Iraq - Interim Constitution Index Page Document Table of Contents

    { Adopted in: 1990 }
    { ICL Document Status: 1990 }
    { Superceded by: Iraq War & Interim Constitution 2004 }


Chapter I  The Republic of Iraq

Article 1  [State Form]
Iraq is a Sovereign People's Democratic Republic.  Its basic objective is the realization of one Arab State and the build-up of the socialist system.
Article 2  [Authority]
The people are the source of authority and its legitimacy.
Article 3  [Sovereignty, Territory]
(a) The sovereignty of Iraq is an indivisible entity.
(b) The territory of Iraq is an indivisible entity of which no part can be ceded.
Article 4  [State Religion]
Islam is the religion of the State.
Article 5  [Nationalities]
(a) Iraq is a part of the Arab Nation.
(b) The Iraqi People are composed of two principal nationalisms:  the Arab Nationalism and the Kurdish Nationalism.
(c) This Constitution acknowledges the national rights of the Kurdish People and the legitimate rights of all minorities within the Iraqi unity.
Article 6  [Iraqi Nationality]
The Iraqi nationality is regulated by the law.
Article 7  [Languages]
(a) Arabic is the official language.
(b) The Kurdish language is official, besides Arabic, in the Kurdish Region.
Article 8  [Capital, Decentralization]
(a) Baghdad is the Capital of the Iraqi Republic, and it can be transferred by law.
(b) The Iraqi Republic is divided into administrative units and is organized on the basis of decentralization.
Article 9  [Flag, Emblem]
The Flag of the Iraqi Republic, its Emblem, and stipulations concerning the two, are regulated by law.

Chapter II  Social and Economic Foundations of the Iraqi Republic

Article 10  [Social Solidarity]
The social solidarity is the first foundation for the Society.  Its essence is that every citizen accomplishes his duty in full, and that the Society guarantees the citizen's rights and liberties in full.
Article 11  [Family, Mothers, Children]
The family is the nucleus of the Society.  The State secures its protection and support, and ensures maternal and child care.
Article 12  [Economy, Arab Unity]
The State assumes the responsibility for planning, directing and steering the national economy for the purpose of:
(a) Establishing the socialist system on scientific and revolutionary foundations.
(b) Realizing the economic Arab unity.
Article 13  [Public Property and Planning]
National resources and basic means of production are owned by the People.  They are directly invested by the Central Authority in the Iraqi Republic, according to exigencies of the general planning of the national economy.
Article 14  [Cooperation]
The State secures, encourages, and supports all types of cooperation in production, distribution, and consumption.
Article 15  [Public Property]
Public ownership and properties of the Public Sector are inviolable.  The State and all People are responsible for safeguarding, securing, and protecting it.  Any sabotage to it or aggression against it, is considered as sabotage and aggression against the entity of the Society.
Article 16  [Ownership, Private Property]
(a) Ownership is a social function, to be exercised within the objectives of the Society and the plans of the State, according to stipulations of the law.
(b) Private ownership and economic individual liberty are guaranteed according to the law, and on the basis of not exercising them in a manner incompatible with the economic and general planning.
(c) Private property is not expropriated except for considerations of public interest and for just compensation in accordance with the law.
(d) The maximum limit of agricultural property is prescribed by the law; the surplus is owned by the People.
Article 17  [Inheritance]
Inheritance is a guaranteed right, regulated by the law.
Article 18  [Foreigners' Property]
Immobile ownership is prohibited for non-Iraqi, except otherwise mentioned by a law.

