French Constitutional Charter of 1830

Source: The Constitutions and Other Select Documents Illustrative of the History of France, 1789–1907 (2nd Ed.)

Louis-Philippe, King of the French, to all present and to come, greeting.

We have ordered and do order that the Constitutional Charter of 1814, such as it has been amended by the two chambers on August 7th and accepted by us on the 9th, shall be again published in the following terms:

Public Law of the French.Edit

Article 1.
Frenchmen are equal before the law, whatever may be their titles and ranks.
Article 2.
They contribute, without distinction, in proportion to their fortunes, towards the expenses of the state.
Article 3.
They are all equally admissible to civil and military employments.
Article 4.
Their personal liberty is likewise guaranteed; no one can be prosecuted or arrested save in the cases provided by law and in the form which it prescribes.
Article 5.
Everyone may profess his religion with equal freedom and shall obtain for his worship the same protection.
Article 6.
The minister of the catholic, apostolic, and Roman religion, professed by the majority of the French, and those of the other christian sects, receive stipends from the state.
Article 7.
Frenchmen have the right to publish and to have printed their opinions, while conforming with the laws.
The censorship can never be re-established.
Article 8.
All property is inviolable, without any exception for that which is called national, the law making no distinction between them.
Article 9.
The state can require the sacrifice of a property on account of a legally established public interest, but with a previous indemnity.
Article 10.
All investigations of opinions and votes given prior to the restoration are forbidden: the same oblivion is required from the tribunals and from citizens.
Article 11.
The conscription is abolished. The method of recruiting for the army and navy is determined by the law.

Forms of the Government of the King.Edit

Article 12.
The person of the king is inviolable and sacred. His ministers are responsible. To the king alone belongs the executive power.
Article 13.
The king is the supreme head of the state; he commands the land and sea forces, declares war, makes treaties of peace, alliance and commerce, appoints to all places of public administration, and makes the necessary rules and ordinances for the execution of the laws, without the power ever to suspend the laws themselves or to dispense with their execution.
Moreover, no foreign troops can be admitted into the service of the state except in virtue of a law.
Article 14.
The legislative power is exercised collectively by the king, the Chamber of Peers, and the Chamber of Deputies.
Article 15.
The proposal of laws belongs to the king, the Chamber of Peers, and the Chamber of Deputies.
Nevertheless every taxation law must be first voted by the Chamber of Deputies.
Article 16.
Every law shall be freely discussed and voted by the majority of each of the two chambers.
Article 17.
If a project of law has been rejected by one of the three powers, it cannot be presented again in the same session.
Article 18.
The king alone sanctions and promulgates the laws.
Article 19.
The civil list is fixed for the entire duration of the reign by the first legislature assembled after the accession of the king.

Of the Chamber of Peers.Edit

Article 20.
The Chambers of Peers is an essential part of the legislative power.
Article 21.
It is convoked by the king at the same time as the Chamber of Deputies. The session of the one begins and ends at the same time as that of the other.
Article 22.
Every meeting of the Chamber of Peers which may be held outside of the time of the session of the Chamber of Deputies is unlawful and of no validity, except the single case in which it is assembled as a court of justice, and then it can exercise only judicial functions.
Article 23.
The appointment of peers of France belongs to the king. Their number is unlimited: he can at his pleasure alter their dignities, appoint them for life, or make them hereditary.
Article 24.
Peers have entrance to the chamber at twenty-five years of age, and a deliberative voice only at thirty years.
Article 25.
The Chamber of Peers is presided over by the chancellor of France, and, in his absence, by a peer appointed by the king.
Article 26.
The princes of the blood are peers by right of their birth: they sit next to the president.
Article 27.
The sittings of the Chamber of Peers are public, as are those of the Chamber of Deputies.
Article 28.
The Chamber of Peers has jurisdiction over the crimes of high treason and attacks against the security of the state, which shall be defined by law.
Article 29.
No peer can be arrested except by the authority of the chamber, nor be tried in a criminal matter except by it.

Of the Chamber of Deputies.Edit

Article 30.
The Chamber of Deputies shall be composed of the deputies elected by electoral colleges, whose organization shall be determined by law.
Article 31.
The deputies are elected for five years.
Article 32.
No deputy can be admiitted to the chamber unless he is thirty years of age and meets the other qualifications required by the law.
Article 33.
If, however, there cannot be found in the department fifty persons of the required age who pay the amount of taxes required by the law, their number shall be filled up from the largest tax-payers below this amount of tax, and these shall be elected together with the first.
Article 34.
No one is an elector, unless he is at least twenty-five years of age and meets the other conditions required by the law.
Article 35.
The presidents of the electoral colleges are chosen by the electors.
Article 36.
At least one-half of the deputies shall be chosen from among the eligibles who have their political domicile in the department.
Article 37.
The president of the Chamber of Deputies is elected by it at the opening of each session.
Article 38.
The sittings of the chamber are public; but the request of five members suffices for it to form itself into secret committee.
Article 39.
The Chamber divides itself into bureaux in order to discuss the propositions which have been presented to it by the king.
Article 40.
No tax can be imposed or collected, unless it has been consented to by the two chambers and sanctioned by the king.
Article 41.
The land-tax is consented to only for one year. Indirect taxes can be established for several years.
Article 42.
The king convokes the two chambers each year: he prorogues them and can dissolve that of the deputies; but in that case he must convoke a new one within the space of

three months.

