ICL Home Page

Factbook on Government
Yahoo! Country Links
World Election Results

Country Index

Court Network
German Case Law
Key System
Model Code
Personal Information
Project Links
Search Form

Model Constitutional Code (MCC)

Index Page No Previous Page No Previous Page No Further Pages No Further Pages Table of Contents

{ ICL Dcoument Status: 1995 }
{ Copyright: © 1994-, A. Tschentscher }

    { Author's Note
    This is a rather preliminary effort in putting together a very basic sample constitution which covers all essential elements while still containing as little text as possible. }
Preamble Foundation of the State
The People, pursuing the goals spelled out in this Constitution, establish the State in the Territory.

Chapter I State Definition

Article 1 State People (Citzenship, Language)

(1) Citizens of the State are all humans who are children of a citizen of the State, who are born in the Territory of the State, or who are naturalized.
(2) The official language in the State is the Language.

Article 2 State Form

(1) This State is a secular, sovereign, and democratic republic. All entities of the State must yield to these principles.
(2) This Constitution is the supreme law of the land; it is directly binding on all State authority. The general rules of public international law constitute an integral, inviolable part of the national law.

Article 3 State Symbols, Capital

(1) The State has the National Colors, the State Flag, Seal, and Coat of Arms as well as the National Anthem.
(2) The State Motto is "Liberty, Equality, Solidarity."
(3) The capital of the State is the Capital.

Chapter II State Objectives

Article 4 General Constitutional Objectives

(1) The State promotes justice and universal protection of human rights as individual rights. The State encourages fraternity among its citizens by establishing solidarity, general welfare, and national unity.
(2) The State acknowledges the right of the People to national autonomy and self-determination, and the right of minorities to group autonomy.
(3) The State promotes:
(a) public health care;
(b) education and schooling;
(c) schemes for social welfare;
(d) preservation and development of culture;
(e) preservation and maintenance of historical objects;
(f) environmental protection, intergenerational equity, and the protection of nature for its intrinsic value including the protection of nature's right;
(g) natural and social sciences.

Article 5 State Security

(1) The State promotes worldwide peace. Acts undertaken to prepare war or to otherwise disturb the peaceful relations
between nations are unconstitutional.
(2) The State takes adequate measures to preserve its integrity even in the state of war or civil war.
(3) The State protects the People against terrorism, extremism, and catastrophes.

Chapter III State Organization

Part I General Organization

Article 6 Elections

(1) Absent of special provisions, elections are universal, direct, free, equal, and secret.
(2) Elections are always free and equal.
(3) Elections are always secret if a person eligible to vote or be elected so demands.
(4) Elected representatives are only bound by their conscience. They are servants of all, not only of their constituents.

Article 7 Organizational Principles

(1) The State separates executive, legislative, and adjudicative powers. Offices in different powers are incompatible with each other (horizontal imcompatibility). Offices in national entities are incompatible with any public office on a lower level (vertical incompatibility) and with any other salaried office, private or public (economic incompatibility). Political offices are incompatible with active duty in the armed forces (military incompatibility).
(2) The State acknowledges national, regional, and local autonomy.
(3) Autonomy is bound to the principle of democratic organization.

Article 8 Decentralization, Mutual Assistance

(1) State powers belong to the Regions if not assigned to the national entities by this Constitution.
(2) The Regions are bound to convey powers to the Communes if adequate use of those powers is possible on the local level (self-government).
(3) All powers of the State have to render each other legal and administrative assistance.

Article 9 Regional Council

(1) The regions are represented in the Regional Council.
(2) The Regional Council consists of 100 members. Each region is represented in proportion to its share of citizens eligible to vote; at least by two members.
(3) Members of the Regional Council serve for a term of four years; they may be re-elected once.
(4) Every two years, the regions replace half of their members.

Article 10 National Powers

(1) State powers belong to the national entities for the following subject matters:
a) state defence,
b) foreign relations,
c) economic regulations,
d) infrastructure and traffic,
e) taxation,
f) solidarity systems,
g) private, criminal, and procedural law,
h) educational and other standards,
i) and all other subject matters which by their very nature or as a corollary to the subjects listed have to be centralized on the national level.
(2) The State may give up sovereign powers to international or supranational bodies, including systems of mutual collective security and trade organisations, as long as it retains an adequate representation in those bodies and those bodies guarantee sufficient legal protection for the Citizens.

