The Constitution of the Czechoslovak Republic/The Constitutional Charter of the Czechoslovak Republic

THE CONSTITUTIONAL CHARTER OF THE CZECHOSLOVAK REPUBLIC.

 

SECTION I.

 

GENERAL PROVISIONS.

 

§ 1.

 
1. The people are the sole source of all State power in the Czechoslovak Republic.
2. This Constitutional Charter determines through what organs the sovereign people shall express their will in laws, provides for the execution of these laws, and guarantees to the people their rights and liberties. Such limitations are imposed upon these organs of Government, as shall preserve to the people all rights guaranteed by this Charter.
 

§ 2.

 
The Czechoslovak State shall be a Democratic Republic, of which shall be an elected President.
 

§ 3.

 
1. The territories of the Czechoslovak Republic shall form a united and indivisible unit, the frontiers of which may be altered only by Constitutional Law.
2. The autonomous territory of Carpathian Russinia, which shall receive the widest measure of self-government compatible with the unity of the Czechoslovak Republic, shall be an integral part of this unit by the terms of its voluntary declaration as set forth in the Treaty between the Allied Powers and the Czechoslovak Republic of September 10th, 1919. Carpathian Russinia shall have its own Diet, which shall elect its presiding officer and other officials.
4. This Diet shall legislate in linguistic, educational and religious matters, in matters of domestic administration and in such other matters as may be assigned to it by the laws of the Czechoslovak Republic. Laws enacted by this Diet, and signed by the President of the Republic, shall be published in a separate series and shall be counter-signed by the Governor of Russinia.
5. Carpathian Russinia shall be represented in Parliament by Deputies and Senators elected according to the general suffrage law of the Czechoslovak Republic.
6. The head of Russinia shall be a Governor, appointed by the President of the Czechoslovak Republic on the recommendation of the Government, and he shall be responsible also to the Diet of Russinia.
7. Public officials in Russinia shall be, in so far as possible, selected from the population of Russinia.
8. Details as to the right of suffrage and eligibility to the Diet shall be defined by special legislation.
9. The law enacted by the Parliament defining the frontiers of Carpathian Russinia shall form part of the Constitutional Charter.
 

§ 4.

 
1. Citizenship in the Czechoslovak Republic is single and uniform.
2. The law regulates the conditions governing the acquisition, the rights and duties, and the termination of citizenship in the Czechoslovak Republic.
3. A citizen or subject of a foreign State cannot at the same time be a citizen of the Czechoslovak Republic.
 

§ 5.

 
1. The capital of the Republic is Prague.
2. The colours of the Republic are white, red and blue.
3. Official emblems and flags shall be determined upon by law.
 

SECTION II.

 

LEGISLATIVE POWERS, CONSTITUTION AND COMPETENCY OF PARLIAMENT AND OF BOTH ITS CHAMBERS.

 

§ 6.

 
1. The legislative power of the whole Czechoslovak Republic shall rest in the hands of Parliament, which shall be composed of a Chamber of Deputies and a Senate.
2. The seat of both Chambers shall be at Prague. In case of urgent necessity, Parliament may be temporarily summoned to some other locality in the Czechoslovak Republic.
 

§ 7.

 
1. The legislative and administrative powers of the former Diets is hereby abolished.
2. Unless they provide otherwise, enactments of Parliament shall be binding throughout the Czechoslovak Republic.
 

§ 8.

 
The Chamber of Deputies shall be composed of 300 members, elected according to a general, equal, direct and secret suffrage, on a basis of proportional representation. Elections shall be held on Sundays.
 

§ 9.

 
The right to vote for the Chamber of Deputies appertains to all citizens of the Czechoslovak Republic without distinction of sex, who are 21 years of age and who comply with the other provisions of the electoral regulations.
 

§ 10.

 
All citizens of the Czechoslovak Republic without distinction of sex who are 30 years of age and who comply with the conditions of the suffrage law may be elected as Deputies to the Chamber.
 

§ 11.

 
The term for which the Chamber of Deputies is elected shall be six years.
 

§ 12.

 
Details as to the exercise of suffrage rights and the manner of carrying out elections are set forth in the provisions dealing with elections to the Chamber of Deputies.
 

§ 13.

 
The Senate shall consist of 150 members elected according to general, equal, direct and secret suffrage on a basis of proportional representation. Elections shall be held on Sundays.
 

§14.

 
The right to vote for the Senate appertains to all citizens of the Czechoslovak Republic without distinction of sex who are 26 years of age and who comply with the other provisions of the law concerning the constitution and the rights and powers of the senate.
 

§ 15.

 
All citizens of the Czechoslovak Republic without distinction of sex who are 45 years of age and who comply with the other conditions concerning the constitution and the rights and powers of the Senate are eligible to the Senate.
 

§ 16.

 
The term for which the Senate is elected shall be eight years.
 

§ 17.

 
Specific provisions as to the exercise of the suffrage and the manner of elections are set forth in the law governing the constitution and law of the Senate.
 

§ 18.

 
No person may be at the same time a member of both chambers.
 

§ 19.