Article 43.
No bodily constraint can be exercised against a member of the chamber during the session nor in the preceding or following six weeks.
Article 44.
No member of the chamber, during the course of the session, can be prosecuted or arrested upon a criminal charge, unless he should be taken in the act, except after the chamber has permitted his prosecution.
Article 45.
No petition can be made or presented to either of the chambers except in writing: the law forbids any personal presentation of them at the bar.

Of the Ministers.Edit

Article 46.
The ministers can be members of the Chamber of Peers or of the Chamber of Deputies.
They have, besides, their entrance into either chamber and must be heard when they demand it.
Article 47.
The Chamber of Deputies has the right to accuse the ministers and to arraign them before the Chamber of Peers, which alone has that of trying them.

Of the Judiciary.Edit

Article 48.
All justice emanates from the king: it is administered in his name by judges whom he appoints and whom he invests.
Article 49.
The judges appointed by the king are irremovable.
Article 50.
The courts and regular tribunals actually existing are continued; they shall not be anywise changed except by virtue of a law.
Article 51.
The existing commercial court is retained.
Article 52.
The justice of the peace, likewise, is retained. Justices of the peace, although appointed by the king, are not irremovable.
Article 53.
No one can be deprived of the jurisdiction of his natural judges.
Article 54.
In consequence, extraordinary commissions and tribunals cannot be created, under any title or under any denomination whatsoever.
Article 55.
Criminal trials shall be public unless such publicity would be dangerous to order and morality; and, in that case, the tribunal shall declare it by a judicial order.
Article 56.
The system of juries is retained. Changes which a longer experience may cause to be thought necessary can be made only by a law.
Article 57.
The penalty of confiscation of property is abolished and cannot be re-established.
Article 58.
The king has the right of pardon and that of commuting penalties.
Article 59.
The Civil Code and the laws actually existing which are not in conflict with the present charter remain in force until legally abrogated.

Special Rights Guaranteed by the State.Edit

Article 60.
Persons in active military service, retired officers and soldiers, pensioned widows, officers and soldiers, retain their ranks, honors and pensions.
Article 61.
The public debt is guaranteed. Every form of engagement made by the state with its creditors is inviolable.
Article 62.
The old nobility resume their titles, the new retain theirs. The king makes nobles at will; but he grants to them only ranks and honors, without any exemption from the burdens and duties of society.
Article 63.
The Legion of Honor is maintained. The king shall determine its internal regulations and its decoration.
Article 64.
The colonies are regulated by special laws.
Article 65.
The king and his successors shall swear, at their accession in the presence of the assembled chambers, to observe faithfully the Constitutional Charter.
Article 66.
The present charter and all the rights that it consecrates stand entrusted to the patriotism and the courage of the national guards and of all French citizens.
Article 67.
France resumes its colors. For the future, no other cockade shall be worn than the tricolor cockade.

Special Provisions.Edit

Article 68.
All the new appointments and creations of peers made during the reign of Charles X are declared null and void.
Article 23 of the Charter shall be submitted to a new examination in the session of 1831.
Article 69.
The following subjects shall be provided for successively by separate laws within the shortest possible space of time:
  1. The use of the jury for political and press offences;
  2. The responsibility of the ministers and the other agents of the executive authority;
  3. The re-election of deputies appointed to public functions with salaries;
  4. The annual vote of the quota of the army;
  5. The organization of the national guards, with the participation of the national guards in the choice of their officers;
  6. Provisions which assure in a legal manner the status of the officers of every grade in the army and navy;
  7. Departmental and municipal institutions founded upon an elective system;
  8. Public instruction and the liberty of teaching;
  9. Abolition of the double vote and fixing of the electoral and eligibility conditions.
Article 70.
All laws and ordinances, wherein they are contrary to the provisions adopted for the reform of the charter, are forthwith and shall remain annulled and abrogated.

We command all our courts and tribunals, administrative bodies, and all others that they keep and maintain, cause to be kept, observed and maintained the present Constitutional Charter, and to make it more known to all, that they cause it to be published in all the municipalities of the kingdom and wherever there shall be need; and in order that this may be firm and stable forever, we have caused our seal to be affixed thereto.

Done at the Palais Royal at Paris, the 14th day of the month of August, in the year 1830.

Signed, Louis-Philippe.


This work was published before January 1, 1927, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.