FIELD LISTING :: CONSTITUTION
CountryCONSTITUTION
Afghanistan history: several previous; latest drafted 14 December 2003 - 4 January 2004, signed 16 January 2004, ratified 26 January 2004
amendments: proposed by a commission formed by presidential decree followed by the convention of a Grand Council (Loya Jirga) decreed by the president; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the Loya Jirga membership and endorsement by the president (2017)
Akrotiri presented 3 August 1960, effective 16 August 1960 (The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia Order in Council 1960 serves as a basic legal document); amended 1966 (2016)
Albania history: several previous; latest approved by the Assembly 21 October 1998, adopted by referendum 22 November 1998, promulgated 28 November 1998
amendments: proposed by at least one-fifth of the Assembly membership; passage requires at least a two-thirds majority vote by the Assembly; referendum required only if approved by two-thirds of the Assembly; amendments approved by referendum effective upon declaration by the president of the republic; amended several times, last in 2016 (2017)
Algeria history: several previous; latest approved by referendum 23 February 1989
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or through the president with the support of three-fourths of the members of both houses of Parliament in joint session; passage requires approval by both houses, approval by referendum, and promulgation by the president; the president can forego a referendum if the Constitutional Council determines the proposed amendment does not conflict with basic constitutional principles; articles including the republican form of government, the integrity and unity of the country, and fundamental citizens’ liberties and rights cannot be amended; amended several times, last in 2016 (2016)
American Samoa adopted 17 October 1960; revised 1 July 1967; amended several times, last in 2013 (2016)
Andorra history: drafted 1991, approved by referendum 14 March 1993, effective 28 April 1993
amendments: proposed by the coprinces jointly or by the General Council; passage requires at least a two-thirds majority vote by the General Council, ratification in a referendum, and sanctioning by the coprinces (2016)
Angola history: previous 1975, 1992; latest passed by National Assembly 21 January 2010, adopted 5 February 2010
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or supported by at least one-third of the National Assembly membership; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly subject to prior Constitutional Court review if requested by the president of the republic
Anguilla several previous; latest 1 April 1982; amended 1990 (2016)
Antigua and Barbuda several previous; latest presented 31 July 1981, effective 31 October 1981 (Antigua and Barbuda Constitutional Order 1981); amended 2009, 2011 (2016)
Argentina several previous; latest effective 11 May 1853; amended many times, last in 1994 (2016)
Armenia history: previous 1915, 1978; latest adopted 5 July 1995
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by the National Assembly; passage requires approval by the president, by the National Assembly, and by a referendum with at least 25% registered voter participation and more than 50% of votes; constitutional articles on the form of government and democratic procedures are not amendable; amended 2005, 2007, 2008, last in 2015
note: a 2015 amendment, approved in December 2015 by a public referendum and effective for the 2017-18 electoral cycle, changes the government type from the current semi-presidential system to a parliamentary system (2017)
Aruba previous 1947, 1955; latest drafted and approved August 1985, enacted 1 January 1986 (regulates governance of Aruba but is subordinate to the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands); note - in October 2010, following dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles, Aruba became a constituent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands (2016)
Australia 9 July 1900; effective 1 January 1901; amended several times, last in 1977; note - a referendum to amend the constitution to reflect the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Recognition Act 2013 held in 2017 was rejected (2017)
Austria history: several previous; latest adopted 1 October 1920, revised 1929, replaced May 1934 (authoritarian corporate state), replaced by German Weimar constitution in 1938 following German annexation, reinstated 1 May 1945
amendments: proposed through laws designated “constitutional laws” or through the constitutional process if the amendment is part of another law; approval required by at least a two-thirds majority vote by the National Assembly if one-half of the members are present; a referendum is required only if requested by one-third of the National Council or Federal Council membership; passage by referendum requires absolute majority vote; amended many times, last in 2014 (2016)
Azerbaijan history: several previous; latest adopted 12 November 1995
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by at least 63 members of the National Assembly; passage requires at least 95 votes of Assembly members in two separate readings of the draft amendment six months apart and requires presidential approval after each of the two Assembly votes, followed by presidential signature; constitutional articles on the authority, sovereignty, and unity of the people cannot be amended; amended 2002, 2009, 2016 (2017)
Bahamas, The previous 1964 (preindependence); latest adopted 20 June 1973, effective 10 July 1973; amended many times, last in 2016 (2016)
Bahrain history: adopted 14 February 2002
amendments: proposed by the king or by at least 15 members of either chamber of the National Assembly followed by submission to an Assembly committee for review and, if approved, submitted to the government for restatement as drafts; passage requires a two-thirds majority vote by the membership of both chambers and validation by the king; constitutional articles on the state religion (Islam), state language (Arabic), and the monarchy and “inherited rule” cannot be amended; amended 2012, 2017 (2017)
Bangladesh history: previous 1935, 1956, 1962 (pre-independence); latest enacted 4 November 1972, effective 16 December 1972, suspended March 1982, restored November 1986
amendments: proposed by the House of the Nation; approval requires at least a two-thirds majority vote by the House membership, assented to by the president of the republic, and approved in a referendum by a majority of voters; amended many times, last in 2014 (2017)
Barbados adopted 22 November 1966, effective 30 November 1966; amended several times, last in 2007 (2016)
Belarus history: several previous; latest drafted between late 1991 and early 1994, signed 15 March 1994
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic through petition to the National Assembly or by petition of least 150,000 eligible voters; approval required by at least two-thirds majority vote in both chambers or by simple majority of votes cast in a referendum (2016)
Belgium history: drafted 25 November 1830, approved 7 February 1831, entered into force 26 July 1831, revised 14 July 1993 (creating a federal state)
amendments: "revisions" proposed as declarations by the federal government in accord with the king or by Parliament followed by dissolution of Parliament and new elections; adoption requires two-thirds majority vote of a two-thirds quorum in both houses of the next elected Parliament; amended many times, last in 2014 (2016)
Belize previous 1954, 1963 (preindependence); latest signed and entered into force 21 September 1981; amended several times, last in 2012 (2016)
Benin history: previous 1946, 1958 (preindependence); latest adopted by referendum 2 December 1990, promulgated 11 December 1990
amendments: proposed concurrently by the president of the republic (after a decision in the Council of Ministers) and the National Assembly; consideration of drafts or proposals requires at least three-fourths majority vote of the Assembly membership; passage requires approval in a referendum unless approved by at least four-fifths majority vote of the Assembly membership; constitutional articles affecting territorial sovereignty, the republican form of government, and secularity of Benin cannot be amended (2017)
Bermuda several previous (dating to 1684); latest entered into force 8 June 1968; amended several times, last in 2012 (2017)
Bhutan history: previous governing documents were various royal decrees; first constitution drafted November 2001 - March 2005, ratified 18 July 2008
amendments: proposed as a motion by simple majority vote in a joint session of Parliament; passage requires at least a three-fourths majority vote in a joint session of the next Parliament and assented to by the king; amended 2011 (2017)
Bolivia many previous; latest drafted 6 August 2006 - 9 December 2008, approved by referendum 25 January 2009, effective 7 February 2009; amended 2013 (2015)
Bosnia and Herzegovina history: 14 December 1995 (constitution included as part of the Dayton Peace Accords); note - each of the political entities has its own constitution
amendments: decided by the Parliamentary Assembly, including a two-thirds majority vote of members present in the House of Representatives; the constitutional article on human rights and fundamental freedoms cannot be amended; amended several times, last in 2009 (2016)
Botswana history: previous 1960 (preindependence); latest adopted March 1965, effective 30 September 1966
amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage requires approval in two successive Assembly votes with at least two-thirds majority in the final vote; proposals to amend constitutional provisions on fundamental rights and freedoms, the structure and branches of government, and public services also requires approval by majority vote in a referendum and assent by the president of the republic; amended several times, last in 2006 (2017)
Brazil several previous; latest ratified 5 October 1988; amended many times, last in 2016 (2016)
British Virgin Islands several previous; latest effective 15 June 2007 (2016)
Brunei drafted 1954 to 1959, signed 29 September 1959; amended 1984, 2004, 2011; note - some constitutional provisions suspended since 1962 under a state of emergency, others suspended since independence in 1984 (2016)
Bulgaria history: several previous; latest drafted between late 1990 and early 1991, adopted 13 July 1991
amendments: proposed by the National Assembly or by the president of the republic; passage requires three-fourths majority vote of National Assembly members in three ballots; signed by the National Assembly chairperson; note - under special circumstances, a "Grand National Assembly" is elected with the authority to write a new constitution and amend certain articles of the constitution, including those affecting basic civil rights and national sovereignty; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote in each of several readings; amended several times, last in 2015 (2016)
Burkina Faso history: several previous; latest approved by referendum 2 June 1991, adopted 11 June 1991, temporarily suspended late October to mid-November 2014
