1. Common Provisions
All persons in the Republic of Croatia shall enjoy rights and freedoms, regardless of race, colour, gender, language, religion, political or other conviction, national or social origin, property, birth, education, social status or other characteristics.
All persons shall be equal before the law.
Equal rights for the members of all national minorities in the Republic of Croatia are guaranteed.
Equality and protection of the rights of national minorities shall be regulated by a constitutional act to be enacted under the procedure stipulated for organic law.
Over and above general suffrage, the right of the members of national minorities to elect their representatives to the Croatian Parliament may be stipulated by law.The freedom of the members of all national minorities to express their nationality, to use their language and script, and to exercise cultural autonomy shall be guaranteed.
Freedoms and rights may only be curtailed by law in order to protect the freedoms and rights of others, the legal order, and public morals and health.
Any restriction of freedoms or rights shall be proportionate to the nature of the need to do so in each individual case.
Individual constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms and rights may be curtailed during a state of war or any clear and present danger to the independence and unity of the Republic of Croatia or in the event of any natural disaster. Such curtailment shall be decided upon by the Croatian Parliament by a two-thirds majority of all representatives or, if the Croatian Parliament is unable to convene, by the President of the Republic.
The extent of such restrictions must be adequate to the nature of the threat, and may not result in the inequality of citizens with respect to race, colour, gender, language, religion, national or social origin.
Even in cases of clear and present danger to the existence of the state, no restrictions may be imposed upon the provisions of this Constitution stipulating the right to life, prohibition of torture, cruel or unusual treatment or punishment, and concerning the legal definitions of criminal offences and punishment, and the freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
The right to appeal against individual legal decisions made in first-instance proceedings by courts or other authorized bodies shall be guaranteed.
By way of exception, the right to appeal may be denied in cases specified by law if other legal protections are ensured.
Individual decisions of governmental agencies, the civil service and bodies vested with public authority shall be grounded in law.
Judicial review of individual decisions made by governmental agencies and other bodies vested with public authority shall be guaranteed.
Whosoever violates the provisions of the Constitution concerning human rights and fundamental freedoms shall be held personally liable and may not be exculpated by invoking a higher order.
2. Personal and Political Liberties and Rights
Each human being has the right to life.
There shall be no capital punishment in the Republic of Croatia.
Human liberty and personality shall be inviolable.
No one shall be deprived of liberty, nor may such liberty be restricted, except when specified by law, upon which a court shall decide.
No one may be subjected to any form of abuse or to medical or scientific experimentation with his or her consent.
Forced and compulsory labour shall be forbidden.
No one may be arrested or detained without a written court order grounded in law. Such an order has to be read and presented to the person placed under arrest at the moment of said arrest.
The police authorities may arrest a person without a warrant when there is reasonable suspicion that such person has perpetrated a grave criminal offence as defined by law. Such person shall be promptly informed, in understandable terms, of the reasons for arrest and of his/her rights as stipulated by law.
Any person arrested or detained shall have the right to appeal before a court, which must forthwith decide on the legality of the arrest.
Any arrested and convicted person shall be accorded humane treatment, and the dignity of such individual shall be respected.
Whosoever is detained and indicted of a criminal offence shall have the right to be brought before a court within the minimum time specified by law and to be acquitted or convicted within the statutory term.
A detainee may be released on bail to defend him-/herself.
Whosoever is illegally deprived of liberty or convicted shall, in compliance with law, be entitled to indemnification and a public apology.
All citizens of the Republic of Croatia and aliens shall be equal before the courts, governmental agencies and other bodies vested with pubic authority.
The legal profession, as an autonomous and independent service, shall provide everyone with legal aid in compliance with law.
Everyone is presumed innocent and may not be held guilty of a criminal offence until such guilt is proven by a binding court judgment.
Everyone shall be entitled have his or her rights and obligations, or suspicion or accusation of a criminal offence decided upon fairly before a legally established, independent and impartial court within a reasonable period.
