Algeria/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.1 Constitution

Formal conventions, especially the Declaration of November 1954, and the Constitution comprise the majority of legislation in Algeria. The Declaration stands as the first announcement of Algeira’s revolution to both the Algerian people and the international community. It stated that, in independence, the nation aims at establishing a social, democratic and sovereign Algerian state with Islamic principles based on respecting all basic liberties without racial and religious discriminations. These principles were confirmed at the 1956 Soumam Conference, which underlined the role educated people could play in the revolution. The conference was the first official meeting held by leaders of the liberation revolution to set up the revolution’s structure as well as the role that should be played by the intellectuals.

Directly after independence, Algerians began to see the goals set out in the 1954 Declaration actualized. Both the Tripoli Program of 1962, which outlined the basic philosophical, political, economic social and cultural orientation of the post-independence Algerian state, and Algeria Charter of 1964 emphasized the 1954 Declaration’s principles and focused on the specific features of Algerian culture that reflected the national, revolutionary and scientific.
The National Charter of 1976 highlighted the role of education and culture in developing national character and collective identity. The Charter also relayed the necessity of taking actions to renew Algerian national culture, encourage artistic innovation, facilitate cultural activities and disseminate books. These regulations only underscored the necessity of developing a coherent, comprehensive cultural policy as a reference for those active in the cultural arena.

Algerian Constitution’s rhetoric (amended in 1963, 1976, 1986, 1989, 1996, and 2008) supports general concepts and orientations highlighted in these conventions. The Constitution’s introduction states that the Algerian people are free and intent on remaining so. It further explains that Algerian history is a linked series of struggles to achieve freedom, pride, and dignity. The Constitution also serves to remind Algerians of the attacks carried out against its culture, its values and the fundamental components of its identity: Islam, Arabism and Tamazight. Lastly, it reminds Algerians that through the preservation of their spiritual values, solidarity and justice, they can contribute to cultural, social, and economic progress.

The Constitution states that, "All citizens are equal before the law in rights and duties, The fundamental human and citizen’s rights and liberties are guaranteed….The family gains protection from the State and the society…The right for education is guaranteed… Education is free within the conditions defined by the law… The State ensures equal access to education and professional training… All citizens have the right to the protection of their health… All citizens have the right to work…Freedom of creed and opinion is inviolable… The private life and honour of the citizen are inviolable and protected by the law… The confidentiality of private correspondence and communication, in any form, is guaranteed”.

Chapter published: 03-05-2013