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LIC-III ---_--i -.~i^i-- ~-ii -ii~^l~-il I i~~_- --_ri-~_ I-l.-~_i-i_- I1IIX- iU~~-
(AS AMENDED 1971)
/ ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES
This Series is published under the direction of the General Legal
Division, Department of Legal Affairs.
TITLE I The Territory of the Republic
TITLE II Rights
Haitian Citizens and Their Rights
Civil and Political Rights
Individual Rights and Guarantees
TITLE III Duties
Responsibilities of Government Officials
TITLE IV National Sovereignty
Chapter I The Exercise of National Sovereignty
Chapter II The Legislative Branch
Section I The Legislature
Section II The National Assembly
Section III Exercise of the Legislative Power
Chapter III The Executive Branch
Section I The President of the Republic
Section II Secretaries of State
Section III The Supreme Technical Council
Chapter IV The Judicial Branch
Prosecution of Members of the Branches
TITLE V Primary Assemblies
TITLE VI The Administrative System
Communal and Prefectural Institutions,
Technical and Administrative Councils
of Arrondissements and Administrative
Councils of Rural Sections
Chapter II Civil Service
TITLE VII Public Finance
National Revenue and the Budget
Agencies for the Administration of
Government Revenue and Control
of Public Expenditures
TITLE VIII The Economic System
TITLE IX The Social System
TITLE X Culture
Health and Welfare
The Armed Forces
Revision of the Constitution
CONSTITUTION OF HAITI *
The Haitian people proclaim the present constitution in order to:
Establish their sovereignty;
Define their rights, duties, and responsibilities;
Establish a balance of the powers of the state;
Establish an efficient organization of the government;
Guarantee justice and social security;
Provide the benefits of culture to all Haitians without distinction;
Safeguard and promote the health of the Haitian people;
Strengthen internal peace; and
Thus establish a Haitian nation that is socially just, economically free, and
politically independent under a democracy adapted to its customs and traditions.
THE TERRITORY OF THE REPUBLIC
Article 1. Haiti is an indivisible, sovereign, independent, democratic, and
Port-au-Prince, its capital, is the seat of its government. This seat may be
moved elsewhere for reasons of force majeure.
All islands within the limits established by international law, of which the
principal ones are: La Tortue, La Gonave, 1'Ile a Vaches, les Cayemittes, La Navase,
and La Grande Caye, are an integral part of the territory of the republic, which is
inviolable and may not be alienated by any treaty or convention.
As amended by Decree of the National Constituent Assembly, dated
January 14, 1971, published in Le Moniteur of January 20, 1971.
Article 2. The territory of the Republic of Haiti is divided into nine depart-
ments, as follows: North, Northeast, Northwest, Artibonite, Center, West, South-
east, South, and Grand'Anse. The law shall fixthe boundaries of these departments.
Each department is subdivided into arrondissements, each arrondissement
into communes, and each commune into quarters (wards) and rural sections. The
law shall determine the number and boundaries of these subdivisions and shall also
regulate their organization and functioning.
Haitian Citizens and Their Rights
Article 3. The regulations concerning nationality shall be determined by law.
Article 4. Any person born of a native-born Haitian father shallbe considered
a native-born Haitian. Any person born in Haiti of an unknown father, but whose
mother is native-born Haitian, shall also be considered a native-born Haitian.
Article 5. The life and liberty of Haitians are sacred and must be respected
by individuals and by the state.
The state must also ensure the benefits of culture, economic welfare, and
social justice to the citizens of the republic.
Civil and Political Rights
Article 6. The aggregate of civil and political rights constitutes citizenship.
The exercise of civil rights, independent of political rights, shall be regula-
ted by law.
Article 7. The exercise, enjoyment, suspension, and loss of political rights
shall be regulated by law.
Article 8. All Haitians, regardless of sex, who have attained 18 years of
age may exercise their political and civil rights if they meet the conditions pre-
scribed by the constitution and by law.
Article 9. An alien woman married to a Haitian takes the nationality of her
husband. A Haitian woman married to an alien retains her Haitian nationality.
An alien woman in this situation must, before marrying, repeat these words,
to be inserted in the marriage certificate: "I renounce the nationality of any other
country than Haiti. "
Article 10. An alien may acquire Haitian nationality after ten years' contin-
uous residence in the territory of the republic, provided he conforms to the regula-
tions established by law.
Naturalized aliens shall not be permitted to exercise their political rights
until five years after the date of their naturalization.
Article 11. The status of naturalized Haitian shall be lost in all cases pro-
vided by law, particularly by continuous residence for more than three years
outside Haitian territory without duly granted authorization.
A person who loses his nationality in this manner may not reacquire it.
Article 12. Aliens may not benefit from the advantages intended especially
for Haitians by establishing a corporation pursuant to the laws of the republic. In
this connection, retail business shall be reserved exclusively to Haitians.
Article 13. Any alien who is in the territory of the republic must obey the
laws and regulations of the country and shall enjoy the protection accorded to
Haitians, except in the event of any measures which it may become necessary to
apply against nationals of countries where Haitians do not enjoy the same protection.
Article 14. The right to own real property shall be accorded to aliens resid-
ing in Haiti and to foreign companies for the needs of their agricultural, industrial,
commercial, or educational enterprises, within the limits and under the conditions
prescribed by law.
This right shall likewise be accorded to aliens residing in Haiti for their
residential needs. Foreign construction companies shall have the benefit of a spe-
cial status regulated by law.
However, an alien residing in Haiti may not own more than one dwelling in the
same locality. He may in no case, engage in the business of renting real estate.
This right to own real property shall terminate two years after an alien has
ceased to reside in the country or after the operations of the agricultural, indus-
trial, commercial, or educational enterprises of foreign individuals or companies
The law shall determine the regulations to be followed, in the event of the
cessation of residence or operation in Haiti, in liquidating the property acquired in
the country by foreign individuals or companies.
Any violation of the provisions of the first and second paragraphs of this arti-
cle shall result in the pure and simple seizure of the property by the state.
Any citizen may report such a violation or the circumstances of cessation of
residence or of operations.
Article 15. In the cases determined by law an alien maybe refused admission
to, or sojourn in, the territory of the republic.
An alien may be deported from Haiti when he interferes either directly or in-
directly in the political life of the state or spreads doctrines that are anarchistic
or contrary to democracy.
Individual Rights and Guarantees
Article 16. Haitians shall be equal before the law, subject to the special ad-
vantages conferred on native-born Haitians.
Every Haitian may take an active part in his country's government, hold pub-
lic office, or be appointed to a government position, without distinction as to color,
sex, or religion.
In the administration of government services, the appointment of personnel,
and the terms and conditions of their employment, must be free of privileges, fa-
vors, and discrimination.
Article 17. Individual liberty shall be guaranteed. No one maybe prosecuted
arrested, or detained except in the cases determined by law and in the manner
which it prescribes.
In addition, no one may be arrested or detained except by order of a legally
For the execution of such an order, it is necessary:
1. that it formally state the reason for the arrest and the law that punishes
the act charged;
2. that legal notice of it be given and that a copy of the order be left withthe
accused at the time of its execution, except in case of flagrante delicto.
No one may be kept under arrest more than forty-eight hours unless he
has appeared before a judge who is assigned to rule on the legality of the arrest
and the judge has confirmed the arrest by a decision giving reasons.
In the case of a petty offense, the arrested person shall be referred to the
justice of the peace, who will then pronounce a final decision.
