Fundamental Statute of the Italian Kingdom ( Regno d’Italia-Statuto Fondamentale del Regno-1848)

Dated 4 March1848

CARLO ALBERTO

THANKS TO GOD, KING OF SARDINIA, OF CYPRUS AND OF JERUSALEM, DUKE OF SAVOY, OF GENOA, ETC. ETC. ETC.

PRINCE OF PIEDMONT, ETC. ETC.

 

Law

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With the loyalty of a King, with the affection of a Father, we come today to accomplish what we had announced to our beloved subjects with our proclamation of the 8th of last February, with which we wanted to demonstrate, in the midst of the extraordinary events that surrounded the country, how our confidence in them grew with the gravity of the circumstances, and how, taking only advice from the impulses of our hearts, it was our firm intention to confirm their fate to the reason of the times, to the interests and dignity of the nation.

Considering us the large and strong representative institutions contained in this fundamental Statute, as the surest means of doubling a people with the bonds of indissoluble affection that bind to Italy Our Crown, which has given us so many proofs of faith, obedience and of love, we have determined to sanction it and promulgate it, in the confidence that God will bless our pure intentions, and that the nation, free, strong and happy, will show itself more and more worthy of its ancient fame, and will know how to deserve a glorious future.

Therefore, according to our knowledge, Royal Authority, having received the opinion of our Council, we have ordered and are ordering, by virtue of the Statute and Fundamental, perpetual and irrevocable law of the Monarchy, the following:

 

Art. 1.

The Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Religion is the only Religion of the State. The other cults now existing are tolerated in accordance with the law.

Art. 2.

The state is governed by a representative monarchical government. The throne is hereditary according to the Salic law.

Art. 3.

Legislative power will be exercised collectively by the King and by two Chambers: the Senate and that of Deputies.

Art. 4.

The person of the King is sacred and inviolable.

Art. 5.

Only the executive power belongs to the King. He is the Supreme Head of the State; he commands all the forces of land and sea; declares war; he makes treaties of peace, alliance, commerce and others, notifying the Chambers as soon as the interest and security of the State permit, and joining them with the appropriate communications. The treaties that impose a burden on the finances or a variation of the territory of the State, will not take effect until after having obtained the consent of the Chambers.

Art. 6.

The King appoints all the offices of the State, and makes the Decrees and regulations necessary for the execution of the Laws without suspending their observance or dispensing from them.

Art. 7.

The King alone sanctions laws and promulgates them.

Art. 8.

The King can grant pardons and commute penalties.

Art. 9.

The King convenes the two Houses every year; he can extend the sessions and dissolve that of the Deputies: but in the latter case he convenes another one within 4 months.

Art. 10.

The proposition of the Laws will belong to the King and to each of the two Chambers. However, any law for the imposition of taxes or for the approval of state budgets and accounts will be presented first to the Chamber of Deputies.

Art. 11.

The King is major at 18.

Art. 12.

During the minority of the King, the Prince, his closest relative in the order of succession to the Throne, will be regent of the Kingdom if he is twenty-one years old.

Art. 13.

If, due to the minority of the prince called to the Regency, this is devolved to a more distant relative, the Regent who has entered into operation will keep the Regency up to the majority of the King.

Art. 14.

In the absence of male relatives, the Regency will belong to the Queen Mother.

Art. 15.

If Mother is also missing, the Chambers convened by the ministers in ten days will appoint the Regent.

Art. 16.

The previous provisions relating to the Regency are applicable to the case in which the D major is physically unable to reign. However, if the presumptive heir to the throne is eighteen years old, he will in this case be the Regent by full right.

Art. 17.

The Queen Mother is the King’s guardian until he is seven years old; from this point the protection passes to the Regent.

Art. 18.

The rights due to the civil podestà in beneficiary matters, or concerning the execution of provisions of any kind coming from abroad, will be exercised by the King.

Art. 19.

