OF THE LAO PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC
I THE POLITICAL REGIME
CHAPTER II THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC SYSTEM
CHAPTER III FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF THE CITIZENS
CHAPTER IV THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
CHAPTER V THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
CHAPTER VI THE GOVERNMENT
CHAPTER VII THE LOCAL ADMINISTRATIONS
CHAPTER VIII THE JUDICIAL ORGANS
A The People’s Court
B The Offices of Public Prosecution
CHAPTER IX LANGUAGE, SCRIPT, NATIONAL EMBLEM, NATIONAL
FLAG, NATIONAL ANTHEM AND CAPITAL CITY
CHAPTER X FINAL PROVISIONS
thousands of years, the multi-ethnic Lao people lived and grew on this
beloved land. More than six centuries ago, during the time of Chao Fa
Ngum, our ancestors founded the unified Lane Xang country and built it
into a prosperous and glorious land.
From the 18th century A.D. onwards, the Lao land had been repeatedly threatened
and invaded by outside powers. Our people had united to develop the heroic
and unyielding traditions of their ancestors and continually and persistently
fought to regain independence and freedom.
Over the past 60 years, under the correct leadership of the former Indochinese
Communist Party and the present Lao People’s Revolutionary Party,
the multi-ethnic Lao people had carried out a difficult and arduous struggle,
filled with great sacrifices, until they managed to crush the yoke of
domination and oppression of the colonialist and feudalist regimes, completely
liberated the country, and established the Lao People’s Democratic
Republic on 2 December 1975; thus opening a new era, an era of genuine
independence for the country and true freedom for the people.
In the recent years, our people have together implemented the two strategic
tasks of safeguarding and building the country, and have initially achieved
And now in this new period, the society requires that the State must have
a Constitution. This Constitution is the Constitution of the People’s
Democratic Regime in our country. It recognizes the great achievements
gained by our people in the struggle for national liberation and development;
it defines the political regime, the socio-economic system, the fundamental
rights and duties of citizens and the system of organization of the state
apparatus in this new period. This is the first time in the history of
our nation that the people’s right to mastery is defined in the
fundamental law of the nation.
This Constitution is the product of the process of discussion by the people
throughout the country. It reflects the long-term aspirations and strong
determination of the national community to strive together to fulfill
the objective of building the Lao nation into a country of peace, independence,
democracy, unity and prosperity.
THE POLITICAL REGIME
The Lao People’s Democratic Republic is an independent and sovereign
country with territorial integrity covering both territorial waters and
airspace. It is a unified and indivisible country belonging to all ethnic
The Lao People's Democratic Republic is a People's Democratic State. All
power is of the people, by the people and for the interests of the multi-ethnic
people of all strata in society with workers, farmers and intellectuals
as the core.
The right of the multi-ethnic people to be the masters of the country
is exercised and ensured through the functioning of the political system,
with the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party as its leading nucleus.
The National Assembly is the representative organ of the people. The election
of members of the National Assembly shall be carried out through the principles
of universal, equal and direct suffrage, and secret ballot. Voters have
the right to propose the dismissal of their own representatives if they
are found to be unworthy and lose the people’s confidence.
The National Assembly and all other state organizations are established
and function in accordance with the principle of democratic centralism.
The State protects the inviolable rights and democratic freedoms of the
people. All state organizations and functionaries must inform the people
of and educate them in the policies, regulations and laws, and together
with the people, to implement them in order to guarantee the legitimate
rights and interests of the people. All acts of bureaucratism and harassment
that can be detrimental to the honor, body, lives, conscience and property
of the people are prohibited.
The Lao Front for National Construction, the Lao Federation of Trade Unions,
the Lao People’s Revolutionary Youth Union, the Lao Women’s
Union and other social organizations are the organs that unite and mobilize
all strata of all ethnic groups in order to take part in the tasks of
national defense and development; to develop the right to mastery of the
people and to protect the legitimate rights and interests of their members.
The State pursues the policy of unity and equality among all ethnic groups.
