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Constitution of Yugoslavia (1953)


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THE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW ON THE BASICS OF THE POLITICAL AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATION OF THE FEDERATIVE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA AND OF FEDERAL ORGANS OF AUTHORITY
(1953)


Contents

Article I: THE FEDERATIVE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIAEdit

Article II: FEDERAL ORGANS OF AUTHORITYEdit

Subarticle A: The Federal People's AssemblyEdit

Part 1: The Rights of the AssemblyEdit

Part 2: The Structure of the Federal People's AssemblyEdit

Subpart I: The Chambers of the AssemblyEdit

Subpart II: The Special Rights of Deputies elected by the Representative Bodies of the People's Republics, Autonomous Provinces and Autonomous RegionsEdit

Subpart III: The Speaker of the Assembly and the Speakers of the ChambersEdit

Part 3: The Rights and Duties of DeputiesEdit

Part 4: SessionsEdit

Part 5: Committees and CommissionsEdit

Subarticle B: Executive Organs of the Federal People's AssemblyEdit

Part 1: The President of the RepublicEdit

Part 2: The Federal Executive CouncilEdit

Subarticle C: The Federal AdministrationEdit

Article III: GENERAL PRINCIPLES REGARDING THE REPUBLICAN ORGANS OF AUTHORITYEdit

Article IV: GENERAL PRINCIPLES REGARDING THE ORGANS OF AUTHORITY OF AUTONOMOUS PROVINCES AND AUTONOMOUS REGIONSEdit

Concluding ProvisionEdit

Provisions of the Previous Constitution of the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia remaining in forceEdit

Resoltuion of the Constituent Assembly of the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia on the Promulgation of the Constitution of the Federative People's Republic of YugoslaviaEdit

The Constituent Assembly of the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia, being the supreme representative of the sovereignty of the people and the expression of the unanimous will of all the peoples of the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia, at a joint session of both Houses, the Federal Assembly and the Assembly of Nationalities, resolves: That the Constitution of the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia, enacted by the Federal Assembly and the Assembly of Nationalities, be promulgated and proclaimed to the peoples and citizens of the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia.



PART ONE - FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLESEdit

Article I: THE FEDERATIVE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIAEdit

Section 1. The Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia is a federal people's state, republican in form, a community of peoples equal in rights who, on the basis of the right to self-determination, including the right of separation, have expressed their will to live together in a federative state.
Section 2.
(1) The Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia is composed of the People's Republic of Serbia, the People's Republic of Croatia, the People's Republic of Slovenia, the People's Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the People's Republic of Macedonia and the People's Republic of Montenegro.
(2) The People's Republic of Serbia includes the autonomous province of Vojvodina and the autonomous Kosovo-Metohijan region.
Section 3. The state coat of arms of the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia represents a field encircled by ears of corn. At the base the ears are tied with a ribbon on which is inscribed the date 29-XI-1943. Between the tops of the ears is a five-pointed star. In the center of the field five torches are laid obliquely, their several flames merging into one single flame.
Section 4. The state flag of the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia consists of three colors: blue, white and red, with a red five-pointed star in the middle. The ratio of the width to the length of the flag is as one to two. The colors of the flag are placed horizontally in the following order from above: blue, white and red. Each color covers one-third of the flag's width. The star has a regular five-pointed shape and a gold (yellow) border. The central point of the star coincides with the intersection point of the diagonals of the flag. The upmost point of the star reaches half way up the blue field of the flag, so that the lower points of the star occupy corresponding positions in the red field of the flag.
Section 5. The principal town of the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia is Belgrade.

Article II: THE PEOPLE'S AUTHORITYEdit

Section 6.
(1) All authority in the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia derives from the people and belongs to the people.
(2) The people exercise their authority through freely elected representative organs of state authority, the people's committees, which, from local people's committees up to the assemblies of the people's republics and the People's Assembly of the F.P.R.Y., originated and developed during the struggle for national liberation against fascism and reaction, and are the fundamental achievement of that struggle.
Section 7.
(1) All the representative organs of state authority are elected by the citizens on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot.
(2) The people's representatives in all organs of state authority are responsible to their electors. It will be determined by law in which cases, under what conditions and in what way the electors may recall their representatives even before the end of the period for which they were elected.
Section 8.
(1) The organs of state authority exercise their power on the basis of the Constitution of the F.P.R.Y., the constitutions of the people's republics, the laws of the F.P.R.Y., the laws of the people's republics and the general regulations issued by the higher organs of state authority.
(2) All acts of the state administration and judiciary organs must be founded on law.