In the case of a more serious offense, an appeal may be filed, without prior
permission, simply by addressing a petition to the presiding judge of the compe-
tent civil court, who, on the basis of the oral statement of the prosecutor, shall
rule on the legality of the arrest in a special session of the court, without postpone-
ment or rotation of judges, all other cases being suspended.
In either case, if the arrest is judged illegal, the arrested person shall be
released, any appeal to a higher court or the Court of Cassation notwithstanding.
Any unnecessary force or restraint in the apprehension of a person or in
keeping him under arrest, any moral pressure or physical brutality, is forbidden.
All violations of these provisions shall be considered arbitrary acts against
which the injured parties may, without prior authorization, appeal to the compe-
tent courts, prosecuting either the authors or the perpetrators, regardless of their
rank or the body to which they belong.
Article 18. No one may be denied access to the judges whom the constitution
or the law assigns to him. A civilian may not be tried by a military court nor may
a military person be denied access to a court of ordinary law, in an exclusively
civil matter, except when a state of siege has been declared by law.
Article 19. House searches and seizures of papers shall be prohibited ex-
cept by virtue of law and in accordance with legally prescribed procedures.
Article 20. This law shall not be retroactive in effect except in criminal
cases when it is favorable to the offender.
The law shall be retroactive in effect whenever it takes away vested rights.
Article 21. No penalty may be established except by law, or imposed except
in the cases provided by law.
Article 22. The right of ownership is guaranteed to the citizens. Expropria-
tion for a legally established public purpose may be effected only by the advance
payment, or deposit, in favor of the person entitled thereto, of fair compensation.
Property also entails certain obligations. Its use must be in the public interest.
Landowners have an obligation to the community to cultivate, work, and pro-
tect their land, particularly against erosion.
The penalty for failure to fulfill this obligation shall be prescribed by law.
The right of ownership shall not extend to springs, rivers, or other water-
courses, mines, and quarries in the subsoil. These are part of the public domain.
The law shall establish regulations governing freedom to prospect for and
work mines, ore-bearing earths, and quarries, ensuring an equal share of the pro-
fits of such exploitation to the owner of the land and to the state or its concession-
The law shall fix the limit on the right of ownership.
Article 23. Freedom to work shall be exercised under the control and super-
vision of the state and shall be regulated by law.
However, save for the exceptions and distinctions established by law, all im-
porters, agents, and manufacturers' representatives shall be prohibited from en-
gaging in retail trade, even through an intermediary.
The law shall define what is meant by an intermediary.
Article 24. Every worker shall be entitled to a fair wage, job training,
health protection, social security, and the welfare of his family insofar as his
country's economic development permits.
It shall be a moral obligation of the employer to contribute to the education
of his illiterate workers according to his means.
Any worker may participate, through his representatives, in the collective
determination of working conditions. All workers shall be entitled to rest and
All workers may protect their interests through trade-union activities. Each
worker shall belong to the trade union representing his particular occupation.
Annual vacations with pay shall be compulsory.
Article 25. Capital punishment may not be imposed for any political offense
The crime of treason consists in taking up arms against the Republic of Haiti,
joining avowed enemies of Haiti, and giving them aid and comfort.
Article 26. Everyone has the right to express his opinion on any matter and
by every means within his power.
The expression of thought, whatever form it takes, may not be subjected to
prior censorship except when war has been declared.
Abuses of the right of freedom of speech shall be defined and punished bylaw.
Article 27. All religions and faiths shall be equally recognized and free.
Everyone may profess his religion and practice his faith, provided he does not dis-
turb law and order.
No one may be compelled to belong to a religious organization or to follow a
religious teaching contrary to his convictions.
Article 28. Since marriage tends to purity of morals by contributing to a
better organization of the family, the fundamental basis of society, the state shall
facilitate it and encourage its spread among the people, particularly in the rural
In the organization of marriage, the law shall protect Haitian women in par-
Article 29. Freedom of education shall be exercised in accordance with the
law, under the control and supervision of the state, which should see to the moral
and civic training of the young.
Public education shall be the responsibility of the state and the communes.
Primary education shall be compulsory.
Public education shall be free of charge at all levels.
Technical and vocational training shall be generalized.
Higher education shall be open to all, on an equal basis, according to merit
Article 30. In the cases determined by law, a jury shall be used in criminal
trials and for political offenses committed through the press or by some other
Article 31. Haitians may assemble peaceably and without arms, even forthe
purpose of discussing political affairs, without prior authorization, in conformity
with the laws governing the exercise of this right.
This provision shall not apply to public gatherings, which shall be entirely
subject to police regulations.
Article 32. Haitians shall have the right of association, of forming political
parties, labor unions, and cooperatives.
This right may not be subjected to any preventive measure. And no one may
be compelled to join an association or a political party.
The law shall regulate the conditions for the functioning of these groups and
shall promote their formation.
Article 33. The right of petition shall be exercised personally by one ormore
individuals, never in behalf of a group.
Any petition addressed to the legislative body must give rise to the regulatory
procedure making it possible to rule on the object of the petition.
Article 34. Correspondence shall be inviolable, subject to the penalties pro-
vided by law.
Article 35. French shall be the official language. Its use shall be compulsory
in government services. However, the law shall determine in what cases and under
what conditions the use of Creole may be permitted, and even recommended, for the
purpose of safeguarding the material and moral interests of citizens who do not know
the French language well enough.
Article 36. The right of asylum shall be accorded to political refugees, pro-
vided they conform to the laws of the country.
Article 37. Extradition in political matters shall not be permitted.
Article 38. The law may neither add to nor derogate from the constitution.
The letter of the constitution shall always prevail.
Article 39. Civic duties attend the status of citizen and civil and political
Civic duties are the aggregate moral, political, social, and economic obliga-
tions of the citizen toward the state and the nation.
Article 40. For the citizen, voting is not only a right but an obligation im-
posed by his civic duty.
Responsibilities of Government Officials and Employees
Article 41. Before taking office, every official in the sense defined and spec-
ified by law shall swear on his honor to discharge conscientiously the duties of his
office, to be loyal to his country, and to carry out and enforce the constitution and
laws andthe regulations enacted under the constitution or law. A written statement
of the official's oath shall be prepared for his signature, and a certified copy of it
issued to him for all pertinent purposes.
Article 42. Officials who have knowledge of a violation committed against the
treasury by their subordinate personnel must so inform the competent authorities
as soon as possible, on pain of being considered harborers of persons and prose-
cuted as such.
Article 43. If government officials or employees are guilty of unlawful gain
at the expense of the public treasury, they must restore to the state the amounts
illegally acquired without prejudice to the criminal proceedings provided by law.
Unlawful gain may be proved by all kinds of evidence, particularly by pre-
sumption of fact. It shall be deduced, in particular, from a marked discrepancy
between the means of the official, acquired after he took office (personal and real
property) and the accumulated amount of the salary or fees to which he was entitled
by virtue of his office. In determining such unlawful gain, the total capital of the
official plus that of his wife and minor children shall be considered as forming a
The government officials and employees specified by law shall be required to
make a statement of their property to the clerk of the civil court within sixty
days of their entry upon duty. The competent government representative may take
whatever measures he deems necessary to verify the accuracy of the declaration.
Article 44. Any official who commits the above-mentioned offenses may be
accorded a ten-year prescription only. This prescription shall be computed from
the termination of his duties.
