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CONSTITUTION OF KUWAIT ,  1962

11th   Nov.  1962

 

Preamble

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, We, Abdullah al-Salim al-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait, desiring to use the means of democratic rule for our dear Country; and, having faith in the role of this Country in furthering Arab nationalism and the promotion of world peace and human civilisation; and, striving towards a better future in which the Country enjoys greater prosperity and higher international standing, and in which also the citizens are provided with more political freedom, equality, and social justice, a future which upholds the traditions inherent in the Arab nation by enhancing the dignity of the individual, safeguarding public interest, and applying consultative rule yet maintaining the unity and stability of the Country; and, I having considered Law Number I of 1962 concerning the system of Goverument during the period of transition; and,

upon the resolution of the Constituent Assembly; do hereby approve this Constitution and promulgate it.

 

Part I

The State and System of Government

Article 1 [Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity]

Kuwait is an Arab State, independent and fully sovereign. Neither its sovereignty nor any part of its territory may be relinquished. The people of Kuwait is a part of the Arab Nation.

 

Article 2 [State Religion]

The religion of the State is Islem, and the Islamic Sharia shall be a main source of legislation.

 

Article 3 [Official Language]

The official language of the State is Arabic.

 

Article 4 [Monarchy]

(1) Kuwait is a hereditary Amirate, the succession to which shall be in the descendants of the late Mubarak al-Sabah.

(2) The Heir Apparent shall be designated within one year, at the latest, from the date of accession of the Amir.

(3) His designation shall be effected by an Amiri Order upon the nomination of the Amir and the approval of the National Assembly which shall be signified by a majarity vote of its members in a special sitting.

(4) In case no designation is achieved in accordance with the foregoing procedure, the Amir shall nominate at least three of the descendants of the late Mubarak al-Sabah of whom the National Assembly shall pledge allegiance to one as Heir Apparent.

(5) The Heir Apparent shall have attained his majority, be of sound mind, and a legitimate son of Muslim parents.

(6) A special law promulgated within one year from the date of coming into force of this Constitution shall lay down the other rules of succession in the Amirate. The said law shall be of a constitutional nature and therefore shall be capable of amendment only by the procedure prescribed for amendment of the Constitution.

 

Article 5 [State Symbols]

The flag, emblem, badges, decorations, and the National Anthem of the State shall be specified by law.

 

Article 6 [Democracy]

The System of Government in Kuwait shall be democratic, under which sovereignty resides in the people, the source of all powers. Sovereiguty shall be exercised in the manner specified in this Constitution.

 

 

 

Part II

Fundamental Constituents of Kuwaiti Society

 

Article 7 [State Goals]

Justice, Liberty, and Equality are the pillars of society; co-operation and mutual help are the firmest bonds between citizens.

 

Article 8 [Guardian State]

The State safeguards the pillars of Society and ensures security, tranquility, and equal opportunities for citizens.

 

Article 9 [Family]

The family is the corner-stone of Society. It is founded on religion, morality, and patriotism. Law shall preserve the integrity of the family, strengthen its ties, and protect under its support motherhood and childhood.

 

Article 10 [Youth Protection]

The State cares for the young and protects them from exploitation and from moral, physical, and spiritual neglect.

 

Article 11 [Old Age Protection]

The State ensures aid for citizens in old age, sickness, or inability to work. It also provides them with services of social security, social aid, and medical care.

 

Article 12 [Arab Heritage]

The State safeguards the heritage of Islam and of the Arabs and contributes to the furtherance of human civilisation.

 

Article 13 [Education]

Education is a fundamental requisite for the progress of society, assured and promoted by the State.

 

Article 14 [Science, Arts]

The State shall promote science, letters, and the arts and encourage scientific research therein.

 

Article 15 [Health Care]

The State cares for public health and for means of prevention and treatment of diseases and epidemics.

 

Article 16 [Property Rights]

Property, capital, and work are fundamental constituents of the social structure of the State and of the national wealth. All of them are individual rights with a social function as regulated by law.

 

Article 17 [Public Property]

Public property is inviolable and its protection is the duty of every citizen.

