Dominican Republic 2010 Constitution

Table of Contents


We, representatives of the Dominican people, free and democratically elected, gathered in the National Revisory Assembly; invoking the name of God; guided by the ideology of our Fathers of the Fatherland, Juan Pablo Duarte, Matias Ramon Mella and Francisco del Rosario Sanchez, and the heroes of the Restoration that established a free, independent, sovereign and democratic Republic; inspired by the examples of the struggles and sacrifices of our immortal heroes and heroines; encouraged by the selfless work of our men and women; ruled by the supreme values and fundamental principles of human dignity, freedom, equality, the rule of law, justice, solidarity, fraternal coexistence, social well being, ecological balance, progress and peace, essential factors for social cohesion; declare our desire to promote the unity of the Dominican Nation, and as such while exercising of our self-determination we adopt and proclaim the following



Article 1. Organization of the State

The Dominican people constitute a Nation organized as a free and independent State, with the name of the Dominican Republic.

Article 2. Popular sovereignty

Sovereignty resides exclusively in the People, from whom emanate all the powers, which are exercised by means of their representatives or in direct form, in the terms established by this Constitution and the laws.

Article 3. Inviolability of sovereignty and the principle of no intervention

The sovereignty of the Dominican Nation, a State free and independent of any foreign power, is inviolable. None of the public powers organized by this Constitution may realize or permit the realization of acts that constitute a direct or indirect intervention in the internal or external affairs of the Dominican Republic or an interference that infringes the personality and integrity of the State and of the attributes that are recognized and consecrated in this Constitution. The principle of non-intervention constitutes an invariable norm of Dominican international policy.

Article 4. Government of the Nation and separation of powers

The government of the Nation is essentially civil, republican, democratic and representative. It is divided into the Legislative Power, the Executive Power and the Judicial Power. These three powers are independent in the exercise of their respective functions. Their office holders are responsible and cannot delegate their attributions, which are uniquely determined by this Constitution and laws.

Article 5. Foundation of the Constitution

The Constitution is based on the respect for human dignity and on the indissoluble unity of the Nation, the common fatherland of all Dominicans [masculine] and Dominicans [feminine].

Article 6. Supremacy of the Constitution

All the persons and the organs exercising public powers are subject to the Constitution, which is the supreme norm and foundation of the juridical order of the State. Any law, decree, resolution, regulation or act that is contrary to this Constitution is null of plain right.


Article 7. Social and Democratic State of Law

The Dominican Republic is a Social and Democratic State of Law, organized in the form of a unitary Republic, founded on the respect for human dignity, of the fundamental rights, labor, popular sovereignty and the separation and independence of the public powers.

Article 8. Essential Function of the State

The effective protection of the rights of the person, the respect for their dignity and obtaining the means that permit their improvement in an equal, equitable and progressive form, within a framework of individual liberty and social justice, compatible with the public order, the general well being and the rights of all, is an essential function of the State.



Article 9. National territory

The territory of the Dominican Republic is inalienable. It is conformed by:

  1. The eastern part of the island of Santo Domingo, its adjacent islands and all of the natural elements of its marine geomorphology. Its irreducible terrestrial boundaries are set by the Frontier Treaty of 1929 and its Protocol of Revision of 1936. The national authorities see to the care, protection and maintenance of the markers that identify the course of the frontier demarcation line, in accordance with that provided in the frontier treaty and in the norms of International Law;
  2. The territorial sea, the corresponding marine soil and subsoil. The extension of the territorial sea, its baselines, contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf shall be established and regulated by the organic law or by agreements of delimitation of maritime frontiers, in the most favorable terms permitted by the Law of the Sea;
  3. The airspace over the national territory, the electromagnetic spectrum and the space where it acts. The law shall regulate the use of these spaces in accordance with the norms of International Law.


The public powers shall procure, within the framework of international agreements, the preservation of the national rights and interests in the ultraterrestrial space, in order to assure and improve the communication and the access of the population to the goods and services developed in it.


Article 10. Frontier regime

The security, and the economic, social and tourist development of the Frontier Zone, its road, communicational and productive integration, as well as the dissemination of patriotic and cultural values of the Dominican people, are declared of supreme and permanent national interest. In consequence:

  1. The public powers shall draft, execute and prioritize policies and programs of public investment in social works and works of infrastructure to assure these objectives;
  2. The regime of acquisition and transference of real property in the Frontier Zone shall be submitted to specific legal requirements that special treatment to the property of Dominicans [masculine] and Dominicans [feminine] and the national interest.

Article 11. Frontier treaties

The sustainable use and the protection of frontier rivers, the use of the international highway and the preservation of frontier markers using geodesic points, are regulated by the principles consecrated in the Protocol of Revision of 1936 of the Frontier Treaty of 1929 and the Treaty of Peace, Perpetual Friendship and Arbitration of 1929 subscribed with the Republic of Haiti.


