The newly-formed nation of South Sudan has released its new Draft Transitional Constitution.
It's not quite the size India's 117,000 word Constitution, but with 92 pages, South Sudan's Constitution weighs in at a healthy 28,193 words comprising 201 sections and 5 schedules (the appendix type, not the calendar type).
In the document are the typical things you'll find in a Constitution, such as the structure of government, Presidential term limit, composition of courts, and a separation of church and state:
8. (1) Religion and State shall be separate.
Much of the length is the South Sudan Constitution is due to the inclusion of things like parliamentary procedural rules, a detailed structure of the police and wildlife services, 58 enumerated national government powers, 42 powers exclusive to state governments, and 34 concurrent federal-state powers.
There's also a few screwy provisions in there. Not that these things are bad, just not really what you expect in a nation's founding document:
6. (3) The State shall promote the development of a sign language for the benefit of people with special needs.
38. (1) All levels of government shall: (c) encourage and promote arts and craft and foster their patronization by government institutions and citizens;
38. (2) The National Government shall: (a) guarantee academic freedom in institutions of higher education and protect the freedom of scientific research within the ethical parameters of research and as shall be regulated by law;
40. All levels of government shall: (c) establish, protect and support popular sports institutions and guarantee their independence.
Just to make things a little more interesting, none of that is enforceable.
44. Unless this Constitution otherwise provides or a duly enacted law guarantees, the rights and liberties described and the provisions contained in this Chapter are not by themselves enforceable in a court of law; however, the principles expressed herein are basic to governance and the State shall be guided by them, especially in making policies and laws.
That's right, the South Sudanese have managed to create a Constitution that is not supreme law of the land.
The Constitution also has a bill of 25 rights.
10. Subject to Article 189 herein, no derogation from the rights and freedoms enshrined in this Bill shall be made. The Bill of Rights shall be upheld, protected and applied by the Supreme Court and other competent courts; the Human Rights Commission shall monitor its application in accordance with this Constitution and the law.
The bill of rights is in a different chapter than those unenforceable rights, so they are actually meant to be the law of the land. Except, that little Article 189 thing, which allows for the government to suspend those rights under emergency law. But, the emergency law at least has to be renewed by the legislature every 30 days.
Here are a few highlights:
15. Every person of marriageable age shall have the right to marry a person of the opposite sex and to found a family according to their respective family laws, and no marriage shall be entered into without the free and full consent of the man and woman intending to marry.
16. (2) Women shall have the right to equal pay for equal work and other related benefits with men.
21. (2) No death penalty shall be imposed on a person under the age of eighteen or a person who has attained the age of seventy.
21. (3) No death penalty shall be executed upon a pregnant or lactating woman, save after two years of lactation.
24. (3) All media shall abide by professional ethics.
31. All levels of government shall promote public health, establish, rehabilitate and develop basic medical and diagnostic institutions and provide free primary health care and emergency services for all citizens.
34. (1) Every citizen has the right to have access to decent housing.