Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas 1973, as amended to 2002


Citizenship and Nationality

1. Every person who, having been born in the former Colony of the Bahamas Islands, is on 9th July 1973 a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies shall become a citizen of the Bahamas on 10th July 1973. 2. Every person who, having been born outside the former Colony of the Bahamas Islands, is on 9th July 1973 a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies shall, if his father becomes or would but for his death have become a citizen of The Bahamas in accordance with the provisions of the preceding paragraph, become a citizen of The Bahamas on 10th July 1973.
2. Every person who, having been born outside the former Colony of the Bahamas Islands, is on 9th July 1973 a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies shall, if his father becomes or would but for his death have become a citizen of The Bahamas in accordance with the provisions of the preceding paragraph, become a citizen of The Bahamas on 10th July 1973.
… (Art. 3)

Citizenship and Nationality

1. Every person who on 9th July 1973 is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies-
(a) having become such a citizen under the British Nationality Act 1948 by virtue of his having been naturalized in the former Colony of the Bahamas Islands before that Act came into force, or
(b) having become such a citizen by virtue of his having been naturalized in the former Colony of the Bahamas Islands under that Act, shall become a citizen of The Bahamas on 9th July 1974, unless prior to that date, he has in such manner as may be prescribed declared that he does not desire to become a citizen of The Bahamas:
Provided that this section shall not apply to a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies who on 9th July 1973 possesses the citizenship or nationality of some other country. (Art. 4)

Citizenship and Nationality

1. Any woman who, on 9th July 1973, is or has been married to a person-
a. who becomes a citizen of The Bahamas by virtue of Article 3 of this Constitution; or
b. who, having died before 10th July 1973, would, but for his death, have become a citizen of The Bahamas by virtue of that Article, shall be entitled, upon making application and upon taking the oath of allegiance or such declaration in such manner as may be prescribed, to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas:
Provided that the right to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas under this paragraph shall be subject to such exceptions or qualifications as may be prescribed in the interests of national security or public policy.
2. Any person who, on 9th July 1973, possesses Bahamian Status under the provisions of the Immigration Act 1967(a) and is ordinarily resident in the Bahamas Islands, shall be entitled, upon making application before 19th July 1974, to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas.
3. Notwithstanding anything contained in paragraph (2) of this Article, a person who has attained the age of eighteen years or who is a woman who is or has been married shall not, if he is a citizen of some country other than The Bahamas, be entitled to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas under the provisions of that paragraph unless he renounces his citizenship of that other country, takes the oath of allegiance and makes and registers such declarations may be prescribed:
Provided that where a person cannot renounce his citizenship of the other country under the law of that country he may instead make such declaration concerning that citizenship as may be prescribed.
4. Any application for registration under paragraph (2) of this Article shall be subject to such exceptions or qualifications as may be prescribed in the interest of national security or public policy.
5. Any woman who on 9th July 1973 is or has been married to a person who subsequently becomes a citizen of The Bahamas by registration under paragraph (2) of this Article shall be entitled, upon making application and upon taking the oath of allegiance or such declaration as may be prescribed, to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas:
Provided that the right to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas under this paragraph shall be subject to such exceptions or qualifications as may be prescribed in the interests of national security or public policy.
6. Any application for registration under this Article shall be made in such manner as may be prescribed as respects that application:
Provided that such an application may not be made by a person who has not attained the age of eighteen year and is not a woman who is or has been married, but shall be made on behalf of that person by a parent or guardian of that person. (Art. 5)

Citizenship and Nationality

Every person born in The Bahamas after 9th July 1973 shall become a citizen of The Bahamas at the date of his birth if at that date either of his parents is a citizen of The Bahamas. (Art. 6)

Citizenship and Nationality

1. A person born in The Bahamas after 9th July 1973 neither of whose parents is a citizen of The Bahamas shall be entitled, upon making application on his attaining the age of eighteen years or within twelve months thereafter in such manner as may be prescribed, to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas:
Provided that if he is a citizen of some country other than The Bahamas he shall not be entitled to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas under this Article unless he renounces his citizenship of that other country, takes the oath of allegiance and makes and registers such declaration of his intentions concerning residence as may be prescribed.
2. Any application for registration under this Article shall be subject to such exceptions or qualifications as may be prescribed in the interests of national security or public policy. (Art. 7)

Citizenship and Nationality

A persons born outside The Bahamas after 9th July 1973 shall become a citizen of The Bahamas at the date of his birth if at that date his father is a citizen of The Bahamas otherwise than by virtue of this Article or Article 3(2) of this Constitution. (Art. 8)

Citizenship and Nationality

1. Notwithstanding anything contained in Article 8 of this Constitution, a person born legitimately outside The Bahamas after 9th July 1973 whose mother is a citizen of The Bahamas shall be entitled, upon making application on his attaining the age of eighteen years and before he attains the age of twenty-one years, in such manner as may be prescribed, to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas:
Provided that if he is a citizen of some country other than The Bahamas he shall not be entitled to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas under this Article unless he renounces his citizenship of that other country, takes the oath of allegiance and makes and registers such declaration of his intentions concerning residence as may be prescribed.
2. Where a person cannot renounce his citizenship of some other country under the law of that country, he may instead make such declaration concerning that citizenship as may be prescribed.
3. Any application for registration under this Article shall be subject to such exceptions or qualifications as may be prescribed in the interests of national security or public policy. (Art. 9)

