A Constitution of the French Republic, October 27, 1946
English translation by the French Embassy, Press and Information Division, 610 Fifth Avenue, New York 20, N.Y.
B Constitution of the Italian Republic, December 27, 1947
Reprinted from the United States Department of State Documents and State Papers, April 1948, pp. 46-63. English translation by Howard McGaw Smyth and Kent Roberts Greenfield.
C Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany ( West Ger- many), adopted by the Parliamentary Council, May 8, 1949
English translation by Military Government.
D Statute of Westminster, 1931, December 11, 1931
An Act (22 Geo. V, c. 4) to give effect to certain resolutions adopted by the Imperial Conferences held in the years 1926 and 1930.
E Communique and Declaration of the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference, April 27, 1949, on the Status of the Republic of India in the Commonwealth
Text supplied by the British Information Services, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York 20, N.Y.
F Statute of the Council of Europe, May 5, 1949
Constitution of the French Republic October 27, 1946
English translation by the French Embassy, Press and Information Division, 610 Fifth Avenue, New York 20, N.Y.
THE National Constituent Assembly has adopted, The French people have approved, The President of the Provisional Government of the Republic promulgates the following Constitution:
On the morrow of the victory of the free peoples over the regimes that attempted to enslave and degrade the human person, the French people proclaim once more that every human being, without distinction as to race, religion or creed, possesses inalienable and sacred rights. They solemnly reaffirm the rights and freedoms of man and of the citizen ordained by the Declaration of Rights of 1789 and the fundamental principles recognized by the laws of the Republic.
They further proclaim as most vital to our time the following political, economic and social principles:
The law shall guarantee to women equal rights with men, in all domains.
Anyone persecuted because of his activities in the cause of freedom shall be entitled to the right of asylum within the territories of the Republic.
Everyone shall have the obligation to work and the right to obtain employment. No one may suffer in his work or his employment because of his origin, his opinions or his beliefs.
Everyone may defend his rights and interests by trade-union action and may join the union of his choice.
The right to strike may be exercised within the framework of the laws that govern it.
Every worker, through his delegates, may participate in collective bargaining to determine working conditions, as well as in the management of the enterprise.
All property and all enterprises that now have, or subsequently shall have the character of a national public service or of a monopoly in fact, must become the property of the community.
The Nation shall ensure to the individual and to the family the conditions necessary to their development.
The Nation shall guarantee to all, and particularly to the child, the mother, and the aged worker, protection of health, material security, rest, and leisure. Any individual who, because of his or her age, his or her physical or mental condition, or because of the economic situation, shall find himself or herself unable to work, shall have the right to obtain from the community the means for a decent existence.
The Nation shall proclaim the solidarity and equality of all the French people with respect to burdens resulting from national disasters.
The Nation shall guarantee equal access of children and adults to education, professional training, and culture. The establishment of free, secular, public education on all levels, shall be a duty of the State.
The French Republic, faithful to its traditions, shall abide by the rules of international public law. It shall not undertake wars of conquest and shall never use force against the freedom of any people.
On condition of reciprocal terms, France shall accept the limitations of sovereignty necessary to the organization and defense of peace.
France shall form with the peoples of her Overseas Territories a Union based upon equality of rights and privileges, without distinction as to race or religion.
The French Union shall be composed of nations and peoples who shall place in common or coordinate their resources and their efforts in order to develop their respective civilizations, further their well-being, and ensure their security.
Faithful to her traditional mission, France shall guide the peoples for whom she has assumed responsibility, toward freedom to govern themselves and toward the democratic administration of their own affairs; rejecting any system of colonization based upon arbitrary power, she shall guarantee to all equal access to public office and the individual or collective exercise of the rights and liberties hereinabove proclaimed or confirmed.
THE INSTITUTIONS OF THE REPUBLIC
TITLE I -- SOVEREIGNTY
France shall be a Republic, indivisible, secular, democratic, and social.
The national emblem shall be the tricolor flag, blue, white, and red, in three vertical bands of equal dimensions.
The national anthem shall be the "Marseillaise."
The motto of the Republic shall be "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity."
Its principle shall be: government of the people, for the people, and by the people.
National sovereignty belongs to the French people.
No section of the people, nor any individual may assume its exercise.
The people shall exercise it, in constitutional matters, through the vote of their representatives or through the referendum.
In all other matters, they shall exercise it through their Deputies in the National Assembly, elected by popular, equal, direct and secret ballot.
All French subjects and nationals of both sexes, who are majors and enjoy civil and political rights, may vote under the conditions prescribed by law.
TITLE II -- PARLIAMENT
Parliament shall be composed of the National Assembly and the Council of the Republic.
The duration of powers of each Assembly, its mode of election, the conditions of eligibility, and the rules of ineligibilities and incompatibilities of office, shall be determined by law.
However, the two Chambers shall be elected on a territorial basis, the National Assembly by direct popular vote, the Council of the Republic by the communal and departmental collectivities, by indirect popular vote. The Council of the Republic shall be renewable one half at a time.
Nevertheless, the National Assembly may itself elect, by proportional representation, Councillors whose number shall not exceed one sixth of the total number of members of the Council of the Republic.
The number of members of the Council of the Republic may not be less than 250 nor more than 320.
War may not be declared without a vote by the National Assembly and the preliminary opinion of the Council of the Republic.
Each of the two Chambers shall pass upon the eligibility of its members and the regularity of their election; each one shall accept the resignation of its own members.
The National Assembly shall convene by law every year on the second Tuesday in January.
The total duration of the recesses of the session may not exceed four months. Adjournments of more than ten days shall be considered as a recess.
The Council of the Republic shall sit at the same time as the National Assembly.
The meetings of the two Chambers shall be public. Reports of the debates in extenso, as well as parliamentary documents, shall be published in the "Journal Officiel."
Each of the two Chambers may convene in secret committee.
Each of the two Chambers shall elect its Secretariat every year, at the beginning of its session, by proportional representation of the political parties.
When the two Chambers shall meet together to elect the President of the Republic, their Secretariat shall be that of the National Assembly.
When the National Assembly is not in session, its Secretariat, exercising control over the actions of the Cabinet, may convoke Parliament; it must do so upon the request of one third of the Deputies or of the President of the Council of Ministers.
The National Assembly alone shall pass the laws. It may not delegate this power.
The President of the Council of Ministers and the members of Parliament shall propose legislation.
Bills introduced by members of the National Assembly shall be filed with its Secretariat.
Bills introduced by members of the Council of the Republic shall be filed with its Secretariat and sent without debate to the Secretariat of the National Assembly. They shall not be admissible if they might result in the reduction of revenues or the creation of new expenditures.
The National Assembly shall study the bills submitted to it through committees whose number, composition and scope it shall determine.
The proposed Budget shall be submitted to the National Assembly.
It may include only such provisions as are strictly financial.
An organic law shall regulate the mode of presentation of the Budget.
The Deputies of the National Assembly shall have the power to initiate expenditures.
However, no proposals which tend to increase appropriations already decided upon, or to create new ones, may be presented during the discussion of the Budget and of prospective or supplementary appropriations.
The National Assembly shall regulate the accounts of the Nation.
It shall be assisted in this task by the "Cour des Comptes." *
The National Assembly may entrust to the "Cour des Comptes" all investigations and studies concerning public revenues and expenditures or the management of the funds in the treasury.
* Highest Court of Accounts.
Amnesty may be granted only by a law.
The Council of the Republic shall examine, in order to give its opinion thereon, the bills passed on first reading by the National Assembly.
It shall give its opinion not more than two months after receipt of each bill sent it by the National Assembly. When the Budget Law shall be under discussion, this period may be reduced, if need be, to the time taken by the National Assembly for its consideration and vote. When the National Assembly shall have adopted a rule for emergency procedure, the Council of the Republic shall give its opinion within the same period of time as that provided for debate in the National Assembly by the rule of that body. The time limits specified in the present Article shall be suspended during recesses of the session. They may be extended by a decision of the National Assembly.
Should the opinion of the Council of the Republic be in agreement with that of the National Assembly or should it not have been given within the time limits specified in the preceding paragraph, the law shall be promulgated in the text as voted by the National Assembly.
Should the opinion of the Council of the Republic not be in agreement with that of the National Assembly, the latter body shall examine the bill on second reading. It shall dispose definitively and absolutely of the amendments proposed by the Council of the Republic, accepting or rejecting them in whole or in part. Should these amendments be totally or partially rejected, the second reading of the bill shall be voted upon by public ballot * and by an absolute majority of the members of the National Assembly whenever the vote on the whole bill has been taken under the same conditions by the Council of the Republic.
Article 21 No member of Parliament may be prosecuted, sought by the police, arrested, detained, or tried because of opinions expressed or votes cast by him in the exercise of his office.
Article 22 No member of Parliament may be prosecuted or arrested during his term of office for a criminal offense or a misdemeanor except upon
* For a description of the various methods of voting used in the French National Assembly, see "Règlement de l'Assemblée Nationale," Ch. XIII, Art. 74 to 85.
authorization from the Chamber of which he is a member, unless it be a case of flagrante delicto. The detention or prosecution of a member of Parliament shall be suspended if the Chamber of which he is a member so demands.
Members of Parliament shall receive compensation for their services to be ascertained in relation to the salary of a given category of civil servants.
No one may be a member of the National Assembly and of the Council of the Republic at the same time. Members of Parliament may not be members of the Economic Council nor of the Assembly of the French Union.
TITLE III -- THE ECONOMIC COUNCIL
An Economic Council, whose statute shall be determined by law, shall examine the bills within its purview in order to give its opinion thereon. The National Assembly shall send such bills to this Council before considering them.
The Economic Council may also be consulted by the Council of Ministers. It must be consulted concerning the establishment of any national economic plan for full employment and the rational utilization of material resources.
TITLE IV -- DIPLOMATIC TREATIES
Diplomatic treaties duly ratified and proclaimed shall be enforced even though they be contrary to French domestic laws, and no legislative acts, other than those necessary to ensure their ratification, shall be required for their enforcement.
Treaties relative to international organization, peace treaties, commercial treaties, treaties that involve national finances, treaties relative to the personal status and property rights of French citizens abroad, and those that modify French domestic laws, as well as those that call for the cession, exchange, or addition of territories, shall not become final until duly ratified by a legislative act.
No cession, no exchange, and no addition of territory shall be valid without the consent of the populations concerned.
Diplomatic treaties duly ratified and proclaimed having authority superior to that of domestic legislation, their provisions shall not be abrogated, modified or suspended without previous formal denunciation through diplomatic channels. Whenever a treaty such as those mentioned in Article 27 is concerned, such denunciation must be approved by the National Assembly, except in the case of commercial treaties.
TITLE V -- THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
The President of the Republic shall be elected by Parliament.
He shall be elected for seven years. He shall be eligible for re-election only once.
The President of the Republic shall appoint in the Council of Ministers, the Councillors of State, the Grand Chancellor of the Legion of Honor, ambassadors and envoys extraordinary, members of the High Council and of the Committee for National Defense, rectors of the universities, prefects, directors of the central administrative services, high ranking officers and Government representatives in the Overseas Territories.
The President of the Republic shall be kept informed of international negotiations. He shall sign and ratify all treaties.
The President of the Republic shall accredit ambassadors and envoys extraordinary to foreign powers; foreign ambassadors and envoys extraordinary shall be accredited to him.
The President of the Republic shall preside over the Council of Ministers. He shall order the minutes of their meetings to be recorded and shall keep them in his possession.
Article 33 The President of the Republic shall preside, with the same prerogatives, over the High Council and the Committee for National Defense, and shall be the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.
The President of the Republic shall preside over the High Council of the Judiciary.
The President of the Republic shall exercise the right of pardon in the High Council of the Judiciary.
The President of the Republic shall promulgate the laws within ten days after their text, as finally adopted, has been sent to the Government. This interval may be reduced to five days if the National Assembly declares a state of emergency.
Within the time limit fixed for promulgation of a law, the President of the Republic, in a message stating his reasons, may ask that it be reconsidered by both Chambers; this reconsideration may not be refused.
Should the President of the Republic not promulgate a law within the time limit fixed by the present Constitution, the President of the National Assembly shall promulgate it.
The President of the Republic shall communicate with Parliament by means of messages addressed to the National Assembly.
Every act signed by the President of the Republic must be countersigned by the President of the Council of Ministers and by a Minister.
Not more than thirty and not less than fifteen days before the expiration of the term of office of the President of the Republic, Parliament shall elect a new President.
Should, in application of the preceding Article, the election take place during the period when the National Assembly is dissolved in conformance to Article 51, the powers of the President of the Republic in office shall be extended until a new President is elected. Parliament shall elect this new President within ten days after the election of the new National Assembly.
In this case, the President of the Council of Ministers shall be designated within fifteen days after the election of the new President of the Republic.
Should the President of the Republic be unable to exercise his office for reasons duly established by a vote of Parliament, or in the event of a vacancy caused by death, resignation or any other circumstance, the President of the National Assembly shall assume his functions during the interim. He, in turn, shall be replaced in his duties by a Vice President.
The new President of the Republic shall be elected within ten days, except under the conditions specified in the preceding Article.
The President of the Republic shall not be responsible except for high treason.
He may be indicted by the National Assembly and arraigned before the High Court of Justice under the conditions set forth in Article 57 below.
The office of President of the Republic shall be incompatible with any other public office.
Members of the families that once reigned over France shall not be eligible for the Presidency of the Republic.
TITLE VI -- THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS
At the beginning of the term of each legislature, the President of the Republic, after the customary consultations, shall designate the President of the Council of Ministers.
The latter shall submit to the National Assembly the program and the policy of the Cabinet he intends to constitute.
The President of the Council and the Ministers may not be appointed until the President of the Council receives a vote of confidence from the National Assembly by public ballot and by an absolute majority of the Deputies, except in the case a force majeure shall prevent the National Assembly from meeting.
The same procedure shall be followed during the term of the legislature in the event of a vacancy caused by death, resignation, or any other circumstance, except in the case set forth in Article 52 below.
Article 51 shall not be applied as the result of any ministerial crisis occurring within the fifteen-day period after the appointment of the Ministers.
The President of the Council and the Ministers chosen by him shall be appointed by a decree of the President of the Republic.
The President of the Council shall ensure the enforcement of the laws.
He shall appoint all civil and military officials except those specified in Articles 30, 46, and 84.
The President of the Council shall supervise the armed forces and shall coordinate all measures necessary for national defense.
The acts signed by the President of the Council and mentioned in the present Article, shall be countersigned by the Ministers concerned.
The Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the National Assembly for the general policy of the Cabinet and individually responsible for their personal actions.
They shall not be responsible to the Council of the Republic.
Request for a vote of confidence may not be made except after deliberation by the Council of Ministers; it can be made only by the President of the Council.
A vote of confidence may not be taken until one full day after the request has been made to the Assembly. The vote shall be taken by public ballot.
The Cabinet may not be refused a vote of confidence except by an absolute majority of the Deputies in the Assembly.
Refusal to give such a vote shall automatically result in the collective resignation of the Cabinet.
Passage of a motion of censure by the National Assembly shall automatically result in the collective resignation of the Cabinet.
The vote on such a motion may not be taken until one full day after the motion has been made. It must be taken by public ballot.
A motion of censure may be adopted only by an absolute majority of the Deputies in the Assembly.
Should, in the course of an eighteen-month period, two ministerial crises occur under the conditions set forth in Articles 49 and 50, the Council of Ministers, with the concurrence of the President of the Assembly, may decide to dissolve the National Assembly. Its dissolution shall be proclaimed by a decree of the President of the Republic, in accordance with this decision.
The provisions of the preceding paragraph may not be applied before the expiration of the first eighteen months of the term of the legislature.
In the event of dissolution, the Cabinet, with the exception of the President of the Council and the Minister of the Interior, shall remain in office to carry on current business.
The President of the Republic shall appoint the President of the National Assembly as President of the Council. The latter shall appoint the new Minister of the Interior with the approval of the Secretariat of the National Assembly. He shall appoint as Ministers of State members of political parties not represented in the Government.
General elections shall take place not less than twenty and not more than thirty days after dissolution.
The National Assembly shall convene by law on the third Thursday after its election.
The Ministers shall have access to the two Chambers and to their Committees. They must be heard upon request.
During discussions in the Chambers, they may be assisted by Committee members designated by decree.
The President of the Council of Ministers may delegate his powers to a Minister.
In the event of a vacancy caused by death or any other circumstance, the Council of Ministers shall call upon one of its members to exercise temporarily the functions of the President of the Council of Ministers.
TITLE VII -- THE LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY OF MINISTERS
The Ministers shall be legally responsible for crimes and misdemeanors committed in the exercise of their office.
The Ministers may be indicted by the National Assembly and arraigned before the High Court of Justice.
The National Assembly shall decide this question by secret ballot and by an absolute majority of its members, with the exception of those who may be called upon to participate in the prosecution, investigation, or judgment of the case.
Members of the High Court of Justice shall be elected by the National Assembly at the beginning of the term of each legislature.
The organization of the High Court of Justice and its rules of procedure shall be determined by a special law.
TITLE VIII -- THE FRENCH UNION SECTION I -- PRINCIPLES
The French Union shall be composed, on the one hand, of the French Republic which comprises Metropolitan France and the Overseas Departments and Territories, and, on the other hand, of the Associated Territories and States.
The position of the Associated States within the French Union shall, in the case of each individual State, depend upon the Act that defines its relationship to France.