amendments: proposed by the president, by a majority of National Assembly membership, or by petition of at least 30,000 eligible voters submitted to the Assembly; passage requires at least three-fourths majority vote in the Assembly; failure to meet that threshold requires majority voter approval in a referendum; constitutional provisions on the form of government, the multiparty system, and national sovereignty cannot be amended; amended several times, last in 2012 (2017)
Burma history: previous 1947, 1974 (suspended until 2008); latest drafted 9 April 2008, approved by referendum 29 May 2008; note - several sections of the constitution on state structure were not implemented until August 2010
amendments: proposals require at least 20% approval by the Assembly of the Union membership; passage of amendments to sections of the constitution on basic principles, government structure, branches of government, state emergencies, and amendment procedures requires 75 % approval by the Assembly and approval in a referendum by absolute majority of registered voters; passage of amendments to other sections requires only 75% Assembly approval (2017)
Burundi history: several previous; latest ratified by referendum 28 February 2005
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic after consultation with the government or by absolute majority support of the membership in both houses of Parliament; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote by the Senate membership and at least four-fifths majority vote by the National Assembly; the president can opt to submit amendment bills to a referendum; constitutional articles including those on national unity, the secularity of Burundi, its democratic form of government, and its sovereignty cannot be amended (2017)
Cabo Verde history: previous 1981; latest effective 25 September 1992
amendments: proposals require support of at least four-fifths of the active National Assembly membership; amendment drafts require sponsorship of at least one-third of the active Assembly membership; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote by the Assembly membership; constitutional sections including those on national independence, form of government, political pluralism, suffrage, and human rights and liberties cannot be amended; revised 1995, 1999, 2010 (2017)
Cambodia previous 1947; latest promulgated 21 September 1993; amended 1999, 2008, 2014 (2016)
Cameroon history: several previous; latest effective 18 January 1996
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by Parliament; amendment drafts require approval of at least one-third of the membership in either house of Parliament; passage requires absolute majority vote of the Parliament membership; passage of drafts requested by the president for a second reading in Parliament requires two-thirds majority vote of its membership; the president can opt to submit drafts to a referendum, in which case passage requires a simple majority; constitutional articles on Cameroon’s unity and territorial integrity and its democratic principles cannot be amended; amended 2008 (2017)
Canada made up of unwritten and written acts, customs, judicial decisions, and traditions dating from 1763; the written part of the constitution consists of the Constitution Act of 29 March 1867, which created a federation of four provinces, and the Constitution Act of 17 April 1982; several amendments to the 1982 Constitution Act, last in 2011 (2016)
Cayman Islands several previous; latest approved 10 June 2009, entered into force 6 November 2009 (The Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009) (2016)
Central African Republic history: several previous; latest (interim constitution) approved by the Transitional Council 30 August 2015, adopted by referendum 13-14 December 2015, ratified 27 March 2016
amendments: proposals require support of the government, two-thirds of the National Council of Transition, and assent by the “Mediator of the Central African” crisis; passage requires at least three-fourths majority vote by the National Council membership; non-amendable constitutional provisions include those on the secular and republican form of government, fundamental rights and freedoms, amendment procedures, or changes to the authorities of various high-level executive, parliamentary, and judicial officials (2017)
Chad history: several previous; latest approved by referendum 31 March 1996, entered into force 8 April 1996
amendments: proposed as a revision by the president of the republic after a Council of Ministers (cabinet) decision or by the National Assembly; approval for consideration of a revision requires at least three-fifths majority vote by the Assembly; passage requires approval by referendum or at least two-thirds majority vote by the Assembly; amended 2005, 2013 (2017)
Chile many previous; latest adopted 11 September 1980, effective 11 March 1981; amended many times, last in 2011; note - in late 2015, the Chilean Government initiated a process to reform its constitution (2016)
China several previous; latest promulgated 4 December 1982; amended several times, last in 2004 (2016)
Christmas Island 1 October 1958 (Christmas Island Act 1958); amended many times, last in 2010 (Territories Law Reform Act 2010) (2016)
Cocos (Keeling) Islands 23 November 1955 (Cocos (Keeling) Islands Act 1955); amended many times, last in 2010 (2016)
Colombia several previous; latest promulgated 5 July 1991; amended many times, last in 2015 (2016)
Comoros history: previous 1996; latest ratified 23 December 2001
amendments: proposed by the president of the union or supported by at least one-third of the Assembly of the Union membership; passage requires approval by at least two-thirds majority of the total Assembly membership and approval by at least two-thirds of the membership of the Island Councils, or approval in a referendum; amended 2009, 2014 (2017)
Congo, Democratic Republic of the history: several previous; latest adopted 13 May 2005, approved by referendum 18-19 December 2005, promulgated 18 February 2006
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic, by the government, by either house of Parliament, or by public petition; agreement on the substance of a proposed bill requires absolute majority vote in both houses; passage requires a referendum only if both houses in joint meeting fail to achieve three-fifths majority vote; constitutional articles including the form of government, universal suffrage, judicial independence, political pluralism, and personal freedoms cannot be amended; amended 2011 (2017)
Congo, Republic of the history: several previous; latest approved by referendum 25 October 2015
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by Parliament; passage of presidential proposals requires Supreme Court review followed by approval in a referendum; such proposals may also be submitted directly to Parliament, in which case passage requires at least three-quarters majority vote of both houses in joint session; proposals by Parliament require three-fourths majority vote of both houses in joint session; constitutional articles including those affecting the country’s territory, republican form of government, and secularity of the state are not amendable (2017)
Cook Islands 4 August 1965 (Cook Islands Constitution Act 1964); amended many times, last in 2004 (2016)
Costa Rica previous 1825; latest effective 8 November 1949; amended many times, last in 2015 (2016)
Cote d'Ivoire history: previous 1960, 2000; latest draft completed 24 September 2016, approved by the National Assembly 11 October 2016, approved by referendum 30 October 2016, promulgated 8 November 2016
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by Parliament; consideration of drafts or proposals requires an absolute majority vote by the parliamentary membership; passage of amendments affecting presidential elections, presidential term of office and vacancies, and amendment procedures requires approval by absolute majority in a referendum; passage of other proposals by the president requires at least four-fifths majority vote by Parliament; constitutional articles on the sovereignty of the state and its republican and secular form of government cannot be amended (2017)
Croatia history: several previous; latest adopted 22 December 1990
amendments: proposed by at least one-fifth of the Assembly membership, by the president of the republic, by the Government of Croatia, or through petition by at least 10% of the total electorate; proceedings to amend require majority vote by the Assembly; passage requires two-thirds majority vote by the Assembly; passage by petition requires a majority vote in a referendum, and promulgation by the Assembly; amended several times, last in 2014 (2016)
Cuba several previous; latest adopted by referendum 15 February 1976, effective 24 February 1976; amended 1978, 1992, 2002 (2016)
Curacao previous 1947, 1955; latest adopted 5 September 2010, entered into force 10 October 2010 (regulates governance of Curacao but is subordinate to the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands); note - in October 2010, with the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles, Curacao became a constituent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands (2017)
Cyprus history: ratified 16 August 1960; note - in 1963, the constitution was partly suspended as Turkish Cypriots withdrew from the government; Turkish-held territory in 1983 was declared the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" ("TRNC"); in 1985, the "TRNC" approved its own constitution
amendments: constitution of the Republic of Cyprus - proposed by the House of Representatives; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the total membership of the “Greek Community” and the “Turkish Community”; however, all seats of Turkish Cypriot members have remained vacant since 1964; amended several times, last in 2016
constitution of the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” - proposed by at least 10 members of the Assembly of the Republic; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the total Assembly membership and approval by referendum; amended 2014
Czechia history: previous 1960; latest ratified 16 December 1992, effective 1 January 1993
amendments: passage requires at least three-fifths concurrence by members present in both houses of Parliament; amended several times, last in 2013 (2016)
Denmark history: several previous; latest adopted 5 June 1953
amendments: proposed by the Folketing with consent of the government; passage requires approval by the next Folketing following a general election, approval by simple majority vote of at least 40% of voters in a referendum, and assent by the chief of state; changed several times, last in 2009 (Danish Act of Succession) (2016)
Dhekelia presented 3 August 1960, effective 16 August 1960 (The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia Order in Council 1960, serves as a basic legal document); amended 1966 (2016)
Djibouti history: approved by referendum 4 September 1992
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by the National Assembly; Assembly consideration of proposals requires assent by at least one-third of the membership; passage requires a simple majority vote by the Assembly and approval by simple majority vote in a referendum; the president can opt to bypass a referendum if adopted by at least two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly; constitutional articles on the sovereignty of Djibouti, its republican form of government, and its pluralist form of democracy cannot by amended; amended 2006, 2008, 2010 (2017)
