Republic of Montenegro
Republika Crna Gora
Joined United Nations: 28 June 2006
Human Rights as assured by their constitution
Updated 25 July 2012
Human rights and liberties
Montenegro shall guarantee and protect rights and liberties.
The rights and liberties shall be inviolable.
Everyone shall be obliged to respect the rights and liberties of others.
Prohibition of infliction of hatred
Infliction or encouragement of hatred or intolerance on any grounds shall be prohibited.
Prohibition of discrimination
Direct or indirect discrimination on any grounds shall be prohibited.
Regulations and introduction of special measures aimed at creating the conditions for the exercise of national, gender and overall equality
and protection of persons who are in an unequal position on any grounds shall not be considered discrimination.
Special measures may only be applied until the achievement of the aims for which they were undertaken.
HUMAN RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES
1. COMMON PROVISIONS
Grounds and equality
Rights and liberties shall be exercised on the basis of the Constitution and the confirmed international agreements.
All shall be deemed equal before the law, regardless of any particularity or personal feature.
The state shall guarantee the equality of women and men and shall develop the policy of equal opportunities.
Everyone shall have the right to equal protection of the rights and liberties thereof.
Everyone shall have the right to legal remedy against the decision ruling on the right or legally based interest thereof.
Everyone shall have the right to legal aid.
Legal aid shall be provided by the bar, as an independent and autonomous profession, and by other services.
Legal aid may be provided free of charge, in accordance with the law.
Right to local self-government
The right to local self-government shall be guaranteed.
Everyone shall have the right to a sound environment.
Everyone shall have the right to receive timely and full information about the status of the environment, to influence the decision-making
regarding the issues of importance for the environment, and to legal protection of these rights.
Everyone, the state in particular, shall be bound to preserve and improve the environment
Limitation of human rights and liberties
Guaranteed human rights and freedoms may be limited only by the law, within the scope permitted by the Constitution and to such an
extent which is necessary to meet the purpose for which the limitation is allowed, in an open and democratic society.
Limitations shall not be introduced for other purposes except for those for which they have been provided for.
Temporary limitation of rights and liberties
During the proclaimed state of war or emergency, the exercise of certain human rights and freedoms may be limited, to the necessary
The limitations shall not be introduced on the grounds of sex, nationality, race, religion, language, ethnic or social origin, political or other
beliefs, financial standing or any other personal feature.
There shall be no limitations imposed on the rights to: life, legal remedy and legal aid; dignity and respect of a person; fair and public trail
and the principle of legality; presumption of innocence; defense; compensation of damage for illegal or ungrounded deprivation of liberty
and ungrounded conviction; freedom of thought, conscience and religion; entry into marriage.
There shall be no abolishment of the prohibition of: inflicting or encouraging hatred or intolerance; discrimination; trial and conviction
twice for one and the same criminal offence (ne bis in idem); forced assimilation.
Measures of limitation may be in effect at the most for the duration of the state of war or emergency.
2. PERSONAL RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES
Prohibition of death penalty
The death penalty shall be prohibited in Montenegro.
The right of a person and dignity of a human being with regard to the application of biology and medicine shall be guaranteed.
Any intervention aimed at creating a human being that is genetically identical to another human being, living or dead shall be prohibited.
It is prohibited to perform medical and other experiments on human beings, without their permission.
Dignity and inviolability of persona
The dignity and security of a man shall be guaranteed.
The inviolability of the physical and mental integrity of a man, and privacy and individual rights thereof shall be guaranteed.
No one can be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment.
No one can be kept in slavery or servile position.
Deprivation of liberty
Everyone shall have the right to personal liberty.
Deprivation of liberty is allowed only for reasons and in the procedure provided for by law.
Person deprived of liberty shall be notified immediately of the reasons for the arrest thereof, in own language or in the language he/she
Concurrently, person deprived of liberty shall be informed that he/she is not obliged to give any statement.
At the request of the person deprived of his/her liberty, the authority shall immediately inform about the deprivation of liberty the person
of own choosing of the person deprived of his/her liberty.
The person deprived of his/her liberty shall have the right to the defense counsel of his/her own choosing present at his interrogation.
Unlawful deprivation of liberty shall be punishable.
Person suspected with reasonable doubt to have committed a crime may, on the basis of the decision of the competent court, be detained
and kept in confinement only if this is necessary for the pre-trial procedure.
Detainee shall be given the explained decision of detention at the time of being placed in detention or at the latest 24 hours from being put
Detainee shall have the right of appeal against the decision of detention, upon which the court shall decide within 48 hours.
The duration of detention shall be reduced to the shortest possible period of time.