The members of the French Union shall place in common all their resources so as to guarantee the defense of the whole Union. The Government of the Republic shall coordinate these resources and direct such policies as will prepare and ensure this defense.
SECTION II -- ORGANIZATION
The central organs of the French Union shall be: the Presidency, the High Council and the Assembly.
The President of the French Republic shall be the President of the French Union; he shall represent its permanent interests.
The High Council of the French Union, under the chairmanship of the President of the Union, shall be composed of a delegation of the French Government and of the representatives that each Associated State shall accredit to the President of the Union.
Its function shall be to assist the Government in the general conduct of the affairs of the Union.
The Assembly of the French Union shall be composed half of members representing Metropolitan France and half of members representing the Overseas Departments and Territories and the Associated States.
An organic law shall determine the mode of representation of the different sections of the population.
The members of the Assembly of the Union shall be elected by the Territorial Assemblies for the Overseas Departments and Territories; for Metropolitan France, two thirds shall be elected by the National Assembly representing Metropolitan France and one third by the Council of the Republic also representing Metropolitan France.
The Associated States may appoint delegates to the Assembly of the French Union within the limitations and conditions determined by a law and by an act individual to each State.
The President of the French Union shall convoke the Assembly of the French Union and shall close its sessions. He must convene it upon the request of half its members.
The Assembly of the Union may not sit during recesses of Parliament.
The rules set forth in Articles 8, 10, 21, 22, and 23 shall be applicable to the Assembly of the French Union under the same conditions as prevail for the Council of the Republic.
The Assembly of the French Union shall examine the bills or proposals submitted to it by the National Assembly or the Government of the French Republic or the Governments of the Associated States, in order that it may give its opinion thereon.
The Assembly shall be empowered to express its opinion on resolutions proposed by one of its members and, if these resolutions are accepted for deliberation, to instruct its Secretariat to send them to the National Assembly. It may submit proposals to the French Government and to the High Council of the French Union.
In order to be admissible, the proposed resolutions referred to in the preceding paragraph must concern legislation pertaining to the Overseas Territories.
Legislative powers with regard to penal law, civil liberties, and political and administrative organization in the Overseas Territories, shall rest with Parliament.
In all other matters, the French law shall be applicable in the Overseas Territories only by an express provision to that effect, or if it has been extended to the Overseas Territories by decree, after consultation with the Assembly of the Union.
Moreover, in derogation to Article 13, special provisions for each Territory may be enacted by the President of the Republic in the Council of Ministers, after preliminary consultation with the Assembly of the Union.
SECTION III -- THE OVERSEAS DEPARTMENTS AND TERRITORIES
The legislative regime of the Overseas Departments shall be the same as that of the Departments of Metropolitan France, save for exceptions determined by law.
The Overseas Territories shall be granted a special statute which takes into account their particular interests with relation to the general interests of the Republic.
This statute and the internal organization of each Overseas Territory or group of Territories shall be determined by law after the Assembly of the French Union has expressed its opinion thereon, and after consultation with the Territorial Assemblies.
The status of the respective members of the French Republic and of the French Union shall be subject to change.
Modifications of status and passage from one category to another within the framework established in Article 60 may take place only as the result of a law passed by Parliament, after consultation with the Territorial Assemblies and the Assembly of the Union.
The representative of the Government in each Territory or group of Territories shall be vested with the powers of the Republic. He shall be the administrative head of the Territory.
He shall be responsible to the Government for his actions.
An elective Assembly shall be instituted in each Territory. The electoral regime, composition and powers of this Assembly shall be determined by law.
In the groups of Territories, the management of matters of common interest shall be entrusted to an Assembly composed of members elected by the Territorial Assemblies.
Its composition and its powers shall be determined by law.
The Overseas Territories shall elect representatives to the National Assembly and to the Council of the Republic under the conditions determined by law.
All subjects of the Overseas Territories shall be citizens with the same status as French nationals of Metropolitan France or of the Overseas Territories. Special laws shall determine the conditions under which they may exercise their rights as citizens.
All French nationals and subjects of the French Union shall have the status of citizens of the French Union, and thereby they shall be ensured the enjoyment of the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Preamble of the present Constitution.
Citizens not claiming French civil status, shall retain their personal status so long as they do not renounce it.This status may in no case constitute a ground for refusing or restricting the rights and liberties pertaining to the status of French citizens.
TITLE IX -- THE HIGH COUNCIL OF THE JUDICIARY
The High Council of the Judiciary shall be composed of fourteen members:
-- The President of the Republic, President;
-- The Keeper of the Seals, Minister of Justice, Vice President;
-- Six members elected for six years by the National Assembly, by a two-thirds majority and chosen outside its membership, six alternates being elected under the same conditions;
-- Six members designated as follows:
-- Four judges elected for six years under conditions provided by law, and representing each judicial branch, four alternates being elected under the same conditions.
-- Two members appointed for six years by the President of the Republic and chosen outside the membership of Parliament and the judiciary, but from among the members of the legal profession, two alternates being designated under the same conditions.
The decisions of the High Council of the Judiciary shall be determined by majority vote. In case of a tie, the President shall cast the deciding vote.
Upon nomination by the High Council of the Judiciary, the President of the Republic shall appoint the judges, with the exception of those in the Office of the Public Prosecutor. In accordance with the law, the High Council of the Judiciary shall ensure the discipline of these judges, their independence, and the administration of the courts. These magistrates shall hold office for life.
TITLE X -- LOCAL ADMINISTRATIVE UNITS
The French Republic, one and indivisible, shall recognize the existence of local administrative units. These units shall comprise the Communes, the Departments, and the Overseas Territories.
The framework, the scope, the eventual regrouping, and the organization of the Communes, Departments, and Overseas Territories shall be determined by law.
The local administrative units shall be free to govern themselves by councils elected by popular vote. Decisions made by the councils shall be carried out by their mayor or by their president.
The coordination of the activities of Government officials, the representation of the national interests, and the administrative control of these units shall be ensured, within the departmental framework, by delegates of the Government appointed in the Council of Ministers.
Organic laws shall further extend the liberties of the Departments and Municipalities; for certain large cities, these laws may establish rules of operation and an administrative structure different from those of small towns, and they may include special provisions for certain Departments; they shall determine the conditions under which Articles 85 to 88 above shall be applied. Laws shall likewise determine the conditions under which local offices of the central administrative services shall function, in order to bring the administration closer to the people. TITLE XI -- AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION
Amendment of the Constitution shall take place according to the following procedure:
The amendment must be decided upon by a resolution adopted by an absolute majority of the members of the National Assembly.
This resolution shall stipulate the purpose of the amendment.
Not less than three months later, this resolution shall have a second reading under the same rules of procedure as govern the first reading, unless the Council of the Republic, to which the resolution has been referred by the National Assembly, shall have adopted the same resolution by an absolute majority.
After this second reading, the National Assembly shall draw up a bill to amend the Constitution. This bill shall be submitted to Parliament and adopted by the same majority and according to the same rules established for any ordinary legislative enactment.
It shall be submitted to a referendum unless it has been adopted on second reading by a two-thirds majority of the National Assembly, or by a three-fifths majority of each of the two assemblies.
The bill shall be promulgated as a constitutional law by the President of the Republic within eight days after its adoption.
No constitutional amendment affecting the existence of the Council of the Republic may be adopted without the concurrence of said Council or recourse to a referendum.
The President of the Republic shall preside over the Constitutional Committee.
The Constitutional Committee shall include the President of the National Assembly, the President of the Council of the Republic, seven members elected by the National Assembly at the beginning of each annual session, by proportional representation of the political parties and chosen outside its own membership, and three members elected under the same conditions by the Council of the Republic.
The Constitutional Committee shall determine whether the laws passed by the National Assembly imply amendment of the Constitution.
Within the period allowed for promulgation of a law, the Committee shall receive a joint request to examine the law from the President of the Republic and the President of the Council of the Republic, the Council having so decided by an absolute majority of its members.
The Committee shall examine the law, shall strive to bring about agreement between the National Assembly and the Council of the Republic, and, if it does not succeed, shall decide the matter within five days after it has received the request. This period may be reduced to two days in case of emergency.
The Committee shall be competent to decide only on the possibility of amending the provisions in Titles I through X of the present Constitution.
A law which, in the opinion of the Committee, implies amendment of the Constitution shall be sent back to the National Assembly for reconsideration.
Should Parliament adhere to its original vote, the law may not be promulgated until the Constitution has been amended according to the procedure set forth in Article 90.
Should the law be judged as conforming with the provisions in Titles I through X of the present Constitution, it shall be promulgated within the period specified in Article 36, said period being prolonged by the addition of the periods specified in Article 92 above.
In the event of occupation of all or part of the metropolitan territory by foreign powers, no procedure of amendment may be undertaken or continued.
The republican form of government may not be the object of a proposed amendment.
TITLE XII -- TEMPORARY PROVISIONS
The Secretariat of the National Constituent Assembly shall be responsible for ensuring the continuity of national representation until the meeting of the Deputies of the new National Assembly.
In exceptional circumstances, the Deputies of the National Constituent Assembly in office may, until the date specified in the preceding Article, be called together by the Secretariat of the Assembly, either on its own initiative, or upon the request of the Government.
The National Assembly shall convene by law on the third Thursday following the general elections.
The Council of the Republic shall meet on the third Tuesday following its election. The present Constitution shall take effect on that date.
Until the meeting of the Council of the Republic, the organization of the Public Powers shall be governed by the Law of November 2, 1945, the National Assembly assuming the powers conferred on the National Constituent Assembly by that law.
The Provisional Government constituted under the terms of Article 96, shall tender its resignation to the President of the Republic, as soon as he has been elected by Parliament under the conditions set forth in Article 29 above.
The Secretariat of the National Constituent Assembly shall be responsible for preparing the meeting of the Assemblies created by the present Constitution and, especially, for providing, before the meeting of their respective Secretariats, the premises and administrative facilities necessary to the exercise of their functions.
During a period of not more than one year after the meeting of the National Assembly, the Council of the Republic may officially deliberate as soon as two thirds of its members shall have been proclaimed elected.
The first Council of the Republic shall be renewed entirely within the year following the renewal of the Municipal Councils, which renewal shall take place within one year after the promulgation of the Constitution.
Until the organization of the Economic Council and during a maximum period of three months dating from the meeting of the National Assembly, the application of Article 25 of the present Constitution shall be suspended.
Until the meeting of the Assembly of the French Union and during a maximum period of one year dating from the meeting of the National Assembly, the application of Articles 71 and 72 of the present Constitution shall be suspended.
Until the promulgation of the laws provided for in Article 89 of the present Constitution, and without prejudice to the provisions fixing the status of the various Overseas Departments and Territories, the Departments and Communes of the French Republic shall be administered in accordance with the laws now in force, except for Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 97 of the Law of April 5, 1884, for the enforcement of which the State police shall be placed at the disposal of the mayors.
However, any action taken by the prefect in his capacity as representative of the Department, shall be subject to the permanent supervision of the president of the Departmental Assembly.
The provisions of the preceding paragraphs shall not be applicable to the Department of the Seine.
The present Constitution shall be promulgated by the President of the Provisional Government of the Republic within two days after the date of the proclamation of the results of the referendum, and in the following manner:
"The National Constituent Assembly has adopted,
"The French people have approved,
"The President of the Provisional Government of the Republic promulgates the following Constitution:
(Text of the Constitution)
The present Constitution, considered and adopted by the National Constituent Assembly, approved by the French people, shall be enforced as the Law of the State.
Paris, October 27, 1946.
( "Journal Officiel," October 28, 1946)
Note: This English translation of the Constitution, prepared by the French Embassy, Press and Information Division, has been revised for the third printing.
Constitution of the Italian Republic December 27, 1947
Reprinted from the United States Department of State Documents and State Papers, April 1948, pp. 46-63. English translation by Howard McGaw Smyth and Kent Roberts Greenfield
THE PROVISIONAL HEAD OF THE STATE
H AVING SEEN the resolution of the Constituent Assembly which, in the session of December 22, 1947, approved the Constitution of the Italian Republic;
HAVING SEEN the XVIII final provision of the Constitution;
Promulgates the Constitution of the Italian Republic in the following text:
Italy is a democratic Republic founded on labor.
Sovereignty belongs to the people, who exercise it within the forms and limits of the Constitution.
The Republic recognizes and guarantees the inviolable rights of man, whether as an individual or in social groups through which his personality develops, and requires the fulfilment of inalienable duties of political, economic, and social solidarity.
All citizens have equal social dignity and are equal before the law, without distinction of sex, of race, of language, of religion, of political opinion, of personal and social condition.
It is the task of the Republic to remove the obstacles of an economic and social order which, limiting in fact the liberty and equality of citizens, prevent the full development of the human personality and the effective participation by all workers in the political, economic, and social organization of the country.
The Republic recognizes the right of all citizens to work and promotes the conditions which render this right effective.
Every citizen has the duty to develop, according to his own capabilities and his own choice, an activity or function which contributes to the material or spiritual progress of society.
The Republic, one and indivisible, recognizes and promotes local autonomy; it gives effect to the most ample administrative decentralization in the services which depend on the state; it adjusts the principles and the methods of its legislation to the requirements of autonomy and decentralization.
The Republic protects linguistic minorities with appropriate norms.
The state and the Catholic Church are, each in its own order, independent and sovereign.
Their relationships are regulated by the Lateran Pacts. Modifications of the pacts, which have been accepted by the two parties, do not require the procedure of constitutional amendment.
All religious confessions are equally free before the law.
Religious confessions other than the Catholic have the right to organize according to their own statutes, in so far as they do not conflict with the Italian juridical order.
Their relationships with the state are regulated by law on the basis of agreements with the appropriate representatives.
The Republic promotes the development of culture and scientific and technical research.
It protects the scenic beauty and the historic and artistic patrimony of the nation.
The Italian juridical order conforms to the generally recognized norms of international law.
The juridical condition of the foreigner is regulated by law in conformity with international norms and treaties.
The foreigner, who in his own country is prevented from effectively exercising the democratic liberties guaranteed by the Italian Constitution, has the right of asylum under conditions established by law.
Extradition of the foreigner for political offenses is not admitted.
Italy repudiates war as an instrument of offensive action against the liberty of other peoples and as a means for the resolution of international controversies; it consents, on conditions of parity with other states, to limitations of sovereignty necessary to an order for assuring peace and justice among the nations; it promotes and favors international organizations directed toward that end.
The flag of the Republic is the Italian tricolor: green, white, and red, in three vertical bands of equal dimensions.
PART I: RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF CITIZENS
TITLE I: CIVIL RELATIONS
Personal liberty is inviolable.
No form of arrest, inspection, or personal search is admitted nor any other restriction whatsoever of personal liberty, except by warrant of judicial authority and only in cases and modes provided by law.
In exceptional cases of necessity and urgency, indicated positively by law, the police authority may adopt provisional measures which must within forty-eight hours be communicated to the judicial authority and, if this authority does not within the succeeding forty-eight hours validate them, they are understood to be revoked, and they remain without any effect.
Any physical or moral violence to persons who are in any way subject to restrictions of liberty is punished.
The law establishes the maximum limits of preventive imprisonment.
The domicile is inviolable.
Inspections or searches or distraints cannot be executed except in cases and according to methods established by law and in accordance with the guarantees prescribed for the protection of personal liberty.
Verifications and inspections for reasons of public health and safety or for economic and fiscal purposes are regulated by special laws.
Liberty and secrecy of correspondence and of every other form of communication are inviolable.
Limitation upon them may take place only by means of a warrant of the judicial authority stating the reasons and within the guarantees established by law.
Every citizen may move and travel freely in any part whatsoever of the national territory, except for generally applicable limitations which the law establishes for reasons of health or security. No restriction may be determined by political reasons.
Every citizen is free to leave the territory of the Republic and to return to it, subject only to legal obligations.
Citizens have the right to assemble peaceably and without arms.
Notice is not required for meetings even in places open to the public. For meetings in public [private] places, notice shall be given to the authorities who may forbid them only for well-established reasons of public security or safety.
Citizens have the right to meet freely, without authorization, for whatever purposes are not forbidden to individuals by the penal laws.
Secret associations are prohibited, and those which pursue even indirectly military aims by means of organizations of military character.
All have the right freely to profess their own religious faith in whatever form, individual or collective; to propagate it and to conduct worship in private or in public, provided this does not involve rites contrary to morality.
The ecclesiastical character and religious purpose or the purpose of worship of an association or institution may not be the cause of special legislative restrictions or of special fiscal burdens upon its constitution, its legal capacity, or any form of its activity.
Everyone has the right freely to manifest his own thought by word, by writing, and by every other means of dissemination.
The press may not be subjected to authorization or censure.
A distraint may be exercised only by warrant of judicial authority with statement of reasons in case of crimes, for which the press law expressly authorizes it, or in case of violation of the norms which the law itself prescribes for those designated as responsible.
In such cases, when there is absolute urgency and opportune intervention of the judicial authority is not possible, a distraint on the periodical press may be executed by police agents of the courts. These must immediately, and in any case within not more than twenty-four hours, present charges before the courts. If the judicial authority does not sustain the charge within the succeeding twenty-four-hour period, the distraint is understood to be revoked and without effect.
The law may provide, with norms of a general character, that the means by which the periodical press is financed be made known.
Printed publications, entertainments, and all other manifestations contrary to good morals are prohibited. The law establishes provisions adequate to prevent and to repress violations.
