the Constitution Conference of the Republic of China2393028Constitution of the Republic of China1923the Commission on Extraterritoriality
(Proclaimed on October 10, 1923.)
We, the Constitution Conference of the Republic of China, in order to make manifest and foster the national dignity, stabilize the national boundaries, promote the general welfare, and defend the principles of humanity, do make this Constitution and proclaim it to the whole country, to be observed by all and for ever.
All persons who according to law belong to the nationality of the Republic of China are citizens of the Republic of China.
Citizens of the Republic of China shall be equal before the law, without distinction of race, class or religion.
Citizens of the Republic of China shall not be arrested, imprisoned, tried or punished except in accordance with law.
Any citizen under arrest may, in accordance with law, apply to the court by a "Petition for Protection" to have his person delivered thereto and the cause tried thereat.
The residences of citizens of the Republic of China shall not be entered or searched except in accordance with law.
The secrecy of letters and correspondence of citizens of the Republic of China shall not be violated except in accordance with law.
A citizen of the Republic of China shall be free to choose his residence and occupation; such freedom shall not be restricted except in accordance with law.
A citizen of the Republic of China shall be free to assemble and to form societies; such freedom shall not be restricted except in accordance with law.
A citizen of the Republic of China shall be entitled to freedom of speech, authorship and publication; such freedom shall not be restricted except in accordance with law.
A citizen of the Republic of China shall be free to honor Confucius and to profess any religion; such freedom shall not be restricted except in accordance with law.
The right of ownership of a citizen of the Republic of China shall be inviolable; provided that any necessary disposition for the public benefit may be made in accordance with law.
Liberties of the citizens of the Republic of China other than those provided for in this Chapter are recognized; provided that such liberties are not contrary to the principles of Constitutional Government.
A citizen of the Republic of China shall have the right to institute and carry on legal proceedings in a court of justice in accordance with law.
A citizen of the Republic of China shall have the right to petition Parliament or the Administration in accordance with law.
A citizen of the Republic of China shall have the right to vote and to be a candidate for election in accordance with law.
A citizen of the Republic of China shall have the right to hold office in the public service in accordance with law.
A citizen of the Republic of China shall have the duty to pay taxes in accordance with law.
A citizen of the Republic of China shall have the duty to undertake military service in accordance with law.
A citizen of the Republic of China shall have the duty to receive elementary education in accordance with law.
Of the public powers of the Republic of China, those relating to the National affairs shall be exercised in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution; and those relating to local affairs, in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution and the law of Self-government of the Province.
The following ,matters shall be legislated upon and executed by the Republic:
(1) Foreign relations;
(2) National defense;
(3) Nationality law;
(4) Criminal, civil and commercial laws;
(5) Prison system:
(6) Weights and measures;
(7) Currency and national banks;
(8) Customs duty, salt tax, stamp tax, tobacco and wine taxes, and other consumption taxes, and such other taxes the rates of which shall be uniform throughout the country;
(9) Postal system, telegraph system, and aviation;
(10) National railways and highways;
(11) National property;
(12) National debts;
(13) Monopolies and licenses;
(14) Examination, appointment, investigation and protection of the civil and military officials of the country;
(15) Other matters which, according to the provisions of this Constitution, relate to the Republic.
The following matters shall be legislated upon and executed by the Republic or, under its order, executed by the local government:
(1) Agriculture, industry, mining, and forestry;
(2) The educational system;
(3) The banking and exchange system;
(4) Navigation and coast fisheries;
(5) Irrigation and conservation concerned with two or more provinces, and waterways extending to two or more Provinces;
(6) General regulations relating to municipalities;
(7) Eminent domain;
(8) The national census and statistics;
(9) Immigration, emigration, reclamation and migration;
(10) The police system;
(11) Public sanitation;
(12) Relief work and administration of unemployed persons;
(13) Preservation of such ancient books, objects, and remains as are of historic, cultural or scientific interest.
A Province may enact local laws relating to the above clauses, provided that they shall not be contrary to the national laws.
