Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2008


Citizenship and Nationality

1. A person, both of whose parents are citizens of Bhutan, shall be a natural born citizen of Bhutan.
2. A person, domiciled in Bhutan on or before the Thirty-First of December Nineteen Hundred and Fifty Eight and whose name is registered in the official record of the Government of Bhutan shall be a citizen of Bhutan by registration.
3. A person who applies for citizenship by naturalization shall:
a. Have lawfully resided in Bhutan for at least fifteen years;
b. Not have any record of imprisonment for criminal offences within the country or outside;
c. Be able to speak and write Dzongkha;
d. Have a good knowledge of the culture, customs, traditions and history of Bhutan;
e. Have no record of having spoken or acted against the Tsawa-sum;
f. Renounce the citizenship, if any, of a foreign State on being conferred Bhutanese citizenship; and
g. Take a solemn Oath of Allegiance to the Constitution as may be prescribed.
4. The grant of citizenship by naturalization shall take effect by a Royal Kasho of the Druk Gyalpo.
5. If any citizen of Bhutan acquires the citizenship of a foreign State, his or her citizenship of Bhutan shall be terminated.
6. Subject to the provisions of this Article and the Citizenship Acts, Parliament shall, by law, regulate all other matters relating to citizenship. (Art. 6)

Jurisdiction and Access

11. The Supreme Court shall be the guardian of this Constitution and the final authority on its interpretation.
… (Art. 1)

Jurisdiction and Access

9. The Supreme Court may, on its own motion or on an application made by the Attorney General or by a party to a case, withdraw any case pending before the High Court involving a substantial question of law of general importance relating to the interpretation of this Constitution and dispose off [sic] the case itself.

18. Every person has the right to approach the courts in matters arising out of the Constitution or other laws subject to section 23 of Article 7. (Art. 21)

Education

15. The State shall endeavour to provide education for the purpose of improving and increasing knowledge, values and skills of the entire population with education being directed towards the full development of the human personality.
16. The State shall provide free education to all children of school going age up to tenth standard and ensure that technical and professional education is made generally available and that higher education is equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
… (Art. 9)

Employment Rights and Protection

10. A Bhutanese citizen shall have the right to practice any lawful trade, profession or vocation.
11. A Bhutanese citizen shall have the right to equal pay for work of equal value.
… (Art. 7)

Employment Rights and Protection

11. The State shall endeavour to promote those circumstances that would enable the citizens to secure an adequate livelihood.
12. The State shall endeavour to ensure the right to work, vocational guidance and training and just and favourable conditions of work.
13. The State shall endeavour to ensure the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
14. The State shall endeavour to ensure the right to fair and reasonable remuneration for one’s work.
… (Art. 9)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

15. All persons are equal before the law and are entitled to equal and effective protection of the law and shall not be discriminated against on the grounds of race, sex, language, religion, politics or other status.
… (Art. 7)

Obligations of the State

3. The State shall endeavour to create a civil society free of oppression, discrimination and violence, based on the rule of law, protection of human rights and dignity, and to ensure the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people.
… (Art. 9)

Judicial Protection

23. All persons in Bhutan shall have the right to initiate appropriate proceedings in the Supreme Court or High Court for the enforcement of the rights conferred by this Article, subject to section 22 of this Article and procedures prescribed by law. (Art. 7)

Limitations and/or Derogations

22. Notwithstanding the rights conferred by this Constitution, nothing in this Article [Fundamental Rights] shall prevent the State from subjecting reasonable restriction by law, when it concerns:
a. The interests of the sovereignty, security, unity and integrity of Bhutan;
b. The interests of peace, stability and well-being of the nation;
c. The interests of friendly relations with foreign States;
d. Incitement to an offence on the grounds of race, sex, language, religion or region;
e. The disclosure of information received in regard to the affairs of the State or in discharge of official duties; or
f. The rights and freedom of others.
… (Art. 7)

Limitations and/or Derogations

7. Where a Proclamation of Emergency is in operation, the enforcement of the rights conferred by this Constitution under sections 2, 3, 5, 12 and 19 of Article 7 may be suspended.
… (Art. 33)

