The follow article is on the constitution of the Russian Empire. The document elaborates the structure of the state, citizenship, economic activity, ownership rights, the separation of executive, legislative, and judicial power, the exercise of state power, the aim of political diversity, freedom of public association, the rights of the individual, the means of exercising power, the obligations of state bodies and citizens, and the status of international treaties. A constant throughout the document is the prohibition of state subversion through undemocratic means.
THE FUNDAMENTAL LAWS OF THE RUSSIAN EMPIREEdit
I, Emperor Cyril Vladimirovich Romanov I ,By the Grace of God, Tsar and Autocrat of All the Russias, of Moscow, Kiev, Vladimir, Novgorod, Tsar of Kazan, Tsar of Astrakhan, Tsar of Poland, Tsar of Siberia, Tsar of Tauric Chersonesos, Tsar of Georgia, Lord of Pskov, and Grand Duke of Smolensk, Lithuania, Volhynia, Podolia, and Finland, Prince of Estonia, Livonia, Courland and Semigalia, Samogitia, Białystok, Karelia, Tver, Yugra, Perm, Vyatka, Bulgaria, Panama, Buenos Aires and other territories; Lord and Grand Duke of Nizhni Novgorod, Chernigov; Ruler of Ryazan, Polotsk, Rostov, Yaroslavl, Beloozero, Udoria, Obdoria, Kondia, Vitebsk, Mstislavl, and all northern territories ; Ruler of Iveria, Kartalinia, and the Kabardinian lands and Armenian territories - hereditary Ruler and Lord of the Circassians and Mountain Princes and others; Lord of Turkestan, Heir of Norway, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, Stormarn, Dithmarschen, Oldenburg, and so forth, united with the multinational people of the Russia in establishing human rights and freedoms, civic peace and accord, preserving the historically established state unity, proceeding from the universally recognized principles of equality and self-determination of peoples, revering the memory of ancestors who have conveyed to us the love for the Fatherland, belief in the good and just, reviving the sovereign statehood of Russia and asserting the firmness of its imperial basis, striving to ensure the well being and prosperity of Russia, proceeding from the responsibility for our Fatherland before the present and future generations, recognizing ourselves as part of the world community, adopt this the Fundamental Laws of the Russian Empire on this date the twentieth of November, in the year of our lord 1922.
ARTICLE ONE: The Russian EmpireEdit
1. The Russian State is one and indivisible. It is based upon the principle of enabling the people residing within its borders to live in peace and freedom.
2. The city of Saint Petersburg shall serve as the capital and seat of the legislature and the government.
3. The Russian language is the general language of the state, and its use is compulsory in the army, the navy and state and public institutions.
4. The Russian Empire is hence forth a constitutional, hereditary monarchy on a democratic and parliamentary basis; the power of the State is inherent in and issues from the Emperor and the People and shall be exercised by both in accordance with the provisions of the present Constitution.
5. The succession to the throne, hereditary in the Imperial House of Romanov, the coming-of-age of the Emperor and of the Heir Apparent, as well as any guardianship which may be required, are to be determined by the Imperial House in the form of a dynasty law.
6. Changes in the boundaries of the territory of the State may only be made by a law. Boundary changes between the governorates, oblasts, krais, and okrug also require a majority decision of the citizens residing there who are entitled to vote.
ARTICLE TWO: The Russian EmperorEdit
1. The All-Russian Emperor is the Head of State and shall exercise his sovereign authority in conformity with the provisions of the present Constitution and of the other laws.
2. The person of the Sovereign Emperor is sacred and inviolable.
3. The Emperor who holds the throne of all Russia cannot profess any religion save the Orthodox
4. The All-Russian Emperor is not subject to the jurisdiction of the courts and does not have legal responsibility. The same applies to any member of the Princely House who exercises the function of head of state in accordance with these fundamental laws.
5. The All-Russian Emperor shall represent the State in all its relations with foreign countries, without prejudice to the necessary participation of the responsible Government.
