Constitution of the Republic of Namibia 1990, as amended to 2014


Affirmative Action (Broadly)

(2) Nothing contained in Article 10 here of shall prevent Parliament from enacting legislation providing directly or indirectly for the advancement of persons within Namibia who have been socially, economically or educationally disadvantaged by past discriminatory laws or practices, or for the implementation of policies and programmes aimed at redressing social, economic or educational imbalances in the Namibian society arising out of discriminatory laws or practices, or for achieving a balanced structuring of the public service, the defence force, the police force, and the correctional service.
(3) In the enactment of legislation and the application of any policies and practices contemplated by Sub-Article (2) hereof, it shall be permissible to have regard to the fact that women in Namibia have traditionally suffered special discrimination and that they need to be encouraged and enabled to play a full, equal and effective role in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the nation. (Art. 23)

Affirmative Action (Broadly)

The State shall actively promote and maintain the welfare of the people by adopting, inter alia, policies aimed at the following:
(a) enactment of legislation to ensure equality of opportunity for women, to enable them to participate fully in all spheres of Namibian society; … (Art. 95)

Citizenship and Nationality

(1) The following persons shall be citizens of Namibia by birth:
(a) those born in Namibia before the date of Independence whose fathers or mothers would have been Namibian citizens at the time of the birth of such persons, if this Constitution had been in force at that time; and
(b) those born in Namibia before the date of Independence, who are not Namibian citizens under Sub-Article (a) hereof, and whose fathers or mothers were ordinarily resident in Namibia at the time of the birth of such persons: provided that their fathers or mothers were not then persons:
(aa) who were enjoying diplomatic immunity in Namibia under any law relating to diplomatic privileges; or
(bb) who were career representatives of another country; or
(cc) who were members of any police, military or security unit seconded for service within Namibia by the Government of another country: provided further that this Sub-Article shall not apply to persons claiming citizenship of Namibia by birth if such persons were ordinarily resident in Namibia at the date of Independence and had been so resident for a continuous period of not less than five (5) years prior to such date, or if the fathers or mothers of such persons claiming citizenship were ordinarily resident in Namibia at the date of the birth of such persons and had been so resident for a continuous period of not less than five (5) years prior to such date;
(c) those born in Namibia after the date of Independence whose fathers or mothers are Namibian citizens at the time of the birth of such persons;
(d) those born in Namibia after the date of Independence who do not qualify for citizenship under Sub-Article (c) hereof, and whose fathers or mothers are ordinarily resident in Namibia at the time of the birth of such persons: provided that their fathers or mothers are not then persons:
(aa) enjoying diplomatic immunity in Namibia under any law relating to diplomatic privileges; or
(bb) who are career representatives of another country; or
(cc) who are members of any police, military or security unit seconded for service within Namibia by the Government of another country; or
(dd) who are illegal immigrants:
provided further that Sub-Articles (aa), (bb), (cc) and (dd) hereof will not apply to children who would otherwise be stateless.
(2) The following persons shall be citizens of Namibia by descent:
(a) those who are not Namibian citizens under Sub-Article (1) hereof and whose fathers or mothers at the time of the birth of such persons are citizens of Namibia or whose fathers or mothers would have qualified for Namibian citizenship by birth under Sub-Article (1) hereof, if this Constitution had been in force at that time; and
(b) who comply with such requirements as to registration of citizenship as may be required by Act of Parliament: provided that nothing in this Constitution shall preclude Parliament from enacting legislation which requires the birth of such persons born after the date of Independence to be registered within a specific time either in Namibia or at an embassy, consulate or office of a trade representative of the Government of Namibia.
(3) The following persons shall be citizens of Namibia by marriage:
(a) those who are not Namibian citizens under Sub-Article (1) or (2) hereof and who:
(aa) in good faith marry a Namibian citizen or, prior to the coming into force of this Constitution, in good faith married a person who would have qualified for Namibian citizenship if this Constitution had been in force; and
(bb) subsequent to such marriage have ordinarily resided in Namibia as the spouse of such person for a period of not less than ten (10) years; and
(cc) apply to become citizens of Namibia;
(b) for the purposes of this Sub-Article (and without derogating from any effect that it may have for any other purposes) a marriage by customary law shall be deemed to be a marriage: provided that nothing in this Constitution shall preclude Parliament from enacting legislation which defines the requirements which need to be satisfied for a marriage by customary law to be recognised as such for the purposes of this Sub-Article. …
(5) Citizenship by naturalisation may be applied for by persons who are not Namibian citizens …
(7) Namibian citizenship shall be lost by persons who renounce their Namibian citizenship by voluntarily signing a formal declaration to that effect.
(8) Nothing in this Constitution shall preclude Parliament from enacting legislation providing for the loss of Namibian citizenship by persons who, after the date of Independence:
(a) have acquired the citizenship of any other country by any voluntary
act; or
(b) have served or volunteered to serve in the armed or security forces of any other country without the written permission of the Namibian Government; or
(c) have taken up permanent residence in any other country and have absented themselves thereafter from Namibia for a period in excess of two (2) years without the written permission of the Namibian Government:
provided that no person who is a citizen of Namibia by birth or descent may be deprived of Namibian citizenship by such legislation.
(9) Parliament shall be entitled to make further laws not inconsistent with this Constitution regulating the acquisition or loss of Namibian citizenship. (Art. 4)

Jurisdiction and Access

(2) The Supreme Court shall be presided over by the Chief Justice and shall hear and adjudicate upon appeals emanating from the High Court, including appeals which involve the interpretation, implementation and upholding of this Constitution and the fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed thereunder. The Supreme Court shall also deal with matters referred to it for decision by the Attorney-General under this Constitution, and with such other matters as may be authorised by Act of Parliament.

(4) The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court with regard to appeals shall be determined by Act of Parliament. (Art. 79)

Jurisdiction and Access

(2) The High Court shall have original jurisdiction to hear and adjudicate upon all civil disputes and criminal prosecutions, including cases which involve the interpretation, implementation and upholding of this Constitution and the fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed thereunder. The High Court shall also have jurisdiction to hear and adjudicate upon appeals from Lower Courts.
(3) The jurisdiction of the High Court with regard to appeals shall be determined by Act of Parliament. (Art. 80)

Education

(1) All persons shall have the right to education.
(2) Primary education shall be compulsory and the State shall provide reasonable facilities to render effective this right for every resident within Namibia, by establishing and maintaining State schools at which primary education will be provided free of charge.
(3) Children shall not be allowed to leave school until they have completed their primary education or have attained the age of sixteen (16) years, whichever is the sooner, save in so far as this may be authorised by Act of Parliament on grounds of health or other considerations pertaining to the public interest.
… (Art. 20)

Employment Rights and Protection

(1) All persons shall have the right to:

(j) practise any profession, or carry on any occupation, trade or business.
… (Art. 21)

Employment Rights and Protection

The State shall actively promote and maintain the welfare of the people by adopting, inter alia, policies aimed at the following:
(a) enactment of legislation to ensure equality of opportunity for women, to enable them to participate fully in all spheres of Namibian society; in particular, the Government shall ensure the implementation of the principle of non-discrimination in remuneration of men and women; further, the Government shall seek, through appropriate legislation, to provide maternity and related benefits for women;
(b) enactment of legislation to ensure that the health and strength of the workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter vocations unsuited to their age and strength;

(i) ensurance that workers are paid a living wage adequate for the maintenance of a decent standard of living and the enjoyment of social and cultural opportunities;
… (Art. 95)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is indispensable for freedom, justice and peace;
Whereas the said rights include the right of the individual to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, regardless of race, colour, ethnic origin, sex, religion, creed or social or economic status; …
Whereas we the people of Namibia - …
committed to these principles, have resolved to constitute the Republic of Namibia as a sovereign, secular, democratic and unitary State securing to all our citizens justice, liberty, equality and fraternity, … (Preamble)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

