Table 8: Legal Recognition

Legal Recognition of Conscientious Objection
Country Year Law Suspended? Comment
Australia 1903 Defence Act S would still apply if conscription reintroduced
New Zealand 1912 Defence Amendment Act S no current provision
UK 1916 Military Service Act S no current provision
Canada 1917 S no current provision
Denmark 1917 Alternative Service Act, 13th December Civilian Service Act 588/67
USA 1917 S Military Selective Service Act 92-129/71 (and amendments)
Sweden 1920 Total Defence Service Act 1809/94
Netherlands 1922 Constitutional amendment S Law on Conscientious Objection, 1962 (amended 22 May 2003)
Norway 1922 Amendment to Military Penal Code, paragraph 35.5 Law on Exemption of Military Service for Reasons of Personal Conviction (7/99)
Finland 1931 Alternative Service Law, 4th June Civilian Service Act 1723/1991 as amended by Acts 456/92, 1264/92, 1271/93, 1222/98, 439/00, 1248/00, 745/02.
Germany 1949 Constitution, Article 4.3 Law on Conscientious Objection 2003
France 1963 Law Number 1255/1963 S ?Law on Conscientious Objection 605/83
Italy 1972 S Law on Conscientious Objection 230/1998
Austria 1974 Law on Civilian Service,  Article 2 Law on Civilian Service
Portugal 1976 Constitution, Article 41 S ?Law on Conscientious Objection 7/1992
Spain 1978 Constitution S ?Law on Conscientious Objection 48/1984
Belgium 1980 Law on Conscientious Objection S ?Law on Conscientious Objection (amended 1992)
Brazil 1988 Constitution Law on Alternative Service, 8231/91
Marshall Islands 1988 Constitution, Article 11 S
Poland 1988 Law on Alternative Service  2003
Hungary 1989 Constitution S National Defence Act 90/93
Croatia 1990 Constitution, Article 47.2 Law on Civilian Service, 2003
Bulgaria 1991 Constitution, Article 59.2 Law on Alternative Service 2003 (16 May)
Czechoslovakia: 1991 Charter of Basic Rights and Freedoms, Article 15.3
    Czech Republic S Law on Civilian Service 18/92, amended by Laws 135/93, 118/95, 151/99 and 223/99
    Slovakia (enshrined in Article 25 of the 1992 Constitution) Civilian Service Act, 207/95
Estonia 1991 Constitution, Article 124 Defence Forces Service Act,  2000
Moldova 1991 Law on Alternative Service Number 633/91 same, but as amended by Law 534/99
Cap Verde 1992 Constitution, Article 271
Cyprus 1992 National Guard Law  2/1992
Angola 1993 Law on Military Service, Article 10 ? no further implementing legislation
Lithuania 1996 Law on National Conscription
Paraguay 1992 Constitution, Article 129 no implementing legislation
Serbia-Montenegro 1992 Constitution (of the then Yugoslavia) Military Service Act, 26.8.03
Slovenia 1992 Constitution S
Uzbekistan 1992 Law on Universal Military Service, Article 52 Law on Military Duty and Military Service, 2002 (12 Dec)
Russian Federation 1993 Constitution, Article 59.3 Law on Alternative Civilian Service, 2003
Argentina 1995 Law on Voluntary Military Service, 24429/95(Art 20) S would apply if conscription reintroduced
Azerbaijan 1995 Constitution
Bosnia - Herzegovina
  Federation 1996 Law on Defence S ?Law on Defence, 2004
  Republika Srpska 1996 Law on Defence, Articles 215 - 219 S
Romania 1996 Law 46/1996 - Preparation of Population for Defence Article 4.
Switzerland 1996 Law on Civilian Service
Ukraine 1996 Constitution, Article 35.3 Law on Alternative Civilian Service, 1999
Greece 1997 Law on Conscientious Objection 2510/97
Georgia 1997 Law on Alternative Service
Mozambique 1997 Law on Obligatory Military Service
Ecuador 1998 Constitution
Albania 1998 Constitution, Article 166 Law on Military Service 9047/2003
Taiwan 2000 Alternative Service Law 15th. January
Macedonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of 2001 Law on Defence
Latvia 2002 Law on Alternative Service
Kyrgystan 2002 Law on Alternative (Non-Military) Service, June 2002
Mongolia 2002 Law on Military Service  Duties of Citizens and on the Legal Status of Military Personnel
Armenia 2003 Law on Alternative Service

S  - obligatory military service currently suspended or abolished. 

Where the law regulating conscientious objection is quoted with a question mark, it has not been ascertained whether it remains valid should the relevant circumstances again arise.