 
1. An electoral court shall pass upon the validity of elections to Parliament.
2. Details shall be settled by law.
 

§ 20.

 
1. If a Civil Servant become a member of Parliament, he shall be granted leave automatically pending his term in Parliament; he shall be entitled to his regular salary, but with no local allowances, and he shall retain from his official duties his right to seniority promotion. University professors are entitled to leave of absence; if they make use of this right, the same provisions apply to them as to other state servants.
2. All other public servants and officials shall have the right to obtain leave pending their term as members of Parliament.
3. Members of Parliament cannot enter the Civil Service until after the expiration of one year from the time they cease to be members.
4. This provision does not apply to Ministers. The time limit in section 3 shall not affect deputies or senators who were Civil Servants before they became members of Parliament, provided that they return to the same department.
5. District Governors cannot become members of Parliament.
6. Members of the Constitutional Court, commissioners of an Electoral Court and members of District Assemblies cannot at the same time be members of Parliament.
 

§ 21.

 
Members of both Chambers can resign their mandates at any time.
 

§ 22.

 
1. Members of Parliament shall execute their functions in person. They shall not receive orders from anybody.
2. They shall not address to public authorities requests in the personal interest of individuals, unless they do so in their professional capacity.
3. At their first sitting, members of Parliament shall take the following oath: ”I pledge myself to be faithful to the Czechoslovak Republic, to uphold its laws and to carry out my mandate to the best of my knowledge and conscience.” Refusal to take this oath or the making of any reservation thereto shall disqualify for membership in Parliament.
 

§ 23.

 
Members of Parliament shall not be prosecuted for the exercise of their functions as members. For statements made in the Chamber, members shall be amenable only to the disciplinary statutes of the Chamber.
 

§ 24.

 
1. Only with the consent of the respective Chambers shall members of Parliament become liable to civil or criminal prosecution. If this consent be not granted, such prosecution shall become permanently null and void.
2. This provision does not apply to the legal liability of a member as responsible editor.[1]
 

§ 25.

 
If a member of either Chamber be apprehended and arrested in the commission of a criminal act, the Court or other authority having jurisdiction shall inform the Chairman of the respective Chamber of the arrest. If the Chamber or the Committee defined under paragraph 54 does not within a fortnight give its consent to the arrest, it become null and void forthwith. If the Committee does consent to the arrest, the Chamber must give its decision within 14 days after its first sitting.
 

§ 26.

 
Members of both Chambers shall have the right to refuse to give testimony in reference to matters confided to them as members of the Chamber, even after they cease to be members. In the trial of a case of attempting to corrupt a member, testimony cannot be refused.
 

§ 27.

 
Members of both Chambers shall have a right to remuneration as specified by law.
 

§ 28.

 
1. The President of the Republic shall summon both Chambers twice a year for a Spring and an Autumn session, the former to begin in March, the latter in October.
2. Furthermore he may summon Parliament for extraordinary sessions whenever he may deem it necessary. If at least one half of the members of either Chamber applies to the Prime Minister stating the object for summoning it, the President shall summon the Assembly within a fortnight from the date of such application; should he fail to do so, the Chairmen of both Chambers shall convoke Parliament within the following fortnight.
3. If four months shall have elapsed from the last ordinary Session, the President is obliged to summon Parliament, if at least two-fifths of either Chamber so desire, within a fortnight from the date of their application. Should he fail to do so, the Chairmen of both Chambers shall, within the following fortnight, convoke Parliament.
 

§ 29.

 
The Session of both Chambers shall begin and end simultaneously.
 

§ 30.

 
1. The President of the Republic shall declare the session of Parliament at an end.
2. He may prorogue Parliament for not longer than a month, and not more frequently than once a year.
 

§ 31.

 
1. The President shall have the right to dissolve Parliament.
2. He shall not be allowed the exercise of this right during the last six months of his term of office. After the expiration of the electoral term, or after the dissolution of either Chamber, new elections shall take place within 60 days.
3. The dissolution of the Senate shall not stay criminal proceedings inaugurated before the Senate in accordance with §§ 67 and 79.
 

§ 32.

 
Either Chamber may function, unless otherwise provided in this law, if at least two-thirds of the members are present. Its decisions are valid should a majority of one half of those present be obtained.
 

§ 33.

 
The decision as to a declaration of war or as to the amendment of this Charter shall require a three-fifths majority of all the members of each Chamber.
 

§ 34.

 
1. The decision of the Chamber of Deputies for the impeachment of the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, or other members of the Government, shall require a two-thirds majority with two-thirds of the members present.
2. The procedure before the Senate sitting as a Court of Prosecution shall be regulated by law.
 

§ 35.

 
Each Chamber shall elect its own Chairman and other officers.
 

§ 36.

 
The sittings of both Chambers shall be public. Sittings in camera may be held only where the rules of procedure so provide.
 

§ 37.

 
1. The basic principles of the relations between both Chambers and between the Government and Parliament and between the public and Parliament shall be regulated by specific law, which shall conform to the Constitutional Charter. The internal order of each Chamber shall be regulated by its own rules of procedure.
2. So long as the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate do not create a new body of rules, the rules of procedure of the present National Assembly shall be binding upon them.
 