Citizenship and Nationality

Any woman who, after 9th July 1973, marries a person who is or becomes a citizen of The Bahamas shall be entitled, provided she is still so married, upon making application in such manner as may be prescribed and upon taking the oath of allegiance of such declaration as may be prescribed, to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas:
Provided that the right to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas under this Article shall be subject to such exceptions or qualifications as may be prescribed in the interests of national security of public policy. (Art. 10)

Citizenship and Nationality

1. If the Governor-General is satisfied that any citizen of The Bahamas has at any time after 9th July 1973 acquired by registration, naturalization or other voluntary and formal act (other than marriage) the citizenship of any other country any rights available to him under the law of that country, being rights accorded exclusively to its citizens, the Governor-General may by order deprive that person of his citizenship.
2. If the Governor-General is satisfied that any citizen of The Bahamas has at any time after 9th July 1973 voluntarily claimed and exercised in any other country any rights available to him under the law of that country, being rights accorded exclusively to its citizens, the Governor-General may by order deprive that person of his citizenship. (Art. 11)

Citizenship and Nationality

Parliament may make provision-
a. for the acquisition of citizenship of The Bahamas by persons who do not become citizens of The Bahamas by virtue of the provisions of this Chapter;
b. for depriving of his citizenship of The Bahamas any person who is a citizen of The Bahamas otherwise than by virtue of paragraphs (1) or (2) of Articles 6 or 8 of this Constitution; or
c. for the certification of citizenship of The Bahamas for persons who have acquired that citizenship and who desire such certification. (Art. 13)

Citizenship and Nationality

1. Any reference in this Chapter to the father of a person shall, in relation to any person born out of wedlock other than a person legitimated before 10th July 1973, be construed as a reference to the mother of that person.
… (Art. 14)

Employment Rights and Protection

1. Subject to the provision of paragraph (4), (5) and (9) of this Article no law shall make any provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

3. In this Article, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different person attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, place of origin political opinions colour or creed whereby person of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which person of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
4. Paragraph (1) of this Article shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision-

b. with respect to the entry into or exclusion from, or the employment, engaging in any business or profession, movement of residence within, The Bahamas of persons who are not citizens of The Bahamas;
… (Art. 26)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

Whereas every person in The Bahamas is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
a. life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
… (Art. 15)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

1. Subject to the provision of paragraph (4), (5) and (9) of this Article no law shall make any provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.
2. Subject to the provisions of paragraphs (6), (9) and (10) of this Article, no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any written law or in the performance of the function of any public office or any public authority.
3. In this Article, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different person attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, place of origin political opinions colour or creed whereby person of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which person of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
4. Paragraph (1) of this Article shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision-

b. with respect to the entry into or exclusion from, or the employment, engaging in any business or profession, movement of residence within, The Bahamas of persons who are not citizens of The Bahamas; or
c. with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law; or
d. whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in paragraph (3) for this Article may be subjected to any disability or restriction or may be accorded any privilege or advantage which having regard to its nature and to special circumstances pertaining to those persons or to persons of any other such description, is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society;

5. Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent whit or in contravention of paragraph (1) of this Article to the extent that it makes provision with respect to standards or qualifications (not being a standard or qualification specifically relating to race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed) in order to be eligible for service as a public officer or as a member of a disciplined force of for the service of a local government authority or a body corporate established by law for public purposes.
6. Paragraph (2) of this Article shall not apply to anything which is expressly of by necessary implication authorized to be done by any such provision of law as is referred to in paragraphs (4) or (5) of this Article.
7. Subject to the provisions of subparagraph (4)(e) and of paragraph (9) of this Article no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner in respect of access to any of the following places to which the general public have access, namely, shops, hotels, restaurants, eating-houses, licensed premises, places of entertainment or places of resort.
8. Subject to the provisions of this Article no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner-
a.in respect of any conveyance or lease or agreement for, or in consideration of , or collateral to, a conveyance or lease of any freehold or leasehold hereditament which have been offered for sale or lease to the general public;
b.in respect of any covenant or provision in any conveyance or lease or agreement for , or in consideration of, or collateral to, a conveyance or lease restricting by discriminatory provision the transfer, ownership, use or occupation of any freehold or leasehold hereditament which have been offered for sale or lease to the general public.
9. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this Article to the extent that the law in question makes provision whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in paragraph (3) of this Article may be subjected to any restriction on the rights and freedoms guaranteed by Articles 21,22,23,24 and 25 of this Constitution, being such a restriction as is authorized by Article 21(2)(a), 22(5), 23(2), 24(2) or 25(2)(a) or (e), as the case may be.
10. Nothing in paragraph (2) of this Article shall affect any discretion relating to the institution, conduct or discontinuance of civil or criminal proceedings in any court that is vested in any person by or under this Constitution or any other law. (Art. 26)

Obligations of the State

… Now Know Ye Therefore:
We the Inheritors of and Successors to this Family of Islands, recognizing the Supremacy of God and believing in the Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the Individual, Do Hereby Proclaim in Solemn Praise the Establishment of a Free and Democratic Sovereign Nation founded on Spiritual Values and in which no Man, Woman or Child shall ever be Slave or Bondsman to anyone or their Labour exploited or their Lives frustrated by deprivation, and do Hereby Provide by these Articles for the indivisible Unity and Creation under God of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. (Preamble)