6. Treaties by which national territory is ceded, national property alienated, rights of sovereignty or State prerogatives disposed of, any new burden for the Empire or its citizens imposed or any obligation to the detriment of the rights of the People of the Empire contracted shall not be valid unless they have received the assent of the Imperial Assembly.
7. Every law shall require the sanction of the All-Russian Emperor in order to acquire validity.
8. The All-Russian Emperor shall take, through the Government, and independently of the Imperial Assembly, the steps required for the implementation and enforcement of the laws, and any action required in pursuance of the powers of administration and supervision, and shall issue the requisite ordinances. In urgent cases they shall take the necessary measures for the security and welfare of the State.
9. Emergency decrees may not set aside the Constitution as a whole or individual provisions of it but may only limit the applicability of individual provisions. Emergency decrees can neither limit every person's right to life, the prohibition of torture an inhuman treatment or the prohibition of slavery and forced labor nor place any restriction on the "no punishment without law" rule. Emergency decrees shall cease to apply six months after they have been issued.
10. The All-Russian Emperor shall appoint the judges in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution.
11. The All-Russian Emperor shall possess the prerogative of remitting, mitigating or commuting sentences which have been legally pronounced, and of quashing prosecutions that have been initiated.
12. Only at the instigation of the Imperial Assembly shall the All-Russian Emperor exercise his prerogative of remission or mitigation in favour of a member of the Government sentenced on account of his official acts.
13. The sovereign emperor is the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian army and navy.
14. The Sovereign Emperor grants titles, medals and other state distinctions as well as property rights. He also determines conditions and procedures for gaining titles, medals, and distinctions.
15. The Sovereign Emperor directly issues decrees and instructions on matters of property that belongs to him as well as on those properties that bear his name and which have traditionally belonged to the ruling Emperor. The latter cannot be bequeathed or divided and are subject to a different form of alienation. These as well as other properties are not subject to a different form of alienation. These as well as other properties are not subject to levy or collection of taxes.
16. As head of the Imperial Household, the Sovereign Emperor, in accordance with Regulations on the Imperial Family, has the right to issue regulations affecting princely properties. He also determines the composition of the personnel of the Ministry of the Imperial Household, its organization and regulation, as well as the procedure of its administration.
17. Statutes of the Svod Zakonov (Vol. 1, part i, 1892 edition) on the order of succession to the throne (Articles 3-17), on the coming of age of the Sovereign Emperor, on government and guardianship (Articles 18-30), on the ascension to the throne and on the oath of allegiance (Articles 31-34 and Appendix V), on the sacred crowning and anointing (Articles 35 and 36), and on the title of His Imperial Majesty and on the State Emblem (Articles 37-39 and Appendix 1), and on the faith (Articles 40-46), retain the force of the Fundamental Laws.
18. The Regulation on the Imperial Family (Svod zakonov, Vol. 1, part i, 1892 edition, Articles 82-179 and Appendices II-IV and VI), while retaining the force of the Fundamental Laws, can be changed or amended only by the Sovereign Emperor personally in accordance with the procedure established by him, provided these changes or amendments of these regulations do not infringe general laws or provided they do not call for new expenditures from the treasury.
ARTICLE THREE: Functions of the StateEdit
1. The supreme function of the State is to promote the general welfare of the People. For this purpose, the State shall provide for the institution and maintenance of law, and for the protection of the religious, moral and economic interests of the People.
2. The State shall devote particular attention to education and schooling. This must be so ordered and administered that, from the co-operation of the family, the school and the Church, the younger generation may be imbued with religious and moral principles and patriotic sentiments and may be fitted for their future occupations.
2.1. The whole field of education and schooling shall be under the supervision of the State, without prejudice to the inviolability of the doctrine of the Church.
2.2.Private education shall be permissible provided that it conforms with the legal regulations governing the period of schooling, the educational aims and the arrangements prevailing in the public schools.
2.3. It shall provide appropriate scholarships to help children of good intellectual attainments but without financial means attend institutes of higher education.