§ 38.

 
1. Whenever both Chambers meet in joint session as the National Assembly (§§ 56, 59, 61, 65), this body shall be governed by the rules of procedure of the Chamber of Deputies.
2. Such a joint session shall be summoned by the Prime Minister, and its presiding officer shall be the Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies.
3. The Chairman of the Senate shall act as Vice-chairman of the National Assembly.
 

§ 39.

 
The Ministers shall have the right to participate at any time in the meetings of either Chamber or of Committees. They shall be allowed to speak whenever they demand to be heard.
 

§ 40.

 
1. At the request of either Chamber or of a Committee a Minister shall appear before that body.
2. Otherwise he may be represented by an official of his department authorised by him.
 

§ 41.

 
1. Proposals for legislation may originate either with the Government or in either Chamber.
2. Every proposal made by members of either Chamber shall be accompanied by an estimate of the financial issue involved and by a proposal for the defraying of the necessary cost.
3. Proposals of the Government for Budget and Army Bills must first be presented to the Chamber of Deputies.
 

§ 42.

 
A Constitutional Law shall be valid only with the consent of both Chambers. This applies also to other laws, unless otherwise provided by §§ 43, 44 and 48.
 

§ 43.

 
1. The Senate shall act on a Bill proposed and passed by the Chamber of Deputies within six weeks, and on the Budget and Army Bills within one month. The Chamber of Deputies shall act on a Bill proposed and passed by the Senate within three months.
2. These periods are counted from the day of presentation of printed Bills by one Chamber to the other, and may be altered by mutual consent; the Senate must act in all cases of Budget and Army Bills within one month as set forth in the preceding paragraph.
3. If during such a period, the term of the Chamber which is to take action on the Bill of the other expires, or if the chamber be prorogued or dissolved, the date is reckoned from the first day of its next sitting.
4. If either Chamber does not give its decision within the period specified, it is presumed that it gives its assent to the decision of the first Chamber.
 

§ 44.

 
1. A measure passed by the Chamber of Deputies shall become law, despite an adverse decision of the Senate, if the Chamber of Deputies declares by a majority of 50 per cent of all its members that it adheres to its first decision. Should the Senate reject a Draft Bill passed by the Chamber of Deputies by a majority of all its members, the Bill becomes law provided that the Chamber of Deputies re-enacts its decision by a three-fifths majority of all its members.
2. Proposals of the Senate shall be referred to the Chamber of Deputies: Should the Chamber of Deputies reject a proposal of the Senate and if the latter re-enacts its Bill by a 50 per cent majority of all its members, the Bill shall be referred back to the Chamber of Deputies. Should the Chamber of Deputies reject the Bill for the second time by a majority of 50 per cent of all its members, the Bill shall not become law.
3. Bills so rejected may not be presented to either Chamber until after the lapse of one year.
4. Should either Chamber amend a Bill originating in the other Chamber, its action shall be deemed a rejection of the Bill.
 

§ 45.

 
Should either Chamber have under consideration a Bill already passed by it or a Bill passed by the other Chamber (§ 44, section 2), and should it be dissolved or its term of office expire before action has been taken, its new decision shall he considered its second action in accordance with § 44.
 

§ 46.

 
1. Should Parliament reject a Bill presented by the Government, the latter can proclaim a referendum, but this action on the part of the Government must be unanimous.
2. All citizens qualified to vote for the Chamber of Deputies shall be qualified to vote at the referendum.
3. The method of referendum shall be determined by law.
4. Referendum is inadmissible in respect of such Government Bills as amend the Constitution. (Art. 1. Introductory Law.)
 

§ 47.

 
The President of the Republic shall have the right to return with comments any Bill passed by Parliament within a month of its presentation to the Government.
 

§ 48.

 
1. Should both Chambers, by ballot, taken on roll call, affirm the returned Bill by a majority of 50 per cent of all their members, the Bill shall become law.
2. Should the Bill not receive a majority of votes in both Chambers, the Bill becomes law, provided that the Chamber of Deputies in the new ballot, taken by roll call, passes it by a three-fifths majority of all its members.
3. Should it be a Bill for the adoption of which the presence of a larger number of members and a larger majority is required, it is necessary that such presence and majority be obtained for the adoption of the returned Bill.
4. Provisions under § 45 apply accordingly.
 

§ 49.

 
1. For a Bill to become valid as law, it must be made public as specified by statute.
2. For the proclamation of all laws the following preamble must be prefaced: “The Parliament of the Czechoslovak Republic has resolved upon the following law.”
3. The law shall be published within eight week days from the expiration of the period laid down in § 47. Should the President make use of his right referred to in § 47, the law shall be issued within eight week days of the announcement of its reenactment by Parliament to the Government (§ 48).
 

§ 50.

 
In every law it shall be specified to which member of the Government its execution is entrusted.
 

§ 51.

 
1. The law shall be signed by the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister and the Minister entrusted with its execution. If the President be incapacitated or ill, and there is no Vice-President, the Prime Minister may sign on behalf of the President.
2. The Prime Minister may be represented for the purposes of signing laws as specified by § 71.
 

