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Internet Modern History Sourcebook

The Spaniard's Charter, July 16 1945

Article 1. The Spanish State proclaims as a guiding principle of its acts, respect for the dignity, integrity, and liberty of the human person, recognizing man, as bearer of eternal values and member of the national community, to be bolder of titles of duties and rights, the exercise of which it guarantees for the common good.


Chapter I

Article 2. Spaniards owe faithful service to their country, loyalty to the Chief of State and obedience to its laws.

Article 3. The law protects equally the rights of all Spaniards without class preference or discrimination of persons.

Article 4. Spaniards have a right to the respect of their personal and family honor. He who should offend it, whatever be his condition, will be made responsible.

Article 5. All Spaniards have a right to receive education and instruction and the duty of acquiring them either in the family circle or in private or public centers of their own free election. The State will see that no talent is wasted because of lack of economic means.

Article 6. The profession and practice of the Roman Catholic religion, which is that of the Spanish State, will enjoy official protection.The State will assume the protection of religious freedom, which will be guaranteed by effective judicial protection and which, in turn, will safeguard morals and public order.

Article 7. It is a title of honor for Spaniards to serve in the armed forces of their country.All Spaniards are obliged to this service when they are called to it according to law.

Article 8. By means of laws, and always with a general character, those personal services that the interest of the nation and public need require will be obligatory.

Article 9. Spaniards will contribute to the maintenance of public charges according to their economic capacity. Nobody will be obliged to pay tributes that have not been established by law voted by the Cortes.

Article 10. All Spaniards have a right to participate in public office of a representative character, through the family, the municipality, and the syndicate (without barring other representation that the laws may establish).

Article 11. All Spaniards may hold office and public functions according to their merits and capacity.

Article 12. All Spaniards may freely express their ideas as long as they do not advocate the overthrow of the fundamental principles of government.

Article 13. Inside national territory, the State guarantees the liberty and inviolability of correspondence.

Article 14. Spaniards are at liberty to fix their residence inside national territory.

Article 15. Nobody may enter the home of a Spaniard or effect a search in it without his permission, unless with a warrant from the competent authority and in the case and form established by law.

Article 16. Spaniards may unite and associate themselves freely for lawful ends and according to what is established by law.The State may, create and maintain such agencies as arc deemed necessary for the accomplishment of its service. Fundamental rulings which will have the character of law, will co-ordinate the exercise of this right with that recognized in the preceding paragraph.

Article 17. Spaniards have a right to legal security. All organisms of the State will act according to a hierarchical order of pre-established rulings, that may not be interpreted arbitrarily- or altered.

Article 18. No Spaniard may be arrested except in the cases and in the form prescribed by law. Within a period of seventy-two hours all arrested persons will be set free or turned over to the juridical authorities.

Article 19. Nobody. may be condemned except under a law prior to the act, under sentence by a competent tribunal, and after hearing and defense of the interested party..

Article 20. No Spaniard may be deprived of his nationality, except for treason, as defined in the penal laws, or for entering the armed services or exercising public office in a foreign country against the expressed prohibition of the Chief of State.

Article 21. Spaniards may address individual petitions to the Chief of State, to the Cortes, and to public authorities.Corporations, public officers, and members of the armed forces and institutions may only exercise this right according to the laws by which they are ruled.

Chapter II

Article 22. The State recognizes and protects the family as a natural and fundamental institution of society - with rights and duties prior and superior to all human positive law.Matrimony is one and indissoluble.The State will specially protect families with numerous children.

Article 23. Parents are obliged to provide for, educate, and instruct their children. The State will suspend the exercise of patria potestad [note: "power of the father"] or will deprive of it all who do not exercise it with dignity, and will transfer the custody of minors to those to whom it corresponds by law.

Chapter III

Article 24. All Spaniards have a right to work and the duty to occupy themselves in some socially useful activity.

Article 25. Work, because of its essentially human character, cannot be reduced to the idea of merchandise, or be the object of a transaction incompatible with personal dignity. It constitutes in itself an attribute of honor and a sufficient title to demand guardianship and assistance from the State.

Article 26. The State recognizes in an enterprise a community of efforts of technique, labor, and capital in their different forms, and consequently proclaims the right of these elements to participate in gains.The State will see that relations between them shall be maintained in the strictest equity and in an order that subordinates economic values to human values, to the interests of the nation and the exigencies of the common good.

Article 27. All workers will be protected by the State in their right to a just and sufficient return, which will as a minimum provide them and their families with well-being sufficient for a moral and dignified existence.

Article 28. The Spanish State guarantees the workers security in distress, and recognizes their rights to assistance in the cases of old age, death, sickness, maternity, accidents, invalidity, unemployment, and other hazards that are the object of social insurance.

Article 29. The State will maintain institutions of assistance and will protect and foster those created by the Church, the corporations, and private enterprise.

Article 30. The Spanish State recognizes and protects private property as a natural means for the fulfillment of individual ends.All forms of property remain subordinated to the necessities of the nation and to the common good.No source of wealth will be allowed to remain unproductive, unduly destroyed, or applied to illicit ends.

Article 31. The State will make available to all Spaniards the access to those forms of property more intimately connected with the human person, the home, inheritance, implements of production, and goods of daily use.

Article 32. In no case will a sentence of confiscation of property be passed.Nobody may be expropriated except in the interest of public and/or social welfare, after corresponding indemnity and according to what the law disposes.


Article 33. The exercise of the rights that are recognized in this Charter may not prejudice the spiritual, national, and social unity of the community.

Article 34. The Cortes will vote the necessary laws for the exercise of the rights recognized by this Charter.

Article 35. The enforcement of Articles 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 18 may temporarily be suspended in part or in whole by the government by means of a decree which must define and limit the scope and duration of this measure.

Article 36. Any violation of any of the rights proclaimed in this Charter will be punishable by laws which will determine, in each case, the actions that may be taken in its defense before the competent jurisdictions.


The Spaniard's Charter, made available in translation through the courtesy of the Embassy of Spain, Washington, D.C., and appears here as amended by the Organic Law of the Spanish State, December 22, 1966

This text is part of the Internet Modern History Sourcebook. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts for introductory level classes in modern European and World history.

Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use of the Sourcebook.

© Paul Halsall, July 1998

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