(1) All persons shall be equal before the law.
(2) No persons may be discriminated against on the grounds of sex, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion, creed or social or economic status. (Art. 10)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

(2) Nothing contained in Article 10 here of shall prevent Parliament from enacting legislation providing directly or indirectly for the advancement of persons within Namibia who have been socially, economically or educationally disadvantaged by past discriminatory laws or practices, or for the implementation of policies and programmes aimed at redressing social, economic or educational imbalances in the Namibian society arising out of discriminatory laws or practices, or for achieving a balanced structuring of the public service, the defence force, the police force, and the correctional service.
(3) In the enactment of legislation and the application of any policies and practices contemplated by Sub-Article (2) hereof, it shall be permissible to have regard to the fact that women in Namibia have traditionally suffered special discrimination and that they need to be encouraged and enabled to play a full, equal and effective role in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the nation. (Art. 23)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

The State shall actively promote and maintain the welfare of the people by adopting, inter alia, policies aimed at the following:
(a) enactment of legislation to ensure equality of opportunity for women, to enable them to participate fully in all spheres of Namibian society; … (Art. 95)

Obligations of the State

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is indispensable for freedom, justice and peace;
Whereas the said rights include the right of the individual to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, regardless of race, colour, ethnic origin, sex, religion, creed or social or economic status;
Whereas the said rights are most effectively maintained and protected in a democratic society, where the government is responsible to freely elected representatives of the people, operating under a sovereign constitution and a free and independent judiciary;
… (Preamble)

Obligations of the State

The fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in this Chapter shall be respected and upheld by the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary and all organs of the Government and its agencies and, where applicable to them, by all natural and legal persons in Namibia, and shall be enforceable by the Courts in the manner hereinafter prescribed. (Art. 5)

Obligations of the State

(1) Save in so far as it may be authorised to do so by this Constitution, Parliament or any subordinate legislative authority shall not make any law, and the Executive and the agencies of Government shall not take any action which abolishes or abridges the fundamental rights and freedoms conferred by this Chapter, and any law or action in contravention thereof shall to the extent of the contravention be invalid: … (Art. 25)

Obligations of the State

No repeal or amendment of any of the provisions of Chapter 32 hereof, in so far as such repeal or amendment diminishes or detracts from the fundamental rights and freedoms contained and defined in that Chapter, shall be permissible under this Constitution, and no such purported repeal or amendment shall be valid or have any force or effect. (Art. 131)

Obligations of Private Parties

The fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in this Chapter shall be respected and upheld by the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary and all organs of the Government and its agencies and, where applicable to them, by all natural and legal persons in Namibia, and shall be enforceable by the Courts in the manner hereinafter prescribed. (Art. 5)

Judicial Protection

The fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in this Chapter shall be respected and upheld by the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary and all organs of the Government and its agencies and, where applicable to them, by all natural and legal persons in Namibia, and shall be enforceable by the Courts in the manner hereinafter prescribed. (Art. 5)

Judicial Protection

(1) Save in so far as it may be authorised to do so by this Constitution, Parliament or any subordinate legislative authority shall not make any law, and the Executive and the agencies of Government shall not take any action which abolishes or abridges the fundamental rights and freedoms conferred by this Chapter, and any law or action in contravention thereof shall to the extent of the contravention be invalid: provided that:
(a) a competent Court, instead of declaring such law or action to be invalid, shall have the power and the discretion in an appropriate case to allow Parliament, any subordinate legislative authority, or the Executive and the agencies of Government, as the case may be, to correct any defect in the impugned law or action within a specified period, subject to such conditions as may be specified by it. In such event and until such correction, or until the expiry of the time limit set by the Court, whichever be the shorter, such impugned law or action shall be deemed to be valid;
(b) any law which was in force immediately before the date of Independence shall remain in force until amended, repealed or declared unconstitutional. If a competent Court is of the opinion that such law is unconstitutional, it may either set aside the law, or allow Parliament to correct any defect in such law, in which event the provisions of Sub-Article (a) hereof shall apply.
(2) Aggrieved persons who claim that a fundamental right or freedom guaranteed by this Constitution has been infringed or threatened shall be entitled to approach a competent Court to enforce or protect such a right or freedom, and may approach the Ombudsman to provide them with such legal assistance or advice as they require, and the Ombudsman shall have the discretion in response thereto to provide such legal or other assistance as he or she may consider expedient.
(3) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Court referred to in Sub-Article (2) hereof shall have the power to make all such orders as shall be necessary and appropriate to secure such applicants the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms conferred on them under the provisions of this Constitution, should the Court come to the conclusion that such rights or freedoms have been unlawfully denied or violated, or that grounds exist for the protection of such rights or freedoms by interdict.
(4) The power of the Court shall include the power to award monetary compensation in respect of any damage suffered by the aggrieved persons in consequence of such unlawful denial or violation of their fundamental rights and freedoms, where it considers such an award to be appropriate in the circumstances of particular cases. (Art. 25)

Judicial Protection

(2) The Supreme Court shall be presided over by the Chief Justice and shall hear and adjudicate upon appeals emanating from the High Court, including appeals which involve the interpretation, implementation and upholding of this Constitution and the fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed thereunder. The Supreme Court shall also deal with matters referred to it for decision by the Attorney-General under this Constitution, and with such other matters as may be authorised by Act of Parliament.

(4) The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court with regard to appeals shall be determined by Act of Parliament. (Art. 79)

Judicial Protection

(2) The High Court shall have original jurisdiction to hear and adjudicate upon all civil disputes and criminal prosecutions, including cases which involve the interpretation, implementation and upholding of this Constitution and the fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed thereunder. The High Court shall also have jurisdiction to hear and adjudicate upon appeals from Lower Courts.
(3) The jurisdiction of the High Court with regard to appeals shall be determined by Act of Parliament. (Art. 80)

National Human Rights Bodies

(2) Aggrieved persons who claim that a fundamental right or freedom guaranteed by this Constitution has been infringed or threatened shall be entitled to approach a competent Court to enforce or protect such a right or freedom, and may approach the Ombudsman to provide them with such legal assistance or advice as they require, and the Ombudsman shall have the discretion in response thereto to provide such legal or other assistance as he or she may consider expedient.
... (Art. 25)

National Human Rights Bodies

The functions of the Ombudsman shall be defined and prescribed by an Act of Parliament and shall include the following:
(a) the duty to investigate complaints concerning alleged or apparent instances of violations of fundamental rights and freedoms, abuse of power, unfair, harsh, insensitive or discourteous treatment of an inhabitant of Namibia by an official in the employ of any organ of Government (whether central or local), manifest injustice, or conduct by such official which would properly be regarded as unlawful, oppressive or unfair in a democratic society;
(b) the duty to investigate complaints concerning the functioning of the Public Service Commission, administrative organs of the State, the defence force, the police force and the correctional service in so far as such complaints relate to the failure to achieve a balanced structuring of such services or equal access by all to the recruitment of such services or fair administration in relation to such services;

(d) the duty to investigate complaints concerning practices and actions by persons, enterprises and other private institutions where such complaints allege that violations of fundamental rights and freedoms under this Constitution have taken place;
… (Art. 91)

Limitations and/or Derogations

Whenever or wherever in terms of this Constitution the limitation of any fundamental rights or freedoms contemplated by this Chapter is authorised, any law providing for such limitation shall:
(a) be of general application, shall not negate the essential content thereof, and shall not be aimed at a particular individual;
(b) specify the ascertainable extent of such limitation and identify the Article or Articles hereof on which authority to enact such limitation is claimed to rest. (Art. 22)

Limitations and/or Derogations

(1) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of Article 263 hereof shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this Constitution to the extent that it authorises the taking of measures during any period when Namibia is in a state of national defence or any period when a declaration of emergency under this Constitution is in force.

