Costituzione 22 marzo 2002
Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Timor East
Costituzione della Repubblica democratica di Timor Est (Timor Orientale). 22 marzo 2002.
In its cultural and humane perspective, the Catholic Church in East Timor has always been able to take on the suffering of all the People with dignity, placing itself on their side in the defence of their most fundamental rights.
Ultimately, the present Constitution represents a heart-felt tribute to all martyrs of the Motherland.
Fully conscious of the need to build a democratic and institutional culture proper appropriate to a State based on the rule of law where respect for the Constitution, for the laws and for democratically elected institutions constitute its unquestionable foundation;
Interpreting the profound sentiments, the aspirations and the faith in God of the People of East Timor;
Solemnly reaffirm their determination to fight all forms of tyranny, oppression, social, cultural or religious domination and segregation, to defend national independence, to respect and guarantee human rights and the fundamental rights of the citizen, to ensure the principle of the separation of powers in the organisation of the State, and to establish the essential rules of multi-party democracy, with a view to building a just and prosperous nation and developing a society of solidarity and fraternity.
The Constituent Assembly, meeting in plenary session on the 22nd of March 2002, approves and decrees the following Constitution of the Democratic Republic of East Timor:
PART I – FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES
Section 1 (The Republic)
1. The Democratic Republic of East Timor is a democratic, sovereign, independent and unitary State based on the rule of law, the will of the people and the respect for the dignity of the human person.
Section 11 (Valorisation of Resistance)
1. The Democratic Republic of East Timor acknowledges and values the historical resistance of the Maubere People against foreign domination and the contribution of all those who fought for national independence.
2. The State acknowledges and values the participation of the Catholic Church in the process of national liberation of East Timor.
3. The State shall ensure special protection to the war-disabled, orphans and other dependants of those who dedicated their lives to the struggle for independence and national sovereignty, and shall protect all those who participated in the resistance against the foreign occupation, in accordance with the law.
4. The law shall define the mechanisms for rendering tribute to the national heroes.
Section 12 (State and religious denominations)
1. The State shall recognise and respect the different religious denominations, which are free in their organisation and in the exercise of their own activities, to take place in due observance of the Constitution and the law.
2. The State shall promote the cooperation with the different religious denominations that contribute to the well-being of the people of East Timor.
PART II -FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS, DUTIES, FREEDOMS AND GUARANTEES
TITLE I – GENERAL PRINCIPLES
Section 16 (Universality and Equality)
1. All citizens are equal before the law, shall exercise the same rights and shall be subject to the same duties.
2. No one shall be discriminated against on grounds of colour, race, marital status, gender, ethnical origin, language, social or economic status, political or ideological convictions, religion, education and physical or mental condition.
Section 23 (Interpretation of fundamental rights)
Fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution shall not exclude any other rights provided for by the law and shall be interpreted in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Section 24 (Restrictive laws)
1. Restriction of rights, freedoms and guarantees can only be imposed by law in order to safeguard other constitutionally protected rights or interests and in cases clearly provided for by the Constitution.
2. Laws restricting rights, freedoms and guarantees have necessarily a general and abstract nature and may not reduce the extent and scope of the essential contents of constitutional provisions and shall not have a retroactive effect.
Section 25 (State of exception)
1. Suspension of the exercise of fundamental rights, freedoms and guarantees shall only take place if a state of siege or a state of emergency has been declared as provided for by the Constitution.
2. A state of siege or a state of emergency shall only be declared in case of effective or impending aggression by a foreign force, of serious disturbance or threat of serious disturbance to the democratic constitutional order, or of public disaster.
3. A declaration of a state of siege or a state of emergency shall be substantiated, specifying rights, freedoms and guarantees the exercise of which is to be suspended.
4. A suspension shall not last for more than thirty days, without prejudice of possible justified renewal, when strictly necessary, for equal periods of time.
5. In no case shall a declaration of a state of siege affect the right to life, physical integrity, citizenship, non-retroactivity of the criminal law, defence in a criminal case and freedom of conscience and religion, the right not to be subjected to torture, slavery or servitude, the right not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment , and the guarantee of non-discrimination.
6. Authorities shall restore constitutional normality as soon as possible.
TITLE II – PERSONAL RIGHTS, FREEDOMS AND GUARANTEES
Section 38 (Protection of personal data)
1. Every citizen has the right to access personal data stored in a computer system or entered into mechanical or manual records regarding him or her, and he or she shall have the right to demand the purpose of such data.
2. The law shall determine the concept of personal data, as well as the conditions applicable to the processing thereof.
3. The processing of personal data on private life, political and philosophical convictions, religious faith, party or trade union membership and ethnical origin, without the consent of the interested person, is prohibited.
Section 39 (Family, marriage and maternity)
1. The State shall protect the family as the society’s basic unit and a condition for the harmonious development of the individual.
2. Every one has the right to establish and live in a family.
3. Marriage shall be based upon free consent by the parties and on terms of full equality of rights between spouses, in accordance with the law.
4. Maternity shall be dignified and protected, and special protection shall be guaranteed to all women during pregnancy and after delivery and working women shall have the right to be exempted from the workplace for an adequate period before and after delivery, without loss of remuneration or any other benefits, in accordance with the law.
Section 40 (Freedom of speech and information)
1. Every person has the right to freedom of speech and the right to inform and be informed impartially.
2. The exercise of freedom of speech and information shall not be limited by any sort of censorship.
3. The exercise of rights and freedoms referred to in this Section shall be regulated by law based on the imperative of respect for the Constitution and the dignity of the human person.
Section 41 (Freedom of the press and mass media)
1. Freedom of the press and other mass media is guaranteed.
2. Freedom of the press shall comprise, namely, the freedom of speech and creativity for journalists, the access to information sources, editorial freedom, protection of independence and professional confidentiality, and the right to create newspapers, publications and other means of broadcasting.
3. The monopoly on the mass media shall be prohibited.
4. The State shall guarantee the freedom and independence of the public mass media from political and economic powers.
5. The State shall guarantee the existence of a public radio and television service that is impartial in order to, inter-alia, protect and disseminate the culture and the traditional values of the Democratic Republic of East Timor and guarantee opportunities for the expression of different lines of opinion.
6. Radio and television stations shall operate only under a licence, in accordance with the law.
Section 42 (Freedom to assemble and demonstrate)
1. Everyone is guaranteed the freedom to assemble peacefully and unarmed, without a need for prior authorisation.
2. Everyone is recognised the right to demonstrate in accordance with the law.
Section 43 (Freedom of association)
1. Everyone is guaranteed freedom of association provided that the association is not intended to promote violence and is in accordance with the law.
2. No one shall be compelled to join an association or to remain in it against his or her will.
3. The establishment of armed, military or paramilitary associations, including organisations of a racist or xenophobic nature or that promote terrorism, shall be prohibited.
Section 45 (Freedom of conscience, religion and worship)
1. Every person is guaranteed the freedom of conscience, religion and worship and the religious denominations are separated from the State.
2. No one shall be persecuted or discriminated against on the basis of his or her religious convictions.
3. The right to be a conscientious objector shall be guaranteed in accordance with the law.
4. Freedom to teach any religion in the framework of the respective religious denomination is guaranteed.
TITLE III – ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES
Section 50 (Right to work)
1. Every citizen, regardless of gender, has the right and the duty to work and to choose freely his or her profession.
2. The worker has the right to labour safety and hygiene, remuneration, rest and vacation.
3. Dismissal without just cause or on political, religious and ideological grounds is prohibited.