§ 52.

 
1. Each Chamber shall have the right to put questions to the Prime Minister and other members of the Government on matters within the scope of their competence, to enquire into administration, to elect committees to whom the Ministers shall provide information, and to adopt proclamations and resolutions.
2. The Prime Minister and the members of the Government shall answer questions put to them.
 

§ 53.

 
The exercise of control of the financial administration and of the State debt shall be regulated by law.
 

§ 54.

 
1. During the period elapsing between the dissolution of either Chamber and its re-assemblage or between the expiration of its term of office and its convocation and during the period of adjournment, there shall sit a Committee of twenty-four members. Sixteen members of this Committee with an equal number of alternates shall be chosen by the Chamber of Deputies from its members and eight members, with an equal number of alternates, shall be chosen by the Senate from its members. Each alternate shall represent only the member of the Committee, as the alternate to whom he has been chosen. This Committee shall act on all matters of immediate urgency, even if in ordinary circumstances they should require the enactments of legislation and shall exercise control of all Government and Executive Powers. The term of office of the Committee is one year.
2. The first election shall take place immediately after both Chambers organise. Presiding officers of both Chambers shall vote. When a Chamber shall meet after election, the members of the Committee of twenty-four shall be elected by the newly organised Chamber even if the term of office of preceding members of the Committee of twenty-four has not expired.
3. Elections shall be based on the principle of proportional representation. Party coalition is admissible. Should all Parties agree on the choice of candidates, the Committee shall be elected by the vote of the Chamber. Should more than twenty Deputies and ten Senators oppose such election, it shall be carried out as first provided.
4. Members of the Committee shall remain in office until a new Committee is elected. Alternates take the place of members unable temporarily or permanently to carry out their duties. Should a member or alternate be incapacitated for service, while Parliament is in Session, bye-elections to fill his post for the balance of the term of the Committee shall be held. The new member must belong to the same political group as the old member, unless that group decides not to present a candidate or to refrain from voting.
5. A member of the Government shall not be a member or alternate of the Committee of twenty-four.
6. When the Committee has been elected, it shall elect its Chairman and second Vice-chairman from among the members elected by the Chamber of Deputies and a first Vice-chairman from among the members elected by the Senate.
7. The members of the Committee shall be subject to the provisions in §§ 23 to 27 of the Constitutional Charter.
8. The Committee shall be competent in all matters falling within the legislative and administrative powers of Parliament excepting:
a) The election of the President or the Vice-president of the Republic.
b) The amendment of the Constitutional Charter (see article 1 of the Introductory Law) and the changing of the competence of Public Officials, unless it be a question of widening the scope of their activities by new duties.
c) Burdening the citizens in the State with permanent financial obligations, increasing the military duties of the citizens or disposing of State property.
d) Giving consent to a declaration of war.
9. Provisions which under ordinary circumstances would require the enactment of legislation or expenditures apart from the Budget, require the assent of half of all the members.
10. In all other cases the presence of half of the members shall be sufficient and a 50 per cent majority of those present shall be decisive. The Chairman shall vote only to cast the decisive vote.
11. Urgent provisions which under ordinary circumstances could be promulgated only by enactments of legislation, are admissible only on the recommendation of the Government approved by the President of the Republic.
12. Provisions of the Committee referred to in the last article shall have the provisional validity of Law only if published in the official record with reference to § 54 of the Constitutional Charter and if signed by the President of the Republic, by the Prime Minister or his Deputy and half of the members of the Government. Provisions to which the President has refused to assent cannot be entered on record.
13. The Constitutional Court shall have jurisdiction over such provisions of this Committee that under ordinary circumstances would require the enactment of legislation and therefore all such provisions shall be laid before it by the Government simultaneously with their publication in the record.
14. The Chairman and the Vice-chairman of the Committees shall report at the next meeting of the Chamber of Deputies and of the Senate the activities of the Committee, even if meanwhile their terms of office as members of Parliament shall have expired.
15. Provisions not approved by both Chambers within two months after their first Session shall lose their validity.
 

SECTION III.

 

GOVERNMENTAL AND EXECUTIVE POWERS.

 

§ 55.

 
Decree shall be issued only for the execution and within the limitations of each specific law.
 

President of the Republic.

 

I.

 

§ 56.

 
1. The President of the Republic shall be elected by the National Assembly (§ 38).
2. Any citizen of the Czechoslovak Republic, eligible to the Chamber of Deputies and not less than 35 years of age, may be elected President of the Republic (§ 67).
 

§ 57.

 
1. The election shall be valid only if half of all members of both chambers shall be present and if a majority of three-fifths of those present shall be obtained.
2. Should two ballots produce no result, a third ballot shall be cast to decide between those two candidates who at the previous balloting obtained the greatest number of votes. The candidate who obtains the largest number of votes shall be elected. In the case of a tie, the decision shall be made by lot.
3. Details shall be determined by law.
 

§ 58.