All ethnic groups have the right to protect, preserve and promote their
fine customs and culture as well as those of the nation. All acts of division
and discrimination among ethnic groups are prohibited.
The State takes every measure to upgrade the socio-economic development
of all ethnic groups.
The State respects and protects all lawful activities of Buddhists and
of followers of other religions, mobilizes and encourages the Buddhist
monks, novices and priests of other faiths to participate in those activities
which are beneficial to the country and its people. All acts of fomenting
division among religions and among the people are prohibited.
The State manages the society by the provisions of the Constitution and
the law. All party and state organizations, mass organizations, social
organizations and all citizens must comply with the Constitution and the
The State implements a policy of national defense and security with the
participation of the entire people and in all aspects. The national defense
and security forces must enhance their loyalty to the country and the
people; carry out their duties to safeguard the gains of the revolution,
the lives, property and labor of the people; and must contribute to the
tasks of national development.
The Lao People’s Democratic Republic pursues a foreign policy of
peace, independence, friendship and cooperation; and promotes relations
and cooperation with all countries based on the principles of peaceful
coexistence; respect for each other’s independence, sovereignty
and territorial integrity; non-interference in each other’s internal
affairs; equality and mutual benefit.
The Lao People’s Democratic Republic supports the struggle of the
world people for peace, national independence, democracy, and social progress.
THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC SYSTEM
The economic system of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic is a
multi-sectoral economy having as objectives the expansion of production
and increase of goods circulation, and the transform glean of the subsistence
economy into a commodities economy in order to develop the national economic
base and improve the material and spiritual living conditions of the multi-ethnic
The state protects and promotes all forms of state, collective and individual
ownerships, as well as the private ownerships of both domestic investors
and foreigners who invest in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
The State encourages all economic sectors to compete and cooperate with
one another in expanding their production and business activities. All
economic sectors are equal before the law.
The State protects the rights of ownership (right to possess, right to
use, right to transfer) and organizations’ and individuals’
right to inherit property. As for the land which is owned by the national
community, the State ensures the right to use, transfer, and inherit it
in accordance with the law.
Economic management is carried out according to the mechanism of the market
with the adjustment by the State, and is implemented by the principle
of the centralized, unified management of branches at central level in
combination with a reasonable delegation of the responsibility to local
All organizations and citizens must protect the environment and natural
resources: land, underground, forests, fauna, water sources and atmosphere.
The State promotes and advises on the development of economic relations
with foreign countries in many forms, on the basis of the principle of
respect for each other’s independence, sovereignty, equality, and
The State strives to develop education in combination with raising the
new generation to be good citizens. The objectives of the educational,
cultural and scientific activities are to augment levels of knowledge,
the spirit of patriotism, the spirit of cherishing the People’s
Democratic Regime, the spirit of maintaining unity and harmony among the
people of various ethnic groups; and to enhance the peoples' sense of
being masters of the country. The State implements a compulsory education
system at primary levels. The State authorizes the operation of private
schools which utilize the curricula of the State. The State, together
with the people, builds schools at all levels in order to assure a comprehensive
system of education, and to pay attention to develop education in the
areas where the ethnic minority people reside.
The State develops the fine, traditional culture of the nation in combination
with promoting the progressive culture of the world and eliminating any
regressive phenomena in the ideological and cultural spheres. The State
promotes culture, art, literature and information activities, including
in mountainous areas. The State protects the nation’s antiquities
The State strives to expand public health services and authorizes the
private sectors to provide medical services in accordance with state regulations.
The State promotes the expansion of sports, physical education and tourism
and provides care for disabled veterans, families of those who have sacrificed
their lives and who have performed good deeds for the nation, as well
as for pensioners.
The State pursues a policy which favors mothers and children.
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF THE CITIZENS
The Council of Ministers is the Royal Government of Cambodia.
The Council of Ministers shall be led by one Prime Minister assisted by
Deputy Prime Ministers, and by State Ministers, Ministers, and State Secretaries
At the recommendation of the President and with the agreement of both
Vice-Presidents of the Assembly, the King shall designate a dignitary
from among the representatives of the winning party to form the Royal
Government. This designated Assembly or members of the political parties
represented in the from the Assembly.