Article III: FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLES AND THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLICSEdit

Section 9.
(1) The sovereignty of the people's republics composing the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia is limited only by the rights which by this Constitution are given to the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia.
(2) The Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia protects and defends the sovereign rights of the people's republics.
(3) The Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia protects the security and the social and political order of the people's republics.
Section 10. Any act directed against the sovereignty, equality and national freedom of the peoples of the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia and their people's republics is contrary to the Constitution.
Section 11.
(1) Each people's republic has its own constitution.
(2) The people's republic makes its constitution independently.
(3) The constitution of the people's republic reflects the special characteristics of the republic and must be in conformity with the Constitution of the F.P.R.Y.
Section 12.
(1) The People's Assembly of the F.P.R.Y. determines the boundaries between the people's republics.
(2) The boundaries of a people's republic cannot be altered without its consent.
Section 13. National minorities in the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia enjoy the right to and protection of their own cultural development and the free use of their own language.

Article IV: SOCIAL-ECONOMIC ORGANIZATIONEdit

Section 14.
(1) Means of production in the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia are either the property of the entire people, i.e., property in the hands of the state or the property of the people's cooperative organizations, or else the property of private persons or legal entities.
(2) All mineral and other wealth underground, the waters, including mineral and medicinal waters, the sources of natural power, the means of rail and air transport, the posts, telegraphs, telephones and broadcasting are national property.
(3) The means of production in the hands of the state are exploited by the state itself or given to others for exploitation.
(4) Foreign trade is under control of the state.
Section 15.
(1) In order to protect the vital interests of the people, to further the people's prosperity and the right use of all economic potentialities and forces, the state directs the economic life and development of the country in accordance with a general economic plan, relying on the state and cooperative economic sectors, while achieving a general control over the private economic sector.
(2) In carrying out the general economic plan and economic control, the state relies on the cooperation of syndicalist organizations of workmen and employees and other organizations of the working people.
Section 16.
(1) The property of the entire people is the mainstay of the state in the development of the national economy.
(2) The property of the entire people is under the special protection of the state.
(3) The administration and disposal of the property of the entire people are determined by law.
Section 17. The state devotes special attention to the people's cooperative organizations and offers them assistance and facilities.
Section 18. Private property and private initiative in economy are guaranteed. The inheritance of private property is guaranteed. The right of inheritance is regulated by law. No person is permitted to use the right of private property to the detriment of the people's community. The existence of private monopolist organizations, such as cartels, syndicates, trusts and similar organizations created for the purpose of dictating prices, monopolizing the market and damaging the interests of the national economy, is forbidden. Private property may be limited or expropriated if the common interest requires it, but only in accordance with the law. It will be determined by law in which cases and to what extent the owner shall be compensated. Under the same conditions individual branches of national economy or single enterprises may be nationalized by law if the common interest requires it.
Section 19. The land belongs to those who cultivate it. The law determines whether and how much land may be owned by an institution or a person who is not a cultivator. There can be no large landholdings in private hands on any basis whatsoever. The maximum size of private landholdings will be determined by law. The state particularly protects and assists poor peasants and peasants with medium-sized holdings by its general economic policy, its low rates of credit, and its tax system.
Section 20. By economic and other measures the state assists the working people to associate and organize themselves for their protection against economic exploitation. The state protects persons who are engaged as workers or employees especially, by assuring them the right of association, by limiting the working day, by ensuring the right to paid annual holidays, by controlling working conditions, by devoting attention to housing conditions and social insurance. Minors in employment enjoy the special protection of the state.