(3) Nothing contained in this Article shall permit a derogation from or suspension of the fundamental rights or freedoms referred to in Articles 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 18, 19 and 21 (1)(a), (b), (c) and (e) hereof, or the denial of access by any persons to legal practitioners or a Court of law. (Art. 24)

Limitations and/or Derogations

(1) Save in so far as it may be authorised to do so by this Constitution, Parliament or any subordinate legislative authority shall not make any law, and the Executive and the agencies of Government shall not take any action which abolishes or abridges the fundamental rights and freedoms conferred by this Chapter, and any law or action in contravention thereof shall to the extent of the contravention be invalid: provided that:
(a) a competent Court, instead of declaring such law or action to be invalid, shall have the power and the discretion in an appropriate case to allow Parliament, any subordinate legislative authority, or the Executive and the agencies of Government, as the case may be, to correct any defect in the impugned law or action within a specified period, subject to such conditions as may be specified by it. In such event and until such correction, or until the expiry of the time limit set by the Court, whichever be the shorter, such impugned law or action shall be deemed to be valid;
(b) any law which was in force immediately before the date of Independence shall remain in force until amended, repealed or declared unconstitutional. If a competent Court is of the opinion that such law is unconstitutional, it may either set aside the law, or allow Parliament to correct any defect in such law, in which event the provisions of Sub-Article (a) hereof shall apply.
... (Art. 25)

Limitations and/or Derogations

(1) At a time of national disaster or during a state of national defence or public emergency threatening the life of the nation or the constitutional order, the President may by Proclamation in the Gazette declare that a state of emergency exists in Namibia or any part thereof.

(5) (a) During a state of emergency in terms of this Article or when a state of national defence prevails, the President shall have the power by Proclamation to make such regulations as in his or her opinion are necessary for the protection of national security, public safety and the maintenance of law and order.
(b) The powers of the President to make such regulations shall include the power to suspend the operation of any rule of the common law or statute or any fundamental right or freedom protected by this Constitution, for such period and subject to such conditions as are reasonably justifiable for the purpose of dealing with the situation which has given rise to the emergency: provided that nothing in this Sub-Article shall enable the President to act contrary to the provisions of Article 24 hereof.
… (Art. 26)

Limitations and/or Derogations

No repeal or amendment of any of the provisions of Chapter 34 hereof, in so far as such repeal or amendment diminishes or detracts from the fundamental rights and freedoms contained and defined in that Chapter, shall be permissible under this Constitution, and no such purported repeal or amendment shall be valid or have any force or effect. (Art. 131)

Marriage and Family Life

(3) The following persons shall be citizens of Namibia by marriage:
(a) those who are not Namibian citizens under Sub-Article (1) or (2) hereof and who:
(aa) in good faith marry a Namibian citizen or, prior to the coming into force of this Constitution, in good faith married a person who would have qualified for Namibian citizenship if this Constitution had been in force; and
(bb) subsequent to such marriage have ordinarily resided in Namibia as the spouse of such person for a period of not less than ten (10) years; and
(cc) apply to become citizens of Namibia;
(b) for the purposes of this Sub-Article (and without derogating from any effect that it may have for any other purposes) a marriage by customary law shall be deemed to be a marriage: provided that nothing in this Constitution shall preclude Parliament from enacting legislation which defines the requirements which need to be satisfied for a marriage by customary law to be recognised as such for the purposes of this Sub-Article.
… (Art. 4)

Marriage and Family Life

(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality, religion, creed or social or economic status shall have the right to marry and to found a family. They shall be entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State. (Art. 14)

Marriage and Family Life

(1) Children shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and, subject to legislation enacted in the best interests of children, as far as possible the right to know and be cared for by their parents.
… (Art. 15)

Marriage and Family Life

The State shall actively promote and maintain the welfare of the people by adopting, inter alia, policies aimed at the following:
(a) ... the Government shall seek, through appropriate legislation, to provide maternity and related benefits for women;
… (Art. 95)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

(2) Nothing contained in Article 10 here of shall prevent Parliament from enacting legislation providing directly or indirectly for the advancement of persons within Namibia who have been socially, economically or educationally disadvantaged by past discriminatory laws or practices, or for the implementation of policies and programmes aimed at redressing social, economic or educational imbalances in the Namibian society arising out of discriminatory laws or practices, or for achieving a balanced structuring of the public service, the defence force, the police force, and the correctional service.
(3) In the enactment of legislation and the application of any policies and practices contemplated by Sub-Article (2) hereof, it shall be permissible to have regard to the fact that women in Namibia have traditionally suffered special discrimination and that they need to be encouraged and enabled to play a full, equal and effective role in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the nation. (Art. 23)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

The State shall actively promote and maintain the welfare of the people by adopting, inter alia, policies aimed at the following:
(a) enactment of legislation to ensure equality of opportunity for women, to enable them to participate fully in all spheres of Namibian society; … (Art. 95)

Political Rights and Association

(1) All citizens shall have the right to participate in peaceful political activity intended to influence the composition and policies of Government. All citizens shall have the right to form and join political parties and, subject to such qualifications prescribed by law as are necessary in a democratic society, to participate in the conduct of public affairs, whether directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Every citizen who has reached the age of eighteen (18) years shall have the right to vote and who has reached the age of twenty-one (21) years to be elected to public office, unless otherwise provided herein.
... (Art. 17)

Political Rights and Association

(1) All persons shall have the right to:

(e) freedom of association, which shall include freedom to form and join associations or unions, including trade unions and political parties;
… (Art. 21)

Political Rights and Association

(2) Nothing contained in Article 10 here of shall prevent Parliament from enacting legislation providing directly or indirectly for the advancement of persons within Namibia who have been socially, economically or educationally disadvantaged by past discriminatory laws or practices, or for the implementation of policies and programmes aimed at redressing social, economic or educational imbalances in the Namibian society arising out of discriminatory laws or practices, or for achieving a balanced structuring of the public service, the defence force, the police force, and the correctional service.
(3) In the enactment of legislation and the application of any policies and practices contemplated by Sub-Article (2) hereof, it shall be permissible to have regard to the fact that women in Namibia have traditionally suffered special discrimination and that they need to be encouraged and enabled to play a full, equal and effective role in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the nation. (Art. 23)

Electoral Bodies

(1) There shall be an Electoral Commission of Namibia which shall be the exclusive body to direct, supervise, manage and control the conduct of elections and referenda, subject to this Constitution, and an Act of Parliament shall further define its powers, functions and duties.