 

Article 18 [Private Property, Inheritance]

(1) Private property is inviolable. No one shall be prevented from disposing of his property except within the limits of the law. No property shall be expropriated except for the public benefit under the circumstances and in the manner specified by law, and on condition that just compensation is paid.

(2) Inheritance is a right governed by the Islamic Sharia.

 

Article 19 [Confiscation]

General confiscation of the property of any person shall be prohibited. Confiscation of particular property as a penalty may not be inflicted except by court judgment in the circumstances specified by law.

 

Article 20 [National Economy]

The national economy shall be basod on social justice. It is founded on fair co-operation between public and private activities. Its aim shall be economic development, increase of productivity, improvement of the standard of living, and achievement of prosperity for citizens, all within the limits of the law.

 

Article 21 [Natural Resources]

Natural resources and all revenues therefrom are the property of the State. It shall ensure their preservation and proper exploitation, due regard being given to the requirements of State security and the national economy.

 

Article 22 [Employment, Tenements]

Relations between employers and employees and between landlords and tenants shall be regulated by law on economic principles, due regard being given to the rules of social justice.

 

Article 23 [Banking]

The State shall encourage both co-operative activities and savings, and supervise the system of credit.

 

Article 24 [Taxation]

Social justice shall be the basis of taxes and public imposts.

 

Article 25 [State Burdens]

The State shall ensure the solidarity of society in shouldering burdens resulting from public disasters and calamities, and provide compensation for war damages or injuries received by any person as a result of the discharge of his military duties.

 

Article 26 [Public Office]

(1) Public office is a national service entrusted to those who hold it. Public officials, in the exercise of their duties, shall aim at the public interest.

(2) Aliens may not hold public offices except in the cases specified by law.

 

 

 

 

Part III

Public Rights and Duties

 

Article 27 [Nationality]

Kuwaiti nationality is defined by law. No deprivation or withdrawal of nationality may be effected except within the limits prescribed by law.

 

Article 28 [Deportation, Return]

No Kuwaiti may be deported from Kuwait or prevented from returning thereto.

 

Article 29 [Equality, Human Dignity, Personal Liberty]

(1) All people are equals in human dignity and in public rights and duties before the law, without distinction to race, origin, language, or religion.

(2) Personal liberty is guaranteed.

 

Article 30        *****

 

Article 31 [Arrest, Move, No Torture]

(1) No person shall be arrested, detained, searched, or compelled to reside in a specified place, nor shall the residence of any person or his liberty to choose his place of residence or his liberty of movement be restricted, except in accordance with the provisions of the law.

(2) No person shall be subjected to torture or to degrading treatment.

 

Article 32 [Nulla Poena Sine Lege, Personal Penalty]

(1) No crime and no penalty may be established except by virtue of law, and no penalty may be imposed except for offences committed after the relevant law has come into force.

(2) Penalty is personal.

 

Article 33 [*****]

 

Article 34 [Presumption of Innocence, Right to Trial]

(1) An accused person is presumed innocent until proved guilty in a legal trial at which the necessary guarantees for the exercise of the right of defence are secured.

(2) The infliction of physical or moral injury on an accused person is prohibited.

 

Article 35 [Freedom of Religion and Belief]

Freedom of belief is absolute. The State protects the freedom of practicing religion in accordance with established customs, provided that it does not conflict with public policy or morals.

 

Article 36 [Freedom of Opinion and Expression]

Freedom of opinion and of scientific research is guaranteed. Every person has the right to express and propagate his opinion verbally, in writing, or otherwise, in accordance with the conditions and procedures specified by law.

 

Article 37 [Freedom of the Press]

Freedom of the press, printing, and publishing is guaranteed in accordance with the conditions and manner specified by law.

 

Article 38 [Home]

Places of residence shall be inviolable. They may not be entered without the permission of their occupants except in the circumstances and manner specified by law.

 

Article 39 [Freedom and Secrecy of Communication]

Freedom of communication by post, telegraph, and telephone and the secrecy thereof is guaranteed; accordingly, censorship of communications and disclosure of their contents are not permitted except in the circumstances and manner specified by law.

 

Article 40 [Compulsory and Free Education]

(1) Education is a right for Kuwaitis, guaranteed by the State in accordance with law and within the limits of public policy and morals. Edueation in its preliminary stages is compulsory and free in accordance with the law.

(2) The law lays down the necessary plan to eliminate illiteracy.

(3) The State devotes particular care to the physical, moral, and mental development of the youth.

 

Article 41 [Right and Duty to Work]

(1) Every Kuwaiti has the right to work and to choose the type of his work.

(2) Work is a duty of every citizen necessitated by personal dignity and public good. The State shall endeavour to make it available to citizens and to make its terms equitable.

 

Article 42 [No Forced Labor]

There is no forced labor except in the cases specified by law for national emergency and with just remuneration.

 

Article 43 [Association]

Freedom to form associations and unions on a national basis and by peaceful means is guaranteed in accordance with the conditions and manner specified by law. No one may be compelled to join any association or union.

 

Article 44 [Assembly]

(1) Individuals have the right of private assembly without permission or prior notification, and the police may not attend such private meetings.

(2) Public meetings, demonstrations, and gatherings are permitted in accordance with the conditions and manner specified by law, provided that their purpose and means are peaceful and not contrary to morals.

 

Article 45 [Petition]

Every individual has the right to address the public authorities in writing over his siguature. Only duly constituted organizations and bodies corporate have the right to address the authorities collectively.

 

Article 46 [Asylum]

Extradition of political refugees is prohibited.

 

Article 47 [National Defence, Military Service]

National defence is a sacred daty, and military service is an honor for citizens which shall be regulated by law.

 

Article 48 [Taxation, Minimum Standard of Living]

Payment of taxes and public imposts is a duty in accordance with the law which regulates exemption of small incomes from taxes in such a way as to maintain the minimum standard of living.

 

Article 49 [Public Order, Public Morals]

Observance of public order and respect for public morals are a duty incumbent upon all inhabitants of Kuwait.

 

 

 

 

Part IV

Powers

Chapter I

General Provisions

 

Article 50 [Separation and Constitutionality of Powers]

The system of Government is based on the principle of separation of powers functioning in co-operation with each other in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. None of these powers may relinquish all or part of its competence specified in this Constitution.

 

Article 51 [Legislative Power]

The legislative power is vested in the Amir and the National Assembly in accordance with the Constitution.

 

Article 52 [Executive Power]

The executive power is vested in the Amir, the Cabinet, and the Ministers, in the manner specified by the Constitution.

 

Article 53 [Judicial Power]

The judicial power is vested in the Courts, which exercise it in the name of the Amir within the limits of the Constitution.

Chapter II

The Head of State

 

Article 54 [Head of State, Immunity, Inviolability]

The Amir is the Head of the State. His person is immune and inviolable.

 

Article 55 [Government]

The Amir exercises his powers through his Ministers.

 

Article 56 [Prime Minister]

(1) The Amir, after the traditional consultations, appoints the Prime Minister and relieves him of office. The Amir also appoints Ministers and relieves them of office upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

(2) Ministers are appointed from amongst the members of the National Assembly and from others.

(3) The number of Ministers in all shall not exceed one-third of the number of the members of the National Assembly.

 

Article 57 [New Government]

The Cabinet is re-constituted in the manner specified in the preceding Article at the beginning of every legislative term of the National Assembly.

 

Article 58 [Responsibility]

The Prime Minister and the Ministers are collectively responsible to the Amir for the general policy of the State. Every Minister also is individually responsible to the Amir for the affairs of his ministry.

 

Article 59 [Powers of the Amir Specified by Law]

The Law referred to in Article 4 specifies the conditions under which the Amir exercises his constitutional powers.

 

Article 60 [Oath of the Amir’s Office]

Before assuming his powers, the Amir takes the following oath at a special sitting of the National Assembly:

"I swear by Almighty God to respect the Constitution and the laws of the State, to defend the liberties, interests, and properties of the people, and to safeguard the independence and territorial integrity of the Country."