The endowment of the Crown is preserved, during the present reign, as will be apparent from the average of the last ten years.

The King will continue to have the use of the Royal palaces, villas, gardens and dependencies, as well as all the movable assets belonging to the Crown, which will be made an inventory by diligence by a responsible minister.

For the future, the aforementioned endowment will be established for the duration of each Kingdom, from the first legislature after the King’s arrival to the throne.

Art. 20.

In addition to the assets that the King currently owns on his own, his private assets will also form those that he could later acquire for consideration or free of charge, during his reign.

The King can dispose of his private assets both by inter vivos acts and by will, without being bound by the rules of civil laws that limit the amount available. In the remainder, the King’s patrimony is subject to the laws governing property.

Art. 21.

An annual assignment will be provided by law for the Crown Prince who has reached the majority, or even earlier on the occasion of marriage; to the princes of the family and royal blood, in the aforementioned conditions, to the dowries of the princesses and to the widow of the queens.

Art. 22.

The King, ascending the Throne, swears, in the presence of the assembled Chambers, to loyally observe the present Statute.

Art. 23.

The Regent, before taking office, takes the oath to be loyal to the King and to loyally observe the Statute and the laws of the State.

OF THE RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF CITIZENS

Art. 24.

All kingdoms, whatever their title or rank, are equal before the law.

All enjoy civil and political rights equally, and are admissible to civil and military offices, subject to the exceptions determined by the law.

Art. 25.

They contribute indiscriminately, in the proportion of their assets, to the burdens of the state.

Art. 26.

Individual freedom is guaranteed.

No one can be arrested or brought to trial, except in the cases provided for by the law and in the forms that it prescribes.

Art. 27.

The home is inviolable, no home visit can take place except by virtue of the law and in the forms that it prescribes.

Art. 28.

The press will be free, but a law represses its abuses.

However, bibles, catechisms, liturgical and prayer books cannot be printed without the prior permission of the bishop.

Art. 29.

All properties, without exception, are inviolable.

However, when the legally established public interest so requires, one may be required to sell them in whole or in part by means of a just indemnity in accordance with the law.

Art. 30.

No tax can be imposed or collected if it is not

was allowed by the Chambers and sanctioned by the King.

Art. 31.

The public debt is guaranteed.

Any commitment of the state to its creditors is inviolable.

Art. 32.

The right to assemble peacefully and without weapons is recognized, conforming to the laws that may regulate its exercise in the interest of public affairs.

This provision does not apply to meetings in public places or places open to the public, which remain entirely subject to police laws.

OF THE SENATE

Art. 33.

The Senate is composed of members appointed for life by the King, in an unlimited number, having the age of forty, and chosen from the following categories:

1 ° The archbishops and bishops of the State;

2 ° The president of the Chamber of Deputies;

3 ° Deputies after three legislatures and six years of operation;

4th The ministers of state;

5 ° The ministers secretaries of state;

6 ° The ambassadors;

7 ° Extraordinary envoys, after three years of such functions;

8 ° The first presidents and presidents of the Court of Cassation and the Chamber of Auditors;

9 ° The first presidents of the Appeal Magistrate;

10. The Advocate General at the Court of Cassation and the Attorney General after five years of office;

11. The class presidents of the Appellate Magistrates after three years of office;

12. The councilors of the Magistrate of Cassation and of the Chamber of Accounts with five years of office;

13. Advocates general, or fiscal general with the Appeals Magistrates after five years of office;

14. General officers of land and sea.

However, the major generals and counter admirals must have had that rank in activity for five years;

15. State councilors after five years of office;

16. The members of the Division Councils, after three elections to their presidency;

17. The general stewards, after seven years of operation;

18. The members of the Royal Academy of Sciences, after seven years of appointment;

19. Ordinary members of the Higher Council of Public Education, after seven years of practice;

20. Those who with eminent service and merits will have illustrated their homeland;

21. Persons who for three years have been paying three thousand pounds of direct taxation for their goods or their industry.

