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  The World Factbook.  2008.
 
Constitution
 
 
CountryConstitution
Afghanistannew constitution drafted 14 December 2003-4 January 2004; signed 16 January 2004
AkrotiriSovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia Order in Council 1960, effective 16 August 1960, functions as a basic legal document
Albaniaadopted by popular referendum on 22 November 1998; promulgated 28 November 1998
Algeria8 September 1963; revised 19 November 1976, effective 22 November 1976; revised 3 November 1988, 23 February 1989, and 28 November 1996
American Samoaratified 2 June 1966, effective 1 July 1967
AndorraAndorra's first written constitution was drafted in 1991, approved by referendum 14 March 1993, effective 28 April 1993
Angolaadopted by People's Assembly 25 August 1992
AnguillaAnguilla Constitutional Order 1 April 1982; amended 1990
Antigua and Barbuda1 November 1981
Argentina1 May 1853; amended many times starting in 1860
Armeniaadopted by nationwide referendum 5 July 1995; amendments adopted through a nationwide referendum 27 November 2005
Aruba1 January 1986
Australia9 July 1900, effective 1 January 1901
Austria1920; revised 1929; reinstated 1 May 1945; note - during the period 1 May 1934-1 May 1945 there was a fascist (corporative) constitution in place
Azerbaijanadopted 12 November 1995
Bahamas, The10 July 1973
Bahrainadopted 14 February 2002
Bangladesh4 November 1972, effective 16 December 1972; suspended following coup of 24 March 1982, restored 10 November 1986; amended many times
Barbados30 November 1966
Belarus15 March 1994; revised by national referendum of 24 November 1996 giving the presidency greatly expanded powers and became effective 27 November 1996; revised again 17 October 2004 removing presidential term limits
Belgium7 February 1831; amended many times; revised 14 July 1993 to create a federal state
Belize21 September 1981
Beninadopted by referendum 2 December 1990
Bermuda8 June 1968; amended 1989 and 2003
Bhutannone; note - a draft constitution was unveiled in March 2005 and is expected to be adopted following the election of a new National Assembly in 2008
Bolivia2 February 1967; revised in August 1994; possible referendum on new constitution to be held in 2008
Bosnia and Herzegovinathe Dayton Agreement, signed 14 December 1995 in Paris, included a new constitution now in force; note - each of the entities also has its own constitution
BotswanaMarch 1965, effective 30 September 1966
Brazil5 October 1988
British Virgin Islands13 June 2007
Brunei29 September 1959 (some provisions suspended under a State of Emergency since December 1962, others since independence on 1 January 1984)
Bulgariaadopted 12 July 1991
Burkina Faso2 June 1991 approved by referendum, 11 June 1991 formally adopted; last amended January 2002
Burma3 January 1974; suspended since 18 September 1988; national convention convened in 1993 to establish principles to guide in the drafting of a new constitution concluded in 2007; it did not include participation of major democratic and ethnic majority representatives; a constitutional drafting committee appointed by the junta began meeting in December 2007
Burundi28 February 2005; ratified by popular referendum
Cambodiapromulgated 21 September 1993
Cameroon20 May 1972 approved by referendum, adopted 2 June 1972; revised January 1996
Canadamade up of unwritten and written acts, customs, judicial decisions, and traditions; the written part of the constitution consists of the Constitution Act of 29 March 1867, which created a federation of four provinces, and the Constitution Act of 17 April 1982, which transferred formal control over the constitution from Britain to Canada, and added a Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as procedures for constitutional amendments
Cape Verde25 September 1992; a major revision on 23 November 1995 substantially increased the powers of the president; a 1999 revision created the position of national ombudsman (Provedor de Justica)
Cayman Islands1959; revised 1962, 1972, and 1994
Central African Republicratified by popular referendum 5 December 2004; effective 27 December 2004
Chadpassed by referendum 31 March 1996; a June 2005 referendum removed constitutional term limits
Chile11 September 1980, effective 11 March 1981; amended 1989, 1991, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, and 2005
Chinamost recent promulgation 4 December 1982
Christmas IslandChristmas Island Act of 1958-59 (1 October 1958) as amended by the Territories Law Reform Act of 1992