Article V: THE RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF CITIZENSEdit

Section 21. All citizens of the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia are equal before the law and enjoy equal rights regardless of nationality, race and creed. No privileges on account of birth, position, property status or degree of education are recognized. Any act granting privileges to citizens or limiting their rights on grounds of difference of nationality, race and creed, and any propagation of national, racial and religious hatred and discord are contrary to the Constitution and punishable.
Section 22. The citizens of the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia are bound to comply with the Constitution and laws.
Section 23. All citizens, regardless of sex, nationality, race, creed, degree of education or place of residence, who are over eighteen years of age, have the right to elect and be elected to all organs of state authority. Citizens in the ranks of the Yugoslav Army have the same right to elect and be elected as other citizens. The suffrage is universal, equal and direct and is carried out by secret ballot. The suffrage is not enjoyed by persons under guardianship, persons deprived of electoral rights by sentence of a court of law for the duration of the sentence, and persons who have lost their electoral rights in accordance with Federal law.
Section 24. Women have equal rights with men in all fields of state, economic and social- political life. Women have the right to the same pay as that received by men for the same work, and as workers or employees they enjoy special protection. The state especially protects the interests of mothers and children by the establishment of maternity hospitals, children's homes and day nurseries and by the right of mothers to a leave with pay before and after childbirth.
Section 25. Freedom of conscience and freedom of religion are guaranteed to citizens. The Church is separate from the state. Religious communities, whose teaching is not contrary to the Constitution, are free in their religious affairs and in the performance of religious ceremonies. Religious schools for the education of priests are free and are under the general supervision of the state. The abuse of the Church and of religion for political purposes and the existence of political organizations on a religious basis are forbidden. The state may extend material assistance to religious communities.
Section 26. Matrimony and the family are under the protection of the state. The state regulates by law the legal relations of marriage and the family. Marriage is valid only if concluded before the competent state organs. After the marriage, citizens may go through a religious wedding ceremony. All matrimonial disputes come within the competence of the people's courts. The registration of births, marriages and deaths is conducted by the state. Parents have the same obligations and duties to children born out of wedlock as to those born in wedlock. The position of children born out of wedlock is regulated by law. Minors are under the special protection of the state.
Section 27. Citizens are guaranteed the freedom of the Press, freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of assembly, the freedom to hold public meetings and demonstrations.
Section 28. Citizens are guaranteed inviolability of person. No person may be detained under arrest for longer than three days without the written and motivated decision of a court of law or of a public prosecutor. The longest period of arrest is determined by law. No person may be punished for a criminal act except by sentence of a competent court on the basis of the law establishing the competence of the court and defining the offense. Punishments may be determined and pronounced only on the basis of the law. No person, if within the reach of the state authorities, may be tried without being given a lawful hearing and duly invited to defend himself. Punishments for infringements of legal prescriptions may be pronounced by the organs of the state administration only within the limits set by law. No citizen of the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia may be banished from the country. Only in cases defined by law may a citizen be expelled from his place of residence. Federal law determines in which cases and in what manner citizens of the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia may be deprived of their citizenship. Citizens of the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia in foreign countries enjoy the protection of the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia.
Section 29. The dwelling is inviolable. Nobody may enter another person's dwelling or premises, or search them against the occupant's will without a legal search warrant. A search may only be made in the presence of two witnesses. The occupant of the premises has the right to be present during the search of his dwelling or premises.
Section 30. The privacy of letters and other means of communication is inviolable except in cases of criminal inquiry, mobilization or war.
Section 31. Foreign citizens persecuted on account of their struggle for the principles of democracy, for national liberation, the rights of the working people or the freedom of scientific and cultural work, enjoy the right of asylum in the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia.
Section 32. It is the duty of every citizen to work according to his abilities; he who does not contribute to the community cannot receive from it.
Section 33. All public offices are equally accessible to all citizens in accordance with the conditions of the law. It is the duty of citizens to perform conscientiously the public duties to which they have been elected or which are entrusted to them.
Section 34. The defense of the fatherland is the supreme duty and honor of every citizen. High treason is the greatest crime toward the people. Military service is universal for all citizens.
Section 35. The state ensures disabled ex-servicemen a decent living and free occupational training. The children of fallen soldiers and of war victims are under the special care of the state.
Section 36. The state promotes the improvement of public health by organizing and controlling health services, hospitals, pharmacies, sanatoria, nursing and convalescent homes and other health institutions. The state extends its care to the physical education of the people, especially of young people, in order to increase the health and the working capacity of the people and the power of defense of the state.
Section 37. The freedom of scientific and artistic work is assured. The state assists science and art with a view to developing the people's culture and prosperity. Copyright is protected by law.
Section 38. In order to raise the general cultural standard of the people, the state ensures the accessibility of schools and other educational and cultural institutions to all classes of the people. The state pays special attention to the young and protects their education. Schools are state-owned. The founding of private schools may be permitted only by law, and their work is controlled by the state. Elementary education is compulsory and free. The School is separate from the Church.
Section 39. Citizens have the right to address requests and petitions to the organs of the state authorities. Citizens have the right of appeal against the decisions of the organs of the state administration and the irregular proceedings of official persons. The procedure for lodging an appeal will be prescribed by law.
Section 40. Every citizen has the right to file a suit against official persons before a competent tribunal on account of criminal acts committed by them in their official work.
Section 41. Subject to conditions prescribed by law, citizens have the right to seek indemnity from the state and from official persons for damage resulting from the illegal or irregular discharge of official functions.
Section 42. All citizens shall pay taxes in proportion to their economic capacity. Public taxes and duties and exemptions from them are established only by law.
Section 43. With a view to safeguarding the civic liberties and democratic organization of the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia, established by this Constitution, it is declared illegal and punishable to make use of civic rights in order to change or undermine the constitutional order for anti-democratic purposes.