Obligations of the State

Whereas every person in The Bahamas is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
a. life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
b. freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association; and
c. protection for the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without compensation,
the subsequent provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to the aforesaid rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest. (Art. 15)

Obligations of Private Parties

Whereas every person in The Bahamas is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
a. life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
b. freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association; and
c. protection for the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without compensation,
the subsequent provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to the aforesaid rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest. (Art. 15)

Judicial Protection

1. If any person alleges that any of the provisions of Articles 16 to 27 (inclusive) of this Constitution has been, is being of is likely to be contravened in relation to him then, without prejudice to any other action with respect to the same matter which is lawfully available, that person may apply to the Supreme Court for redress.
2. The Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction-
a.to hear and determine any application made by any person in pursuance of paragraph (1) of this Article; and
b. to determine any question arising in the case of any parson which is referred to it in pursuance of paragraph (3) of this Article, and may make such orders, issue such writs and give such directions as it may consider appropriate for the purpose of enforcing or securing the enforcement of any of the provisions of the said Articles 16 to 27 (inclusive) to the protection of which the person concerned is entitled:
Provided that the Supreme Court shall not exercise its power under this paragraph if it is satisfied that adequate means of redress are or have been available to the person concerned under any other law.
3. If, in any proceedings in any court established for The Bahamas other than the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal, any question arises as to the contravention of any of the provisions of the said Articles 16 to 27 (inclusive), the court in which the question has arisen shall refer the question to the Supreme Court.
4. No law shall make provision with respect to rights of appeal from any determination of the Supreme Court in pursuance of this Article that is less favorable to any party thereto than the rights of appeal from determinations of the Supreme Court that are accorded generally to parties to civil proceedings in that Court sitting as a court or original jurisdiction.
5. Parliament may make laws to confer upon the Supreme Court such additional or supplementary powers as may appear to be necessary or desirable for enabling the Court more effectively to exercise the jurisdiction conferred upon it by paragraph (2) of this Article and may make provision with respect to the practice and procedure of the Court while exercising that jurisdiction. (Art. 28)

Judicial Protection

1. An appeal to the Court of appeal shall lie as of right from final decisions of the Supreme Court given in exercise of the jurisdiction conferred on the Supreme Court by Article 28 of this Constitution (which relates to the enforcement of fundamental rights and freedoms).
2. An appeal shall lie as of right to the Judicial Committee of Her Majesty's Privy Council or to such other court as may be prescribed by Parliament under Article 105(3) of this Constitution form any decisions given by the Court of Appeal in any such case. (Art. 104)

Limitations and/or Derogations

Whereas every person in The Bahamas is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
a. life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
b. freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association; and
c. protection for the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without compensation,
the subsequent provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to the aforesaid rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest. (Art. 15)

Limitations and/or Derogations

1. This Article applies to any period when-
a. The Bahamas is at war; or
b. there is in force a proclamation (in this section referred to as a "proclamation of emergency") made by the Governor-General and published in the Gazette declaring that a state of public emergency exists for the purposes of this section.
2. Nothing contained in or done under that authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of Article 19, any provision of Article 20 other than paragraph (4) thereof, or any provision of Article 21 to 26 (inclusive) of this Constitution to the extent that the law in Question makes in relation to any period to which this Article applies provision, or authorizes the doing during any such period of anything, which is reasonably justifiable in the circumstances of any situation or existing during that period for the purpose of dealing with that situation.
… (Art. 29)

Marriage and Family Life

1. Subject to the provision of paragraph (4), (5) and (9) of this Article no law shall make any provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

3. In this Article, the expression "discriminatory" means affording different treatment to different person attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, place of origin political opinions colour or creed whereby person of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which person of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.

4. Paragraph (1) of this Article shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision-

c. with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law;
… (Art. 26)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

1. Subject to the provision of paragraph (4), (5) and (9) of this Article no law shall make any provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

3. In this Article, the expression "discriminatory" means affording different treatment to different person attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, place of origin political opinions colour or creed whereby person of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which person of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.

5. Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of paragraph (1) of this Article to the extent that it makes provision with respect to standards or qualifications (not being a standard or qualification specifically relating to race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed) in order to be eligible for service as a public officer or as a member of a disciplined force of for the service of a local government authority or a body corporate established by law for public purposes.
… (Art. 26)

Political Rights and Association

Whereas every person in The Bahamas is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-

b. freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association;
… (Art. 15)

Political Rights and Association

1. Except with his consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of peaceful assembly and association, that is to say, his right to assemble freely and associate with other persons and in particular to form or belong to political parties, or to form or belong to trade unions or other association for the protection of his interests.
... (Art. 24)

Electoral Bodies

1. There shall be a Parliamentary Commissioner for The Bahamas whose office shall be a public office.

4. The Parliamentary Commissioner shall have general responsibility for, and shall supervise, the registration of electors for the election of members of the House of Assembly and the conduct of elections of such members and shall have such powers and other functions relating to such registration and such elections as may be prescribed. (Art. 70A)

Head of State

There shall be a Governor-General of The Bahamas who shall be appointed by Her Majesty and shall hold office during Her Majesty's pleasure and who shall be Her Majesty's representative in The Bahamas. (Art. 32)