After the Assembly has given its vote of confidence, the King shall issue
a Royal decree (Kret) appointing the entire Council of Ministers.
Before taking of office, the Council of Ministers shall take an oath as
stipulated an Annex 6.
The functions of members of the Royal Government shall be incompatible
with professional activities in trade or industry and with the holding
of any position in the public service.
Members of the Royal Government shall be collectively responsible to the
Assembly for the overall policy of the Royal Government.
Each member of the Royal Government shall be individually responsible
to the Prime Minster and the Assembly for his/her own conduct.
Members of the Royal Government shall not use the orders, written or verbal,
of anyone as grounds to exonerate themselves form their responsibility.
The Council of Minister shall meet every week inn plenary session or in
a working session.
The Prime Minister shall chair the plenary sessions.
The Prime Minister may assign a Deputy Prime Minister to preside over
the working sessions.
Minutes of the Council of Ministers' meeting shall be forwarded to the
King for His information.
The Prime Minister shall have the right to delegate his power to a Deputy
Prime Minister or to any member of the Royal Government.
If the post of Prime Minister is permanently vacant, a new Council of
Ministers shall be appointed under the procedure stipulated in this Constitution.
If the vacancy is temporary, an acting Prime Minister shall be provisionally
Each member of the Royal Government shall be punished for any crimes or
misdemeanors that he/she has committed in the course of his/her duty.
In such cases and when his/her duty, the Assembly shall decide to file
charges against him/her with competent.
The Assembly shall decide on such matters though a secret vote by a simple
The organization and functioning of the Council of Ministers shall be
determined by law.
The Judicial power shall be an independent power.
The Judiciary shall guarantee and uphold impartiality and protect the
rights and freedoms of the citizens.
The Judiciary shall cover all lawsuits including administrative ones.
The authority of the Judiciary shall be granted to the Supreme Court and
to lower courts of all sectors and levels.
Trials shall be conducted in the name of the Khmer citizens in accordance
with the legal procedures and laws in force.
Only judges shall have the right to adjudicate. A judge shall fulfill
this duty with strict respect for the laws. wholeheartedly, and conscientiously.
Judicial power shall not be granted to the legislative or executive branches.
Only the Department of Public Prosecution shall have the right to file
The King shall be the guarantor of the independence of the Judiciary.
The Supreme Council of the Magistracy shall assist the King in this matter.
Judges shall not be dismissed. The supreme Council of the Magistracy shall
take disciplinary actions against any delinquent judges.
The Supreme Council of the Magistracy shall be established by an organic
law which shall determine its composition and functions. The Supreme Council
of the Magistracy shall be chaired by the King. The King may appoint a
representative to chair the Supreme Council of the Magistracy. The Supreme
Council of the Magistracy shall make proposals to the King on the appointment
of judges and prosecutors to all courts.
The Supreme Council of the Magistracy shall meet under the chairmanship
of the President of the Supreme Court or the General Prosecutor of the
Supreme Court to decide on disciplinary actions against the judges or
The statuses of judges, and prosecutors and the functioning of the judiciary
shall be defined in separate laws.
THE CONSTITUTIONAL COUNCIL
The Constitutional council shall have the duty to safeguard respect for
the Constitution, to interpret the Constitution, and the laws passed by
The Constitutional Council shall have the right to examine and decide
on contested cases involving the election of assembly members.
The Constitutional Council shall consist of nine members with a nine-year
One third of the members of the Council shall be replaced every three
years. Three members shall be appointed by the King, three members by
the Assembly and three others by the Supreme Council of the Magistracy.
The Chairman shall be elected by the members of the Constitutional Council.
He/she shall have a deciding vote in cases of equal vote.
Members of the Constitutional Council shall be selected among the dignitaries
with a higher-education degree in law, administration, diplomacy or economics
and who have considerable work experience.
The function of a Constitutional Council member shall be incompatible
with that of a member of the Royal Government, member of the assembly,
President or Vice-President of a political party, President or Vice-President
of trade-union or in-post judges.
