, to regulate by decrees certain issues within its competence, except those relating to the elaboration of the constitutionally defined human rights and fundamental freedoms, national rights, the electoral system, the organization, authority and operation of government bodies and local self-government.

Decrees based on statutory authority shall not have a retroactive effect.

Decrees passed on the basis of statutory authority shall cease to be valid after the expiry of the period of one year from the date when such authority was granted, unless otherwise decided by the Croatian Parliament.

V. THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA

Article 131

The procedure and conditions for the election of judges of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia and the termination of their office, conditions and time-limits for instituting proceedings for the assessment of the constitutionality and legality, procedure and legal effects of its decisions, protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, and other issues important for the performance of duties and work of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia, shall be regulated by the Constitutional Act.

The Constitutional Act shall be passed in accordance with the procedure determined for amending the Constitution.

The internal organization of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia shall be regulated by its rules of procedure.

IX. CONCLUDING PROVISIONS

Article 146

By entering into force of the Amendment of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia (``Official Gazette" No 28/2001) the function of the House of Counties of the Croatian Parliament as well as the duty of the incumbent president and members of the National Judicial Council and the President of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia shall cease.

Article 147

The Croatian Parliament shall pass the Constitutional Act on the Implementation of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia.




Source: http://www.usud.hr/html/the_constitution_of_the_republ.htm


RETURN