3. The State shall be responsible for the public health system, assist institutions for the care of the sick, and seek by legislation to combat intemperance and to reform alcoholics and work-shy persons.
4. The State shall safeguard the right to work and shall protect the workers, especially women and young persons employed in commerce and industry.
5. Sundays and public holidays recognized by the State shall be observed as public days of rest, without prejudice to the legal regulations concerning rest on Sundays and public holidays.
6. To increase employment and to advance its economic interests, the State shall promote and assist agriculture, farming, trade and industry. In particular, it shall promote insurance against damage and injuries to which workers and goods are exposed, and shall take measures to prevent such injuries and damage.
7. It shall pay special attention to the development of the transportation system in accordance with modern requirements.
8. The State shall possess sovereign rights over waters in conformity with the laws existing or to be enacted hereafter in this matter. The utilization and distribution of such waters and flood control measures shall be regulated by law and promoted, with due regard to the development of technology. Rights relating to electricity shall be regulated by law.
9. The State shall exercise sovereign rights over hunting, fishing and mining; when legislating on these matters, it shall protect the interests of agriculture and of communal revenues.
10. The currency and banking system shall be regulated by the State.
11. By enacting the necessary legislation, the State shall provide for an equitable system of taxation.
12. The financial situation of the State must be improved to the utmost possible extent and every effort must be made to open up new sources of revenue to meet public needs.
13. Public poor relief shall be administered by local government in conformity with specific laws. The State shall be responsible, however, for the supervision of such activities. It may grant appropriate assistance to local governments, especially for the proper care of orphans, the mentally handicapped, persons suffering from incurable diseases and the aged.
14. The State shall support and promote health, old age, disability and fire insurance schemes.
15. The State shall provide for a rapid procedure for legal actions and the execution thereof, under conditions that will safeguard material rights; it shall also provide for a system of administrative law based on the same principles.
16. The exercise of the professional representation of parties shall be regulated by law.
ARTICLE FOUR: The Imperial AssemblyEdit
1. The Imperial Assembly is the legal organ representing all the citizens of the Empire and as such has the duty of safeguarding and vindicating the rights and interest of the People in relation to the Government in conformity with the provisions of the present Constitution and also of promoting as far as possible the welfare of the Imperial House and of the country while faithfully adhering to the principles laid down in this Constitution.
2. The rights appertaining to the Imperial Assembly may only be exercised in the lawfully constituted houses of that body.
3. The members of the Government and the Courts may not be members of the Imperial Assembly at the same time.
4. The Emperor has the right, subject to the exception laid down in the following Paragraph, to convene the Imperial Assembly, to close it, and, on warrant grounds, which must on each occasion be communicated to the Imperial Assembly, to prorogue it for three months or to dissolve it. The prorogation, closing or dissolution of the Imperial Assembly may only be proclaimed before the assembled.
5. The regular convocation of both houses of the Imperial Assembly shall be issued at the beginning of every year in the form of a Imperial edict, indicating the place, day and hour of the assembly.
6. The Imperial Assembly shall be opened with due solemnity by the Emperor, in person or by his proxy. All the new members shall swear the following oath to the Prince Regnant or his proxy: I hereby swear to observe the State Constitution and the existing laws and to promote in the Diet the welfare of the country, without any ulterior motives, to the best of my ability and conscience. So help me God.
7. No member may be arrested while their respect house of the Imperial Assembly is in session without the assent of that body unless he is apprehended in flagrante delicto.
8. In the latter case, the arrest and the grounds therefore must be notified forthwith to the House for which they serve, which shall decide whether the arrest is to be sustained. All papers relating to the case must be placed immediately at the disposal of the Imperial Assembly as a whole, if it so requests.
9. If a member is arrested at a time when the houses of the Imperial Assembly are not in session, the Emperor and government must be notified forthwith, and informed at the same time of the grounds for the arrest.
10. The members of the Diet shall vote solely according to their oath and their convictions. They shall never be made to answer for their votes; for their utterances at sittings of their respective house or its committees, they shall be responsible to their house and the whole of the Imperial Assembly alone and can never be sued before a court of justice in respect thereof.