Marriage and Family Life

19. A person shall not be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home or correspondence nor to unlawful attacks on the person’s honour and reputation.
… (Art. 7)

Marriage and Family Life

19. The State shall endeavour to promote those conditions that are conducive to co-operation in community life and the integrity of the extended family structure.
… (Art. 9)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

8. A Bhutanese citizen shall have the right to equal access and opportunity to join the Public Service.
… (Art. 7)

Political Rights and Association

6. A Bhutanese citizen shall have the right to vote.

12. A Bhutanese citizen shall have the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, other than membership of associations that are harmful to the peace and unity of the country, and shall have the right not to be compelled to belong to any association.
… (Art. 7)

Political Rights and Association

1. Under this Constitution, the general will of the people shall be the basis of government and it shall be expressed through periodic elections.
2. A person shall have the right to vote by direct adult suffrage through secret ballot at an election if the person is:
a. A Bhutanese citizen as evidenced by a Citizenship Card;
b. Not less than eighteen years of age;
c. Registered in the civil registry of that constituency for not less than one year, prior to the date of the election; and
d. Not otherwise disqualified from voting under any law in force in Bhutan.
… (Art. 23)

Political Parties

1. Political parties shall ensure that national interests prevail over all other interests and, for this purpose, shall provide choices based on the values and aspirations of the people for responsible and good governance.
2. Political parties shall promote national unity and progressive economic development and strive to ensure the well-being of the nation.
3. Candidates and political parties shall not resort to regionalism, ethnicity and religion to incite voters for electoral gain.
4. A political party shall be registered by the Election Commission on its satisfying the qualifications and requirements set out hereinafter, that:
(a) Its members shall be Bhutanese citizens and not otherwise disqualified under this Constitution;
(b) Its membership is not based on region, sex, language, religion or social origin;
(c) It is broad-based with cross-national membership and support and is committed to national cohesion and stability;
(d) It does not accept money or any assistance other than those contributions made by its registered members, and the amount or value shall be fixed by the Election Commission;
(e) It does not receive money or any assistance from foreign sources, be it governmental, non-governmental, private organizations or from private parties or individuals;
(f) Its members shall bear true faith and allegiance to this Constitution and uphold the sovereignty, territorial integrity, security and unity of the Kingdom;
(g) It is established for the advancement of democracy and for the social, economic and political growth of Bhutan; and
(h) It has not been dissolved earlier under the provisions of section 11 of this Article.
... (Art. 15)

Political Parties

1. Parliament shall, by law, establish a Public Election Fund into which shall be paid every year such amounts as the Election Commission may consider appropriate to fund registered political parties and their candidates during elections to the National Assembly and candidates to the National Council.
2. The payment out of the Public Election Fund shall be made by the Election Commission in a non-discriminatory manner to registered political parties and candidates in accordance with laws made by Parliament.
3. The Election Commission shall fix a ceiling for the total expenditure that may be incurred by political parties and their candidates taking part in elections to the National Assembly.
4. The Election Commission shall fix a ceiling for contribution offered voluntarily by any of its registered members to a political party subject to the provisions of the Election Fund Act.
5. The funding received by political parties and their candidates shall be subjected to scrutiny and auditing as called for by the Election Commission in accordance with laws made by Parliament or law in force. (Art. 16)

Electoral Bodies

1. There shall be an Election Commission which shall be responsible for the preparation, maintenance, and periodical updating of electoral rolls, the election schedule, and the supervision, direction, control, and conduct of elections to Parliament and Local Governments, as well as holding of National Referendums, in a free and fair manner.
… (Art. 24)