Article 45. A violation of these constitutional provisions shall be specially
punished by law, and persons who commit such offenses shall not be entitled to the
clemency of the president of the republic.
The Exercise of National Sovereignty
Article 46. National sovereignty is vested in all the citizens.
The people shall exercise the prerogatives of sovereignty directly by:
1. election of the president of the republic;
2. election of the members of the Legislature;
3. election of the communal councillors; and by
4. the opinion which they express, in a referendum, on all matters concern-
ing them and referred to them by the chief executive.
Article 47. Subject to the provisions of the preceding article, the exercise of
national sovereignty shall be delegated to three branches of government: the execu-
tive, the legislative, and the judicial.
They shall constitute the government of the republic, which shall be essentially
civil, democratic, and representative.
Article 48. Each branch shall be independent of the other two in its functions,
which it shall perform separately.
No branch may delegate its functions or exceed the limits established for it.
Each of the three branches shall be responsible for its acts.
The Legislative Branch
Article 49. The legislative power shall be exercised by one chamber called
Article 50. The number of members of the Legislature shall be fixed at
fifty-eight (58) deputies until such time as the number and area of the electoral
districts are fixed on the basis of the economic and political importance and the
population density of each arrondissement.
Deputies shall be elected by a majority of the votes cast in the primary as-
semblies, under the conditions and in the manner prescribed by law.
Article 51. To be eligible for membership in the Legislature, it shall be
1. to be a Haitian and never to have renounced Haitian nationality;
2. to have attained 18 years of age;
3. to enjoy civil and political rights;
4. to have resided at least five years in the district to be represented.
Article 52. Members of the Legislature shall be elected for six years
and may be reelected an indefinite number of times.
They shall enter upon the performance of their duties on the second Monday
in April of the year in which they are elected, unless elected to fill a vacancy. In
that event, they shall take office when elected and shall serve only for the remainder
of the unexpired term.
Article 53. In the event of the death, resignation, disqualification, judicial
interdiction, or expulsion of a deputy, or of his acceptance of another office incom-
patible with that of a member of the Legislature, the replacement of such deputy in
his electoral district, for the remainder of his term only, shall be done by special
election upon convocation of the primary electoral assembly by the president of the
However, before accepting a resignation, the Legislature may conduct any
kind of investigation of the circumstances surrounding the resignation.
This special election shall take place within thirty days of the convening
of the primary assembly.
The procedure shall be the same in default of election or in case of the inva-
lidity of elections in one or more districts.
However, if the vacancy occurs during or after the last regular session of
the Legislature, no by-election shall be held.
Article 54. The following persons may not be members of the Legislature:
1. contractors or concessionnaires of the state in the operation of public
services or the exploitation of national resources;
2. representatives or agents of contractors or concessionnaires of the
state, whether individuals or companies;
unless the persons concerned publicly cancel or transfer their contracts to third
parties other than members of their immediate families, blood relatives, or rela-
tives by marriage; or publicly and actually resign as representatives or agents of
the contractors or concessionnaires of the state.
The National Assembly
Article 55. The members of the Legislature shall meet as a National Assem-
bly for the opening and closing of each session and in the cases specified in Article
56 of this constitution.
Article 56. The functions of the National Assembly shall be:
1. to declare war on the recommendation of the executive branch;
2. to approve or reject peace treaties and other international treaties and
3. to revise the constitution;
4. to act as a high court of justice.
Article 57. The meetings of the National Assembly shall be public. However,
at the request of five members, they may be held in secret and it shall be decided
at that time by a majority vote whether the meeting is to be resumed in public.
Article 58. In case of emergency, when the Legislature is not in session,
the executive branch may call a special session of the National Assembly.
Article 59. The adoption of decisions in the National Assembly shall require
the presence of two thirds of the members of the Legislature.
Exercise of the Legislative Power
Article 60. The seat of the Legislature shall be in Port-au-Prince. However,
if circumstances require, the seat may be transferred elsewhere, to the same
place and at the same time as that of the executive branch.
Article 61. The Legislature shall meet automatically on the second Monday
in April each year.
The session shall date from the first meeting of the Legislature sitting as a
The session shall last three months. If necessary, it may be extended one
or two months by the executive or the legislative branch.
The president of the republic may adjourn the Legislature, but the adjourn-
ment may not be for more than one month or for less than fifteen days, and
there may not be more than two adjournments in a single session.
The time of the adjournment may not be charged to the length of the session
established by the constitution.
Article 62. In case of a serious conflict between the legislative branch and
the executive branch, the president of the republic may dissolve the Legislature.
The decree dissolving the Legislature shall, at the same time, provide for
the holding of new elections.
The publication of the decree shall entail the immediate dismissal of allmem-
bers of the cabinet, none of whom may be a member of the new government.
These elections shall be held not less than three months from the publica-
tion of the decree.
During the recess of the Legislature resulting from the decree of dissolution,
the president of the republic shall provide for the needs of the public services by
an arrete (order) issued by the council of the secretaries of state.
Nevertheless, he may not exercise the right of dissolution until after he has
applied the procedure of adjournment without success, or when, in accordance
with the preceding article, he may no longer resort to that method.
Article 63. In the intervals between sessions and in case of emergency, the
president of the republic may convene a special session of the Legislature.
In that event, the Legislature may not take up any matter not pertinent to the
reasons for convoking the session.
However, any member of the Legislature may address the Assembly on mat-
ters of public interest.
Article 64. The Legislature shall verify and validate the powers of its mem-
bers and shall be the final judge on disputes arising in this connection.
Article 65. The members of the Legislature shall take the following oath:
"I swear to uphold the rights of the people and to abide by the constitution. "
Article 66. The meetings of the Legislature shall be public. However, the
Assembly may meet in closed session at the request of five members and then
decide by a majority vote if the session is to be resumed in public.
Article 67. No monopoly may be established except in favor of the state or
the communes, in the cases and under the conditions determined by law.
However, in the exercise of this privilege, the state or the communes, may
enter into partnerships with or replace companies or corporations. In that event,
the contract of concession must be submitted to the Legislature for ratification.
Article 68. The legislative branch shall enact laws on all matters of general
The initiative for such action shall rest with the Legislature and the executive
Nevertheless, the executive branch alone may take the initiative for laws con-
cerning public expenditures, and the Legislature may not increase the expenditures
proposed by the executive branch.
Article 69. Through its bylaws, the Legislature shall appoint its personnel,
provide for discipline, and establish the procedure for exercising its powers.
It may impose disciplinary penalties on its members and even expel those
who have been recognized to be guilty of reprehensible conduct.
Article 70. The members of the Legislature shall be inviolable from the day
they take the oath of office until the expiration of their term.
They may not be barred from the Assembly, nor may they at any time be pro-
secuted and attacked for their opinions and votes expressed in the performance of
their functions or occasioned by such performance.
Article 71. No physical restraint may be used against a member of the Leg-
islature during his term of office.
Article 72. During his term of office, no member of the Legislature may be
prosecuted or arrested for a crime, misdemeanor or petty offense, or even a po-
litical offense, without the authorization of the Assembly, except in case of fla-
grante delicto for an act punishable by the loss of liberty, life, or civil rights.
The case shall then be referred to the Legislative Assembly if it is in session;
if not, the president of the republic shall call a special session of the Legislature
within forty-eight hours of the arrest to inform it of the decision made regard-
ing the said member.