11. The exercise of disciplinary powers shall be regulated by rules of procedure to be issued hereafter.
12. For a decision of the Imperial Assembly to be valid, at least two-thirds of the statutory number of members must be present and it must be adopted by an absolute majority of the members present, except as may otherwise be provided in the present Constitution or in the rules of procedure. The same rules shall apply to elections which the Imperial Assembly has to undertake.
13. In the event of an equal division of votes, the Emperor shall have the casting vote: for an election, after the third round of voting and in all other cases after the first round.
Section A: The Imperial Council of StateEdit
1. The Imperial State Council is the upper chamber of the Imperial Assembly of the Russian Empire.
2. The Imperial State Council shall be composed of 195 seats that shall be divided accordingly:
- 96 seats are taken by members of the Nobility
- 40 seats are taken by members of the Russian Orthodox Church:
- 20 of them from white clergy,
- 20 from black clergy (monks),
- 36 seats are taken by members from Russia business associations,
- 19 seats are taken by members of the Russian Academy of Sciences,
- 4 seats are taken by members of the East Duchy of Draxis.
3. Membership to the Council is appointed by the Emperor in consultation with the government.
4. Appointment to the Imperial State Council shall be for life but not hereditary therefore cannot be passed down along family lines.
5. The Imperial State Council, once assembled, shall elects from among its membership a General Procurator which acts as leader of the Council. The General Procurator’s term of leadership is five years and shall runs concurrent with the term limit of Deputies within the Imperial Duma.
Section B: The Imperial DumaEdit
The Diet shall consist of 25 Representatives who shall be elected by the People by universal, equal, secret and direct suffrage according to the system of proportional representation.
Detailed regulations regarding the conduct of the elections shall be laid down in a special law.
1) The Representatives shall be elected for four years, provided that the regular elections shall be held in the February or March of the year when the fourth year of their mandate ends. Representatives shall be eligible for reelection.2
Should the Diet be dissolved, new elections must take place within six weeks. The newly elected Representatives shall then be summoned to meet within fourteen days.
1) In the case of an accession to the Throne, the Diet shall be convened to an extraordinary session within 30 days.
2) If the Diet has already been dissolved, the new elections shall be expedited so that it may be convened at the latest on the fortieth day after the accession of the new sovereign.
1) At its first regularly convened sitting, the Diet shall proceed, under the chairmanship of its oldest member, to the election of a President and a Vice-president from among its members to direct its business for the current year.
1) Complaints relating to elections shall be referred to the State Court.
2) The Diet shall adjudicate on the validity of the election of its members and of the election as such on the basis of the election records and, if applicable, of the decision of the State Court (validation procedure).
The Diet shall adopt its rules of procedure by a resolution and with due regard to the provisions of the present Constitution.
Representatives shall receive from the State Treasury a daily allowance and travel expenses as prescribed by law.
In particular, the following matters shall fall within the sphere of activity of the Diet:
a) participation in the work of legislation in accordance with the Constitution;
b) participation in the conclusion of treaties (Art. 8); c) the establishment of the annual budget and the authorization of taxes and other public dues; d) resolutions on credits, pledges and loans chargeable to the State, and the purchase and sale of State property; e) the resolution on the annual report furnished annually by the Government on the whole of the State administration; f) the submission of suggestions and complaints and the exercise of control with regard to the State administration as a whole (Art. 63);1 g) the impeachment of members of the Government before the State Court for breaches of the Constitution or of other laws.2 h) the passing of a resolution on a vote of no confidence in the Government or one of its members. 3 Art. 63 1) The Diet shall have the right of control over the whole of the State administration, including the administration of justice. It shall exercise this right inter alia through an audit committee which it shall elect. Its right of control extends neither to the judgments of the courts nor to the functions assigned to the Prince. 4 2) The Diet may at any time bring defects or abuses which it has observed in the State administration directly to the notice of the Prince Regnant or the Government by the submission of memorials or complaints and to request their redress. The results of the enquiry instituted in respect of such matters and the measures ordered in consequence shall be communicated to the Diet.5 3) Annulled6 4) The representative of the Government must be given a hearing and shall be bound to answer interpellations addressed to him by members of the Diet.