Dominica previous 1967 (preindependence); latest presented 25 July 1978, entered into force 3 November 1978; amended several times, last in 2015 (2016)
Dominican Republic many previous (38 total); latest proclaimed 26 January 2010; note - the Dominican Republic Government has a practice of promulgating a "new" constitution whenever an amendment is ratified (2016)
Ecuador many previous; latest approved 20 October 2008; amended 2011, 2015; note - a 2015 constitutional amendment lifting presidential term limits became effective 2017 (2017)
Egypt history: several previous; latest approved by a constitutional committee in December 2013, approved by referendum held on 14-15 January 2014, ratified by interim president on 19 January 2014
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by one-fifth of the House of Representatives members; a decision to accept the proposal requires majority vote by House members; passage of amendment requires a two-thirds majority vote by House members and passage by majority vote in a referendum; articles of reelection of the president and principles of freedom not amendable unless the amendment "brings more guarantees" (2016)
El Salvador many previous; latest drafted 16 December 1983, enacted 23 December 1983; amended many times, last in 2014 (2016)
Equatorial Guinea history: previous 1968, 1973, 1982; approved by referendum 17 November 1991
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or supported by three-fourths of the membership in either house of the National Assembly; passage requires three-fourths majority vote by both houses of the Assembly and approval in a referendum if requested by the president; amended several times, last in 2012 (2017)
Eritrea history: ratified by the Constituent Assembly 23 May 1997 (not fully implemented); note - drafting of a new constitution, which began in 2014, continued into 2017
amendments: proposed by the president of Eritrea or by assent of at least one-half of the National Assembly membership; passage requires at least an initial three-quarters majority vote by the Assembly and, after one year, final passage by at least four-fifths majority vote by the Assembly (2017)
Estonia history: several previous; latest adopted 28 June 1992
amendments: proposed by at least one-fifth of Parliament members or by the president of the republic; passage requires three readings of the proposed amendment and a simple majority vote in two successive memberships of Parliament; passage of amendments to the “General Provisions” and “Amendment of the Constitution” chapters requires at least three-fifths majority vote by Parliament to conduct a referendum and majority vote in a referendum; amended several times, last in 2015 (2016)
Ethiopia history: several previous; latest drafted June 1994, adopted 8 December 1994, entered into force 21 August 1995
amendments: proposals submitted for discussion require two-thirds majority approval in either house of Parliament or majority approval of one-third of the State Councils; passage of amendments other than constitutional articles on fundamental rights and freedoms and the initiation and amendment of the constitution requires two-thirds majority vote in a joint session of Parliament and majority vote by two-thirds of the State Councils; passage of amendments affecting rights and freedoms and amendment procedures requires two-thirds majority vote in each house of Parliament and majority vote by all the State Councils (2017)
European Union history: none; note - the EU legal order relies primarily on two consolidated texts encompassing all provisions as amended from a series of past treaties: the Treaty on European Union (TEU), as modified by the Lisbon Treaty states in Article 1 that "the HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES establish among themselves a EUROPEAN UNION ... on which the Member States confer competences to attain objectives they have in common"; Article 1 of the TEU states further that the EU is "founded on the present Treaty and on the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (hereinafter referred to as 'the Treaties')," both possessing the same legal value; Article 6 of the TEU provides that a separately adopted Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union "shall have the same legal value as the Treaties"
amendments: European Union treaties can be amended in several ways: 1) Ordinary Revision Procedure (for key amendments to the treaties); initiated by an EU country’s government, by the EU Parliament, or by the EU Commission; following adoption of the proposal by the European Council, a convention is formed of national government representatives to review the proposal and subsequently a conference of government representatives also reviews the proposal; passage requires ratification by all EU countries; 2) Simplified Revision Procedure (for amendment of EU internal policies and actions); passage of a proposal requires unanimous European Council vote following European Council consultation with the EU Commission, the European Council, and the European Parliament, and requires ratification by all EU countries; 3) Passerelle Clause (allows the alteration of a legislative procedure without a formal amendment of the treaties); 4) Flexibility Clause (permits the EU to decide in subject areas not covered by the EU treaties); note - the Treaty of Lisbon (signed in December 2007 and effective in December 2009) amended the two treaties that formed the EU - the Maastricht Treaty (1993) and the Treaty of Rome (1958), known in updated form as the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (2007) (2016)
Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) previous 1985; latest entered into force 1 January 2009 (2016)
Faroe Islands history: 5 June 1953 (Danish Constitution), 23 March 1948 (Home Rule Act), and 24 June 2005 (Takeover Act) serve as the Faroe Islands constitutional position in the Unity of the Realm
amendments: see entry for Denmark (2016)
Fiji several previous; latest signed into law September 2013 (2016)
Finland history: previous 1906, 1919; latest drafted 17 June 1997, approved by Parliament 11 June 1999, entered into force 1 March 2000
amendments: proposed by Parliament; passage normally requires simple majority vote in two readings in the first parliamentary session and at least two-thirds majority vote in a single reading by the newly elected Parliament; proposals declared “urgent” by five-sixths of Parliament members can be passed by at least two-thirds majority vote in the first parliamentary session only; amended several times, last in 2012 (2016)
France history: many previous; latest effective 4 October 1958
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic (upon recommendation of the prime minister and Parliament) or by Parliament; proposals submitted by Parliament members require passage by both houses followed by approval in a referendum; passage of proposals submitted by the government can bypass a referendum if submitted by the president to Parliament and passed by at least three-fifths majority vote by Parliament’s National Assembly; amended many times, last in 2008 (2016)
French Polynesia 4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
Gabon history: previous 1961; latest drafted May 1990, adopted 15 March 1991, promulgated 26 March 1991
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic, by the Council of Ministers, or by one-third of either house of Parliament; passage requires Constitutional Court evaluation, at least two-thirds majority vote of two-thirds of the Parliament membership convened in joint session, and approval in a referendum; constitutional articles on Gabon’s democratic form of government cannot be amended; amended several times, last in 2011 (2017)
Gambia, The history: previous 1965 (independence act), 1970; latest adopted 8 April 1996, approved by referendum 8 August 1996, effective 16 January 1997
amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage requires at least three-fourths majority vote by the Assembly membership in each of several readings and approval by the president of the republic; a referendum is required for amendments affecting national sovereignty, fundamental rights and freedoms, government structures and authorities, taxation, and public funding; passage by referendum requires participation of at least 50% of eligible voters and approval by at least 75% of votes cast; amended 2001, 2004, 2010 (2017)
Georgia history: previous 1921, 1978 (based on 1977 Soviet Union constitution); latest approved 24 August 1995, effective 17 October 1995
amendments: proposed as a draft law supported by more than one-half of the Parliament membership or by petition of at least 200,000 voters; passage requires support by at least three-fourths of the Parliament membership in two successive sessions three months apart and the signature and promulgation by the president of Georgia; amended several times, last in 2013 (2017)
Germany history: previous 1919 (Weimar Constitution); latest drafted 10 to 23 August 1948, approved 12 May 1949, promulgated 23 May 1949, entered into force 24 May 1949
amendments: proposed by Parliament; passage and enactment into law require two-thirds majority vote by both the Bundesrat (upper house) and the Bundestag (lower house) of Parliament; articles including those on basic human rights and freedoms cannot be amended; amended many times, last in 2012 (2016)
Ghana history: several previous; latest drafted 31 March 1992, approved and promulgated 28 April 1992, entered into force 7 January 1993
amendments: proposed by Parliament; consideration requires prior referral to the Council of State, a body of prominent citizens who advise the president of the republic; passage of amendments to “entrenched” constitutional articles (including those on national sovereignty, fundamental rights and freedoms, the structure and authorities of the branches of government, and amendment procedures) requires approval in a referendum by at least 40% participation of eligible voters and at least 75% of votes cast, followed by at least two-thirds majority vote in Parliament, and assent by the president; amendments to non-entrenched articles do not require referenda; amended 1996 (2017)
Gibraltar history: previous 1969; latest passed by referendum 30 November 2006, entered into effect 14 December 2006, entered into force 2 January 2007
amendments: proposed by Parliament and require prior consent of the British monarch (through the Secretary of State); passage requires at least three-quarters majority vote in Parliament followed by simple majority vote in a referendum; note – only sections 1 through 15 in Chapter 1 (Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms) can be amended by Parliament (2016)
Greece history: many previous; latest entered into force 11 June 1975
amendments: proposed by at least 50 members of Parliament and agreed by three-fifths majority vote in two separate ballots at least 30 days apart; passage requires absolute majority vote by the next elected Parliament; entry into force finalized through a “special parliamentary resolution”; articles on human rights and freedoms and the form of government cannot be amended; amended 1986, 2001, 2008 (2016)
Greenland previous 1953 (Greenland established as a constituency in the Danish constitution), 1979 (Greenland Home Rule Act); latest 21 June 2009 (Greenland Self-Government Act) (2016)
