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Constitution of Iraq (2005) – 1: Fundamental Principles

Section One

Fundamental Principles

Article 1:

The Republic of Iraq is a single federal, independent and fully sovereign state in which the system of government is republican, representative, parliamentary, and democratic, and this Constitution is a guarantor of the unity of Iraq.

Article 2:

First: Islam is the official religion of the State and is a foundation source of legislation:

A.        No law may be enacted that contradicts the established provisions of Islam

B.        No law may be enacted that contradicts the principles of democracy.

C.        No law may be enacted that contradicts the rights and basic freedoms stipulated in this Constitution.

Second: This Constitution guarantees the Islamic identity of the majority of theIraqi people and guarantees the full religious rights to freedom of religious belief and practice of all individuals such as Christians, Yazidis, and Mandean Sabeans.

Article 3:

Iraq is a country of multiple nationalities, religions, and sects. It is a founding and active member in the Arab League and is committed to its charter, and it is part of the Islamic world.

Article 4:

First: The Arabic language and the Kurdish language are the two official languages of Iraq. The right of Iraqis to educate their children in their mother tongue, such as Turkmen, Syriac, and Armenian shall be guaranteed in government educational institutions in accordance with educational guidelines, or in any other language in private educational institutions.

Second: The scope of the term “official language” and the means of applying the provisions of this article shall be defined by a law and shall include:

A.        Publication of the Official Gazette, in the two languages;

B.        Speech, conversation, and expression in official domains, such as the Council of Representatives, the Council of Ministers,  courts, and official conferences, in either of the two languages;

C.        Recognition and publication of official documents and correspondence in the two languages;

D.        Opening schools that teach the two languages, in accordance with the educational guidelines;

E.        Use of both languages in any matter enjoined by the principle of equality such as bank notes, passports, and stamps.

Third: The federal and official institutions and agencies in the Kurdistan regionshall use both languages.

Fourth: The Turkomen language and the Syriac language are two other officiallanguages in the administrative units in which they constitute density of population.

Fifth: Each region or governorate may adopt any other local language as anadditional official language if the majority of its population so decides in a general referendum.

Article 5:

The law is sovereign. The people are the source of authority and legitimacy, which they shall exercise in a direct, general, secret ballot and through their constitutional institutions.

Article 6:

Transfer of authority shall be made peacefully through democratic means as stipulated in this Constitution.

Article 7:

First: Any entity or program that adopts, incites, facilitates, glorifies, promotes, orjustifies racism or terrorism or accusations of being an infidel (takfir) or ethnic cleansing, especially the Saddamist Ba’ath in Iraq and its symbols, under any name whatsoever, shall be prohibited. Such entities may not be part of political pluralism in Iraq. This shall be regulated by law.

Second: The State shall undertake to combat terrorism in all its forms, and shallwork to protect its territories from being a base, pathway, or field for terrorist activities.

Article 8:

Iraq shall observe the principles of good neighborliness, adhere to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states, seek to settle disputes by peaceful means, establish relations on the basis of mutual interests and reciprocity, and respect its international obligations.

Article 9: First:

A- The Iraqi armed forces and security services will be composed of the components of the Iraqi people with due consideration given to their balance and representation without discrimination or exclusion. They shall be subject to the control of the civilian authority, shall defend Iraq, shall not be used as an instrument to oppress the Iraqi people, shall not interfere in the political affairs, and shall have no role in the transfer of authority.

B- The formation of military militias outside the framework of the armed forces is prohibited.

C- The Iraqi armed forces and their personnel, including military personnel working in the Ministry of Defense or any subordinate departments or organizations, may not stand for election to political office, campaign for candidates, or participate in other activities prohibited by Ministry of Defense regulations. This ban includes the activities of the personnel mentioned above acting in their personal or professional capacities, but shall not infringe upon the right of these personnel to cast their vote in the elections.

D- The Iraqi National Intelligence Service shall collect information, assess threats to national security, and advise the Iraqi government. This Service shall be under civilian control, shall be subject to legislative oversight, and shall operate in accordance with the law and pursuant to the recognized principles of human rights.

E- 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.

Second: Military service shall be regulated by law.

Article 10:

The holy shrines and religious sites in Iraq are religious and civilizational entities. The State is committed to assuring and maintaining their sanctity, and to guaranteeing the free practice of rituals in them.

Article 11:

Baghdad is the capital of the Republic of Iraq.

Article 12:

First: The flag, national anthem, and emblem of Iraq shall be regulated by law in away that symbolizes the components of the Iraqi people.

Second: A law shall regulate honors, official holidays, religious and nationaloccasions and the Hijri and Gregorian calendar.

Article 13:

First: This Constitution is the preeminent and supreme law in Iraq and shall bebinding in all parts of Iraq without exception.

Second: No law that contradicts this Constitution shall be enacted. Any text in anyregional constitutions or any other legal text that contradicts this Constitution shall be considered void.

Next: Section 2 – Rights and Liberties

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