Article 73. The Legislature may not adopt decisions unless a majority of its
members are present.
Article 74. An act of the Legislature may be adopted only by a majority vote
of the members present, except as otherwise provided by the constitution.
Article 75. The Legislature may investigate any matter referred to it.
This right shall be limited by the principle of the separation of powers, pur-
suant to Article 47 of this constitution.
Article 76. No bill may be passed by the Assembly until it has been voted
on article by article.
Article 77. The Legislature may amend and divide the proposed articles.
No bill may become law until it has been voted on in its entirety.
Any bill may be withdrawn from discussion so long as it has not been defini-
tively voted upon.
Article 78. Every law passed by the Legislature shall immediately be trans-
mitted to the president of the republic, who, before promulgating the law, may ob-
ject to all or any part of it.
In that event, he shall return the law to the Legislature with his objections.
Article 79. If the law is amended by the Legislature, it shall be sent to the
president of the republic for promulgation.
If the objections are rejected, the law shall be sent back in its original text
to the president of the republic, who must then promulgate it.
Rejection of the objections shall require a vote of two thirds of the members
of the Assembly, and the votes shall be given by yeas and nays and entered in the
margin of the record beside the name of each member.
If a two-thirds majority is not obtained, the objections must be accepted.
Article 80. The right of objection must be exercised within eight days of
the date of the receipt of the law by the president of the republic, excluding Sundays,
national and legal holidays, strikes, and recesses of the Legislature, pursuant to
Article 61 of the constitution.
Article 81. If the president of the republic expresses no objection within the
time limit, the law must be promulgated unless the session of the Legislature
closes before the expiration of the time limit, in which case the law shall be post-
poned. Any law thus postponed shall, at the opening of the next session, be sent to
the president of the republic so that he may exercise his right of objection.
Article 82. A bill defeated in the Legislature may not be reintroduced during
the same session.
Article 83. The laws and other acts of the Legislature and the National As-
sembly shall be rendered official by publication in the Moniteur and shall be inserted
in the printed and numbered bulletin entitled Bulletin des Lois et Actes.
Article 84. That law shall date from the day of its definitive adoption by the
Legislature, but it shall become binding only after promulgation by the president
of the republic and its publication in the manner prescribed.
Article 85. No one may submit petitions to the Legislature in person.
Article 86. The official interpretation of the laws shall rest solely with the
legislative branch and shall be given in the form of a law.
Article 87. Each member of the Legislature shall receive a monthly salary
of two thousand gourdes from the time of taking his oath of office.
Article 88. The office of member of the Legislature shall be incompatible
with any other office for which compensation is given by the state, except that of
secretary of state, under secretary of state, and diplomatic agent.
Any member of the Legislature who becomes a secretary of state, under sec-
retary of state, or a diplomatic agent shall cease to be entitled to the compensation
allocated to him in the preceding article, unless he is on a temporary mission.
A member of the Legislature who becomes a secretary of state, under secre-
tary of state, or diplomatic agent shall not participate in the deliberations of the
Article 89. Any member of the Legislature may question or interpellate a
member of the cabinet, or the entire cabinet, concerning the actions and instru-
ments of the administration.
A request for interpellation must be supported by one third of the members
of the Assembly.
The Executive Branch
The President of the Republic
Article 90. The executive power shall be vested in a citizen who shall be
given the title of president of the republic and be assisted by secretaries of state
and under secretaries of state.
Article 91. To be eligible to be president of the republic, it shall be neces-
1. to be a native-born Haitian and never to have renounced Haitian nationality;
2. to have attained 18 years of age;
3. to enjoy civil and political rights;
4. to be domiciled in Haiti;
5. to have been relieved of his responsibilities when the candidate has been
handling public funds.
Article 92. Before taking office, the president of the republic shall take the
following oath before a judicial officer of his choice:
"I swear before God and the nation faithfully to observe and enforce the con-
stitution and laws of the republic, to respect the rights of the Haitian people, to
work for their prosperity and greatness, and to maintain the national independence
and the integrity of the territory. "
Article 93. The president of the republic shall appoint and dismiss secre-
taries of state, under secretaries of state, and government employees and officials.
He shall be charged with seeing that the treaties of the republic are carried out.
He shall cause the seal of the republic to be affixed to all laws and shall pro-
mulgate them within the time limit prescribed by Articles 78, 79, 80, and 81 of
He shall be responsible for the enforcement of the constitution and laws, acts,
and decrees of the Legislature and the National Assembly.
He shall issue all regulations and orders necessary for that purpose, but he
may never suspend or interpret the laws, acts, and decrees themselves, or fail to
He shall make appointments to public office and positions only in accordance
with the constitution or the express provision of a law and on the conditions pre-
He shall provide, according to law, for the internal and external security of
He shall make all international treaties or conventions, subject to approval
by the National Assembly, to which he shall also submit all executive orders for
He may dissolve the Legislature, in accordance with Article 62 of this con-
He may grant pardons and commute sentences in all cases that have become
res judicata, except in the event of impeachment by the courts or by the Legisla-
ture, as stipulated in Articles 126, 127, and 128 of this constitution.
Amnesty may be granted only for political matters as stipulated by law.
Article 94. All acts of the president of the republic, except orders appoint-
ing or removing secretaries of state, shall be countersigned by the secretary (or
secretaries) of state concerned.
Article 95. The president of the republic shall have no powers other than
those accorded to him by the constitution and the laws.
Article 96. At the opening of each session of the Legislature, the president
of the republic shall deliver a message on the state of the nation and transmit to it
the reports received by him from the various secretaries of state.
Article 97. The president of the republic shall receive a monthly salary of
ten thousand gourdes from the public treasury.
Article 98. The president of the republic shall have his official residence in
the National Palace, unless the seat of the government is moved.
Article 99. Dr. Francois Duvalier, supreme chief of the Haitian nation,
having developed, for the first time since 1804, a national spirit through a radical
change in the political, economic, social, cultural, and religious situation in
Haiti, was elected president for life on June 19, 1964 in order to ensure the ac-
complishments and permanence of the Duvalierist Revolution under the standard
of national unity, because he has:
1. through a suitable reorganization of the armed forces, established peace
and order, which had been dangerously disturbed after the tragic events
2. made possible and effected the reconciliation of political factions who
were bitterly opposed to each other at the time of the fall of the 1950
3. laid the bases for national prosperity by promoting agriculture and the
gradual industrialization of the country, which have been facilitated by
the establishment of major installations and infrastructure works;
4. established the economic and financial stability of the state despite the
disastrous action of combined forces from within and without, ag-
gravated by the cyclical disasters resulting from the violence of nature;
5. organized effective protection of the working masses by harmonizing the
interests and aspirations of capital and the workers;
6. advocated, and set up, a rational organization of the rural section and,
by a new code, regulated rural life so as to establish justice in that
environment, thus opening up the way for the permanent rehabilitation
of the peasants;
7. launched and carried out a literacy campaign for the masses and thus
fulfilled the aspirations of the little people and the humble for more
knowledge and well-being;
8. established organizations for the protection of women, motherhood,
children, and the family;
9. established the national University of Haiti and thus satisfied the legiti-
mate desire of young people for information and the conquest of the
future through knowledge;
10. established respect for the rights of the people and the prerogatives of
national sovereignty; strengthened the prestige and dignity of the Haitian
community; and protected the sacred heritage of our ancestors from any
11. embraced, through his domestic policy, all the social classes in his
care and, through an effective, able foreign policy, defended the integ-
rity of Haitian territory and the national independence;
12. concentrated, in short, all his efforts on the establishment of a strong
nation, capable of fulfilling its destiny in liberty and with pride for the
happiness of all its sons and for world peace;
Because he has thus become the unquestioned leader of the revolution, the
apostle of national unity, the worthy heir of the founders of the Haitian nation,
the restorer of the fatherland, and because he has been unconditionally acclaimed,
by the great majority of the people, chief of the national community without limita-
tion as to length of term;
Dr. Francois Duvalier, having been elected president of the republic, shall
perform his high duties for life, pursuant to the provisions of this constitution.