Part II Representation of the State

Article 11 Head of State

(1) The President is the head of state. He or she has the right of pardon, to conduct foreign affairs, and to all other representative functions of the State.
(2) The President and Vice-President are elected by the National Parliament with precedence over all other business.
(3) Every resident citizen with the right to vote who has attained the age of thirty-five is eligible for the office of President or Vice-President.
(4) Before taking office, President and Vice-Presidents take the following Oath or Affirmation: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute this office, honoring and protecting the Constitution of the State."
(5) The President shall not be held accountable for actions performed in the exercise of his office except in the case of high treason, may be indicted only by the National Parliament, and shall be tried only by the Supreme Court.

Part III Executive Power

Article 12 National Government, President

(1) The executive power of the State is vested in the national Government. It includes diplomatic affairs.
(2) The President is the head of the National Government. The President freely chooses the National Ministers.
(3) The President is Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.

Article 13 Impeachement
An impeachement of the President by the National Parliament takes the form of a new presidential election.

Article 14 Regional Equalization of Finances
The State provides for an overall equalization of finances, giving due consideration to the regions' repective debts, burdens, economic power, and infrastructural responsibilities.

Part IV Legislative Power

Article 15 National Parliament

(1) The legislative power is vested in the National Parliament.
(2) The National Parliament consists of 200 members. Members of the National Parliament are residents publicly elected by the People. Each region elects among its residents in proportion to its share of citizens eligible to vote. Their office ends after a five-year term or when they lose their electoral rights.
(3) Everyone eligible to vote has recourse to the Supreme Court for scrutiny of the elections.
(4) The national parliament draws up its own rules of procedures and elects a parliamentary president and parliamentary vice###presidents.
(5) Decisions of the National Parliament require a majority of the votes cast (simple majority) unless this Constitution provides otherwise.

Article 16 Rights of Members of Parliament

(1) Members of Parliament are only bound by their consience.
(2) Members of Parliament may not be subjected to court proceedings or disciplinary action for a vote cast or a statement made by them in the National Parliament or in any of its committees (Indemnity).
(3) Members of Parliament may not be called to account or be arrested except by permission of the National Parliament (Immunity).
(4) Members of Parliament are entitled to adequate remuneration ensuring their independence. The remuneration may not be altered for the present term.

Article 17 Lawmaking Process

(1) Bills can be introduced only by the Members of Parliament or by one percent of the citizens (Public Initiative). Bills can specify the additional requirement of a public referendum after they have been voted upon.
(2) The Regional Council has to be informed immediately of any bill introduced. Members of the Regional Council have the right to be heard during sessions according to the same rules as govern the participation of Members of Parliament.
(3) Laws altering this Constitution require two thirds of the votes cast (qualified majority), at least the votes of a majority of the Members of Parliament (absolute majority). All laws are void if they are unconstitutional.
(4) Laws have to specify their effective date. They are countersigned without scrutiny by the Parliamentary President and promulgated in the Official National Publication.
(5) Bills can be submitted to a referendum if provided by parliamentary decision or as part of the initiative.

Article 18 Budget

(1) The bill for the yearly budget law is introduced by the President.
(2) Budget laws are not subjected to referendums.

Article 19 Treaties

(1) The President signs treaties with other states.
(2) The legislative power of the National Parliament includes the power to ratify treaties with other states.
(3) Treaties not ratified within six months have to be revoked by the President.

Article 20 National Ordinances

(1) Laws may empower National Ministers to adopt National Ordinances regarding a specified subject matter.
(2) National Ordinances do not require ratification by Parliament.

Article 21 State of Emergency

(1) In cases of grave and immediate threat to the existence of the State, the President may take necessary measures of defence.
(2) All emergency measures must be confirmed or revoked by the Parliament at the earliest time possible. The President is bound by the Parliaments' decisions.

Article 22 Ombudsman
The parliamentary Ombudsman safeguards fundamental rights and liberties and controls the compliance of all state powers with the provisions of this Constitution.

Part V Adjudicative Power

Article 23 Independent Courts

(1) The adjudicative power is vested in independent courts.
(2) Judges are citizens elected by the parliament. They are independent. Their office ends at time of retirement or when they lose their electoral rights.

Article 24 Supreme Court

(1) The Supreme Court decides issues involving this Constitution. In particular, the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over:
a) disputes between state entities concerning their respective rights and duties under this Constitution;
b) challenges of a national or regional entity, a Court in the course of its determination, or a third of the Members of Parliament against the constitutionality of a law;
c) claims of individuals regarding violations of their constitutional rights;
d) popular complaints about the violation of fundamental rights;
e) challenges of an act of a state power by the Ombudsman;
f) cases on appeal from National Courts as the Supreme Court deems necessary to review;
g) all other cases assigned to its jurisdiction by law.
(2) Decisions of the supreme court are directly binding for all entities of the State.
(3) The office of Supreme Court Justices does not exceed a period of 15 years.