Grenada previous 1967; latest presented 19 December 1973, effective 7 February 1974, suspended 1979 following a revolution, but restored in 1983; amended 1991 (Constitutional Judicature Act, 1991) (2017)
Guam effective 1 July 1950 (Guam Act of 1950 serves as a constitution); amended many times, last in 2015 (2016)
Guatemala several previous; latest adopted 31 May 1985, effective 14 January 1986; suspended, reinstated, and amended in 1994 (2016)
Guernsey history: unwritten; includes royal charters, statutes, and common law and practice
amendments: new laws or changes to existing laws are initiated by the States of Deliberation; passage requires majority vote (2016)
Guinea-Bissau history: promulgated 16 May 1984; note - constitution suspended following military coup in April 2012 and restored in 2014
amendments: proposed by the National People’s Assembly if supported by at least one-third of its members, by the Council of State (a presidential consultant body), or by the government; passage requires approval by at least two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly; constitutional articles on the republican and secular form of government and national sovereignty cannot be amended; amended 1991, 1993, 1996 (2017)
Guinea history: previous 1958, 1990; latest promulgated 19 April 2010, approved 7 May 2010
amendments: proposed by the National Assembly or by the president of the republic; consideration of proposals requires approval by simple majority vote by the Assembly; passage requires approval in referendum; the president can opt to submit amendments directly to the Assembly, in which case approval requires at least two-thirds majority vote (2017)
Guyana several previous; latest promulgated 6 October 1980; amended many times, last in 2009 (2017)
Haiti many previous (23 total); latest adopted 10 March 1987; amended 2012 (2016)
Holy See (Vatican City) history: previous 1929, 1963; latest adopted 26 November 2000, effective 22 February 2001 (Fundamental Law of Vatican City State); note - in October 2013, Pope Francis instituted a 9-member Council of Cardinal Advisors to reform the administrative apparatus of the Holy See (Roman Curia) to include writing a new constitution
amendments: note - although the Fundamental Law of Vatican City State makes no mention of amendments, Article Four (drafting laws), states that this legislative responsibility resides with the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State; draft legislation is submitted through the Secretariat of State and considered by the pope (2016)
Honduras several previous; latest approved 11 January 1982, effective 20 January 1982; amended many times, last in 2012; note - in 2015, the Honduran Supreme Court struck down several constitutional articles on presidential term limits (2016)
Hong Kong several previous (governance documents while under British authority); latest drafted April 1988 to February 1989, approved March 1990, effective 1 July 1997 (Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China serves as the constitution); note - since 1990, the PRC National People's Congress has interpreted specific articles of the Basic Law (2016)
Hungary history: previous 1949 (heavily amended in 1989 following the collapse of communism); latest approved 18 April 2011, signed 25 April 2011, effective 1 January 2012
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic, by the government, by parliamentary committee, or by Parliament members; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of Parliament members and approval by the president; amended several times, last in 2013 (2016)
Iceland history: several previous; latest ratified 16 June 1944, effective 17 June 1944 (at independence)
amendments: proposed by the Althingi; passage requires approval by the Althingi and by the next elected Althingi, and confirmation by the president of the republic; proposed amendments to Article 62 of the constitution – that the Evangelical Lutheran Church shall be the state church of Iceland – also require passage by referendum; amended many times, last in 2013 (2016)
India history: previous 1935 (preindependence); latest draft completed 4 November 1949, adopted 26 November 1949, effective 26 January 1950
amendments: proposed by either the Council of States or the House of the People; passage requires majority participation of the total membership in each house and at least two-thirds majority of voting members of each house, followed by assent of the president of India; proposed amendments to the constitutional amendment procedures also must be ratified by at least one-half of the India state legislatures before presidential assent; amended many times, last in 2016 (2017)
Indonesia drafted July to August 1945, effective 17 August 1945, abrogated by 1949 and 1950 constitutions, 1945 constitution restored 5 July 1959; amended several times, last in 2002; note - an amendment on "national character building and national consciousness awareness" was pending parliamentary review in early 2016 (2016)
Iran history: previous 1906; latest adopted 24 October 1979, effective 3 December 1979
amendments: proposed by the supreme leader – after consultation with the Exigency Council – and submitted as an edict to the “Council for Revision of the Constitution,” a body consisting of various executive, legislative, judicial, and academic leaders and members; passage requires absolute majority vote in a referendum and approval of the supreme leader; articles including Iran’s political system, its religious basis, and its form of government cannot be amended; amended 1989 (2016)
Iraq history: several previous; latest adopted by referendum 15 October 2005
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic and the Council of Minsters collectively, or by one-fifth of the Council of Representatives members; passage requires at least a two-thirds majority vote by the Council of Representatives, approval by referendum, and ratification by the president; passage of amendments to articles on citizen rights and liberties requires a two-thirds majority vote of Council of Representatives members after two successive electoral terms, approval in a referendum, and ratification by the president (2016)
Ireland history: previous 1922; latest drafted 14 June 1937, adopted by plebiscite 1 July 1937, effective 29 December 1937
amendments: proposed as bills by Parliament; passage requires majority vote by both the Senate and House of Representatives, majority vote in a referendum, and presidental signature; amended many times, last in 2015 (2016)
Isle of Man history: development of the Isle of Man constitution dates to at least the 14th century
amendments: proposed as a bill in the House of Keys, by the “Government,” by a “Member of the House,” or through petition to the House or Legislative Council; passage normally requires three separate readings and approval of at least 13 House members; following both House and Council agreement, assent is required by the lieutenant governor on behalf of the Crown; the constitution has been expanded and amended many times, last in 2015 (2016)
Israel history: no formal constitution; some functions of a constitution are filled by the Declaration of Establishment (1948), the Basic Laws, and the Law of Return (as amended)
amendments: proposed by Government of Israel ministers or by the Knesset; passage requires a majority vote of Knesset members and subject to Supreme Court judicial review; 11 of the 13 Basic Laws have been amended at least once, latest in 2014 (2016)
Italy history: previous 1848 (originally for the Kingdom of Sardinia and adopted by the Kingdom of Italy in 1861); latest enacted 22 December 1947, adopted 27 December 1947, entered into force 1 January 1948
amendments: proposed by both houses of Parliament; passage requires two successive debates and approval by absolute majority of each house on the second vote; a referendum is only required when requested by one-fifth of the members of either house, by voter petition, or by five Regional Councils (elected legislative assemblies of the 15 first-level administrative regions and 5 autonomous regions of Italy); referendum not required if an amendment has been approved by a two-thirds majority in each house in the second vote; amended many times, last in 2012; note - a referendum held on 4 December 2016 on constitutional amendments was defeated (2017)
Jamaica kseveral previous (preindependence); latest drafted 1961-62, submitted to British Parliament 24 July 1962, entered into force 6 August 1962 (at independence); amended many times, last in 2015 (2016)
Japan previous 1890; latest approved 6 October 1946, adopted 3 November 1946, effective 3 May 1947; note - the constitution has not been amended since its enactment in 1947 (2016)
Jersey history: unwritten; partly statutes, partly common law and practice
amendments: proposed by a government minister to the Assembly of the States of Jersey, by an Assembly member, or by an elected parish head; passage requires several Assembly readings, a majority vote by the Assembly, review by the UK Ministry of Justice, and approval by the British monarch (Royal Assent) (2016)
Jordan history: previous 1928 (preindependence); latest initially adopted 28 November 1947, revised and ratified 1 January 1952
amendments: proposed by 10 or more members of the Senate or by the House of Representatives followed by referral to the relevant House committee for its review and opinion; if accepted, the proposal is referred to the government for restatement as a draft; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of both the Senate and the House and ratification by the king; amended several times, last in 2016 (2016)
Kazakhstan history: previous 1937, 1978 (preindependence), 1993; latest approved by referendum 30 August 1995, effective 5 September 1995
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic on the recommendation of Parliament or the government; the president has the option of submitting draft amendments to Parliament or directly to a referendum; passage of amendments to Parliament requires three-fourths majority vote of both houses and the signature of the president; passage by referendum requires absolute majority vote by more than one-half of the voters in at least two-thirds of the oblasts, major cities, and the capital, followed by the signature of the president; amended several times, last in 2017 (2017)
Kenya history: previous 1963, 1969; latest drafted 6 May 2010, passed by referendum 4 August 2010, promulgated 27 August 2010
amendments: proposed by either house of Parliament or by petition of at least one million eligible voters; passage of amendments by Parliament requires approval by at least two-thirds majority vote of both houses in each of two readings, approval in a referendum by majority of votes cast by at least 20% participation of eligible voters in at least one-half of Kenya’s counties, and approval by the president; passage of amendments introduced by petition requires approval by a majority of county assemblies, approval by majority vote of both houses, and approval by the president (2017)
Kiribati The Gilbert and Ellice Islands Order in Council 1915, The Gilbert Islands Order in Council 1975 (preindependence); latest promulgated 12 July 1979 (at independence); amended 1995, 2013 (2016)
Korea, North previous 1948, 1972; latest adopted 1998; revised 2009, 2012, 2013 (2016)
Korea, South effective 17 July 1948; amended many times, last in 1987 (2017)