Article 100. The president for life of the republic, Dr. Francois Duvalier,
is empowered to designate as his successor any citizen who fulfills the conditions
established in Article 91 of the Constitution.
Article 101. This designation will be made by proclamation of the president
for life of the republic who by an arrtt6 will convoke electoral meetings of the
people to confirm this choice.
Article 102. The successor designated by the President for life of the
republic and confirmed by the people shall take actual charge of the executive
branch either by express decision of the president for life of the republic or by
reason of any incapacity making it impossible for the latter to perform his high
duties. The successor shall take the following oath before any judicial officers
of his choice:
"I swear before God and the nation faithfully to observe and enforce the
constitution and laws of the republic, to respect the rights of the Haitian
people, to work for their prosperity and greatness, and to maintain the
national independence and the integrity of the territory. "
Article 103. However, if the president for life of the republic finds it tempo-
rarily impossible to perform his duties, the successor designated by him and con-
firmed by the people shall be vested with the executive authority so long as the
Article 104. The successor designate shall hold the office of the president
of the state under the authority of Article 99 of the constitution instituting, in
accordance with the will of the sovereign people, the office of president for life,
and pursuant to the provisions of the said Article 99.
Secretaries of State
Article 105. The law shall fix the number of ministerial departments. There
shall be no fewer than five secretaries of state.
The president of the republic may, when he deems it necessary, attach to
them under secretaries of state whose powers and duties shall be determined by
To be eligible to be a secretary or under secretary of state, it shall be
1. to be a Haitian by birth and never to have renounced Haitian nationality;
2. to have attained 18 years of age;
3. to enjoy civil and political rights.
None of the persons listed in Article 54 of this constitution may be either
secretary of state or under secretary of state.
Article 106. The secretaries of state shall meet as a council presided over
by the president of the republic.
All deliberations of the council shall be recorded in a special register.
Article 107. The secretaries of state may be admitted to the Legislature
and the National Assembly in order to support bills or objections raised by the
Article 108. The secretaries of state shall be responsible for the acts of
the president of the republic countersigned by them and for the acts of their respec-
tive departments, as well as for failure to enforce the laws.
In no case may a written oral order of the president of the republic release
a secretary of state from the responsibility attaching to his office.
Article 109. Each secretary of state shall receive a monthly salary of three
thousand gourdes from the republic treasury, and each under secretary of state a
monthly salary of two thousand gourdes.
The Supreme Technical Council
Article 110. A Supreme Technical Council on National Resources and Eco-
nomic Development is hereby established. It shall be an independent agency whose
members will be appointed by an arret6 of the president of the republic. Its man-
ner of operation shall be determined by law.
The Judicial Branch
Article 111. The judicial power shall be vested in a Court of Cassation,
courts of appeal, and lower courts whose number, organization, and jurisdiction
shall be regulated by law.
The president of the republic shall appoint the judges of all the courts. He
shall appoint and dismiss the officers of the public ministry at the Court of Cassa-
tion, the courts of appeal, and the other courts, as well as the justices of the peace
and their alternates.
The judges of the Court of Cassation and of the courts of appeal shall be ap-
pointed for a term of ten years, and those of the civil courts, for seven years.
The term of office shall begin when a judge takes his oath.
Once appointed, judges shall not be subject to removal by the executive
branch for any cause whatever. However, they shall be subject to the provisions of
Articles 122, 123, and 124 of this constitution and to the provisions of special laws
setting forth the reasons why their duties may be terminated.
The duties of judge shall be incompatible with any other salaried office. In-
compatibility by reason of blood relationship or relationship by marriage shall be
regulated by law.
The law shall also determine the qualifications for judges of all ranks.
Article 112. The courts of ordinary law shall have exclusive jurisdiction
over disputes concerning civil rights.
Article 113. The courts shall have jurisdiction over disputes concerning
political rights, subject to the exceptions established by law.
Article 114. Commercial disputes shall be referred to civil and peace courts,
in accordance with the code of commerce.
Article 115. Jurisdiction of matters in dispute may be established only by
Article 116. Land courts, labor courts, and children's courts are hereby
established, their number, organization, seat, and manner of operation to be fixed
Article 117. The mission of the land courts shall be temporary. Their func-
tions shall cease as soon as the purposes for which they are organized have been
Article 118. Each land court shall take cognizance, by way of exception, of
disputes relating to property transactions, registration of real property, realprop-
erty rights, and possessory actions solely for the area for which it is established.
Ordinary courts and peace courts shall retain jurisdiction in litigation for
which competence is accorded to them by law.
Article 119. The Court of Cassation shall not try cases on their merits.
Nevertheless, in all cases other than those submitted to a jury, when a case be-
tweenthe same parties is tried upon second appeal or even on the basis of an excep-
tion, the Court of Cassation, accepting the appeal, shall not remand the case to a
lower court, but shall rule on the merits, sitting as a full court. In that event, a
majority of the judges of the court must not have tried the case when it was first
However, in the case of appeals from temporary restraining orders or orders
of examining magistrates, grants of appeal pronounced in connection with such or-
ders in the cases determined by law appealing from decisions relating to temporary
execution, from judgments of the land courts, labor courts, or from final sen-
tences of the peace courts, the Court of Cassation, admitting the appeal, shall pro-
nounce a decision without remanding the case.
Article 120. The Court of Cassation shall rule on jurisdictional conflicts in
the manner prescribed by law.
It shall take cognizance of both the facts and the law in all cases of decisions
rendered by the military court.
Article 121. When litigation is referred to it, the Court of Cassation sitting
as a full court, shall rule on the unconstitutionality of the laws.
Actions for a ruling of unconstitutionality shall not be subject to any require-
ment of deposit, penalty, or fee.
Article 122. The sittings of the courts shall be public unless such publicity
jeopardizes law and order or morelity, in which case the court shall so declare by
Closed sessions shall not be permitted incases of political offenses or offenses
involving the press.
Article 123. Every decision of the superior and the lower courts shall state
the grounds for the decision and shall be pronounced in a public hearing.
Article 124. Such decisions shall be pronounced and executed in the name of
the republic. They shall carry executory instructions, the wording of which shall
be determined by law.
Notarial acts shall be put in the same form when their compulsory execution
Article 125. An interpretation given by the legislative branch shall be applied
to the case without the retroactive effect of taking away the rights acquired by
The courts shall apply the public administration decrees and regulations only
insofar as they are in conformity with the law. '
Prosecution of Members of the Branches of Government
Article 126. The Legislature shall impeach the president of the republic and
summon him before the National Assembly acting as a high court of justice for trea-
son or any other crime or offense committed in the discharge of his functions.