Detention by the decision of first-instance court may last up to three months from the day of detention, and by the decision of a higher
court, the detention may be extended for additional three months.
If no indictment is raised by that time, the detainee shall be released.
Detention of minors may not exceed 60 days.
Respect for person
The respect of human personality and dignity in the criminal or other procedure, in case of deprivation or limitation of liberty and during
the execution of imprisonment sentence shall be guaranteed.
Any form of violence, inhuman or degrading behavior against a person deprived of liberty or whose liberty has been limited, and any
extortion of confession and statement shall be prohibited and punishable.
Fair and public trial
Everyone shall have the right to fair and public trial within reasonable time before an independent and impartial court established by the
Principle of legality
No one may be punished for an act that, prior to being committed, was not stipulated by the law as punishable, nor may be pronounced a
punishment which was not envisaged for that act.
More lenient law
Criminal and other punishable acts are stipulated and the punishments for them are pronounced in accordance with the law in force at the
time when the act was committed, unless the new law is more favorable for the perpetrator.
Presumption of innocence
Every one shall be deemed innocent until the guilt thereof has been established by an enforceable court decision.
The accused shall not be obliged to prove the innocence thereof.
The court shall interpret the doubt regarding the guilt to the benefit of the accused.
Ne bis in idem
No one may be trialed or convicted twice for one and the same punishable act.
Right to defense
Every one shall be guaranteed the right to defense, and especially: to be informed in the language he/she understands about the charges
against thereof; to have sufficient time to prepare defense and to be defended personally or through a defense attorney of his/her own
Compensation of damage for illegal action
Person deprived of liberty in an illegal or ungrounded manner or convicted without grounds shall have the right to the compensation of
damage from the state.
Movement and residence
The right to freedom of movement and residence shall be guaranteed, as well as the right to leave Montenegro.
Freedom of movement, residence and leaving Montenegro may be restricted if required so for conducting the criminal procedure,
prevention of contagious diseases spreading or for the security of Montenegro.
Movement and residence of foreigner citizens shall be regulated by the law.
Right to privacy
Everybody shall have the right to respect for his/her private and family life.
Inviolability of home
Home shall be inviolable.
No one shall enter the dwelling place or other premises against the will of the possessor thereof and search them without a court warrant.
The search of premises shall be conducted in the presence of two witnesses.
A person in official capacity may enter other people’s dwelling place or other premises without the court warrant and conduct the search
without the presence of witnesses if so necessary for the prevention of execution of a criminal offence, immediate apprehension of a
perpetrator or to save people and property.
Confidentiality of correspondence
Confidentiality of letters, telephone conversations and other means of communication shall be inviolable.
The principle of inviolability of confidentiality of letters, telephone calls and other means of communication shall be deviated from only on
the basis of a court decision, if so required for the purposes of conducting criminal proceedings or for the security of Montenegro.
The protection of personal data shall be guaranteed.
It is prohibited to use personal data for purposes other than those for which they were collected.
Everyone shall have the right to be informed about the personal data collected about him or her and the right to court protection in case of
Right to asylum
A foreign national reasonably fearing from persecution on the grounds of his/her race, language, religion or association with a nation or a
group or due to own political beliefs may request asylum in Montenegro.
A foreign national shall not be expelled from Montenegro to where due to his race, religion, language or association with a nation he/she is
threatened with death sentence, torture, inhuman degradation, persecution or serious violation of rights guaranteed by this Constitution.
A foreign national may be expelled from Montenegro solely on the basis of a court decision and in a procedure provided for by the law.
3. POLITICAL RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES
The right to elect and stand for elections shall be granted to every citizen of Montenegro of 18 years of age and above with at least a two-
year residence in Montenegro.
The electoral right shall be exercised in elections.
The electoral right shall be general and equal.
Elections shall be free and direct, by secret ballot.
Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
Everyone shall be guaranteed the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as well as the right to change the religion or belief
and the freedom to, individually or collectively with others, publicly or privately, express the religion or belief by prayer, preaches,
customs or rites.
No one shall be obliged to declare own religious and other beliefs.
Freedom to express religious beliefs may be restricted only if so required in order to protect life and health of the people, public peace and
order, as well as other rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
Freedom of expression
Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression by speech, writing, picture or in some other manner.
The right to freedom of expression may be limited only by the right of others to dignity, reputation and honor and if it threatens public
morality or the security of Montenegro.
Objection of conscience
Everyone shall have the right to objection of conscience.
No one shall be obliged, contrary to own religion or conviction, to fulfill a military or other duty involving the use of arms.
Freedom of press
Freedom of press and other forms of public information shall be guaranteed.