Cocos (Keeling) IslandsCocos (Keeling) Islands Act of 1955 (23 November 1955) as amended by the Territories Law Reform Act of 1992
Colombia5 July 1991; amended many times
Comoros23 December 2001
Congo, Democratic Republic of the18 February 2006
Congo, Republic of theapproved by referendum 20 January 2002
Cook Islands4 August 1965
Costa Rica7 November 1949
Cote d'Ivoireapproved by referendum 23 July 2000
Croatiaadopted on 22 December 1990; revised 2000, 2001
Cuba24 February 1976; amended July 1992 and June 2002
Cyprus16 August 1960
note: from December 1963, the Turkish Cypriots no longer participated in the government; negotiations to create the basis for a new or revised constitution to govern the island and for better relations between Greek and Turkish Cypriots have been held intermittently since the mid-1960s; in 1975, following the 1974 Turkish intervention, Turkish Cypriots created their own constitution and governing bodies within the "Turkish Federated State of Cyprus," which became the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)" when the Turkish Cypriots declared their independence in 1983; a new constitution for the "TRNC" passed by referendum on 5 May 1985, although the "TRNC" remains unrecognized by any country other than Turkey
Czech Republicratified 16 December 1992, effective 1 January 1993
Denmark5 June 1953 constitution allowed for a unicameral legislature and a female chief of state
DhekeliaSovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia Order in Council 1960, effective 16 August 1960, functions as a basic legal document
Djiboutimultiparty constitution approved by referendum 4 September 1992
Dominica3 November 1978
Dominican Republic28 November 1966; amended 25 July 2002
Ecuador10 August 1998
Egypt11 September 1971; amended 22 May 1980, 25 May 2005, and 26 March 2007
El Salvador20 December 1983
Equatorial Guineaapproved by national referendum 17 November 1991; amended January 1995
Eritreaa transitional constitution, decreed on 19 May 1993, was replaced by a new constitution adopted on 23 May 1997, but not yet implemented
Estoniaadopted 28 June 1992
Ethiopiaratified 8 December 1994, effective 22 August 1995
European Unionbased on a series of treaties: the Treaty of Paris, which set up the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1951; the Treaties of Rome, which set up the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) in 1957; the Single European Act in 1986; the Treaty on European Union (Maastricht) in 1992; the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1997; and the Treaty of Nice in 2003; note - a new draft Constitutional Treaty, signed on 29 October 2004 in Rome, gave member states two years for ratification either by parliamentary vote or national referendum before it was scheduled to take effect on 1 November 2006; defeat in French and Dutch referenda in May-June 2005 dealt a severe setback to the ratification process; in June 2007, the European Council agreed on a clear and concise mandate for an Intergovernmental Conference to form a political agreement and put it into legal form; this agreement, known as the Reform Treaty, is to serve as a constitution and will be presented to the European Council in October 2007, in order to begin the ratification process
Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)3 October 1985; amended 1997 and 1998
Faroe Islands5 June 1953 (Danish constitution)
Fijienacted on 25 July 1997 to encourage multiculturalism and make multiparty government mandatory; effective 28 July 1998
Finland1 March 2000
Franceadopted by referendum 28 September 1958, effective 4 October 1958
note: amended concerning election of president in 1962; amended to comply with provisions of 1992 EC Maastricht Treaty, 1997 Amsterdam Treaty, 2003 Treaty of Nice; amended to tighten immigration laws in 1993; amended in 2000 to change the seven-year presidential term to a five-year term; amended in 2005 to make the EU constitutional treaty compatible with the Constitution of France and to ensure that the decision to ratify EU accession treaties would be made by referendum
French Polynesia4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
Gabonadopted 14 March 1991
Gambia, Theapproved by national referendum 8 August 1996; effective 16 January 1997
Georgiaadopted 24 August 1995
Germany23 May 1949, known as Basic Law; became constitution of the united Germany 3 October 1990
Ghanaapproved 28 April 1992
Gibraltar5 June 2006; came into force 2 January 2007
Greece11 June 1975; amended March 1986 and April 2001