Head of State

1. His Majesty the Druk Gyalpo is the Head of State and the symbol of unity of the Kingdom and of the people of Bhutan.
2. The Chhoe-sid-nyi of Bhutan shall be unified in the person of the Druk Gyalpo who, as a Buddhist, shall be the upholder of the Chhoe-sid.
3.The title to the Golden Throne of Bhutan shall vest in the legitimate descendants of Druk Gyalpo Ugyen Wangchuck as enshrined in the inviolable and historic Gyenja of the Thirteenth Day, Eleventh Month of the Earth Monkey Year, corresponding to the Seventeenth Day of December, Nineteen Hundred and Seven and shall:
(a) Pass only to children born of lawful marriage;
(b) Pass by hereditary succession to the direct lineal descendants on the abdication or demise of the Druk Gyalpo, in order of seniority, with a prince taking precedence over a princess, subject to the requirement that, in the event of shortcomings in the elder prince, it shall be the sacred duty of the Druk Gyalpo to select and proclaim the most capable prince or princess as heir to the Throne;
(c) Pass to the child of the Queen who is pregnant at the time of the demise of the Druk Gyalpo if no heir exists under section 3(b);
(d) Pass to the nearest collateral line of the descendants of the Druk Gyalpo in accordance with the principle of lineal descent, with preference being given for elder over the younger, if the Druk Gyalpo has no direct lineal descendant;
(e) Not pass to children incapable of exercising the Royal Prerogatives by reason of physical or mental infirmity.
(f) Not pass to a person entitled to succeed to the Throne who enters into a marriage with a person other than a natural born citizen of Bhutan.

6. Upon reaching the age of sixty-five years, the Druk Gyalpo shall step down and hand over the Throne to the Crown Prince or Crown Princess, provided the Royal Heir has come of age.
… (Art. 2)

Government

1. The Druk Gyalpo shall confer Dakyen to the leader or nominee of the party, which wins the majority of seats in the National Assembly, as the Prime Minister.
2. No person shall hold office as Prime Minister for more than two terms.
3. The Druk Gyalpo shall appoint Ministers from among the members of the National Assembly, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, or shall remove a Minister on the advice of the Prime Minister.
4. A candidate for the post of Prime Minister or Minister shall be an elected member of the National Assembly and a natural born citizen of Bhutan.
... (Art. 17)

Government

1. The Government shall protect and strengthen the sovereignty of the Kingdom, provide good governance, and ensure peace, security, well-being and happiness of the people.
2. The Executive Power shall be vested in the Lhengye Zhungtshog which shall consist of the Ministers headed by the Prime Minister.
… (Art. 20)

Legislature

1. There shall be a Parliament for Bhutan in which all legislative powers under this Constitution are vested and which shall consist of the Druk Gyalpo, the National Council and the National Assembly.

3. The election of the members of Parliament shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Electoral Laws of the Kingdom.
… (Art. 10)

Legislature

1.The National Council shall consist of twenty-five members comprising:
(a) One member elected by the voters in each of the twenty Dzongkhags; and
(b) Five eminent persons nominated by the Druk Gyalpo.

3. A candidate to or a member of the National Council shall not belong to any political party.
… (Art. 11)

Legislature

1. The National Assembly shall have a maximum of fifty-five members, elected from each Dzongkhag in proportion to its population, provided that no Dzongkhag shall have less than two members or more than seven members, for which purpose Parliament shall, by law, provide for each Dzongkhag to be divided into constituencies through appropriate delimitation, and for the voters in each constituency directly electing one member to the National Assembly.
... (Art. 12)

Legislature

5. Election to the National Assembly shall be by two political parties established through a primary round of election in which all registered political parties may participate.
6. A primary round of election shall be held to select the two political parties for the general election on the expiry of the term of the National Assembly or in the event of dissolution under section 12 of this Article.
7. The two political parties obtaining the first and the second highest number of votes in the primary election shall be declared as the two political parties for the purpose of section 5 of this Article to contest in the general election.
... (Art. 15)

Legislature

3. A candidate for an elective office under this Constitution shall:
a. Be a Bhutanese citizen;
b. Be registered voter of that constituency;
c. Be a minimum of twenty-five years and maximum of sixty-five years of age at the time of filing the nomination;
d. Not receive money or any assistance from foreign sources, be it governmental, nongovernmental, private organizations or from private parties or individuals; and
e. Fulfil the necessary educational and other qualifications prescribed in the Electoral Laws.
4. A person shall be disqualified as a candidate or a member holding an elective office under this Constitution, if the person:
a. Is married to a person who is not a citizen of Bhutan;
… (Art. 23)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

9. A Bhutanese citizen shall have the right to own property, but shall not have the right to sell or transfer land or any immovable property to a person who is not a citizen of Bhutan, except in keeping with laws enacted by Parliament.
… (Art. 7)

Protection from Violence

1. All persons shall have the right to life, liberty and security of person and shall not be deprived of such rights except in accordance with the due process of law.