 
1. The period of office shall be counted from the day when the new President takes his oath according to § 65.
2. The term of office shall be seven years.
3. Elections shall be held during the last four weeks prior to the expiration of the President’s term of office.
4. No one shall be elected more than twice in succession. He who has been elected President twice in succession cannot again be elected until the expiration of seven years from his last term of office. This provision, however, does not apply to the first President of the Czechoslovak Republic.
5. The President remains in office until his successor shall be elected.
 

§ 59.

 
Should the President die or resign his position during his term of office, a new election shall be held according to §§ 56 and 57. The President so elected shall serve seven years. The National Assembly shall be convened for this purpose within fourteen days (§ 38).
 

§ 60.

 
Until a new President is elected (§ 59) or should the President be unable to execute the duties of his office, the execution of his functions shall appertain to the Government which may invest the Prime Minister with the specific functions.
 

§ 61.

 
1. Should the President be unable to execute the duties of his office for more than six months (§ 60), and should the Government in the presence of three-quarters of its members so decide, the National Assembly (§ 38) shall elect a Vice-president who shall remain in office until the President shall be able to resume his functions.
2. Disqualifications for presidential office (§ 58) shall apply to the office of Vice-president.
 

§ 62.

 
The same provisions as to the election of the President shall apply to the eleclion of the Vice-president.
 

§ 63.

 
1. The President of the Republic shall not be at the same time a member of Parliament. Should a member be elected Vice-president, he shall not during his service as Vice-president fulfil his mandate as member of Parliament.
2. The President’s official residence shall be in Prague.
 

II.

 

§ 64.

 
1. The rights and duties of the President of the Republic are as follows:
a) He shall represent the State in its relations with other States, shall negotiate and ratify international treaties. Commercial treaties, and treaties which for the State or its citizens entail financial or personal burdens, especially military burdens, as well as treaties affecting the territories of the State require the affirmation of Parliament. The affirmation of Parliament takes the form of a Constitutional Law (article 1 of the introductory law);
b) He shall receive and appoint diplomatic representatives;
c) He shall declare the existence of a state of war, shall declare war with the previous consent of Parliament, and shall lay before Parliament for approval peace treaties which have been concluded;
d) He shall convoke, provogue and dissolve Parliament (§ 28—31) and shall proclaim its Sessions at an end;
e) He shall have the right to return with comment any law enacted by Parliament (§ 47). He shall sign all laws enacted by Parliament (§ 51), all laws enacted by the Diet of Carpathenian Ruthenia (§ 3) and the ordinances of the Committee of Twenty-Four (§ 54);
f) He shall report verbally or in writing to the National Assembly on the state of the Republic, and shall recommend for consideration measures which he deems necessary and useful;
g) He shall appoint and dismiss Cabinet ministers and define their number;
h) He shall nominate University Professors, judges, all State Officials and army officers of the sixth class upward;
i) He shall grant donations and pensions in special cases on the recommendation of the Government;
j) He shall be commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the Republic;
k) He shall grant pardon as per § 103.
2. All governmental and executive power, in so far as it does not or shall not explicitly appertain to the President according to the Constitutional Charter and the laws adopted after November 15th 1918, shall be reserved to the Government (§ 70).
 

III.

 

§ 65.

 
The President of the Republic shall take an oath before the National Assembly (§ 38) on his honour and conscience to look to the welfare of the Republic and its people, and to abide by the Constitution and laws.
 

§ 66.

 
The President of the Republic shall not be answerable at law in the exercise of his functions. The Government shall be answerable for all the President’s official utterances.
 

§ 67.

 
1. He may be prosecuted only for high treason before the Senate upon an indictment found against him by the Chamber of Deputies (§ 34). The only punishment shall be the loss of his office and permanent disqualification for the Presidency.
2. Details shall be determined by law.
 

§ 68.

 
Every governmental or executive act of the President shall also hear the signature of the member of the Government responsible for its execution.
 

§ 69.

 
The same provisions shall apply to the Vice-president that apply to the President of the Republic.
 

THE GOVERNMENT.

 

§ 70.

 
1. The Prime Minister and other Ministers of the Government shall be appointed and dismissed by the President of the Republic.
2. The official seat of the Government shall be in Prague (§ 6, No. 2).
 

§ 71.

 
The Government shall choose from among the members a deputy Prime Minister. Should this deputy fail to attend, he shall be represented by the oldest member of the Government.
 

§ 72.

 
The President of the Republic shall determine as to which member of the Government shall direct each department.
 

§ 73.

 
The members of the Government shall take an oath before the President on their honour and conscience that they will conscientiously and impartially perform their duties and abide by the Constitution and other laws of the Republic.
 

§ 74.

 
No member of the Government shall be a member of the Board of Directors or Controllers or a representative of any limited liability company, carrying on a business for profit.
 

§ 75.

 
The Government shall be responsible to the Chamber of Deputies, which may vote its lack of confidence in the government. Such a vote shall be valid if more than half of all the members are present, if a 50 per cent majority be obtained, and if the vote be taken by roll call.
 

§ 76.

