In March 1999, when HM King Hamad, who was then called the Emir Sh. Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, assumed power in the country, there were many demands for reform at the political, social and economic levels. As a response to these demands, Sh. Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa presented, to the people of Bahrain, a document under the name of the National Action Charter in which the vision of the leader becomes one with the aspiration of the people, thus strengthening the relations between the state and the society.
The National Action Charter was adopted through a national referendum in 2001, with an overwhelming result of 98.4% of Bahrainis voting in favour of the Charter.
As a result, a new constitution was issued in 2002 transforming the State of Bahrain into a constitutional monarchy. The new constitution emphasized a set of rights for both individuals and groups ensuring equality among all citizens and it also eliminated all forms of discrimination. The constitution was amended in 2012.