Government

1. There shall be a Cabinet for The Bahamas which shall have the general direction and control of the government of The Bahamas and shall be collectively responsible thereof to Parliament.
2. The Cabinet shall consist of the Prime Minister and not less than eight other Ministers (of whom one shall be the Attorney-General), as may be appointed in accordance with the provisions of Article 73 of this Constitution. (Art. 72)

Government

1. Whenever there shall be occasion for the appointment of a Prime Minister, the Governor-General shall appoint as Prime Minister-
a. the member of the House of Assembly who is the leader of the party which commands the support of the majority of the members of that House, or
b. if it appears to him that party does not have an undisputed leader in that House or that no party commands the support of such a majority, the member of the House of Assembly who, in his judgment, is most likely to command the support of the majority of members of that House, and who is willing to accept the office of Prime Minister.
2. Subject to the provisions of paragraph (3) of this Article, the Ministers other than the Prime Minister shall be such persons as the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, shall appoint from among the Senators and the members of the House of Assembly.
… (Art. 73)

Legislature

There shall be a Parliament of The Bahamas which shall consist of Her majesty, a Senate and a House of Assembly. (Art. 38)

Legislature

1. The Senate shall consist of sixteen members (in this Constitution referred to as "Senators") who shall be appointed by the Governor-General by instrument under the Public Seal in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
2. Nine Senators shall be appointed by the Governor-General acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.
3. Four Senators shall be appointed by the Governor-General acting in accordance with the advice of the Leader of the Opposition.
4. Three Senators shall be appointed by the Governor-General acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition.
… (Art. 39)

Legislature

Subject to the provisions of Article 42 of this Constitution, a person shall be qualified to be appointed as a Senator if, and shall not be qualified to be so appointed unless, he is a citizen of The Bahamas, of the age of thirty years or upwards and has ordinarily resided in The Bahamas for a period of nor less than one year immediately before the date of his appointment. (Art. 41)

Legislature

2. The members of the House shall be known as "Members of Parliament" and shall be persons who, being qualified for election as Members of Parliament in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution, have been so elected in the manner provided by any law in force in The Bahamas. (Art. 46)

Legislature

Subject to the provisions of Article 48 of this Constitution a person shall be qualified to be elected as a member of the House of Assembly if, and shall not be qualified to be so elected unless, he-
a. is a citizen of The Bahamas of the age of twenty-one years or upwards; and
b. has ordinarily resided in The Bahamas for a period of not less than one year immediately before the date of his nomination for election. (Art. 47)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

Whereas every person in The Bahamas is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-

c. protection for the privacy of his home and other property … (Art. 15)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

1. Subject to the provision of paragraph (4), (5) and (9) of this Article no law shall make any provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

3. In this Article, the expression "discriminatory" means affording different treatment to different person attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, place of origin political opinions colour or creed whereby person of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which person of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
4. Paragraph (1) of this Article shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision-

c. with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law;
… (Art. 26)

Protection from Violence

… Now Know Ye Therefore:
We the Inheritors of and Successors to this Family of Islands, recognizing the Supremacy of God and believing in the Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the Individual, Do Hereby Proclaim in Solemn Praise the Establishment of a Free and Democratic Sovereign Nation founded on Spiritual Values and in which no Man, Woman or Child shall ever be Slave or Bondsman to anyone or their Labour exploited or their Lives frustrated by deprivation, and do Hereby Provide by these Articles for the indivisible Unity and Creation under God of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. (Preamble)

Protection from Violence

Whereas every person in The Bahamas is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
a. life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
… (Art. 15)

Protection from Violence

1. No person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
… (Art. 17)

Protection from Violence

1. No person shall be held in slavery or servitude.
2. No person shall be required to perform forced labour.
… (Art. 18)

Public Institutions and Services

1. Subject to the provisions of Articles 123 and 124 of this Constitution, the law applicable to the grant and payment to any officer, or to his widow, children, dependents or personal representatives, of any pensions, compensation, gratuity or other like allowance (in this an "award") in respect of the service of that officer in a public office shall be that in force on the relevant date or any later law tat is not less favorable to that person.
… (Art. 122)

Public Institutions and Services

1. The power to grant any award under any pensions law for the time being in force in The Bahamas (other than an award to which, under that law, the person to whom it is payable is entitled as of right) and, in accordance with any provisions in that behalf contained in any such law, to withhold, reduce in amount or suspend any award payable under any such law is hereby vested in the Governor-General.

5. In this Article "pension law" means nay law relating to the grant to any person or to the widow, children, dependents or personal representatives of that person, of an award of any pension, compensation, gratuity or other like allowance in respect of the service of that person in a public office an includes any instrument make under any such law. (Art. 123)

Status of the Constitution

This Constitution is the supreme law of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, if any other law is inconsistent with this Constitution, this Constitution, shall prevail and the other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void. (Art. 2)

Status of International Law

3. The Attorney-General may, in the case of any offence to which this paragraph applies, give general or special directions to the Director of Public Prosecutions as to the exercise of the powers conferred upon the Director of Public Prosecutions by Article 92A and the Director of Public Prosecutions shall act in accordance with those directions.
4. Paragraph (3) applies to-

b. any offence under an enactment relating to any right or obligation of The Bahamas under international law.
… (Art. 78)

Religious Law

… And Whereas the People of this Family of Islands recognizing that the preservation of their Freedom will be guaranteed by a national commitment to Self-discipline, Industry, Loyalty, Unity and an abiding respect for Christian values and the Rule of Law; … (Preamble)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

