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Excerpts from the National Assembly of the Republic of Nicaragua
Political Constitution January 9, 1987

Rights, Duties and Guarantees of the Nicaraguan People


Article 23 The right to life is inviolable and inherent to all persons. There is no death penalty in Nicaragua.

Article 24 All persons have duties to their families, the community, the Homeland and humanity. The rights of each person are limited by the rights of others, the collective security and the just requirements of the common good.

Article 25 All persons have the rights to: 1. personal freedom; 2. security; 3. seek legal redress.

Article 26 All persons have the right to: 1. privacy and the privacy of their family; 2. the inviolability of their home, correspondence, and communications; 3. respect for their honor and reputation.

A private home may be searched only with a warrant from a competent judge or expressly authorized official to prevent a crime from being committed or to avoid damage to persons or goods, in accordance with the procedures established by law. The law shall determine the cases and the procedures for an examination of private documents, fiscal records and related documents, when such is indispensable for the investigation of matters before the Courts or for fiscal reasons. Illegally seized letters, documents and other private papers shall be null and void in legal proceedings or elsewhere.

Article 27 All persons are equal before the law and have the right to equal protection under the law. There shall be no discrimination for reasons of birth, nationality, political belief, race, gender, language, religion, opinion, national origin, economic position or social condition....

Article 29 All persons have the right to freedom of conscience and thought and to profess or not to profess a religion. No one shall be the object of coercive measures which diminish these rights, or be obligated to declare his or her creed, ideology or beliefs.

Article 30 Nicaraguans have the right to freely express their beliefs in public or private, individually or collectively, in oral, written or any other form.

Article 31 Nicaraguans have the right to travel and to establish their residence in any part of the nation and to freely enter and exit the country....

Article 33 No one may be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned, or be deprived of liberty except in cases established by law and in accordance with legal procedures.... Therefore:... [A]n individual may be detained only by a warrant issued from a competent Judge or an official expressly authorized by law, except when apprehended in the act of committing a crime.... [A]ll detained persons have the right to be:... [I]nformed in detail without delay of the reasons for their detention and the charges against them, in a language they understand; to have their family informed; and to be treated with respect in accordance with the dignity inherent in human beings... [B]rought before a competent legal authority within 72 hours....

Article 34 All those awaiting trial have equal rights to the following minimum guarantees:... To be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to the law... To be tried without undue delay by a competent court established by law.... To be guaranteed the right to a defense, to participate personally from the start of the proceedings and to adequate time and means to prepare their defense.... To be represented by a public defender when legal counsel has not been selected by the time of the first hearing, or in the event that no prior call was decreed. The accused shall have the right to communicate freely and in private with his or her legal counsel.... Not to be obligated to testify against themselves or against a spouse or a partner in a stable de facto union, or a family member within the fourth level of consanguinity or the second of marital relations, or to admit their own guilt... To be found guilty or not guilty within the legal time period, by each of the relevant courts... To have the right to appeal to a superior court upon conviction of any crime and not to be retried for any crime for which a final judgment of conviction or acquittal has been issued... Not to be brought to trial or sentenced for acts or omissions which at the time committed had not been unequivocally established by Law as a punishable crime, and not to be given a sentence which has not been previously established by law.

Criminal proceedings are open to the public, but in some cases the press and the general public may be excluded for moral considerations or for... public order or national security....

Article 36 All persons shall have the rights to respect for their physical, psychological and moral integrity. No one shall be subjected to torture, nor inhumane, cruel or degrading treatment....

Article 38 The law is not retroactive except in penal matters that favor the accused....

Article 40 No one shall be subjected to involuntary servitude. Slavery and slave trade in any form are prohibited.

Article 41 No one shall be detained for indebtedness....

Article 42 Nicaragua guarantees asylum to those persecuted for their struggle for democracy, peace, justice and human rights....

Article 43 Extradition from Nicaragua will not be permitted for political crimes or common crimes committed in conjunction with them, at Nicaragua's own discretion....

Article 44 Nicaraguans have the right to the personal property and necessary goods that is essential for the integral development of each person.

Article 45 Persons whose constitutional rights have been violated or are in danger of violation have the right to present writs of habeas corpus or amparo, according to the circumstances and the Law of Amparo (a legal procedure for the review of administrative acts).

Article 46 All persons in Nicaragua shall enjoy protection and recognition by the state of the rights inherent to human beings, as well as unrestricted respect, promotion and protection of human rights....


Article 47 All Nicaraguans who have reached 16 years of age are full citizens....

Article 48 Unconditional equality among Nicaraguans in the enjoyment of political rights is established. In the exercise of these rights and in the fulfillment of these responsibilities and rights and in the fulfillment of these responsibilities and obligations, there exists absolute equality between men and women....

Article 52 Citizens have the right, individually or collectively, to petition, to denounce irregularities and to make constructive criticisms to the branches of government or to any authority, and to obtain a quick resolution or response and to have the result made known within the time period established by law.

Article 53 The right to peaceful assembly is recognized; the exercise of this right does not require prior permission.

Article 54 The right to public assembly, demonstration and mobilization in conformity with the law is recognized.

Article 55 Nicaraguan citizens have the right to organize or affiliate with political parties with the objective of participating in, exercising or vying for power....


Article 58 Nicaraguans have the right to education and culture.