A Province may, pending legislation by the Republic, legislate upon the matters specified in clauses 1, 4, 10, 12 and 13.
The following matters shall be legislated upon and executed by the Province or, under its order, executed by the District:
(1) Provincial education, industry and communications;
(2) Management and disposal of Provincial properties;
(3) Municipal affairs of the Province;
(4) Provincial irrigation, conservation and engineering works;
(5) The land tax, title deed tax, and other Provincial taxes;
(6) Provincial debts;
(7) Provincial banks;
(8) Provincial police and matters relating to public safety;
(9) Provincial philanthropic work and work for the public welfare;
(10) Self-government of the lower grades;
(11) Other matters assigned by national laws.
Where any of the matters above referred to concerns two or more Provinces it may be undertaken by them jointly.
When the funds are insufficient, the deficit may, with the approval of Parliament, be subsidized by the national treasury.
When any matter not specified in Articles 23, 24, and 25 arises, it shall be a matter of the Republic if by its nature it concerns the Republic, and of a Province if by its nature it concerns the Province. Any controversy arising in this connection shall be decided by the Supreme Court of Justice.
The Republic may, in order to obviate the following abuses, or when necessary for the promotion of public welfare, restrict by law any Provincial tax and its method of collection:
(1) Impairment of the national revenue or commerce;
(2) Double taxes;
(3) Excessive fees or fees detrimental to communications, charged for the use of public roads or other means of communication;
(4) Taxes imposed by the Provinces or other local areas for the purpose of protecting their local products but detrimental to goods imported therein;
(5) Duties imposed by the Provinces or other local areas for the transit of goods.
A Provincial law conflicting with a national law shall be void. When doubt arises as to whether a Provincial law conflicts with a national law, interpretation shall lie with the Supreme Court of justice.
The foregoing provision in the matter of interpretation shall apply when a Provincial Self-government Law conflicts with a national law.
In case of a deficit in the national budget or financial emergency, the Provinces may, with the approval of Parliament, be required to share the burden at rates increasing progressively with their annual revenues.
In the event of financial deficiency or extraordinary calamity, the locality concerned may, with the approval of Parliament, be subsidized by the national treasury.
Controversies between Provinces shall be decided by the Senate.
The organization of the national army shall be based upon a system of compulsory citizen service.
The Provinces shall, in general, have no military duty other than that of the execution of matters provided by the law of military service.
Citizens liable for military service shall be drafted and trained for different periods in recruiting areas of the whole country; but the stationing of standing armies shall be restricted to the areas required for national defense.
The military expenses of the Republic shall not exceed one quarter of the national annual expenditure; but this provision shall not apply in case of war with any foreign country.
The strength of the national army shall be determined by Parliament.
No province shall enter into any political alliance.
No Province shall take any action detrimental to the interests of another Province or any other local area.
No province shall keep any standing army or establish any military academy or arsenal.
If any Province fail to perform its duty as provided by a national law and refuse to obey after a warning by the Republic, the Republic may, with the national power, compel performance.
The aforesaid measure shall be stopped when it is disapproved by Parliament.
In the event of an invasion with military force by one Province of another, the National Government may intervene in accordance with the provisions of the last preceding article.
In the event of a change of the form of government or the destruction of the fundamental organization under the Constitution, the Provinces shall, until the original condition is restored, adopt and carry out joint measures to maintain the organization provided by the Constitution.
The provisions of this Chapter relating to Provinces shall apply to localities where Districts, but not Provinces. have been established.
The legislative power of the Republic of China shall be exercised by Parliament.
The Parliament shall be composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The Senate shall be composed of members elected by the highest local assemblies and other legally constituted electoral bodies.
The House of Representatives shall be composed of members elected by the electoral districts, the number of members elected in a district being proportional to its population.
The election of members of both houses shall be regulated by law.
No person shall be a member of both houses simultaneously.
No member of either house shall concurrently hold office as a civil or military official.
Each house may examine the qualifications of its own members.
The term of office of a member of the Senate shall be six years. One third of the members shall be elected every two years.