1. Every person who, having been born in the former Colony of the Bahamas Islands, is on 9th July 1973 a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies shall become a citizen of the Bahamas on 10th July 1973. 2. Every person who, having been born outside the former Colony of the Bahamas Islands, is on 9th July 1973 a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies shall, if his father becomes or would but for his death have become a citizen of The Bahamas in accordance with the provisions of the preceding paragraph, become a citizen of The Bahamas on 10th July 1973.
2. Every person who, having been born outside the former Colony of the Bahamas Islands, is on 9th July 1973 a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies shall, if his father becomes or would but for his death have become a citizen of The Bahamas in accordance with the provisions of the preceding paragraph, become a citizen of The Bahamas on 10th July 1973.
… (Art. 3)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

1. Every person who on 9th July 1973 is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies-
(a) having become such a citizen under the British Nationality Act 1948 by virtue of his having been naturalized in the former Colony of the Bahamas Islands before that Act came into force, or
(b) having become such a citizen by virtue of his having been naturalized in the former Colony of the Bahamas Islands under that Act, shall become a citizen of The Bahamas on 9th July 1974, unless prior to that date, he has in such manner as may be prescribed declared that he does not desire to become a citizen of The Bahamas:
Provided that this section shall not apply to a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies who on 9th July 1973 possesses the citizenship or nationality of some other country. (Art. 4)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

1. Any woman who, on 9th July 1973, is or has been married to a person-
a. who becomes a citizen of The Bahamas by virtue of Article 3 of this Constitution; or
b. who, having died before 10th July 1973, would, but for his death, have become a citizen of The Bahamas by virtue of that Article, shall be entitled, upon making application and upon taking the oath of allegiance or such declaration in such manner as may be prescribed, to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas:
Provided that the right to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas under this paragraph shall be subject to such exceptions or qualifications as may be prescribed in the interests of national security or public policy.
2. Any person who, on 9th July 1973, possesses Bahamian Status under the provisions of the Immigration Act 1967(a) and is ordinarily resident in the Bahamas Islands, shall be entitled, upon making application before 19th July 1974, to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas.
3. Notwithstanding anything contained in paragraph (2) of this Article, a person who has attained the age of eighteen years or who is a woman who is or has been married shall not, if he is a citizen of some country other than The Bahamas, be entitled to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas under the provisions of that paragraph unless he renounces his citizenship of that other country, takes the oath of allegiance and makes and registers such declarations may be prescribed:
Provided that where a person cannot renounce his citizenship of the other country under the law of that country he may instead make such declaration concerning that citizenship as may be prescribed.
4. Any application for registration under paragraph (2) of this Article shall be subject to such exceptions or qualifications as may be prescribed in the interest of national security or public policy.
5. Any woman who on 9th July 1973 is or has been married to a person who subsequently becomes a citizen of The Bahamas by registration under paragraph (2) of this Article shall be entitled, upon making application and upon taking the oath of allegiance or such declaration as may be prescribed, to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas:
Provided that the right to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas under this paragraph shall be subject to such exceptions or qualifications as may be prescribed in the interests of national security or public policy.
6. Any application for registration under this Article shall be made in such manner as may be prescribed as respects that application:
Provided that such an application may not be made by a person who has not attained the age of eighteen year and is not a woman who is or has been married, but shall be made on behalf of that person by a parent or guardian of that person. (Art. 5)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

Every person born in The Bahamas after 9th July 1973 shall become a citizen of The Bahamas at the date of his birth if at that date either of his parents is a citizen of The Bahamas. (Art. 6)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

1. A person born in The Bahamas after 9th July 1973 neither of whose parents is a citizen of The Bahamas shall be entitled, upon making application on his attaining the age of eighteen years or within twelve months thereafter in such manner as may be prescribed, to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas:
Provided that if he is a citizen of some country other than The Bahamas he shall not be entitled to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas under this Article unless he renounces his citizenship of that other country, takes the oath of allegiance and makes and registers such declaration of his intentions concerning residence as may be prescribed.
2. Any application for registration under this Article shall be subject to such exceptions or qualifications as may be prescribed in the interests of national security or public policy. (Art. 7)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

A persons born outside The Bahamas after 9th July 1973 shall become a citizen of The Bahamas at the date of his birth if at that date his father is a citizen of The Bahamas otherwise than by virtue of this Article or Article 3(2) of this Constitution. (Art. 8)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

1. Notwithstanding anything contained in Article 8 of this Constitution, a person born legitimately outside The Bahamas after 9th July 1973 whose mother is a citizen of The Bahamas shall be entitled, upon making application on his attaining the age of eighteen years and before he attains the age of twenty-one years, in such manner as may be prescribed, to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas:
Provided that if he is a citizen of some country other than The Bahamas he shall not be entitled to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas under this Article unless he renounces his citizenship of that other country, takes the oath of allegiance and makes and registers such declaration of his intentions concerning residence as may be prescribed.
2. Where a person cannot renounce his citizenship of some other country under the law of that country, he may instead make such declaration concerning that citizenship as may be prescribed.
3. Any application for registration under this Article shall be subject to such exceptions or qualifications as may be prescribed in the interests of national security or public policy. (Art. 9)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