No one may be deprived for political reasons of legal capacity, of citizenship, or of his name.
No forced loan may be imposed on person or estate except on the basis of law.
Everyone may act at law for the protection of his own rights and legitimate interests.
The right of defense is inviolable at every stage and level of procedure.
The poor are assured, by appropriate institutions, of the means of action and defense before any court.
The law determines the conditions and the methods of reparation for judicial errors.
No one may be removed from his natural judge as established in advance by law.
No one may be punished except by virtue of a law in force before commission of the act.
No one may be subjected to police measures except in cases prescribed by law.
The extradition of a citizen may be granted only when it is expressly prescribed by international conventions.
In no case may it be granted for political offenses.
Penal responsibility is personal.
The accused is not considered guilty until final conviction.
Penalties may not consist of treatment contrary to humane feeling and must be directed toward the reeducation of the condemned.
Capital punishment is not permitted except in cases prescribed by military law of war.
In accordance with the penal, civil, and administrative laws, the officials and agents of the state and of public bodies are directly responsible for acts committed in violation of rights. In such cases the civil responsibility extends to the state and to public bodies.
TITLE II: ETHICAL-SOCIAL RELATIONS
The Republic recognizes the rights of the family as a natural society based on marriage.
Marriage is founded on the moral and juridical equality of the parties, within the limitations established by law to guarantee the unity of the family.
It is the duty of parents to support, instruct, and educate their children, even if born out of wedlock.
In case of incapacity of parents, the law provides who shall acquit their tasks.
The law assures to children born out of wedlock every juridical and social protection compatible with the rights of the members of the legitimate family.
The law lays down the norms and the limits for the investigation of paternity.
Article 31 The Republic, by economic measures and other provisions, facilitates the development of the family and the fulfilment of the tasks pertinent thereto, with particular regard to large families.
It protects maternity, infancy, and youth, favoring the institutions necessary for this aim.
The Republic protects health as a fundamental right of the individual and as an interest of society and guarantees free care to the indigent.
No one may be obliged to undergo a given treatment for illness except by provision of the law. In no case may the law violate the limits imposed by respect for the human personality.
The freedom of art and science and freedom of instruction in them is affirmed.
The Republic lays down general standards for instruction and institutes state schools of all orders and grades.
Organized groups and private persons have the right to establish schools and educational institutions without burden to the state.
The law, in fixing the rights and obligations of non-state schools which request parity, must assure full liberty to them and must assure to their students a scholastic treatment equipollent to that of students of the state schools.
A state examination is required for admission to the various orders and grades of school, or for passing any of them, and in order to qualify for practice of a profession.
Institutions of higher learning, universities and academies, have the right to give themselves autonomous regulations within limits established by the laws of the state.
The school is open to all.
Elementary instruction, imparted for at least eight years, is obligatory and gratuitous.
Those of capacity and merit, even if without means, have the right to attain the highest grades of study.
The Republic renders this right effective by means of scholarships, allowances to families, and other aids which must be assigned by competition.
TITLE III: ECONOMIC RELATIONS
The Republic protects labor in all its forms and applications.
It looks after the development and the professional advancement of workers.
It promotes and favors international agreements and organizations designed to affirm and regulate the rights of labor.
It recognizes freedom of emigration, except for obligations established by law in the general interest, and it protects Italian labor abroad.
The worker has the right to a compensation proportionate to the quantity and quality of his labor and in any case sufficient to assure him and his family a free and dignified existence.
The maximum length of the work day is established by law.
The worker has the right to a weekly rest and to annual paid vacations and may not renounce them.
The working woman has the same right and, for equal labor, receives the same compensation as the working man. The conditions of labor must permit the fulfilment of her essential functions in the family and assure to mother and child a special adequate protection.
The law establishes the minimum age for paid labor.
The Republic protects the labor of minors with special norms and guarantees to them, for equal work, the right to equal wages.
Every citizen unable to work and deprived of the means necessary to live has the right to support and to social assistance.
Laborers have the right to provisions and assured means adequate to their living requirements in case of accident, sickness, disability and old age, and involuntary unemployment.
Those unable to work and the disabled have the right to education and to a beginning in a profession.
Organs and institutions established or assimilated by the state provide for the fulfilment of the tasks contemplated in this article.
The freedom of private charity is affirmed.
The organization of trade unions is free.
No other obligation may be imposed on a trade union except that of registering at local or central public offices, in accordance with the norms established by law.
A condition for registration is that the statutes of the unions sanction an internal organization on a democratic basis.
Registered trade unions have legal personality. They may, being represented as units in proportion to their membership, stipulate collective labor contracts with obligatory efficacy for all those members of the category of labor to which the contract refers.
The right to strike is exercised within the sphere of the laws which regulate it.
Private economic initiative is free.
This may not develop in conflict with social utility or in such a manner as to cause damage to security, to liberty, to human dignity.
The law determines the appropriate programs and controls in order that public and private economic activity may be directed and coordinated toward social ends.
Property is public or private. Economic goods belong to the state, to organized groups, or to individuals.
Private property is recognized and guaranteed by law, which determines the methods of its acquisition and enjoyment and the limitations designed to assure its social functioning and render it accessible to all.
In cases prescribed by law, and on the basis of compensation, private property may be expropriated for reasons of general interest.
The law establishes the norms and limits of legitimate and testamentary succession and the rights of the state in inheritance.
For the purpose of general utility the law may originally reserve or may transfer, by means of expropriation and with indemnity, to the state, to public bodies, or to communities of workers or of utilizers, specified enterprises or categories of enterprises which relate to essential public services or to sources of energy or to situations of monopoly and which have a character of preeminent general interest.
For the purpose of securing a rational exploitation of the soil and of establishing just social relationships, the law imposes obligations and restrictions on private property in land; it fixes limits to its extension according to the region and agrarian zone; it promotes and requires reclamation, the transformation of latifundia, and the reconstitution of productive units; it aids the small and medium-scale proprietor.
The law frames provisions in favor of the mountainous zones.
The Republic recognizes the social function of cooperation conducted on the basis of mutuality and without purposes of speculation for private gain. The law promotes and favors its extension by suitable means and assures its character and permanence, subject to appropriate controls.
The law provides for the protection and development of artisanship.
With a view to the economic and social advancement of labor and in harmony with the requirements of production, the Republic recognizes the right of workers to collaborate, in ways and within limits established by law, in the management of business enterprises.
The Republic encourages and protects saving in all its forms; it disciplines, coordinates, and controls the administration of credit.
It favors the direction of popular savings to residential property, to property in productive land, directly cultivated, and to direct and indirect investment in the great productive enterprises of the country.
TITLE IV: POLITICAL RELATIONSHIPS
All citizens, men and women, who have reached the age of majority, are electors.
The vote is personal and equal, free and secret. Its exercise is a civic duty.
The right to vote may not be limited except for civil incapacity or by reason of irrevocable penal sentence or in cases of moral unworthiness indicated by law.
All citizens have the right to associate freely in political parties in order to compete by democratic methods to determine national policy.
All citizens may submit petitions to the Chambers in order to request legislative provisions or to explain general needs.
All citizens of either sex may hold public offices and elective positions on the basis of equality, according to requirements established by law.
The law may, for admission to public offices and to elective positions, equalize the status of Italians not belonging to the Republic with that of citizens.
Whoever is called to elective public functions has the right to devote to them the time necessary for their performance and to retain his job.
Defense of the fatherland is a sacred duty of the citizen.
Military service is obligatory within the limits and procedures established by law. Its fulfilment does not prejudice the job of the citizen or his exercise of political rights.
The organization of the armed forces is informed by the democratic spirit of the Republic.
All are bound to contribute to public expenses in proportion to their taxable capacity.
The system of taxation conforms to the criteria of progressivity.
All citizens are in duty bound to be faithful to the Republic and to observe its Constitution and laws.
Citizens to whom public offices are entrusted are bound to perform their official duties with discipline and honor, swearing an oath in cases established by law.
PART II: THE ORGANIZATION OF THE REPUBLIC
TITLE I: THE PARLIAMENT
SECTION I: THE CHAMBERS
The Parliament is composed of the Chamber of Deputies and of the Senate of the Republic.
The Parliament assembles in joint session of the members of the two Chambers only in cases established by the Constitution.
The Chamber of Deputies is elected by universal and direct suffrage, in the proportion of one deputy for 80,000 inhabitants or for fractions greater than 40,000.
Eligible as deputies are all electors who on the day of election have reached their twenty-fifth birthday.
The Senate of the Republic is elected on a regional basis.
To each Region is attributed one senator for 200,000 inhabitants or for a fraction greater than 100,000.
No Region may have a number of senators less than six. The Valle d'Aosta has a single senator.
The senators are elected by means of universal and direct suffrage by the electors who have attained their twenty-fifth birthday.
Those electors are eligible as senators who have attained their fortieth birthday.
Whoever has been President of the Republic is by right senator for life unless he renounces the right.
The President of the Republic may nominate as senators for life citizens who have brought renown to the fatherland by merits of the highest order in the social, scientific, artistic, or literary fields.
The Chamber of Deputies is elected for five years, the Senate of the Republic for six. The term of either Chamber may not be extended except by law and only in case of war.
The elections of new Chambers take place within seventy days of the end of the term of the preceding ones. The first meeting takes place within not less than twenty days of the elections.
The powers of the preceding Chambers are extended until the new Chambers have met.
The Chambers meet by right on the first day of February and of October that is not a holiday.
Each Chamber may be exceptionally convoked on the initiative of its President or that of the President of the Republic or on that of one third of its members.
When one Chamber meets in exceptional session, the other is also by right convoked.
Each Chamber elects from among its members its President and Presidential Bureau. When the Parliament meets in joint session, the President and Presidential Bureau are those of the Chamber of Deputies.
Each Chamber adopts its own regulations by absolute majority of its members.
The sessions are public; nevertheless each of the two Chambers and the Parliament of the united Chambers may determine to meet in secret session.
The decisions of each Chamber and of the Parliament are not valid if there is not present an absolute majority of their members, and if not adopted by a majority of those present, except when the Constitution prescribes a special majority.
The members of the Government, even if not members of the Chambers, have the right and, upon request, the obligation to attend the sessions. They must be heard whenever they request it.
The law determines cases of ineligibility for, and of incompatibility with, the office of deputy or that of senator.
No one may at the same time belong to both Chambers.
Each Chamber judges the credentials of its members and unanticipated causes of ineligibility or incompatibility.
Every member of Parliament represents the nation and exercises his function without restraint of mandate.
The members of Parliament may not be prosecuted for opinions expressed or votes cast in the exercise of their functions.
No member of Parliament may, without authorization of the Chamber to which he belongs, be subjected to penal proceedings; nor may he be arrested, or otherwise deprived of personal liberty, or subjected to personal or domiciliary search, unless he be taken in the act of committing a crime for which the warrant or the order to seize is obligatory.
Like authorization is required for the arrest or for holding under arrest a member of Parliament in execution even of an irrevocable sentence.
The members of Parliament receive a compensation established by law.
SECTION II: THE ENACTMENT OF LAWS
The legislative function is exercised collectively by the two Chambers.
The initiative in legislation appertains to the Government, to each member of the Chambers, and to the organs and bodies on which it may be conferred by constitutional enactment.
The people exercise initiative in legislation by proposal of a bill drafted in the form of articles and supported by at least 50,000 electors.
Every bill, having been presented to one Chamber, is, in accordance with its rules and regulations, examined by a committee and then by the Chamber itself, which approves it article by article and then by final vote.
The regulations will establish a shortened procedure for bills of declared urgency.
The regulations may also provide in what cases and what forms the examination and approval of bills are to be referred to committees, including standing committees composed to reflect the proportions of the parliamentary groups. Furthermore in such cases, until the moment of definitive approval, a bill is to be submitted to the Chamber, if the Government, or one tenth of the members of the Chamber, or one fifth of the members of the committee, request that it be discussed and voted upon by the Chamber itself, or else that it be considered for final approval by roll call. The regulations shall determine the forms of publicity to be given to the labors of the committees.
Normal procedure for examination and direct approval by the Chamber is always adopted for bills pertaining to the Constitution and the electorate, and for those delegating legislative power, authorizing the ratification of international treaties, or approving the budget or expenditures.
The laws are promulgated by the President of the Republic within one month of their approval.
If the Chambers, each by an absolute majority of its own members, declare the urgency of a law, it is promulgated within the time which that law itself establishes.
The laws are published immediately after promulgation and take effect on the fifteenth day following publication, except when the laws themselves establish a different period.
The President of the Republic, before promulgating a law, may by means of a message stating the reasons request a new decision of the Chambers.
If the Chambers again approve a law, it must be promulgated.
Popular referendum is established to determine the abrogation, total or partial, of a law, or of an act having the force of law, when it is demanded by 500,000 electors or by five regional Councils.
The referendum is not permitted for tax laws or laws on the budget, for laws of amnesty and of pardon, or for laws authorizing the ratification of international treaties.
All citizens who are eligible as electors of the Chamber of Deputies have the right to participate in the referendum.
Constitution of the Italian Republic
The proposal submitted to referendum is approved if the majority of those eligible have participated in the voting, and if it has received a majority of votes validly cast.
The law determines the methods and procedures of carrying the referendum into effect.
The exercise of the legislative function may not be delegated to the Government except after determination of principles and of governing criteria and only for a limited time and for defined objectives.
The Government may not, without delegation of power by the Chambers, issue decrees which have the force of ordinary law.
When, in extraordinary cases of necessity and urgency, the Government on its own responsibility adopts provisional measures having the force of law, it must on the same day present them for conversion into law by the Chambers which, even if dissolved, are convoked for the purpose and assemble within five days.
The decrees lose effect as of the date of issue if not converted into law within sixty days of their publication. The Chambers may nevertheless regulate by law juridical relationships arising from decrees not converted into law.
Article 78 The Chambers decide upon the state of war and confer upon the Government the necessary powers.
Amnesty and pardon are conceded by the President of the Republic on the basis of laws enacted by the Chambers delegating such power.
They may not apply to crimes committed subsequently to the proposal of delegation.
The Chambers authorize by law the ratification of international treaties which are of a political nature, or which provide for arbitration or judicial regulation, or which involve changes of the territory, or charges on the finances, or modifications of the laws.
The Chambers approve each year the budget and the account of expenditures presented by the Government.
Provisional exercise of the budget may not be conceded except by law and for periods which total not more than four months.
After approval of the budget by law, new taxes and new expenditures may not be established.
Every other law which involves new or greater expenditures must indicate the means to meet them.
Each Chamber may provide for investigations of matters of public interest.
For this purpose it nominates from among its members a committee formed to reflect the proportions of its various groups. The committee of investigation proceeds in its inquiries and in its examinations with the same powers and subject to the same limitations as apply to the judicial authority.
TITLE II: THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
The President of the Republic is elected by Parliament in joint session of its members.
Three delegates for each Region, elected by the Regional Council in such manner as to assure representation of minorities, participate in the election. The Valle d'Aosta has a single delegate.
The election of the President of the Republic takes place by secret ballot and requires a two-thirds majority of the assembly. After the third ballot an absolute majority is sufficient.
Any citizen may be elected President of the Republic who has reached his fiftieth birthday and who enjoys civil and political rights.
The office of President of the Republic cannot be held contemporaneously with any other office whatsoever.
The salary and the endowment of the President are determined by law.
The President of the Republic is elected for seven years.
Thirty days before the expiration of the President's term of office, the President of the Chamber of Deputies convokes the Parliament in joint session, together with the regional delegates, to elect the new President of the Republic.
If the Chambers are dissolved, or if their term has less than three months to run, the election takes place within fifteen days from the meeting of the new Chambers. In the meantime the powers of the President in office are extended.
The functions of the President of the Republic, in each case in which he cannot perform them, are exercised by the President of the Senate.
In case of permanent disability, death, or resignation of the President of the Republic, the President of the Chamber of Deputies announces the election of a new President of the Republic within fifteen days, except for the longer period provided for when the Chambers are dissolved or when their term has less than three months to run.
The President of the Republic is the head of the state and represents the national unity.
He may send messages to the Chambers.
He announces the elections of new Chambers and signifies the date of their first meetings.
He authorizes the presentation to the Chambers of bills initiated by the Government.
He promulgates the laws, and he issues decrees having the force of law, and regulations.
He announces the popular referendum in cases provided for by the Constitution.
He nominates, in the cases indicated by law, the officials of the state.
He accredits and receives diplomatic representatives, ratifies international treaties after securing, when it is needed, the authorization of the Chambers.
He has command of the Armed Forces; presides over the Supreme Council of Defense constituted according to law; declares the state of war on decision by the Chambers.
He presides over the Superior Council of the Judiciary.
He may concede pardons and commute penalties.
He confers the decorations of the Republic.
The President of the Republic may, having heard their respective Presidents, dissolve both Chambers or only one of them.
He may not exercise such a power within the last six months of his term.
No act of the President of the Republic is valid unless countersigned by the Ministers proposing it, who assume responsibility for it.
Acts which have the force of legislation and other acts indicated by law are countersigned also by the President of the Council of Ministers.
The President of the Republic is not responsible for acts performed while exercising his functions, except high treason or offenses against the Constitution.
In such cases he is impeached by Parliament in joint session, by absolute majority of its members.
The President of the Republic, before taking office, swears, in the presence of Parliament in joint session, an oath of fidelity to the Republic and of observance of the Constitution.