The term of office for a member of the House of Representatives shall be three years.
Members referred to in Articles 47 and 48 shall. after the completion of a new election. not be relieved of their duties until the day before the opening of the session in accordance with law.
Each house shall have a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker who shall be elected from among its own members.
Each house shall itself convene, open, and close its session; but extraordinary sessions shall be called under any of the following circumstances:
(1) Upon the joint notice of one third or more of the members of each house;
(2) At the summons of the President.
The ordinary session of Parliament shall be opened on the first day of August in each year.
The period of the ordinary session shall be four months; such period may be extended. provided that the extension shall not exceed the period of an ordinary session.
The opening and closing of sessions shall take place simultaneously in both houses.
When one house is suspended, the other house shall simultaneously adjourn.
When the House of Representatives is dissolved, the Senate shall simultaneously adjourn.
Deliberations shall take place in the two houses separately.
No bill shall be introduced simultaneously in both houses.
No deliberation shall commence in either house unless more than half of its members are present.
Deliberations in either house shall be decided by the vote of more than half of the members present. In the event of a tie, the Speaker shall have a casting vote.
An identical decision of both houses shall be the decision of Parliament.
The sittings of the two houses shall be open to the public; but they may, at the request of the Government or by decision of the house, be closed to the public.
When the House of Representatives considers that the President or Vice President is guilty of any treasonable act, he may be impeached by the votes of two thirds of the members present: provided that two thirds of all the members shall be present.
When the House of Representatives considers that a Cabinet Minister is guilty of any act contrary to law, he may be impeached by the votes of two thirds of the members present.
The House of Representatives may pass a vote of non-confidence against a Cabinet Minister.
An impeached President, Vice President, or Cabinet Minister shall be tried by the Senate.
The decision that the person tried under the provisions of the above paragraph is guilty of a crime or has violated the law shall not be pronounced without the concurrence of two thirds of the members present.
When the President or Vice President is adjudged guilty of a crime, he shall be removed from his office; but the punishment to be inflicted shall be determined by the Supreme Court oi Justice.
When a Cabinet Minister is adjudged to have violated the law, he shall be removed from his office and may also be deprived of public rights. If he is guilty of a crime, he shall be delivered to a court of justice to be tried.
Each house may request the Government to institute an investigation in the matter of the conduct of an official acting contrary to law or duty.
Each house may make proposals to the Government.
Each house may receive petitions of citizens.
Members of either house may address an interpellation to a Cabinet Minister or ask him to appear in the house to answer an interpellation.
Members of either house shall not be held responsible outside of the house for opinions expressed or for votes cast in the house.
A member of either house shall not, during the session, be arrested or kept under surveillance without the permission of the house except where taken in flagrante delicto.
When a member of either House is arrested in flagrante delicto, the Government shall at once report the shall at once report the cause to the house; but the house may, by its decision, ask for a suspension of judicial proceedings during the session and the surrender of the arrested member to the house.
The annual allowances of the members of both houses and their other expenses shall be determined by law.
The executive power of the Republic of China shall be exercised by the President with the assistance of the Cabinet Ministers.
Any citizen of the Republic of China forty or more years old, in full enjoyment of civil rights, and resident in the country for ten years or more, shall be eligible as President.
The President shall be elected by a Presidential Electoral College composed of all the members of Parliament.
The election above referred to shall be held by secret ballot. and two thirds of the electors shall be present. The person who obtains three fourths of the total votes shall be elected. In the event of no one being elected after a second vote. a further vote shall be taken upon the two persons obtaining the highest numbers of votes in the second vote. and the one who obtains a majority vote shall be elected.
The term of office of the President shall be five years. In case of re-election. he may hold office for a second term.
Three months prior to the expiration of the term of office of the President, the members of Parliament shall themselves convene and organize a Presidential Electoral College for the election of a President for the following term.
When the President assumes office, he shall take oath as follows:
I hereby solemnly swear that I will most faithfully observe the Constitution and perform the duties of the President.