Any woman who, after 9th July 1973, marries a person who is or becomes a citizen of The Bahamas shall be entitled, provided she is still so married, upon making application in such manner as may be prescribed and upon taking the oath of allegiance of such declaration as may be prescribed, to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas:
Provided that the right to be registered as a citizen of The Bahamas under this Article shall be subject to such exceptions or qualifications as may be prescribed in the interests of national security of public policy. (Art. 10)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

1. If the Governor-General is satisfied that any citizen of The Bahamas has at any time after 9th July 1973 acquired by registration, naturalization or other voluntary and formal act (other than marriage) the citizenship of any other country any rights available to him under the law of that country, being rights accorded exclusively to its citizens, the Governor-General may by order deprive that person of his citizenship.
2. If the Governor-General is satisfied that any citizen of The Bahamas has at any time after 9th July 1973 voluntarily claimed and exercised in any other country any rights available to him under the law of that country, being rights accorded exclusively to its citizens, the Governor-General may by order deprive that person of his citizenship. (Art. 11)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

Parliament may make provision-
a. for the acquisition of citizenship of The Bahamas by persons who do not become citizens of The Bahamas by virtue of the provisions of this Chapter;
b. for depriving of his citizenship of The Bahamas any person who is a citizen of The Bahamas otherwise than by virtue of paragraphs (1) or (2) of Articles 6 or 8 of this Constitution; or
c. for the certification of citizenship of The Bahamas for persons who have acquired that citizenship and who desire such certification. (Art. 13)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

1. Any reference in this Chapter to the father of a person shall, in relation to any person born out of wedlock other than a person legitimated before 10th July 1973, be construed as a reference to the mother of that person.
… (Art. 14)

Employment Rights and Protection

English

1. Subject to the provision of paragraph (4), (5) and (9) of this Article no law shall make any provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

3. In this Article, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different person attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, place of origin political opinions colour or creed whereby person of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which person of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
4. Paragraph (1) of this Article shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision-

b. with respect to the entry into or exclusion from, or the employment, engaging in any business or profession, movement of residence within, The Bahamas of persons who are not citizens of The Bahamas;
… (Art. 26)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

Whereas every person in The Bahamas is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
a. life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
… (Art. 15)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

1. Subject to the provision of paragraph (4), (5) and (9) of this Article no law shall make any provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.
2. Subject to the provisions of paragraphs (6), (9) and (10) of this Article, no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any written law or in the performance of the function of any public office or any public authority.
3. In this Article, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different person attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, place of origin political opinions colour or creed whereby person of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which person of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
4. Paragraph (1) of this Article shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision-

b. with respect to the entry into or exclusion from, or the employment, engaging in any business or profession, movement of residence within, The Bahamas of persons who are not citizens of The Bahamas; or
c. with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law; or
d. whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in paragraph (3) for this Article may be subjected to any disability or restriction or may be accorded any privilege or advantage which having regard to its nature and to special circumstances pertaining to those persons or to persons of any other such description, is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society;

5. Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent whit or in contravention of paragraph (1) of this Article to the extent that it makes provision with respect to standards or qualifications (not being a standard or qualification specifically relating to race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed) in order to be eligible for service as a public officer or as a member of a disciplined force of for the service of a local government authority or a body corporate established by law for public purposes.
6. Paragraph (2) of this Article shall not apply to anything which is expressly of by necessary implication authorized to be done by any such provision of law as is referred to in paragraphs (4) or (5) of this Article.
7. Subject to the provisions of subparagraph (4)(e) and of paragraph (9) of this Article no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner in respect of access to any of the following places to which the general public have access, namely, shops, hotels, restaurants, eating-houses, licensed premises, places of entertainment or places of resort.
8. Subject to the provisions of this Article no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner-
a.in respect of any conveyance or lease or agreement for, or in consideration of , or collateral to, a conveyance or lease of any freehold or leasehold hereditament which have been offered for sale or lease to the general public;
b.in respect of any covenant or provision in any conveyance or lease or agreement for , or in consideration of, or collateral to, a conveyance or lease restricting by discriminatory provision the transfer, ownership, use or occupation of any freehold or leasehold hereditament which have been offered for sale or lease to the general public.
9. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this Article to the extent that the law in question makes provision whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in paragraph (3) of this Article may be subjected to any restriction on the rights and freedoms guaranteed by Articles 21,22,23,24 and 25 of this Constitution, being such a restriction as is authorized by Article 21(2)(a), 22(5), 23(2), 24(2) or 25(2)(a) or (e), as the case may be.
10. Nothing in paragraph (2) of this Article shall affect any discretion relating to the institution, conduct or discontinuance of civil or criminal proceedings in any court that is vested in any person by or under this Constitution or any other law. (Art. 26)

Obligations of the State

English

… Now Know Ye Therefore:
We the Inheritors of and Successors to this Family of Islands, recognizing the Supremacy of God and believing in the Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the Individual, Do Hereby Proclaim in Solemn Praise the Establishment of a Free and Democratic Sovereign Nation founded on Spiritual Values and in which no Man, Woman or Child shall ever be Slave or Bondsman to anyone or their Labour exploited or their Lives frustrated by deprivation, and do Hereby Provide by these Articles for the indivisible Unity and Creation under God of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. (Preamble)

Obligations of the State

English

Whereas every person in The Bahamas is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
a. life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
b. freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association; and
c. protection for the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without compensation,
the subsequent provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to the aforesaid rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest. (Art. 15)

