CONSTITUTION OF ROMANIA
1991

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TITLE II
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS, FREEDOMS AND DUTIES
 
Chapter 1
Common provisions
 
UniversalityArticle 15
(1) All citizens enjoy the rights and freedoms granted to them by the Constitution and other laws, and have the duties laid down thereby.
(2) The law acts only for the future, with the exception of the more favourable penal law.
 
Equality of rightsArticle 16
(1) Citizens are equal before the law and public authorities, without any privilege or discrimination.
(2) No one is above the law.
(3) Access to a public office or dignity, civil or military, is granted to persons whose citizenship is only and exclusively Romanian, and whose domicile is in Romania.
 
Romanian citizens while abroadArticle 17
Romanian citizens while abroad shall enjoy the protection of the Romanian State and shall be bound to fulfil their duties, with the exception of those incompatible with their absence from the country.
 
Aliens and stateless personsArticle 18
(1) Aliens and stateless persons living in Romania shall enjoy general protection of person and assets, as guaranteed by the Constitution and other laws.
(2) The right of asylum shall be granted and withdrawn under the provisions of the law, in compliance with the international treaties and covenants Romania is a party to.
 
Extradition and expulsionArticle 19
(1) No Romanian citizen may be extradited or expelled from Romania.
(2) Aliens and stateless persons may be extradited only in compliance with an international covenant or in terms of reciprocity.
(3) Expulsion or extradition shall be ruled by the Court.
 
International human rights treatiesArticle 20
(1) Constitutional provisions concerning the citizens' rights and liberties shall be interpreted and enforced in conformity with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with the covenants and other treaties Romania is a party to.
(2) Where any inconsistencies exist between the covenants and treaties on fundamental human rights Romania is a party to, and internal laws, the international regulations shall take precedence.
 
Free access to justiceArticle 21
(1) Every person is entitled to bring cases before the courts for the defence of his legitimate rights, liberties and interests.
(2) The exercise of this right may not be restricted by any law.
 
Chapter 2
Fundamental rights and freedoms
 
Right to life, to physical and mental integrityArticle 22
(1) The right to life, as well as the right to physical and mental integrity of person are guaranteed.
(2) No one may be subjected to torture or to any kind of inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment.
(3) The death penalty is prohibited.
 
Individual freedomArticle 23
(1) Individual freedom and security of person are inviolable.
(2) Search, detainment or arrest of a person shall be permitted only in the cases and under the procedure provided by law.
(3) Detention may not exceed twenty-four hours.
(4) Arrest shall be made under a warrant issued by a magistrate, for a maximum period of thirty days. The person arrested may lodge a complaint to the court about the legality of the warant, and its Judge is bound to make a pronouncement by a motivated decision. The period of arrest may be extended only by a decision of the court.
(5) Any person detained or arrested shall be promptly informed, in a language he understands, of the grounds for his detention or arrest, and notified of the charges against him, as soon as practicable; the notification of the charges shall be made only in the presence of a lawyer of his own choosing or appointed ex officio.
(6) The release of the person detained or arrested shall be obligatory, if the grounds for his detention or arrest ceased to exist.
(7) A person under preventive custody shall have the right to apply for provisional release, under judicial control or on bail.
(8) Any person shall be presumed innocent till found guilty by a final decision of the court.
(9) Penalties can be established or applied only in accordance with and on the grounds of the law.
 
Right to defenceArticle 24
(1) The right to defence is guaranteed.
(2) All throughout the trial, the parties shall have the right to be assisted by a lawyer of their own choosing or appointed *ex officio*.
 
Freedom of movementArticle 25
(1) The right of free movement within the national territory and abroad is guaranteed. The law shall lay down the conditions for the exercise of this right.
(2) Every citizen is guaranteed the right to establish his domicile or residence anywhere in the country, to emigrate, and to return to his country.
 
Personal and family privacyArticle 26
(1) The public authorities shall respect and protect the intimate, family and private life.
(2) Any natural person has the right to freely dispose of himself unless by this he causes an infringement upon the rights and freedoms of others, on public order or morals.
 