Kosovo history: previous 1974, 1990; latest (postindependence) draft finalized 2 April 2008, signed 7 April 2008, ratified 9 April 2008, entered into force 15 June 2008; note - amendment 24, passed by the Assembly in August 2015, established the Kosovo Relocated Specialist Institution, a court established to try war crimes allegedly committed by the Kosovo Liberation Army in the late 1990s
amendments: proposed by the government, by the president of the republic, or by one-fourth of Assembly deputies; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly, including two-thirds majority vote of deputies representing non-majority communities, followed by a favorable Constitutional Court assessment; amended several times, last in 2016 (2016)
Kuwait history: approved and promulgated 11 November 1962
amendments: proposed by the amir or supported by at least one-third of the National Assembly; passage requires two-thirds consent by the Assembly membership and promulgation by the amir; constitutional articles on the initiation, approval, and promulgation of general legislation cannot be amended (2016)
Kyrgyzstan history: previous 1993; latest adopted by referendum 27 June 2010, effective 2 July 2010; note - the current constitution prohibits any change until 2020
amendments: proposed as a draft law by the majority of the Supreme Council membership or by petition of 300,000 voters; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the Council membership in each of at least three readings of the draft two months apart; the draft may be submitted to a referendum if approved by two-thirds of the Council membership; adoption requires the signature of the president; amended 2017 (2017)
Laos previous 1947 (preindependence); latest promulgated 13-15 August 1991; amended 2003, 2015 (2016)
Latvia history: several previous (pre-1991 independence); note - following the restoration of independence in 1991, parts of the 1922 constitution were reintroduced 4 May 1990 and fully reintroduced 6 July 1993
amendments: proposed by two-thirds of Parliament members or by petition of one-tenth of qualified voters submitted through the president; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of Parliament in each of three readings; amendment of constitutional articles including national sovereignty, language, the parliamentary electoral system, and constitutional amendment procedures requires passage in a referendum by majority vote of at least one-half of the electorate; amended several times, last in 2014 (2016)
Lebanon history: drafted 15 May 1926, adopted 23 May 1926
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic and introduced as a government bill to the Chamber of Deputies or proposed by at least 10 members of the Chamber of Deputies and agreed upon by two-thirds of its members; following government review and approval, the proposal is prepared as a draft amendment and submitted to the Chamber of Deputies for discussion and vote; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of a required two-thirds quorum of the chamber membership and promulgation by the president; amended several times, last in 2004 (2016)
Lesotho history: previous 1959, 1967; latest adopted 2 April 1993 (effectively restoring the 1967 version)
amendments: proposed by Parliament; passage of amendments affecting constitutional provisions including fundamental rights and freedoms, sovereignty of the kingdom, the office of the king, and powers of Parliament requires a majority vote by the National Assembly, approval by the Senate, approval in a referendum by a majority of qualified voters, and assent by the king; passage of amendments other than those specified provisions requires at least a two-thirds majority vote in both Parliament houses; amended several times, last in 2011 (2017)
Liberia history: previous 1847 (at independence); latest drafted 19 October 1983, revised version adopted by referendum 3 July 1984, effective 6 January 1986
amendments: proposed by agreement of at least two-thirds of both National Assembly houses or by petition of at least 10,000 citizens; passage requires at least two-thirds majority approval of both houses and approval in a referendum by at least two-thirds majority of registered voters; amended 2011; note - a series of amendment proposals approved by the Constitution Review Conference in early 2015 are pending a referendum ahead of October 2017 elections (2017)
Libya history: previous 1951, 1977; drafting of a new constitution by the Constitution Drafting Assembly continued into 2017 (2017)
Liechtenstein history: previous 1862; latest adopted 5 October 1921
amendments: proposed by Parliament, by the reigning prince (in the form of “Government” proposals), by petition of at least 1,500 qualified voters, or by at least four communes; passage requires unanimous approval of Parliament members in one sitting or three-quarters majority vote in two successive sittings; referendum required only if petitioned by at least 1,500 voters or by at least four communes; passage by referendum requires absolute majority of votes cast; amended several times, last in 2011 (2016)
Lithuania history: several previous; latest adopted by referendum 25 October 1992, entered into force 2 November 1992
amendments: proposed by at least one-fourth of all Parliament members or by petition of at least 300,000 voters; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of Parliament in each of two readings three months apart and a presidential signature; amendments to constitutional articles on national sovereignty and constitutional amendment procedure also require three-fourths voter approval in a referendum; amended 1996, 2003, 2006 (2016)
Luxembourg history: previous 1842 (heavily amended 1848, 1856); latest effective 17 October 1868
amendments: proposed by the Chamber of Deputies or by the monarch to the Chamber; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote by the Chamber in two successive readings three months apart; a referendum can be substituted for the second reading if approved by more than one-quarter of the Chamber members or by 25,000 valid voters; adoption by referendum requires a majority of all valid voters; amended many times, last in 2009 (2016)
Macau previous 1976 (Organic Statute of Macau, under Portuguese authority); latest adopted 31 March 1993, effective 20 December 1999 (Basic Law of the Macau Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China serves as Macau's constitution); amended 2005, 2012 (2016)
Macedonia history: several previous; latest adopted 17 November 1991, effective 20 November 1991
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic, by the government, by at least 30 members of the Assembly, or by petition of at least 150,000 citizens; draft amendments require approval by majority vote of Assembly members, followed by public debate; final passage requires two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly; amended several times, last in 2015 (2016)
Madagascar history: previous 1992; latest passed by referendum 17 November 2010, promulgated 11 December 2010
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic in consultation with the cabinet or supported by a least two-thirds of both the Senate and National Assembly membership; passage requires at least three-fourths approval of both the Senate and National Assembly and approval in a referendum; constitutional articles including the form and powers of government, the sovereignty of the state, and the autonomy of Madagascar’s collectivities cannot be amended (2017)
Malawi history: previous 1953 (preindependence), 1966; latest drafted January to May 1994, approved 16 May 1994, entered into force 18 May 1995
amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage of amendments affecting constitutional articles including the sovereignty and territory of the state, fundamental constitutional principles, human rights, voting rights, and the judiciary requires majority approval in a referendum and majority approval by the Assembly; passage of other amendments requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly; amended several times, last in 2013 (2017)
Malaysia previous 1948; latest drafted 21 February 1957, effective 27 August 1957; amended many times, last in 2010 (2016)
Maldives history: many previous; latest ratified 7 August 2008
amendments: proposed by Parliament; passage requires at least three-quarters majority vote by its membership and the signature of the president of the republic; passage of amendments to constitutional articles on rights and freedoms and the terms of office of Parliament and of the president also requires a majority vote in a referendum; amended 2015 (2017)
Mali history: several previous; latest drafted August 1991, approved by referendum 12 January 1992, effective 25 February 1992, suspended briefly in 2012
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by members of the National Assembly; passage requires two-thirds majority vote by the Assembly and approval in a referendum; constitutional sections on the integrity of the state, its republican and secular form of government, and its multiparty system cannot be amended; amended 1999 (2017)
Malta history: many previous; latest adopted 21 September 1964
amendments: proposals (Acts of Parliament) require at least two-thirds majority vote by the House of Representatives; passage of "Acts" requires majority vote by referendum, followed by final majority vote by the House and assent by the president of the republic; amended many times, last in 2016 (2017)
Marshall Islands effective 1 May 1979; amended several times, last in 1995 (2016)
Mauritania history: previous 1964; latest adopted 12 July 1991
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by either house of Parliament; consideration of amendments by Parliament requires approval of at least one-third of the membership of either house; a referendum is held only if it is approved by two-thirds majority vote in both houses; passage by referendum requires simple majority vote by eligible voters; passage of amendments proposed by the president can bypass a referendum if approved by at least three-fifths majority vote by Parliament in joint session; amended 2004, 2006, 2012 (2017)
Mauritius history: several previous; latest adopted 12 March 1968
amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage of amendments affecting constitutional articles including the sovereignty of the state, fundamental rights and freedoms, citizenship, or the branches of government requires approval in a referendum by at least three-fourths majority of voters followed by a unanimous vote by the Assembly; passage of other amendments requires only two-thirds majority vote by the Assembly; amended many times, last in 2016 (2017)
Mexico several previous; latest approved 5 February 1917; amended many times, last in 2015 (2016)
Micronesia, Federated States of drafted June 1975, ratified 1 October 1978, entered into force 10 May 1979; amended 1990; note - in 2001, all 26 amendments proposed by the FSM constitutional convention were defeated in a national referendum (2016)
Moldova history: previous 1978; latest adopted 29 July 1994, effective 27 August 1994