Obligations of Private Parties

English

Whereas every person in The Bahamas is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
a. life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
b. freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association; and
c. protection for the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without compensation,
the subsequent provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to the aforesaid rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest. (Art. 15)

Judicial Protection

English

1. If any person alleges that any of the provisions of Articles 16 to 27 (inclusive) of this Constitution has been, is being of is likely to be contravened in relation to him then, without prejudice to any other action with respect to the same matter which is lawfully available, that person may apply to the Supreme Court for redress.
2. The Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction-
a.to hear and determine any application made by any person in pursuance of paragraph (1) of this Article; and
b. to determine any question arising in the case of any parson which is referred to it in pursuance of paragraph (3) of this Article, and may make such orders, issue such writs and give such directions as it may consider appropriate for the purpose of enforcing or securing the enforcement of any of the provisions of the said Articles 16 to 27 (inclusive) to the protection of which the person concerned is entitled:
Provided that the Supreme Court shall not exercise its power under this paragraph if it is satisfied that adequate means of redress are or have been available to the person concerned under any other law.
3. If, in any proceedings in any court established for The Bahamas other than the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal, any question arises as to the contravention of any of the provisions of the said Articles 16 to 27 (inclusive), the court in which the question has arisen shall refer the question to the Supreme Court.
4. No law shall make provision with respect to rights of appeal from any determination of the Supreme Court in pursuance of this Article that is less favorable to any party thereto than the rights of appeal from determinations of the Supreme Court that are accorded generally to parties to civil proceedings in that Court sitting as a court or original jurisdiction.
5. Parliament may make laws to confer upon the Supreme Court such additional or supplementary powers as may appear to be necessary or desirable for enabling the Court more effectively to exercise the jurisdiction conferred upon it by paragraph (2) of this Article and may make provision with respect to the practice and procedure of the Court while exercising that jurisdiction. (Art. 28)

Judicial Protection

English

1. An appeal to the Court of appeal shall lie as of right from final decisions of the Supreme Court given in exercise of the jurisdiction conferred on the Supreme Court by Article 28 of this Constitution (which relates to the enforcement of fundamental rights and freedoms).
2. An appeal shall lie as of right to the Judicial Committee of Her Majesty's Privy Council or to such other court as may be prescribed by Parliament under Article 105(3) of this Constitution form any decisions given by the Court of Appeal in any such case. (Art. 104)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

Whereas every person in The Bahamas is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
a. life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
b. freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association; and
c. protection for the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without compensation,
the subsequent provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to the aforesaid rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest. (Art. 15)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

1. This Article applies to any period when-
a. The Bahamas is at war; or
b. there is in force a proclamation (in this section referred to as a "proclamation of emergency") made by the Governor-General and published in the Gazette declaring that a state of public emergency exists for the purposes of this section.
2. Nothing contained in or done under that authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of Article 19, any provision of Article 20 other than paragraph (4) thereof, or any provision of Article 21 to 26 (inclusive) of this Constitution to the extent that the law in Question makes in relation to any period to which this Article applies provision, or authorizes the doing during any such period of anything, which is reasonably justifiable in the circumstances of any situation or existing during that period for the purpose of dealing with that situation.
… (Art. 29)

Marriage and Family Life

English

1. Subject to the provision of paragraph (4), (5) and (9) of this Article no law shall make any provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

3. In this Article, the expression "discriminatory" means affording different treatment to different person attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, place of origin political opinions colour or creed whereby person of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which person of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.

4. Paragraph (1) of this Article shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision-

c. with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law;
… (Art. 26)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

English

1. Subject to the provision of paragraph (4), (5) and (9) of this Article no law shall make any provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

3. In this Article, the expression "discriminatory" means affording different treatment to different person attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, place of origin political opinions colour or creed whereby person of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which person of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.

5. Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of paragraph (1) of this Article to the extent that it makes provision with respect to standards or qualifications (not being a standard or qualification specifically relating to race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed) in order to be eligible for service as a public officer or as a member of a disciplined force of for the service of a local government authority or a body corporate established by law for public purposes.
… (Art. 26)

Political Rights and Association

English

Whereas every person in The Bahamas is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-

b. freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association;
… (Art. 15)

Political Rights and Association

English

1. Except with his consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of peaceful assembly and association, that is to say, his right to assemble freely and associate with other persons and in particular to form or belong to political parties, or to form or belong to trade unions or other association for the protection of his interests.
... (Art. 24)

Electoral Bodies

English

1. There shall be a Parliamentary Commissioner for The Bahamas whose office shall be a public office.

4. The Parliamentary Commissioner shall have general responsibility for, and shall supervise, the registration of electors for the election of members of the House of Assembly and the conduct of elections of such members and shall have such powers and other functions relating to such registration and such elections as may be prescribed. (Art. 70A)

Head of State

English

There shall be a Governor-General of The Bahamas who shall be appointed by Her Majesty and shall hold office during Her Majesty's pleasure and who shall be Her Majesty's representative in The Bahamas. (Art. 32)

Government

English

1. There shall be a Cabinet for The Bahamas which shall have the general direction and control of the government of The Bahamas and shall be collectively responsible thereof to Parliament.
2. The Cabinet shall consist of the Prime Minister and not less than eight other Ministers (of whom one shall be the Attorney-General), as may be appointed in accordance with the provisions of Article 73 of this Constitution. (Art. 72)

