« AnteriorContinuar »
The first attempt at a common representation of all the Austrian countries dates from 1848, when revolutions broke out in almost all parts of the Austrian dominions, but it was not until the Imperial Diploma of 20 October 1860 was issued that the way was finally paved for the establishing of lasting reforms. This Diploma was practically superseded by the Patent of 26 February 1861, which governed the representation of the Empire in the Reichsrat and gave to each Austrian province a special constitution and an electoral law. This Constitution of 1861 proved a signal failure, and the Emperor finally determined to recognize the principle of dualism and to reach an agreement with Hungary upon that basis. On 20 September 1865, he suspended the Patent of 1861, and negotiations were immediately begun with Hungary which ended in the Compromis of 1867. The changed relations with Hungary made necessary changes in the Austrian Constitution; the fundamental laws of 1867 recast the Austrian government upon more liberal principles than had hitherto existed. Since that date important changes have been introduced with regard to the suffrage qualification, and at the present time it seems that the problem of the diverse races contained in the Empire is about to receive its natural solution.2
FUNDAMENTAL LAWS OF 21 DECEMBER 1867.3
Law CONCERNING THE GENERAL RIGHTS OF CITIZENS.
ARTICLE 1. For all natives of the various kingdoms and countries represented in the Reichsrat there exists a common right of Austrian
English translation in British and Foreign State Papers, 52 : pp. 1218-1221. * This introductory paragraph is based upon W. F. DODD, Modern Constitutions (Chicago, 1909), vol. 1, pp. 69–70, and F. R. DARESTE ET P. DARESTE, Les Constitutions modernes (3d edition, Paris, 1910), vol. 1, pp. 428-430.
* Translation based upon DODD, op. cit., pp. 71-89. German text of the second and last laws in PAUL POSExer, Die Staatsverfassungen des Erdballs (Charlottenburg, 1909), pp. 753-760. French translation in DARESTE, op. cit., pp. 431-451.
citizenship. The law shall determine under what conditions Austrian citizenship is gained, exercised and lost.
ART. 2. All citizens are equal before the law.
ART. 3. Public offices shall be equally open to all citizens. The admission of foreigners to public office is dependent upon their acquisition of Austrian citizenship.
ART. 4. The freedom of passage of persons and property, within the territory of the State, shall be subject to no restrictions.
All citizens who live within a commune and pay therein a tax on real property, business, or income shall have the right to vote for members of the communal assembly (Gemeindevertretung) and shall be eligible to that body under the same conditions as natives of the commune.
Freedom of emigration is limited by the State only by the obligation to serve in the army.
Taxes on emigration shall be levied only as a measure of retaliation.
Art. 5. Property is inviolable. Forced expropriation shall take place only in the cases and according to the forms determined by law.
Art. 6. Every citizen may dwell temporarily or establish his residence in any part of the territory of the State, acquire real property of any kind and freely dispose of the same, and may also engage in any form of business, under legal conditions.
In the matter of mortmain the law may, for reasons of public policy, restrict the right of acquiring and of disposing of real property.
ART. 7. Every relation of vassalage or dependence is forever abolished. Every burden or charge resting upon the title to real property is redeemable, and in future no land shall be burdened with an irredeemable charge.
Art. 8. Liberty of person is guaranteed. The Law of 27 October 1862 (Reichsgesetzblatt, No. 87) on the protection of individual liberty is hereby declared an integral part of the present fundamental law. Every arrest ordered or prolonged in violation of law imposes an obligation upon the State to indemnify the injured party.
ART. 9. The domicile is inviolable. The Law of 27 October 1862 (Reichsgesetzblatt, No. 88) for the protection of the domicile is hereby declared an integral part of this fundamental law.?
ART. 10. The secrecy of letters shall not be violated; the seizure of letters, except in case of a legal arrest or search, shall take place only in time of war or by virtue of a judicial order issued in conformity with the law.3
1 This law contains the provisions regarding arrest, hearing and bail.
This law regulates the issuance and execution of orders for the search of houses. s Law of 6 Avril 1870
ART. 11. The right of petition is free to everyone. Petitions under a collective name should emanate only from legally recognized corporations or associations.
ART. 12. Austrian citizens shall have the right to assemble together and to form associations. The exercise of these rights is regulated by special laws.
Art. 13. Everyone shall have the right, within legal limits, freely to express his thoughts orally, in writing, through the press, or by pictorial representation.2
The press shall not be placed under censorship nor restrained by the system of licenses. Administrative prohibitions of the use of the mail are not applicable to matter printed within the country.
ART. 14. Full freedom of religion and of conscience is guaranteed to all. The enjoyment of civil and political rights is independent of religious belief; however, religious belief shall in no way interfere with the performance of civil duties.