It shall also impeach and summon before the high court:
1. secretaries of state and under secretaries of state in case of embezzle-
ment, treason, abuse or excess of authority, or any other crime or of-
fense committed in the exercise of their functions;
2. in case of maladministration, the members of the Court of Cassation and
the officers of the minister public attached to that court.
Impeachment may be pronounced only by a two-thirds majority of the members
of the Legislature.
When the hearing opens, each member of the high court of justice shall swear
to judge with the impartiality and firmness appropriate to a free and honest man, ac-
cording to his conscience and his innermost conviction.
By secret ballot and a majority vote, the high court of justice shall appoint
one third of its members to conduct the judicial inquiry. The decision shall be pro-
nounced on the recommendation of the investigating commission.
The high court of justice shall pronounce no penalty other than disqualification,
dismissal from office, and loss of the right to hold public office for not less than
one nor more than five years; but the convicted person may be summoned before the
ordinary courts, in accordance with the law if there are grounds for applying other
penalties or for bringing civil action.
No one may be tried or convicted except by a two-thirds majority vote of the
members of the National Assembly sitting as a high court of justice.
Article 127. Incase of maladministration, a judge or officer of the minister
public shall be impeached by a section of the Court of Cassation.
If an entire court is involved, the impeachment shall be made by the Court of
Cassation, sitting as a full court.
Article 128. The law shall govern the manner of taking proceedings against
the president of the republic, secretaries of state, under secretaries of state, and
magistrates in cases of crimes or offenses committed by them either in the dis-
charge of their duties or outside their duties.
The benefit of prescription may not be invoked by military or civilian officials
guilty of arbitrary and illegal acts against private individuals until ten years after
the termination of their duties.
Article 129. The primary assemblies shall meet every six years at the call
of the chief executive, or automatically in the absence of such call, in each com-
mune on the second Sunday in February, in accordance with the procedure provided
by law, to elect communal councillors and members of the Legislature.
They shall meet on special convocation for the by-elections provided for in
Article 53 of this constitution. The same shall be true in the case contemplated in
Article 62 of the constitution.
They may not take up any matter other than the one assigned to them by this
constitution and must be dissolved after the purposes for which they have met are
Article 130. The law shall regulate the manner of voting in the primary as-
THE ADMINISTRATIVE SYSTEM
Communal and Prefectural Institutions. Technical and Administrative Councils of
Arrondissements and Administrative Councils of Rural Sections
Article 131. The commune shall be autonomous. The conditions and limits
of this autonomy shall be governed by law.
Article 132. Any commune whose revenue does not permit it to have an auto-
nomous administration may be attached to the nearest commune in the form of a
Article 133. The communal council shall be elected for a period of six years
and its members may be reelected an indefinite number of terms.
The number of members of the communal councils shall be fixed by law.
To be eligible for membership in a communal council, it shall be necessary:
1. to be a Haitian;
2. to have attained 18 years of age;
3. to enjoy civil and political rights;
4. to own real property in the commune or to engage in an industry or prac-
tice a profession there;
5. to have resided at least five years in the commune.
Article 134. A technical council of three members, appointed by the presi-
dent of the republic, shall assist each communal council.
Article 135. The rural section shall be governed by an administrative council
presided over by a leader of the commune and organized to alleviate the living con-
ditions in the rural areas and to raise the intellectual, moral, and social level of
the peasant. The community and basic educational cooperative systems shall be
organized there, as well as small agricultural and cottage-industry loans.
Article 136. The communal council may be dissolved only in cases of duly
established negligence, embezzlement, or maladministration.
In such case, the president of the republic shall form a communal comis-
sion of three members to administer the interests of the commune until the next
Article 137. The communal council shall manage the resources of the com-
mune for its exclusive profit and shall render a detailed, documented account of its
management to the central government.
It shall appoint its officials and employees without the intervention of any
It shall prepare its list of taxes and charges in order to propose certain laws
to the central government, which may, nevertheless, make such changes therein
as are considered necessary.
Article 138. Before taking office, the members of the communal council or
of the communal commission, as the case may be, shall take the following oath be-
fore the competent civil court: "I swear to respect the rights of the people, towork
for progress in my commune, to be faithful to the constitution and the law, and to
conduct myself in all matters as a decent, honest citizen."
Article 139. In the event of the death, resignation, or judicial disability of
a member of the communal council, or of his conviction entailing the loss of liberty
and civil rights, he shall be replaced by a citizen appointed by the president of the
In case of the death, resignation, or judicial disability of two members or of
their conviction, which has become a res judicata, entailing the loss of liberty or
civil rights, the president of the republic shall be authorized to form a communal
commission to manage the interests of the commune until the next elections.
Article 140. The office of prefect shall be created in the departments, and,
if necessary, in the arrondissements.
The prefects shall be civil officials who represent the executive branch di-
The law shall determine their functions and the place of their residence.
Article 141. In each prefectural district, technical councils of arrondisse-
ments shall be established, presided over by the prefect and composed of techni-
cians drawn from the government departments and responsible for controlling the
communal councils. They shall see to the political, administrative, economic,
social, and cultural interests of the communes under their control, in this connec-
tion preparing or coordinating the development plans and programs and ensuring
the effective implementation of the plans and programs entrusted to the care and
attention of the technical councils attached to the communal councils.
Article 142. The law shall determine the organization and operations of the
Article 143 Government employees and officials shall be in the service of
the state and not of a certain political faction. They may not utilize their offices
for the purpose of playing election politics.
Article 144. The law shall regulate the civil service, particularly the re-
quirements for employment, promotions, transfers, separation, and dismissal on
the basis of aptitude, merit, and conduct. The law shall guarantee employment
security and the right of appeal from disciplinary or other measures.
Those who hold political office or positions, in particular secretaries of
state, under secretaries of state, prefects, the minister public, ambassadors,
the private secretary of the president of the republic, and secretaries or directors
general of the government services shall not be included in the government career
Article 145. Strikes by government employees and officials and the collective
abandonment of their duties are forbidden.
Militarization of the government services or general mobilization may be
decreed in the event of national peril or serious civil disturbances, especially in
the event of an illegal or political general strike.
General mobilization shall be decreed by the executive branch, under the
Military Service Law.
National Revenue and the Budget
Article 146. The public revenue or government finances shall be constituted
by taxes, charges, and the agricultural, industrial, and commercial resources de-
rived from enterprises of the state and its credit institutions. Taxes are a deduc-
tion by the state based on the taxpayer's wealth. Charges are the direct cost of a
Article 147. Taxes for the benefit of the state and the communes may be
levied only by law.
The laws establishing taxes shall be valid for only one year.
Article 148. Direct taxation shall be effected on progressive basis and shall
be computed according to the amount of the wealth, salary and wages, and income.
Article 149. The gourde shall be the monetary unit.
The law shall fix the fineness and weight of the gourde and of any fractional
money that the state is empowered to issue as legal tender throughout the territory
of the republic.
The National Bank of the Republic of Haiti, whose charter is determined by
law, is accorded the exclusive privilege of issuing paper currency representing the
No paper currency or coins may be issued except in accordance with a law
determining the amount and the use thereof.
In no case may the said figure be exceeded.
The state shall direct the monetary policy in such away as to create and main-
tain the conditions most favorable to the development of the national economy.
Article 150. No privilege may be established in the matter of taxes. No ex-
emption, increase, or decrease in taxes may be established except by law.
Article 151. No pension, bonus, subsidy, or allotment may be paid out of
the public treasury except by virtue of a law proposed by the executive branch.
