We, representative of the Dominican people, freely and democratically elected, assembled in the National Revisory Assembly, invoking the name of God, guided by the ideology of our Founding Fathers, Juan Pablo Duarte, Matías Ramón Mella and Francisco del Rosario Sánchez, and the heroes of the Restoration of establishing a free, independent, sovereign and democratic Republic, inspired by the examples of the struggles and sacrifices of our immortal heroes and heroines, propelled by the selfless work of our men and women, ruled by the supreme values and the fundamental principles of human dignity, liberty, equality, the rule of law, justice, solidarity, and fraternal coexistence, social well-being, ecological equilibrium, progress and peace, essential factors for social cohesion, we declare our desire to promote the unity of the Dominican Nation, for which in an exercise of our free determination we adopt and proclaim the following
Title I. On the Nation, the State, its Government and its fundamental principles
Chapter I. On the Nation, its Sovereignty and its Government
Article 1. Organization of the State
The Dominican people constitute a Nation organized as a free and independent State, named the Dominican Republic.
Article 2. Popular sovereignty
Sovereignty resides exclusively with the people, from whom flow all of the powers, which they exercise through their representatives or directly in the terms established by this Constitution and the law.
Article 3. Inviolability of the sovereignty and the principle of non-intervention
The sovereignty of the Dominican Nation, a State free and independent of all foreign power is inviolable. No public power organized by the present Constitution may realize or permit the occurrence of acts that constitute an intervention either direct or indirect in either internal or external matters of the Dominican Republic or an interference that threatens the personality and integrity of the State and the characteristics recognizes and enshrined 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 civilian, republican, democratic, and representative. It is divided in the Legislative Power, the Executive Power, and the Judicial Power. These three powers are independent in the exercise of their respective duties. Their officials are responsible and may not delegate their responsibilities, which are determined solely by this Constitution and the law.
Article 5. Basis of the Constitution
The Constitution is based on the respect for human dignity and the indivisible unity of the Nation, common fatherland of all Dominican men and women.
Article 6. Supremacy of the Constitution
All people and bodies that exercise public authority are subject to the Constitution, supreme law and basis of the legal system of the State. All laws, decrees, resolutions, regulations or acts contrary to this Constitution are null of plain right.
Chapter II. On the Social and Democratic State of Law
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 single Republic, bases on the respect of human dignity, fundamental rights, work, popular sovereignty, and the separation and independence of the public powers.
Article 8. Basic Function of the State
The effective protection of the rights of the person, the respect of their dignity and the securing of means that allow for their perfection in an egalitarian, equitable and progressive way, 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.
Chapter III. On the National Territory
Section I. On the Conformation of the National Territory
Article 9. National Territory
The territory of the Dominican Republic is inalienable. It is composed of:
- The eastern part of the Island of Santo Domingo, its adjacent islands and the combination of natural elemental and its marine geomorphology. Its irreducible land borders are fixed by the Borderland Treaty of 1929 and its Revision Protocol of 1936. The national authorities safeguard the care, protection and maintenance of the markers that identify the plot of the line of border demarcation, in accordance with the resolution of the borderland treaty and the norms of International Law.
- The territorial ocean, the corresponding ocean floor and sub ocean floor. The extension of the territorial ocean, its baselines, contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone and the continental platform shall be established and regulated by the organic law or by agreements on the delineation of marine borders, in the most favorable terms permitted by Maritime Law.
- The air space 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 the preservation of the national rights and interests in airspace in the framework of international agreements, with the objective of securing and improving communication and the population’s access to the assets and services developed there.
Section II. On the Security System and Borderland Development
Article 10. Borderland System
Security, economic, social, and touristic development of the Borderland Zone, its transportation, communication, and productive integration, as well as the spread of national and cultural values of the Dominican people are declared to be of supreme and permanent national interest.
- The public powers shall devise, execute, and prioritize policies and programs of public investment in social and infrastructure works in order to secure these objectives;
- The systems of acquisition and transference of real estate in the Borderlands Zone shall be subject to specific legal requirements that favor the property of Dominicans and the national interest.
Article 11. Borderlands Treaties
The sustainable use and the protection of borderlands rivers, the use of the international highway and the preservation of the borderland stations using geodesic points are ruled by the principles established in the Revision Protocol of the year 1936 from the Border Treaty of 1929 and the Treaty of Peace, Perpetual Friendship and Arbitrage of 1929 endorsed by the Republic of Haiti.