In the event of the office of the President becoming vacant, the Vice President shall succeed until the expiration of the term of office of the President.
In the event of the President being unable for any reason to perform his duties, the Vice President shall act in his place.
If the office of the Vice President is also vacant, the Cabinet shall act for the President. In such event, the members of Parliament shall themselves within three months convene and organize a Presidential Electoral College to elect the next President.
The President shall be relieved of his office at the expiration of his term of office. If at the time a new President has not yet been elected. or has been elected but has not assumed his office. and the new Vice President is also unable to act as President. the Cabinet shall act for him.
The election of the Vice President shall be held in accordance with the provisions relating to the election of the President and shall take place at the same time. In the event of the Vice Presidency becoming vacant. a new Vice President shall be elected.
The President shall promulgate laws and supervise and secure their execution.
The President may issue mandates for the execution of laws or in pursuance of the authority delegated to him by law.
The President shall appoint and dismiss civil and military officials; but this provision shall not apply where this Constitution or the law otherwise provides.
The President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of the army and navy of the Republic and shall be in command thereof.
The organization of the army and navy shall be prescribed by law.
The President shall be the representative of the Republic with regard to foreign powers.
The President may, with the concurrence of Parliament, declare war; but in the matter of defense against foreign invasion. he may request the approval of Parliament after the declaration of war.
The President may conclude treaties; but treaties of peace and those relating to legislative matters shall not be valid without the approval of Parliament.
The President may proclaim martial law in accordance with law; but. if Parliament considers that there is no such necessity. he shall forthwith proclaim the withdrawal of martial law.
The President may, with the approval of the highest court of justice, remit or reduce punishments and restore civil rights; provided that with regard to a decision in an impeachment case, no restoration of civil rights shall be declared without the approval of the Senate.
The President may suspend the session of the House of Representatives or the Senate; provided that no session shall be suspended more than twice and no suspension shall exceed ten days.
When a vote of non-confidence has been passed against a Cabinet Minister, the President shall either remove the Cabinet Minister from office or dissolve the House of Representatives; provided that the House of Representatives shall not be dissolved without the consent of the Senate.
During the tenure of office of the same Cabinet Minister or during the same session, no dissolution shall take place a second time.
When the President dissolves the House of Representatives, he shall forthwith order a new election and fix a date, within five months, for the convocation of the House to continue the session.
The President shall not, for any offence other than treason, be liable to criminal proceedings before he has vacated his office.
The annual salaries of the President and the Vice President shall be fixed by law.
The Cabinet shall be composed of Cabinet Ministers.
The Premier and the Ministers of the various Ministries shall be Cabinet Ministers.
The Premier shall be appointed with the approval of the House of Representatives.
In the event of the Premiership becoming vacant when Parliament is not in session, the President may appoint an acting Premier; provided that the nomination of the next Premier shall, within seven days after the opening of the next session of Parliament, be submitted to the House of Representatives for approval.
The Cabinet Ministers shall assist the President and are responsible to the House of Representatives.
The mandates of the President and other documents concerning state affairs shall not be valid without the counter-signature of a Cabinet Minister; provided that this provision shall not apply to the appointment and dismissal of a Premier.
A Cabinet Minister may appear and speak in both Houses; provided that he may, for the purpose of making explanations of bills introduced by the Government, depute delegates to act for him.
The judicial power of the Republic of China shall be exercised by courts of justice.
The organization of the judiciary and the qualifications for judicial officials shall be prescribed by law.
The President of the highest court of justice shall be appointed with the approval of the Senate.
Courts of justice shall, in accordance with law, accept and deal with civil, criminal, administrative and all other cases; provided that this provision shall not apply where this Constitution or any law otherwise provides.
Trials in a court of justice shall be conducted in public; provided that they may be held In camera when it is considered necessary for public peace or public morals.
A judicial official shall try and decide cases independently; no person whatsoever shall interfere.
A judicial official shall not, during his tenure of office, be subjected to a reduction of salary, suspension from office or transference to another office otherwise than in accordance with law.