TITLE III: THE GOVERNMENT
SECTION I: THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS
The Government of the Republic is composed of the President of the Council and of the Ministers who collectively constitute the Council of Ministers.
The President of the Republic nominates the President of the Council of Ministers and on his proposal nominates the Ministers.
The President of the Council of Ministers and the Ministers, before assuming their functions, swear an oath in the hands of the President of the Republic.
The Government must have the confidence of the two Chambers.
Each Chamber accords or revokes confidence by means of a motion stating the reasons and voted by roll call.
Within ten days of its formation the Government presents itself to the Chambers to obtain their confidence.
An opposing vote by one or by both of the Chambers on a motion of the Government does not carry with it the obligation of resigning.
The motion of lack of confidence must be signed by at least one tenth of the members of the Chamber and may not be placed in discussion until three days after its presentation.
The President of the Council of Ministers directs the general policy of the Government and is responsible for it. He maintains unity of political and administrative direction, and promotes and coordinates the activity of the Ministers.
The Ministers are responsible collectively for the acts of the Council of Ministers, and individually for the acts of their respective departments.
The law provides for the organization of the presidency of the Council and it determines the number, attributes, and organization of the ministries.
The President of the Council of Ministers and the Ministers are impeached by Parliament in joint session for crimes committed in the exercise of their functions.
SECTION II: PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
The public offices are organized according to legal dispositions in such fashion as to assure effectiveness and impartiality of administration.
The spheres of competence, attributes, and appropriate responsibilities of officials are determined in the organization of the offices.
Admission to positions in the public administration is by means of competition except in cases established by law.
Public employees are exclusively at the service of the Nation.
If they are members of Parliament they may not receive promotion except by reason of seniority.
Limitations of the right of affiliation with political parties may be established by law as regards judges, professional military officers in active service, police functionaries and agents, and diplomatic and consular representatives abroad.
SECTION III: AUXILIARY ORGANS
The National Council of Economy and Labor is composed, in accordance with methods established by law, of experts and of representatives of the productive categories, in such a way as to take account of their numerical and qualitative importance.
It is a consultative organ of the Chambers and of the Government for the matters and in accordance with the functions attributed to it by law. It can initiate legislation and contribute to the elaboration of economic and social legislation according to principles and within limitations established by law.
The Council of State is an organ of juridical-administrative advice and an organ for safeguarding justice in administration.
The Court of Accounts exercises a preventive control to assure the legitimacy of acts of the Government, and also audits the administration of the budget. It participates, in cases and under procedures established by law, in control over the financial administration of bodies to which the state regularly contributes. It reports directly to the Chambers on the results of the audit so executed.
The law provides for the independence of the two institutions and of their members as against the Government.
TITLE IV: THE JUDICIARY
SECTION I: JURISDICTIONAL ORGANIZATION
Justice is administered in the name of the people.
The judges are subject only to the law.
The judicial function is exercised by regular judges instituted and regulated by the norms governing the judicial order.
Extraordinary judges or special judges may not be instituted. There may only be instituted, for stipulated subjects, specialized sections attached to the regular judicial organs, and in these sections may participate qualified citizens not drawn from the magistracy.
The law regulates the cases and forms governing the direct participation of the people in the administration of justice.
The Council of State and the other organs of administrative justice have jurisdiction for the protection of legitimate interests as against the public administration and, in particular subjects indicated by law, for the protection also of subjective rights.
The Court of Accounts has jurisdiction in matters of public accounting and in other matters specified by law.
Military courts in time of war have jurisdiction established by law. In time of peace they have jurisdiction only for military crimes committed by members of the Armed Forces.
The judiciary constitutes an autonomous order independent of every other power.
The Superior Council of the Judiciary is presided over by the President of the Republic.
The first president and the general procurator of the Court of Cassation are of right members.
The other members are elected: two thirds by all the regular judges from those belonging to the various categories; one third by Parliament in joint session from the regular university professors of law and lawyers who have had fifteen years of practice.
The Council elects a vice president from the members chosen by Parliament.
The elective members of the Council remain in office four years and are not immediately reeligible.
So long as they are in office they may not be inscribed in the professional registers nor belong to Parliament or to a Regional Council.
In accordance with the norms of the judicial order, the following matters pertain to the Superior Council of the Judiciary: appointments, assignments and transfers, promotions, and disciplinary measures in regard to judges.
The nomination of judges takes place by competition.
The law on the judicial organization may permit the nomination even by election of honorary judges for all functions attributed to individual judges.
Upon designation by the Superior Council of the Judiciary there may be called to the office of Counselor of Cassation, on the ground of outstanding merit, regular university professors of law and lawyers who have had fifteen years of practice and who are inscribed in the special registers of those practicing in the superior courts.
Judges are irremovable. A judge may not be exempted or suspended from service or assigned to another seat or function except as a result of decision by the Superior Council of the Judiciary, adopted either for just cause and with the guaranty of defense as established by the judicial organization, or with the consent of the judge himself.
The Minister of Justice has authority to institute disciplinary action.
Judges differ only in diversity of function.
The Public Prosecutor enjoys for his office the guarantees established according to the norms of the judicial order.
The norms governing the judicial order and each magistracy are established by law.
The law assures the independence of judges of special jurisdictions, of the Public Prosecutors attached to such courts, and of outsiders who participate in the administration of justice.
The judicial authority has the judicial police directly at its disposal.
Except as regards the competence of the Superior Council of the Judiciary, the organization and functioning of the services relating to justice pertain to the Minister of Justice.
SECTION II: NORMS REGARDING JURISDICTION
All measures pertaining to jurisdiction must be accompanied by a statement of reasons.
Appeal for violation of law is always admitted from sentences and from measures infringing personal liberty which are pronounced or taken by regular or special courts. This norm may be departed from only in the case of sentences of military courts in time of war.
From decisions of the Council of State and of the Court of Accounts, appeal is admitted only on grounds of jurisdiction.
The Public Prosecutor has the obligation of administering penal action.
The judicial protection of rights and of legitimate interests against acts of the public administration is always permitted before either ordinary or administrative courts.
Such judicial protection may not be excluded, or limited to particular means of impugnment, or apply simply to specified categories of acts.
The law determines which courts may annul acts of the public administration in cases and with effects provided for by the law itself.
TITLE V: THE REGIONS, THE PROVINCES, THE COMMUNES
The Republic is divided into Regions, Provinces, and Communes.
The Regions are constituted as autonomous bodies with their own powers and functions according to the principles fixed by the Constitution.
Particular forms and conditions of autonomy, in accordance with special statutes adopted as constitutional laws, are attributed to Sicily, to Sardinia, to Trentino-Alto Adige, to Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and to Valle d'Aosta.
Within the limits of the fundamental principles established by the laws of the state, the Region legislates in regard to the following matters, provided that such legislation is not in conflict with the interest of the Nation or of other Regions:
Organization of the offices and of the administrative bodies dependent on the Region;
Urban and rural local police;
Fairs and markets;
Public charities and health and hospital assistance;
Professional instruction, training of artisans, and scholastic assistance;
Museums and libraries of local bodies;
Tourist trade and hotel industry;
Street railways and automobile lines of regional interest;
Thoroughfares, aqueducts, and public works of regional interest;
Lake ports and lake navigation;
Mineral and thermal waters;
Quarries and peat bogs;
Fishing in domestic waters;
Agriculture and forests;
Other subjects indicated by the constitutional laws.
The laws of the Republic may delegate to the Regions the power to issue norms for their execution.
The administrative functions pertaining to the subjects listed in the preceding article reside in the Regions, except those of exclusively local interest which by the laws of the Republic may be attributed to the Provinces, the Communes, or other local bodies.
The state may by law delegate to the Region the exercise of other administrative functions.
The Region normally exercises its administrative functions by delegating them to the Provinces, to the Communes or other local bodies or by making use of their officials.
The Regions have financial autonomy within forms and limits established by the laws of the Republic which coordinate this regional autonomy with the finances of the state, of the Provinces, and of the Communes.
To the Regions are assigned their own taxes and quotas of the taxes of the treasury in relation to the needs of the Regions for the expenses necessary to fulfil their normal functions.
In order to provide for specified ends, and particularly for the development of the South and of the Islands, the state by law assigns special contributions to individual Regions.
The Region has its own domain and patrimony according to forms established by the laws of the Republic.
The Region may not levy import or export duties or duties on the transit trade between Regions.
The Region may not adopt provisions which hinder in any way the free circulation of persons and things among the Regions.
It may not limit the right of citizens to exercise their professions, employments, or labor in any part of the national territory whatsoever.
The organs of the Region are the Regional Council, the Executive Committee (Giunta) and its President.
The Regional Council exercises the power of legislation and regulation attributed to the Region and the other functions conferred on it by the Constitution and the laws. It may propose bills to the Chambers.
The Executive Committee (Giunta) is the executive organ of the Region.
The President of the Executive Committee (Giunta) represents the Region; he promulgates regional laws and regulations; he directs the administrative functions delegated by the state to the Region, conforming to the instructions of the central Government.
The system of elections, the number and cases of ineligibility and incompatibility of the regional councilors, are established by laws of the Republic.
No one may belong at the same time to a Regional Council and to either Chamber of Parliament or to another Regional Council.
The Council elects from its membership a President and a presidential bureau for its own labors.
The regional councilors cannot be called to answer for opinions expressed or votes cast in the exercise of their functions.
The President and members of the Executive Committee (Giunta) are elected by the Regional Council from its own members.
Every Region has a constitution which, in harmony with the Constitution and with the laws of the Republic, establishes the norms relative to the internal organization of the Region. The regional constitution regulates the right of initiative and of referendum on laws and administrative provisions of the Region and the publication of regional laws and regulations.
The regional constitution is enacted by the Regional Council by absolute majority of its members, and it is approved by legislative action of the Republic.
A Commissioner of the Government, residing in the capital of the Region, supervises the administrative functions exercised by the state and coordinates them with those exercised by the Region.
The control of the legitimacy of the administrative acts of the Region is exercised, in decentralized form, by an organ of the state according to modes and within limits established by the laws of the Republic. In specified cases the law may admit control on the basis of general merit, solely with the effect of prompting, by formal demand, a re-examination of the decision on the part of the Regional Council.
Within the Region are established organs of administrative justice of the first grade in accordance with the order established by law of the Republic. Sections may be established with seats in other places than the regional capital.
The Regional Council may be dissolved when it performs acts contrary to the Constitution or commits grave violations of the laws, or if it fails to respond to the request of the Government to replace its Executive Committee (Giunta) or President when they have committed analogous acts or violations.
It may be dissolved when, by reason of resignations or through the impossibility of forming a majority, it is not in a position to function.
It may also be dissolved for reasons of national security.
A dissolution is executed by a decree of the President of the Republic stating the reasons, after hearing a committee of deputies and senators constituted for regional questions according to procedures established by law of the Republic.
With the decree of dissolution is nominated a Commission composed of three citizens who are eligible for the Regional Council, which Commission announces new elections within three months, and provides for ordinary administration within the competence of the Regional Executive Committee (Giunta) and for such acts as cannot be postponed. These acts are subject to ratification by the new Regional Council.
Every law passed by the Regional Council is communicated to the Commissioner, who, except in case of opposition on the part of the Government, must approve it within a period of thirty days from its submission.
The law is promulgated within ten days from the date of approval, and becomes effective not earlier than fifteen days from its publication. If a law is declared urgent by the Regional Council, and the Government of the Republic consents, its promulgation and date of effect are not subject to the specified terms.
The Government of the Republic, when it considers that a law passed by a Regional Council exceeds the competence of the Region or conflicts with the interests of the nation or with those of other Regions, returns it to the Regional Council within the period fixed for approval.
When the Regional Council approves it anew by an absolute majority of its members, the Government of the Republic may, within fifteen days from communication of that fact, submit the question of its legitimacy to the Constitutional Court, or the question of the general merit of the regional law, because of conflicts of interests, to the Chambers. In case of doubt the Court decides the issue of competence.
The Provinces and the Communes are autonomous bodies within the scope of principles fixed by the general laws of the Republic which determine their functions.
The Provinces and the Communes are also territorial units of state and regional decentralization.
The Provinces may be subdivided into districts (circondari) with exclusively administrative functions for the sake of further decentralization.
An organ of the Region, constituted in accordance with procedures established by the law of the Republic, exercises, likewise in a decentralized form, the control of legitimacy over acts of the Provinces, Communes, and other local bodies.
In cases specified by law, control on the issue of general merit may be exercised in the form of a request stating reasons, submitted to the deliberative bodies for re-examination of their decisions.
The following Regions are constituted:
Piedmont --------- Marche
Valle d'Aosta ------- Lazio
Lombardy ---------- Abruzzi e Molise
Trentino-Alto Adige -------- Campania
Venetia ------- Puglia
Friuli-Venezia Giulia ------ Basilicata
Liguria -------- Calabria
Emilia-Romagna -------- Sicily
Tuscany -------- Sardinia
By constitutional enactment, the Regional Councils having been heard, arrangements may be made for the fusion of existing Regions or the creation of new Regions with a minimum of one million inhabitants, when request for such arrangements is made by as many Communal Councils as represent at least one third of the interested populations, and when the proposal is approved by referendum of the majority of the populations themselves.
By means of a referendum and by law of the Republic, the Regional Councils having been heard, consent may be given that Provinces and Communes which so request it be detached from one Region and joined to another.
Changes of provincial boundaries and the institution of new Provinces within the area of the Region are established by law of the Republic, on the initiative of the Communes, the Region itself having been heard.
The Region, having heard the interested populations, may by its own enactment establish within its own territory new Communes and change their boundaries and names.
TITLE VI: CONSTITUTIONAL GUARANTIES
SECTION I: THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT
The Constitutional Court decides:
on controversies regarding the constitutionality of laws, and of acts having the force of law, emanating from the state and the Regions;
on conflicts arising over constitutional assignment of powers within the state, between the state and Regions, and between Regions;
on impeachments of the President of the Republic and of the Ministers, according to the norms of the Constitution.
The Constitutional Court is composed of fifteen judges: one third named by the President of the Republic; one third named by Parliament in joint session; and one third named by the supreme judicial bodies, ordinary and administrative.
The judges of the Constitutional Court are chosen from the magistrates of the superior courts, ordinary and administrative, including magistrates in retirement; from regular university professors of law; and lawyers who have had twenty years of practice.
The Court elects its president from its members.
The judges are nominated for twelve years; they are renewed by instalments in accordance with the norms established by law; and they are not immediately reeligible.
The office of judge of the Constitutional Court cannot be held concurrently with that of member of Parliament or of a Regional Council, with the practice of law, or with any position or office indicated by law.
In cases of impeachment of the President of the Republic or of Ministers there shall take part, besides the regular judges of the Court, sixteen members who are to be elected at the beginning of each legislature by Parliament in joint session from citizens having the qualifications of eligibility for the Senate.
When the Court declares unconstitutional a rule of law, or of an act having the force of law, the rule ceases to have effect from the day following the publication of the decision.
The decision of the Court is published and is communicated to the Chambers and to the interested Regional Councils in order that, where it is considered necessary, provision may be made according to constitutional forms.
A constitutional law establishes the conditions, the forms, the time limits for proposing decisions as to constitutionality, and the guaranties of independence for the judges of the Court.
By ordinary law are established the other rules necessary for the establishment and functioning of the Court.
No impugnment of the decisions of the Constitutional Court is admitted.
SECTION II: AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION -CONSTITUTIONAL LAWS
Amendments of the Constitution and other constitutional laws are passed by each Chamber in two successive deliberations at an interval of not less than three months, and they are approved by absolute majority of the members of each Chamber in the second voting.
The laws themselves are submitted to popular referendum when, within three months of their publication, a demand is made by one fifth of the members of either Chamber, or by 500,000 electors, or by five Regional Councils. A law submitted to referendum is not promulgated unless it is approved by a majority of the valid ballots.
Referendum does not take place if a law has been approved in its second voting by a majority of two thirds of the members of each Chamber.
The republican form is not subject to constitutional amendment.
TRANSACTION AND FINAL ARANGEMENTS
When the Constitution becomes effective the Provisional Head of the State exercises the attributes and assumes the title of President of the Republic.
If at the time of the election of the President of the Republic the Regional Councils have not all been constituted, only the members of the two Chambers will participate in the election.
For the initial composition of the Senate of the Republic are nominated as senators, by means of a decree of the President of the Republic, deputies of the Constitutent Assembly who have by law the qualifications to be senators and who:
have been presidents of the Council of Ministers or of legislative assemblies;
have been members of the dissolved Senate;
have been three times elected, including election to the Constituent Assembly;
were declared dismissed in the session of the Chamber of Deputies of November 9, 1926;
have suffered the penalty of imprisonment of not less than five years in consequence of condemnation by the Fascist Special Tribunal for the Defense of the State.
Likewise nominated as senators, by decree of the President of the Republic, are members of the dissolved Senate who were members of the National Consultative Assembly.
Before signature of the decree of nomination the right to be nominated senator may be renounced. Acceptance of candidacy in the political elections implies renunciation of the right to be nominated senator.
For the first elections to the Senate, Molise is considered as a Region in itself with the number of senators which belong to it in proportion to its population.
The disposition in article 80 of the Constitution, in so far as it concerns international treaties which impose charges on the finances or modifications of the law, takes effect from the date of convocation of the Chambers.
Within five years of the effective date of the Constitution, a revision of the special organs of jurisdiction now existing will be undertaken, excepting the jurisdictions of the Council of State, of the Court of Accounts, and of the military courts.