Section III. On the Political Administrative Division
Article 12. Political administrative division
For the government and the administration of the State, the territory of the Republic is politically divided in a National District and the regions, provinces, and municipalities determined by law. The regions shall be composed of the provinces and municipalities established by law.
Article 13. National District
The city of Santo Domingo de Guzman is the National District, capital of the Republic and seat of the national government.
Chapter IV. On Natural Resources
Article 14. Natural resources
Nonrenewable natural resources that are found in the territory and in the marine areas under national jurisdiction, genetic resources, biodiversity, and the radio-electric spectrum are national patrimony.
Article 15. Water resources
Water constitutes an inalienable, imprescriptible strategic national patrimony for the use of the public that is not subject to seizure and is essential for life. Human consumption of water takes priority over any other use. The State shall promote the planning and implementation of effective policies for the protection of the water resources of the Nation.
The high watersheds of the rivers and the zones of endemic, native and migratory biodiversity, are subjects of special protection by the public powers in order 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 freely accessible, always respecting the right to private property. The law shall regulate the conditions, forms and rights in which individuals shall access the enjoyment or management of these areas.
Article 16. Protected areas
Wildlife, the conservation units that compose the National System of Protected Areas and the ecosystems and species that they contain constitute patrimonial assets of the Nation and are inalienable, imprescriptible, and not subject to seizure. The limits of the protected areas may only be reduced by law with the approval with two thirds of the votes of the members of the chambers of the National Congress.
Article 17. Exploitation of natural resources
Mining deposits of hydrocarbons and, in general, nonrenewable natural resources may only be explored and exploited by private citizens, under sustainable environmental guidelines, according to the concessions, contracts, licenses, permits or fees, in conditions determined by law. The private citizens my exploit renewable natural resources in a reasonable manner with the conditions, responsibilities and limitations dictated by law. Accordingly:
- The exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in the national territory and in the marine areas under the national jurisdiction is declared to be of high public interest;
- The reforestation of the country, the conservation of the forests and the renewal of forestry resources are declared to be a national priority and in the social interest.
- The preservation and reasonable exploitation of living and non-living resources from national marine areas, especially the joining of shoals and emersions within the national policy of marine development are declared a national priority;
- The benefits received by the State for the exploitation of natural resources shall be dedicated to the development of the Nation and the provinces where they were found, under the proportions and conditions set by law.
Chapter V. On the Population
Section I. On Nationality
Article 18. Nationality
The following are Dominicans:
- The sons and daughters of a Dominican mother or father;
- Those who enjoyed Dominican nationality before the entry into effect of this Constitution;
- People born in the national territory, with the exception of the sons and daughters of foreign members of diplomatic and consular legations, of foreigners that find themselves in transit or reside illegally in Dominican territory. All foreigners are considered people in transit as defined in Dominican laws.
- Those born abroad to a Dominican mother or father, notwithstanding having acquired by the place of birth a nationality different from those of their parents. Once having reached the age of eighteen, they may demonstrate their desire, before the appropriate authority, to assume dual nationality or to renounce one of theirs;
- Those who enter into marriage with a Dominican, as long as they choose the nationality of their spouses and fulfill the requirements established by law;
- The direct descendants of Dominicans residing abroad;
- Naturalized people, in accordance with the conditions and processes required by law.
The public powers shall apply special policies to conserve and strengthen the ties of the Dominican Nation with its nationals abroad, with the essential goal of achieving greater integration.
Article 19. Naturalization
Foreigners may become naturalized in accordance with the law, they may not vote 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 on naturalized people.
Article 20. Double nationality
The ability of Dominicans to acquire a foreign nationality is recognized. The acquisition of another nationality does not imply the loss of Dominican nationality.
Dominicans that adopt another nationality, by a voluntary act or by their place of birth, may aspire to the presidency or vice-presidency of the Republic if they renounce their acquired nationality ten year prior to the election and reside in the country during the ten years previous to the post. Nevertheless, they may occupy other elected or ministerial offices or of diplomatic representation of the country abroad and in international bodies, without renouncing the acquired nationality.
Section II. On citizenship
Article 21. Acquisition of citizenship
All Dominicans who are eighteen years of age and those who are or have been married, even though they have not reached this age, enjoy citizenship.
