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Constitution of Iraq (2005) – 2: Rights and Liberties

Section Two

Rights and Liberties


Chapter One


First: Civil and Political Rights

Article 14:

Iraqis are equal before the law without discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, origin, color, religion, sect, belief or opinion, or economic or social status.

Article 15:

Every individual has the right to enjoy life, security and liberty. Deprivation or restriction of these rights is prohibited except in accordance with the law and based on a decision issued by a competent judicial authority.

Article 16:

Equal opportunities shall be guaranteed to all Iraqis, and the state shall ensure that the necessary measures to achieve this are taken.

Article 17:

First: Every individual shall have the right to personal privacy so long as it doesnot contradict the rights of others and public morals.

Second: The sanctity of the homes shall be protected. Homes may not be entered,searched, or violated, except by a judicial decision in accordance with the law.

Article 18

First: Iraqi citizenship is a right for every Iraqi and is the basis of his nationality.

Second: Anyone who is born to an Iraqi father or to an Iraqi mother shall be considered an Iraqi. This shall be regulated by law.


A.        An Iraqi citizen by birth may not have his citizenship withdrawn for any reason. Any person who had his citizenship withdrawn shall have the right to demand its reinstatement. This shall be regulated by a law.

B.        Iraqi citizenship shall be withdrawn from naturalized citizens in cases regulated by law.

Fourth: An Iraqi may have multiple citizenships. Everyone who assumes a senior,security or sovereign position must abandon any other acquired citizenship. This shall be regulated by law.

Fifth: Iraqi citizenship shall not be granted for the purposes of the policy of population settlement that disrupts the demographic composition of Iraq.

Sixth: Citizenship provisions shall be regulated by law. The competent courts shall consider the suits arising from those provisions.

Article 19:

First: The judiciary is independent and no power is above the judiciary except the law.

Second: There is no crime or punishment except by law. The punishment shall only be for an act that the law considers a crime when perpetrated. A harsher punishment than the applicable punishment at the time of the offense may not be imposed.

Third: Litigation shall be a protected and guaranteed right for all.

Fourth: The right to a defense shall be sacred and guaranteed in all phases of investigation and the trial.

Fifth: The accused is innocent until proven guilty in a fair legal trial. The accused may not be tried for the same crime for a second time after acquittal unless new evidence is produced.

Sixth: Every person shall have the right to be treated with justice in judicial and administrative proceedings.

Seventh: The proceedings of a trial are public unless the court decides to make it secret.

Eighth: Punishment shall be personal.

Ninth: Laws shall not have retroactive effect unless stipulated otherwise. This exclusion shall not include laws on taxes and fees.

Tenth: Criminal laws shall not have retroactive effect, unless it is to the benefit of the accused.

Eleventh: The court shall appoint a lawyer at the expense of the state for an accused of a felony or misdemeanor who does not have a defense lawyer.


A.        Unlawful detention shall be prohibited.

B.        Imprisonment or detention shall be prohibited in places not designed for these purposes, pursuant to prison laws covering health and social care, and subject to the authorities of the State.

Thirteenth: The preliminary investigative documents shall be submitted to the competent judge in a period not to exceed twenty-four hours from the time of the arrest of the accused, which may be extended only once and for the same period.

Article 20:

Iraqi citizens, men and women, shall have the right to participate in public affairs and to enjoy political rights including the right to vote, elect, and run for office.

Article 21:

First: No Iraqi shall be surrendered to foreign entities and authorities.

Second: A law shall regulate the right of political asylum in Iraq. No political refugee shall be surrendered to a foreign entity or returned forcibly to the country from which he fled.

Third: Political asylum shall not be granted to a person accused of committing international or terrorist crimes or to any person who inflicted damage on Iraq.

Second: Economic, Social and Cultural Liberties

Article 22:

First: Work is a right for all Iraqis in a way that guarantees a dignified life forthem.

Second: The law shall regulate the relationship between employees and employers on economic bases and while observing the rules of social justice.

Third: The State shall guarantee the right to form and join unions and professional associations, and this shall be regulated by law.

Article 23:

First: Private property is protected. The owner shall have the right to benefit, exploit and dispose of private property within the limits of the law.

Second: Expropriation is not permissible except for the purposes of public benefit in return for just compensation, and this shall be regulated by law.


A.        Every Iraqi shall have the right to own property anywhere in Iraq. No others may possess immovable assets, except as exempted   by law.

B.        Ownership of property for the purposes of demographic change is prohibited.

Article 24:

The State shall guarantee freedom of movement of Iraqi manpower, goods, and capital between regions and governorates, and this shall be regulated by law.

Article 25:

The State shall guarantee the reform of the Iraqi economy in accordance with modern economic principles to insure the full investment of its resources, diversification of its sources, and the encouragement and development of the private sector.

Article 26:

The State shall guarantee the encouragement of investment in the various sectors, and this shall be regulated by law.

Article 27:

First: Public assets are sacrosanct, and their protection is the duty of each citizen.

Second: The provisions related to the preservation of State properties, their management, the conditions for their disposal, and the limits for these assets not to be relinquished shall all be regulated by law.