amendments: proposed by voter petition (at least 200,000 eligible voters), by one-third of Parliament members, or by the government; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of Parliament within one year of initial proposal; revisions to constitutional articles on sovereignty, independence, and neutrality require majority vote by referendum; articles on fundamental rights and freedoms cannot be amended; amended several times, last in 2010; note – in early 2016, the Moldovan Constitutional Court decision returned the country to direct presidential elections, reversing a 2000 constitutional amendment that allowed Parliament to select the president (2016)
Monaco history: previous 1911 (suspended 1959); latest adopted 17 December 1962
amendments: proposed by joint agreement of the chief of state (the prince) and the National Council; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of National Council members; amended 2002 (2016)
Mongolia history: several previous; latest adopted 13 January 1992, effective 12 February 1992
amendments: proposed by the State Great Hural, by the president of the republic, by the government, or by petition submitted to the State Great Hural by the Consitutional Court; conducting referenda on proposed amendments requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the State Great Hural; passage of amendments by the State Great Hural requires at least three-quarters majority vote; passage by referendum requires majority participation of qualified voters and a majority of votes; amended 1999, 2001 (2017)
Montenegro history: several previous; latest adopted 22 October 2007
amendments: proposed by the president of Montenegro, by the government, or by at least 25 members of the Assembly; passage of draft proposals requires two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly, followed by a public hearing; passage of draft amendments requires two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly; changes to certain constitutional articles such as sovereignty, state symbols, citizenship, and constitutional change procedures, require three-fifths majority vote in a referendum; amended 2013, 2014 (2016)
Montserrat previous 1960; latest effective 1 September 2010; amended 2011 (2016)
Morocco history: several previous; latest drafted 17 June 2011, approved by referendum 1 July 2011; note - sources disagree on whether the 2011 referendum was for a new constitution or for reforms to the previous constitution
amendments: proposed by the king, by the prime minister, or by members in either chamber of Parliament; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote by both chambers and approval in a referendum; the king can opt to submit self-initiated proposals directly to a referendum (2016)
Mozambique history: previous 1975, 1990; latest adopted 16 November 2004, effective 21 December 2004
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or supported by at least one-third of the Assembly of the Republic membership; passage of amendments affecting constitutional provisions including the independence and sovereignty of the state, the republican form of government, basic rights and freedoms, and universal suffrage requires at least a two-thirds majority vote by the Assembly and approval in a referendum; referenda not required for passage of other amendments; amended 2007 (2017)
Namibia history: drafted 9 February 1990, signed 16 March 1990, entered into force 21 March 1990
amendments: proposed by Parliament; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of the National Assembly membership and of the National Council of Parliament and assent by the president of the republic; if the National Council fails to pass an amendment, the president can call for a referendum; passage by referendum requires two-thirds majority of votes cast; amendments that detract from or repeal constitutional articles on fundamental rights and freedoms cannot be amended, and the requisite majorities needed by Parliament to amend the constitution cannot be changed; amended 1998, 2010, 2014 (2017)
Nauru effective 29 January 1968; amended 1968, 2009, 2014 (2016)
Nepal history: several previous; latest adopted 20 September 2015
amendments: proposed as a “bill” by either house of the Federal Parliament; bills affecting a state border or powers delegated to a state must be submitted to the affected state assembly; passage of such bills requires a majority vote of that state assembly membership; bills not requiring state assembly consent require at least two-thirds majority vote by the membership of both houses of the Federal Parliament; parts of the constitution on the sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence, and sovereignty vested in the people cannot be amended; amended January 2016 (2017)
Netherlands history: previous 1597, 1798; latest adopted 24 August 1815 (substantially revised in 1848)
amendments: proposed as an “Act of Parliament” by or on behalf of the king or by the Second Chamber of the States General; the Second Chamber is dissolved after its first reading of the “Act”; passage requires a second reading by both the First Chamber and newly elected Second Chamber, followed by at least two-thirds majority vote of both chambers, and ratification by the king; amended many times, last in 2010 (2016)
New Caledonia 4 October 1958 (French Constitution with changes as reflected in Noumea Accord of 5 May 1998) (2016)
New Zealand Constitution Act 1986 (the principal formal charter) adopted and effective 1 January 1987; amended 1999, 2005, 2014 (2016)
Nicaragua several previous; latest adopted 19 November 1986, effective 9 January 1987; amended several times, last in 2014 (2016)
Nigeria history: several previous; latest adopted 5 May 1999, effective 29 May 1999
amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of both houses and approval by the Houses of Assembly of at least two-thirds of the states; amendments to constitutional articles on the creation of a new state, fundamental constitutional rights, or constitution-amending procedures requires at least four-fifths majority vote by both houses of the National Assembly and approval by the Houses of Assembly in at least two-thirds of the states; passage of amendments limited to the creation of a new state require at least two-thirds majority by the proposing National Assembly house and approval by the Houses of Assembly in two-thirds of the states; amended several times, last in 2012 (2017)
Niger history: several previous; passed by referendum 31 October 2010, entered into force 25 November 2010
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by the National Assembly; consideration of amendments requires at least three-fourths majority vote by the Assembly; passage requires at least four-fifths majority vote; if disapproved, the proposed amendment is dropped or submitted to a referendum; constitutional articles on the form of government, the multiparty system, the separation of state and religion, disqualification of Assembly members, amendment procedures, and amnesty of participants in the 2010 coup d’Etat cannot be amended; amended 2011 (2017)
Niue several previous (New Zealand colonial statutes); latest 19 October 1974 (Niue Constitution Act 1974); amended 1992, 2007 (2016)
Norfolk Island previous 1913, 1957; latest effective 7 August 1979; amended many times, last in 2015 (2016)
Northern Mariana Islands partially effective 9 January 1978 (Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands); fully effective 4 November 1986 (Covenant Agreement); amended several times, last in 2012 (2016)
Norway history: drafted spring 1814, adopted 16 May 1814, signed by Constituent Assembly 17 May 1814
amendments: proposals submitted by members of Parliament or by the government within the first three years of Parliament's four-year term; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of a two-thirds quorum in the next elected Parliament; amended over 400 times, last in 2015 (2016)
Oman history: promulgated by royal decree 6 November 1996 (the Basic Law of the Sultanate of Oman serves as the constitution); amended by royal decree in 2011
amendments: promulgated by the sultan or proposed by the Council of Oman and drafted by a technical committee as stipulated by royal decree and then promulgated through royal decree; amended 2011 (2016)
Pakistan history: several previous; latest endorsed 12 April 1973, passed 19 April 1973, entered into force 14 August 1973 (suspended and restored several times)
amendments: proposed by the Senate or by the National Assembly; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the membership of both houses; amended many times, last in 2015 (2017)
Palau ratified 9 July 1980, effective 1 January 1981; amended 1992, 2004, 2008 (2016)
Panama several previous; latest effective 11 October 1972; amended several times, last in 2004 (2016)
Papua New Guinea adopted 15 August 1975, effective at independence 16 September 1975; amended many times, last in 2013; note - in September 2015, the Supreme Court nullified the 2013 constitutional amendment that increased the grace period on motions of no confidence (2016)
Paraguay several previous; latest approved and promulgated 20 June 1992; amended 2011, 2014 (2016)
Peru several previous; latest promulgated 29 December 1993, enacted 31 December 1993; amended several times, last in 2015 (2016)
Philippines several previous; latest ratified 2 February 1987, effective 11 February 1987 (2016)
Pitcairn Islands several previous; latest drafted 10 February 2010, presented 17 February 2010, effective 4 March 2010 (2016)
Poland history: several previous; latest adopted 2 April 1997, approved by referendum 25 May 1997, effective 17 October 1997
amendments: proposed by at least one-fifth of Sejm deputies, by the Senate, or by the president of the republic; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote in the Sejm and absolute majority vote in the Senate; amendments to articles relating to sovereignty, personal freedoms, and constitutional amendment procedures also require passage by majority vote in a referendum; amended 2006, 2009, 2015 (2016)
Portugal history: several previous; latest adopted 2 April 1976, effective 25 April 1976
amendments: proposed by the Assembly of the Republic; adoption requires two-thirds majority vote of Assembly members; amended several times, last in 2005 (2016)
Puerto Rico previous 1900 (Organic Act, or Foraker Act); latest ratified 3 March 1952, approved 3 July 1952, effective 25 July 1952 (2016)
Qatar history: previous 1972 (provisional); latest drafted 2 July 2002, approved by referendum 29 April 2003, endorsed 8 June 2004, effective 9 June 2005
amendments: proposed by the emir or by one-third of Advisory Council members; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of Advisory Council members and approval and promulgation by the emir; articles pertaining to the rule of state and its inheritance, functions of the emir, and citizen rights and liberties cannot be amended (2016)
Romania history: several previous; latest adopted 21 November 1991, approved by referendum and effective 8 December 1991
amendments: initiated by the president of Romania through a proposal by the government, by at least one-fourth of deputies or senators in Parliament, or by petition of eligible voters representing at least one-half of Romania’s counties; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote by both chambers or – if mediation is required - by three-fourths majority vote in a joint session, followed by approval in a referendum; articles including those on national sovereignty, form of government, political pluralism, and fundamental rights and freedoms cannot be amended; amended 2003 (2016)