1 Art. 62 lit. f amended by LGBl. 2003 No. 186.
2 Art. 62 lit. g amended by LGBl. 2003 No. 186. 3 Art. 62 lit. h inserted by LGBl. 2003 No. 186. 4 Art. 63 Para. 1 amended by LGBl. 2003 No. 186. 5 Art. 63 Para. 2 amended by LGBl. 2003 No. 186. 6 Art. 63 Para. 3 annulled by LGBl. 1989 No. 64. 22 Art. 63bis1 The Diet has the right to appoint investigational committees. It is obliged to do so when at least one quarter of the number of Representatives fixed by law requests this. Art. 63ter2 The Diet shall have the right to appoint a Finance Commission to which the passing of resolutions on the acquisition or alienation of landed property may also be transferred. Art. 64 1) The right of initiative with regard to legislation, that is to say, the right of introducing bills, shall appertain to: a) the Prince Regnant, in the form of Government bills; b) the Diet itself; c) citizens with the right to vote, subject to the following provisions. 2) If not less than 1,000 citizens entitled to vote, whose signatures and qualification to vote are duly certified by the authorities of the commune in which they reside, submit a petition in writing or if at least three communes do so in the form of resolutions of the communal assembly in similar terms requesting the enactment, amendment or revocation of a law, such petition must he debated at the next session of the Diet.3 3) If a petition from one of the organs referred to under a) to c) above concerns the enactment of a law which has not already been provided for in the present Constitution and the adoption of which would involve public expenditure, whether in a single sum not provided for in the Finance Bill or in payments extending over a longer period, such petition shall only be discussed by the Diet if it is accompanied by proposals for providing the necessary funds. 4) A petition submitted under the right of initiative and concerning the Constitution may only be brought by not less than 1,500 citizens entitled to vote or by at least four communes.4
1 Art. 63bis inserted by LGBl. 1989 No. 64.
2 Art. 63ter inserted by LGBl. 1997 No. 46. 3 Art. 64 Para. 2 amended by LGBl. 1947 No. 55 and LGBl. 1984 No. 27. 4 Art. 64 Para. 4 amended by LGBl. 1947 No. 55 and LGBl. 1984 No. 27. 23 5) Further detailed regulations regarding this popular initiative shall be laid down in a law. Art. 65 1) Without the participation of the Diet, no law may be issued, amended, or declared to be in force. For a law to become valid, it must in every case receive the assent of the Diet and be sanctioned by the Prince Regnant, countersigned by the responsible Head of the Government or his deputy and promulgated in the National Legal Gazette (Landesgesetzblatt). If the Prince does not give his assent within six months, it shall be deemed to have been refused. 1 2) In addition, a popular vote (referendum) shall be held under the conditions set forth in the following Article.2 Art. 66 1) Every law passed by the Diet which it does not declare to be urgent or any financial resolution which it does not declare urgent, if it involves a new non-recurrent expenditure of not less than 300,000 francs or a new annual expenditure of 150,000 francs, shall be submitted to a referendum if the Diet so decides or if not less than 1,000 citizens with the right to vote or not less than three communes submit a petition to that effect, according to the procedure prescribed in Art. 64, within 30 days of the official publication of the resolution of the Diet.3 2) If the issue affects the Constitution as a whole or in part, the demand for a referendum must be made by not less than 1,500 citizens with the right to vote or by not less than four communes.4 3) The Diet is authorized to call for a referendum on the adoption of any of the principles embodied in a proposed law. 4) The referendum shall be held by communes; the acceptance or rejection of the resolution on the enactment of the law shall be decided by an absolute majority of the valid votes recorded in the whole of the country.
