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Honduras: Constitutional structure

The Constitution of Honduras proclaims the separation of powers and independence between the three branches of the government, Legislative, Executive and Judicial.[1] The death penalty is prohibited and every person is entitled to the right to be free from arbitrary arrest and detention, and torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.[2]

The Constitution may be amended only by a two-thirds vote of the members of the parliament, and no means of amendment is provided for certain articles on, for instance, the form of government, the national territory and the presidential term.

The Constitution also allows the limitation of some enumerated rights in the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of Honduras or a serious disturbance of the peace, an epidemic or other general disaster, or by agreement between the President and the Council of Ministers.[3] The rights that may be limited are the right to liberty; and certain rights following arrest or detention; rights to bail, to freedom of expression, to freedom of association and assembly, freedom of movement, the inviolability of the domicile, and private property.


Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. 1. Constitution, Article 4.

    The government is republican, democratic and representative. It is composed of three branches: legislative, executive and judicial, which are complementary, independent, and not subordinate to each other.

    Alternation in the exercise of the Presidency of the Republic is obligatory.

    Violation of this provision constitutes a crime of treason against the fatherland.

  2. 2. ConstitutionArticles 66 (prohibition of death penalty),

    The death penalty is abolished.

    68 (prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment),

    Every person has the right to have his physical, mental, and moral integrity respected.

    No one shall be subjected to torture, or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading punishment or treatment.

    Every person deprived of his liberty shall be treated with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.

    and 69 (right to be free from arbitrary arrest and detention).

    Personal freedom is inviolable and may be restricted or temporarily suspended only according to law.

  3. 3. Constitution, Article 187.

    The exercise of the rights established in articles 69, 71, 72, 78, 81, 84, 93, 99 and 103 may be suspended in the event of invasion of the national territory, serious disturbance of the peace, an epidemic, or other general disaster, or by the president of the republic in agreement with the Council of Ministers, by means of a decree that shall contain:

    1. The reasons justifying the suspension;

    2. The guarantee or guarantees that are restricted;

    3. The territory to be affected by the restriction; and

    4. The duration of the restriction. In addition, Congress shall be convened by the same decree in order that, within a period of thirty days, it may take cognizance of the decree and ratify, modify, or reject it.

    In the event that Congress is in session, it shall take immediate cognizance of the decree.

    The restriction of guarantees shall not exceed a period of forty-five days for each time it is decreed.

    If before the expiration of the period set for the restriction the causes underlying the decree have disappeared, it shall cease to be effective and, in this case, every citizen shall have the right to urge its revision. Upon expiration of the period of forty-five days, the guarantees shall be restored automatically unless a new restriction has been decreed.

    Restriction of guarantees decreed shall in no way affect the functioning of the state agencies, whose members shall always enjoy the immunities and privileges granted by law.

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