Within one year of the same date provision shall be made by law for the reorganization of the Supreme Military Tribunal with reference to article 112.
Until the new law on the organization of the judiciary bringing it into conformity with the Constitution shall have been issued, the norms of the existing organization will continue to be observed.
Until the Constitutional Court begins to function, the decision of controversies indicated in article 134 takes place within the forms and limits of the norms pre-existent to the date when the Constitution takes effect.
The judges of the Constitutional Court nominated in the initial composition of that court are not subject to the system of partial renewal and remain in office twelve years.
The elections of the Regional Councils and of the elective organs of provincial administration will take place within one year from the effective date of the Constitution.
Laws of the Republic regulate for each branch of the public administration the transfer of state functions attributed to the Regions. Until provision shall have been made for the reorganization and the distribution of administrative functions among the local bodies, the Provinces and Communes retain the functions which they now exercise, and others the exercise of which the Regions delegate to them.
Laws of the Republic regulate the transfer to the Regions of functionaries and dependents of the state, including those of the central administrations when rendered necessary by the new organization. In setting up their offices the Regions must, except in cases of necessity, draw their personnel from that of the state and of local bodies.
The Republic, within three years from the effective date of the Constitution, will adjust its laws to the requirements of local autonomy and to the legislative competence attributed to the Regions.
In the Region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, referred to in article 116, the general norms of part II, title V, apply. The protection of linguistic minorities in conformity with article 6 remains binding.
Until five years from the effective date of the Constitution, other Regions may be formed, by constitutional enactment modifying the list in article 131, and without recourse to the procedure required by the first paragraph of article 132, but with the obligation to hear the interested populations nevertheless remaining in effect.
The reorganization under any form whatsoever of the dissolved Fascist party is prohibited.
Notwithstanding article 48, temporary limitations are established by law, for a period of not over five years from the effective date of the Constitution, on the suffrage and eligibility of the responsible heads of the Fascist regime.
XIII The members and descendants of the House of Savoy are not electors and may not hold any public office or elective position.
To the former kings of the House of Savoy, their wives, and their male descendants are prohibited ingress into and sojourn in the national territory.
The properties within the national territory of the former kings of the House of Savoy, of their wives, and of their male descendants revert to the state. Transfers of and the establishments of royal rights on these same properties, which took place after June 2, 1946, are null and void.
Titles of nobility are not recognized.
The predicates of those existing before October 28, 1922, serve as parts of the proper name.
The Order of St. Maurice is conserved as a hospital corporation and functions in the modes established by law.
The law regulates the suppression of the Heraldic Council.
When the Constitution goes into effect the legislative decree of the lieutenancy of June 25, 1944, number 151, on the provisional organization of the state, is held to be converted into law.
Within one year from the effective date of the Constitution, the revision and coordination with the Constitution of the preceding constitutional laws, not until then explicitly or implicitly abrogated, will be undertaken.
The Constituent Assembly will be convoked by its President to decide, before January 31, 1948, on the law for the election of the Senate of the Republic, on the special regional statutes, and on the press law.
Until the date of the elections of the new Chambers, the Constituent Assembly may be convoked, if there is need to decide on matters placed within its competence by article 2, first and second paragraphs, and article 3, first and second paragraphs, of the legislative decree of March 16, 1946, number 98.
In this period the standing committees continue to function. The committees on legislation submit to the Government the bills transmitted to them, with contingent observations and proposals of amendment.
The deputies may present questions to the Government with request for written reply.
With reference to the second paragraph of the present article, the Constituent Assembly is convoked by its President on the written request of the Government or of at least two hundred deputies.
The present Constitution is promulgated by the Provisional Head of the State within five days of its approval by the Constituent Assembly and takes effect on January 1, 1948.
The text of the Constitution is deposited in the town hall of every Commune of the Republic to remain displayed, during the whole of the year 1948, in order that every citizen may have knowledge of it.
The Constitution, furnished with the seal of the state, shall be inserted in the official collection of laws and decrees of the Republic.
The Constitution must be faithfully observed as the fundamental law of the Republic by all the citizens and by the organs of the state.
Given at Rome, this 27th December 1947.
ENRICO DE N0ICOLA
Countersigned: The President of the Constituent Assembly UMBERTO TERRACINI The President of the Council of Ministers ALCIDE DE GASPERI
Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany
as adopted by the Parliamentary Council, May 8, 1949, and published in the Federal Gazette on May 23, 1949
CONSCIOUS of its responsibility before God and before man, inspired by the resolve to preserve its national and political unity and to serve world peace as an equal partner in a united Europe, the German people, in the Laender Baden, Bavaria, Bremen, Hamburg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, North-Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, SchleswigHolstein, Wuerttemberg-Baden und Wuerttemberg-Hohenzollern, has, by virtue of its constituent power, enacted this Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany to give a new order to political life for a transitional period.It has also acted on behalf of those Germans to whom participation was denied.The entire German people is called upon to achieve, by free self-determination, the unity and freedom of Germany.
I. BASIC RIGHTS
1. The dignity of man is inviolable. To respect and protect it is the duty of all state authority. 2. The German people therefore acknowledges inviolable and inalienable human rights as the basis of every human community, of peace and of justice in the world. 3. The following basic rights are binding on the legislature, on the executive and on the judiciary as directly valid law.
1. Everyone has the right to the free development of his personality, insofar as he does not infringe upon the rights of others or offend against the constitutional order or the moral code. 2. Everyone has the right to life and to physical inviolability. The freedom of the individual is inviolable. These rights may be interfered with only on the basis of a law.
1. All persons are equal before the law. 2. Men and women have equal rights. 3. No one may be prejudiced or privileged because of his sex, his descent, his race, his language, his homeland and origin, his faith or his religious and political opinions.
1. Freedom of faith and conscience and freedom of creed in religion and in philosophy of life (weltanschaulich) are inviolable. 2. The practice of religion without interference is guaranteed. 3. No one may be compelled against his conscience to perform military service as an armed combatant. Details are regulated by a federal law. Article 5
1. Everyone has the right freely to express and to disseminate his opinion through speech, writing and pictures and, without hindrance, to instruct himself from generally accessible sources. Freedom of the press and freedom of radio and motion-pictures reporting are guaranteed. There is no censorship.
2. These rights are limited by the provisions of the general laws, the legal regulations for the protection of juveniles and by the right to personal honor.
3. Art and science, research and teaching are free. Freedom of teaching does not absolve from loyalty to the Constitution.
1. Marriage and family are under the special protection of the state.
2. The care and upbringing of children are the natural right of parents and their duty, incumbent upon them primarily. The state watches over their performance (of this duty).
3. Children may be separated from the family against the will of those entitled to bring them up only on the basis of a law, if those so entitled fail to perform their duty, or if, on other grounds, the children are in danger of falling into neglect.
4. Every mother has a claim to the protection and assistance of the community.
5. For their physical and mental development and for their position in society, illegitimate children shall, by legislation, be given the same opportunities as legitimate children.
1. The entire educational system is under the supervision of the state.
2. Those entitled to bring up a child have the right to decide whether it shall receive religious instruction.
3. Religious instruction shall form part of the curriculum in state and municipal schools, with the exception of non-denominational schools. Religious instruction shall, without prejudice to the state's right of supervision, be given according to the principles of the religious denominations. No teacher may against his will be placed under an obligation to give religious instruction.
4. The right to establish private schools is guaranteed. Private schools as a substitute for state or municipal schools require the approval of the state and are subject to Land legislation. The approval must be given if the private schools, in their educational aims and facilities, as well as in the professional training of their teaching personnel, are not inferior to the state or municipal schools and if a segregation of the pupils in accordance with the (financial) means of the parents is not fostered. The approval must be withheld if the economic and legal status of the teaching personnel is not adequately ensured.
5. A private elementary school is to be permitted only if the educational authority recognizes a specific pedagogic interest or if, at the request of those entitled to bring up children, it is to be established as an inter-denominational school (Gemeinschaftsschule), as a denominational or an ideological school, and if a state or municipal elementary school of this type does not exist in the Gemeinde.
6. Preparatory schools (Vorschulen) remain abolished.
1. All Germans have the right, without prior notification or permission, to assemble peacefully and unarmed.
2. In the case of open-air meetings this right may be restricted by legislation or on the basis of a law.
1. All Germans have the right to form associations and societies.
2. Associations, the objects or activities of which conflict with the criminal laws or which are directed against the constitutional order or the concept of international understanding, are prohibited.
3. The right to form associations to safeguard and improve working and economic conditions is guaranteed to everyone and to all trades and professions. Agreements which restrict or seek to hinder this right are null and void; measures directed to this end are illegal.
Secrecy of the mail as well as secrecy of the postal services and of telecommunications is inviolable. Restrictions may be ordered only on the basis of a law.
1. All Germans enjoy freedom of movement throughout the federal territory.
2. This right may be restricted only by legislation and only for the cases in which an adequate basis of existence is absent, and, as a result, particular burdens would arise for the general public or in which it is necessary for the protection of juveniles from neglect, for combatting danger of epidemics or in order to prevent criminal acts.
1. All Germans have the right freely to choose their trade or profession, place of work and place of vocational training. The exercise of an occupation or profession may be regulated by legislation.
2. No one may be compelled to perform a particular kind of work except within the scope of a customary general compulsory public service equally applicable to all.
3. Forced labor is admissible only in the event of deprivation of freedom ordered by a court.
1. The home is inviolable.
2. Searches may be ordered only by a judge or, in the event of danger in delay, by other authorities provided by law, and may be carried out only in the form prescribed therein.
3. In other cases interferences with, and restrictions of, this inviolability may be undertaken only to avert a common danger or mortal danger to individuals and, on the basis of a law, also to prevent imminent danger to public safety and order, especially for the relief of the housing and space shortage (Raumnot), for combatting the danger of epidemics or for the protection of endangered juveniles.
1. Property and the right of inheritance are safeguarded. (Their) scope and limitations are determined by legislation. 2. Property commits to duties. Its use should at the same time serve the general welfare.
3. Expropriation is admissible only for the welfare of the community at large. It may be effected only by legislation or on the basis of a law regulating the nature and extent of compensation. The compensation shall be determined after just consideration of the interests of the general public and the parties concerned. In case of dispute regarding the amount of compensation, there is recourse to the ordinary courts.
Land, natural resources and means of production may, for the purpose of socialization, be transferred to public ownership or other forms of publicly controlled economy by means of a law regulating the nature and extent of compensation. For the compensation, Article 14, paragraph (3), sentences 3 and 4, applies correspondingly.
1. No one may be deprived of his German citizenship. A person may be deprived of citizenship only on the basis of a law and, against his will, only if he is not thereby rendered stateless.
2. No German may be extradited to a foreign country. The politically persecuted enjoy the right of asylum.
Everyone has the right, individually or jointly with others, to address written requests or complaints to the competent authorities and to the popular representative bodies.
Whoever abuses freedom of expression of opinion, in particular freedom of the press (Article 5, paragraph (1)), freedom of teaching (Article 5, paragraph (3)), freedom of assembly (Article 8), freedom of association (Article 9), the secrecy of the mail, of the postal services and of telecommunications (Article 10), the (right of) property (Article 14), or the right of asylum (Article 16, paragraph (2)), in order to attack the libertarian democratic basic order, forfeits these basic rights. The forfeiture and its extent shall be pronounced by the Federal Constitutional Court.
1. Insofar as, under this Basic Law, a basic right may be restricted by legislation or on the basis of a law, this law must be of general application and not applicable solely to an individual case. Furthermore, the law must specify the basic right and indicate the Article (concerned).
2. In no case may a basic right be infringed upon in its essential content.
3. The basic rights also apply to domestic juridical persons insofar as the former, according to their nature, are applicable to the latter.
4. Should any person's rights be infringed by public authority, he shall have recourse to the courts. Insofar as there is no other jurisdiction, the recourse shall be to the ordinary courts.
II. THE FEDERATION AND THE LAENDER
1. The Federal Republic of Germany is a democratic and social federal state.
2. All state authority emanates from the people. It is exercised by the people by means of elections and plebiscites and through specific legislative, executive and judicial agencies.
3. Legislation is subject to the Constitution; the executive power and the administration of justice are subject to the Law.
1. The parties participate in the forming of the political will of the people. They can be freely formed. Their internal organization must conform to democratic principles. They must publicly account for the sources of their funds.
2. Parties which, according to their aims and the conduct of their members, seek to impair or abolish the libertarian democratic basic order or to jeopardize the existence of the Federal Republic of Germany are unconstitutional. The Federal Constitutional Court decides on the question of unconstitutionality.
3. Details are regulated by federal legislation.
The federal flag is black-red-gold.
For the time being, this Basic Law applies in the territory of the Laender Baden, Bavaria, Bremen, Greater Berlin, Hamburg, Hesse, Lower-Saxony, North-Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, Wuerttemberg-Baden and Wuerttemberg-Hohenzollern. It is to be put into force in other parts of Germany on their accession.
1. The Federation may, by legislation, transfer sovereign powers to international institutions.
2. For the maintenance of peace, the Federation may join a system of mutual collective security; in doing so it will consent to those limitations of its sovereign powers which will bring about and secure a peaceful and lasting order in Europe and among the nations of the world.
3. For the settlement of disputes between nations, the Federation will accede to conventions concerning a general, comprehensive obligatory system of international arbitration.
The general rules of international law form part of federal law. They take precedence over the laws and directly create rights and duties for the inhabitants of the federal territory.
1. Activities tending to disturb, and undertaken with the intention of disturbing, the peaceful relations between nations, especially of preparing the conduct of an aggressive war, are unconstitutional. They are to be subject to punishment.
2. Weapons designed for warfare may be manufactured, transported or marketed only with the permission of the Federal Government. Details are regulated by a federal law.
All German commercial vessels constitute a (federally) unified merchant fleet.
1. The constitutional order in the Laender must conform to the principles of the republican, democratic and social state based on the rule of law (Rechtsstaat) within the meaning of this Basic Law. In the Laender, Kreise and Gemeinden, the people must be represented by a body created by universal, direct, free, equal, and secret elections. In Gemeinden, the assembly of the Gemeinde may take the place of an elected body.
2. The Gemeinden must be safeguarded in their right to regulate, under their own responsibility, all the affairs of the local community within the limits of the laws. The Gemeindeverbaende also shall have the right of self-government within the legally established scope of their functions and in accordance with the laws.
3. The Federation guarantees that the constitutional order of the Laender conforms to the basic rights and the provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2).
1. The federal territory is to be reorganized by a federal law with due regard to regional ties, historical and cultural connections, economic expediency and social structure. The reorganization should create Laender which, by their size and potentiality, are able to fulfill efficiently the functions incumbent upon them.
2. In areas which, at the time of the reorganization of the Laender after 8 May 1945, became part, without plebiscite, of another Land, a specific change of the decision reached concerning this jurisdiction can be demanded by popular initiative within one year of the coming into force of this Basic Law. The popular initiative requires the consent of onetenth of the population qualified to vote in Landtag elections. Should the popular initiative materialize, the Federal Government must, in the draft law regarding the reorganization, include a provision determining to which Land the area concerned shall belong.
3. After adoption of the law, that part of the law which concerns an area which it is proposed to join to another Land must in each such area be submitted to a referendum. If, pursuant to paragraph (2), a popular initiative has materialized, a referendum must be held in any case in the area concerned.
4. Insofar as the law is rejected in at least one area, it must then be reintroduced in the Bundestag. Insofar as it is then re-enacted, it shall to that extent require acceptance by referendum in the entire Federal territory.
5. In a referendum, the majority of the votes cast is decisive.
6. The procedure is regulated by a federal law. The reorganization should be concluded before the expiration of three years after promulgation of the Basic Law and, should it be necessary in consequence of the accession of another part of Germany, within two years after such accession.
7. The procedure regarding any other change in the existing territory of the Laender is regulated by a federal law which shall require the approval of the Bundesrat and of the majority of the members of the Bundestag.
The exercise of the powers of the state and the discharge of state functions is the concern of the Laender, insofar as this Basic Law does not otherwise prescribe or permit.
Article 31 Federal law overrides Land law.
Article 32 1. The maintenance of relations with foreign states shall be the concern of the Federation. 2. Before the conclusion of a treaty affecting the special interests of a Land, this Land must be consulted in good time. 3. Insofar as legislation falls within the competence of the Laender, these may, with the approval of the Federal Government, conclude treaties with foreign states.
Article 33 1. Every German has in every Land the same civic (staatsbuergerliche) rights and duties. 2. Every German has equal access to any public office in accordance with his suitability, ability and professional achievements. 3. Enjoyment of civil and civic rights (buergerliche und staatsbuergerliche Rechte) and access to public offices, as well as the rights acquired in the public service, are independent of religious denomination. No one may suffer prejudice on account of his adherence or non-adherence to a denomination or philosophy of life (Weltanschauung). 4. The exercise of state authority (hoheitsrechtliche Befugnisse) as a permanent function shall, as a rule, be entrusted to members of the public service who are pledged to service and loyalty by public law. 5. Law regarding the public service shall be regulated with due regard to the traditional principles concerning the status of professional civil servants (Berufsbeamtentum).
Article 34 If any person, in exercising a public office entrusted to him, violates his official duty to a third party, responsibility (liability) rests in principle with the state or the public body which employs that person. In a case of willful intent or gross negligence, the (employing body's) right of recourse (against the civil servant or employee) is reserved. With respect to the claim for compensation of damage and to the right of recourse, the jurisdiction of the ordinary courts must not be excluded.