Greenland5 June 1953 (Danish constitution)
Grenada19 December 1973
GuamOrganic Act of Guam, 1 August 1950
Guatemala31 May 1985, effective 14 January 1986; note - suspended 25 May 1993 by former President Jorge SERRANO; reinstated 5 June 1993 following ouster of president; amended November 1993
Guernseyunwritten; partly statutes, partly common law and practice
Guinea23 December 1990 (Loi Fundamentale)
Guinea-Bissau16 May 1984; amended 4 May 1991, 4 December 1991, 26 February 1993, 9 June 1993, and in 1996
Guyana6 October 1980
Haitiapproved March 1987; suspended June 1988 with most articles reinstated March 1989; constitutional government ousted in a military coup in September 1991, although in October 1991, military government claimed to be observing the constitution; returned to constitutional rule in October 1994; constitution, while technically in force between 2004-2006, was not enforced; returned to constitutional rule in May 2006
Holy See (Vatican City)new Fundamental Law promulgated by Pope JOHN PAUL II on 26 November 2000, effective 22 February 2001 (replaces the first Fundamental Law of 1929)
Honduras11 January 1982, effective 20 January 1982; amended many times
Hong KongBasic Law, approved in March 1990 by China's National People's Congress, is Hong Kong's "mini-constitution"
Hungary18 August 1949, effective 20 August 1949; revised 19 April 1972; 18 October 1989 revision ensured legal rights for individuals and constitutional checks on the authority of the prime minister and also established the principle of parliamentary oversight; 1997 amendment streamlined the judicial system
Iceland16 June 1944, effective 17 June 1944; amended many times
India26 January 1950; amended many times
IndonesiaAugust 1945; abrogated by Federal Constitution of 1949 and Provisional Constitution of 1950, restored 5 July 1959; series of amendments concluded in 2002
Iran2-3 December 1979; revised 1989 to expand powers of the presidency and eliminate the prime ministership
Iraqratified on 15 October 2005 (subject to review by the Constitutional Review Committee and a possible public referendum )
Irelandadopted 1 July 1937 by plebiscite; effective 29 December 1937
Isle of Manunwritten; note - The Isle of Man Constitution Act of 1961 does not embody the unwritten Manx Constitution
Israelno formal constitution; some of the functions of a constitution are filled by the Declaration of Establishment (1948), the Basic Laws of the parliament (Knesset), and the Israeli citizenship law; note - since May 2003 the Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee of the Knesset has been working on a draft constitution
Italypassed 11 December 1947, effective 1 January 1948; amended many times
Jamaica6 August 1962
Japan3 May 1947
Jerseyunwritten; partly statutes, partly common law and practice
Jordan1 January 1952; amended many times
Kazakhstanfirst post-independence constitution adopted 28 January 1993; new constitution adopted by national referendum 30 August 1995
Kenya12 December 1963; amended as a republic 1964; reissued with amendments 1979, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1997, 2001; note - a new draft constitution was defeated by popular referendum in 2005
Kiribati12 July 1979
Korea, Northadopted 1948; completely revised 27 December 1972, revised again in April 1992, and September 1998
Korea, South17 July 1948; note - amended or rewritten nine times; current constitution approved on 29 October 1987
KosovoConstitutional Framework of 2001
KosovoConstitutional Framework of 2001; note - the Kosovo Government is charged with putting forward an AHTISAARI (UN Special Envoy) Plan-compliant draft of a new constitution soon after independence
Kuwaitapproved and promulgated 11 November 1962
Kyrgyzstanadopted 5 May 1993; note - amendment proposed by President Askar AKAYEV and passed in a national referendum on 2 February 2003 significantly expanded the powers of the president at the expense of the legislature; during large-scale demonstrations in November 2006, President BAKIYEV and the opposition negotiated a new constitution granting greater powers to the parliament and the government; amendments added on 30 December 2006 redistributed some power back to the president, but both November and December 2006 versions were annulled in September 2007, and a new version was approved by referendum on 21 October 2007; the BAKIYEV-initiated referendum was criticized by Western observers for voting irregularities, particularly ballot stuffing
Laospromulgated 14 August 1991