Article 28:

First: No taxes or fees shall be levied, amended, collected, or exempted, except bylaw.

Second: Low income earners shall be exempted from taxes in a way that guarantees the preservation of the minimum income required for living. This shall be regulated by law.

Article 29:


A.        The family is the foundation of society; the State shall preserve it and its religious, moral, and national values.

B.        The State shall guarantee the protection of motherhood, childhood and old age, shall care for children and youth, and shall provide them with the appropriate conditions to develop their talents and abilities.

Second: Children have the right to upbringing, care and education from their parents. Parents have the right to respect and care from their children, especially in times of need, disability, and old age.

Third: Economic exploitation of children in all of its forms shall be prohibited, and the State shall take the necessary measures for their protection.

Fourth: All forms of violence and abuse in the family, school, and society shall be prohibited.

Article 30:

First: The State shall guarantee to the individual and the family – especially children and women – social and health security, the basic requirements for living a free and decent life, and shall secure for them suitable income and appropriate housing.

Second: The State shall guarantee social and health security to Iraqis in cases of old age, sickness, employment disability, homelessness, orphanhood, or unemployment, shall work to protect them from ignorance, fear and poverty, and shall provide them housing and special programs of care and rehabilitation, and this shall be regulated by law.

Article 31:

First: Every citizen has the right to health care. The State shall maintain public health and provide the means of prevention and treatment by building different types of hospitals and health institutions.

Second: Individuals and entities have the right to build hospitals, clinics, or private health care centers under the supervision of the State, and this shall be regulated by law.

Article 32:

The State shall care for the handicapped and those with special needs, and shall ensure their rehabilitation in order to reintegrate them into society, and this shall be regulated by law.

Article 33:

First: Every individual has the right to live in safe environmental conditions.

Second: The State shall undertake the protection and preservation of the environment and its biological diversity.

Article 34:

First: Education is a fundamental factor for the progress of society and is a right guaranteed by the state. Primary education is mandatory and the state guarantees that it shall combat illiteracy.

Second: Free education in all its stages is a right for all Iraqis.

Third: The State shall encourage scientific research for peaceful purposes that serve humanity and shall support excellence, creativity, invention, and different aspects of ingenuity.

Fourth: Private and public education shall be guaranteed, and this shall be regulated by law.

Article 35:

The state shall promote cultural activities and institutions in a manner that befits the civilizational and cultural history of Iraq, and it shall seek to support indigenous Iraqi cultural orientations.

Article 36:

Practicing sports is a right of every Iraqi and the state shall encourage and care for such activities and shall provide for their requirements.

Chapter Two


Article 37:


A.        The liberty and dignity of man shall be protected.

B.        No person may be kept in custody or investigated except according to a judicial decision.

C.        All forms of psychological and physical torture and inhumane treatment are prohibited. Any confession made under force, threat, or torture shall not be relied on, and the victim shall have the right to seek compensation for material and moral damages incurred in accordance with the law.

Second: The State shall guarantee protection of the individual from intellectual, political and religious coercion.

Third: Forced labor, slavery, slave trade, trafficking in women or children, and sex trade shall be prohibited.

Article 38:

The State shall guarantee in a way that does not violate public order and morality:

A.        Freedom of expression using all means.

B.        Freedom of press, printing, advertisement, media and publication.

C.        Freedom of assembly and peaceful demonstration, and this shall be regulated by law.

Article 39:

First: The freedom to form and join associations and political parties shall be guaranteed, and this shall be regulated by law

Second: It is not permissible to force any person to join any party, society, or political entity, or force him to continue his membership in it.

Article 40:

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

Article 41:

Iraqis are free in their commitment to their personal status according to their religions, sects, beliefs, or choices, and this shall be regulated by law.

Article 42:

Each individual shall have the freedom of thought, conscience, and belief.

Article 43:

First: The followers of all religions and sects are free in the:

A-   Practice of religious rites, including the Husseini rituals.

B-   Management of religious endowments (waqf), their affairs, and their religious institutions, and this shall be regulated by law.

Second: The State shall guarantee freedom of worship and the protection of places of worship.

Article 44:

First: Each Iraqi has freedom of movement, travel, and residence inside and outside Iraq.

Second: No Iraqi may be exiled, displaced, or deprived from returning to the homeland.

Article 45:

First: The State shall seek to strengthen the role of civil society institutions, and to support, develop and preserve their independence in a way that is consistent with peaceful means to achieve their legitimate goals, and this shall be regulated by law.

Second: The State shall seek the advancement of the Iraqi clans and tribes, shall attend to their affairs in a manner that is consistent with religion and the law, and shall uphold their noble human values in a way that contributes to the development of society. The State shall prohibit the tribal traditions that are in contradiction with human rights.

Article 46:

Restricting or limiting the practice of any of the rights or liberties stipulated in this Constitution is prohibited, except by a law or on the basis of a law, and insofar as that limitation or restriction does not violate the essence of the right or freedom.

Next: Section 3 – Federal Powers

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