Article 35 All Federal and Land authorities render each other mutual legal and administrative assistance.
Article 36 Civil servants (Beamte) from all Laender shall be employed by the highest Federal authorities in appropriate ratio. Persons employed with the other Federal authorities should, as a rule, be taken from the Land in which they are employed.
1. If a Land fails to fulfill its obligations towards the Federation under the Basic Law or any other federal law, the Federal Government may, with Bundesrat approval, take the necessary measures to force the Land by way of federal compulsion (Bundeszwang) to fulfill its duties.
2. For the implementation of federal compulsion, the Federal Government or its commissioner has the right to give instructions to all Laender and their administrative agencies.
III. THE BUNDESTAG
1. Representatives to the German Bundestag are elected by the people in universal, direct, free, equal, and secret elections. They are representatives of the whole people, not bound by orders and instructions, and subject only to their conscience.
2. Any person who has reached the age of twenty-one years is entitled to vote, and any person who has reached the age of twenty-five years may stand for election.
3. Details are determined by a federal law.
1. The Bundestag is elected for a four-year term. Its legislative term ends four years after its first convening, or with its dissolution. The new election takes place in the last three months of the legislative term or, in case of a dissolution, after sixty days at the latest.
2. The Bundestag convenes not later than thirty days after the election, but in no case before the end of the legislative term of the previous Bundestag.
3. The Bundestag determines the closure and resumption of its meetings. The President of the Bundestag may convoke it at an earlier date. He is bound to do so if one-third of the members, the Federal President or the Federal Chancellor so demand.
1. The Bundestag elects its President, his deputies and the secretaries. It draws up its Rules of Procedure.
2. The President has charge of, and exercises police power in, the Bundestag building. No search or seizure may take place in the premises of the Bundestag without his permission.
1. The scrutiny of elections is the responsibility of the Bundestag. It also decides whether a representative has lost his seat in the Bundestag.
2. An appeal to the Federal Constitutional Court against the decision of the Bundestag is admissible. 3. Details are regulated by a federal law.
1. The deliberations of the Bundestag are public. Upon a motion of one-tenth of its members, or upon a motion of the Federal Government, the public may, by a two-thirds majority, be excluded. The motion is decided in a closed meeting.
2. Decisions of the Bundestag require the majority of votes cast insofar as this Basic Law does not otherwise provide. For the elections to be held by the Bundestag, exceptions in the Rules of Procedure are admissible.
3. True records of the public meetings of the Bundestag and of its committees do not entail any responsibility.
1. The Bundestag and its committees may demand the presence of any member of the Federal Government.
2. The members of the Bundesrat and of the Federal Government as well as persons commissioned by them have access to all meetings of the Bundestag and its committees. They must be heard at any time.
1. The Bundestag has the right and, upon the motion of one-fourth of its members, the obligation to set up an investigating committee which shall take the necessary evidence in public proceedings. The public may be excluded.
2. The provisions relating to criminal procedure shall essentially apply to the taking of the evidence. Secrecy of the mail, postal services and telecommunications remains unaffected.
3. The courts and administrative authorities are bound to provide legal and administrative assistance.
4. The decisions of the investigating committees are not subject to judicial review. The courts are free to appraise and judge the facts on which the investigation is based.
1. The Bundestag appoints a Standing Committee which shall safeguard the rights of the Bundestag in relation to the Federal Government in the interval between two legislative terms. The Standing Committee has also the powers of an investigating committee.
2. Any wider powers, in particular the right to legislate, to elect the Federal Chancellor, and to impeach the Federal President, are not vested in the Standing Committee.
1. A representative may at no time be proceeded against in the courts or be subjected to disciplinary action or otherwise called to account outside the Bundestag on account of a vote given or an utterance made by him in the Bundestag or one of its committees. This shall not apply in the case of defamatory insults.
2. A representative may be called to account or arrested for a punishable act only with the permission of the Bundestag, unless he be apprehended while committing the act or in the course of the following day.
3. Furthermore, the permission of the Bundestag is required in respect of any other restriction of the personal freedom of a representative or for the initiation of proceedings pursuant to Article 18 against a representative.
4. Any criminal proceedings and any proceedings pursuant to Article 18 against a representative, any detention and any other restriction of his personal freedom, shall be suspended upon the demand of the Bundestag.
Representatives are entitled to refuse to give evidence concerning persons who have confided facts to them in their capacity as representatives or to whom they have entrusted facts in this capacity, as well as concerning those facts themselves. Within the scope of this right to refuse to give evidence, the seizure of documents is inadmissible.
1. Any person standing for election to the Bundestag is entitled to the leave necessary for the preparation of his election.
2. No one may be prevented from accepting and exercising the office of representative. Notice of dismissal or dismissal (from employment) on these grounds are inadmissible.
3. Representatives are entitled to a remuneration adequate to ensure their independence. They are entitled to free travel in all state-owned transport. Details are regulated by a federal law.
Articles 46, 47, and paragraphs (2) and (3) of Article 48 apply to the members of the Presidium and the Standing Committee, as well as to their chief deputies, also in the interval between two legislative terms.
IV. THE BUNDESRAT
By means of the Bundesrat, the Laender participate in the federal legislation and administration.
1. The Bundesrat consists of members of the Laender Governments which appoint and recall them. Other members of their Governments may represent them.
2. Each Land has at least three votes; Laender with more than two million inhabitants have four, Laender with more than six million inhabitants, five votes.
3. Each Land may delegate as many members as it has votes. The votes of each Land may be given only as a block vote and only by members present or their substitutes.
1. The Bundesrat elects its President for one year.
2. The President convokes the Bundesrat. He must convoke it if the members for at least two Laender or the Federal Government so demand.
3. The decisions of the Bundesrat are taken by at least the majority of its votes. It draws up its Rules of Procedure. It deliberates in public. The public may be excluded. 4. Other members of the Laender Governments or persons commissioned by Laender Governments may belong to the committees of the Bundesrat.
The members of the Federal Gove ment have the right and, on demand, the duty to participate in the deliberations of the Bundesrat and its committees. They must be heard at any time. The Bundesrat must be kept currently informed, by the Federal Government, of the conduct of federal affairs.
V. THE FEDERAL PRESIDENT
1. The Federal President is elected, without debate, by the Federal Convention (Bundesversammlung). Every German is eligible who is entitled to vote for the Bundestag and has reached the age of forty years.
2. The term of office of the Federal President is five years. Re-election for consecutive term is admissible only once.
3. The Federal Convention consists of the members of the Bundestag and an equal number of members elected by the popular representative bodies of the Laender according to the principle of proportional representation.
4. The Federal Convention meets not later than thirty days before the expiration of the term of office of the Federal President and, in the case of premature termination, not later than thirty days after this date. It is convoked by the President of the Bundestag.
5. Upon expiration of the legislative term, the time period provided for in paragraph (4), sentence I, begins with the first convening of the Bundestag.
6. The person receiving the votes of the majority of the members of the Federal Convention is elected. If such majority is not obtained by any candidate in two ballots, the candidate receiving most votes in a further ballot is elected.
7. Details are regulated by a federal law.
1. The Federal President may not be a member of either the Government or a legislative body of the Federation or a Land.
2. The Federal President may not hold any other salaried office, nor engage in a trade, nor practice a profession, nor belong to the management or the supervisory board (Aufsichtsrat) of a profit-making enterprise.
On assuming office, the Federal President takes the following oath in the presence of the assembled members of the Bundestag and the Bundesrat:
"I swear that I shall dedicate my efforts to the well-being of the Ger. man people, enhance its prosperity, protect it from harm, uphold and defend the Basic Law and the laws of the Federation, fulfill my duties conscientiously and do justice to all. So help me God."
The oath may also be taken without the religious asseveration.
In the event of the Federal President's being prevented from exercising the authority of his office, or in the event of a premature vacancy in the office, this authority shall be exercised by the President of the Bundesrat.
Orders and decrees of the Federal President become valid only when countersigned by the Federal Chancellor or the competent Federal Minister. This does not apply in the case of the appointment and dismissal of the Federal Chancellor, of the dissolution of the Bundestag pursuant to Article 63, and of the request pursuant to Article 69, paragraph (3).
1. The Federal President represents the Federation in matters concerning international law. He concludes treaties with foreign states on behalf of the Federation. He accredits and receives envoys.
2. Treaties which regulate the political relations of the Federation or refer to matters of federal legislation require, in the form of a federal law, the approval or the participation of the respective bodies competent for federal legislation. For administrative agreements the provisions concerning the federal administration apply correspondingly.
1. Unless otherwise provided by law, the Federal President appoints and dismisses the federal judges and the federal civil servants.
2. In individual cases, he exercises the right of pardon on behalf of the Federation.
3. He may delegate these powers to other authorities.
4. Paragraphs (2) to (4) of Article 46 apply to the Federal President correspondingly.
1. The Bundestag or the Bundesrat may impeach the Federal President before the Federal Constitutional Court for willful violation of the Basic Law or any other federal law. The motion for impeachment must be introduced by at least one-fourth of the members of the Bundestag or one-fourth of the votes of the Bundesrat. The decision to impeach requires a majority of two-thirds of the members of the Bundestag or of two-thirds of the votes of the Bundesrat. The prosecution is conducted by a person commissioned by the impeaching body.
2. If the Federal Constitutional Court finds the Federal President guilty of a willful violation of the Basic Law or of any other federal law, it may declare him to have forfeited his office. Upon institution of impeachment proceedings, the Federal Constitutional Court may, by interim order, rule that the Federal President shall be debarred from exercising the authority of his office.
VI. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
The Federal Government consists of the Federal Chancellor and the Federal Ministers.
1. The Federal Chancellor is elected, without debate, by the Bundestag on the proposal of the Federal President.
2. The person obtaining the majority of votes of the Bundestag members is elected. He is to be appointed by the Federal President.
3. If the person proposed (for appointment) is not elected, the Bundestag may, within fourteen days of the ballot, elect a Federal Chancellor by more than one half of its members.
4. If the Federal Chancellor is not elected within this time period, a new ballot shall take place without delay, in which the person receiving the greatest number of votes shall be elected. If the person elected obtains the votes of the majority of the Bundestag members, the Federal President must, within seven days of the election, appoint him. If the person elected does not obtain this majority, the Federal President must, within seven days, either appoint him or dissolve the Bundestag.
1. The Federal Ministers are appointed and dismissed by the Federal President upon the proposal of the Federal Chancellor.
2. The Federal Chancellor and the Federal Ministers, on assuming office, take before the Bundestag the oath provided in Article 56.
The Federal Chancellor determines, and assumes responsibility for, general policy. Within the limits of this general policy, each Federal Minister conducts the business of his department independently and on his own responsibility. The Federal Government decides on differences of opinion between the Federal Ministers. The Federal Chancellor conducts the business of the Federal Government in accordance with Rules of Procedure adopted by it and approved by the Federal President.
The Federal Chancellor and the Federal Ministers may not hold any other salaried office, nor engage in a trade nor practise a profession nor belong to the management or, without Bundestag approval, to the supervisory board (Aufsichtsrat) of a profit-making enterprise.
1. The Bundestag may express its lack of confidence in the Federal Chancellor only by electing, by the majority of its members, a successor and by submitting a request to the Federal President for the dismissal of the Federal Chancellor. The Federal President must comply with the request and appoint the person elected.
2. There must be an interval of forty-eight hours between the motion and the election.
1. If a motion of the Federal Chancellor for a vote of confidence does not obtain the support of the majority of the members of the Bundestag, the Federal President may, upon the proposal of the Federal Chancellor, dissolve the Bundestag within twenty-one days. The right to dissolve lapses as soon as the Bundestag, with the majority of its members, elects another Federal Chancellor.
2. There must be an interval of forty-eight hours between the introduction of the motion and the vote thereon.
1. The Federal Chancellor appoints a Federal Minister as his deputy.
2. The Federal Chancellor's or a Federal Minister's tenure of office ends in any case with the convening of a new Bundestag; a Federal Minister's tenure of office ends also with any other termination of the tenure of office of the Federal Chancellor.
3. At the request of the Federal President, the Federal Chancellor or, at the request of the Federal Chancellor or of the Federal President, a Federal Minister, is bound to continue to transact the business of his office until the appointment of his successor.
VII. THE LEGISLATION OF THE FEDERATION
1. The Laender have the power to legislate insofar as this Basic Law does vest legislative powers in the Federation. 2. The delimitation of competence between the Federation and the Laender is determined in accordance with the provisions of this Basic Law concerning exclusive and concurrent legislation.
In the field of exclusive legislation of the Federation, the Laender have the power to legislate only if, and insofar as, they are expressly so empowered by a federal law.
1. In the field of concurrent legislation, the Laender have the power to legislate as long as, and insofar as, the Federation makes no use of its legislative power.
2. The Federation has legislative power in this field insofar as a need for regulation by federal law exists because: a matter cannot be effectively regulated by the legislation of individual Laender, or
the regulation of a matter by a Land law might prejudice the interests of other Laender or of the community at large, or the preservation of legal or economic unity demands it, in particular the preservation of uniformity of living conditions beyond the territory of an individual Land.
The Federation has exclusive legislation on:
1. foreign affairs;
2. citizenship in the Federation;
3. freedom of movement, passports, immigration and emigration and extradition;
4. currency, money and coinage, weights and measures and regulation of time and calendar;
5. the unity of the territory as regards customs and commercial purposes, commercial and navigation agreements, the freedom of traffic in goods, and the exchanges of goods and payments with foreign countries, including customs and border control;
6. federal railroads, and air traffic;
7. postal services and telecommunications;
8. the legal status of persons in the service of the Federation and of public law corporations directly controlled by the Federal Government;
9. industrial property rights (including patents and trade marks), author's copyrights and publisher's copyrights;
10. co-operation of the Federation and the Laender in the field of criminal police and in matters concerning the protection of the Constitution, the establishment of a Federal Office of Criminal Police, as well as international prevention and repression of crime;
11. statistics for federal purposes.
Concurrent legislation extends over the following fields:
1. Civil law, criminal law and execution of sentences, the constitution of courts and their procedure, the Bar, notaries and legal advice (Rechtsberatung);
2. census and registry matters;
3. law pertaining to associations and assemblies;
4. the right of sojourn and of settlement of aliens;
5. the protection of German works of art and of cultural (historic) significance against removal abroad;
6. matters relating to refugees and expellees;
7. public welfare;
8. citizenship in the Laender;
9. war damage and compensation (Wiedergutmachung);
10. assistance to war-disabled persons and to surviving dependents, the care of former prisoners of war and the care of war graves;
11. law relating to the economy (mining, industry, power supply, crafts, trades, commerce, banking and stock exchange, insurance to which civil and not public law applies);
12. labor law, including the relationship between labor and management within an enterprise, the protection of workers and the conducting of employment agencies and exchanges, as well as social insurance, including unemployment insurance;
13. the furtherance of scientific research;
14. law regarding expropriation insofar as it is concerned with the matters enumerated in Articles 73 and 74;
15. transfer of land and real estate, natural resources and means of production to public ownership or to other forms of publicly controlled economy;
16. prevention of the abuse of economic power;
17. furtherance of agricultural and forestry production, safeguarding of food supply, import and export of agricultural and forestry products, deep-sea and coastal fishing and the guarding and preservation of the coasts;
18. transactions in real estate, law concerning land and matters concerning agricultural leases, housing, settlements and homesteads;
19. measures against epidemic and infectious diseases affecting human beings and animals, the admission to medical and other healing professions and healing practices and the traffic in drugs, medicines, narcotics and poisons;
20. protection concerning traffic in food and stimulants as well as in necessities of life, in fodder, in agricultural and forestry seeds and seedlings, and protection of trees and plants against diseases and pests;
21. ocean and coastal shipping and aids to navigation, inland shipping, meteorological services, sea waterways and inland waterways used for general traffic;
22. road traffic, motorized transport and the construction and maintenance of highways used for long-distance traffic;
23. railroads other than federal railroads, except mountain railroads.
Within the conditions set forth in Article 72, the Federation has the right to issue general provisions concerning:
1. The legal status of persons employed in the public service of the Laender, Gemeinden and other public law corporations;
2. the general law to govern the press and motion pictures;
3. hunting, the preservation of nature and the care of the countryside;
4. land distribution, regional planning and water conservation;
5. matters relating to registration and identity cards.
1. Bills are introduced in the Bundestag by the Federal Government, by members of the Bundestag or by the Bundesrat.
2. Bills of the Federal Government are to be submitted first to the Bundesrat. The Bundesrat is entitled to give its opinion on these bills within three weeks.
3. . Bills of the Bundesrat are to be submitted to the Bundestag by the Federal Government, which must add a statement of its own views.
1. Federal laws are passed by the Bundestag. After their adoption, they shall, without delay, be submitted to the Bundesrat by the President of the Bundestag.
2. The Bundesrat may, within two weeks of the receipt of the adopted bill, demand that a committee composed of members of the Bundestag and Bundesrat be convoked to consider the bill jointly. The composition and the procedure of this committee is regulated by Rules of Procedure which shall be agreed by the Bundestag and shall require the approval of the Bundesrat. The members of the Bundesrat delegated to this committee are not bound by instructions. If the approval of the Bundesrat is required for a law, both the Bundestag and the Federal Government may demand the convocation of the committee. Should the committee propose amendments to the adopted bill, a new vote will be taken by the Bundestag.