Latvia15 February 1922; restored to force by the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Latvia adopted by the Supreme Council on 21 August 1991; multiple amendments since
Lebanon23 May 1926; amended a number of times, most recently Charter of Lebanese National Reconciliation (Ta'if Accord) of October 1989
Lesotho2 April 1993
Liberia6 January 1986
Libyanone; note - following the September 1969 military overthrow of the Libyan government, the Revolutionary Command Council replaced the existing constitution with the Constitutional Proclamation in December 1969; in March 1977, Libya adopted the Declaration of the Establishment of the People's Authority
Liechtenstein5 October 1921
Lithuaniaadopted 25 October 1992
Luxembourg17 October 1868; occasional revisions
MacauBasic Law, approved on 31 March 1993 by China's National People's Congress, is Macau's "mini-constitution"
Macedoniaadopted 17 November 1991, effective 20 November 1991; amended November 2001 by a series of new constitutional amendments strengthening minority rights and in 2005 with amendments related to the judiciary
Madagascar19 August 1992 by national referendum
Malawi18 May 1994
Malaysia31 August 1957 (amended many times, latest in 2007)
Maldivesadopted 1 January 1998
Maliadopted 12 January 1992
Malta1964 constitution; amended many times
Marshall Islands1 May 1979
Mauritania12 July 1991
Mauritius12 March 1968; amended 12 March 1992
Mayotte4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
Mexico5 February 1917
Micronesia, Federated States of10 May 1979
Moldovanew constitution adopted 29 July 1994, effective 27 August 1994; replaced old Soviet constitution of 1979
Monaco17 December 1962
Mongolia12 February 1992
Montenegro19 October 2007 (was approved by the Assembly)
Montserrateffective 19 December 1989
Morocco10 March 1972; revised 4 September 1992, amended (to create bicameral legislature) September 1996
Mozambique30 November 1990
Namibiaratified 9 February 1990, effective 12 March 1990
Nauru29 January 1968; amended 17 May 1968 (Constitution Day)
Nepal9 November 1990; note - a new interim constitution was promulgated in January 2007; the November 2006 peace agreement calls for the election of a constituent assembly to draft a new permanent constitution
Netherlandsadopted 1815; amended many times, most recently in 2002
Netherlands Antilles29 December 1954, Statute of the Realm of the Netherlands, as amended
New Caledonia4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
New Zealandconsists of a series of legal documents, including certain acts of the UK and New Zealand Parliaments, as well as The Constitution Act 1986, which is the principal formal charter; adopted 1 January 1987, effective 1 January 1987
Nicaragua9 January 1987; reforms in 1995, 2000, and 2005
Nigernew constitution adopted 18 July 1999
Nigerianew constitution adopted 5 May 1999; effective 29 May 1999
Niue19 October 1974 (Niue Constitution Act)
Norfolk IslandNorfolk Island Act of 1979, as amended in 2005
Northern Mariana IslandsConstitution of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands effective 1 January 1978; Covenant Agreement fully effective 4 November 1986
Norway17 May 1814; amended many times
Omannone; note - on 6 November 1996, Sultan QABOOS issued a royal decree promulgating a basic law considered by the government to be a constitution which, among other things, clarifies the royal succession, provides for a prime minister, bars ministers from holding interests in companies doing business with the government, establishes a bicameral legislature, and guarantees basic civil liberties for Omani citizens
Pakistan12 April 1973; suspended 5 July 1977, restored with amendments 30 December 1985; suspended 15 October 1999, restored in stages in 2002; amended 31 December 2003; suspended 3 November 2007; restored with amendments on 15 December 2007
Palau1 January 1981
Panama11 October 1972; major reforms adopted 1978, 1983, 1994, and 2004
Papua New Guinea16 September 1975
Paraguaypromulgated 20 June 1992
Peru29 December 1993
Philippines2 February 1987, effective 11 February 1987
Pitcairn Islands30 November 1838; reformed 1904 with additional reforms in 1940; further refined by the Local Government Ordinance of 1964
Polandadopted by the National Assembly 2 April 1997; passed by national referendum 25 May 1997; effective 17 October 1997
Portugaladopted 2 April 1976; effective 25 April 1976; revised many times
Puerto Ricoratified 3 March 1952; approved by US Congress 3 July 1952; effective 25 July 1952