1 Art. 65 Para. 1 sentence 3 inserted by LGBl. 2003 No. 186.
2 Art. 65 Para. 2 amended by LGBl. 2003 No. 186. 3 Art. 66 Para. 1 amended by LGBl. 1996 No. 85. 4 Art. 66 Para. 2 amended by LGBl. 1947 No. 55 and LGBl. 1984 No. 27. 24 5) Resolutions on the enactment of laws subject to a referendum shall not be submitted to the Prince Regnant for sanction until the referendum has been held or until the statutory period of thirty days within which a petition for a referendum may be submitted has expired without any such action.1 6) If the Diet rejects a bill drawn up in due form and accompanied if necessary by proposals for providing the necessary funds and which has been submitted to it through the procedure of the popular initiative (Art. 64 Para. 1 lit. c), the said bill shall be submitted to a referendum. The acceptance of the bill by the citizens entitled to vote shall then have the same force as a resolution of the Diet otherwise necessary for the adoption of a law. 7) Further detailed regulations regarding the referendum shall be issued in the form of a law. Art. 66bis2 1) Any resolution of the Diet concerning assent to a treaty (Art. 8) must be submitted to a referendum if the Diet so decides or if not less than 1,500 citizens with the right to vote or not less than four communes submit a petition to that effect, according to the procedure prescribed in Art. 64, within 30 days of the official publication of the resolution of the Diet. 2) In the referendum, the acceptance or rejection of the resolution by the Diet shall be decided by an absolute majority of the valid votes recorded in the whole of the country. 3) Further detailed regulations regarding the referendum shall be issued in the form of a law. Art. 67 1) Unless it contains any other stipulation, a law shall come into force on the expiry of eight days after the date of its publication in the National Legal Gazette.
1 Art. 66 Para. 5 amended by LGBl. 2003 No. 186.
2 Art. 66bis inserted by LGBl. 1992 No. 27. 25 2) The manner and extent of the publication of laws, finance resolutions, treaties, regulations, resolutions of international organizations and of the law applicable by reason of international treaties shall be regulated by law. For the law applicable in Liechtenstein by reason of international treaties, a publication may be arranged in a simplified form, in particular as a reference publication to foreign codes.1 3) The legal regulations coming into force in future and applicable to Liechtenstein by reason of the Agreement of 2 May 1992 on the European Economic Area shall be published in an EEA compendium of laws. The manner and extent of the publication in the EEA compendium of laws shall be regulated by law.2 Art. 68 1) Without the approval of the Diet, no direct or indirect taxes or any other public dues or general levies, under any designation whatsoever, may be imposed or collected. The fact that this approval has been given must be expressly mentioned in the tax demand notice. 2) The system by which all public taxes and dues are to be apportioned, their incidence on persons and objects, and the manner in which they are to be collected shall also require the approval of the Diet. 3) Taxes and dues shall normally be authorized for the period of one administrative year. Art. 69 1) With regard to the State administration, the Government shall submit to the Diet for examination and approval preliminary estimates of all expenditures and revenues for the coming administrative year, accompanied by proposals for the taxation which is to be levied.
1 Art. 67 Para. 2 amended by LGBl. 1996 No. 121.
2 Art. 67 Para. 3 amended by LGBl. 1995 No. 91. 26 2) In the first half of each administrative year, the Government shall submit to the Diet an exact statement relating to the preceding administrative year, showing the manner in which revenues approved and collected were applied to the purposes set forth in the preliminary estimates, with the provision, however, that if the latter have been exceeded on justifiable grounds the Diet must give its approval, and that in the absence of justification the Government shall be answerable. 3) Government shall be entitled, subject to the same conditions as above, to incur expenditure of an urgent character not provided for in the estimates. 4) Economies effected in the case of individual items of the estimates may not be applied to cover excess expenditure for other items. Art. 701 The Government shall administer the financial assets of the State in accordance with principles which it shall lay down in agreement with the Diet. It shall submit a report to the Diet together with the annual accounts (Art. 69 Para. 2).