The right to establish newspapers and other public information media, without approval, by registration with the competent authority, shall
The right to a response and the right to a correction of any untrue, incomplete or incorrectly conveyed information that violates a person’
s right or interest and the right to compensation of damage caused by the publication of untruthful data or information shall be guaranteed.
Prohibition of censorship
There shall be no censorship in Montenegro.
The competent court may prevent dissemination of information and ideas via the public media if required so to: prevent invitation to
forcible destruction of the order defined by the Constitution; preservation of territorial integrity of Montenegro; prevention of propagating
war or incitement to violence or performance of criminal offences; prevention of propagating racial, national and religious hatred or
Access to information
Everyone shall have the right to access information held by the state authorities and organizations exercising public authority.
The right to access to information may be limited if this is in the interest of: the protection of life; public health; morality and privacy;
carrying of criminal proceedings; security and defense of Montenegro; foreign, monetary and economic policy.
Freedom of assembly
The freedom of peaceful assembly, without approval, with prior notification of the competent authority shall be guaranteed.
The freedom of assembly may be temporarily restricted by the decision of the competent authority in order to prevent disorder or
execution of a criminal offence, threat to health, morality or security of people and property, in accordance with the law.
Freedom of association
The freedom of political, trade union and other association and action, without approval, by the registration with the competent authority,
shall be guaranteed.
No one shall be forced to become a member of an association.
The state supports political and other associations, when there is a public interest to do so.
Prohibition of organizing
Political organizing in public bodies shall be prohibited.
A judge of the Constitutional Court, a judge, a state prosecutor and his deputy, an Ombudsman, a member of the Council of the Central
Bank, a member of the Senate of the State Audit Institution, a professional member of the Army, Police and other security services shall
not be a member of any political organization.
Political organizing and actions of foreign nationals and political organizations with the seat outside of Montenegro shall be prohibited.
Prohibition of operation and establishment
The operation of political and other organizations directed towards forceful destruction of the constitutional order, infringement of the
territorial integrity of Montenegro, violation of guaranteed freedoms and rights or instigating national, racial, and religious and other hatred
and intolerance shall be prohibited.
The establishment of secret subversive organizations and irregular armies shall be prohibited.
Right to address international organisation
Everyone shall have the right of recourse to international institutions for the protection of own rights and freedoms guaranteed by the
Right of recourse
Everyone shall have the right of recourse, individually or collectively with others, to the state authority or the organisation exercising
public powers and receive a response.
No one shall be held responsible, or suffer other harmful consequences due to the views expressed in the recourse, unless having
committed a crime in doing so.
4. ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES
Property rights shall be guaranteed.
No one shall be deprived of or restricted in property rights, unless when so required by the public interest, with rightful compensation.
Natural wealth and goods in general use shall be owned by the state.
Freedom of entrepreneurship shall be guaranteed.
Freedom of entrepreneurship may be limited only if so necessary in order to protect the health of the people, environment, natural
resources, cultural heritage or security and defense of Montenegro.
Right to succession
The right to succession shall be guaranteed.
Rights of foreign nationals
A foreign national may be the holder of property rights (subjekat prava svojine) in accordance with the law.
Right to work
Everyone shall have the right to work, to free choice of occupation and employment, to fair and human working conditions and to
protection during unemployment.
Prohibition of forced labor
Forced labor shall be prohibited.
The following shall not be considered forced labor: labor customary during the serving of sentence, deprivation of liberty; performance of
duties of military nature or duties required instead of military service; work demanded in case of crisis or accident that threatens human
lives or property.
Rights of the employed
The employed shall have the right to adequate salary.
The employed shall have the right to limited working hours and paid vacation.
The employed shall have the right to protection at work.
Youth, women and the disabled shall enjoy special protection at work.
Social position of the employed shall be adjusted in the Social council.
Social council shall consist of the representatives of the trade union, the employers and the Government.
The employed shall have the right to strike.
The right to strike may be limited to the employed in the Army, police, state bodies and public service with the aim to protect public
interest, in accordance with the law.
Social insurance of the employed shall be mandatory.
The state shall provide material security to the person that is unable to work and has no funds for life.
Protection of the persons with disability
Special protection of the persons with disability shall be guaranteed.
Everyone shall have the right to health protection.
A child, a pregnant woman, an elderly person and a person with disability shall have the right to health protection from public revenues, if
they do not exercise this right on some other grounds.
The state shall protect the consumer.
Actions that harm the health, security and privacy of consumers shall be prohibited.
Marriage may be entered into only on the basis of a free consent of a woman and a man.
Marriage shall be based on equality of spouses.
Family shall enjoy special protection.
Parents shall be obliged to take care of their children, to bring them up and educate them.