A judicial official shall not, during his tenure of office, be removed from his office unless he has been convicted of a crime or subjected to disciplinary punishment; provided that these provisions shall not apply in a case of an alteration in the organization of the judiciary or of the qualifications for entry thereto.
The disciplinary punishment of judicial officials shall be prescribed by law.
Members of the two Houses and the Government may introduce bills; provided that if a bill is rejected by either House, it shall not be reintroduced during the same session.
A bill passed by Parliament shall be promulgated by the President within fifteen days after its transmission to him.
If the President disapproves a bill passed by Parliament, he may, within the period for promulgation, state the reasons and request Parliament to reconsider. If the two Houses adhere to their original decision, the bill shall be promulgated forthwith.
If a bill not been submitted for reconsideration and the period for promulgation has expired, it shall forthwith become law; provided that this provision shall not apply when the session of Parliament is closed or the House of Representatives is dissolved before the expiration of the period for promulgation.
Law shall not be altered or repealed otherwise than by law.
When a resolution passed by Parliament is submitted for reconsideration, the provisions relating to bills shall apply.
A law in conflict with the Constitution shall be void.
The imposition of new taxes and alterations in the rates of taxes shall be made by law.
The approval of Parliament shall be obtained for the floating of National loans and the conclusion of agreements increasing the burdens of the National treasury.
The House of Representatives shall have the right to deliberate first on a financial bill directly affecting the burdens of the citizens.
A budget shall be made annually by the Government of the annual expenditures and revenues of the Republic. The budget shall be submitted first to the House of Representatives within fifteen days after the opening of the session of Parliament.
If the Senate amends or rejects a budget passed by the House of Representatives, the concurrence of the House of Representatives shall be obtained; if no such concurrence is obtained, the bill as originally passed shall forthwith become the budget.
The Government may, for special undertakings, provide in the budget continuing expenditure funds for a previously fixed number of years.
The Government may provide a reserve fund to supply deficiencies in the budget or requirements unprovided for in the same.
Any defrayment made out of the reserve fund shall be submitted during the next session to the House of Representatives for subsequent approbation.
The following items of expenditure shall not be stricken off or reduced by Parliament without the concurrence of the Government:
(1) Expenditures legally due from the Government as obligations.
(2) Expenditures necessary to carry out treaties.
(3) Expenditures made necessary by provisions of law.
(4) Continuing expenditure funds.
Parliament shall not increase the expenditures in the budget.
After the commencement of a fiscal year and before the passing of the budget, the monthly expenditures of the Government shall be one-twelfth of the amount allowed in the budget for the previous year.
The Government may adopt financial emergency measures on account of a war of defense against a foreign power, suppression of internal troubles, or relief for an extraordinary calamity when the urgency of the situation makes it impossible to summon Parliament; provided that such measures shall be submitted to Parliament for subsequent approbation within seven days after the opening of the next session.
An order for payment of an annual expenditure of the Republic shall first be referred to the Board of Audit for approval.
The final account of the annual expenditures and revenues of the Republic shall be verified and confirmed each year by the Board of Audit and reported by the Government to Parliament.
The organization of the Board of Audit and the qualifications of auditors shall be determined by law.
An auditor shall not, during his tenure of office, be subjected to a reduction of salary, a suspension of his functions or a transference of office except in accordance with law.
The disciplinary punishment of auditors shall be prescribed by law.
The President of the Board of Audit shall be elected by the Senate. The President of the Board of Audit may, in any matter relating to the report of the account, appear and speak in the two Houses.
A budget or a bill for subsequent approbation shall, when it has been passed by Parliament, be promulgated by the President after its transmission to him.
Local areas are of two grades, the Provinces and the Districts.
A Province may, in accordance with the provisions of Article 22 of Chapter V of this Constitution, adopt a Provincial Self-government Law; provided that such law shall not conflict with the Constitution and the National laws.
The Provincial Self-government Law shall be made by the Provincial Self-government Law Conference composed of delegates elected by the Provincial Assembly, District Assemblies and legally constituted professional associations of the Province.