PART TWO - ORGANIZATION OF THE STATEEdit

Article VI: REPEALEDEdit

Sections 44 to 48. Repealed.

Article VII: REPEALEDEdit

Sections 49 to 76. Repealed.

Article VIII: REPEALEDEdit

Sections 77 to 89. Repealed.

Article IX: REPEALEDEdit

Sections 90 to 95. Repealed.

Article X: REPEALEDEdit

Sections 96 to 102. Repealed.

Article XI: REPEALEDEdit

Sections 103 to 106. Repealed.

Article XII: REPEALEDEdit

Sections 107 to 114. Repealed.

Article XIII: THE PEOPLE'S COURTSEdit

Section 115. The organs of justice in the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia are the Supreme Court of the F.P.R.Y., the supreme courts of the republics and autonomous provinces, the departmental and district courts. The organization and competence of military tribunals are regulated by Federal law. Special courts for specified categories of disputes may be set up by law.
Section 116. The law courts are independent in their dispensing of justice and mete out justice according to the law. The courts are separate from the administration in all instances. Higher courts have, within the limits of the law, the right of supervision over lower courts.
Section 117. The law courts dispense justice in the name of the people.
Section 118. Proceedings in the law courts are as a rule public. The resolutions of a court may only be altered by a competent higher court. The accused is guaranteed the right of defense before a court.
Section 119. All courts as a rule judge in council. The councils of district and departmental courts, when judging in the first instance, consist of judges and judges-jurors, who have equal rights in the court's proceedings.
Section 120. Judicial proceedings in the courts are conducted in the languages of the republics, autonomous provinces and autonomous regions where the courts are located. Citizens not speaking the language in which the proceedings are conducted may use their own language. Such citizens are guaranteed the right to acquaint themselves with all the legal material and to follow the proceedings of the court through an interpreter.
Section 121. Judges of the Supreme Court of the F.P.R.Y. are elected and released from their functions by the People's Assembly of the F.P.R.Y. at a joint meeting of both houses. Judges of the supreme court of a republic or autonomous province are elected and released from their functions by the people's assembly of the republic or by the people's assembly of the autonomous province. Judges and judges-jurors of a departmental court in a department or town are elected and released from their functions by the people's committee of the department or town. Judges and judges-jurors of a district court in a district or town are elected and released from their functions by the people's committee of the district or town.
Section 122. The Supreme Court of the F.P.R.Y. is the highest organ of justice of the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia. It is determined by Federal law in what cases the Supreme Court of the F.P.R.Y. shall judge in the first and in what cases in the second instance.
Section 123. The Supreme Court of the F.P.R.Y. decides on the legality of the judgments of all courts in the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia from the point of view of the application of Federal laws. The supreme courts of republics and autonomous provinces ascertain the legality of the judgments of all courts of the republic or autonomous province.

