The recognition of the Tamazight Languages in the Algerian Law


Colonial Law
Kabyle’s customary Law
Linguistic right
Algerian Constitution
National language
Official language


On March 6th, 2016, the Tamazight (Berber) languages were recognized by Article 4 of the Algerian Constitution as "official languages". This constitutional review event marked a step forward in the recognition of Tamazight languages in the Algerian legal system. The constitutional recognition of the Tamazight language began in 2002, when the Algerian legislator introduced Article 3-bis in the Algerian Constitution, recognizing Tamazight as a "national language".

The constitutional review of 2016 was nevertheless welcome with coldness, even with some suspicion from the Kabyle public opinion.

We will attempt through our presentation to clarify the historical origins of the conflictual relationship that Algerian law has maintained with the question of Berber languages, which in the case of Algeria is mostly a Kabyle question.