17. A person shall not be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
… (Art. 7)

Protection from Violence

5. A person shall not tolerate or participate in acts of injury, torture or killing of another person, terrorism, abuse of women, children or any other person and shall take necessary steps to prevent such acts.
… (Art. 8)

Protection from Violence

3. The State shall endeavour to create a civil society free of oppression, discrimination and violence, based on the rule of law, protection of human rights and dignity, and to ensure the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people.

17. The State shall endeavour to take appropriate measures to eliminate all forms of discrimination and exploitation against women including trafficking, prostitution, abuse, violence, harassment and intimidation at work in both public and private spheres.
18. The State shall endeavour to take appropriate measures to ensure that children are protected against all forms of discrimination and exploitation including trafficking, prostitution, abuse, violence, degrading treatment and economic exploitation.
… (Art. 9)

Protection from Violence

1. The Government shall protect and strengthen the sovereignty of the Kingdom, provide good governance, and ensure peace, security, well-being and happiness of the people.
… (Art. 20)

Public Institutions and Services

7. The State shall endeavour to develop and execute policies to minimize inequalities of income, concentration of wealth, and promote equitable distribution of public facilities among individuals and people living in different parts of the Kingdom.
8. The State shall endeavour to ensure that all the Dzongkhags are treated with equity on the basis of different needs so that the allocation of national resources results in comparable socio- economic development.
… (Art. 9)

Status of the Constitution

9. This Constitution is the Supreme Law of the State.
10. All laws in force in the territory of Bhutan at the time of adopting this Constitution shall continue until altered, repealed or amended by Parliament. However, the provisions of any law, whether made before or after the coming into force of this Constitution, which are inconsistent with this Constitution, shall be null and void.
… (Art. 1)

Status of the Constitution

20. The Druk Gyalpo shall abdicate the Throne for willful violations of this Constitution or for being subject to permanent mental disability, on a motion passed by a joint sitting of Parliament in accordance with the procedure as laid down in sections 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25 of this Article. (Art. 2)

Status of the Constitution

11. Every person shall have the duty and responsibility to respect and abide by the provisions of this Constitution. (Art. 8)

Status of the Constitution

25. Except for existing International Conventions, Covenants, Treaties, Protocols and Agreements entered into by Bhutan, which shall continue in force subject to section 10 of Article 1, all International Conventions, Covenants, Treaties, Protocols and Agreements duly acceded to by the Government hereafter, shall be deemed to be the law of the Kingdom only upon ratification by Parliament unless it is inconsistent with this Constitution. (Art. 10)

Status of International Law

25. Except for existing International Conventions, Covenants, Treaties, Protocols and Agreements entered into by Bhutan, which shall continue in force subject to section 10 of Article 1, all International Conventions, Covenants, Treaties, Protocols and Agreements duly acceded to by the Government hereafter, shall be deemed to be the law of the Kingdom only upon ratification by Parliament unless it is inconsistent with this Constitution. (Art. 10)

Religious Law

1. Buddhism is the spiritual heritage of Bhutan, which promotes the principles and values of peace, non-violence, compassion and tolerance.
2. The Druk Gyalpo is the protector of all religions in Bhutan.
3. It shall be the responsibility of religious institutions and personalities to promote the spiritual heritage of the country while also ensuring that religion remains separate from politics in Bhutan. Religious institutions and personalities shall remain above politics.
4. The Druk Gyalpo shall, on the recommendation of the Five Lopons, appoint a learned and respected monk ordained in accordance with the Druk-lu, with the nine qualities of a spiritual master and accomplished in ked-dzog, as the Je Khenpo.

