General Provisions

Preamble

In the name of God, the Compassionate and Merciful,
We, the representatives of the Tunisian people, meeting as members of the National Constituent Assembly,
Proclaim the will of this people, set free from foreign domination thanks to its powerful cohesion and to its struggle against tyranny, exploitation, and regression;
- to consolidate national unity and to remain faithful to human values which constitute the common heritage of peoples attached to human dignity, justice, and liberty, and working for peace, progress, and free cooperation between nations;
- to remain faithful to the teachings of Islam, to the unity of the Greater Maghreb, to its membership of the Arab family, to cooperation with the African peoples in building a better future, and with all peoples who are struggling for justice and liberty;
- to install a democracy founded on the sovereignty of the people, characterized by a stable political system, and based on the principle of the separation of powers.
We proclaim that the republican regime constitutes:
- the best guarantee for the respect of rights and duties of all citizens;
- the most effective means for assuring the prosperity of the nation through economic development of the country and the utilization of its riches for the benefit of the people;
- the most certain way for assuring the protection of the family and guaranteeing to each citizen work, health, and education.
We, the representatives of the Tunisian poople, free and sovereign, proclaim, by the Grace of God, the present Constitution.
 
Article 1  [State]
Tunisia is a free State, independent and sovereign; its religion is the Islam, its language is Arabic, and its form is the Republic.
 
Article 2  [Arab Nation, Treaties]
(1) The Tunisian Republic constitutes part of the Great Arab Maghreb, towards whose unity it works within the framework of common interests.
(2) Treaties concluded to this effect and being of such nature as to bring about any modification whatsoever to the present Constitution have to be submitted to a referendum by the President of the Republic after having been adopted by the National Parliament in the forms and conditions established by the Constitution.
 
Article 3  [Sovereignty]
The sovereignty belongs to the Tunisian poople who exercise it in conformity with the Constitution.
 
Article 4  [Flag]
The flag of the Tunisian Republic is red; it has in the middle, under the conditions prescribed by the law, a white circle in which is displayed a five-pointed star surrounded by a red crescent.
 
Article 5  [Personal Integrity, Conscience, Belief]
The Tunislan Republic guarantees the inviolability of the human person and freedom of conscience, and protects the free exercise of beliefs, with reservation that they do not disturb the public order.
 
Article 6  [Equality]
All citizens have the same rights and the same duties.  They are equal before the law.
 
Article 7  [Legitimate Purposes of Restriction]
The citizens exercise the plenitude of their rights in the forms and conditions established by the law.  The exercise of these rights cannot be limited except by a law enacted for the protection of others, the respect for the public order, the national defense, the development of the economy, and social progress.
 
Article 8  [Expression, Unions]
(1) The liberties of opinion, expression, the press, publication, assembly, and association are guaranteed and exercised within the conditions defined by the law.
(2) The right of unionization is guaranteed.
 
Article 9  [Home, Secrecy of Correspondence]
The inviolability of the home and the secrecy of correspondence are guaranteed, save in exceptional cases established by the law.
 
Article 10  [Move, Domicile]
Every citizen has the right to move freely in the interior of the territory, to leave it, and to establish his domicile within the limits established by the law.
 
Article 11  [Expatriation]
No citizen can be expatriated or prevented from returning to his country.
 
Article 12  [Presumption of Innocence]
Every accused person is presumed innocent until his guilt is established in accordance with a procedure offering him guarantees indispensable for his defence.
 
Article 13  [Personal Punishment, Nulla Poena Sine Lege]
The sentence is personal and cannot be pronounced except by virtue of a law existing prior to the punishable act.
 
Article 14  [Property]
The right to property is guaranteed.  It is exercised within the limits established by the law.
 
Article 15  [Duty to Defense]
The defense of the country and the integrity of its territory is a sacred duty of every citizen.
 
Article 16  [Duty to Pay Taxes]
The payment of taxes and the contribution to public expenditures on an equitable basis constitute a duty for every person.
 
Article 17  [Asylum]
Political refugees cannot be extradited.