Government

English

1. Whenever there shall be occasion for the appointment of a Prime Minister, the Governor-General shall appoint as Prime Minister-
a. the member of the House of Assembly who is the leader of the party which commands the support of the majority of the members of that House, or
b. if it appears to him that party does not have an undisputed leader in that House or that no party commands the support of such a majority, the member of the House of Assembly who, in his judgment, is most likely to command the support of the majority of members of that House, and who is willing to accept the office of Prime Minister.
2. Subject to the provisions of paragraph (3) of this Article, the Ministers other than the Prime Minister shall be such persons as the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, shall appoint from among the Senators and the members of the House of Assembly.
… (Art. 73)

Legislature

English

There shall be a Parliament of The Bahamas which shall consist of Her majesty, a Senate and a House of Assembly. (Art. 38)

Legislature

English

1. The Senate shall consist of sixteen members (in this Constitution referred to as "Senators") who shall be appointed by the Governor-General by instrument under the Public Seal in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
2. Nine Senators shall be appointed by the Governor-General acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.
3. Four Senators shall be appointed by the Governor-General acting in accordance with the advice of the Leader of the Opposition.
4. Three Senators shall be appointed by the Governor-General acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition.
… (Art. 39)

Legislature

English

Subject to the provisions of Article 42 of this Constitution, a person shall be qualified to be appointed as a Senator if, and shall not be qualified to be so appointed unless, he is a citizen of The Bahamas, of the age of thirty years or upwards and has ordinarily resided in The Bahamas for a period of nor less than one year immediately before the date of his appointment. (Art. 41)

Legislature

English

2. The members of the House shall be known as "Members of Parliament" and shall be persons who, being qualified for election as Members of Parliament in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution, have been so elected in the manner provided by any law in force in The Bahamas. (Art. 46)

Legislature

English

Subject to the provisions of Article 48 of this Constitution a person shall be qualified to be elected as a member of the House of Assembly if, and shall not be qualified to be so elected unless, he-
a. is a citizen of The Bahamas of the age of twenty-one years or upwards; and
b. has ordinarily resided in The Bahamas for a period of not less than one year immediately before the date of his nomination for election. (Art. 47)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

Whereas every person in The Bahamas is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-

c. protection for the privacy of his home and other property … (Art. 15)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

1. Subject to the provision of paragraph (4), (5) and (9) of this Article no law shall make any provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

3. In this Article, the expression "discriminatory" means affording different treatment to different person attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, place of origin political opinions colour or creed whereby person of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which person of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
4. Paragraph (1) of this Article shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision-

c. with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law;
… (Art. 26)

Protection from Violence

English

… Now Know Ye Therefore:
We the Inheritors of and Successors to this Family of Islands, recognizing the Supremacy of God and believing in the Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the Individual, Do Hereby Proclaim in Solemn Praise the Establishment of a Free and Democratic Sovereign Nation founded on Spiritual Values and in which no Man, Woman or Child shall ever be Slave or Bondsman to anyone or their Labour exploited or their Lives frustrated by deprivation, and do Hereby Provide by these Articles for the indivisible Unity and Creation under God of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. (Preamble)

Protection from Violence

English

Whereas every person in The Bahamas is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
a. life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
… (Art. 15)

Protection from Violence

English

1. No person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
… (Art. 17)

Protection from Violence

English

1. No person shall be held in slavery or servitude.
2. No person shall be required to perform forced labour.
… (Art. 18)

Public Institutions and Services

English

1. Subject to the provisions of Articles 123 and 124 of this Constitution, the law applicable to the grant and payment to any officer, or to his widow, children, dependents or personal representatives, of any pensions, compensation, gratuity or other like allowance (in this an "award") in respect of the service of that officer in a public office shall be that in force on the relevant date or any later law tat is not less favorable to that person.
… (Art. 122)

Public Institutions and Services

English

1. The power to grant any award under any pensions law for the time being in force in The Bahamas (other than an award to which, under that law, the person to whom it is payable is entitled as of right) and, in accordance with any provisions in that behalf contained in any such law, to withhold, reduce in amount or suspend any award payable under any such law is hereby vested in the Governor-General.

5. In this Article "pension law" means nay law relating to the grant to any person or to the widow, children, dependents or personal representatives of that person, of an award of any pension, compensation, gratuity or other like allowance in respect of the service of that person in a public office an includes any instrument make under any such law. (Art. 123)

Status of the Constitution

English

This Constitution is the supreme law of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, if any other law is inconsistent with this Constitution, this Constitution, shall prevail and the other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void. (Art. 2)

Status of International Law

English

3. The Attorney-General may, in the case of any offence to which this paragraph applies, give general or special directions to the Director of Public Prosecutions as to the exercise of the powers conferred upon the Director of Public Prosecutions by Article 92A and the Director of Public Prosecutions shall act in accordance with those directions.
4. Paragraph (3) applies to-

b. any offence under an enactment relating to any right or obligation of The Bahamas under international law.
… (Art. 78)

Religious Law

English

… And Whereas the People of this Family of Islands recognizing that the preservation of their Freedom will be guaranteed by a national commitment to Self-discipline, Industry, Loyalty, Unity and an abiding respect for Christian values and the Rule of Law; … (Preamble)

1

Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas 1973, as amended to 2002 (English). The proposed Bahamas Constitutional (Amendment) Bill 2014 (English) is expected to provide for gender equality with respect to provisions addressing citizenship and nationality.
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