Each District Assembly shall elect one delegate. The number of delegates elected by the Provincial Assembly as well as those elected by the legally constituted professional associations shall not exceed one half of the total number of delegates elected by District Assemblies; provided that candidates for election by Provincial Assemblies and District Assemblies shall not be limited to members of the respective Assemblies. The election shall be regulated by Provincial law.
The following provisions shall apply to all Provinces:
(1) A Province shall have a Provincial Assembly which shall be a unicameral representative body. The members of such Assembly shall be elected by direct election.
(2) A Province shall have a Provincial Administrative Council which shall administer all matters of Provincial Self-government. Such Council shall be composed of from five to nine Councilmen directly elected by the citizens of the Province. Their term of office shall be four years. Before a direct election is possible, an electoral college may be organized in accordance with the provisions of the last preceding article to elect such members; provided that a person in military service shall not be eligible unless he has been relieved of office for at least one year.
(3) A Provincial Administrative Council shall have a Chairman who shall be elected from among the Councilmen.
(4) Citizens of the Republic of China who have resided in the Province for one year or more shall be equal before the law of the Province and be in full enjoyment of civil rights.
The following provisions shall apply to all Districts:
(1) A District shall have a District Assembly which shall have legislative power over all matters of self-government in the District.
(2) A District shall have a Magistrate who shall be directly elected by the citizens of the District, and shall, with the assistance of the District Council, administer all matters of District self-government: provided that this provision shall not apply before the judiciary shall have become independent and the system of self-government of the lower grade shall have become complete.
(3) A District shall have the right to retain a portion of the Provincial taxes raised in the District; provided that such portion shall not exceed forty percent of the whole amount.
(4) The Provincial Government shall not dispose of the property of the Districts or their self-government funds.
(5) A District may, in case of a natural or any other calamity, or on account of shortage of funds for self-government, apply to the Provincial Administrative Council; and may, with the approval of the Provincial Assembly, receive subsidies from the Provincial treasury.
(6) A District shall have the duty to enforce the National and Provincial laws and ordinances.
The separation of the Provincial and District taxes shall be determined by the Provincial Assembly.
A Province shall not enforce special laws against one or more Districts; provided that this provision shall not apply to laws concerning the general interests of the whole Province.
A District shall have full power to execute matters of self-government. The Province shall not interfere except in matters of disciplinary punishment prescribed by Provincial laws.
National administrative matters in a Province or a District may, as well as being executed by officially appointed by the Republic, be entrusted to the self-government organs of the Province or District.
If a self-government organ of a District or Province in the execution of any administrative matter of the Republic violates a law or ordinance, the Republic may, in accordance with law, inflict a disciplinary punishment upon it.
The provisions of this Constitution shall apply to areas where Districts, but not Provinces, have been established.
Inner and Outer Mongolia, Tibet and Chinghai may, in compliance with the common wish of the people of the area, be divided into two grades, the Province and the Districts, and be governed by the provisions of this Chapter; provided that, pending the establishment of the Province and Districts, their administrative systems shall be prescribed by law.
CHAPTER XIII - THE AMENDMENT, INTERPRETATION AND VALIDITY OF THE CONSTITUTIONEdit
Parliament may make proposals for an amendment to the Constitution.
Such proposals shall not be made without the concurrence of two-thirds or more of the members present in each House.
The members of either House shall not make a motion for a proposal to amend the Constitution unless such motion is signed by one-fourth of all the members of the House.
An amendment to the Constitution shall be made by the Constitution Conference.
The form of government shall not be the subject of amendment.
If there is any doubt about the meaning of the Constitution, interpretation shall be made by the Constitution Conference.
The Constitution Conference shall be composed of the members of Parliament.
The aforesaid Conference shall not commence to deliberate without the presence of two-thirds of all the members, and shall not make any decision without the concurrence of three-fourths of the members present; provided that in matters of interpretation, decisions may be made with the concurrence of two thirds of the members present.
The Constitution shall, under no circumstances, lose its validity otherwise than in accordance with the procedure of amendment prescribed by this Chapter.