Article 12. Political administrative division

For the government and the administration of the State, the territory of the Republic is divided politically into a National District and into the regions, provinces and municipalities that the law determines. The regions will be conformed by the provinces and municipalities that the law establishes.

Article 13. National District

The city of Santo Domingo de Guzmán is the National District, capital of the Republic and seat of the national government.


Article 14. Natural Resources

The non-renewable natural resources that are found in the territory and in maritime spaces under national jurisdiction, the genetic resources, the biodiversity and the radioelectric spectrum are patrimony of the Nation.

Article 15. Water resources

Water constitutes a strategic national asset of public use, it is inalienable, imprescriptible, unattachable and essential for life. The human consumption of water has priority over any other use. The State shall promote the development and implementation of effective policies for the protection of the water resources of the Nation.


The upper basins of rivers and the zones of endemic, native and migratory biodiversity, are the object of special protection on the part of the public powers to guarantee their management and preservation as fundamental assets of the Nation. The rivers, lakes, lagoons, beaches and national coasts belong to the public domain and are of free access, always observing the respect for the right of private property. The law will regulate the conditions, forms and easements by which individuals will accede to the possession or management of such areas.

Article 16. Protected areas

The wildlife, the conservation units that make up the National System of Protected Areas and the ecosystems and species contained in it, constitute patrimonial assets of the Nation and are inalienable, unattachable and imprescriptible. The boundaries of the protected areas can only be reduced by law with the approval of the two-thirds part of the votes of the members of the chambers of the National Congress.

Article 17. Use of natural resources

The mineral and hydrocarbon deposits and, in general, the nonrenewable natural resources, can only be explored and exploited by individuals, under sustainable environmental criteria, by virtue of concessions, contracts, licenses, permits or quotas, in accordance with the conditions that the law determines. Individuals can use renewable natural resources in a rational manner with the following conditions, obligations and limitations that the law provides. In consequence:

  1. The exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in the national territory and in maritime areas under national jurisdiction is declared a great public interest;
  2. The reforestation of the country, the conservation of the forests and the renewal of forest resources is declared a national priority and of social interest;
  3. The preservation and rational use of the living and non-living resources of the national maritime areas, especially all banks and emersions within the national policy of maritime development is declared a national priority;
  4. The benefits received by the State by the exploitation of the natural resources will be dedicated to the development of the Nation and of the provinces where they are located, in the proportion and conditions established by law.



Article 18. Nationality

Dominicans [feminine] and Dominicans [masculine] are:

  1. The sons and daughters of a Dominican mother or father;
  2. Those who enjoy the Dominican nationality before the entry into effect of this Constitution
  3. The persons born in the national territory, with the exception of the sons and daughters of foreign members of diplomatic and consular delegations, and of foreigners in transit or residing illegally in the Dominican territory. Any foreigner [masculine] or foreigner [feminine] defined as such in the Dominican laws is considered a person in transit;
  4. Those born abroad, of Dominican father or mother, notwithstanding having acquired, by place of birth, a different nationality from that of their parents. Once having reached the age of eighteen years, they can express their will, before the competent authority, to assume the double nationality or renounce one of them;
  5. Those who contract matrimony with a Dominican [masculine] or Dominican [feminine], as long as opting for the nationality of his or her spouse and meet the requirements established by the law;
  6. The direct descendants of Dominicans resident abroad;
  7. Naturalized persons, in accordance with the conditions and formalities required by law.


The public powers shall apply special policies to conserve and strengthen the bonds of the Dominican Nation with its nationals abroad, with the ultimate aim of achieving greater integration.

Article 19. Naturalization

Foreigners [feminine and masculine] can be naturalized in accordance with the law; they can neither opt for the presidency or vice-presidency of the powers of the State, nor are they obligated to take up arms against their State of origin. The law shall regulate other limitations for naturalized persons.

Article 20. Double nationality

The faculty to acquire a foreign nationality is recognized for Dominicans [feminine] and Dominicans [masculine]. The acquisition of other nationality does not imply the loss of the Dominican nationality.


The Dominicans [feminine] and Dominicans [masculine] that adopt another nationality, by voluntary act or by place of birth, may aspire to the presidency and vice-presidency of the Republic, if they renounce the nationality acquired ten years before the election and they reside in the country during the previous ten years to office. However, they may occupy other elective offices, ministerial office or office of diplomatic representation of the country abroad and in international organs, without renouncing the nationality acquired.


Article 21. Acquisition of citizenship

All Dominicans [masculine] and Dominicans [feminine] who have turned 18 years of age and those who are or have been married, but have not reached that age, enjoy citizenship.

