Following the Constitutional Referendum of 12 November 1995, the new Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan entered into force on 5 December 1995. The country’s basic law was developed in line with the fundamental principles and norms of international law.
Besides general guarantees, fundamental rights, freedoms, and responsibilities, the Constitution has several provisions related to culture and, more specifically, cultural rights, freedom of expression and creativity, copyright protection, heritage protection, etc.
Article 40 of the Constitution (“Right to culture”) provides that “I. Everyone has the right to take part in cultural life, to use cultural institutions and cultural values. II. Everyone must respect and care for historical, cultural and spiritual heritage, protect historical and cultural monuments.”
Article 51 of the Constitution (“Freedom of creative activity”) ensures that “I. Everyone is free to carry out creative activities. II. The state guarantees freedom in literary-artistic, scientific-technical and other kinds of creative activity.”
Article 30 of the Constitution (“Right to intellectual property”) declares, “I. Everyone has the right to intellectual property. II. Copyright, patent rights and other rights to intellectual property are protected by law.”
The interests of artists and cultural workers are also reflected in such articles of the Constitution as “Official language” (Article 21), “Freedom of thought and speech” (Article 47), “Freedom of information” (Article 50) and “Protection of historical and cultural monuments” (Article 77).