… (Art. 94B)5

Head of State

(1) The President shall be the Head of State and of the Government and the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Force.
… (Art. 27)

Head of State

(1) The President shall be elected in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution and subject thereto. (2) Election of the President shall be:
(a) by direct, universal and equal suffrage; and
(b) conducted in accordance with principles and procedures to be determined by Act of Parliament: …

(3) Every citizen of Namibia by birth or descent, over the age of thirty-five (35) years, and who is eligible to be elected to office as a member of the National Assembly shall be eligible for election as President. 
… (Art. 28)6

Head of State

(3) Without derogating from the generality of the functions and powers contemplated by Sub-Article (1) hereof, the President shall preside over meetings of the Cabinet and shall have the power, subject to this Constitution to:

(i) appoint the following persons:
(aa) the Vice-President;

(3A) In the appointment of the Vice-President, the President shall have due regard for the need to obtain a balanced reflection of the national character of the people of Namibia; … (Art. 32)7

Vice-President

The Presidency shall consist of the President and the Vice-President, … (Art. 27A)8

Vice-President

(1A) A Vice-President shall be appointed by the President from the elected members of the National Assembly in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution;
… (Art. 28)9

Government

(3) Without derogating from the generality of the functions and powers contemplated by Sub-Article (1) hereof, the President shall preside over meetings of the Cabinet and shall have the power, subject to this Constitution to:

(i) appoint the following persons:

(bb) the Prime Minister;
(cc) the Deputy-Prime Minister;
(dd) Ministers and Deputy-Ministers;
… (Art. 32)10

Government

(1) Notwithstanding Article 29(2A)(c), the Cabinet shall consist of the President, the Vice-President, the Prime Minister, Deputy-Prime Minister and such other Ministers from the members of the National Assembly, including members nominated under Article 46(1)(b) hereof, for the purposes of administering and executing the functions of the Government.
(2) The President may, if he or she considers it to be necessary or expedient, also appoint a Deputy-Prime Minister to perform such functions as may be assigned to him or her by the President, the Vice-President or the Prime Minister.
… (Art. 35)11

Legislature

The legislative power of Namibia shall be vested in the National Assembly with the power to pass laws with the assent of the President as provided in this Constitution subject, where applicable, to the powers and functions of the National Council as set out in this Constitution. (Art. 45)

Legislature

(1) The composition of the National Assembly shall be as follows:
(a) ninety-six (96) members to be elected by the registered voters by direct and secret ballot. Every Namibian citizen who has the qualificaions described in Article 17 hereof shall be entitled to vote in the elections for members of the National Assembly and, subject to Article 47 hereof shall be eligible for candidature as a member of the National Assembly;
(b) not more than eight (8) persons appointed by the President under Article 32(5)(c) hereof by virtue of their special expertise, status, skill or experience: provided that such members shall have no vote in the National Assembly, and shall not be taken into account for the purpose of determining any specific majorities that are required under this Constitution or any other law.
(2) Subject to the principles referred to in Article 49 hereof, the members of the National Assembly referred to in Sub-Article (1)(a) hereof shall be elected in accordance with procedures to be determined by Act of Parliament. (Art. 46)12

Legislature

The election of members in terms of Article 46(1 )(a) hereof shall be on party lists and in accordance with the principles of proportional representation as set out in Schedule 4 hereof. (Art. 49)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

(1) All persons shall have the right in any part of Namibia to acquire, own and dispose of all forms of immovable and movable property individually or in association with others and to bequeath their property prohibit or regulate as it deems expedient the right to acquire property by persons who are not Namibian citizens.
… (Art. 16)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

(5) There shall be a Council of Traditional Leaders to be established in terms of an Act of Parliament in order to advise the President on the control and utilization of communal land and on all such other matters as may be referred to it by the President for advice. (Art. 102)

Protection from Violence

(2) (b) No persons shall be subject to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. (Art. 8)

Protection from Violence

(1) No persons shall be held in slavery or servitude.
(2) No persons shall be required to perform forced labour.
… (Art. 9)

Protection from Violence

(2) Children are entitled to be protected from economic exploitation and shall not be employed in or required to perform work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with their education, or to be harmful to their health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development. For the purposes of this Sub-Article children shall be persons under the age of sixteen (16) years.
(3) No children under the age of fourteen (14) years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine, save under conditions and circumstances regulated by Act of Parliament. Nothing in this Sub-Article shall be construed as derogating in any way from Sub-Article (2) hereof.
(4) Any arrangement or scheme employed on any farm or other undertaking, the object or effect of which is to compel the minor children of an employee to work for or in the interest of the employer of such employee, shall for the purposes of Article 9 hereof be deemed to constitute an arrangement or scheme to compel the performance of forced labour.
… (Art. 15)

Public Institutions and Services

(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State. (Art. 14)

Public Institutions and Services

The State shall actively promote and maintain the welfare of the people by adopting, inter alia, policies aimed at the following:

(e) ensurance that every citizen has a right to fair and reasonable access to public facilities and services in accordance with the law;
… (Art. 95)

Status of the Constitution

… Now therefore, we the people of Namibia accept and adopt this Constitution as the fundamental law of our Sovereign and Independent Republic. (Preamble)

Status of the Constitution

(6) This Constitution shall be the Supreme Law of Namibia. (Art. 1)

Status of the Constitution

(1) Both the customary law and the common law of Namibia in force on the date of Independence shall remain valid to the extent to which such customary or common law does not conflict with this Constitution or any other statutory law.
... (Art. 66)

Status of International Law

Unless otherwise provided by this Constitution or Act of Parliament, the general rules of public international law and international agreements binding upon Namibia under this Constitution shall form part of the law of Namibia. (Art. 144)

Religious Law

… Whereas we the people of Namibia – …
committed to these principles, have resolved to constitute the Republic of Namibia as a sovereign, secular, democratic and unitary State securing to all our citizens justice, liberty, equality and fraternity, … (Preamble)

Religious Law

(1) The Republic of Namibia is hereby established as a sovereign, secular, democratic and unitary State founded upon the principles of democracy, the rule of law and justice for all.
… (Art. 1)

Customary Law

(3) The following persons shall be citizens of Namibia by marriage:
(a) those who are not Namibian citizens under Sub-Article (1) or (2) hereof and who:
(aa) in good faith marry a Namibian citizen or, prior to the coming into force of this Constitution, in good faith married a person who would have qualified for Namibian citizenship if this Constitution had been in force; and
(bb) subsequent to such marriage have ordinarily resided in Namibia as the spouse of such person for a period of not less than ten (10) years; and
(cc) apply to become citizens of Namibia;
(b) for the purposes of this Sub-Article (and without derogating from any effect that it may have for any other purposes) a marriage by customary law shall be deemed to be a marriage: provided that nothing in this Constitution shall preclude Parliament from enacting legislation which defines the requirements which need to be satisfied for a marriage by customary law to be recognised as such for the purposes of this Sub-Article.
… (Art. 4)

Customary Law

(1) Both the customary law and the common law of Namibia in force on the date of Independence shall remain valid to the extent to which such customary or common law does not conflict with this Constitution or any other statutory law.
(2) Subject to the terms of this Constitution, any part of such common law or customary law may be repealed or modified by Act of Parliament, and the application thereof may be confined to particular parts of Namibia or to particular periods. (Art. 66)

Customary Law

(5) There shall be a Council of Traditional Leaders to be established in terms of an Act of Parliament in order to advise the President on the control and utilization of communal land and on all such other matters as may be referred to it by the President for advice. (Art. 102)

Women’s Rights

The State shall actively promote and maintain the welfare of the people by adopting, inter alia, policies aimed at the following:
(a) enactment of legislation to ensure equality of opportunity for women, to enable them to participate fully in all spheres of Namibian society; in particular, the Government shall ensure the implementation of the principle of non-discrimination in remuneration of men and women; further, the Government shall seek, through appropriate legislation, to provide maternity and related benefits for women;
… (Art. 95)

Affirmative Action (Broadly)

English

(2) Nothing contained in Article 10 here of shall prevent Parliament from enacting legislation providing directly or indirectly for the advancement of persons within Namibia who have been socially, economically or educationally disadvantaged by past discriminatory laws or practices, or for the implementation of policies and programmes aimed at redressing social, economic or educational imbalances in the Namibian society arising out of discriminatory laws or practices, or for achieving a balanced structuring of the public service, the defence force, the police force, and the correctional service.
(3) In the enactment of legislation and the application of any policies and practices contemplated by Sub-Article (2) hereof, it shall be permissible to have regard to the fact that women in Namibia have traditionally suffered special discrimination and that they need to be encouraged and enabled to play a full, equal and effective role in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the nation. (Art. 23)