The King, the Prime Minister, the President of the Assembly, or 1/10 of
the assembly members shall forward draft bills to the Constitutional Council
for examination before their promulgation.
The Constitutional Council shall decide within no more than thirty days
whether the laws and the Internal Rules of Procedure are constitutional.
After the law is promulgated, the King, the prime Minister, the President
of the Assembly, 1/10 of the assembly members or the courts, may ask the
Constitutional Council to examine the Constitutionality of that law.
Citizens shall have the right to appeal against the Constitutionality
of the laws as through their representatives or the President of the Assembly
as stipulated in the above paragraph.
Provisions in any article ruled by the Council as unconstitutional shall
not be promulgated or implemented.
The decision of the Council is final.
The King shall consult with the Constitutional Council on all proposals
to amend the Constitution.
An organic law shall specify the organization and operation of the Constitutional
The territory of the Kingdom of Cambodia shall be divided into provinces
Provinces shall be divided into districts (srok) and district into commune
Municipalities shall be divided into Khan into Sangkat.
Provinces, municipalities, districts, khan, khum, and sangkat shall be
governed in accordance with organic law.
THE NATIONAL CONGRESS
The National Congress shall enable the people to be directly informed
on various matters of national interests and to raise issues and requests
for the State authority to solve.
Khmer citizens of both sexes shall have the right to participate in the
The National Congress shall meet once a year in early December at the
convocation of the Prime Minister.
It shall proceed under the chairmanship of the King.
The National Congress shall adopt recommendations for consideration by
State authorities and the Assembly.
The organization and operation of the National Congress shall be defined
by a law.
EFFECTS, REVISION AND AMENDMENTS OF THE CONSTITUTION
Lao citizens are the persons who hold Lao nationality as prescribed by
Lao citizens, irrespective of their sex, social status, education, faith
and ethnic group are all equal before the law.
Lao citizens 18 years of age and over have the right to vote, and those
21 years of age and over have the right to be elected, except for insane
persons and persons whose rights to vote and to be elected have been revoked
by a court.
Lao citizens of both sexes enjoy equal rights in political, economic,
cultural, social and family affairs.
Lao citizens have the right to education.
Lao citizens have the right to work and engage in occupations which are
not forbidden by law. Working people have the right to rest, to receive
medical treatment in time of ailment, to receive assistance in case of
incapacity and disability, in old age and other cases as prescribed by
Lao citizens have freedom of movement and residence as prescribed by law.
Lao citizens have the right to lodge complaints and petitions and to propose
ideas to relevant state organizations in connections with issues pertaining
to the rights and interests of collectives or of their individuals.
Complaints, petitions and ideas of citizens must be considered for solutions
as prescribed by law.
The right of Lao citizens to be secure in their persons and houses shall
not be violated. Lao citizens shall not be arrested or searched without
warrant or approval by an authorized organization, except in the case
as prescribed by law.
Lao citizens have the right and freedom to believe or not to believe in
Lao citizens have freedom of speech, press and assembly; of associations
and of demonstrations, which are not contrary to the law.
Lao citizens have freedom to conduct research, to apply advanced sciences,
techniques and technologies; to create artistic and literary works and
to engage in cultural activities which are not contrary to the law.
The State protects the legitimate rights and interests of Lao citizens
Lao citizens have the duty to observe the Constitution and the law, and
to implement labor discipline, rules of good conduct in society and the
Lao citizens have the duty to pay taxes and duties in accordance with
Lao citizens have the duty to defend their country, to maintain security
and to fulfill their military obligations as prescribed by law.
Aliens and persons having no nationality have the right to enjoy those
rights and freedoms protected by the provisions of the laws of the Lao
People’s Democratic Republic. They have the right to lodge petitions
with courts and other concerned organizations of the Lao People’s
Democratic Republic. They have the duty to observe the Constitution and
the law of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
The Lao People’s Democratic Republic grants asylum to foreigners
who are persecuted for their struggle for freedom, justice, peace or for
their scientific activities