Inviolability of domicileArticle 27
(1) The domicile and the residence are inviolable. No one may enter or remain in the domicile or residence of a person without consent.
(2) Derogation from provisions under paragraph (1) is permissible by law, in the following circumstances:a) for carrying into execution a warrant for arrest or a court sentence;
b) to remove any danger against the life, physical integrity or assets of a person;
c) to defend national security or public order;
d) to prevent the spread of an epidemic.
(3) Searches may be ordered only by a magistrate and carried out exclusively under observance of the legal procedure.
(4) Searches at night time shall be prohibited, except in cases of *flagrante delicto*.
 
Secrecy of correspondenceArticle 28
Secrecy of the letters, telegrams and other postal communications, of telephone conversations and of any other legal means of communication is inviolable.
 
Freedom of conscienceArticle 29
(1) Freedom of thought, opinion, and religious beliefs may not be restricted in any form whatsoever. No one may be compelled to embrace an opinion or religion contrary to his own convictions.
(2) Freedom of conscience is guaranteed; it must be manifested in a spirit of tolerance and mutual respect.
(3) All religions shall be free and organized in accordance with their own statutes, under the terms laid down by law.
(4) Any forms, means, acts or actions of religious enmity shall be prohibited in the relationships among the cults.
(5) Religious cults shall be autonomous from the State and shall enjoy support from it, including the facilitation of religious assistance in the army, in hospitals, prisons, homes and orphanages.
(6) Parents or legal tutors have the right to ensure, in accordance with their own convictions, the education of the minor children whose responsibility devolves on them.
 
Freedom of expressionArticle 30
(1) Freedom of expression of thoughts, opinions, or beliefs, and freedom of any creation, by words, in writing, in pictures, by sounds or other means of communication in public are inviolable.
(2) Any censorship shall be prohibited.
(3) Freedom of the press also involves the free setting up of publications.
(4) No publication may be suppressed.
(5) The law may impose upon the mass media the obligation to make public their financing source.
(6) Freedom of expression shall not be prejudicial to the dignity, honour, privacy of person, and the right to one's own image.
(7) Any defamation of the country and the nation, any instigation to a war of aggression, to national, racial, class or religious hatred, any incitement to discrimination, territorial separatism, or public violence, as well as any obscene conduct contrary to morality shall be prohibited by law.
(8) Civil liability for any information or creation made public falls upon the publisher or producer, the author, the producer of the artistic performance, the owner of the copying facilities, radio or television station, under the terms laid down by law. Indictable offences of the press shall be established by law.
 
Right to informationArticle 31
(1) A person's right of access to any information of public interest cannot be restricted.
(2) The public authorities, according to their competence, shall be bound to provide for correct information of the citizens in public affairs and matters of personal interest.
(3) The right to information shall not be prejudicial to the protection of the young or to national security.
(4) Public and private media shall be bound to provide correct information to the public opinion.
(5) Public radio and television services shall be autonomous. They must guarantee for any important social and political group the exercise of the right to be on the air. The organization of these services and the Parliamentary control over their activity shall be regulated by an organic law.
 
Right to educationArticle 32
(1) The right to education is provided for by the compulsory general education, by education in high schools and vocational schools, by higher education, as well as other forms of instruction and post-graduate refresher courses.
(2) Education of all grades shall be in Romanian. Education may also be conducted in a foreign language of international use, under the terms laid down by law.
(3) The right of persons belonging to national minorities to learn their mother tongue, and their right to be educated in this language are guaranteed; the ways to exercise these rights shall be regulated by law.
(4) Public education shall be free, according to the law.
(5) Educational establishments, including private institutions shall be set up and conduct their activity according to the provisions of the law.
(6) The autonomy of the Universities is guaranteed.
(7) The State shall ensure the freedom of religious education, in accordance with the specific requirements of each religious cult. In public schools, religious education is organized and guaranteed by law.
 
Right to protection of healthArticle 33
(1) The right to the protection of health is guaranteed.
(2) The State shall be bound to take measures to ensure public hygiene and health.
(3) The organization of the medical care and social security system in case of sickness, accidents, maternity and recovery, the control over the exercise of medical professions and paramedical activities, as well as other measures to protect physical and mental health of person shall be established according to the law.
 