7. The Zhung Dratshang and Rabdeys shall continue to receive adequate funds and other facilities from the State. (Art. 3)

Religious Law

20. The State shall strive to create conditions that will enable the true and sustainable development of a good and compassionate society rooted in Buddhist ethos and universal human values.
… (Art. 9)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

1. A person, both of whose parents are citizens of Bhutan, shall be a natural born citizen of Bhutan.
2. A person, domiciled in Bhutan on or before the Thirty-First of December Nineteen Hundred and Fifty Eight and whose name is registered in the official record of the Government of Bhutan shall be a citizen of Bhutan by registration.
3. A person who applies for citizenship by naturalization shall:
a. Have lawfully resided in Bhutan for at least fifteen years;
b. Not have any record of imprisonment for criminal offences within the country or outside;
c. Be able to speak and write Dzongkha;
d. Have a good knowledge of the culture, customs, traditions and history of Bhutan;
e. Have no record of having spoken or acted against the Tsawa-sum;
f. Renounce the citizenship, if any, of a foreign State on being conferred Bhutanese citizenship; and
g. Take a solemn Oath of Allegiance to the Constitution as may be prescribed.
4. The grant of citizenship by naturalization shall take effect by a Royal Kasho of the Druk Gyalpo.
5. If any citizen of Bhutan acquires the citizenship of a foreign State, his or her citizenship of Bhutan shall be terminated.
6. Subject to the provisions of this Article and the Citizenship Acts, Parliament shall, by law, regulate all other matters relating to citizenship. (Art. 6)

Jurisdiction and Access

English

11. The Supreme Court shall be the guardian of this Constitution and the final authority on its interpretation.
… (Art. 1)

Jurisdiction and Access

English

9. The Supreme Court may, on its own motion or on an application made by the Attorney General or by a party to a case, withdraw any case pending before the High Court involving a substantial question of law of general importance relating to the interpretation of this Constitution and dispose off [sic] the case itself.

18. Every person has the right to approach the courts in matters arising out of the Constitution or other laws subject to section 23 of Article 7. (Art. 21)

Education

English

15. The State shall endeavour to provide education for the purpose of improving and increasing knowledge, values and skills of the entire population with education being directed towards the full development of the human personality.
16. The State shall provide free education to all children of school going age up to tenth standard and ensure that technical and professional education is made generally available and that higher education is equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
… (Art. 9)

Employment Rights and Protection

English

10. A Bhutanese citizen shall have the right to practice any lawful trade, profession or vocation.
11. A Bhutanese citizen shall have the right to equal pay for work of equal value.
… (Art. 7)

Employment Rights and Protection

English

11. The State shall endeavour to promote those circumstances that would enable the citizens to secure an adequate livelihood.
12. The State shall endeavour to ensure the right to work, vocational guidance and training and just and favourable conditions of work.
13. The State shall endeavour to ensure the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
14. The State shall endeavour to ensure the right to fair and reasonable remuneration for one’s work.
… (Art. 9)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

15. All persons are equal before the law and are entitled to equal and effective protection of the law and shall not be discriminated against on the grounds of race, sex, language, religion, politics or other status.
… (Art. 7)

Obligations of the State

English

3. The State shall endeavour to create a civil society free of oppression, discrimination and violence, based on the rule of law, protection of human rights and dignity, and to ensure the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people.
… (Art. 9)

Judicial Protection

English

23. All persons in Bhutan shall have the right to initiate appropriate proceedings in the Supreme Court or High Court for the enforcement of the rights conferred by this Article, subject to section 22 of this Article and procedures prescribed by law. (Art. 7)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

22. Notwithstanding the rights conferred by this Constitution, nothing in this Article [Fundamental Rights] shall prevent the State from subjecting reasonable restriction by law, when it concerns:
a. The interests of the sovereignty, security, unity and integrity of Bhutan;
b. The interests of peace, stability and well-being of the nation;
c. The interests of friendly relations with foreign States;
d. Incitement to an offence on the grounds of race, sex, language, religion or region;
e. The disclosure of information received in regard to the affairs of the State or in discharge of official duties; or
f. The rights and freedom of others.
… (Art. 7)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

7. Where a Proclamation of Emergency is in operation, the enforcement of the rights conferred by this Constitution under sections 2, 3, 5, 12 and 19 of Article 7 may be suspended.
… (Art. 33)

Marriage and Family Life

English

19. A person shall not be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home or correspondence nor to unlawful attacks on the person’s honour and reputation.
… (Art. 7)