Article 59 Every Nicaraguan has an equal right to health care....

Article 60 Nicaraguans have the right to live in a healthy environment and it is the obligation of the state to preserve, conserve and reclaim the environment and the natural resources of the country.

Article 61 The state guarantees Nicaraguans the right to social security for protection against the social contingencies of life and work, in the manner and conditions determined by law.

Article 62 The state shall strive to establish programs for the physical, psycho-social and professional rehabilitation of disabled people, and for their job placement.

Article 63 It is the right of all Nicaraguans to be protected against hunger....

Article 64 Nicaraguans have the right to decent, comfortable and safe housing that guarantees familial privacy....

Article 65 Nicaraguans have the right to sports, physical education, relaxation, and recreation....

Article 66 Nicaraguans have the right to accurate information. This right includes the freedom to seek, receive and disseminate information and ideas, be they spoken or written, in graphic or any other form.

Article 67 The right to provide information is a social responsibility and shall be exercised with strict respect for the principles established in the Constitution. This right cannot be subject to censorship, but may be subject to retroactive liability established by law.

Article 68 The mass media is at the service of national interests. The state shall promote the access of the public and its organizations to the means of communication, and shall prevent the media from responding to foreign interests or to any economic power monopoly. The existence and functioning of public, corporate or private means of communication shall not be the object of prior censorship. It shall be subject to the law.

Article 69 All persons, either individually or collectively, have the right to practice their religion in public or private, through worship, practice and teaching.

Article 70 No one may disobey the law or prevent others from exercising their rights and fulfilling their duties by invoking religious beliefs or inclination.


Article 70 The family is the fundamental nucleus of society and has the right to protection by society and the state....

Article 72 Marriage and stable de facto unions are protected by the state; they rest on the voluntary agreement between a man and a woman, and may be dissolved by mutual consent or by the will of one of the parties, as provided by law.

Article 73 Family relations rest on respect, solidarity and absolute equality of rights and responsibilities between the man and woman...

Article 74 The state grants special protection to the process of human reproduction. Women shall have special protection during pregnancy and shall be granted maternity leave with pay and appropriate social security benefits. No one may deny employment to women for reasons of pregnancy nor dismiss them during pregnancy or the postnatal period, in conformity with the law.

Article 75 All children have equal rights. There shall be no discrimination for reasons of filial relations....


Article 80 Work is a right and a social responsibility. The labor of Nicaraguans is the fundamental means to satisfy the needs of society and of the individual, and is the source of the wealth and prosperity of the nation....

Article 83 The right to strike is recognized.

Article 84 Child labor that can affect normal childhood development or interfere with the obligatory school year is prohibited. Children and adolescents shall be protected against any form of economic and social exploitation....

Article 87 Full labor union freedom exists in Nicaragua. Workers may organize voluntarily in unions, which shall be constituted in conformity with the law.... Excerpts from The Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines 1986


Section 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.

Sec. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

Sec. 3. (1) The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court, or when public safety or order requires otherwise as prescribed by law.

(2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.

Sec. 4. No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.

Sec. 5. No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.

Sec. 6. The liberty of abode and of changing the same within the limits prescribed by law shall not be impaired except upon lawful order of the court. Neither shall the right to travel be impaired except in the interest of national security, public safety, or public health, as may be provided by la

Sec. 7. The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.

Sec. 8. The right of the people, including those employed in the public and private sectors, to form unions, associations, or societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not be abridged.

Sec. 9. Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.

Sec. 10. No law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed.

Sec. 11. Free access to the courts and quasi-judicial bodies and adequate legal assistance shall not be denied to any person by reason of poverty.

Sec. 12. (1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel.

(2) No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiate the free will shall be used against him. Secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention are prohibited.

(3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in evidence against him.

(4) The law shall provide for penal and civil sanctions for violations of this section as well as compensation to and rehabilitation of victims of torture or similar practices, and their families.

Sec. 13. All persons, except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on recognizance as may be provided by law. The right to bail shall not be impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. Excessive bail shall not be required.

Sec. 14. (1) No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law.

(2) In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved, and shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to have a speedy, impartial, and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence in his behalf. However, after arraignment, trial may proceed notwithstanding the absence of the accused provided that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear is unjustifiable.

Sec. 15. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except in cases of invasion or rebellion when the public safety requires it.

Sec. 16. All persons shall have the right to a speedy disposition of their cases before all judicial, quasi- judicial, or administrative bodies.

Sec. 17. No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.

Sec. 18. (1) No person shall be detained solely by reason of his political beliefs and aspirations.

(2) No involuntary servitude in any form shall exist except as a punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.

Sec. 19. (1) Excessive fines shall not be imposed, nor cruel, degrading or inhuman punishment inflicted. Neither shall death penalty be imposed, unless, for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes, the Congress hereafter provides for it. Any death penalty already imposed shall be reduced to reclusion perpetua.

(2) The enjoyment of physical, psychological, or degrading punishment against any prisoner or detainee or the use of substandard or inadequate penal facilities under subhuman conditions shall be dealt with by law.

Sec. 20. No person shall be imprisoned for debt or non- payment of a poll tax.

Sec. 21. No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense. If an act is punished by a law and an ordinance, conviction or acquittal under either shall constitute a bar to another prosecution for the same act.

Sec. 22. No ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted.