THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN
The Constitution was adopted in 1995 – the first such document for independent Azerbaijan. The first independent Republic of Azerbaijan – the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan – existed only 23 months from 1918 to 1920 and had no such a sweeping legislative document. As a result, the history of Azerbaijan's constitution dates mainly back to the country's time as a Soviet republic.
Azerbaijan adopted its first constitution on May 19, 1921, at the All-Azerbaijan Soviet Congress. A new version of the Azerbaijan SSR Constitution was adjusted to the Soviet Constitution in 1921, which was adopted at the Fourth All-Azerbaijani Soviet Congress on March 14, 1925. The final Azerbaijan SSR Constitution was adopted on April 21, 1978, and fitted to the Soviet Constitution.
A necessity arose to develop a new constitution after Azerbaijan gained its independence. To this end, a commission was established under the guidance of former President Heydar Aliyev. A draft document was submitted via referendum and independent Azerbaijan's first constitution was adopted on November 12, 1995. Ever since Azerbaijan celebrates November 12 as Constitution Day.
The first constitution of independent Azerbaijan was the basis of the country's foundation after the fall of the Soviet Union. The document composes of 5 sections, 12 chapters, and 158 articles.
Amendments and additions to the Constitution were first made via referendum of August 24, 2002, and most recently March 18, 2009. In 2002, 31 additions and amendments were injected into 22 articles of the Constitution and 41 additions and amendments to 29 articles in 2009.
Continuing the centuries-long statehood traditions, taking as a basis the principles expressed in the Constitution act "On the State Independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan", desiring to provide prosperity and welfare of the whole society and each individual, wishing to establish freedom and security, understanding the responsibility before the past, present, and future generations, using the right of its sovereignty declares solemnly its following intentions:
- to protect the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan;
- to provide a democratic system within the frames of the Constitution;
- to achieve the establishment of civil society;
- to build a law-based, secular state to provide the command of law as an expression of the will of the nation;
- to provide a worthy life level for everybody in conformity with just economic and social order;
- to remain faithful to universal human values, to live in peace and freedom with all the nations of the world, and co-operate with them for this purpose.
Having in mind the above-enumerated sincere intentions the Present Constitution is adopted through the general poll of population referendum.