Marriage and Family Life

English

19. The State shall endeavour to promote those conditions that are conducive to co-operation in community life and the integrity of the extended family structure.
… (Art. 9)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

English

8. A Bhutanese citizen shall have the right to equal access and opportunity to join the Public Service.
… (Art. 7)

Political Rights and Association

English

6. A Bhutanese citizen shall have the right to vote.

12. A Bhutanese citizen shall have the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, other than membership of associations that are harmful to the peace and unity of the country, and shall have the right not to be compelled to belong to any association.
… (Art. 7)

Political Rights and Association

English

1. Under this Constitution, the general will of the people shall be the basis of government and it shall be expressed through periodic elections.
2. A person shall have the right to vote by direct adult suffrage through secret ballot at an election if the person is:
a. A Bhutanese citizen as evidenced by a Citizenship Card;
b. Not less than eighteen years of age;
c. Registered in the civil registry of that constituency for not less than one year, prior to the date of the election; and
d. Not otherwise disqualified from voting under any law in force in Bhutan.
… (Art. 23)

Political Parties

English

1. Political parties shall ensure that national interests prevail over all other interests and, for this purpose, shall provide choices based on the values and aspirations of the people for responsible and good governance.
2. Political parties shall promote national unity and progressive economic development and strive to ensure the well-being of the nation.
3. Candidates and political parties shall not resort to regionalism, ethnicity and religion to incite voters for electoral gain.
4. A political party shall be registered by the Election Commission on its satisfying the qualifications and requirements set out hereinafter, that:
(a) Its members shall be Bhutanese citizens and not otherwise disqualified under this Constitution;
(b) Its membership is not based on region, sex, language, religion or social origin;
(c) It is broad-based with cross-national membership and support and is committed to national cohesion and stability;
(d) It does not accept money or any assistance other than those contributions made by its registered members, and the amount or value shall be fixed by the Election Commission;
(e) It does not receive money or any assistance from foreign sources, be it governmental, non-governmental, private organizations or from private parties or individuals;
(f) Its members shall bear true faith and allegiance to this Constitution and uphold the sovereignty, territorial integrity, security and unity of the Kingdom;
(g) It is established for the advancement of democracy and for the social, economic and political growth of Bhutan; and
(h) It has not been dissolved earlier under the provisions of section 11 of this Article.
... (Art. 15)

Political Parties

English

1. Parliament shall, by law, establish a Public Election Fund into which shall be paid every year such amounts as the Election Commission may consider appropriate to fund registered political parties and their candidates during elections to the National Assembly and candidates to the National Council.
2. The payment out of the Public Election Fund shall be made by the Election Commission in a non-discriminatory manner to registered political parties and candidates in accordance with laws made by Parliament.
3. The Election Commission shall fix a ceiling for the total expenditure that may be incurred by political parties and their candidates taking part in elections to the National Assembly.
4. The Election Commission shall fix a ceiling for contribution offered voluntarily by any of its registered members to a political party subject to the provisions of the Election Fund Act.
5. The funding received by political parties and their candidates shall be subjected to scrutiny and auditing as called for by the Election Commission in accordance with laws made by Parliament or law in force. (Art. 16)

Electoral Bodies

English

1. There shall be an Election Commission which shall be responsible for the preparation, maintenance, and periodical updating of electoral rolls, the election schedule, and the supervision, direction, control, and conduct of elections to Parliament and Local Governments, as well as holding of National Referendums, in a free and fair manner.
… (Art. 24)