 

Article 61 [Deputy Amir]

In the event of his absence outside the Country and the inability of the Heir Apparent to act as Deputy for him, the Amir shall appoint, by an Amiri Order, a Deputy who shall exercise his powers during his absence. The said Amiri Order may include a specified arrangement for the exercise of the said powers on behalf of the Amir, or a limitation of their scope.

 

Article 62 [Qualification of Deputy Amir]

The Deputy Amir has to satesfy the qualifications laid down in Artide 82. If he is a Minister or a member of the National Assembly, he may not take part in the ministerial functions or in the work of the Assembly during the period he is acting as Deputy for the Amir.

 

Article 63 [Oath of the Deputy Amir’s Office]

(1) Before assuming his powers the Deputy Amir, at a spacial sitting of the National Assembly, takes the oath mentioned in Articie 60 with the following phrase added thereto:

" and be loyal to the Amir."

(2) In case the National Assembly is not in session, the Oath shall be taken before the Amir.

 

Article 64 [Incompatibilities of the Deputy Amir]

The provisions of Article 131 apply to the Deputy Amir.

 

Article 65 [Promulgation of Laws, Initiative of the Amir]

(1) The Amir has the right to initiate, sanction, and promulgate laws. Promulgation of laws takes place within thirty days from the date of their submission by the National Assembly to the Amir. This period is reduced to seven days in case of urgency. Such urgency is decided upon by a majority vote of the members constituting the National Assembly.

(2) Official holidays are not counted in computing the promulgation.

(3) If the period of promulgation expires without the Head of State demanding reconsideration, the bill is considered as having been sanctioned and is promulgated.

 

Article 66 [Bills]

Reference of a bill for reconsideration is by a decree stating the grounds therefore. If the National Assembly confirms the bill by a two-thirds majority vote of its members, the Amir sanctions and promulgates the bill within thirty days from its submission to him. If the bill does not receive the said majarity, it may not be reconsidered during the same session. If the National Assembly, in another session, considers the same bill by a majority vote of its members, the Amir sanctions and promulgates the bill as law within thirty days from its submission to him.

 

Article 67 [Chief-of-Command]

The Amir is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forees. He appoints and dismisses officers in accordance with the law.

 

Article 68 [War]

The Amir declares defensive war by decree. Offensive war is prohibited.

 

Article 69 [Martial Law]

(1) The Amir proclaims Martial Law in the cases of necessity determined by law and in accordance with the procedure specified therein. The proclamation of Martial Law shall be by decree. Such decree is referred to the National Assembly within the fifteen days following its issue, for a decision on the future of Martial Law. If the proclamation takes place during the period the National Assembly is dissolved, it is be referred to the new Assembly at its first sitting.

(2) Martial Law may not continue unless a decision to that effect is made by a majority vote of the members constituting the Assembly.

(3) In all cases, the matter is referred to the National Assembly in accordance with the foregoing procedure, every three months.

 

Article 70 [Treaties]

(1) The Amir conclades treaties by decree and transmits them immediately to the National Assembly with the appropriate statement. A treaty has the force of law after it is signed, ratified, and publishod in the Official Gazette.

(2) However, treaties of peace and alliance; treaties concerning the territory of the State, its natural resources or sovereign rights, or public or private rights of citizens; treaties of commerce, navigation, and residence; and treaties entailing additional expenditure not provided for in the badget, or involving amendment of the laws of Kuwait; shall come into force only when made by a law.

(3) In no case may treaties include secret provisions contradicting those declared.

 

Article 71 [Emergency Decrees]

(1) Should necessity arise for urgent measures to be taken while the National Assembly is not in session or is dissolved, the Amir may issue decrees in respect thereof which have the force of law, provided that they are not contrary to the Constitution or to the appropriations included in the budget law.

(2) Such decrees are referred to the National Assembly within the fifteen days following their issue if the Assembly is in session. If it is dissolved or its legislative term has expired, such decrees are referred to tbe next Assembly at its first sitting. If they are not thus referred, they retrospectively cease to have the force of law, without the necessity of any decision to that effect. If they are referred and the Assembly does not confirm them, they retrospectively cease to have the force of law, unless the Assembly approves their validity for the preceding period or settles in some other way the effects arising therefrom.