Right to voteArticle 34
(1) Every citizen having attained the age of eighteen by or on the election day shall have the right to vote.
(2) Mentally deficient or alienated, laid under interdiction, as well as persons disenfranchised by a final decision of the court cannot vote.
 
Right to be electedArticle 35
(1) Eligibility is granted to all citizens having the right to vote, who meet the requirements in Article 16 paragraph (3), unless they are forbidden to join a political party, in accordance with Article 37 paragraph (3).
(2) Candidates must have attained, by or on the election day, the age of at least twenty-three, to be elected to the Chamber of Deputies or local administration, and at least thirty-five, to be elected to the Senate or to the office of President of Romania.
 
Freedom of assemblyArticle 36
Public meetings, processions, demonstrations or any other assembly shall be free and may be organized and held only peacefully, without arms of any kind whatsoever.
 
Right to associationArticle 37
(1) Citizens may freely associate into political parties, trade unions and other forms of association.
(2) Any political parties or organizations which, by their aims or activity, militate against political pluralism, the principles of a State governed by the rule of law, or against the sovereignty, integrity or independence of Romania shall be unconstitutional.
(3) Judges of the Constitutional Court, the Advocates of the People, magistrates, active members of the Armed Forces, policemen and other categories of civil servants, established by an organic law, may not join political parties.
(4) Secret associations are prohibited.
 
Labour and social protection of labourArticle 38
(1) The right to work cannot be restricted.Everyone has the free choice of profession and workplace.
(2) All employees have the right to social protection of labour. The protecting measures concern safety and hygiene of work, working conditions for women and the young, the setting up of a minimum wage per economy, weekends, paid annual leave, work carried out under hard conditions, as well as other specific situations.
(3) The normal duration of a working day is of maximum eight hours, on the average.
(4) On equal work with men, women shall get equal wages.
(5) The right to collective labour bargaining and the binding force of collective agreements shall be guaranteed.
 
Prohibition of forced labourArticle 39
(1) Forced labour is prohibited.
(2) Forced labour does not include:a) any service of a military character or activities performed in lieu thereof by those who, according to the law, are exempted from compulsory military service for conscientious objection;
b) the work of a sentenced person, carried out under normal conditions, during detention or conditional release;
c) any services required to deal with a calamity or any other danger, as well as those which are part of normal civil obligations as established by law.
 
Right to strikeArticle 40
(1) The employees have the right to strike in the defence of their professional, economic and social interests.
(2) The law shall regulate the conditions and limits governing the exercise of this right, as well as the guarantees necessary to ensure the essential services for the society.
 
Protection of private propertyArticle 41
(1) The right of property, as well as the debts incurring on the State are guaranteed. The content and limitations of these rights shall be established by law.
(2) Private property shall be equally protected by law, irrespective of its owner. Aliens and stateless persons may not acquire the right of property on land.
(3) No one may be expropriated, except on grounds of public utility, established according to the law, against just compensation paid in advance.
(4) For projects of general interest, the public authorities are entitled to use the subsoil of any real estate with the obligation to pay compensation to its owner for the damages caused to the soil, plantations or buildings, as well as for other damages imputable to these authorities.
(5) Compensations provided under paragraphs (3) and (4) shall be agreed upon with the owner, or by the decision of the court when a settlement cannot be reached.
(6) The right of property compels to the observance of duties relating to environmentl protection and ensurance of good neighbourliness, as well as of other duties incumbent upon the owner, in accordance with the law or custom.
(7) Legally acquired assets may not be confiscated. Legality of acquirement shall be presumed.
(8) Any goods intended for, used or resulting from a criminal or minor offence may be confiscated only in accordance with the provisions of the law.
 
Inheritance rightArticle 42
The right of inheritance is guaranteed.
 
Living standardArticle 43
(1) The State shall be bound to take measures of economic development and social protection, of a nature to ensure a decent living standard for its citizens.
(2) Citizens have the right to pensions, paid maternity leave, medical care in public health establishments, unemployment benefits, and other forms of social care, as provided by law.
 
FamilyArticle 44
(1) The Family is founded on the freely consented marriage of the spouses, their full equality, as well as the right and duty of the parents to ensure the upbringing, education and instruction of their children.
(2) The terms for entering into marriage, dissolution and nullity of marriage shall be established by law. Religious wedding may be celebrated only after civil marriage.
(3) Children born out of wedlock are equal before the law with those born in wedlock.
 
