Constitution of Paraguay

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Constitution of Paraguay  (1992) 
The Government of Paraguay, translated by Constitute Project (revised version)

The sixth Constitution of Paraguay replaced the highly authoritarian Constitution in force since 1967. The Constitution of 1992 provides for a division of government powers among three branches.

National Constituion

The Paraguayan people, through its legitimate representatives gathered in Constituent National Convention, invoking to God, recognizing the human dignity with the purpose of ensuring the liberty, equality and justice, reaffirming the principles of the republican democracy, representative, participative and pluralist, ratifying the national sovereignty and independence, and integrated to the international community, SANCTIONS AND PROMULGATES this Constitution.

Asunción, June the 20th, 1992

Part I: Of the Fundamental Declarations, of the Rights, of the Duties and of the Guaratnees[edit]

Title I: Of the Fundamental Declarations[edit]

Article 1: Of the Form of the State and of the Government

The Republic of Paraguay is forever free and independent. It constitutes itself as a social State of law, unitary, indivisible, and decentralized in the form established by this Constitution and the laws.

The Republic of Paraguay adopts for its government the representative, participative and pluralistic democracy, founded on the recognition of human dignity.

Article 2: Of the Sovereignty

In the Republic of Paraguay, sovereignty resides in the People, who exercise it in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

Article 3: Of the Public Power

The People exercise the Public Power through suffrage. The government is exercised by the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial powers within a system of separation, equilibrium, coordination, and reciprocal control. None of these powers may arrogate, or grant to another, or to any person, individual or collectivity, extraordinary faculties or the sum of the Public Power. Dictatorship is outside of the law.

Title II: Of the Rights, of the Duties andof the Guarantees[edit]

Chapter I: Of the Life and of the Environment[edit]

Section I: Of the Life[edit]

Article 4: Of the right to life

The right to life is inherent to the human person. Its protection is guaranteed, in general, from its conception. The death penalty is hereby abolished. All persons will be protected by the State in their physical and psychic integrity, as well as in their honor and their reputation. The law will regulate the freedom of persons to dispose of their own body, only for scientific or medical ends.

Article 5: Of the Tortures and Other Felonies

No one will be submitted to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading penalties or treatments. Genocide and torture, as well as the forced disappearance of persons, kidnapping and homicide for political reasons are imprescriptible.

Article 6: Of the Quality of Life

The quality of life shall be promoted by the State through plans and policies that recognize conditioning factors, such as extreme poverty and the impediments of disability or of age. The State shall also promote research on the factors of population and their links with socioeconomic development, with the preservation of the environment and with the quality of life of the inhabitants.

Section II: Of the Environment[edit]

Article 7: Of the Right to a Healthy Environment

Everyone has the right to live in a healthy and ecologically balanced environment. The preservation, the conservation the re-composition and the improvement of the environment, as well as its conciliation with the integral human development, constitute priority objectives of social interest. These purposes orient the legislation and the pertinent governmental policy.

Article 8: Of Environmental Protection

The law will regulate the activities susceptible of producing environmental alteration. Likewise, it may restrict or prohibit those that it qualifies as dangerous. The manufacture, assembly, importation, commercialization, possession or use of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, as well as the introduction of toxic waste into the country is prohibited. The law may extend this prohibition to other dangerous elements; in the same way, it may regulate the traffic of genetic resources and their technology, thereby safeguarding the national interests. Ecological crime will be defined and sanctioned by the law. Any damage to the environment will result in the obligation to recompose and to indemnify.

Chapter II: Of Liberty[edit]

Article 9: Of the Freedom and of the Security of the Persons

All persons have the right to be protected in their freedom and in their security. No one may be obligated to do what the law does not mandate nor be prevented from what it does not prohibit.

Article 10: Of the Proscription of Slavery and Other Forms of Servitude

Slavery, personal servitude, and the traffickin of the persons are proscribed. The law may establish social responsibilities in favor of the State.

Article 11: Of the Deprivation of Liberty

No one will be deprived of their physical freedom or brought to justice, except for mediating the causes and within the conditions established by this Constitution and the laws.

Article 12: Of Detention and of Arrest

No one may be detained or arrested without a written order issued by a competent authority, except in the case of being caught in flagrante delicto committing a crime that merits a corporal penalty. All detained persons have the right:

  • to be informed at the moment of the act, of the cause that motivates the arrest, of their right to remain silent and to be assistend by a defender of their confidence. At the act of the arrest, the authority is obliged to exhibit the written order that so provides for it;
  • that the detention will be immediately communicated to their family or to persons that the detained person indicates;
  • to be maintained in free communication, but when, exceptionally, their incommunicado status has been established by a competent judicial mandate; the incommunicado status will not rule with respect to their defender and in no case may it exceed the time period prescribed by the law;
  • to be provided with of an interpreter, if necessary, and
  • to be brought, in a time period no longer than twenty-four hours to a disposition by law

Article 13: Of No Deprivation of Freedom for Debts

The deprivation of freedom for debts is not admitted, unless by a mandate of the competent judicial authority dictated for breach of food supply duties or as a substitution of penalty fees or judicial bails.

Article 14: Of the Non-Retroactivity of the Law

No law may have a retroactive effect, unless it is more favorable to the accused or the convicted.

Article 15: Of the Prohibition of Making Justice by Oneself

No one may take the law into their own hands or claim their rights with violence. However, the right to legitimate defense is guaranteed.

Article 16: Of the Defense in Trial

The defense during trial of persons and of their rights is inviolable. All persons have the right to be judged by competent, independent, and impartial tribunals and judges.

Article 17: Of Procedural Rights

In the penal process, or in any other process in which a penalty or sanction could be derived, any person has the right:

  • to be presumed innocent;
  • to stand a public trial, except for the cases contemplated by the magistrate to safeguard other rights;
  • not to be sentenced without a previous trial founded on a law prior to the act of the process, and not to be judged by special tribunals;
  • not to be judged more than one time for the same act. It is not possible to reopen closed cases, with the exception of the favorable view of penal sentences established in the cases specified by the procedural law;
  • to defend themselves or to be assisted by defenders of their choice;
  • to have the State provide them a gratuitous public defender in the case of not disposing of the economic means to pay for one.
  • to be communicated previously and in detail of the imputation, as well as to dispose of copies, means and time periods indispensable for the preparation of their defense in free communication;
  • to provide, to practice, to control, and to impugn evidence;
  • not to have opposing them evidence obtained or accusations produced in violation of the juridical norms;
  • to have access, either by themselves or through their defender, to the procedural actions, which, in no case, may be kept secret from them. The preparation of the summary may not be extended beyond the time period established by the law, and
  • to be indemnified by the State in the case of a conviction because of a judicial error.

Artice 18: Of the Restrictions of the Declarations No one may be obligated to give testimony against themselves, against their spouse or against the person to whom they are united in fact, nor against their relatives within the fourth degree of consanguinity or second degree of affinity inclusive. The illegal acts or the dishonor of the accused do not affect their relatives or their close kin.