Article 152. The holding of two or more salaried public offices at the same
time is expressly forbidden, except in secondary, higher, or vocational education,
or in the case of a professorship in higher education or of a technical position in
the same field.
Article 153. The Budget Bureau, which is under the direct control of the
chief executive, is charged with preparing the budget of national receipts and
expenditures, in close cooperation with the permanent secretary of the Supreme
Technical Council on National Resources and Economic Development, and with
its execution. It shall, in addition, endeavor to promote the national economy by
incorporating public receipts and expenditures into general plans for the nation's
Article 154. The budget of each ministerial department shall be divided into
chapters and sections and must be voted on article by article.
The transfer of allocations is expressly forbidden. No amount allocated for
one chapter may be credited to another chapter and used for other expenditures
without a law.
The secretary of state for finance must, on his own responsibility, deliver
each month to each ministerial department only one-twelfth part of the amounts
provided for in its budget unless a decision has been made by the council of secre-
taries of state in an exceptional case.
The general accounts of receipts and expenditures of the republic shall be
kept by the secretary of state for finance according to an accounting method estab-
lished by law.
The fiscal year shall begin on October 1 and end on September 30 of the
Agencies for the Administration of Government Revenue
and Control of Public Expenditures
Article 155. For the purpose of maintaining constant, careful supervision
over public expenditures, a fifteen-member parliamentary committee of general
accounts responsible for reporting on the administration of the secretaries of state
shall be elected by secret ballot at the beginning of each legislative session, in
order to permit the legislative body to give or refuse them discharge.
This committee may engage the services of no more than three specialized
accountants and some clerks.
Article 156. Each year the Legislature shall prepare:
1. the statement of receipts and expenditures for the preceding year, or
2. the general national budget containing the rough estimates and the portion
of the funds allocated to each ministerial department for the year.
However, no proposal or amendment may be introduced when the budget is
prepared without provision for the necessary ways and means.
No change may be made to increase or decrease the salaries of government
officials except by an amendment of the laws relating thereto.
Article 157. The general accounts and the budgets provided for in the
preceding article must be submitted to the Legislature by the secretary of state
for finance within fifteen days of the opening of the legislative session. The
same shall be true of the annual balance sheet and statement of operations of
the National Bank of the Republic of Haiti and of all other accounts of the
The Legislature may refrain from doing any legislative work until these docu-
ments are presented to it. It shall refuse to grant the secretaries of state discharge
and even refuse to vote on the budget when the accounts submitted do not in them-
selves, or by supporting documents, provide the necessary data for verification and
Article 158. If, for any reason whatever, except that of failure to submit the
documents referred to in the preceding article or of inadequacy of the supporting
documents, the Legislature does not act upon the budget for one or more ministe-
rial departments before it adjourns, the budget or budgets of the departments con-
cerned which were in force during the current fiscal year shall be continued for the
following fiscal year.
In the event that, through fault of the executive branch, the national budgets
have not been approved, the president of the republic shall immediately call a spe-
cial session of the Legislature for the sole purpose of approving them, subject to
any constitutional sanctions to be taken against the secretaries of state who are re-
Article 159. Autonomous state institutions and enterprises and agencies sub-
sidized wholly or in part by treasury funds, with the exception of credit institutions
shall be governed by special budgets and salary systems approved by the executive
Article 160. A single accounting system prepared by the Budget Bureau of
the republic shall be established for all government services.
Resources may be separated from the aggregate national property, in accor-
dance with the provisions of the law, and allocated for the establishment of or in-
crease in special funds for government agencies pursuing cultural aims, for the
establishment and conduct of welfare or social security activities, for the develop-
ment of small urban and rural properties or of the economy in general.
THE ECONOMIC SYSTEM
Article 161. The aim of the economic system is to ensure to all members
of the national community a decent life. It is based chiefly on the principles of so-
Article 162. Economic freedom shall be guaranteed so long as it is not con-
trary to the public interest.
The state shall protect private enterprise and shall endeavor to see that it
develops under the conditions necessary to increasing the national wealth in such a
way as to ensure the participation of the largest possible number of persons in the
benefits of this wealth.
Article 163. No corporation or foundation, regardless of its title or purpose,
may retain ownership or control of real property other than that intended immedi-
ately and directly for its own use or for the purpose of its establishment.
Article 164. Privileges granted for a limited period may be accorded by the
law to inventors or patent improvers, and monopolies may be granted to the state
or communes if the public interest so requires.
Article 165. The state may assume responsibility for the administration of
enterprises that perform services essential to the community, in order to ensure
their continuity if their owners, entrepreneurs, directors, or managers refuse to
abide by the laws relating to the nation's economic and social organization.
It may also assume control of, and even nationalize, property belonging to
nationals of countries with which Haiti is at war.
Article 166. The construction of dwellings is declared to be in the public
The state shall endeavor to see that the largest possible number of families
own their own homes. It shall take steps to ensure that every agricultural or in-
dustrial enterprise provides its workers and employees with a healthful, comfort-
Article 167. It shall be expressly stipulated in any concession granted by the
state for the establishment of wharves, railroads, canals, or any other works re-
lating to public utilities, that, after a period not exceeding fifty years, such
works shall automatically become the property of the state, in perfect operating
condition, without the payment of any compensation.
THE SOCIAL SYSTEM
Article 168. The family, the foundation of society, shall be protected by the
state, which favors marriage, seeks to aid and assist mothers and children, and
enacts the necessary laws and regulations enabling each home to enjoy the degree
of well-being essential to its tranquility and its cooperation in keeping law and or-
der and social peace.
Article 169. Marriage shall be on a basis of the political and economic
equality of the parties.
Article 170. Legitimate children, and illegitimate children who have been
legally acknowledged, shall have equal rights to the education, protection, support,
and care of their parents.
Article 171. The law shall fix the conditions under which an effort may be
made to determine paternity.
Article 172. The law shall govern cases of adulterine and incestuous children.
Article 173. The state shall protect the physical, mental, and moral health
of minors and shall guarantee their right to support and education.
Article 174. Juvenile delinquency shall be governed by a special juridical
Article 175. Work, a social function, shall enjoy the protection of the state
and shall not be subject to exploitation.
The state shall endeavor to provide the manual or intellectual worker with an
occupation that will enable him to provide his family, as well as himself, with the
economic conditions of a decent life.
Article 176. Work shall be governed by a labor code whose chief purpose
shall be to harmonize the relation between capital and labor and which shall be
founded on general principles aimed at improvement in the living conditions of
Article 177. Workers' rights may not be waived, and the laws granting such
rights shall be binding on all the inhabitants of Haiti.
Article 178. The state shall assume responsibility for those indigents who,
because of age or physical or mental disability, are unable to work.
Article 179. The development and spread of culture shall constitute both an
obligation and a primary aim of the state.
Education shall be an essential function of the state, which shall organize the
educational system and create the services needed for that purpose.
Article 180. Education shall foster the full development of the personality of
students so that they will make a constructive contribution to society and help incul-
cate the principle of respect for the rights of man, combat the spirit of intolerance
and hatred, and develop the ideal of national, pan-American, and world unity.
Basic education shall be compulsory and shall be provided free of charge by
the state in order to reduce the number of illiterates and permit all persons to ful-
fill conscientiously their role of workers, parents, and citizens.