Article 25 National Courts

(1) National courts have supreme jurisdiction over review and other matters assigned to it by law.
(2) Separate national courts shall be established for private law, penal law, and general public law.
(3) The supreme court decides by extraordinary review in cases of inconsistent application of the law by different national courts.

Chapter IV Fundamental Rights

Part I General Provisions

Article 26 Human Rights

(1) The State acknowledges liberty and equality of all humans.
(2) Human dignity must be respected in any case.
(3) Everyone is free to do or not to do whatever he or she chooses. Everyone is responsible for acts freely chosen.
(4) Slavery is abolished.

Article 27 Applicability

(1) Fundamental rights apply to natural persons, domestic and foreign, who are assigned these rights. They apply to legal persons, domestic and foreign, where, and to the extent that, the nature of the rights permits.
(2) Fundamental rights are inviolable and inalienable. They include the freedom not to make use of them (negative
freedom). Their exercise may, in single instances, be waved by free and responsible declaration of the rightholder, but such declaration is never binding for future instances.

Part II Liberties and Property

Section I Integrity

Article 28 Personal Integrity

(1) Everyone has the right to life and bodily integrity.
(2) Everyone has the right to remain free (personal freedom).
(3) All citizens are free to reside anywhere in, move throughout, enter, and leave the Territory.
(4) Capital and corporal punishment are abolished.
(5) Torture is prohibited.

Article 29 Property Integrity and Related Rights

(1) Everyone has the right to acquire, own, possess, exclusively use, and convey private property.
(2) Property may not be taken without due compensation.

Article 30 Right to Testify and Inherit
Everyone has the right to testify and inherit.

Section II Religious Freedom

Article 31 Freedom of Religion and Belief

(1) Everyone has the right to choose and practice his or her religion, creed, conscience, faith, confession, and belief.
(2) Everyone can refuse to give religious instructions.
(3) Everyone can, on the basis of conscience, refuse to serve in armed forces.

Section III Freedom of Communication

Article 32 Freedom of Expression and Information

(1) Everyone has the right to freely express and disseminate his or her opinions.
(2) The Freedom of the press and other media is guaranteed.
(3) Everyone has the right to freely retrieve information from publicly available sources.
(4) Censorship is abolished.

Article 33 Right to Assemble and Associate

(1) Everyone has the right to peacefully assemble.
(2) Everyone has the right to associate with others. This includes association in political parties.
(3) Every adult has the right to marry one partner.

Article 34 Right to Privacy

(1) Everyone has the right to privacy.
(2) The home is inviolable.
(3) The privacy of letters as well as the secrecy of mail and telecommunication are inviolable.

Section IV Freedom of Profession and Activities

Article 35 Freedom of Profession

(1) All citizens have the right to freely choose their occupation, their place of work, and their place of study or training.
(2) There is no duty to work. Forced labor is prohibited.

Article 36 Freedom of Research, Science, and Teaching

(1) Everyone has the right to research and conduct science.
(2) Everyone has the right to perform arts.
(3) Everyone has the right to teach and to found private schools.

Section V Political Rights

Article 37 Electoral Rights

(1) All resident adults have the equal right to vote and to be elected. In national elections, only citizens have this right.
(2) There is no compulsory voting.
(3) Anyone who has attained the age of eighteen years is an adult.

Article 38 Right to Petition
Everyone has the right to address written petitions to the competent agencies, to governments, and to parliaments.

Article 39 Freedom of Citizenship

(1) Citizens can at any time give up their citizenship.
(2) Citizens may at no time be forced to give up their citizenship.

Article 40 Right to Self-Determination and Resistance

(1) Everyone has the right to collective self-determination including the right to decide about membership in regional or local entities. The State guarantees these rights through adequate powers of decentralized regional and local governments.
(2) All citizens have the right to civil disobedience and resistance against attempts to abolish this constitutional order, should no other remedy be available.

Article 41 Right to Found Political Parties

(1) Everyone has the right to found political parties respecting the principles of secularity, sovereignty, and democracy.
(2) Everyone is free to carry on politcal activities in or with such parties.

Section VI Other Liberties

Article 42 Freedom of Procreation and Childrearing

(1) Everyone has the right to procreation.
(2) Parents have the right to bringing up and educating their children. They have the right to decide about their children's participation in religious instructions.

Part III Equality

Article 43 Equality

(1) All humans are equal before the law (general equality).
(2) Matrimonial equality and legitimacy equality are guaranteed.
(3) All citizens are equally eligible for public office according to their professional aptitude.