Russia history: several previous (during Russian Empire and Soviet era); latest drafted 12 July 1993, adopted by referendum 12 December 1993, effective 25 December 1993
amendments: proposed by the president of the Russian Federation, by either house of the Federal Assembly, by the government of the Russian Federation, or by legislative (representative) bodies of the Federation's constituent entities; proposals to amend the government’s constitutional system, human and civil rights and freedoms, and procedures for amending or drafting a new constitution require formation of a Constitutional Assembly; passage of such amendments requires two-thirds majority vote of its total membership; passage in a referendum requires participation of an absolute majority of eligible voters and an absolute majority of valid votes; approval of proposed amendments to the government structure, authorities, and procedures requires approval by the legislative bodies of at least two-thirds of the Russian Federation's constituent entities; amended 2008, 2014 (2017)
Rwanda history: several previous; latest adopted by referendum 26 May 2003, effective 4 June 2003
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic (with Council of Ministers approval) or by two-thirds majority support of both houses of Parliament; passage requires at least three-quarters majority vote in both houses; changes to constitutional articles on national sovereignty, the presidential term, the form and system of government, and political pluralism also require approval in a referendum; amended 2008, 2010, 2015 (2017)
Saint Barthelemy 4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha several previous; latest effective 1 September 2009 (The St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Constitution Order 2009) (2016)
Saint Kitts and Nevis several previous (preindependence); latest presented 22 June 1983, effective 23 June 1983 (2016)
Saint Lucia previous 1958, 1960 (preindependence); latest presented 20 December 1978, effective 22 February 1979; note - in mid-2015, an amendment was proposed to replace the London-based Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice as the country's highest appellate court (2016)
Saint Martin 4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
Saint Pierre and Miquelon 4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines several previous; latest passed by the House of Assembly 3 September 2009 (The Saint Vincent and The Grenadines Constitution Act, 2009) (2016)
Samoa several previous (preindependence); latest 1 January 1962; amended several times, last in 2015 (2016)
San Marino history: consists of several legislative instruments, chief among them the Statutes (Leges Statuti) of 1600 and the Declaration of Citizen Rights of 1974
amendments: proposed by the Great and General Council; passage requires two-thirds majority Council vote; Council passage by absolute majority vote also requires passage in a referendum; Declaration of Civil Rights amended several times, last in 2012 (2016)
Sao Tome and Principe history: approved 5 November 1975
amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage requires two-thirds majority vote by the Assembly; the Assembly can propose to the president of the republic that an amendment be submitted to a referendum; revised several times, last in 2006 (2017)
Saudi Arabia history: 1 March 1992 - Basic Law of Government, issued by royal decree, serves as the constitutional framework and is based on the Qur'an and the life and traditions of the Prophet Muhammad
amendments: proposed by the king directly or proposed to the king by the Consultative Assembly or by the Council of Ministers; passage by the king through royal decree; Basic Law amended many times, last in 2005 (2016)
Senegal history: previous 1959 (preindependence), 1963; latest adopted by referendum 7 January 2001, promulgated 22 January 2001
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic, by the prime minister through the president, or by the National Assembly; passage requires Assembly approval and approval in a referendum; the president can bypass a referendum and submit an amendment directly to the Assembly, which requires at least three-fifths majority vote; the republican form of government is not amendable; amended several times, last in 2016 (2017)
Serbia history: many previous; latest adopted 30 September 2006, approved by referendum 28-29 October 2006, effective 8 November 2006
amendments: proposed by at least one-third of deputies in the National Assembly, by the president of the republic, by the government, or by petition of at least 150,000 voters; passage of proposals and draft amendments each requires at least two-thirds majority vote in the Assembly; amendments to constitutional articles including the preamble, constitutional principles, and human and minority rights and freedoms also require a referendum with passage by simple majority vote (2016)
Seychelles history: previous 1970, 1979; latest drafted May 1993, approved by referendum 18 June 1993, effective 23 June 1993
amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote by the National Assembly; passage of amendments affecting the country’s sovereignty, symbols and languages, the supremacy of the constitution, fundamental rights and freedoms, amendment procedures, and dissolution of the Assembly also requires approval by at least 60% of voters in a referendum; amended several times, last in 2017 (2017)
Sierra Leone history: several previous; latest effective 1 October 1991
amendments: proposed by Parliament; passage of amendments requires at least two-thirds majority vote of Parliament in two successive readings and assent by the president of the republic; passage of amendments affecting fundamental rights and freedoms and many other constitutional sections also requires approval in a referendum with participation of at least one-half of qualified voters and at least two-thirds of votes cast; amended several times, last in 2013 (2017)
Singapore several previous; latest adopted 22 December 1965; amended many times, last in 2015 (2016)
Sint Maarten Staatsregeling, 10 October 2010; revised Kingdom Charter pending previous 1947, 1955; latest adopted 21 July 2010, entered into force 10 October 2010 (regulates governance of Sint Maarten but is subordinate to the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands); note - in October 2010, with the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles, Sint Maarten became a constituent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Slovakia history: several previous (preindependence); latest passed by the National Council 1 September 1992, signed 3 September 1992, effective 1 October 1992
amendments: proposed by the National Council; passage requires at least three-fifths majority vote of Council members; amended many times, last in 2017 (2017)
Slovenia history: previous 1974 (preindependence); latest passed by Parliament 23 December 1991
amendments: proposed by at least 20 National Assembly members, by the government, or by petition of at least 30,000 voters; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote by the Assembly; referendum required if agreed upon by at least 30 Assembly members; passage in a referendum requires participation of a majority of eligible voters and a simple majority of votes cast; amended several times, last in 2015 (2016)
Solomon Islands adopted 31 May 1978, effective 7 July 1978; new constitution drafted in 2014 (2016)
Somalia history: previous 1961, 1979; latest drafted 12 June 2012, approved 1 August 2012 (provisional)
amendments: proposed by the federal government, by members of the state governments, the Federal Parliament, or by public petition; proposals require review by a joint committee of Parliament with inclusion of public comments and state legislatures’ comments; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote in both houses of Parliament and approval by a majority of votes cast in a referendum; constitutional clauses on Islamic principles, the federal system, human rights and freedoms, powers and authorities of the government branches, and inclusion of women in national institutions cannot be amended
South Africa history: several previous; latest drafted 8 May 1996, approved by Constitutional Court 4 December 1996, effective 4 February 1997
amendments: proposed by the National Assembly of Parliament; passage of amendments affecting constitutional sections on human rights and freedoms, non-racism and non-sexism, supremacy of the constitution, suffrage, the multi-party system of democratic government, and amendment procedures requires at least 75% majority vote of the Assembly, approval by at least six of the nine provinces represented in the National Council of Provinces, and assent by the president of the republic; passage of amendments affecting the Bill of Rights, and those related to provincial boundaries, powers, and authorities requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly, approval by at least six of the nine provinces represented in the National Council, and assent by the president; amended many times, last in 2013 (2017)
South Sudan history: previous 2005 (preindependence); latest signed 7 July 2011, effective 9 July 2011 (Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011)
amendments: proposed by the National Legislature or by the president of the republic; passage requires submission of the proposal to the Legislature at least one month prior to consideration, approval by at least two-thirds majority vote in both houses of the Legislature, and assent by the president; amended 2013, 2015 (2017)
Spain history: previous 1812; latest approved by the General Courts 31 October 1978, passed by referendum 6 December 1978, signed by the king 27 December 1978, effective 29 December 1978
amendments: proposed by the government, by the General Courts (the Congress or the Senate), or by the self-governing communities submitted through the government; passage requires three-fifths majority vote by both houses and passage by referendum if requested by one-tenth of members of either house; proposals disapproved by both houses are submitted to a joint committee, which submits an agreed upon text for another vote; passage requires two-thirds vote in Congress and simple majority vote in the Senate; amended 1992, 2007, 2011 (2016)
Sri Lanka history: several previous; latest adopted 16 August 1978, certified 31 August 1978
amendments: proposed by Parliament; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of its total membership, certification by the president of the republic or the Parliament speaker, and approval in a referendum by an absolute majority of valid votes; amended many times, last in 2015 (2017)
Sudan history: previous 1998; latest adopted 6 July 2005, effective 9 July 2005 (interim constitution)
amendments: proposed by the National Legislature or by the president of the republic; passage requires submission of the proposal to the Legislature at least two months prior to consideration, approval by at least three-quarters majority vote in both houses of the Legislature, and assent by the president; amended 2015 (2017)
Suriname previous 1975; latest ratified 30 September 1987, effective 30 October 1987; amended 1992 (2016)
Swaziland history: previous 1968, 1978; latest signed by the king 26 July 2005, effective 8 February 2006