Affirmative Action (Broadly)

English

The State shall actively promote and maintain the welfare of the people by adopting, inter alia, policies aimed at the following:
(a) enactment of legislation to ensure equality of opportunity for women, to enable them to participate fully in all spheres of Namibian society; … (Art. 95)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

(1) The following persons shall be citizens of Namibia by birth:
(a) those born in Namibia before the date of Independence whose fathers or mothers would have been Namibian citizens at the time of the birth of such persons, if this Constitution had been in force at that time; and
(b) those born in Namibia before the date of Independence, who are not Namibian citizens under Sub-Article (a) hereof, and whose fathers or mothers were ordinarily resident in Namibia at the time of the birth of such persons: provided that their fathers or mothers were not then persons:
(aa) who were enjoying diplomatic immunity in Namibia under any law relating to diplomatic privileges; or
(bb) who were career representatives of another country; or
(cc) who were members of any police, military or security unit seconded for service within Namibia by the Government of another country: provided further that this Sub-Article shall not apply to persons claiming citizenship of Namibia by birth if such persons were ordinarily resident in Namibia at the date of Independence and had been so resident for a continuous period of not less than five (5) years prior to such date, or if the fathers or mothers of such persons claiming citizenship were ordinarily resident in Namibia at the date of the birth of such persons and had been so resident for a continuous period of not less than five (5) years prior to such date;
(c) those born in Namibia after the date of Independence whose fathers or mothers are Namibian citizens at the time of the birth of such persons;
(d) those born in Namibia after the date of Independence who do not qualify for citizenship under Sub-Article (c) hereof, and whose fathers or mothers are ordinarily resident in Namibia at the time of the birth of such persons: provided that their fathers or mothers are not then persons:
(aa) enjoying diplomatic immunity in Namibia under any law relating to diplomatic privileges; or
(bb) who are career representatives of another country; or
(cc) who are members of any police, military or security unit seconded for service within Namibia by the Government of another country; or
(dd) who are illegal immigrants:
provided further that Sub-Articles (aa), (bb), (cc) and (dd) hereof will not apply to children who would otherwise be stateless.
(2) The following persons shall be citizens of Namibia by descent:
(a) those who are not Namibian citizens under Sub-Article (1) hereof and whose fathers or mothers at the time of the birth of such persons are citizens of Namibia or whose fathers or mothers would have qualified for Namibian citizenship by birth under Sub-Article (1) hereof, if this Constitution had been in force at that time; and
(b) who comply with such requirements as to registration of citizenship as may be required by Act of Parliament: provided that nothing in this Constitution shall preclude Parliament from enacting legislation which requires the birth of such persons born after the date of Independence to be registered within a specific time either in Namibia or at an embassy, consulate or office of a trade representative of the Government of Namibia.
(3) The following persons shall be citizens of Namibia by marriage:
(a) those who are not Namibian citizens under Sub-Article (1) or (2) hereof and who:
(aa) in good faith marry a Namibian citizen or, prior to the coming into force of this Constitution, in good faith married a person who would have qualified for Namibian citizenship if this Constitution had been in force; and
(bb) subsequent to such marriage have ordinarily resided in Namibia as the spouse of such person for a period of not less than ten (10) years; and
(cc) apply to become citizens of Namibia;
(b) for the purposes of this Sub-Article (and without derogating from any effect that it may have for any other purposes) a marriage by customary law shall be deemed to be a marriage: provided that nothing in this Constitution shall preclude Parliament from enacting legislation which defines the requirements which need to be satisfied for a marriage by customary law to be recognised as such for the purposes of this Sub-Article. …
(5) Citizenship by naturalisation may be applied for by persons who are not Namibian citizens …
(7) Namibian citizenship shall be lost by persons who renounce their Namibian citizenship by voluntarily signing a formal declaration to that effect.
(8) Nothing in this Constitution shall preclude Parliament from enacting legislation providing for the loss of Namibian citizenship by persons who, after the date of Independence:
(a) have acquired the citizenship of any other country by any voluntary
act; or
(b) have served or volunteered to serve in the armed or security forces of any other country without the written permission of the Namibian Government; or
(c) have taken up permanent residence in any other country and have absented themselves thereafter from Namibia for a period in excess of two (2) years without the written permission of the Namibian Government:
provided that no person who is a citizen of Namibia by birth or descent may be deprived of Namibian citizenship by such legislation.
(9) Parliament shall be entitled to make further laws not inconsistent with this Constitution regulating the acquisition or loss of Namibian citizenship. (Art. 4)

Jurisdiction and Access

English

(2) The Supreme Court shall be presided over by the Chief Justice and shall hear and adjudicate upon appeals emanating from the High Court, including appeals which involve the interpretation, implementation and upholding of this Constitution and the fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed thereunder. The Supreme Court shall also deal with matters referred to it for decision by the Attorney-General under this Constitution, and with such other matters as may be authorised by Act of Parliament.

(4) The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court with regard to appeals shall be determined by Act of Parliament. (Art. 79)

Jurisdiction and Access

English

(2) The High Court shall have original jurisdiction to hear and adjudicate upon all civil disputes and criminal prosecutions, including cases which involve the interpretation, implementation and upholding of this Constitution and the fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed thereunder. The High Court shall also have jurisdiction to hear and adjudicate upon appeals from Lower Courts.
(3) The jurisdiction of the High Court with regard to appeals shall be determined by Act of Parliament. (Art. 80)

Education

English

(1) All persons shall have the right to education.
(2) Primary education shall be compulsory and the State shall provide reasonable facilities to render effective this right for every resident within Namibia, by establishing and maintaining State schools at which primary education will be provided free of charge.
(3) Children shall not be allowed to leave school until they have completed their primary education or have attained the age of sixteen (16) years, whichever is the sooner, save in so far as this may be authorised by Act of Parliament on grounds of health or other considerations pertaining to the public interest.
… (Art. 20)

Employment Rights and Protection

English

(1) All persons shall have the right to:

(j) practise any profession, or carry on any occupation, trade or business.
… (Art. 21)

Employment Rights and Protection

English

The State shall actively promote and maintain the welfare of the people by adopting, inter alia, policies aimed at the following:
(a) enactment of legislation to ensure equality of opportunity for women, to enable them to participate fully in all spheres of Namibian society; in particular, the Government shall ensure the implementation of the principle of non-discrimination in remuneration of men and women; further, the Government shall seek, through appropriate legislation, to provide maternity and related benefits for women;
(b) enactment of legislation to ensure that the health and strength of the workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter vocations unsuited to their age and strength;

(i) ensurance that workers are paid a living wage adequate for the maintenance of a decent standard of living and the enjoyment of social and cultural opportunities;
… (Art. 95)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is indispensable for freedom, justice and peace;
Whereas the said rights include the right of the individual to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, regardless of race, colour, ethnic origin, sex, religion, creed or social or economic status; …
Whereas we the people of Namibia - …
committed to these principles, have resolved to constitute the Republic of Namibia as a sovereign, secular, democratic and unitary State securing to all our citizens justice, liberty, equality and fraternity, … (Preamble)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

(1) All persons shall be equal before the law.
(2) No persons may be discriminated against on the grounds of sex, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion, creed or social or economic status. (Art. 10)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

(2) Nothing contained in Article 10 here of shall prevent Parliament from enacting legislation providing directly or indirectly for the advancement of persons within Namibia who have been socially, economically or educationally disadvantaged by past discriminatory laws or practices, or for the implementation of policies and programmes aimed at redressing social, economic or educational imbalances in the Namibian society arising out of discriminatory laws or practices, or for achieving a balanced structuring of the public service, the defence force, the police force, and the correctional service.
(3) In the enactment of legislation and the application of any policies and practices contemplated by Sub-Article (2) hereof, it shall be permissible to have regard to the fact that women in Namibia have traditionally suffered special discrimination and that they need to be encouraged and enabled to play a full, equal and effective role in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the nation. (Art. 23)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