3. Insofar as the approval of the Bundesrat is not required for a law, the Bundesrat may, if proceedings pursuant to paragraph (2) are completed, veto within one week a law passed by the Bundestag. The time period for a veto begins in the case of paragraph (2), last sentence, with the receipt of the bill as readopted by the Bundestag; in all other cases, with the conclusion of the proceedings before the committee provided for in paragraph (2).
4. Should the veto be adopted by a majority of the Bundesrat votes, it may be rejected by the decision of a majority of the Bundestag members. If the Bundesrat has adopted the veto by at least a two-thirds majority of its votes, the rejection by the Bundestag shall require a majority of two-thirds, and at least the majority of the members of the Bundestag.
A law adopted by the Bundestag is deemed to have been passed if the Bundesrat approves it, does not introduce a motion pursuant to Article 77, paragraph (2), does not impose a veto within the time period provided by Article 77, paragraph (3), or withdraws its veto; or, if the veto is overridden by the Bundestag.
1. The Basic Law may be amended only by a law expressly amending or amplifying the text of the Basic Law.
2. Such a law requires the approval of two-thirds of the Bundestag members and two-thirds of the Bundesrat votes.
3. An amendment to this Basic Law affecting the organization of the Federation into Laender, the basic participation of the Laender in legislation, or the basic principles laid down in Articles il and 20, is inadmissible.
1. The Federal Government, a Federal Minister or the Land Governments may be empowered by a law to issue decrees having the force of law (Rechtsverordnungen). In such cases, the contents, purpose and scope of such powers must be specified in the law. The legal basis must be cited in the decree. If a law provides that such power may be further delegated, such delegation shall require a decree having the force of law (Rechtsverordnung).
2. Bundesrat approval is required, unless otherwise provided by federal legislation, for decrees having the force of law (Rechtsverordnungen) issued by the Federal Government or a Federal Minister, concerning basic principles and charges for the use of facilities of the federal railroads, of the postal services and of telecommunications, concerning the construction and operation of railroads, as well as for decrees having the force of law (Rechtsverordnungen) issued on the basis of federal laws which require Bundesrat approval or which are executed by the Laender on behalf of the Federation or as matters of their own concern.
1. Should the Bundestag not be dissolved as provided for in Article 68, the Federal President may, at the request of the Federal Government and with Bundesrat approval, declare a state of legislative emergency with respect to a bill, if the Bundestag rejects the bill although the Federal Government has declared it to be urgent. The same applies if a bill has been rejected although the Federal Chancellor had combined with it the motion provided for in Article 68.
2. If the Bundestag, after a state of legislative emergency has been declared, again rejects the bill or passes it in a version declared to be unacceptable to the Federal Government, the law shall be deemed passed provided that the Bundesrat approves it. The same applies if the bill has not been passed by the Bundestag within four weeks after its reintroduction.
3. During the term of office of a Federal Chancellor, any other bill rejected by the Bundestag may be passed within a period of six months after the first declaration of a state of legislative emergency in accordance with paragraphs (1) and (2). After expiration of this period, a further declaration of a state of legislative emergency is inadmissible during the term of office of the same Federal Chancellor.
4. The Basic Law may neither be amended nor wholly or partially repealed or suspended by a law enacted pursuant to paragraph (2).
1. Laws enacted in accordance with the provisions of this Basic Law shall, after countersignature, be engrossed by the Federal President and promulgated in the Federal Gazette. Decrees having the force of law (Rechtsverordnungen) shall be signed by the issuing authority and, unless otherwise provided by law, promulgated in the Federal Gazette.
2. Every law and every decree having the force of law (Rechtsverordnungen) should specify the date of its becoming effective. In the absence of such a provision, it shall become effective on the fourteenth day after the end of the day on which the Federal Gazette was issued.
VIII. THE EXECUTION OF FEDERAL LAWS AND THE FEDERAL ADMINISTRATION
The Laender execute the federal laws as matters of their own concern insofar as this Basic Law does not otherwise provide or permit.
1. If the Laender execute the federal laws as matters of their own concern, they determine the establishment of authorities and administrative procedures insofar as federal laws approved by the Bundesrat do not otherwise provide. 2. The Federal Government may, with Bundesrat approval, issue general administrative provisions. 3. The Federal Government exercises supervision to ensure that the Laender execute the federal laws in accordance with the legislation in force. For this purpose the Federal Government may send commissioners to the highest Land authorities and, with their approval or, if this approval is refused, with Bundesrat approval, also to subordinate authorities. 4. Should shortcomings in the execution of federal laws which the Federal Government has found to exist in the Laender not be corrected, the Bundesrat shall decide, upon request of the Federal Government or of the Land, whether the Land has infringed the law. A decision of the Bundesrat may be challenged in the Federal Constitutional Court. 5. For the execution of federal laws the Federal Government may, by federal legislation requiring Bundesrat approval, be granted the power to give individual instructions in special cases. They are, except if the Federal Government considers a case to be urgent, to be addressed to the highest Land authorities.
1. Where the Laender execute the federal laws on behalf of the Federation, the establishment of the administrative agencies remains a concern of the Laender insofar as federal legislation approved by the Bundesrat does not otherwise provide.
2. The Federal Government may issue, with Bundesrat approval, general administrative provisions. It may regulate the uniform training of civil servants (Beamte) and government employees (Angestellte). The heads of the administrative agencies at intermediate level shall be appointed with its agreement.
3. The Land authorities are subject to the instructions of the competent highest federal authorities. Except if the Federal Government considers the matter urgent, the instructions are to be addressed to the highest Land authorities. Execution of the instructions is to be ensured by the highest Land authorities.
4. Federal supervision extends to the legality and suitability of the manner of execution. The Federal Government may, for this purpose, require the submission of reports and documents and send commissioners to all authorities.
Where the Federation executes the laws by direct federal administration or through public law corporations or institutions directly under the Federation, the Federal Government issues, insofar as the Law does not make any special provisions, general administrative provisions. It determines, insofar as it is not otherwise provided by the law, the establishment of the administrative agencies.
1. The foreign service, the federal finance administration, the federal railroads, the federal postal services and, in accordance with the provisions of Article 89, the administration of the federal waterways and shipping are conducted as integral parts of the federal administration with their own subordinate administrative offices. Federal border control authorities and central offices for police information and communications, for the compilation of data for the purpose of protecting the Constitution, and for the criminal police may be established by federal legislation.
2. Social insurance institutions, the sphere of competence of which extends beyond the territory of a Land, are conducted as public law corporations directly under the Federation.
3. In addition, independent central federal administrative agencies and new public law corporations and institutions directly under the Federation may be established by federal legislation for matters on which the Federation has the power to legislate. Should new functions arise for the Federation in matters in respect to which it has legislative competence, federal administrative agencies at intermediate and lower levels may, in case of urgent need, be established with the approval of the Bundesrat and of the majority of the Bundestag.
The Federation establishes a bank of issue as a federal bank.
1. The Federation is the owner of the former Reich waterways.
2. The Federation administers the Federal waterways through its own agencies. It exercises those state functions relating to inland shipping which extend beyond the territory of a Land and the functions relating to sea-going shipping which are conferred on it by legislation. Upon request, the Federation may delegate the administration of federal waterways, insofar as they lie within the territory of a Land, to this Land, in administration by commission (Auftragsverwaltung). Should a waterway touch the territories of several Laender, the Federation may delegate the administration of it to the Land which is proposed in a request submitted by the Laender concerned.
3. In the administration, development and construction of waterways, the requirements of soil cultivation and of water conservation shall be safeguarded in agreement with the Laender.
1. The Federation is the owner of the former Reich Autobahnen (auto-highways) and Reich highways.
2. The Laender, or such self-governing corporations as are competent under Land public law, administer on behalf of the Federation the federal Autobahnen (auto-highways) and other federal highways used for long-distance traffic.
3. At the request of a Land, the Federation may take under direct federal administration federal Autobahnen (auto-highways) and other federal highways used for long-distance traffic, insofar as they lie within the territory of the Land.
1. In order to avert any imminent danger to the existence or the libertarian democratic basic order of the Federation or of a Land, a Land may appeal for the services of the police forces of other Laender.
2. If the Land in which this danger is imminent is not itself prepared or in a position to combat the danger, the Federal Government may place the police in that Land and the police forces of other Laender under its own instructions. This order (Anordnung) has to be rescinded after the elimination of the danger, or else at any time on the demand of the Bundesrat.
IX. THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Judicial authority is vested in the judges; it is exercised by the Federal Constitutional Court, by the Supreme Federal Court, by the federal courts provided for in this Basic Law and by the courts of the Laender.
1. The Federal Constitutional Court decides: on the interpretation of this Basic Law in the event of disputes concerning the extent of the rights and duties of any of the highest federal agencies or of other parties granted independent rights by this Basic Law or by Rules of Procedure of the highest federal agencies;
in case of differences of opinion or doubts as to the formal and material compatibility of federal law or Land law with this Basic Law or on the compatibility of Land law with other federal law, at the request of the Federal Government, of a Land Government or of one-third of the Bundestag members;
in case of differences of opinion on the rights and duties of the Federation and the Laender, particularly in the execution of federal law by the Laender, and in the exercise of federal supervision;
on other public law disputes between the Federation and the Laender, between different Laender or within a Land, insofar as recourse to another court is not provided for;
in all other cases provided for in this Basic Law.
2. Furthermore, the Federal Constitutional Court shall act in such cases as are otherwise assigned to it by federal legislation.
1. The Federal Constitutional Court consists of federal judges and other members. Half of the members of the Federal Constitutional Court are elected by the Bundestag and half by the Bundesrat. They may not belong to the Bundestag, the Bundesrat, the Federal Government or corresponding agencies of a Land.
2. A federal law determines the constitution and procedure of the Federal Constitutional Court and specifies in what cases its decisions shall have the force of law.
1. A Supreme Federal Court is established for the maintenance of the unity of federal law.
2. The Supreme Federal Court decides cases in which the decision is of fundamental importance for the uniformity of the administration of justice by the high federal courts.
3. The appointment of the judges of the Supreme Federal Court is decided jointly by the Federal Minister of Justice and a committee for the selection of judges consisting of the Land Ministers of Justice and an equal number of members elected by the Bundestag.
4. In other respects, the constitution of the Supreme Federal Court and its procedure are regulated by federal legislation.
1. High federal courts shall be established in the spheres of ordinary, administrative, finance, labor and social jurisdiction.
2. Article 95, paragraph (3), applies to the judges of the high federal courts with the proviso that the Federal Minister of Justice and the Land Ministers of Justice shall be substituted by the Ministers competent in the particular matter. Their service status must be regulated by a special federal law.
3. The Federation may establish federal disciplinary courts for disciplinary proceedings against federal civil servants and federal judges.
1. Judges are independent and subject only to the law.
2. Judges definitively appointed on a full-time basis to established court offices may, against their will, be dismissed before the expiration of their term of office, or permanently or temporarily suspended from office or transferred to another position or placed on the retired list, only by the decision of a court and only on grounds and according to the procedures provided for by law. Legislation may set age limits for the retirement of judges who have been appointed for life. In the case of changes in the structure of the courts or their area of jurisdiction, judges may be transferred to another court or suspended from office with the retention, however, of their full salary.
1. The legal status of the federal judges is to be regulated by a special federal law.
2. If a federal judge, in his official capacity or unofficially, infringes on the principles of the Basic Law or the constitutional order of a Land, the Federal Constitutional Court may, upon request of the Bundestag, rule, with a two-thirds majority, that the judge be transferred to another office or placed on the retired list. In a case of willful infringement, dismissal may also be ordered.
3. The legal status of the judges in the Laender is to be regulated by special Land legislation. The Federation may issue general provisions.
4. The Laender may determine that the Land Minister of Justice shall, together with a committee for the selection of judges, decide on the appointment of judges in the Laender.
5. The Laender may, in conformity with paragraph (2), provide a regulation for Land judges. Land constitutional law in force remains unaffected. The decision concerning a case of impeachment of a judge rests with the Federal Constitutional Court.
The decision on constitutional disputes within a Land may be assigned by Land legislation to the Federal Constitutional Court, and the decision of last instance, on such matters as involve the application of Land law, to the high federal courts.
1. If a court considers unconstitutional a law the validity of which is pertinent to its decision, proceedings must be stayed and, if a violation of a Land Constitution is at issue, the decision of the Land court competent for constitutional disputes shall be obtained and, if a violation of this Basic Law is at issue, the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court shall be obtained. This also applies if the violation of this Basic Law by Land law or the incompatibility of a Land law with a federal law is at issue.
2. If, in litigation, it is doubtful whether a rule of international law forms part of federal law and whether it directly creates rights and duties for the individual (Article 25), the court has to obtain the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court.
3. If the constitutional court of a Land, in interpreting the Basic Law, intends to deviate from a decision of the Federal Constitutional Court or of the constitutional court of another Land, the (said) constitutional court must obtain the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court. If, in interpreting other federal law, it intends to deviate from the decision of the Supreme Federal Court or a high federal court, it must obtain the decision of the Supreme Federal Court.
1. Extraordinary courts are inadmissible. No one may be removed from the jurisdiction of his lawful judge.
2. Courts dealing with matters in special fields may be established only by law.
The death sentence is abolished.
1. Everyone is entitled to a proper hearing before the courts.
2. An act may be punished only if the Law defined it as punishable before it was committed.
3. On the basis of the general criminal laws, no one may be punished for the same act more than once.
1. The freedom of the individual may be restricted only on the basis of a formal law and only with due regard to the forms prescribed therein. Detained persons may be subjected neither to mental nor physical illtreatment.
2. Only a judge is (entitled) to decide on the admissibility and extension of a deprivation of liberty. In the case of every such deprivation which is not based on the order of a judge, a judicial decision must be obtained without delay. The police may, on its own authority, hold no one in its own custody beyond the end of the day following the arrest. Further details are to be regulated by law.
3. Any person temporarily detained on suspicion of having committed a punishable act must, at the latest on the day following the detention, be brought before a judge who shall inform him of the reasons for the detention, interrogate him and give him an opportunity to raise objections. The judge must, without delay, either issue a warrant of arrest, setting out the reasons thereof, or order the release.
4. A relative of the person detained or a person enjoying his confidence must be notified without delay of any judicial decision ordering or extending a deprivation of liberty.
1. The Federation has exclusive legislation on customs and fiscal monopolies.
2. The Federation has concurrent legislation on: excise taxes and taxes on transactions, with the exception of taxes with localized application, in particular the taxes on real estate acquisition, incremental value and fire protection; the taxes on income, property, inheritance and donations;
taxes on real estate and on businesses (Realsteuern), with the exception of the fixing of tax rates; if it claims the taxes in their entirety or in part to cover federal expenditures, or if the conditions set forth in Article 72, paragraph (2), exist.
3. Federal legislation on taxes the yield of which accrues in their entirety or in part to the Laender or the Gemeinden (Gemeindeverbaende) require Bundesrat approval.
1. Customs, the yield of monopolies, the excise taxes with the exception of the beer tax, the transportation tax, the turnover tax and levies on property serving non-recurrent purposes accrue to the Federation. 2. The beer tax, the taxes on transactions with the exception of the transportation tax and turnover tax, the income and corporation taxes, the property tax, the inheritance tax, the taxes on real estate and on businesses (Realsteuern) and the taxes with localized application accrue to the Laender and, in accordance with provisions of Land legislation, to the Gemeinden (Gemeindeverbaende).
3. The Federation may, by means of a federal law requiring Bundesrat approval, claim a part of the income and corporation taxes to cover its expenditures not covered by other revenues, in particular to cover grants which are to be made to Laender to meet expenditures in the fields of education, public health and welfare.
4. In order to ensure the working efficiency also of the Laender with low tax revenues and to equalize the differing burdens of expenditure of the Laender, the Federation may make grants and take the funds necessary for this purpose from specific taxes accruing to the Laender. A federal law, requiring Bundesrat approval, shall determine which taxes shall be utilized for this purpose and in what amounts and on what basis the grants shall be distributed among the Laender entitled to equalization; the grants must be transferred directly to the Laender.
The final distribution, as between the Federation and the Laender, of the taxes subject to concurrent legislation shall be effected not later than V December 1952 and by means of a federal law requiring Bundesrat approval. This does not apply to the taxes on real estate and on businesses (Realsteuern), and the taxes with localized application. Thereby, each party should be assigned a legal claim to certain taxes or shares in taxes commensurate to their tasks.
1. Customs, fiscal monopolies, the excise taxes subject to concurrent legislation, the transportation tax, the turnover tax and the non-recurrent levies on property are administered by federal finance authorities. The organization of these authorities and the procedure to be applied by them are regulated by federal legislation. The heads of the authorities at intermediate level shall be appointed in agreement with the Land Governments. The Federation may delegate the administration of the non-recurrent levies on property to the Land finance authorities as administration by commission (Auftragsverwaltung).
2. Where the Federation claims part of the income and corporation taxes it shall thus far administer them; it may, however, delegate the administration to the Land finance authorities as administration by commission (Auftragsverwaltung). 3. The remaining taxes are administered by Land finance authorities. The Federation may, by federal legislation requiring Bundesrat approval, regulate the organization of these authorities, the procedure to be applied by them and the uniform training of the civil servants. The heads of the authorities at intermediate level must be appointed in agreement with the Federal Government. The administration of the taxes accruing to the Gemeinden (Gemeindeverbaende) may be delegated by the Laender in entirety or in part to the Gemeinden (Gemeindeverbaende).
