Ashgabat, 25 October 2016 (nCa) — Dr. Yagmyr Nuriyev, currently the director of the institute of state and law under the President of Turkmenistan is a highly respected academic and author of several books.
He is among the foremost authorities on legislative and constitutional law in Turkmenistan. He is one of those scholars whose explanation of law serves as guideline for those who are required to practice, apply, implement and interpret law in all spheres of life.
At the conference “The 25th anniversary of independence of Turkmenistan: Triumph of democracy, human right, humanity and justice” held in Ashgabat on 23 October 2016, Professor Nuriyev delivered a speech, spotlighting some aspects of the new edition of the Constitution of Turkmenistan.
The following translation may not necessarily convey all the nuances of the original text of his speech. We are grateful to him for the permission to publish it here:
The Constitution of Turkmenistan – the legal basis for the well-being of the people and the sustainable development
The adoption of the new edition of the Constitution, as the most important normative legal act of the state, which expresses the will of the citizens and securing the organization of state power, as well as defining its relationship with society and citizens, is one of the historical events in the epoch of power and happiness.
The stability of the socio-economic development, enhancement of the state, the legal system and democracy are the characteristic features of 2016 – the Year of honoring the heritage, the transformation of the Fatherland. It is also noteworthy that the perfection of the Constitution is timed to the 25th anniversary of the state independence of the country, as all the achievements in the political, economic and social spheres over the years – a natural result of constitutional edifice. These achievements of Turkmenistan are connected with the far-sighted policy of the President, and consistent and ongoing steps to achieve strategic goals.
As pointed out by the leader of the nation, the constitutional reforms in the country, and the scientific analysis of the norms of the Constitution, which enshrine the legal basis of rapid development and improvement of the state and society, are necessary for the formation of a modern legal framework of our sovereign country, following the path of all-round progress (Address to the participants of the international conference, text published by Neutral Turkmenistan on 4 October 2016).
The Constitution of Turkmenistan is the foundation of the entire legal system of the state. The Basic Law defines the meaning and content of other laws, provides a solid foundation for the strengthening of state institutions and society, and provides the necessary conditions for dynamic development of the economic, social and cultural potential of Turkmenistan. The Constitution proclaims the democratic, legal and secular character of our state. At the same time, the constitutional norms of the rule of law are reflected as the equality before the law and the courts, constitutional and legal status of state authorities and local self-government. The Constitution of Turkmenistan establishes not only the fundamental principles of social and state system of an independent state, but also the unity of the people. In this context, in political terms, the Constitution defines the legal basis of the political system, the constitutional system and regulates the political processes in the society.
According to Article 3 of the Constitution, the sovereignty of Turkmenistan is carried out by the people, and the people are the sole source of state power. Article 4 of the Basic Law states that “In Turkmenistan the people are highest value of society and the state. The protection of human support and service to them are the main objectives of public authorities.”
In this regard, every public servant should be aware, and remember every day that the viability of the basic rights and freedoms of the citizens, enshrined in the Constitution, is our sacred trust as the employees of the state bodies.
The Constitutional rights and freedoms – these are the basic, fundamental human rights and freedoms. The second section of the new Constitution is devoted entirely to human rights, freedoms and duties of man and citizen in Turkmenistan. Earlier in this section, there were 30 articles whereas in the new edition of the Basic Law there are 41 articles, ie, added 11 new articles that expand the content of human rights and strengthen the implementation of their warranty.
For example, Article 25 stipulates that in Turkmenistan the rights and freedoms of man and citizen are recognized in accordance with universally recognized norms of international law and guaranteed by the Constitution and laws. And Article 27 states that the rights and freedoms of man and citizen shall have direct effect. Human rights and freedoms determine the meaning, content and application of laws, the activities of the legislative and executive authorities, local governments and guaranteed by law.
Introduced new Constitution are provisions on protection of honor and dignity (Article 31 of the Constitution), the presumption of innocence (Article 34 of the Constitution), the right to liberty and security of person (Article 35 of the Constitution) and a number of other innovations, which are directed at the protection of human rights.
The rights and freedoms listed in the Basic Law are not exhaustive, that is the man and the citizen has other rights and freedoms. A consolidation of these rights in the Constitution is due to the special properties of these rights and responsibilities. Firstly, they are characterized by increased social importance to humans, society and the state. For the person they relate to the provision of its physical and spiritual freedom, with the participation in managing state affairs, with satisfaction of their material and spiritual needs. To state the value of these rights is that they form the conditions for people’s participation in the development of the state and society, and the improvement of living conditions. Second, constitutional rights and freedoms form the basis for other rights and freedoms, obtaining its development in the rights and freedoms set out in the areas of legislation. Third, the constitutional rights are of a high degree of generalization, i.e. they are the same for every human being and citizen, and apply to all. Fourth, they are provided with enhanced legal protection and security.