Article 22. Rights of citizenship

Are rights of the citizens [feminine] and of the citizens [masculine]:

  1. To elect and be eligible for the offices established by this Constitution;
  2. To decide concerning the matters that are proposed by means of referendum;
  3. To exercise the right of popular, legislative and municipal initiative, under the conditions established by this Constitution and the laws;
  4. To formulate petitions to the public powers to request measures of public interest and obtain a response from the authorities in the time established by the laws dictated in this regard;
  5. To denounce the faults committed by public functionaries in the performance of their office.

Article 23. Loss of citizenship rights

The rights of citizenship are lost due to irrevocable condemnation in the cases of treason, espionage, and conspiracy; as well as by taking up arms and for assisting or participating in attacks or deliberate damage against the interests of the Republic.

Article 24. Suspension of citizenship rights

The rights of citizenship are suspended in the cases of:

  1. Irrevocable condemnation to a criminal sentence, until the end of it;
  2. Legally pronounced judicial interdiction, while it lasts;
  3. Acceptance in Dominican territory of public offices or functions of a foreign government or State without the prior authorization of the Executive Power;
  4. Violation of the conditions in which naturalization was granted.


Article 25. Regime of Foreigners

Foreigners [masculine] and foreigners [feminine] have in the Dominican Republic the same rights and duties as nationals, with the exceptions and limitations established by this Constitution and the laws; in consequence:

  1. They cannot participate in political activities in the national territory, unless to exercise the right of suffrage of their country of origin;
  2. They have the obligation to register in the Book of Foreigners, in accordance with the law;
  3. They may resort to diplomatic protection after exhausting the recourses and procedures before the national jurisdiction, except as provided in the international conventions.



Article 26. International relations and international law

The Dominican Republic is a member State of the international community, open to cooperation and attached to the norms of international law, in consequence:

  1. It recognizes and applies the norms of international, general and American law, in the manner in which its public powers have adopted it;
  2. The norms in force of ratified international agreements will govern within the domestic sphere, once they have been published in official manner;
  3. The international relations of the Dominican Republic are founded and governed by the affirmation and promotion of its national values and interests, the respect for human rights and for international law;
  4. In equal conditions with other States, the Dominican Republic accepts an international juridical order that guarantees the respect for fundamental rights, peace, justice, and the political, social, economic and cultural development of the nations. It undertakes to act in the international, regional and national levels in a manner compatible with the national interests, a peaceful coexistence among peoples and the duties of solidarity with all nations;
  5. The Dominican Republic will promote and favor integration with the nations of America, in order to strengthen a community of nations that defends the interests of the region. The State may subscribe to international treaties to promote the common development of the nations, to assure the well being of the people and the collective security of its inhabitants, and to attribute to supranational organizations the competences required to participate in processes of integration;
  6. It is in favor of the economic solidarity between the countries of America and supports all initiatives that are in defense of their basic products, raw materials and biodiversity.


Article 27. Representatives

The Dominican Republic will have representatives before international parliaments in respect of which it has subscribed agreements that recognize its participation and representation.

Article 28. Requirements

To be a representative before international parliaments it is required to be a Dominican [masculine] or Dominican [feminine] in full exercise of their rights and civil and political duties and to have reached 25 years of age.


Article 29. Official language

The official language of the Dominican Republic is Spanish.

Article 30. National symbols

The national symbols are the National Flag, the National Coat-of-Arms and the National Anthem.

Article 31. National Flag

The National Flag consists of the colors ultramarine blue and vermilion red, in alternating quarters, placed in such a manner so that the blue is towards the top of the flag pole, separated by a white cross of the width of half the height of the quarter and in the center bearing the National Coat-of-Arms. The merchant flag is the same as the national flag but without the coat-of-arms.

Article 32. National Coat-of-Arms

The National Coat-of-Arms has the same colors as the National Flag arranged in equal form. It carries in the center a Bible open to the Gospel of Saint John, chapter 8, verse 32, and a cross on top, which arise from a trophy composed of two lances and four national flags without a shield, arranged on both sides; it carries a laurel branch on the left side and a palm branch on the right. It is topped by an ultramarine blue ribbon on which the motto reads “God, Country and Liberty”. At the base there is another red vermilion ribbon of which the ends are directed upwards with the words the “Dominican Republic”. The form of the National Coat-of-Arms is a rectangle, with the upper comers projecting and the bottom ones rounded, the center of its base ends in a point, and is set in such a manner to result in a perfect square by tracing a horizontal line joining the two verticals of the rectangle from which the bottom comers begin.

Article 33. National Anthem

The National Anthem is the musical composition of Jos6 Reyes with the lyrics of Emilio Prud’Homme, and it is unique and invariable.

Article 34. National Motto

The National Motto is “God, Country and Liberty”.

Article 35. National holidays

The days of February 27th and August 16th, anniversaries of the Independence and the Restoration of the Republic, respectively, are declared national holidays.

Article 36. Regulation of the national symbols

The law will regulate the use of the national symbols and the dimensions of the National Flag and of the National Coat of Arms.