4. Insofar as taxes accrue to the Federation, the Land finance authorities shall act on behalf of the Federation. The Laender are liable with their revenues for an orderly administration of these taxes; the Federal Minister of Finance may supervise the orderly administration through authorized federal agents who have the right to give instructions to the authorities at intermediate and lower levels.
5. The jurisdiction of Finance Courts shall be uniformly regulated by federal legislation.
6. The general administrative provisions shall be issued by the Federal Government and, insofar as the administration is incumbent upon the Land finance authorities, will require Bundesrat approval.
The Federation and the Laender are autonomous and mutually independent with regard to their respective budgets.
1. All revenues and expenditures of the Federation must be estimated for each fiscal year and included in the budget.
2. The budget shall be established by law before the beginning of the fiscal year. Revenue and expenditure must be balanced. Expenditures shall, as a rule, be approved for one year; in special cases, they may be approved for a longer period. Otherwise, the federal budget law may contain no provisions which extend beyond the fiscal year or which do not concern the revenues and expenditures of the Federation or its administration.
3. The assets and liabilities shall be set forth in an appendix to the budget.
4. In the case of federal enterprises commercially operated, only the final result, and not the detailed revenues and expenditures, need be included in the budget.
1. If, by the end of a fiscal year, the budget for the following year has not been established by law, the Federal Government shall, until such a law comes into force, be empowered to effect such payments as are necessary:
a. to maintain existing institutions established by law and to carry out measures adopted by law;
b. to meet legal obligations of the Federation;
c. to continue building projects, procurements and other services, or to grant further subsidies for these purposes, provided that funds have already been approved in the budget of a previous year.
2. Insofar as revenues, provided by special legislation and derived from taxes, dues and other sources, or working capital reserves do not cover the expenditures mentioned under paragraph (1), the Federal Government may, by way of credits, procure the funds, up to one-fourth of the total amount of the previous budget, which are necessary to conduct current operations.
Expenditures exceeding the budget and any extraordinary expenditures require the approval of the Federal Minister of Finance. It may only be given in case of unforeseen and compelling necessity.
Decisions of the Bundestag and Bundesrat which increase the budget expenditure proposed by the Federal Government, or include or imply new expenditures for the future, require the approval of the Federal Government.
1. The Federal Minister of Finance must submit to the Bundestag and the Bundesrat an annual account of all revenues and expenditures as well as of assets and liabilities.
2. This account shall be audited by an Audit Office (Rechnungshof) the members of which shall enjoy judicial independence. The general account and a survey of the assets and liabilities have to be submitted to the Bundestag and the Bundesrat in the course of the following fiscal year, together with the comments of the Audit Office, in order to secure a discharge (Entlastung) for the Federal Government. The auditing of accounts shall be regulated by a federal law.
Funds may be obtained by way of credits only in the case of extraordinary requirements and as a rule only for expenditure for productive purposes and only on the basis of a federal law. The granting of credits and providing of securities as a charge on the Federation, the effect of which extends beyond the fiscal year, may be undertaken only on the basis of a federal law. The amount of the credits or the extent of the obligation for which the Federation assumes liability must be determined in the law.
XI. TRANSITIONAL AND CONCLUDING PROVISIONS
1. Unless otherwise provided by law, a German within the meaning of this Basic Law is a person who possesses German citizenship or who has been accepted in the territory of the German Reich, as it existed on 31 December 1937, as a refugee or expellee of German ethnic stock (Volkszugehoerlgkeit) or as the spouse or descendant of such person.
2. Former German citizens, who, between 30 January 1933 and 8 May 1945, were deprived of their citizenship for political, racial or religious reasons, and their descendants, shall be regranted German citizenship on application. They are considered as not having been deprived of their German citizenship if they have taken up residence in Germany after 8 May 1945 and have not expressed a desire to the contrary.
1. Legislation which conflicts with Article 3, paragraph (2), remains in force pending harmonization with this provision of the Basic Law, but not beyond 31 March 1953.
2. Laws restricting the right of freedom of movement, by reason of the present housing and space shortage (Raumnot), remain in force until repealed by federal legislation.
The reorganization of the territory comprising the Laender Baden, Wuerttemberg-Baden and Wuerttemberg-Hohenzollern may be effected, by agreement between the Laender concerned, in a manner deviating from the provisions of Article 29. Failing agreement, the reorganization shall be regulated by federal legislation which must provide for a referendum.
In matters relating to refugees and expellees, in particular as regards their distribution among the Laender, the Federal Government may, with Bundesrat approval, issue decrees having the force of law (Verordnungen mit Gesetzeskraft), pending a settlement of the matter by federal legislation. In special cases, the Federal Government may be empowered to issue individual instructions. Except in case of danger in delay the instructions are to be addressed to the highest Land authorities.
1. In accordance with more detailed provisions of a federal law, the Federation bears the expenses for occupation costs and the other internal and external burdens caused by war, and for the subsidies to (alleviate) the burdens of social insurance, including unemployment insurance, and public assistance for the unemployed.
2. The revenues are transferred to the Federation at the same time as the Federation assumes responsibility for the expenditures.
Within the meaning of this Basic Law, a majority of the members of the Bundestag and of the Federal Convention (Bundesversammlung) is the majority of the statutory number of their members.
1. As from the convening of the Bundestag, laws shall be passed exclusively by the legislative authorities recognized in this Basic Law. 2. Where the competence of legislative bodies and of bodies participating in legislation in an advisory capacity ends in accordance with paragraph (1), such bodies shall be dissolved as of the same date.
1. Law in existence prior to the (first) convening of the Bundestag remains in effect, insofar as it does not conflict with the Basic Law. 2. The state treaties concluded by the German Reich concerning matters for which, under this Basic Law, Land legislation is competent, remain in force if they are valid and continue to be valid in accordance with general principles of law, subject to all rights and objections of the interested parties, pending the conclusion of new state treaties by the authorities competent under this Basic Law or until they are otherwise terminated pursuant to the provisions that they contain.
Legislation concerning matters within the exclusive legislative competence of the Federation shall become federal law within the area of its application.
Legislation concerning matters of concurrent federal legislation shall become federal law within the area of its application 1. insofar as it uniformly applies within one or more zones of occupation, 2. insofar as it concerns legislation by which former Reich law has been amended since 8 May 1945.
Differences of opinion concerning the continuing validity of legislation as federal law are settled by the Federal Constitutional Court.
Within one year of the promulgation of this Basic Law, the Federal Government may, with the approval of the Governments of the Laender concerned, extend, to the Laender Baden, Greater Berlin, RhinelandPalatinate and Wuerttemberg-Hohenzollern, legislation of the Bizonal Economic Administration insofar as it continues to be in force as federal legislation under Articles 124 or 125.
Insofar as legislation continuing in force provides for powers to give instructions within the meaning of Article 84, paragraph (5), these powers remain in effect until otherwise provided by law.
1. Insofar as legal provisions continuing in force as federal law contain an authorization to issue decrees having the force of law (Rechtsverordnungen) or general administrative provisions, and to perform administrative acts, this authorization passes to the (administrative) agencies henceforth competent in such matters. In cases of doubt, the Federal Government decides in agreement with the Bundesrat; the decision must be published.
2. Insofar as legal provisions continuing in force as Land law contain such an authorization, it shall be exercised by the (administrative) agencies competent according to Land law.
3. Insofar as legal provisions within the meaning of paragraphs (1) and (2) authorize their amendment or amplification or the issue of legal provisions in lieu of laws, these authorizations have expired.
4. The provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2) apply correspondingly whenever legal provisions refer to regulations no longer valid or to institutions no longer in existence.
1. Administrative agencies and other institutions which serve the public administration or the administration of justice and are not based on Land law or state treaties between Laender, as well as the amalgamated management of the South West German railroads and the Administrative Council for the postal services and telecommunications of the French Zone of Occupation, are placed under the Federal Government. The latter, with Bundesrat approval, regulates their transfer, dissolution or liquidation.
2. The highest disciplinary authority over the personnel of these administrations and establishments is the competent Federal Minister.
3. Public Law corporations and institutions not directly under a Land, and not based on state treaties between Laender, are under the supervision of the competent highest federal authority.
The legal status of persons, including refugees and expellees, who on 8 May 1945, were employed in the public service and who have left service for reasons other than those based on legal provisions concerning civil service or agreed employment regulations (Tarif), and who till now have not been employed or are not employed in a position corresponding to their former position, is to be regulated by federal legislation. The same applies to persons, including refugees and expellees, who, on 8 May 1945, were entitled to a pension or other assistance and who no longer receive any assistance or any adequate assistance for reasons other than those based on legal provisions concerning civil service or agreed employment regulations (Tarif). Pending the coming into force of the federal law, no legal claims may be made, unless otherwise provided by Land legislation.
1. Civil servants (Beamte) and judges who, at the coming into force of this Basic Law, hold appointments for life may, within six months after the first convening of the Bundestag, be placed on the retired list or waiting list or be transferred to another office with lower remuneration, if they are personally or professionally unsuitable for their office. This provision applies correspondingly also to government employees (Angestellte) whose service cannot be terminated by notice of dismissal. In the case of government employees (Angestellte) whose service conditions provide for termination by notice of dismissal, the period of notice exceeding that required by agreed rules of employment (tarifmaessige Regelung) may be cancelled within the same period (of six months).
2. These provisions do not apply to members of the public service who are not affected by the provision regarding the "liberation from National Socialism, and militarism" or who are recognized victims of National Socialism, insofar as no serious grounds are to be found in their character.
3. Persons affected (by the above) have recourse to the courts in accordance with Article 19, paragraph (4).
4. Details are determined by a decree (Verordnung) of the Federal Government, requiring Bundesrat approval.
The Federation succeeds to the rights and obligations of the Bizonal Economic Administration.
1. Reich property becomes in principle federal property.
2. Insofar as such property was originally intended mainly for administrative functions which, under this Basic Law, are not administrative functions of the Federation, it is, without compensation, to be transferred to the authorities hereafter competent to carry out such functions, and to the Laender insofar as, according to its present, not merely provisional, use, it serves for administrative functions which, under this Basic Law, are hereafter to be fulfilled by the Laender. The Federation may also transfer other property to the Laender.
3. Property which was placed at the disposal of the Reich by the Laender and Gemeinden (Gemeindeverbaende) without compensation shall again become the property of the Laender and Gemeinden (Gemeindeverbaende), insofar as it is not required by the Federation for its own administrative functions.
4. Details are regulated by a federal law requiring Bundesrat approval.
1. If, between 8 May 1945 and the coming into force of this Basic Law, a territory has passed from one Land to another, the property in this territory of the Land to which this territory had belonged devolves on the Land to which this territory now belongs.
2. Property of no longer existing Laender or other public law corporations and institutions, insofar as it was originally intended mainly for administrative functions, or in accordance with its present not merely provisional use serves mainly for administrative functions, devolves on the Land or public law corporation or institution henceforth performing these functions.
3. Insofar as it is not already included among property within the meaning of paragraph (1), real estate of no longer existing Laender, including appurtenances, devolves on the Land in the territory of which it is located.
4. Where an overriding interest of the Federation or the particular interest of a territory so requires, an arrangement deviating from paragraphs (1) to (3) may be adopted by federal legislation.
5. Moreover, the legal succession and the settlement (of property), insofar as it has not been effected by 1 January 1952 by agreement between the Laender or public law corporations or institutions concerned, shall be regulated by federal legislation requiring Bundesrat approval.
6. Participation of the former Land Prussia in civil law enterprises devolves on the Federation. Details shall be regulated by a federal law which may make deviating provisions.
7. Insofar as, at the time of the coming into force of the Basic Law, property devolving on a Land or a public law corporation or institution under paragraphs (1) and (3) has been disposed of by the party thereby authorized through a Land law, on the basis of a Land law or in another way, the transfer of property is deemed to have taken place before the act of disposal.
1. The Bundesrat convenes for the first time on the day of the first convening of the Bundestag.
2. Pending the election of the first Federal President, his functions shall be exercised by the Bundesrat President. He does not have the right to dissolve the Bundestag.
1. The right of civil servants (Beamte), of employees (Angestellte) of the public services and of judges of the Federation, of the Laender and of the Gemeinden to stand for election may be restricted by legislation.
2. The Electoral Law to be adopted by the Parliamentary Council applies for the election of the first Bundestag, of the first Federal Convention and of the first Federal President of the Federal Republic.
3. Pending its establishment, the function of the Federal Constitutional Court, pursuant to Article 41, paragraph (2), shall be exercised by the German High Court for the Combined Area, which shall decide in accordance with its Rules of Procedure.
Changes in the regulations of notaries, as they now exist in the Laender Baden, Bavaria, Wuerttemberg-Baden and Wuerttemberg-Hohenzollern, require the approval of the Governments of these Laender.
The legal provisions enacted for the "liberation of the German people from National Socialism, and militarism" shall not be affected by the provisions of this Basic Law.
The provisions of Articles 136, 137, 138, 139, and 141 of the German Constitution of 11 August 1919 are an integral part of this Basic Law. *
Article 7, paragraph (3), first sentence, finds no application in a land where another regulation by land law existed on I January 1949.
Notwithstanding the provision of Article 31, provisions of Land Constitutions remain in force also insofar as they guarantee basic rights in conformity with Articles 1 to 18 of this Basic Law.
1. Whoever, by force or by threat of force, changes the constitutional order of the Federation or of a Land, deprives the Federal President of the powers accorded to him by this Basic Law, or, by force or by dangerous threats, compels him to exercise his powers or prevents him from exercising them altogether or in a specific manner, or separates from the Federation or from a Land a territory belonging to them, shall be sentenced to penal servitude for life or for not less than ten years.
2. Whoever publicly incites to an action, within the meaning of paragraph (1), or plots it in connivance with another person, or otherwise prepares it, shall be sentenced to penal servitude up to ten years.
3. In less serious cases, a sentence of not less than two years' penal servitude in the cases specified in paragraph (1), and of not less than one year's imprisonment in the cases specified in paragraph (2), may be imposed.
* See below, pp. 322 - 24, "Appendix to Basic Law."
4. Whoever of his own free will abandons an activity (of this sort) or, in case of participation of several persons, prevents the execution of a plot (of this sort), may not be punished in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs (1) to (3).
5. Where such an action is directed exclusively against the constitutional order of a Land, the highest Land court competent for criminal cases shall, in the absence of any other provision in Land law, be competent to decide. In other cases, the regional superior court (Oberlandesgericht), in the district of which the first Federal Government has its seat, is competent.
6. The aforementioned provisions apply pending other regulations by federal law.
1. This Basic Law requires adoption by the popular representative bodies in two-thirds of the German Laender in which it shall for the time being apply.
2. Insofar as restrictions are imposed on the application of the Basic Law in any of the Laender enumerated in Article 23, paragraph (1), or in a part of any of these Laender, that Land or that part of a Land has the right, in accordance with Article 38, to send delegates to the Bundestag and, in accordance with Article 50, to the Bundesrat.
1. The Parliamentary Council, with the participation of the representatives of Greater Berlin, confirms in a public meeting the adoption of this Basic Law, engrosses and promulgates it.
2. This Basic Law becomes effective at the end of the day of its promulgation.
3. It is to be published in the Federal Gazette.
This Basic Law becomes invalid on the day on which a Constitution adopted by the German people by means of a free decision becomes effective.
APPENDIX TO BASIC LAW
Articles 136-137-138-139 and 141 of the Section "RELIGION AND RELIGIOUS ASSOCIATIONS" of the Weimar Constitution incorporated into the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany pursuant to Article 140 thereof.
Civil and civic rights and duties are neither qualified nor limited by the exercise of religious belief.
The enjoyment of civil and civic rights, and eligibility to public offices, are independent of religious belief.
No one is obliged to reveal his religious convictions. The authorities have the right to inquire into membership in a religious association only so far as rights and duties depend thereon, or a legally ordered statistical investigation makes it necessary.
No one may be compelled to perform any religious act or ceremony, or to participate in religious exercises, or to use a religious form of oath.
There is no state church.
Freedom of membership in religious associations is guaranteed. The combination of religious associations within the territory of the Reich is subject to no limitations.
Every religious association regulates and administers its affairs independently within the limits of the law valid for all. It chooses its officers without the intervention of the state or the civil commune.
Religious associations effect incorporation according to the general provisions of the civil law.
Religious associations remain public law corporations insofar as they were such heretofore. Other religious associations are to be granted like rights upon their application, if through their organization and the number of their members they offer a guarantee of permanency. If several such public-law religious associations join in a union, this union is also a corporation of public law.
The religious associations which are public law corporations are entitled to levy taxes on the basis of the civil tax list, according to the standards of the provisions of the state law.
Associations whose function is the common cultivation of a philosophy of life have the same status as religious associations.
Insofar as the execution of these provisions requires further regulation, this is a function of state legislation.
Public contributions to religious associations, which rest upon law, contract, or special legal title, are abrogated by state legislation. The fundamental provisions for this are established by the Reich.
Property and other rights of the religious associations and religious unions, in respect to their institutions, foundations, and other property devoted to purposes of worship, education, and benevolence are guaranteed.
Sunday and the recognized public holidays remain under legal protection as days of freedom from labor and of spiritual edification.
Insofar as there exists a need for religious service and spiritual care in the army, in hospitals, penal institutions, or other public institutions, the religious associations are to be given an opportunity for religious exercises, in connection with which there is to be no compulsion.
[Appendices continued - Commonwealth statutes]
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