The State shall actively promote and maintain the welfare of the people by adopting, inter alia, policies aimed at the following:
(a) enactment of legislation to ensure equality of opportunity for women, to enable them to participate fully in all spheres of Namibian society; … (Art. 95)

Obligations of the State

English

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is indispensable for freedom, justice and peace;
Whereas the said rights include the right of the individual to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, regardless of race, colour, ethnic origin, sex, religion, creed or social or economic status;
Whereas the said rights are most effectively maintained and protected in a democratic society, where the government is responsible to freely elected representatives of the people, operating under a sovereign constitution and a free and independent judiciary;
… (Preamble)

Obligations of the State

English

The fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in this Chapter shall be respected and upheld by the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary and all organs of the Government and its agencies and, where applicable to them, by all natural and legal persons in Namibia, and shall be enforceable by the Courts in the manner hereinafter prescribed. (Art. 5)

Obligations of the State

English

(1) Save in so far as it may be authorised to do so by this Constitution, Parliament or any subordinate legislative authority shall not make any law, and the Executive and the agencies of Government shall not take any action which abolishes or abridges the fundamental rights and freedoms conferred by this Chapter, and any law or action in contravention thereof shall to the extent of the contravention be invalid: … (Art. 25)

Obligations of the State

English

No repeal or amendment of any of the provisions of Chapter 32 hereof, in so far as such repeal or amendment diminishes or detracts from the fundamental rights and freedoms contained and defined in that Chapter, shall be permissible under this Constitution, and no such purported repeal or amendment shall be valid or have any force or effect. (Art. 131)

Obligations of Private Parties

English

The fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in this Chapter shall be respected and upheld by the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary and all organs of the Government and its agencies and, where applicable to them, by all natural and legal persons in Namibia, and shall be enforceable by the Courts in the manner hereinafter prescribed. (Art. 5)

Judicial Protection

English

The fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in this Chapter shall be respected and upheld by the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary and all organs of the Government and its agencies and, where applicable to them, by all natural and legal persons in Namibia, and shall be enforceable by the Courts in the manner hereinafter prescribed. (Art. 5)

Judicial Protection

English

(1) Save in so far as it may be authorised to do so by this Constitution, Parliament or any subordinate legislative authority shall not make any law, and the Executive and the agencies of Government shall not take any action which abolishes or abridges the fundamental rights and freedoms conferred by this Chapter, and any law or action in contravention thereof shall to the extent of the contravention be invalid: provided that:
(a) a competent Court, instead of declaring such law or action to be invalid, shall have the power and the discretion in an appropriate case to allow Parliament, any subordinate legislative authority, or the Executive and the agencies of Government, as the case may be, to correct any defect in the impugned law or action within a specified period, subject to such conditions as may be specified by it. In such event and until such correction, or until the expiry of the time limit set by the Court, whichever be the shorter, such impugned law or action shall be deemed to be valid;
(b) any law which was in force immediately before the date of Independence shall remain in force until amended, repealed or declared unconstitutional. If a competent Court is of the opinion that such law is unconstitutional, it may either set aside the law, or allow Parliament to correct any defect in such law, in which event the provisions of Sub-Article (a) hereof shall apply.
(2) Aggrieved persons who claim that a fundamental right or freedom guaranteed by this Constitution has been infringed or threatened shall be entitled to approach a competent Court to enforce or protect such a right or freedom, and may approach the Ombudsman to provide them with such legal assistance or advice as they require, and the Ombudsman shall have the discretion in response thereto to provide such legal or other assistance as he or she may consider expedient.
(3) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Court referred to in Sub-Article (2) hereof shall have the power to make all such orders as shall be necessary and appropriate to secure such applicants the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms conferred on them under the provisions of this Constitution, should the Court come to the conclusion that such rights or freedoms have been unlawfully denied or violated, or that grounds exist for the protection of such rights or freedoms by interdict.
(4) The power of the Court shall include the power to award monetary compensation in respect of any damage suffered by the aggrieved persons in consequence of such unlawful denial or violation of their fundamental rights and freedoms, where it considers such an award to be appropriate in the circumstances of particular cases. (Art. 25)

Judicial Protection

English

(2) The Supreme Court shall be presided over by the Chief Justice and shall hear and adjudicate upon appeals emanating from the High Court, including appeals which involve the interpretation, implementation and upholding of this Constitution and the fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed thereunder. The Supreme Court shall also deal with matters referred to it for decision by the Attorney-General under this Constitution, and with such other matters as may be authorised by Act of Parliament.

(4) The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court with regard to appeals shall be determined by Act of Parliament. (Art. 79)

Judicial Protection

English

(2) The High Court shall have original jurisdiction to hear and adjudicate upon all civil disputes and criminal prosecutions, including cases which involve the interpretation, implementation and upholding of this Constitution and the fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed thereunder. The High Court shall also have jurisdiction to hear and adjudicate upon appeals from Lower Courts.
(3) The jurisdiction of the High Court with regard to appeals shall be determined by Act of Parliament. (Art. 80)

National Human Rights Bodies

English

(2) Aggrieved persons who claim that a fundamental right or freedom guaranteed by this Constitution has been infringed or threatened shall be entitled to approach a competent Court to enforce or protect such a right or freedom, and may approach the Ombudsman to provide them with such legal assistance or advice as they require, and the Ombudsman shall have the discretion in response thereto to provide such legal or other assistance as he or she may consider expedient.
... (Art. 25)

National Human Rights Bodies

English

The functions of the Ombudsman shall be defined and prescribed by an Act of Parliament and shall include the following:
(a) the duty to investigate complaints concerning alleged or apparent instances of violations of fundamental rights and freedoms, abuse of power, unfair, harsh, insensitive or discourteous treatment of an inhabitant of Namibia by an official in the employ of any organ of Government (whether central or local), manifest injustice, or conduct by such official which would properly be regarded as unlawful, oppressive or unfair in a democratic society;
(b) the duty to investigate complaints concerning the functioning of the Public Service Commission, administrative organs of the State, the defence force, the police force and the correctional service in so far as such complaints relate to the failure to achieve a balanced structuring of such services or equal access by all to the recruitment of such services or fair administration in relation to such services;

(d) the duty to investigate complaints concerning practices and actions by persons, enterprises and other private institutions where such complaints allege that violations of fundamental rights and freedoms under this Constitution have taken place;
… (Art. 91)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

Whenever or wherever in terms of this Constitution the limitation of any fundamental rights or freedoms contemplated by this Chapter is authorised, any law providing for such limitation shall:
(a) be of general application, shall not negate the essential content thereof, and shall not be aimed at a particular individual;
(b) specify the ascertainable extent of such limitation and identify the Article or Articles hereof on which authority to enact such limitation is claimed to rest. (Art. 22)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

(1) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of Article 263 hereof shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this Constitution to the extent that it authorises the taking of measures during any period when Namibia is in a state of national defence or any period when a declaration of emergency under this Constitution is in force.