In the case of suspicion or accusation of a criminal offence, the suspected, accused or indicted person shall be entitled:
– to be informed in detail and in a language he/she understands, within the shortest possible term, of the nature and grounds for the charges against him/her and the evidence incriminating him/her,
– to have adequate time and opportunity to prepare his/her defence,
– to defence counsel and unrestricted communication therewith, and to be informed of this right,
– to mount his/her own defence independently or with the assistance of a defence counsel of his/her own choice, and if he/she lacks the resources to engage such counsel, to have free counsel provided under the conditions specified by law,
– to be present at his/her trial insofar as he/she is at the disposal of the court,
– to interrogate or to arrange for interrogation of witnesses for the prosecution and to demand the attendance and questioning of defence witnesses under the same conditions which apply to witnesses for the prosecution,
– to assistance by an interpreter free of charge insofar as he/she does not understand the language used in the court.
An admission of guilt may not be coerced from a suspected, accused or indicted individual.
Evidence obtained illegally may not be admitted in court proceedings.
Criminal proceedings may only be initiated before the court at the request of an authorized prosecutor.
The sentence for a severe and particularly ignominious criminal offence may, in compliance with law, have as a consequence the loss of acquired rights or a ban on exercising, for a set period, certain rights pertaining to the conduct of specific affairs, if this is required to safeguard the legal order.
No one may be punished for an act which, prior to its commission, was not defined as a punishable offence by domestic or international law, nor may such individual be sentenced to a penalty which was not then defined by law. If a less severe penalty is determined by law after the commission of said act, such penalty shall be imposed.
No one may be re-tried nor penalized in criminal prosecution for an act for which such individual has already been acquitted or sentenced by a binding court judgment in accordance with law.
The cases and reasons for the renewal of court proceedings under paragraph (2) of this Article may be stipulated solely by law, in accordance with the Constitution and international treaties.
The statute of limitations shall not apply to the criminal offences of war profiteering, nor any criminal offences perpetrated in the course of economic transformation and privatization and perpetrated during the period of the Homeland War and peaceful reintegration, wartime and during times of clear and present danger to the independence and territorial integrity of the state, as stipulated by law, or those not subject to the statute of limitations under international law. Any gains obtained by these acts or in connection therewith shall be confiscated.
Anyone lawfully within the territory of the Republic of Croatia shall enjoy freedom of movement and freedom to choose his/her residence.
All citizens of the Republic shall be entitled to leave the state territory at any time and permanently or temporarily settle abroad, and to return at any time.
The right to movement within the territory of the Republic of Croatia and the right to depart may be exceptionally be curtailed by law, if necessary to protect the legal order, or the health, rights and liberties of others.
Foreign citizens and stateless persons may be granted asylum in Croatia, unless they are being prosecuted for non-political crimes and activities contrary to the fundamental principles of international law.
No alien legally in the territory of the Republic of Croatia shall be banished or extradited to another state, except in cases of enforcement of decisions made in compliance with an international treaty or law.
The home is inviolable.
Only a court may order the search of a home or other premises pursuant to a written warrant drafted and explained in compliance with law.
A tenant or his/her authorized representative shall be entitled to be present during the search of his/her home or other premises together with two mandatory witnesses.
Subject to the conditions specified by law, the police authorities may enter a home or other premises even without a warrant or consent from the tenant and conduct a search in the absence of witnesses insofar as this is essential to enforce an arrest warrant or apprehend an offender, or to prevent any grave threat to life or substantial property.
A search to locate or secure evidence, which is reasonably suspected to be in the home of a perpetrator of a criminal offence, may only be conducted in the presence of witnesses.
Respect for and legal protection of each person’s private and family life, dignity, reputation shall be guaranteed.
The freedom and privacy of correspondence and all other forms of communication shall be guaranteed and inviolable.
Restrictions necessitated by the protection of national security and the conduct of criminal prosecution may be prescribed solely by law.
The safety and secrecy of personal data shall be guaranteed for everyone. Without consent from the person concerned, personal data may be collected, processed, and used only under the conditions specified by law.
Protection of data and oversight of the operations of information systems in the state shall be regulated by law.
The use of personal data contrary to the express purpose of their collection shall be prohibited.
Freedom of thought and expression shall be guaranteed.
Freedom of expression shall particularly encompass freedom of the press and other media, freedom of speech and public opinion, and free establishment of all institutions of public communication.
Censorship shall be forbidden. Journalists shall have the right to freedom of reporting and access to information.