Article XIV: PUBLIC PROSECUTIONEdit

Section 124. The public prosecution is the organ of the People's Assembly of the F.P.R.Y. for supervising the proper application of the law by all ministries and other administrative organs and institutions subordinate to them in the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia and in the people's republics, by public officials and by all citizens.
Section 125. The Public Prosecutor of the F.P.R.Y. and his deputies are elected and released from their functions by the People's Assembly of the F.P.R.Y. at a joint meeting of both houses. The public prosecutors of the people's republics and their deputies are appointed and released from their functions by the Public Prosecutor of the F.P.R.Y. The public prosecutors of autonomous provinces, autonomous regions, regions, departments and districts are appointed and released from their functions by the public prosecutor of the republic subject to the confirmation of the Public Prosecutor of the F.P.R.Y.
Section 126. Public prosecutors are independent in their work and are subordinate only to the Public Prosecutor of the F.P.R.Y.
Section 127. Public prosecutors have the right to enter appeals and suits, the right of legal intervention in the course of judicial and administrative proceedings, the right to institute criminal proceedings and the right to file a demand for the defense of legality against valid resolutions of law courts and administrative organs.
Section 128. The military prosecutor of the Yugoslav Army and other military prosecutors are appointed by the Commander-in-Chief of the Yugoslav Army. The organization and competence of the military prosecution will be determined by Federal law.

Article XV: REPEALEDEdit

Sections 129 to 133. Repealed.

Article XVI: THE YUGOSLAV ARMYEdit

Section 134. The Yugoslav Army is the armed force of the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia. Its duty is to safeguard and defend the independence of the state and the freedom of the people. It is the guardian of the inviolability of the state frontiers and serves the maintenance of peace and security.
Section 135. The Commander-in-Chief of the Yugoslav Army is appointed by the People's Assembly of the F.P.R.Y. at a joint meeting of both houses. The Commander-in-Chief directs the entire military and armed forces of the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia.

PART THREE - TRANSITIONAL AND CONCLUDING PROVISIONSEdit

Section 136. On the day when this Constitution comes into force all laws and other legal dispositions contrary to the Constitution are abolished. Resolutions, laws and regulations confirmed by the decision of the Constituent Assembly of December 1, 1945, remain in force until a final resolution with regard to them is made. The legislative committees of both houses of the People's Assembly of the F.P.R.Y. are authorized, within a period of six months from the day when the Constitution comes into force, to examine all resolutions, laws and regulations confirmed by the decision of the Constituent Assembly of December 1, 1945, to bring them into conformity with the Constitution and to issue laws deciding which of those resolutions, laws and regulations shall remain in force without modification or to issue laws for the modification and amplification of those resolutions, laws, and regulations. These laws, issued by the legislative committees of both houses of the People's Assembly of the F.P.R.Y., are promulgated by a decree of the Presidium of the People's Assembly of the F.P.R.Y. and are submitted for confirmation to the People's Assembly of the F.P.R.Y. at its first subsequent session. The proposals of resolutions, laws and regulations shall, in order to be brought into conformity with the Constitution, be transmitted by the President of the Government of the F.P.R.Y. to the legislative committees.
Section 137. All persons under the age of eighteen, who have been entered in the lists of electors for the Constituent Assembly, shall retain the electoral right thus acquired.
Section 138. Existing ministries which are not provided for by the Constitution in the composition of the Government of the F.P.R.Y. may remain in the composition of the Government until a resolution with regard to them is passed in accordance with paragraph 15, Section 74 of the Constitution.
Section 139. The Constitution comes into force by promulgation at a joint meeting of both houses of the Constituent Assembly.