Chapter III  Fundamental Rights and Duties

Article 19  [Equality]
(a) Citizens are equal before the law, without discrimination because of sex, blood, language, social origin, or religion.
(b) Equal opportunities are guaranteed to all citizens, according to the law.
Article 20  [Criminal Trial]
(a) An accused is presumed to be innocent, until proved guilty at a legal trial.
(b) The right of defense is sacred, in all stages of proceedings and prosecution.
(c) Courts sessions are public, unless it becomes secret by a court's decision.
Article 21  [Penalty, Punishment]
(a) Penalty is personal.
(b) There can be no crime, nor punishment, except in conformity with the law.  No penalty shall be imposed, except for acts punishable by the law, while they are committed.  A severer penalty than that prescribed by the law, when the act was committed, cannot be inflicted.
Article 22  [Dignity, Personal Integrity, Arrest, Home]
(a) The dignity of man is safeguarded. It is inadmissible to cause any physical or psychological harm.
(b) It is inadmissible to arrest a person, to stop him, to imprison him or to search him, except in accordance with the rules of the law.
(c) Homes have their sanctity.  It is inadmissible to enter or search them, except in accordance with the rules of the law.
Article 23  [Communication]
The secrecy of means of communications by mail, telegrams, and telephones is guaranteed.  It is inadmissible to disclose it, except for considerations of justice and security, in accordance with the rules prescribed by the law.
Article 24  [Right to Move]
It is inadmissible to prevent the citizen from the departure from the Country or returning to it, nor to restrict his moves or residence in the Country, except in cases laid down by the law.
Article 25  [Religion]
Freedom of religion, faith, and the exercise of religious rites, is guaranteed, in accordance with the rules of constitution and laws and in compliance with morals and public order.
Article 26  [Expression, Association]
The Constitution guarantees freedom of opinion, publication, meeting, demonstrations and formation of political parties, syndicates, and societies in accordance with the objectives of the Constitution and within the limits of the law.  The State ensures the considerations necessary to exercise these liberties, which comply with the revolutionary, national, and progressive trend.
Article 27  [Education]
(a) The State undertakes the struggle against illiteracy and guarantees the right of education, free of charge, in its primary, secondary, and university stages, for all citizens.
(b) The State strives to make the primary education compulsory, to expand vocational and technical education in cities and rural areas, and to encourage particularly night education which enables the popular masses to combine science and work.
(c) The State guarantees the freedom of scientific research, encourages and rewards excellence and initiative in all mental, scientific, and artistic activities and all aspects of popular excellence.
Article 28  [Educational Goals]
Education has the objective of raising and developing the general educational level, promoting scientific thinking, animating the research spirit, responding to exigencies of economic and social evolution and development programs, creating a national, liberal and progressive generation, strong physically and morally, proud of his people, his homeland and heritage, aware of all his national rights, and who struggles against the capitalistic ideology, exploitation, reaction, zionism, and imperialism for the purpose of realizing the Arab unity, liberty, and socialism.
Article 29  [Progress]
The State undertakes to make available, the means of enjoying the achievements of modernization, by the popular masses and to generalize the progressive accomplishments of contemporary civilization on all citizens.
Article 30  [Public Office]
(a) Public office is a sacred confidence and a social service; its essence is the honest and conscious obligation to the interests of the masses, their rights and liberties, in accordance with the rules of the constitution and the laws.
(b) Equality in the appointment for public offices is guaranteed by the law.
Article 31  [Armed Forces]
(a) The defense of the homeland is a sacred duty and honor for the citizens; conscription is compulsory and regulated by the law.
(b) Armed Forces belong to the People and are entrusted with ensuring his security, defending his independence, protecting the safety and the integrity of the people and territory, and realizing his national and regional objectives and aspirations.
(c) The State alone establishes the Armed Forces.  No other organization or group, is entitled to establish military or para-military formations.
Article 32  [Right, Honor, and Duty to Work]
(a) Work is a right, which is ensured to be available for every able citizen.
(b) Work is an honor and a sacred duty for every able citizen, and is indispensable by the necessity to participate in building the society, protecting it, and realizing its evolution and prosperity.
(c) The State undertakes to improve the conditions of work, and raise the standard of living, experience, and culture for all working citizens.
(d) The State undertakes to provide the largest scale of social securities for all citizens, in cases of sickness, disability, unemployment, or aging.
(e) The State undertakes to elaborate the plan to secure the means necessary, to enable the working citizens to pass their vacations in an atmosphere, which enables them to improve their health standard, and to promote their cultural and artistic talents.
Article 33  [Health]
The State assumes the responsibility to safeguard the public health by continually expanding free medical services, in protection, treatment, and medicine, within the scope of cities and rural areas.
Article 34  [Right to Asylum]
(a) The Iraqi Republic grants the right of political asylum for all militants, persecuted in their countries because of defending the liberal and human principles which are assumed by the Iraqi People in this Constitution.
(b) The extradition of political refugees is prohibited.
Article 35  [Taxes]
Payment of taxes is the duty of every citizen.  Taxes cannot be imposed, nor modified, nor levied, except by a law.
Article 36  [Prohibited Activity]
It is prohibited to exercise any activity against the objectives of the People, stipulated in this Constitution.  Every act or behavior, having for purpose to crumble the national unity of the popular masses or to provoke racial, sectarian, or regional discrimination among them, or to be hostile to their gains and progressive achievements.

Chapter IV  Institutions of the Iraqi Republic


Section I  The Revolutionary Command Council

Article 37  [Supreme Institution]
The Revolutionary Command Council is the supreme institution in the State, which on 17 July 1968, assumed the responsibility to realize the public will of the people, by removing the authority from the reactionary, individual, and corruptive regime, and returning it to the people.
Article 38  [Competencies]
The Revolutionary Command Council exercises the following competencies by a two-third majority of its members:
(a) Electing a President from its members, called President of the Revolutionary Council, who is President of the Republic.
(b) Electing a Vice-President from its members, called Vice-President of the Revolutionary Command Council, who replaces the President, as qualified in the preceding paragraph, in case of his official absence or in case of the impossibility of exercising his constitutional competencies  or any legitimate reason.
(c) Selecting new members for the Council, from members of the Regional Leadership of the Socialist Arab Ba'ath Party, not to exceed twelve members.
(d) Taking a decision concerning the resignation of the President, and Vice-President or any of the Council's members.
(e) Relieving any member of the Council's membership.
(f) Accusing and prosecuting members of the Revolutionary Command Council, Vice-Presidents, and Ministers.
Article 39  [Oath]
The President of the Revolutionary Command Council, the Vice-President and the members take the following oath before the Council:

For methodology see: Comparing Constitutions and International Constitutional Law.
© 1994 - May 29th, 2010 / For corrections please contact A. Tschentscher.