amendments: proposed at a joint sitting of both houses of Parliament; passage requires majority vote by both houses and/or majority vote in a referendum, and assent by the king; passage of amendments affecting “specially entrenched” constitutional provisions requires at least three-fourths majority vote by both houses, passage by simple majority vote in a referendum, and assent by the king; passage of “entrenched" provisions requires at least two-thirds majority vote of both houses, passage in a referendum, and assent by the king (2017)
Sweden history: several previous; latest adopted 1 January 1975
amendments: proposed by Parliament; passage requires simple majority vote in two consecutive parliamentary terms with an intervening general election; passage also requires approval by simple majority vote in a referendum if Parliament approves a motion for a referendum by one-third of its members; amended several times, last in 2014 (changes to the "Instrument of Government") (2016)
Switzerland history: previous 1848, 1874; latest adopted by referendum 18 April 1999, effective 1 January 2000
amendments: proposed by the two houses of the Federal Assembly or by petition of at least one million voters (called the "federal popular initiative"); passage of proposals requires majority vote in a referendum; following drafting of an amendment by the Assembly, its passage requires approval by majority vote in a referendum and approval by the majority of cantons; amended many times, last in 2016 (2016)
Syria history: several previous; latest issued 15 February 2012, passed by referendum and effective 27 February 2012
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by one-third of the People’s Assembly members; following review by a special Assembly committee, passage requires at least three-quarters majority vote by the Assembly and approval by the president (2016)
Taiwan previous 1912, 1931; latest adopted 25 December 1946, promulgated 1 January 1947, effective 25 December 1947; amended/revised several times, last in 2005 (2016)
Tajikistan history: several previous; latest adopted 6 November 1994
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by at least one-third of the total membership of both houses of the Supreme Assembly; adoption of any amendment requires a referendum, which includes approval by the president or approval by at least at least two-thirds of the Assembly of Representatives membership; passage in a referendum requires participation of an absolute majority of eligible voters and an absolute majority of votes; note – constitutional articles including Tajikistan’s form of government, its territory, and its democratic nature cannot be amended; amended several times, last in 2016 (2017)
Tanzania history: several previous; latest adopted 25 April 1977; note - progress enacting a new constitution drafted in 2014 by the Constituent Assembly has been stalled
amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage of amendments to constitutional articles including those on sovereignty of the United Republic, the authorities and powers of the government, the president, the Assembly, and the High Court requires two-thirds majority vote of the mainland Assembly membership and of the Zanzibar House of Representatives membership; House of Representatives approval of other amendments is not required (2017)
Thailand many previous; draft of latest completed 29 March 2016, approved by referendum 7 August 2016, signed by the king 6 April 2017; note - the final version has several changes not reflected in the one passed by referendum (2016)
Timor-Leste drafted 2001, approved 22 March 2002, entered into force 20 May 2002 (2016)
Togo history: several previous; latest adopted 27 September 1992, effective 14 October 1992
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or supported by at least one-fifth of the National Assembly membership; passage requires four-fifths majority vote by the Assembly; a referendum is required if approved by only two-thirds majority of the Assembly or if requested by the president; constitutional articles on the republican and secular form of government cannot be amended; amended 2002, 2007 (2017)
Tokelau many previous; latest effective 1 January 1949 (Tokelau Islands Act 1948); amended many times, last in 2007 (2016)
Tonga adopted 4 November 1875, revised 1988; amended many times, last in 2014 (2016)
Trinidad and Tobago previous 1962; latest 1976; amended many times, last in 2007 (2016)
Tunisia history: several previous; latest approved by Constituent Assembly 26 January 2014, signed by the president, prime minister, and Constituent Assembly speaker 27 January 2014
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by one-third of members of the Assembly of the Representatives of the People; following review by the Constitutional Court, approval to proceed requires an absolute majority vote by the Assembly and final passage requires a two-thirds majority vote by the Assembly; the president can opt to submit an amendment to a referendum, which requires an absolute majority of votes cast for passage (2017)
Turkey history: several previous; latest ratified 9 November 1982
amendments: proposed by written consent of at least one-third of Grand National Assembly (GNA) members; adoption of draft amendments requires two debates in plenary GNA session and three-fifths majority vote of all GNA members; the president of the republic can request GNA reconsideration of the amendment and, if readopted by two-thirds majority GNA vote, the president may submit the amendment to a referendum; passage by referendum requires absolute majority vote; amended several times, last in 2017 (2017)
Turkmenistan history: adopted 18 May 1992
amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of the total Assembly membership or absolute majority approval in a referendum; amended several times, last in 2016; note - in mid-2014, the president established a Constitutional Commission to initiate a process for developing constitutional reforms (2017)
Turks and Caicos Islands several previous; latest signed 7 August 2012, effective 15 October 2012 (Turks and Caicos Constitution Order 2011) (2016)
Tuvalu previous 1978 (at independence); latest effective 1 October 1986; amended 2007, 2010, 2013 (2016)
Uganda history: several previous; latest adopted 27 September 1995, promulgated 8 October 1995
amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly membership in the second and third readings; proposals affecting constitutional sections including the sovereignty of the people, supremacy of the constitution, human rights and freedoms, the democratic and multiparty form of government, presidential term of office, independence of the judiciary, and the institutions of traditional or cultural leaders also requires passage by referendum, ratification by at least two-thirds majority vote of district council members in at least two-thirds of Uganda's districts, and assent by the president of the republic; amended many times, last in 2015 (2017)
Ukraine history: several previous; latest adopted and ratified 28 June 1996
amendments: proposed by the president of Ukraine or by at least one-third of the Supreme Council members; adoption requires simple majority vote by the Council and at least two-thirds majority vote in its next regular session; adoption of proposals relating to general constitutional principles, elections, and amendment procedures requires two-thirds majority vote by the Council and approval in a referendum; constitutional articles on personal rights and freedoms, national independence, and territorial integrity cannot be amended; amended 2004, 2010, 2015 (2016)
United Arab Emirates history: previous 1971 (provisional); latest drafted in 1979, became permanent May 1996
amendments: proposed by the Supreme Council and submitted to the Federal National Council; passage requires at least a two-thirds majority vote of Federal National Council members present, and approval by the Supreme Council president; amended 2009 (2016)
United Kingdom history: unwritten; partly statutes, partly common law and practice
amendments: proposed as a “bill” for an “Act of Parliament” by the government, by the House of Commons, or by the House of Lords; passage requires agreement by both houses and by the monarch (Royal Assent); note - recent additions include the Human Rights Act of 1998, the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010, the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011, the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, and the House of Lords (Expulsion and Suspension) Act 2015 (2016)
United States previous 1781 (Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union); latest drafted July - September 1787, submitted to the Congress of the Confederation 20 September 1787, submitted for states' ratification 28 September 1787, ratification completed by nine states 21 June 1788, effective 4 March 1789; amended many times, last in 1992 (2016)
Uruguay several previous; latest approved by plebiscite 27 November 1966, effective 15 February 1967; amended several times, last in 2004 (2016)
Uzbekistan history: several previous; latest adopted 8 December 1992
amendments: proposed by the Supreme Assembly or by referendum; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of both houses of the Assembly or passage in a referendum; amended several times, last in 2014 (2017)
Vanuatu effective 30 July 1980; amended several times, last in 2013 (2016)
Venezuela many previous; latest adopted 15 December 1999, effective 30 December 1999; amended 2009 (2016)
Vietnam several previous; latest adopted 15 April 1992, effective 1 January 1995; amended 2001, 2013 (2016)
Virgin Islands 22 July 1954 - the Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands functions as a constitution for this territory of the US; revised 1962, 2000 (2016)
Wallis and Futuna 4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
Yemen history: adopted by referendum 16 May 1991 (following unification); amended several times, last in 2009; note - after the National Dialogue ended in January 2015, a presidentially appointed Constitutional Drafting Committee worked to prepare a new draft constitution that was expected to be put to a national referendum before being adopted; however, the president’s resignation in January 2015 and subsequent conflict have interrupted the process (2016)
Zambia history: several previous; latest adopted 24 August 1991, promulgated 30 August 1991
amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage requires two-thirds majority vote by the Assembly in two separate readings at least 30 days apart; passage of amendments affecting fundamental rights and freedoms requires approval by at least one-half of votes cast in a referendum prior to consideration and voting by the Assembly; amended 1996, 2015, last in 2016 (2017)
Zimbabwe history: previous 1965 (at Rhodesian independence), 1979 (Lancaster House Agreement), 1980 (at Zimbabwean independence); latest final draft completed January 2013, approved by referendum 16 March 2013, approved by Parliament 9 May 2013, effective 22 May 2013
amendments: proposed by the Senate or by the House of Assembly; passage requires two-thirds majority vote by the membership of both houses of Parliament and assent by the president of the republic; amendments to constitutional chapters on fundamental human rights and freedoms and on agricultural lands also require approval by a majority of votes cast in a referendum; amended many times, last in 2017 (2017)