The Algerian constitutional experiment and human rights

This paper examines the constitutional experiment in Algeria since independence in 1962, paying special attention to the role and place of human rights and the obstacles which have limited their importance. It deals with the first Constitution of 1963, the coup d’tat of 1965, which led to an eleven-year period in which Algeria lived without a formal constitution, the 1976 Constitution, and the 1989 Constitution. An analysis of the Algerian constitutional experiment reveals that human rights were not a priority in the eyes of the elites which ruled Algeria, at least until the explosion of 1989. In fact, human rights were seen as a product of a hypocritical Western civilization. Even when mentioned in the constitutions, human rights were severely restricted before 1989. The techniques of the distribution of power – concentration of power in the hands of the president, predominance of the executive over the judiciary – were also an obstacle for the protection of human rights. Only the popular explosion of 1988-1989 was capable of obliging the regime to introduce profound constitutional and political changes in which the ideas of democracy and human rights occupied an important place. Notes, ref.

Title: The Algerian constitutional experiment and human rights
Author: Lazhari, Bouzid
Year: 1991
Periodical: Annual conference – African Society of International and Comparative Law
Volume: 3
Pages: 40-50
Language: English
Geographic term: Algeria
Abstract: This paper examines the constitutional experiment in Algeria since independence in 1962, paying special attention to the role and place of human rights and the obstacles which have limited their importance. It deals with the first Constitution of 1963, the coup d’tat of 1965, which led to an eleven-year period in which Algeria lived without a formal constitution, the 1976 Constitution, and the 1989 Constitution. An analysis of the Algerian constitutional experiment reveals that human rights were not a priority in the eyes of the elites which ruled Algeria, at least until the explosion of 1989. In fact, human rights were seen as a product of a hypocritical Western civilization. Even when mentioned in the constitutions, human rights were severely restricted before 1989. The techniques of the distribution of power – concentration of power in the hands of the president, predominance of the executive over the judiciary – were also an obstacle for the protection of human rights. Only the popular explosion of 1988-1989 was capable of obliging the regime to introduce profound constitutional and political changes in which the ideas of democracy and human rights occupied an important place. Notes, ref.