Head of State

English

1. His Majesty the Druk Gyalpo is the Head of State and the symbol of unity of the Kingdom and of the people of Bhutan.
2. The Chhoe-sid-nyi of Bhutan shall be unified in the person of the Druk Gyalpo who, as a Buddhist, shall be the upholder of the Chhoe-sid.
3.The title to the Golden Throne of Bhutan shall vest in the legitimate descendants of Druk Gyalpo Ugyen Wangchuck as enshrined in the inviolable and historic Gyenja of the Thirteenth Day, Eleventh Month of the Earth Monkey Year, corresponding to the Seventeenth Day of December, Nineteen Hundred and Seven and shall:
(a) Pass only to children born of lawful marriage;
(b) Pass by hereditary succession to the direct lineal descendants on the abdication or demise of the Druk Gyalpo, in order of seniority, with a prince taking precedence over a princess, subject to the requirement that, in the event of shortcomings in the elder prince, it shall be the sacred duty of the Druk Gyalpo to select and proclaim the most capable prince or princess as heir to the Throne;
(c) Pass to the child of the Queen who is pregnant at the time of the demise of the Druk Gyalpo if no heir exists under section 3(b);
(d) Pass to the nearest collateral line of the descendants of the Druk Gyalpo in accordance with the principle of lineal descent, with preference being given for elder over the younger, if the Druk Gyalpo has no direct lineal descendant;
(e) Not pass to children incapable of exercising the Royal Prerogatives by reason of physical or mental infirmity.
(f) Not pass to a person entitled to succeed to the Throne who enters into a marriage with a person other than a natural born citizen of Bhutan.

6. Upon reaching the age of sixty-five years, the Druk Gyalpo shall step down and hand over the Throne to the Crown Prince or Crown Princess, provided the Royal Heir has come of age.
… (Art. 2)

Government

English

1. The Druk Gyalpo shall confer Dakyen to the leader or nominee of the party, which wins the majority of seats in the National Assembly, as the Prime Minister.
2. No person shall hold office as Prime Minister for more than two terms.
3. The Druk Gyalpo shall appoint Ministers from among the members of the National Assembly, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, or shall remove a Minister on the advice of the Prime Minister.
4. A candidate for the post of Prime Minister or Minister shall be an elected member of the National Assembly and a natural born citizen of Bhutan.
... (Art. 17)

Government

English

1. The Government shall protect and strengthen the sovereignty of the Kingdom, provide good governance, and ensure peace, security, well-being and happiness of the people.
2. The Executive Power shall be vested in the Lhengye Zhungtshog which shall consist of the Ministers headed by the Prime Minister.
… (Art. 20)

Legislature

English

1. There shall be a Parliament for Bhutan in which all legislative powers under this Constitution are vested and which shall consist of the Druk Gyalpo, the National Council and the National Assembly.

3. The election of the members of Parliament shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Electoral Laws of the Kingdom.
… (Art. 10)

Legislature

English

1.The National Council shall consist of twenty-five members comprising:
(a) One member elected by the voters in each of the twenty Dzongkhags; and
(b) Five eminent persons nominated by the Druk Gyalpo.

3. A candidate to or a member of the National Council shall not belong to any political party.
… (Art. 11)

Legislature

English

1. The National Assembly shall have a maximum of fifty-five members, elected from each Dzongkhag in proportion to its population, provided that no Dzongkhag shall have less than two members or more than seven members, for which purpose Parliament shall, by law, provide for each Dzongkhag to be divided into constituencies through appropriate delimitation, and for the voters in each constituency directly electing one member to the National Assembly.
... (Art. 12)

Legislature

English

5. Election to the National Assembly shall be by two political parties established through a primary round of election in which all registered political parties may participate.
6. A primary round of election shall be held to select the two political parties for the general election on the expiry of the term of the National Assembly or in the event of dissolution under section 12 of this Article.
7. The two political parties obtaining the first and the second highest number of votes in the primary election shall be declared as the two political parties for the purpose of section 5 of this Article to contest in the general election.
... (Art. 15)

Legislature

English

3. A candidate for an elective office under this Constitution shall:
a. Be a Bhutanese citizen;
b. Be registered voter of that constituency;
c. Be a minimum of twenty-five years and maximum of sixty-five years of age at the time of filing the nomination;
d. Not receive money or any assistance from foreign sources, be it governmental, nongovernmental, private organizations or from private parties or individuals; and
e. Fulfil the necessary educational and other qualifications prescribed in the Electoral Laws.
4. A person shall be disqualified as a candidate or a member holding an elective office under this Constitution, if the person:
a. Is married to a person who is not a citizen of Bhutan;
… (Art. 23)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

9. A Bhutanese citizen shall have the right to own property, but shall not have the right to sell or transfer land or any immovable property to a person who is not a citizen of Bhutan, except in keeping with laws enacted by Parliament.
… (Art. 7)

Protection from Violence

English

1. All persons shall have the right to life, liberty and security of person and shall not be deprived of such rights except in accordance with the due process of law.