 

Article 72 [Execution of Laws]

The Amir issues, by decree, the regulations necessary for the execution of laws without amending or suspending such laws or making any exemption from their execution. A law may prescribe a less formal instrument than a decree for the issue of the regulations necessary for its execution.

 

Article 73 [Regulations]

The Amir issues, by decree, regulations for public order and health, and regulations necessary for the organization of public services and administration, not conflicting with any law.

 

Article 74 [Diplomacy]

(1) The Amir appoints and dismisses civil and military officials and dipiomatic representatives to foreign conntries in accordance with the law.

(2) He also accepts credentials of the representatives of foreign countries.

 

Article 75 [Pardon, Amnesty]

(1) The Amir may, by deeree, grant a pardon or commute a sentence.

(2) However, general amnesty shall not be granted except by a law and then only in respect of offences committed prior to the proposal of the amnesty.

 

Article 76 [Orders of Honor]

The Amir confers Orders of Honor in accordance with the law.

 

Article 77 [Minting Coins]

Coins are minted in the name of the Amir in accordance with the law.

 

Article 78 [Remuneration of the Amir]

Upon the accession of the Head of State, his annual emoluments are fixed by a law for the duration of his reign.

 

 

 

 

Chapter III

The National Assembly

 

Article 79 [Exclusive Legislation]

No law may be promulgated unless it has been passed by the National Assembly and sanctioned by the Amir.

 

Article 80 [Election, Ministerial Members]

(1) The National Assembly is composed of fifty members elected directly by universal suffrage and secret ballot in accordance with the provisions prescribed by the electoral law.

(2) Ministers who are not elected members of the National Assembly are considered ex-officio members thereof.

 

Article 81 [Constituencies]

Electoral constituencies are determined by law.

 

Article 82 [Qualifications]

A member of the National Assembly shall:

(a) Be a Kuwaiti by origin in accordance with law;

(b) Be qualified as an elector in acoordance with the electoral law;

(c) Be not less than thirty calendar years of age on the day of election;

(d) Be able to read and write Arabic well.

 

Article 83 [Term, Re-election]

(1) The term of the National Assembly is four calendar years commencing with the day of its first sitting. Elections for the new Assembly take place within the sixty days preceding the expiry of the said term, due regard being given to the provisions of Article 107.

(2) Members whose term of office expires may be re-elected.

(3) The term of the Assembly may not be extended except for necessity in time of war and by a law.

 

Article 84 [Vacancy]

(1) If, for any reason, a seat in the National Assembly becomes vacent before the end of the term, the vacancy is filled by election within two months from the date on which the Assembly declares the vacency. The mandate of the new member lasts until the end of that of his predecessor.

(2) If the vacency occurs within six months prior to the expiry of the legislative term of the Assembly, no successor is elected.

 

Article 85 [Annual Ordinary Session]

The National Assembly has an annual session of not less than eight months. The said session may not be prorogued before the budget is approved.

 

Article 86 [Start of Ordinary Session]

The Assembly starts its ordinary session during the month of October of every year upon a convocation by the Amir. If the decree of convocation is not issued before the first of the said month, the time for the meeting is deemed to be 9 a.m. on the third Saturday of that month. If such day happens to be an official holiday, the Assembly meets on the morning of the first day thereafter.

 

Article 87 [First Session]

(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding two Articles, the Amir summons the National Assembly to hold its first meeting within two weeks of the end of the general election. If the decree of convocation is not issued within the said period, the Assembly is deemed to have been convoked for the morning of the day following these two weeks, due regard being given to the relevant provision of the preceding Article.

(2) If the date of the meeting of the Assembly falls after the annual date mentioned in Article 86, the term of the session specified in Article 85 is reduced by the difference between the said two dates.

 

Article 88 [Extraordinary Sessions]

(1) The National Assembly is called by decree to an extraordinary session if the Amir deems it necessary, or upon the demand of the majority of the members of the Assembly.

(2) In an extraordinary session, the Assembly may not consider matters other than those for which it has been convened except with the consent of the Cabinet.

 

Article 89 [Prorogation of Sessions]

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