 
Evary motion for a vote of lack of confidence shall be signed by not less than a hundred deputies and shall be referred to a Committee which must report thereon within eight days.
 

§ 77.

 
The Government may bring forward before the Chamber of Deputies a proposal for a vote of confidence. Such proposal shall be acted upon without being referred to a Committee.
 

§ 78.

 
1. Should the Chamber of Deputies vote lack of confidence in the Government or should it reject the Government’s proposal for a vote of confidence, the Government shall resign to the President. The President shall then determine who shall direct Government affairs until a new Government be formed.
2. Should the Government resign at a time when there is no President or Vice-president, the decision as to the resignation and as to the direction of Government affairs shall be referred to the Committee defined under § 54.
 

§ 79.

 
1. Should the Prime Minister or any other member of the Government either consciously or from gross neglect violate the Constitution or other Laws while acting in his official capacity, he shall be responsible at Law.
2. The right of prosecution shall be reserved to the Chamber of Deputies (§ 34). The trial shall be conducted by the Senate.
3. Details shall be determined by Law.
 

§ 80.

 
The Government shall be competent to act as a body if in addition to the Prime Minister or his Deputy more than half the Ministers be present.
 

§ 81.

 
The Government shall decide in session:
a) Government Draft Bills for Parliament, Government decrees (§ 84), as well as any proposals that the President exercise his right defined under § 47;
b) All matters of a political nature;
c) Appointments of Judges, State Officials and Army Officers of the eighth class and higher grades, so far as such appointments shall fall under the jurisdiction of the central authorities; as well as proposals for appointments of officials nominated by the President of the Republic (§ 64 No. 8).
 

§ 82.

 
The President of the Republic shall have the right to be present at and to preside over meetings of the Government and to demand from the Government or its individual members written reports on any matter in their jurisdiction.
 

§ 83.

 
The President of the Republic shall have the right to call the Government or its members to conference.
 

§ 84.

 
Every Government Decree shall be signed by the Prime Minister or his deputy and the Minister invested with its execution. It must be signed by at least half of the members of the Government.
 

MINISTRIES AND SUBORDINATE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES.

 

§ 85.

 
The competence of Ministries shall be determined by Law.
 

§ 86.

 
ln subordinate administrative offices the citizens must so far as possible be represented and the widest protection of the rights and interests of the citizens shall be assured.
 

§ 87.

 
1. No one may hold at the same time an elective subordinate office and an office which has jurisdiction over the former.
2. Exceptions to this rule shall be determined by Law.
 

§ 88.

 
1. A Court composed of independent judges, having jurisdiction throughout the Republic, shall hear final appeals for protection against administrative rulings.
2. Details shall be determined by Law.
 

§ 89.

 
The lower offices of state administration shall be defined in principle by Law, the detail execution of which may be regulated by decrees in Council.
 

§ 90.

 
State offices charged with financial functions but without executive power shall be established and organised by government decrees.
 

§ 91.

 
The constitution and competence of local autonomous governing-bodies shall be determined by special Laws.
 

§ 92.

 
Special laws shall provide for the guarantee by the State against damages caused by unlawful execution of public offices.
 

§ 93.

 
State officials in their official functions shall abide by the Constitution and other Laws. The same shall apply to non-official members of administrative bodies.
 

SECTION IV.

 

JUDICIAL POWERS.

 

§ 94.

 
1. The Law shall be administered by Public Law Courts whose organisation, jurisdiction and procedure shall be regulated by Law.
2. No one shall be tried other than before his legal judge.
3. Only in cases of criminal procedure, may Courts be established for a limited period in cases specified in advance by Law.
 

§ 95.

 
1. Jurisdiction in civil matters shall be reserved to civil courts, either ordinary or extraordinary, and courts of arbitration; jurisdiction in criminal matters shall be reserved to public criminal courts, so far as it shall be not reserved by special law for courts martial or so far as these matters cannot be dealt with according to general regulations in police or financial prosecutions.
2. A single Supreme Court of Justice shall be established for the whole Czechoslovak Republic.
3. The competence and functions of juries shall be determined by special laws.
4. Trial by jury may be temporarily suspended in cases provided for by law.
5. The jurisdiction of courts martial may be extended to the civil population according to legal regulations in times of war only and for acts committed at such times only.
 

§ 96.

 
1. Judicial power in all courts shall be separated from administrative power.
2. Solution of disputes as to competence between courts and administrative authorities shall be determined by law.
 

§ 97.

 
1. Conditions as to the qualification of judges shall be determined by law.
2. The conditions of service of the judges shall be determined by law.
 

§ 98.

 
1. All judges shall be independent in the exercise of their conscience and they shall be bound only by law.
2. When taking the oath of office judges shall pledge themselves to abide by the law.
 

§ 99.

 
1. Judges shall be appointed permanently; they may be transferred, dismissed or pensioned against their will, only if a new juridical organisation be set up for a time specified by law or on the grounds of lawful disciplinary proceedings; they may be also pensioned after a valid finding when they have attained the age stated by law. Details shall be determined by a special law which shall also define the conditions under which judges may be suspended.
2. Senates at law courts of the first and second instance shall be permanent for one year except where specified by law.
 