Article 181. No public or private educational establishment may refuse to
admit students on the basis of the nature of the marriage relationship of their par-
ents or guardians, or on that of social, racial, political, or religious differences.
Article 182. Teachers must furnish proof of their qualifications as prescribed
Instruction in the history and geography of Haiti, civic responsibility and the
constitution, which governs the people, must be given in all educational establish-
ments, both public and private, by Haitian teachers.
Article 183. The folk, artistic, archeological, and historical treasures of
the country belong to the heritage of Haiti. They shall be placed under the protec-
tion of the state and shall be subject to special laws ensuring their preservation and
HEALTH AND WELFARE
Article 184. The health of the inhabitants of Haiti shall constitute part of the
The state shall provide free medical assistance to the sick, and it shall be its
bounden duty to prevent and, if necessary, limit the spread of contagious or endemic
Article 185. The practice of professions directly related to the health of the
people shall be strictly regulated by law.
Article 186. A superior public health council shall watch over the health of
Its organization and manner of operation shall be fixed by law.
THE ARMED FORCES
Article 187. The armed forces shall be established to defend the integrity of
the territory and the sovereignty of the republic and to maintain law and order as
auxiliaries to the civilian authority to which they are subject.
Police functions shall be separate from those of the army and entrusted to
special agents, who shall be subject to civil and penal liability in the manner and
under the conditions .prescribed by law.
The president of the republic shall be the actual supreme commander of the
armed forces, the police forces, and the national security volunteers. Those in
command of the said forces shall be considered as receiving their authority from
him. The president of the republic shall make all decisions regarding the armed
forces in accordance with the constitution and all laws and regulations in force.
Article 188. Military service shall be compulsory for all Haitians.
The law shall fix the method of recruiting military personnel, and the length
Article 189. The armed forces shall be apolitical and obedient. Their orga-
nization and the performance of their activities shall be subject to special laws,
provisions, and regulations.
Military personnel on active duty shall not be eligible for representative or
executive duties. Any military person who is a candidate for an office in either
category must resign at least one year before the time set for the elections. Mili-
tary personnel on active duty maynot be called to any public office.
Article 190. The military career shall be a professional career, and only
ranks obtained strictly according to the scale established by law shall be recognized.
One who has legally obtained a military rank shall hold that rank for life and
may be deprived of it only by executory decision.
Article 191. Arms and war material may be imported or manufactured only
with the authorization and under the control of the executive branch.
Article 192. The organization of the armed forces and of the courts to which
they are subject shall be fixed by law.
The military court must pronounce judgment in the presence of the accused
and of his counsel, and mention of compliance with this formality must be made in
the said judgment, all on pain of nullity.
The defendant or his counsel may file a statement of appeal to the Court of
Cassation either with the officer acting as court clerk, who must receive it at the
hearing itself, or with the clerk of the civil court in the judicial district where the
judgment is rendered, within three clear days of the decision. The time limit
and the appeal shall be suspensive.
The officer or court clerk who receives the statement must transmit it, with
all the documents of the proceedings, within fifteen days to the member of the
minister public at the Court of Cassation who is to prepare the case.
Article 193. The national colors shall be black and red, arranged vertically,
an emblem created on May 18, 1803 at Arcahaie by Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the
great founder of the Haitian fatherland, in conformity with the provisions of the
Imperial Constitution of 1805.
The coat of arms of the republic shall be: A palmette surmounted by the cap
of liberty adorned by a trophy with the legend: "L'union fait la force" (In union
there is strength).
The motto is: "Liberte, egalite, fraternity".
The national anthem shall be the "Dessalinienne".
Article 194. No one may be required to take an oath except as prescribed by
the constitution or a law.
Article 195. The national holidays shall be: Independence Day, January 1;
Heroes' Day, January 2; Agriculture and Labor Day, May 1; Flag Day, May 18;
Battle of Vertieres Day, November 18, which is also Armed Forces Day; Sover-
eignty and National Recognition Day, May 22; and Discovery Day, December 5.
The legal holidays shall be determined by law.
Article 196. No public administration law, arret6, or regulation shall be
compulsory until it is published in the manner prescribed by law.
Article 197. No place and no part of the territory may be declared to be in
a state of siege except in cases of civil disturbances or of imminent invasion by a
An act issued by the president of the republic declaring a state of siege must
be signed by all the secretaries of state and provide for the immediate convening
of the Legislature to rule on the desirability of the measure.
The Legislature shall decree, with the executive branch, which of the consti-
tutional guarantees may be suspended in the parts of the territory ina state of siege.
The effects of the state of siege shall be governed by a special law.
REVISION OF THE CONSTITUTION
Article 198. On the recommendation of one of its members or of the execu-
tive branch, the legislative branch may declare, in the course of a regular session,
that the provisions of the constitution now in force should be revised in whole or in
Notice of such a statement shall be given immediately to the president of the
republic and published in the official journal.
After the publication of the declaration, the Legislature, in the course of the
same session or upon convocation in a special session, shall meet as a National
Assembly to rule on the proposed revision.
Article 199. Upon completion of the revision, the NationalAssembly, meeting
in a special session, shall proclaim the new constitution if it has been completely
revised, or the amended provisions, if onlypartially revised, and in that case shall
incorporate them into the constitution.
Article 200. All codes of laws, all laws, all decree-laws, and all decrees
now in force shall continue to be in effect insofar as they are not contrary to this
Article 201. This constitution shall enter into force upon publication in
Le Moniteur, the official journal of the republic.
Done at the Legislative Palace, seat of the National Constituent Assembly,
Port-au-Prince, January 14, 1971, the 168th year of independence.
THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES
Trinidad and Tobago
The Organization of American States (OAS) is the oldest of
international regional organizations. The Organization had its origin in
the International Union of American Republics, established on April 14,
1890, by the First International Conference of American States, held in
Washington, D.C. Consequently, each year April 14 is observed as Pan
American Day. The Charter governing the Organization, signed in Bogota
in 1948, was amended by the Protocol of Buenos Aires, which entered
into force in February 1970.
The basic objectives of the OAS are: to strengthen the peace and
security of the hemisphere; to prevent possible causes of difficulties and
to ensure the peaceful settlement of disputes that may arise among the
member states; to provide for common action on the part of the
member states in the event of aggression; to seek the solution of
political, juridical, and economic problems that may arise among them,
and to promote, by cooperative action, their economic, social, and
cultural development. Another objective of the inter-American system is
to speed up the process of integration of the developing nations of the
The OAS achieves its objectives through the following organs: (a)
the General Assembly; (b) the Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of
Foreign Affairs; (c) the three Councils (the Permanent Council, the
Inter-American Economic and Social Council, and the Inter-American
Council for Education, Science, and Culture); (d) the Inter-American
Juridical Committee; (e) the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights; (f) the General Secretariat; (g) the Specialized Conferences, and
(h) the Specialized Organizations.
The General Assembly meets in regular session once a year. The
Meeting of Consultation is convened in order to consider urgent and
important problems. The Permanent Council has a subsidiary organ, the
Inter-American Committee on Peaceful Settlement, and in the
circumstances provided for in the Charter and in the Inter-American
Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, serves provisionally as the Organ of
Consultation. Each of the other two Councils hold one regular meeting
annually, and each has a Permanent Executive Committee. The General
Secretariat maintains offices in the member states, and an office in
Europe. The Permanent Council and the General Secretariat have their
headquarters in Washington, D.C., as do the Permanent Executive
Committees of the other two Councils.