(3) Nothing contained in this Article shall permit a derogation from or suspension of the fundamental rights or freedoms referred to in Articles 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 18, 19 and 21 (1)(a), (b), (c) and (e) hereof, or the denial of access by any persons to legal practitioners or a Court of law. (Art. 24)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

(1) Save in so far as it may be authorised to do so by this Constitution, Parliament or any subordinate legislative authority shall not make any law, and the Executive and the agencies of Government shall not take any action which abolishes or abridges the fundamental rights and freedoms conferred by this Chapter, and any law or action in contravention thereof shall to the extent of the contravention be invalid: provided that:
(a) a competent Court, instead of declaring such law or action to be invalid, shall have the power and the discretion in an appropriate case to allow Parliament, any subordinate legislative authority, or the Executive and the agencies of Government, as the case may be, to correct any defect in the impugned law or action within a specified period, subject to such conditions as may be specified by it. In such event and until such correction, or until the expiry of the time limit set by the Court, whichever be the shorter, such impugned law or action shall be deemed to be valid;
(b) any law which was in force immediately before the date of Independence shall remain in force until amended, repealed or declared unconstitutional. If a competent Court is of the opinion that such law is unconstitutional, it may either set aside the law, or allow Parliament to correct any defect in such law, in which event the provisions of Sub-Article (a) hereof shall apply.
... (Art. 25)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

(1) At a time of national disaster or during a state of national defence or public emergency threatening the life of the nation or the constitutional order, the President may by Proclamation in the Gazette declare that a state of emergency exists in Namibia or any part thereof.

(5) (a) During a state of emergency in terms of this Article or when a state of national defence prevails, the President shall have the power by Proclamation to make such regulations as in his or her opinion are necessary for the protection of national security, public safety and the maintenance of law and order.
(b) The powers of the President to make such regulations shall include the power to suspend the operation of any rule of the common law or statute or any fundamental right or freedom protected by this Constitution, for such period and subject to such conditions as are reasonably justifiable for the purpose of dealing with the situation which has given rise to the emergency: provided that nothing in this Sub-Article shall enable the President to act contrary to the provisions of Article 24 hereof.
… (Art. 26)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

No repeal or amendment of any of the provisions of Chapter 34 hereof, in so far as such repeal or amendment diminishes or detracts from the fundamental rights and freedoms contained and defined in that Chapter, shall be permissible under this Constitution, and no such purported repeal or amendment shall be valid or have any force or effect. (Art. 131)

Marriage and Family Life

English

(3) The following persons shall be citizens of Namibia by marriage:
(a) those who are not Namibian citizens under Sub-Article (1) or (2) hereof and who:
(aa) in good faith marry a Namibian citizen or, prior to the coming into force of this Constitution, in good faith married a person who would have qualified for Namibian citizenship if this Constitution had been in force; and
(bb) subsequent to such marriage have ordinarily resided in Namibia as the spouse of such person for a period of not less than ten (10) years; and
(cc) apply to become citizens of Namibia;
(b) for the purposes of this Sub-Article (and without derogating from any effect that it may have for any other purposes) a marriage by customary law shall be deemed to be a marriage: provided that nothing in this Constitution shall preclude Parliament from enacting legislation which defines the requirements which need to be satisfied for a marriage by customary law to be recognised as such for the purposes of this Sub-Article.
… (Art. 4)

Marriage and Family Life

English

(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality, religion, creed or social or economic status shall have the right to marry and to found a family. They shall be entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State. (Art. 14)

Marriage and Family Life

English

(1) Children shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and, subject to legislation enacted in the best interests of children, as far as possible the right to know and be cared for by their parents.
… (Art. 15)

Marriage and Family Life

English

The State shall actively promote and maintain the welfare of the people by adopting, inter alia, policies aimed at the following:
(a) ... the Government shall seek, through appropriate legislation, to provide maternity and related benefits for women;
… (Art. 95)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

English

(2) Nothing contained in Article 10 here of shall prevent Parliament from enacting legislation providing directly or indirectly for the advancement of persons within Namibia who have been socially, economically or educationally disadvantaged by past discriminatory laws or practices, or for the implementation of policies and programmes aimed at redressing social, economic or educational imbalances in the Namibian society arising out of discriminatory laws or practices, or for achieving a balanced structuring of the public service, the defence force, the police force, and the correctional service.
(3) In the enactment of legislation and the application of any policies and practices contemplated by Sub-Article (2) hereof, it shall be permissible to have regard to the fact that women in Namibia have traditionally suffered special discrimination and that they need to be encouraged and enabled to play a full, equal and effective role in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the nation. (Art. 23)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

English

The State shall actively promote and maintain the welfare of the people by adopting, inter alia, policies aimed at the following:
(a) enactment of legislation to ensure equality of opportunity for women, to enable them to participate fully in all spheres of Namibian society; … (Art. 95)

Political Rights and Association

English

(1) All citizens shall have the right to participate in peaceful political activity intended to influence the composition and policies of Government. All citizens shall have the right to form and join political parties and, subject to such qualifications prescribed by law as are necessary in a democratic society, to participate in the conduct of public affairs, whether directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Every citizen who has reached the age of eighteen (18) years shall have the right to vote and who has reached the age of twenty-one (21) years to be elected to public office, unless otherwise provided herein.
... (Art. 17)

Political Rights and Association

English

(1) All persons shall have the right to:

(e) freedom of association, which shall include freedom to form and join associations or unions, including trade unions and political parties;
… (Art. 21)

Political Rights and Association

English

(2) Nothing contained in Article 10 here of shall prevent Parliament from enacting legislation providing directly or indirectly for the advancement of persons within Namibia who have been socially, economically or educationally disadvantaged by past discriminatory laws or practices, or for the implementation of policies and programmes aimed at redressing social, economic or educational imbalances in the Namibian society arising out of discriminatory laws or practices, or for achieving a balanced structuring of the public service, the defence force, the police force, and the correctional service.
(3) In the enactment of legislation and the application of any policies and practices contemplated by Sub-Article (2) hereof, it shall be permissible to have regard to the fact that women in Namibia have traditionally suffered special discrimination and that they need to be encouraged and enabled to play a full, equal and effective role in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the nation. (Art. 23)

Electoral Bodies

English

(1) There shall be an Electoral Commission of Namibia which shall be the exclusive body to direct, supervise, manage and control the conduct of elections and referenda, subject to this Constitution, and an Act of Parliament shall further define its powers, functions and duties.

… (Art. 94B)5

Head of State

English

(1) The President shall be the Head of State and of the Government and the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Force.
… (Art. 27)

Head of State

English

(1) The President shall be elected in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution and subject thereto. (2) Election of the President shall be:
(a) by direct, universal and equal suffrage; and
(b) conducted in accordance with principles and procedures to be determined by Act of Parliament: …

(3) Every citizen of Namibia by birth or descent, over the age of thirty-five (35) years, and who is eligible to be elected to office as a member of the National Assembly shall be eligible for election as President. 
… (Art. 28)6

Head of State

English

(3) Without derogating from the generality of the functions and powers contemplated by Sub-Article (1) hereof, the President shall preside over meetings of the Cabinet and shall have the power, subject to this Constitution to:

(i) appoint the following persons:
(aa) the Vice-President;

(3A) In the appointment of the Vice-President, the President shall have due regard for the need to obtain a balanced reflection of the national character of the people of Namibia; … (Art. 32)7

Vice-President

English

The Presidency shall consist of the President and the Vice-President, … (Art. 27A)8

Vice-President

English

(1A) A Vice-President shall be appointed by the President from the elected members of the National Assembly in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution;
… (Art. 28)9

Government

English

(3) Without derogating from the generality of the functions and powers contemplated by Sub-Article (1) hereof, the President shall preside over meetings of the Cabinet and shall have the power, subject to this Constitution to:

(i) appoint the following persons:

(bb) the Prime Minister;
(cc) the Deputy-Prime Minister;
(dd) Ministers and Deputy-Ministers;
… (Art. 32)10