§ 100.

 
Judges shall not perform other paid functions permanent or temporary, except where permitted by law.
 

§ 101.

 
1. Verdicts shall be given in the name of the Republic.
2. Proceedings before law courts shall be verbal and public. Verdicts in criminal matters shall always be proclaimed in public. The public may be excluded during the proceedings only under circumstances defined by law.
3. In criminal proceedings the principle of prosecution shall be adopted.
 

§ 102.

 
The judges shall have the right, in determining a point of law, to enquire into validity of a Governmental Decree; in the case of a law they can only enquire as to whether it was properly promulgated (§ 51).
 

§ 103.

 
1. The President of the Republic shall have the right to grant an amnesty or pardons, to mitigate a sentence and the legal consequnces of verdicts of criminal courts, especially the loss of the suffrage right to the National Assembly and other representative bodies; he shall also have the right to order the abolition or the suspension of criminal legal proceedings with the exception of such proceedings in which the action is brought by private individuals.
2. These rights shall not be exercised by the President in the case of members of the Government accused or sentenced according to § 79
 

§ 104.

 
A special law shall define the reponsibility of the State and judges for any damages caused by the latters’ breach of right in performing their duties.
 

Par. 105.

 
1. In cases of private property claims coming for adjudication before an administrative authority in which the plaintiff is dissatisfied with the decision of the latter, he may, after exhausting corrective efforts, appeal to the Courts.
2. Details shall be determined by law.
 

SECTION V.

 

RIGHTS, LIBERTIES AND DUTIES OF THE CITIZEN.

EQUALITY.

 

§ 106.

 
1. Privileges due to sex, birth or occupation shall not be recognised.
2. All persons residing in the Czechoslovak Republic shall enjoy within its territory in equal measure with the citizens of this Republic complete and absolute security of life and liberty without regard to origin, nationality, language, race or religion. Exceptions to this principle may be made only so far as is compatible with international law.
3. Only such titles may be conferred as designate official rank or a profession. This enactment in no way affects academic honours.
 

PERSONAL FREEDOM AND FREEDOM OF PROPERTY.

 

§ 107.

 
1. Personal freedom shall be guaranteed. Details shall be laid down by an enactment which shall form part of this Constitutional Charter.
2. No person shall be deprived of personal liberty or restricted in the enjoyment of the same except upon legal grounds. Public authorities can demand personal services from a citizen only on legal grounds.
 

§ 108.

 
1. Every citizen of the Czechoslovak State may take up his abode wheresoever he will in the Czechoslovak Republic, may acquire there real property and carry on any calling for the purpose of earning profits within the limits of the law.
2. This right shall only suffer restriction in the public interests and on the basis of law.
 

§ 109.

 
1. Private ownership may be restricted only by law.
2. Expropriation is possible only on the basis of law. Compensation shall be given in all cases unless it is or shall be provided by law that no compensation be given.
 

§ 110.

 
The right to emigrate abroad may be restricted only by law.
 

§ 111.

 
1. Taxation and public levies generally may be imposed only by law.
2. Likewise only by law may fines and punishments be prescribed and imposed.
 

DOMESTIC LIBERTY.

 

§ 112.

 
1. Domestic rights are inviolable.
2. Details shall be laid down by a law which shall form part of this Constitutional Charter.
 

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS, THE RIGHT OF FREE ASSEMBLY AND ASSOCIATION.

 

§ 113.

 
1. Freedom of the Press as well as the right to assemble peacably and without arms and to form associations is guaranteed. It is therefore in principle inadmissible to place the press under preliminary[2] censorship. The manner in which the right of forming associations and the right of free assembly shall be exercised shall be determined by law.
2. An association may be dissolved only when its conduct violates the law of the land or disturbs public peace and order.
3. Restrictions may be imposed by law especially in cases of assembly in places which serve as public thoroughfares, in cases of the establishment of associations for the purpose of profit, and in cases of the participation of foreigners in political associations. The law shall also state what restrictions shall be placed on the principles of the foregoing paragraphs in time of war or in case of events taking place within the State seriously threatening the republican form of government, the Constitution or public peace and order.
 

§ 114.

 
1. The right of association to safeguard and ameliorate conditions of employment and economic conditions shall be guaranteed.
2. All acts of individuals or societies which constitute an intentional violation of this right, are prohibited.
 

THE RIGHT OF PETITION.

 

§ 115.

 
The right to petition shall be enjoyed by every person. Legal persons and corporations shall enjoy this right only within the bounds of their competence.
 

POSTAL INVIOLABILITY.

 

§ 116.

 
1. Inviolability of matter entrusted to the mail is guaranteed.
2. Details shall be determined by enactment.
 

LIBERTY OF INSTRUCTION AND OF CONSCIENCE.

LIBERTY OF EXPRESSING OPINION.

 

§ 117.

 
1. Every person may within the limits of the law express his or her opinion by word, in writing, in print, by picture etc.
2. The same applies to legal persons within the limits of their competence.
3. No one shall suffer in the sphere of his work or employment for exercising this right.
 

