Kosovo
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Features of Constitution1

Is there a constitution? Yes
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion? Yes

Constitution2

Constitution Year 2008
Last Amended not amended
Source Kosovo Constitution (Constitutional Commission)
Translation Source is an English translation
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2

Article 8: Secular State

The Republic of Kosovo is a secular state and is neutral in matters of religious beliefs.


Article 9: Cultural and Religious Heritage

The Republic of Kosovo ensures the preservation and protection of its cultural and religious heritage.


Article 24: Equality Before the Law

1. All are equal before the law. Everyone enjoys the right to equal legal protection without discrimination.
2. No one shall be discriminated against on grounds of race, color, gender, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, relation to any community, property, economic and social condition, sexual orientation, birth, disability or other personal status.
3. Principles of equal legal protection shall not prevent the imposition of measures necessary to protect and advance the rights of individuals and groups who are in unequal positions. Such measures shall be applied only until the purposes for which they are imposed have been fulfilled.


Article 38: Freedom of Belief, Conscience and Religion

1. Freedom of belief, conscience and religion is guaranteed.
2. Freedom of belief, conscience and religion includes the right to accept and manifest religion, the right to express personal beliefs and the right to accept or refuse membership in a religious community or group.
3. No one shall be required to practice or be prevented from practicing religion nor shall anyone be required to make his/her opinions and beliefs public.
4. Freedom of manifesting religion, beliefs and conscience may be limited by law if it is necessary to protect public safety and order or the health or rights of other persons.


Article 39: Religious Denominations

1. The Republic of Kosovo ensures and protects religious autonomy and religious monuments within its territory.
2. Religious denominations are free to independently regulate their internal organization, religious activities and religious ceremonies.
3. Religious denominations have the right to establish religious schools and charity institutions in accordance with this Constitution and the law.


Article 40: Freedom of Expression

1. Freedom of expression is guaranteed. Freedom of expression includes the right to express oneself, to disseminate and receive information, opinions and other messages without impediment.
2. The freedom of expression can be limited by law in cases when it is necessary to prevent encouragement or provocation of violence and hostility on grounds of race, nationality, ethnicity or religion.


Article 42: Freedom of Media

1. Freedom and pluralism of media is guaranteed.
2. Censorship is forbidden. No one shall prevent the dissemination of information or ideas through media, except if it is necessary to prevent encouragement or provocation of violence and hostility on grounds of race, nationality, ethnicity or religion.
3. Everyone has the right to correct untrue, incomplete and inaccurate published information, if it violates her/his rights and interests in accordance with the law.


Article 44: Freedom of Association

1. The freedom of association is guaranteed. The freedom of association includes the right of everyone to establish an organization without obtaining any permission, to be or not to be a member of any organization and to participate in the activities of an organization.
2. The freedom to establish trade unions and to organize with the intent to protect interests is guaranteed. This right may be limited by law for specific categories of employees.
3. Organizations or activities that infringe on the constitutional order, violate human rights and freedoms or encourage racial, national, ethnic or religious hatred may be prohibited by a decision of a competent court.


Article 57: General Principles

1. Inhabitants belonging to the same national or ethnic, linguistic, or religious group traditionally present on the territory of the Republic of Kosovo (Communities) shall have specific rights as set forth in this Constitution in addition to the human rights and fundamental freedoms provided in chapter II of this Constitution.


Article 58: Responsibilities of the State

�3. The Republic of Kosovo shall take all necessary measures to protect persons who may be subject to threats or acts of discrimination, hostility or violence as a result of their national, ethnic, cultural, linguistic or religious identity.
�5. The Republic of Kosovo shall promote the preservation of the cultural and religious heritage of all communities as an integral part of the heritage of Kosovo. The Republic of Kosovo shall have a special duty to ensure an effective protection of the entirety of sites and monuments of cultural and religious significance to the communities.


Article 59: Rights of Communities and their Members

Members of communities shall have the right, individually or in community, to:
(1) express, maintain and develop their culture and preserve the essential elements of their identity, namely their religion, language, traditions and culture;
�(12) enjoy unhindered contacts among themselves within the Republic of Kosovo and establish and maintain free and peaceful contacts with persons in any State, in particular those with whom they share an ethnic, cultural, linguistic or religious identity, or a common cultural heritage, in accordance with the law and international standards;


Article 81: Legislation of Vital Interest

1. The following laws shall require for their adoption, amendment or repeal both the majority of the Assembly deputies present and voting and the majority of the Assembly deputies present and voting holding seats reserved or guaranteed for representatives of Communities that are not in the majority:
�(6) Laws on religious freedom or on agreements with religious communities;

Sources

1.  Data under the "Features of Constitution" heading are drawn from coding of the U.S. State Department's 2008 International Religious Freedom Reports conducted by researchers at the Association of Religion Data Archives. The article by Brian Grim and Roger Finke describes the coding of the International Religious Freedom reports. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

2.  The constitutional excerpts shown above are reproduced from the websites given in the "Source" field; the links to these websites were active as of May 2011. Where the constitutional text shown on these websites was provided in a language other than English, this text was translated to English by ARDA staff with assistance from web-based translation utilities such as Google Translate and Yahoo! Babel Fish. Constitutional text was converted to American English where applicable. Constitutional clauses were judged to contain religious content based largely on the standards used in the construction of the Religion and State Constitutions Dataset collected by Jonathan Fox. Emphases were added to the text by ARDA staff to highlight religious content in articles that also contain content that does not pertain to matters of religion. The data on this page were correct to the best of the knowledge of the ARDA as of the date listed in the "Current as of" field shown above. Please contact us at arda@pop.psu.edu if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.