Children shall take care of their own parents in need of assistance.
Children born out of wedlock shall have the same rights and responsibilities as children born in marriage.
Protection of mother and child
Mother and child shall enjoy special protection.
The state shall create the conditions that encourage childbirth.
Rights of a child
A child shall enjoy rights and freedoms appropriate to his age and maturity.
A child shall be guaranteed special protection from psychological, physical, economic and any other exploitation or abuse.
The right to education under same conditions shall be guaranteed.
Elementary education shall be obligatory and free of charge.
The autonomy of universities, higher education and scientific institutions shall be guaranteed.
Freedom of creation
The freedom of scientific, cultural and artistic creation shall be guaranteed.
The freedom to publish works of science and arts, scientific discoveries and technical inventions shall be guaranteed, and their authors
shall be guaranteed the moral and property rights.
Science, culture and arts
The state shall encourage and support the development of education, science, culture, arts, sport, physical and technical culture.
The state shall protect the scientific, cultural, artistic and historic values.
Protection of natural and cultural heritage
Everyone shall be obliged to preserve natural and cultural heritage of general interest.
The state shall protect the national and cultural heritage.
5. SPECIAL – MINORITY RIGHTS
Protection of identity
Persons belonging to minority nations and other minority national communities shall be guaranteed the rights and liberties, which they can
exercise individually or collectively with others, as follows:
1) the right to exercise, protect, develop and publicly express national, ethnic, cultural and religious particularities;
2) the right to choose, use and publicly post national symbols and to celebrate national holidays;
3) the right to use their own language and alphabet in private, public and official use;
4) the right to education in their own language and alphabet in public institutions and the right to have included in the curricula the history
and culture of the persons belonging to minority nations and other minority national communities;
5) the right, in the areas with significant share in the total population, to have the local self-government authorities, state and court
authorities carry out the proceedings in the language of minority nations and other minority national communities;
6) the right to establish educational, cultural and religious associations, with the material support of the state;
7) the right to write and use their own name and surname also in their own language and alphabet in the official documents;
8) the right, in the areas with significant share in total population, to have traditional local terms, names of streets and settlements, as well
as topographic signs written in the language of minority nations and other minority national communities;
9) the right to authentic representation in the Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro and in the assemblies of the local self-government
units in which they represent a significant share in the population, according to the principle of affirmative action;
10) the right to proportionate representation in public services, state authorities and local self-government bodies;
11) the right to information in their own language;
12) the right to establish and maintain contacts with the citizens and associations outside of Montenegro, with whom they have common
national and ethnic background, cultural and historic heritage, as well as religious beliefs;
13) the right to establish councils for the protection and improvement of special rights.
Prohibition of assimilation
Forceful assimilation of the persons belonging to minority nations and other minority national communities shall be prohibited.
The state shall protect the persons belonging to minority nations and other minority national communities from all forms of forceful
6. PROTECTOR OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES
The protector of human rights and liberties of Montenegro shall be independent and autonomous authority that takes measures to protect
human rights and liberties.
The protector of human rights and liberties shall exercise duties on the basis of the Constitution, the law and the confirmed international
agreements, observing also the principles of justice and fairness.
The protector of human rights and liberties shall be appointed for the period of six years and can be dismissed in cases envisaged by the
Illyrian people predated the arrival of Greek colonists first settled the coastal region in the 7th
and 6th centuries BCE followed by the Celts. An Illyrian Kingdom arose in the 3rd Century
BCE which was conquered by Rome in 9 CE. Slavic people began to settle along the
Dalmatian coast in the 7th century. Serbian culture and Christianity arrived in the ninth
century and the mixed tribes formed a dukedom in the tenth century. Dominance by Serbs,
Avars and Venetians vied for control of various sections of Montenegro through 1797. In
1516, the secular government of the Baltic controlled region fell, yielding to a theocratic
Montenegro under the auspices of the Orthodox church. The theocracy was thrown off in
1852, reverting to a secular kingdom that waged a series of wars with Turkey and the
Ottoman Empire and the first constitution being promulgated in 1905. Following World War I,
Montenegro joined into the union of Slavic nations which became Yugoslavia following
occupation by Italy in World War II. In April 1992, Montenegro joined Serbia in creating the
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia following the break up of the previous union that resulted in
the Baltic Wars. In 2003, Yugoslavia was renamed Serbia and Montenegro. Independence
was achieved on 3 June 2006 and a new constitution was promulgated on 19 October 2007.
Human rights are enumerated beginning with Part One (Basic Provisions) and Part Two
(Human Rights and Liberties) and conform with the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human
Rights of which Montenegro is a signatory. For a full English translation of Montenegro's
Constitution, click here.