Art. 34.

The Princes of the Royal family are fully part of the Senate. They sit immediately after the president.

They enter the Senate at twenty-one, and have a vote at twenty-five.

Art. 35.

The President and Vice-Presidents of the Senate are appointed by the King.

The Senate appoints its Secretaries from among its members.

Art. 36.

The Senate is constituted in the High Court of Justice by King’s Decree, to judge crimes of high treason and an attack on the security of the State, and to judge the Ministers accused by the Chamber of Deputies.

In these cases the Senate is not a Political Body. It can only deal with the judicial affairs for which it was summoned, under penalty of nullity.

Art. 37.

Apart from the case of a criminal offense, no Senator can be arrested, except by virtue of an order from the Senate. It is only competent to judge the crimes attributed to its Members.

Art. 38.

The acts by which the births, marriages and deaths of the Members of the Royal Family are legally ascertained are presented to the Senate, which orders their deposit in its Archives.

OF THE CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES

Art. 39.

The Elective Chamber is composed of Deputies chosen by the Electoral Colleges in accordance with the law.

Art. 40.

No deputy can be admitted to the Chamber if he is not a subject of the King, has not reached the age of thirty, does not enjoy civil and political rights and does not meet the other requirements required by law.

Art. 41

Deputies represent the nation in general and not the only provinces in which they were elected.

No imperative mandate can be given to them by the voters.

Art. 42.

The deputies are elected for five years; their mandate ceases with full right to the expiration of this term.

Art. 43.

The President, the Vice-Presidents, the Secretaries of the Chamber of Deputies are nominated by itself at the beginning of each session for its entire duration.

Art. 44.

If a deputy ceases, for any reason, from his functions, the College that had elected him will soon be summoned to make a new election.

Art. 45.

No Deputy may be arrested, except in the case of flagrant crime, during the time of the session, or brought to trial in criminal matters, without the prior consent of the Chamber.

Art. 46.

No arrest warrant can be executed for debts against a deputy during the session of the Chamber, as well as in the three weeks preceding or following it.

Art. 47.

The Chamber of Deputies has the right to accuse the King’s Ministers and to have them brought before the High Court of Justice.

PROVISIONS COMMON TO THE TWO ROOMS

Art. 48.

The sessions of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies begin and end at the same time.

Any meeting of a House outside the time of the session of the other is illegal, and the acts are entirely null and void.

Art. 49

Before being admitted to the exercise of their functions, the Senators and Deputies take an oath to be loyal to the King, to loyally observe the Statute and the laws of the State and to exercise their functions with the sole purpose of the inseparable good of the King and of the homeland.

Art. 50.

The functions of Senator and Deputy do not give rise to any indemnity.

Art. 51

The Senators and Deputies are not open to review due to the opinions they have issued and the votes cast in the Chambers.

Art. 52.

The sessions of the Chambers are public.

But when ten members make the request in writing, they can deliberate in secret.

Art. 53.

The sessions and resolutions of the Chambers are neither legal nor valid, if the absolute majority of their members is not present.

Art. 54.

Resolutions cannot be taken except by a majority of votes.

Art. 55.

Each bill must first be examined by the councils, who will be nominated by each chamber for the preparatory work. Discussed and approved by one House, the proposal will be forwarded to the other for discussion and approval, and then presented to the King’s sanction.

The discussions will be made article by article.

Art. 56.

If a bill has been rejected by one of the three legislative powers, it can no longer be reproduced in the same session.

Art. 57.

Everyone who is over the age has the right to send petitions to the Chambers, which must have them examined by a Council, and after the report of the same, decide whether they should be taken into consideration, and if so, send them to the competent Minister, or deposit themselves. in the offices for due consideration.

Art. 58.

No petition can be presented personally to the Chambers.

Established authorities alone have the right to address collective petitions.

Art. 59.