Article 44 Prohibition of Discrimination and Privileges

(1) No person may be discriminated against or privileged on the basis of sex, gender, origin, race, language, origin, parentage, creed, faith, or nobility.
(2) Measures for the advancement of persons are admissible to remedy past discrimination (affirmative action).

Article 45 Abolishment of Nobility
No title of nobility is granted by the State. Titles of nobility are no longer part of the family name.

Part IV Right to Protection

Article 46 Special Protection

(1) Protection of human dignity is a duty of the State.
(2) The institution of marriage has the special protection of the State.
(3) Families, mothers, and minors have the special protection of the State.
(4) Everyone persecuted on political grounds has the right to asylum.

Part V Welfare Rights

Article 47 Special Support

(1) Everyone has the right to lifelihood, health care, shelter, and education.
(2) Mothers have the special support of the State.

Part VI Procedural Rights

Article 48 Access to courts

(1) Everyone has free recourse to the courts.
(2) Everyone has the right to a constitutional judge. Extraordinary courts are not allowed.
(3) Persons and groups have recourse to the court acting for other rightholders not being in a position to seek relief in their own name (third party standing).

Article 49 Fair Trial

(1) Everyone has the right to a fair trial. Evidence obtained illegally is inadmissible. Everyone has the right of access to all state information required for the exercise or protection of any of his or her rights (file access).
(2) Everyone has the right to trial by jury.
(3) No one may be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
(4) No law shall be passed stipulating regulations of the past without due compensation for all losses (ex post facto law).

Article 50 Criminal Justice

(1) No act may be punished unless it constituted a criminal offence under the law before having been committed (nulla poena sine lege). No one may be punished for the same act more than once (double jeopardy).
(2) Only judges may indict or subpoena persons or issue warrants for arrest, search, or seizure.
(3) Everyone accused or arrested enjoys the right
(a) to a speedy and public trial,
(b) to be presumed innocent until proven guilty,
(c) not to be a witness against himself,
(d) promptly to be informed about the reason of accusation or detention and about the right to be silent (Miranda rights),
(e) to counsel for defence,
(f) to communicate with next-of-kin, partner, and legal, medical, and religious counsellor,
(g) to be released no later than 24 hours after the arrest if not further detended after court hearing, and
(h) to redress in case of false imprisonment.

Article 51 Prohibition of Extradition
No citizen may be extradited to a foreign country.

Chapter V Individual Restrictions

Part I General Provisions

Article 52 Admissible Restrictions

(1) The State can apply restrictions on individual rights only for the purpose of protecting individual rights of other persons or furthering other state interests explicitly mentioned in this Constitution (constitutional interest).
(2) Any restriction on individual rights must be competent and narrowly tailored to further the constitutional interest. Such restriction must be an adequate means to achieve the purpose of furthering the constitutional interest. In no case may the essence of a fundamental right be infringed.
(3) Any restriction must apply generally and not solely to an individual case.

Article 53 Special Restrictions

(1) Possession and use of drugs resulting in strong and imminent danger for the general public is prohibited.
(2) Possession and use of firearms and other weapons without a permit is prohibited.

Part II Duties

Article 54 General Duties

(1) Parents have the duty to rear and educate their minor children.
(2) Adults have the duty to support and assist their parents if they are in need.
(3) Parents and children have the duty to ensure that minors attend public schools or equivalent institutions (compulsory schooling). Vocational schools and certified private schools are equivalent to public schools.

Article 55 Civil Service

(1) Every citizen of age serves one year in the Armed Forces, in the unarmed civil services, or in equivalent non-profit services.
(2) Whoever is unable to serve is liable to compensate the community.

Part III Burdens

Article 56 Taxation

(1) The State levies taxes from the citizens.
(2) The State levies taxes throughout the Territory.

Article 57 Mandatory Insurance
The State establishes the requirements for mandatory insurance.

Part IV State Monopolies

Article 58 Monopolies on objects
No one but the State may own heavy weapons or ultra-hazardous material.

Article 59 Monopolies on activities

(1) No one but the State may coin or print money.
(2) The State retains the monopoly on mail and telecommunication networks.

Part V Forfeiture of Fundamental Rights

Article 60 Forfeiture of Rights

(1) Persons and political parties who abuse fundamental rights in order to combat the free democratic basic order forfeit these rights.
(2) Such forfeiture and the extent thereof is determined by the Supreme Court.

Article 61 Deprivation of Electoral Rights
By final court order, the right to vote and to be elected can, partially or at large, temporarily or unlimited, be suspended if an adult
a) has not the requisite mental capacity for any legal responsibility or
b) has irrevocably been sentenced to at least one year of imprisonment.

© 1994 - 7. Jan. 2004 / For corrections please contact A. Tschentscher.