Qatarratified by public referendum on 29 April 2003, endorsed by the Amir on 8 June 2004, effective on 9 June 2005
Romania8 December 1991; revision effective 29 October 2003
Russiaadopted 12 December 1993
Rwandanew constitution passed by referendum 26 May 2003
Saint Barthelemy4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
Saint Helena1 January 1989
Saint Kitts and Nevis19 September 1983
Saint Lucia22 February 1979
Saint Martin4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
Saint Pierre and Miquelon4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines27 October 1979
Samoa1 January 1962
San Marino8 October 1600; electoral law of 1926 serves some of the functions of a constitution
Sao Tome and Principeapproved March 1990, effective 10 September 1990
Saudi Arabiagoverned according to Islamic law; the Basic Law that articulates the government's rights and responsibilities was promulgated by royal decree in 1992
Senegaladopted 7 January 2001
Serbiaadopted 8 November 2006; effective 10 November 2006
Seychelles18 June 1993
Sierra Leone1 October 1991; subsequently amended several times
Singapore3 June 1959; amended 1965 (based on preindependence State of Singapore Constitution)
Slovakiaratified 1 September 1992, effective 1 January 1993; changed in September 1998 to allow direct election of the president; amended February 2001 to allow Slovakia to apply for NATO and EU membership
Sloveniaadopted 23 December 1991
Solomon Islands7 July 1978
Somalia25 August 1979, presidential approval 23 September 1979
note: the formation of transitional governing institutions, known as the Transitional Federal Government, is currently ongoing
South Africa10 December 1996; this new constitution was certified by the Constitutional Court on 4 December 1996, was signed by then President MANDELA on 10 December 1996, and entered into effect on 4 February 1997; it is being implemented in phases
Spainapproved by legislature 31 October 1978; passed by referendum 6 December 1978, effective 29 December 1978
Sri Lankaadopted 16 August 1978, certified 31 August 1978
Sudanconstitution implemented on 30 June 1998, partially suspended 12 December 1999 by President BASHIR; under the CPA, Interim National Constitution ratified 5 July 2005; Constitution of Southern Sudan signed December 2005
Surinameratified 30 September 1987; effective 30 October 1987
Swazilandsigned by the King in July 2005 went into effect on 8 February 2006
Sweden1 January 1975
Switzerlandrevision of Constitution of 1874 approved by the Federal Parliament 18 December 1998, adopted by referendum 18 April 1999, officially entered into force 1 January 2000
Syria13 March 1973
Taiwan25 December 1947; amended in 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2005
note: constitution adopted on 25 December 1946; went into effect on 25 December 1947
Tajikistan6 November 1994
Tanzania25 April 1977; major revisions October 1984
Thailandconstitution signed by King PHUMIPHON (BHUMIBOL) on 24 August 2007
Timor-Leste22 March 2002 (based on the Portuguese model)
Togomultiparty draft constitution approved by High Council of the Republic 1 July 1992, adopted by public referendum 27 September 1992
Tokelauadministered under the Tokelau Islands Act of 1948; amended in 1970
Tonga4 November 1875; revised 1 January 1967
Trinidad and Tobago1 August 1976
Tunisia1 June 1959; amended 1988, 2002
Turkey7 November 1982
Turkmenistanadopted 18 May 1992
Turks and Caicos IslandsTurks and Caicos Islands Constitution Order 2006 (effective 9 August 2006)
Tuvalu1 October 1978
Uganda8 October 1995; in 2005 the constitution was amended removing presidential term limits and legalizing a multiparty political system
Ukraineadopted 28 June 1996
United Arab Emirates2 December 1971; made permanent in 1996
United Kingdomunwritten; partly statutes, partly common law and practice
United States17 September 1787, effective 4 March 1789
Uruguay27 November 1966, effective 15 February 1967; suspended 27 June 1973, new constitution rejected by referendum 30 November 1980; two constitutional reforms approved by plebiscite 26 November 1989 and 7 January 1997
Uzbekistanadopted 8 December 1992
Vanuatu30 July 1980
Venezuela30 December 1999
Vietnam15 April 1992
Virgin IslandsRevised Organic Act of 22 July 1954
Wallis and Futuna4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
Yemen16 May 1991; amended 29 September 1994 and February 2001
Zambia24 August 1991; amended in 1996 to establish presidential term limits
Zimbabwe21 December 1979

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