The Chambers cannot receive any Deputation, nor hear others outside their own Members, Ministers and Government Commissioners.

Art. 60.

Each of the Chambers is alone competent to judge the validity of the admission titles of its members.

Art. 61.

Thus the Senate, like the Chamber of Deputies, determines, by means of its internal regulations, the way in which it has to exercise its powers.

Art. 62.

The Italian language is the official language of the Chambers.

However, it is optional to use the French language for Members who belong to the countries in which it is in use, or in response to them.

Art. 63

Voting takes place by sitting and standing, by division and by secret squeak. This last means will always be used for voting on the whole of a law and for what concerns the personnel.

Art. 64.

No one can be a Senator and a Deputy at the same time.

OF MINISTERS

Art. 65

The King appoints and dismisses his Ministers.

Art. 66

The Ministers do not have a deliberative vote in either House, except when they are Members.

They always have the entrance, and they must be heard as long as they ask for it.

Art. 67.

The Ministers are responsible.

The laws and acts of the Government have no force if they are not signed by a Minister.

OF THE JUDICIAL ORDER

Art. 68

Justice emanates from the King, and is administered in his name by the Judges he institutes.

Art. 69

The judges appointed by the King, with the exception of those in charge, are irremovable after three years of exercise.

Art. 70.

The currently existing Magistrates, Courts and Judges are preserved. It will not be possible to derogate from the judicial organization except by virtue of a law.

Art. 71

No one can be diverted from his natural judges.

Therefore, extraordinary Tribunals or Commissions cannot be created.

Art. 72.

The hearings of the Courts in civil matters and the proceedings in criminal matters will be public in accordance with the law.

Art. 73.

The interpretation of the Laws in a compulsory way for all belongs exclusively to the legislative power.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Art. 74

Municipal and provincial institutions and the district of municipalities and provinces are regulated by law.

Art. 75.

Military conscription is regulated by law.

Art. 76.

A municipal militia is established on the basis established by the law.

Art. 77

The state retains its flag, and the blue cockade is the only national 1 .

Art. 78.

The now existing Orders of Knighthood are maintained with their endowments. These cannot be used in any other use than in the one prefixed by your institution.

The King can create Orders and prescribe their Statutes.

Art. 79

The titles of nobility are kept to those who are entitled to them. The King can bestow new ones.

Art. 80.

No one can receive decorations, titles or pensions from a foreign power, without the authorization of the King.

Art. 81.

Any law contrary to this Statute is repealed.

TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

Art. 82

This Statute will have full effect from the day of the first meeting of the two Chambers, which will take place as soon as the elections have been completed. Up to that point, the public service will be provided with sovereign dispositions according to the methods and forms followed up to now, however the interinations and registrations of the Magistrates, which are as of now abolished, are omitted.

Art. 83.

For the execution of this Statute, the King reserves the right to make laws on the press, on elections, on the municipal militia and on the reorganization of the Council of State.

Until the publication of the Press Law, the orders in force relating to that will remain in force.

Art. 84.

The Ministers are charged with and responsible for the execution and full compliance with these transitional provisions.

Given in Turin on the fourth day of March the year of the Lord one thousand eight hundred forty-eight and the tenth eighth of our kingdom.

CARLO ALBERTO

The Minister and First Secretary of State for Interior Affairs

Borelli.

The first Secretary of State for Ecclesiastical Affairs, of Grace and Justice, director of the Grand Chancellery

Avet.

The first Secretary of State for Finance Affairs

By Revel.

The first Secretary of State for Public Works, Agriculture and Commerce

Des Ambrois.

The first Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

E. of San Marzano.

The first Secretary of State for War and Navy Affairs

Broglia.

The first Secretary of State for Education

C. Alfieri.

Note

  1. ↑ Carlo Alberto , with his proclamation of 23 March 1848 , stated that the flag was the Italian tricolor with the Savoy shield superimposed on it.

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