Constitutional rights and freedoms are fundament of people’s existence and development, that is why a state is obliged to create efficient organisational and law-based mechanisms to their implementation. The article provides a comparative analysis of the constitutions of the French-speaking states of the African continent, which were put into effect immediately after states had gained independence in 1950-1960-s, and updated Major Laws in the late XX – early XXI centuries. The authors have come to the conclusion that the first constitutions in the presentation of the rights and freedoms of individuals and citizens were limited, mainly, to the most important international declarations about them and sections on the sovereignty of the state. Their content was focused primarily on the definition of the organisation of the state mechanism, its most important links and the core concepts of state and sovereignty, which was conditioned by the liberation from colonial oppression, the haste in state creation and lack of relevant experience. The new Basic Laws solve without exceptions issues regarding rights and freedoms of citizens and persons in many aspects. They provide a greater role for the state in the economic sphere, recognise the priority of the person in relations with the state, contain a wide list of rights and freedoms of individuals and citizens, divide them into civil, political, socio-economic, cultural, establish guarantees of their implementation and mechanisms of protection, regulate relations between society and the state, do not allow the merging of state and party institutions, usurpation by any political party of state power, introduce provisions on the social state, on foreign policy state and the ratio of national and international law. Such changes were conditioned by the urgent needs of solving the acute problems of the domestic political nature and the impact of the globalisation process. They demonstrate the significant development of the constitutions of the African French-speaking States towards the determinative law-based values of modern time.
Keywords: french-speaking states, constitutions, African continent, human and civil rights, human and civil freedoms