Protection of children and young peopleArticle 45
(1) Children and the young people shall enjoy special protection and assistance in the pursuit of their rights.
(2) The State shall grant state allowances for children and benefits for the care of sick or disabled children. Other forms of social protection for children and the young shall be established by law.
(3) The exploitation of minors, their employment in activities that might be harmful to their health, or morals, or endanger their life and normal development are prohibited.
(4) Minors under the age of fifteen may not be employed for any paid labour.
(5) The public authorities are bound to contribute to secure the conditions towards the free participation of young people in the political, social, economic, cultural and sporting life of the country.
 
Protection of the disabled personsArticle 46
The disabled shall enjoy special protection. The State shall ensure the promotion of a national policy of preventive care, treatment, readjustment, education, instruction and social integration of the disabled, while observing the rights and duties of their parents or legal tutors.
 
Right of petitionArticle 47
(1) Citizens have the right to apply to the public authorities by petitions formulated only in the name of the signatories.
(2) Legally established organizations have the right to forward petitions, exclusively on behalf of the collective body they represent.
(3) The exercise of the right of petition shall be tax-exempted.
(4) The public authorities are bound to answer to petitions within terms and under conditions as established by law.
 
Right of a person aggrieved by a public authorityArticle 48
(1) Any person aggrieved in his legitimate right by an administrative act or failure of a public authority to solve his application within the legal term is entitled to the acknowledgement of his right, annulment of the act and remedies for the damage.
(2) The conditions and limits on the exercise of this right shall be regulated by an organic law.
(3) The state bears patrimonial liability, according to the law, for damages caused by judicial errors in criminal cases.
 
Restriction on the exercise of certain rights or freedomsArticle 49
(1) The exercise of certain rights or freedoms may be restricted only by law, and only if absolutely unavoidable, as the case may be, for: the defence of national security, public order, health or morals, of the citizens' rights and freedoms; as required for conducting a criminal investigation; for the prevention of the consequences of a natural calamity or extremely grave disaster.
(2) The restriction shall be proportional to the extent of the situation that determined it and may not infringe upon the existence of the respective right or freedom.
 
Chapter 3
Fundamental duties
 
Faithfulness towards the countryArticle 50
(1) Faithfulness towards the country is sacred.
(2) Citizens holding public offices, as well as the military, are liable for the loyal fulfilment of the obligations they are bound to, and shall, for this purpose, take the oath as requested by law.
 
Observance of the Constitution and lawsArticle 51
The observance of the Constitution, of its supremacy and of the laws is binding.
 
Defence of the countryArticle 52
(1) Citizens have the right and duty to defend Romania.
(2) The military service is compulsory for all Romanian male citizens aged twenty, except for the cases provided by law.
(3) To be trained in the active military service, citizens may be summoned up to the age of thirty-five.
 
Financial contributionsArticle 53
(1) Citizens are under the obligation to contribute to public expenditure, by taxes and duties.
(2) The legal taxation system must ensure a fair distribution of the tax burden.
(3) Any other dues shall be prohibited, save those determined by law, under exceptional circumstances.
 
Exercise of rights and freedomsArticle 54
Romanian citizens, aliens and stateless persons shall exercise their constitutional rights and freedoms in good faith, without any infringement of the rights and liberties of others.
 
Chapter 4
Advocate of the People
 
Appointment and roleArticle 55
(1) The Advocate of the People shall be appointed by the Senate, for a term of office of four years, to defend the citizens' rights and freedoms. The organization and functioning of the Advocate of the People institution shall be regulated by an organic law.
(2) The Advocate of the People may not perform any other public or private office.
 
Exercise of powersArticle 56
(1) The Advocate of the People shall exercise his powers *ex officio* or upon request by persons aggrieved in their rights and freedoms, within limits established by law.
(2) It is binding upon the public authorities to give the Advocate of the People the necessary support in the exercise of his powers.
 
Report before ParliamentArticle 57
The Advocate of the People shall report before the two Parliament Chambers, annually or on request thereof. The reports may contain recommendations on legislation or measures of any other nature for the defence of the citizens' rights and freedoms.