The educational function of the Constitution instills in the citizens the respect for the Basic Law and the legislation as a whole, its norms having an educational character, establishing the foundation for relations between the state and the person, and the state and society. However, constitutional norms have a constituent, organizational and law enforcement impact on social relations.
The history of constitutional law of Turkmenistan is closely linked with the history of the Turkmen state and society.
The Turkmen people under the wise leadership of the Respected President proved to the international community that we are able to successfully meet the challenges of our time. The successful achievement of socio-political and state-legal perfection of our country has been recognized around the world. Standards that ensure human rights and freedoms are fully aligned with the universally recognized international standards.
Turkmenistan has joined the fundamental international covenants on civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. The international community has appreciated our Constitution as a legal act which provides a democratic path of development based on a market economy, claiming civil society institutions.
In the modern civil society, it is important that a person, a citizen takes a proactive stance, exercises the initiative and self-discipline, as well as a measure of demands, first of all to himself. All this suggests the voluntary and conscientious use of their obligations, civic duty to the state and society as a whole. At the same time, good behavior of the citizen permeates the whole structure of social relations and the system of national law.
Hence the relationship of awareness, rationality and freedom of choice to determine the installation of a responsible legal behavior. This mindset leads to internal control, and the person knowingly acts in accordance with applicable public social regulators of public relations. This behavior requires the active involvement of the person in social processes, and interaction with various government and non-governmental organizations. Thus, being responsible means being willing to adhere to the rules of conduct and duties accepted in this society, to account for their behavior, which is a necessary condition for the normal functioning of the civil society.
One of the characteristic features of the modern state of Turkmenistan is to develop legislation based on constitutional principles, especially the rule of law. When designing new legislation, it is considered a priority to contribute to a successful improvement in all spheres of public life and society, and their active development in view of the global innovation and modern scientific achievements.
The Basic Law is intended to create a model of government that ensures the rule of law and its unconditional respect and performance and, at the same time, which puts at the top – the man, his happiness and well-being. According to the Constitution, the President is the guarantor of national independence and the status of neutrality of Turkmenistan, its territorial integrity, respect for the Constitution and international obligations. The objective laws of the era of power and happiness are clearly reflected in the harmony of legal regulations and their implementation practices. Successful implementation of the law is an important tool for the social and economic development of the country, and forms the reliability and stability of these developments.
The analysis of the new Constitution shows that the constitutional provisions are harmonized with international standards and are based on national traditions. The Constitution is a concentrated expression of the will of its citizens, which establishes the organization of state power and determines its relationship with society and citizens.
The common state symbols are the symbols of the unity of the people. According to Article 22 of the Constitution, the symbols of Turkmenistan as a sovereign state are its National Flag, State Emblem, and National Anthem. Turkmen citizens are proud of their history and state symbols. State symbols in Turkmenistan reflect the basic characteristic features of our country.
The openness of our country to international cooperation is enshrined in Article 9 of the Basic Law, which states that “Turkmenistan, as a full subject of the international community, pursues a foreign policy of permanent neutrality, the principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, renunciation of the use of force and participation in military blocs and alliances, and promotion of peaceful, friendly and mutually beneficial relations with the countries of the region and all the countries of the world. Turkmenistan recognizes the primacy of generally recognized norms of international law.” Thus, the amended Constitution allows our country to move forward even more to the forefront in the world.
Turkmenistan, with a thousand years of history, unique culture, possessing great natural, economic potential, highly honoring the national heritage, provides a modern state-legal development. This is evidenced by the norms of Article 15 of the Constitution, proclaiming the state’s responsibility for the safety of national historical, cultural and natural heritage, and the environment, and the equality between social and national groups. At the same time, the State encourages scientific, technical and artistic creativity, disseminating its positive results, and promoting international cooperation in the field of culture, education, sports and tourism.
In general, the new edition of the Constitution promotes the effective implementation of socio-economic reforms. This means that Turkmenistan under the wise leadership of the Head of State at a high level organizes the attraction of the entire population for an active, informed participation in solving the modern social and economic problems on the constitutional basis. /// nCa