The right to access to information held by any public authority shall be guaranteed. Restrictions on the right to access to information must be proportionate to the nature of the need for such restriction in each individual case and necessary in a free and democratic society, as stipulated by law.
The right to correction is guaranteed to anyone whose constitutionally and legally established rights have been violated by public communication.
Any call for or incitement to war or use of violence, to national, racial or religious hatred, or any form of intolerance shall be prohibited and punishable by law.
Freedom of conscience and religion and the freedom to demonstrate religious or other convictions shall be guaranteed.
All religious communities shall be equal before the law and clearly separate from the state.
Religious communities shall be free, in compliance with law, to publicly conduct religious services, open schools, academies or other institutions, and welfare and charitable organizations and to manage them, and they shall enjoy the protection and assistance of the state in their activities.
Everyone shall be guaranteed the right to public assembly and peaceful protest, in compliance with law.
Everyone shall be guaranteed the right to freedom of association for the purposes of protection of common interests or promotion of social, economic, political, national, cultural and other convictions and aims. For this purpose, anyone may freely form trade unions and other associations, join them or leave them, in compliance with law.
The right to free association shall be restricted by the prohibition of any violent threat to the democratic constitutional order and the independence, unity, and territorial integrity of the Republic of Croatia.
Every citizen of the Republic of Croatia shall have the right, under equal conditions, to participate in the conduct of public affairs, and to have access to public services.
All Croatian citizens who have reached the age of eighteen years (voters) shall be entitled to universal and equal suffrage in elections for the Croatian Parliament, the President of the Republic of Croatia and the European Parliament and in decision-making procedures by national referendum, in compliance with law.
In elections for the Croatian Parliament, voters who do not have registered domicile in the Republic of Croatia shall be entitled to elect three representatives in compliance with law.
In elections for the Croatian Parliament, the President of the Republic of Croatia and the European Parliament and in decision-making procedures by national referendum, suffrage shall be exercised in direct elections by secret ballot, wherein voters who do not have registered domicile in the Republic of Croatia shall vote at polling stations in the premises of diplomatic-consular offices of the Republic of Croatia in the foreign countries in which they reside.
In elections for the Croatian Parliament, the President of the Republic of Croatia and the European Parliament and in decision-making procedures by national referendum, the Republic of Croatia shall secure exercise of suffrage for its citizens with registered domicile in the Republic of Croatia who are outside of its borders during elections such that they may vote in diplomatic-consular offices of the Republic of Croatia in the foreign countries in which they located or in some other manner as specified by law.
Everyone shall be entitled to file petitions and complaints and to submit proposals to governmental and other public bodies, and to receive responses thereto.
Military service and defence of the Republic of Croatia shall be the duty of every capable citizen of the Republic of Croatia.
Conscientious objection shall be allowed to all of those who, based on religious or moral conviction, are not willing to perform military duties in the armed forces. Such persons are obliged to perform other duties as specified by law.
3. Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
The right of ownership shall be guaranteed.
Ownership shall imply obligations. Holders of the right of ownership and its users shall contribute to the general welfare.
A foreign person may exercise the right of ownership under the conditions specified by law.
The right of inheritance shall be guaranteed.
Free enterprise and free markets shall form the foundation of the economic system of the Republic of Croatia.
The state shall ensure all entrepreneurs equal legal status on the market. The abuse of monopolies, as defined by law, shall be forbidden.
The state shall encourage the economic progress and social welfare of its citizens, and care for the economic development of all regions.
The rights acquired through the investment of capital shall not be infringed by law or any other legal act.
Foreign investors shall be guaranteed free transfer and repatriation of profits and invested capital.
In the interest of the Republic of Croatia, ownership may be restricted or rescinded by law, subject to indemnification equal to the market value of the pertinent property.
Free enterprise and property rights may be exceptionally restricted by law for the purposes of protecting the interests and security of the Republic of Croatia, nature and the human environment and human health.
Everyone shall participate in the defrayment of public expenses, in accordance with their economic capability.
The tax system shall be based upon the principles of equality and equity.
The sea, seashore, islands, waters, air space, mineral resources, and other natural assets, as well as land, forests, flora and fauna, other components of the natural environment, real estate and items of particular cultural, historical, economic or ecological significance which are specified by law to be of interest to the Republic of Croatia shall enjoy its special protection.
