THE WOMEN QUOTA

As mentioned in the post “Who is Haitian,” there were many recent amendments to the Haitian Constitution. One of those changes is the requirement that at least 30% of representatives in public life and elected posts of the Government be women. Article 17.1, 31.1.1. There is not much information on this change and its effect in Haitian politics. According to a recent Miami Herald article written by Jacqueline Charles, the government has yet to achieve the 30% quota but is allegedly trying to. What are the legal consequences if they are unable to reach that quota? If the quota is a constitutional requirement for the Government to operate, can it function without it? The constitution leaves those questions unanswered.

For more information about the Miami Herald article, please click here. 

 

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Author- Valerie 

Valerie is a second-year law student at Brooklyn Law School with a concentration in Business law and was raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

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WHO IS A HAITIAN CITIZEN?

After Former President Martelly’s 2012 amendments to the Haitian Constitution, many are left wondering “who is Haitian?” A quick Google search will have you believe that every Haitian is Haitian. But, it’s not that simple.

Article 11 of the Constitution deals with Haitian nationality and states: “Any person born of a Haitian father or Haitian mother who are themselves native-born Haitians and have never renounced their nationality possesses Haitian nationality at the time of birth.” In other words, any person who has a father or mother who associates as Haitian either by birth or naturalization or permanent residency, is a Haitian citizen, if that parent did not renounce their Haitian nationality at the birth of that child. Therefore, a child can possess Haitian citizenship even if that child is born in a foreign country. However, over the years, Article 11 was narrowed significantly by Articles 12 through 15. Those articles, especially 13 and 15, made it possible for someone who was a Haitian citizen to lose their citizenship.

Article 13 forbad (1) naturalizing to a foreign country; (2) holding a political post for a foreign government; and (3) living in a foreign country for more than 3 years after being naturalized Haitian. While Article 15 prohibited double nationality. Once an Haitian citizen obtained a foreign citizenship, by choice or by birth, their Haitian citizenship became invalid.

Article 13, 15 and four other nationality-specific articles were abrogated in 2012. Those abrogations left Article 11 with no limitation. Therefore, today, any child born anywhere who has a Haitian citizen parent and that parent was Haitian citizen when the child was born, is Haitian citizen. But, it leaves some Haitians out. For example, a child born in a foreign country before 2012 to one Haitian citizen parent who renounced their citizenship before 2012, may not be a Haitian citizen.

For more information on the 2012 amendments, please visit Haiti Reference for the French version or Constitute Project for the English version.

 

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Author- Valerie 

Valerie is a second-year law student at Brooklyn Law School with a concentration in Business law and was raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Civic Duties in Haiti

Article 52 of Haiti’s Constitution details the civic duties of citizens.

I am interested to learn more about the court system in Haiti, for instance the civic duty of being on a jury. How often does this happen? What is the average day in the life of a judge in Haiti?

While searching for more information I was led to the post below, but unfortunately it is from 1995. I can’t help but wonder how outdated the information is, or worse, how much of it still applies. If Judicial reform is needed in Haiti, who better to lead that front then us?

The website for the National Coalition for Haitian Rights discusses many topics, but unfortunately the email to contact the authors does not work. This leads me to believe that the coalition is no longer together.

http://www.nchr.org/nchr/hrp/jud_reform_eng.htm