Ratified by the French National Assembly on August 26, 1789.
The National Assembly recognizes and proclaims the following rights of individuals and citizens, in the presence and with the support of the Supreme Being: to ensure that the grievances of citizens, based on simple and indisputable principles, contribute to the preservation of the constitution and the well-being of all; furthermore, to enable constant comparison of the actions of the legislative and executive powers with the objectives of all political institutions, thereby increasing respect for these actions; and to serve as a constant reminder to all members of society of their rights and responsibilities. The representatives of the French people, organized as the National Assembly, firmly believe that the ignorance, disregard, or disrespect of human rights is the sole cause of public disasters and governmental corruption. Therefore, they have resolved to articulate in a solemn declaration the inherent, inalienable, and sacred rights of man.
1. Men are born and remain liberated and equal in entitlements. Social disparities can solely be established on the basis of the collective well-being.
The rights of resistance to tyranny, safety, possessions, and freedom are these fundamental entitlements. The objective of all political alliances is to uphold the preservation of the inherent and inalienable rights of humanity.
The nation essentially holds all sovereignty. No body or individual is allowed to exercise any authority that does not directly come from the nation.
The other members of society are guaranteed the same rights through these boundaries, which can only be defined by law. The utilization of every individual’s inherent rights is only constrained to actions that do not harm others. Freedom is defined by the ability to engage in any activity.
No individual shall be compelled to engage in any activity that is not authorized by law, and no action shall be obstructed unless it is explicitly prohibited by law. The scope of the law is limited to prohibiting actions that are detrimental to the welfare of society.
The talents and virtues of individuals are the only things that distinguish them, as per the law. Regardless of their abilities, everyone is considered equally eligible for all public occupations and positions in the eyes of the law. The law must treat all citizens equally, whether it punishes or protects them. Every citizen has the right to participate in the foundation of the law. The law is a representation of the general will.
According to the law, no individual shall be accused, arrested, or imprisoned unless under specific circumstances and in accordance with the prescribed procedures. Any person who requests, sends, carries out, or enables the implementation of any random command shall receive punishment. Since resistance is considered a crime, any citizen who is summoned or arrested under the authority of the law must comply promptly.
Prior to the commission of the crime, a legislation enacted and announced in accordance with a statute shall impose lawful penalties, and no individual shall be subjected to punishment unless it is absolutely and evidently required, as stipulated by the law.
According to the law, any unnecessary cruelty in restraining the prisoner shall be strongly suppressed if the arrest is considered necessary, as everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
No one shall be disturbed by the manifestation of their religious views, including their opinions, in accordance with the established order of the law.
One of the most precious rights of man is the freedom of opinions and ideas, and the communication of them. Every citizen may speak, write, and print with freedom, but they shall be responsible for any abuses of this freedom, as defined by the law.
The individual benefit of those to whom they will be entrusted is not for the benefit of everyone. These forces are created for the benefit of all and necessitate public military forces. The protection of the rights of humanity and of the individual. 12.
The upkeep of the public forces and the expenses of governance necessitate a collective contribution. This contribution ought to be fairly divided among all individuals, based on their respective financial resources.
All citizens have the right, either personally or through their representatives, to decide the duration of taxes, the mode of collection, the proportion to be fixed, and the assessment method to be used, in order to know what it uses and freely grant this public contribution based on the necessity.
15. The community has the privilege to demand from every public representative an explanation of their management.
A society without any constitution lacks defined separation of powers and the assurance of law observance.
Since the 17th century, it has been established that the owner shall only be deprived of their property if it is deemed necessary for the public good, and this determination shall be made in a clear and legally binding manner. The right to property is considered sacred and inviolable, except in cases where the public interest requires otherwise.