Government

English

(1) Notwithstanding Article 29(2A)(c), the Cabinet shall consist of the President, the Vice-President, the Prime Minister, Deputy-Prime Minister and such other Ministers from the members of the National Assembly, including members nominated under Article 46(1)(b) hereof, for the purposes of administering and executing the functions of the Government.
(2) The President may, if he or she considers it to be necessary or expedient, also appoint a Deputy-Prime Minister to perform such functions as may be assigned to him or her by the President, the Vice-President or the Prime Minister.
… (Art. 35)11

Legislature

English

The legislative power of Namibia shall be vested in the National Assembly with the power to pass laws with the assent of the President as provided in this Constitution subject, where applicable, to the powers and functions of the National Council as set out in this Constitution. (Art. 45)

Legislature

English

(1) The composition of the National Assembly shall be as follows:
(a) ninety-six (96) members to be elected by the registered voters by direct and secret ballot. Every Namibian citizen who has the qualificaions described in Article 17 hereof shall be entitled to vote in the elections for members of the National Assembly and, subject to Article 47 hereof shall be eligible for candidature as a member of the National Assembly;
(b) not more than eight (8) persons appointed by the President under Article 32(5)(c) hereof by virtue of their special expertise, status, skill or experience: provided that such members shall have no vote in the National Assembly, and shall not be taken into account for the purpose of determining any specific majorities that are required under this Constitution or any other law.
(2) Subject to the principles referred to in Article 49 hereof, the members of the National Assembly referred to in Sub-Article (1)(a) hereof shall be elected in accordance with procedures to be determined by Act of Parliament. (Art. 46)12

Legislature

English

The election of members in terms of Article 46(1 )(a) hereof shall be on party lists and in accordance with the principles of proportional representation as set out in Schedule 4 hereof. (Art. 49)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

(1) All persons shall have the right in any part of Namibia to acquire, own and dispose of all forms of immovable and movable property individually or in association with others and to bequeath their property prohibit or regulate as it deems expedient the right to acquire property by persons who are not Namibian citizens.
… (Art. 16)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

(5) There shall be a Council of Traditional Leaders to be established in terms of an Act of Parliament in order to advise the President on the control and utilization of communal land and on all such other matters as may be referred to it by the President for advice. (Art. 102)

Protection from Violence

English

(2) (b) No persons shall be subject to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. (Art. 8)

Protection from Violence

English

(1) No persons shall be held in slavery or servitude.
(2) No persons shall be required to perform forced labour.
… (Art. 9)

Protection from Violence

English

(2) Children are entitled to be protected from economic exploitation and shall not be employed in or required to perform work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with their education, or to be harmful to their health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development. For the purposes of this Sub-Article children shall be persons under the age of sixteen (16) years.
(3) No children under the age of fourteen (14) years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine, save under conditions and circumstances regulated by Act of Parliament. Nothing in this Sub-Article shall be construed as derogating in any way from Sub-Article (2) hereof.
(4) Any arrangement or scheme employed on any farm or other undertaking, the object or effect of which is to compel the minor children of an employee to work for or in the interest of the employer of such employee, shall for the purposes of Article 9 hereof be deemed to constitute an arrangement or scheme to compel the performance of forced labour.
… (Art. 15)

Public Institutions and Services

English

(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State. (Art. 14)

Public Institutions and Services

English

The State shall actively promote and maintain the welfare of the people by adopting, inter alia, policies aimed at the following:

(e) ensurance that every citizen has a right to fair and reasonable access to public facilities and services in accordance with the law;
… (Art. 95)

Status of the Constitution

English

… Now therefore, we the people of Namibia accept and adopt this Constitution as the fundamental law of our Sovereign and Independent Republic. (Preamble)

Status of the Constitution

English

(6) This Constitution shall be the Supreme Law of Namibia. (Art. 1)

Status of the Constitution

English

(1) Both the customary law and the common law of Namibia in force on the date of Independence shall remain valid to the extent to which such customary or common law does not conflict with this Constitution or any other statutory law.
... (Art. 66)

Status of International Law

English

Unless otherwise provided by this Constitution or Act of Parliament, the general rules of public international law and international agreements binding upon Namibia under this Constitution shall form part of the law of Namibia. (Art. 144)

Religious Law

English

… Whereas we the people of Namibia – …
committed to these principles, have resolved to constitute the Republic of Namibia as a sovereign, secular, democratic and unitary State securing to all our citizens justice, liberty, equality and fraternity, … (Preamble)

Religious Law

English

(1) The Republic of Namibia is hereby established as a sovereign, secular, democratic and unitary State founded upon the principles of democracy, the rule of law and justice for all.
… (Art. 1)

Customary Law

English

(3) The following persons shall be citizens of Namibia by marriage:
(a) those who are not Namibian citizens under Sub-Article (1) or (2) hereof and who:
(aa) in good faith marry a Namibian citizen or, prior to the coming into force of this Constitution, in good faith married a person who would have qualified for Namibian citizenship if this Constitution had been in force; and
(bb) subsequent to such marriage have ordinarily resided in Namibia as the spouse of such person for a period of not less than ten (10) years; and
(cc) apply to become citizens of Namibia;
(b) for the purposes of this Sub-Article (and without derogating from any effect that it may have for any other purposes) a marriage by customary law shall be deemed to be a marriage: provided that nothing in this Constitution shall preclude Parliament from enacting legislation which defines the requirements which need to be satisfied for a marriage by customary law to be recognised as such for the purposes of this Sub-Article.
… (Art. 4)

Customary Law

English

(1) Both the customary law and the common law of Namibia in force on the date of Independence shall remain valid to the extent to which such customary or common law does not conflict with this Constitution or any other statutory law.
(2) Subject to the terms of this Constitution, any part of such common law or customary law may be repealed or modified by Act of Parliament, and the application thereof may be confined to particular parts of Namibia or to particular periods. (Art. 66)

Customary Law

English

(5) There shall be a Council of Traditional Leaders to be established in terms of an Act of Parliament in order to advise the President on the control and utilization of communal land and on all such other matters as may be referred to it by the President for advice. (Art. 102)

Women’s Rights

English

The State shall actively promote and maintain the welfare of the people by adopting, inter alia, policies aimed at the following:
(a) enactment of legislation to ensure equality of opportunity for women, to enable them to participate fully in all spheres of Namibian society; in particular, the Government shall ensure the implementation of the principle of non-discrimination in remuneration of men and women; further, the Government shall seek, through appropriate legislation, to provide maternity and related benefits for women;
… (Art. 95)

1

Constitution of the Republic of Namibia 1990, as amended to 2014. Constitution of the Republic of Namibia 1990, as amended to 2010 and Namibian Constitution Third Amendment Act, 2014 (English). According to Art. 3: “(1) The official language of Namibia shall be English.”
Links to all sites last visited 2 March 2016

2

Chapter 3 on Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms.

3

Art. 26, State of Emergency, State of National Defence and Martial Law.

4

Chapter 3 on Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms.

5

Art. 94B, as inserted by the Namibian Constitution Third Amendment Act (Act No. 8 of 2014).

6

Art. 28, as amended by the Namibian Constitution Third Amendment Act (Act No. 8 of 2014).

7

Art. 32, as amended by the Namibian Constitution Third Amendment Act (Act No. 8 of 2014).

8

Art. 27A, inserted by the Namibian Constitution Third Amendment Act (Act No. 8 of 2014).

9

Art. 28 (1A), as amended by the Namibian Constitution Third Amendment Act (Act No. 8 of 2014).

10

Art. 32, as amended by the Namibian Constitution Third Amendment Act (Act No. 8 of 2014).

11

Art. 35, as amended by the Namibian Constitution Third Amendment Act (Act No. 8 of 2014).

12

Art. 46, as amended by the Namibian Constitution Third Amendment Act (Act No. 8 of 2014).