The manner in which any assets of interest to the Republic of Croatia may be used and exploited by holders of rights thereto and by their owners, as well as compensation for any restrictions as may be imposed thereon, shall be regulated by law.
The Croatian National Bank shall be the central bank of the Republic of Croatia.
The Croatian National Bank shall be autonomous and independent, and shall report on its work to the Croatian Parliament.
The Croatian National Bank shall be managed and its operations shall be conducted by the Governor of the Croatian National Bank.
The organisation, purpose, tasks and remit of the Croatian National Bank shall be governed by law.
The State Audit Office shall be the supreme audit institution of the Republic of Croatia, and shall be autonomous and independent in its work.
The State Audit Office shall be managed by the Auditor General, who shall report on its work to the Croatian Parliament.
The establishment, organisation, purview and operation of the State Audit Office shall be governed by law.
Everyone shall have the right to work and to freedom of work.
Everyone shall be free to choose his/her vocation and occupation, and shall have access to each workplace and post under equal conditions.
Each employee shall be entitled to remuneration enabling him/her to ensure a free and suitable life for himself/herself and his/her family.
Maximum working hours shall be regulated by law.
Each employee shall be entitled to a weekly rest and annual holidays with pay, and shall never waive these rights.
Employees may, in conformity with law, participate in decision-making in their places of employment.
The right of employees and their family members to social security and social insurance shall be regulated by law and collective agreements.
Rights related to child-birth, maternity and child care shall be regulated by law.
The state shall ensure the right to assistance for weak, infirm or other persons unable to meet their basic subsistence needs as a result of their unemployment or incapacity for work.
The state shall devote special care to the protection of persons with disabilities and their inclusion in social life.
The state shall devote special care to the protection of Croatian war veterans and disabled Croatian war veterans, as well as the widows, parents and children of fallen Croatian war veterans.
Receiving humanitarian aid from abroad may not be forbidden.
Everyone shall be guaranteed the right to health care in conformity with law.
In order to protect their economic and social interests, all employees shall be entitled to form trade unions and they shall be free to join and leave them.
Trade unions may form their federations and join international trade union organisations.
The formation of trade unions in the armed forces and the police may be restricted by law.
Employers shall be entitled to form associations and they shall be free to join and leave them.
The right to strike shall be guaranteed.
The right to strike may be restricted in the armed forces, the police, the civil service and public services as specified by law.
The family shall enjoy special protection of the state.
Marriage and legal relations in marriage, common-law marriage and the family shall be regulated by law.
The state shall protect maternity, children and youth, and shall create social, cultural, educational, material and other conditions promoting the achievement of the right to a suitable life.
Parents shall bear responsibility for the upbringing, welfare and education of their children, and they shall have the right and freedom to make independent decisions concerning the upbringing of their children.
Parents shall be responsible for ensuring the right of their children to the full and harmonious development of their personalities.
Physically and mentally disabled and socially neglected children shall be entitled to special care, education and welfare.
Children shall be obliged to take care of their elderly and infirm parents.
The state shall devote special care to orphans and minors neglected by their parents.
Everyone shall have the duty to protect children and infirm persons.
Children shall not be employed before reaching the age specified by law, nor shall they be forced or allowed to do any work that is harmful to their health or morality.
Young people, mothers and disabled persons shall be entitled to special protection at work.
In the Republic of Croatia, everyone shall have access to education under equal conditions and in accordance with his/her aptitudes.
Compulsory education shall be free, in conformity with law.
Subject to the conditions specified by law, the establishment of private schools and learning institutions shall be permitted.
The autonomy of universities shall be guaranteed.
Universities shall independently decide on their organisation and operation, in compliance with law.
The freedom of scientific, cultural and artistic creativity shall be guaranteed.
The state shall encourage and support the development of science, culture and the arts.
The state shall protect scientific, cultural and artistic assets as national spiritual values.
The protection of moral and material rights deriving from scientific, cultural, artistic, intellectual and other creative efforts shall be guaranteed.
The state shall encourage and support care for physical culture and sports.
Everyone shall have the right to a healthy life.
The state shall ensure conditions for a healthy environment.
Everyone shall, within the scope of their powers and activities, accord particular attention to the protection of human health, nature and the human environment.
Organization of Government