Article 22. Rights of citizenship
The following are rights of citizens:
- To elect to and be eligible for posts established by the present Constitution;
- To decide on matters that are proposed to them by referendum;
- To exercise the right of popular, legislative, and municipal initiative, under the conditions established by this Constitution and the law;
- To formulate petitions to the public powers in order to petition measures in the public interest and to obtain a response from the authorities in the period established by the laws passed on this subject;
- To denounce errors committed by public officials in the performance of their duties.
Article 23. Loss of the rights of citizenship
The rights of citizenship are lost by irrevocable condemnation in cases of treason, espionage, conspiracy as well as for taking up arms and for aiding or participating in attempts of deliberate damages against the interests of the Republic.
Article 24. Suspension of the rights of citizenship
The rights of citizenship are suspended in cases of:
- Irrevocable condemnation to a criminal sentence, until that sentence is over;
- Legally pronounced judicial interdiction, while it lasts;
- The acceptance in Dominican territory of offices or public duties for a foreign government or State without prior authorization from the Executive Power;
- Violation of the conditions by which naturalization was authorized.
Section III. On the regime of Foreigners
Article 25. Regime of foreigners
Foreigners have the same rights and duties as nationals in the Dominican Republic, with the exceptions and limitations that this Constitution and the laws establish; consequently:
- They may not participate in political activities within the national territory, unless in exercising the right to suffrage of their country of origin;
- They have the responsibility of registering themselves in the Book of Foreigners, in accordance with the law;
- They may resort to diplomatic protection after having exhausted the resources and processes before the national jurisdiction, except as provided international conventions.
Chapter VI. On international relations and international law
Section I. On the international community
Article 26. International relations and international law
The Dominican Republic is a State member of the international community, open to cooperation and tied to the norms of international law, consequently:
- It recognizes and applies the norms of international law, general and American, in the method in which its public powers have adopted them;
- The norms in effect from international ratified agreements shall rule in the internal realm, once published in an official manner;
- The international relations of the Dominican Republic are based and ruled by the affirmation and promotion of its national values and interests, respect for human rights and international law;
- In equality of conditions with other States, the Dominican Republic accepts an international judicial system that guarantees respect of fundamental rights, peace, justice, and political, social, economic and cultural development of nations. It promises to act on the international, regional, and national levels in a manner compatible with national interests, the peaceful coexistence between peoples and the duties of solidarity with all nations.
- The Dominican Republic shall promote and favor integration with the nations of America, toward the end of strengthening a community of nations that defends the interests of the region. The State may enter into international treaties in order to promote the common development of the nations, that safeguard the well-being of the peoples and the collective security of their inhabitants, and in order to confer supranational organizations the required abilities to participate in processes of integration;
- It declares itself in favor of economic solidarity between the countries of America and supports all initiatives in defense of its basic products, raw materials, and biodiversity.
Section II. Representatives of popular election before international parliaments
Article 27. Representatives
The Dominican Republic shall have representatives before international parliaments with which it has signed agreements that recognize its participation and representation.
Article 28. Requirements
In order to be a representative before international parliaments one must be Dominican in full exercise of civil and political rights and responsibilities and have reached an age of 25.
Chapter VII. On the official language and national symbols
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 Hymn.
Article 31. National Flag
The National Flag is composed of the colors ultramarine blue and vermillion red, in alternating quarters, located in such a way that the blue is in the upper part of the flagpole, separated by a white cross half the width of the height of a quarter and that carries in its center the National Coat of Arms. The merchant flag is the same as the national, but without the Coat of Arms.
Article 32. The National Coat of Arms
The National Coat of Arms has the same colors as the National Flag used in the same way. It carries in its center the Bible open to the Gospel of Saint John, chapter 8, verse 32, and above the cross, which come from a trophy formed by two lances and four national flags without the coat of arms, facing both sides; it carries a branch of laurel on the left side and one of palm on the right side. It is crowned by an ultramarine blue ribbon which reads the motto “God, Country, and Liberty”. At the base there is another ribbon, this one vermillion red, its ends are oriented upwards with the words “Dominican Republic”. The form of the National Coat of Arms is of a rectangle, with the upper corners projecting and the lower ones rounded, the base at the center of which ends in a point and is oriented in a way in which a perfect square results from tracing a horizontal line that unites the two verticals of the rectangle from where the lower corners begin.
Article 33. National Hymn
The National Hymn is the musical composition of José 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 27th of February and 16th of August, anniversaries of the Independence and the Restoration of the Republic, respectively, are declared national holidays.
Article 36. Regulation of the national symbols
The law shall regulate the use of the national symbols and the dimensions of the National Flag and the National Coat of Arms.