§ 118.

 
Scientific research and the publication of its results, as well as art is free so far as it does not violate the penal code.
 

§ 119.

 
Public instruction shall be given so as not to be in conflict with the results of scientific investigation.
 

§ 120.

 
1. Private establishments for instruction and education are permitted to be set up only within the limits of the law.
2. The supreme authority and control over all instruction and education shall be in the hands of the State.
 

§ 121.

 
Liberty of conscience and religious creed is guaranteed.
 

§ 122.

 
All inhabitants of the Czechoslovak Republic enjoy in the same degree as the citizens of the Republic, the right to profess and exercise publicly and privately any creed, religion or faith whatsoever, so far as the exercise of the same is not in conflict with public law and order or with morality.
 

§ 123.

 
No one shall be compelled either directly or indirectly to take part in any religious rite or ceremony whatsoever, rights pertaining to paternal or guardian authority being nevertheless respected.
 

§ 124.

 
All religious confessions shall be equal before the law.
 

§ 125.

 
The performance of specific religious rites may be prohibited if they are in conflict with public order or public morals.
 

MARRIAGE AND FAMILY.

 

§ 126.

 
Wedlock, family and motherhood shall be under the special protection of the law.
 

MILITARY SERVICE

 

§ 127.

 
1. Every able-bodied citizen of the Czechoslovak Republic shall undergo military training and shall obey the summons when called upon for the defence of the State.
2. Details shall be settled by enactment.
 

SECTION VI.

 

PROTECTION OF NATIONAL, RELIGIOUS AND RACIAL MINORITIES.

 

§ 128.

 
1. All citizens of the Czechoslovak Republic shall be in all respects equal before the law and shall enjoy equal civic and political rights whatever be their race, their language or their religion.
2. Difference in religion, belief, confession or language shall within the limits of the common law constitute no obstacle to any citizen of the Czechoslovak Republic particularly in regard of entry into the public services and offices, of attainment to any promotion or dignity, or in regard to the exercise of any trade or calling.
3. Citizens of the Czechoslovak Republic may, within the limits of the common law, freely use any language they chose in private and business intercourse, in all matters pertaining to religion, in the press and in all publications whatsoever, or in public assemblies.
4. This, however, does not affect the rights conferred on the state organs in these matters by laws already in force or to be passed in the future with a view to public order, the security of the State or effective control.
 

§ 129.

 
The principles on which the rights as to language in the Czechoslovak Republic are based shall be determined by a special enactment which shall form part of this Constitutional Charter.
 

§ 130.

 
In so far as citizens of the Czechoslovak Republic are entitled by the common law to establish, manage and administer at their own cost philanthropic, religious, or social institutions, they are all equal, no matter what be their nationality, language, religion or race and may, in such institutions, make use of their own language and worship according to their own religious ceremonies.
 

§ 131.

 
In towns and districts in which there lives a considerable fraction of Czechoslovak citizens speaking a language other than Czechoslovak, the children of such Czechoslovak citizens shall, in public instruction and within the bounds of the general regulations relating thereto, be guaranteed a due opportunity to receive instruction in their own tongue. The Czechoslovak language at the same time may be prescribed as a compulsory subject of instruction.
 

§ 132.

 
In towns and districts where there is living a considerable fraction of Czechoslovak citizens belonging to some minority, whether in respect of religion, or nationality, or language, and where specific sums of money from public funds as set out in the state budget or in the budget of local or other public authorities to be devoted to education, religion, or philanthropy, a due share in the use and enjoyment of such sums shall be secured to such minorities within the limits of the general regulations for public administration.
 

§ 133.

 
The method of carrying out the principles embodied in § 131 and 132 and especially the interpretation to be assigned to the expression “considerable fraction” shall be determined by special enactment.
 

§ 134.

 
Every manner whatsoever of forcible denationalisation is prohibited Non-observance of this principle may be proclaimed by law to be a punishable act.

Follow the signatures:
t. g. masaryk.tusar.staněk.houdek.

—————

  1. In reference to libel and incitement to crime.
  2. Under the Austrian regime publications were submitted to the censor before being issued.
 
Copyright.svg PD-icon.svg This work is a translation and has a separate copyright status to the applicable copyright protections of the original content.
Original:

According to the Czech Copyright Act, this work is in the public domain.

(Law No. 121/2000, Article 3, Section a)

“Protection pursuant to this Act shall not apply to

  • an official work, such as a legal regulation, decision, public charter, publicly accessible register and the collection of its records, and also
  • an official draft of an official work and other preparatory official documentation including the official translation of such work,
  • Chamber of Deputies and Senate publications,
  • a memorial chronicle of a municipality (muncipal chronicle),
  • a state symbol and symbol of a regional self-governing unit,
  • and other such works where there is public interest in their exclusion from copyright protection.”

Hence it is assumed that this work has been released into the public domain.

Translation:

This work was published before January 1, 1924 and it is anonymous or pseudonymous due to unknown authorship. It is in the public domain in the United States as well as countries and areas where the copyright terms of anonymous or pseudonymous works are 97 years or less since publication.