17. A person shall not be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
… (Art. 7)

Protection from Violence

English

5. A person shall not tolerate or participate in acts of injury, torture or killing of another person, terrorism, abuse of women, children or any other person and shall take necessary steps to prevent such acts.
… (Art. 8)

Protection from Violence

English

3. The State shall endeavour to create a civil society free of oppression, discrimination and violence, based on the rule of law, protection of human rights and dignity, and to ensure the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people.

17. The State shall endeavour to take appropriate measures to eliminate all forms of discrimination and exploitation against women including trafficking, prostitution, abuse, violence, harassment and intimidation at work in both public and private spheres.
18. The State shall endeavour to take appropriate measures to ensure that children are protected against all forms of discrimination and exploitation including trafficking, prostitution, abuse, violence, degrading treatment and economic exploitation.
… (Art. 9)

Protection from Violence

English

1. The Government shall protect and strengthen the sovereignty of the Kingdom, provide good governance, and ensure peace, security, well-being and happiness of the people.
… (Art. 20)

Public Institutions and Services

English

7. The State shall endeavour to develop and execute policies to minimize inequalities of income, concentration of wealth, and promote equitable distribution of public facilities among individuals and people living in different parts of the Kingdom.
8. The State shall endeavour to ensure that all the Dzongkhags are treated with equity on the basis of different needs so that the allocation of national resources results in comparable socio- economic development.
… (Art. 9)

Status of the Constitution

English

9. This Constitution is the Supreme Law of the State.
10. All laws in force in the territory of Bhutan at the time of adopting this Constitution shall continue until altered, repealed or amended by Parliament. However, the provisions of any law, whether made before or after the coming into force of this Constitution, which are inconsistent with this Constitution, shall be null and void.
… (Art. 1)

Status of the Constitution

English

20. The Druk Gyalpo shall abdicate the Throne for willful violations of this Constitution or for being subject to permanent mental disability, on a motion passed by a joint sitting of Parliament in accordance with the procedure as laid down in sections 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25 of this Article. (Art. 2)

Status of the Constitution

English

11. Every person shall have the duty and responsibility to respect and abide by the provisions of this Constitution. (Art. 8)

Status of the Constitution

English

25. Except for existing International Conventions, Covenants, Treaties, Protocols and Agreements entered into by Bhutan, which shall continue in force subject to section 10 of Article 1, all International Conventions, Covenants, Treaties, Protocols and Agreements duly acceded to by the Government hereafter, shall be deemed to be the law of the Kingdom only upon ratification by Parliament unless it is inconsistent with this Constitution. (Art. 10)

Status of International Law

English

25. Except for existing International Conventions, Covenants, Treaties, Protocols and Agreements entered into by Bhutan, which shall continue in force subject to section 10 of Article 1, all International Conventions, Covenants, Treaties, Protocols and Agreements duly acceded to by the Government hereafter, shall be deemed to be the law of the Kingdom only upon ratification by Parliament unless it is inconsistent with this Constitution. (Art. 10)

Religious Law

English

1. Buddhism is the spiritual heritage of Bhutan, which promotes the principles and values of peace, non-violence, compassion and tolerance.
2. The Druk Gyalpo is the protector of all religions in Bhutan.
3. It shall be the responsibility of religious institutions and personalities to promote the spiritual heritage of the country while also ensuring that religion remains separate from politics in Bhutan. Religious institutions and personalities shall remain above politics.
4. The Druk Gyalpo shall, on the recommendation of the Five Lopons, appoint a learned and respected monk ordained in accordance with the Druk-lu, with the nine qualities of a spiritual master and accomplished in ked-dzog, as the Je Khenpo.

7. The Zhung Dratshang and Rabdeys shall continue to receive adequate funds and other facilities from the State. (Art. 3)

Religious Law

English

20. The State shall strive to create conditions that will enable the true and sustainable development of a good and compassionate society rooted in Buddhist ethos and universal human values.
… (Art. 9)

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