No one shall be forced to perform any religious rite or to participate in any religious ceremony, except in so far as he is subject to another who has legal authority in this matter.3
ART. 15. Every legally recognized church and religious society has the right publicly to exercise its religious worship; it regulates and administers its internal affairs independently, remains in possession and enjoyment of its establishments, institutions and property held for religious, educational and charitable purposes; but is subject, as other societies, to the general laws of the State.*
Art. 16. Adherents of a religious confession not legally recognized are permitted to worship privately, in so far as their religious services are not illegal or contrary to public morals.
Art. 17. Science and its teaching shall be free. Every citizen whose capacity has been established in conformity with law shall have the right to establish institutions of instruction and education and to give instruction therein. Private instruction shall be subject to no such restriction. Religious instruction in the schools shall be left to the church or religious society to which the school is attached." The State shall have the right of superior direction and superintendence over the entire system of education and instruction.
ART. 18. Everyone shall be free to choose his occupation and to prepare himself for it in such place and in such manner as he may wish.
1 Two laws of 15 November 1867. Law of 17 December 1862. Law of 25 May 1868. * Law of 7 May 1874. 5 Laws of 25 May 1868 and 20 June 1872. • Law of 14 May 1869, amended and completed by Law of 2 May 1883.
ART. 19. All the races of the State shall have equal rights, and each race shall have the inviolable right of maintaining and cultivating its nationality and language.
The State recognizes the equality of the various languages in the schools, public offices, and in public life.
In the countries populated by several races, the institutions of public instruction shall be so organized that each race may receive the necessary instruction in its own language, without being obliged to learn a second language.1
Art. 20. A special law shall determine the right of the responsible governing power to suspend temporarily and in certain places the rights mentioned in Articles 8, 9, 10, 12 and 13.2
LAW ALTERING THE LAW OF 26 FEBRUARY 1861 CONCERNING IMPERIAL
ARTICLE 1. The Reichsrat is the common representative body of the Kingdoms of Bohemia, Dalmatia and Galicia and Lodomeria with the Grand Duchy of Cracow, of the Archduchies of Lower and Upper Austria, of the Duchies of Salzburg, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola and Bukowina, of the Margravate of Moravia, of the Duchy of Upper and Lower Silesia, of the Princely County of Tyrol and the territory of Vorarlberg, of the Margravate of Istria, of the Princely County of Görz and Gradiska, and of the City of Triest with its territory. The Reichsrat is composed of a House of Lords (Herrenhaus) and a House of Representatives (Haus der Abgeordneten).
Persons appointed members of the House of Lords in conformity with Articles 3 and 5 may be elected to the House of Representatives. In case of the acceptance of such an election, the membership in the House of Lords ceases for the period during which such office is held.3
Should a representative be appointed to the House of Lords in conformity with Articles 3 or 5, his membership therein shall not begin until after he ceases to be a representative.3
ART. 2. Princes of the imperial family who have attained full age are by birth members of the House of Lords.
Art. 3. Chief of the indigenous noble families, of full age, who possess extensive landed property within the Austrian States, are hereditary members of the House of Lords, if such dignity has been conferred upon them by the Emperor.
Art. 4. All archbishops and all bishops enjoying princely rank, within the Austrian States, shall be members of the House of Lords by virtue of their high ecclesiastical rank.
1 Cf. Law of 28 February 1882. 2 Law of 5 May 1869. 3 As amended 26 January 1907.
Art. 5. The Emperor shall have the right to call into the House of Lords as life members eminent men from the kingdoms and countries represented in the Reichsrat, who have rendered distinguished services to the State or church, to science or art.
The number of such members shall not exceed 170 nor fall below 150.1
ART. 6. The House of Representatives shall be composed of 516 members, apportioned to and elected in the several kingdoms and countries as follows:
Kingilom of Bohemia
64 Archduchy of Upper Austria.
22 Duchy of Salzburg.
7 Duchy of Styria
30 Duchy of Carinthia..
6 Princely County of Görz and Gradiska.
6 City of Triest and its territory.
The apportionment to the several election districts of the members of the House of Representatives, to be chosen in accordance with this list, shall be determined by the election law of the Reichsrat.2
ART. 7. Every male person who has attained the age of 24 years, possesses Austrian citizenship, is not excluded from the right to vote by the provisions of the election law of the Reichsrat, and who at the time the election is ordered has resided for at least one year in the Austrian commune in which the right to vote is to be exercised, is qualified to vote for representatives.
Every male person who has been in the possession of Austrian citizenship for at least three years, has attained the age of 30 years, and is not excluded from the right to vote by the provisions of the election law of the Reichsrat, is eligible as a representative.
In case the election law of the Reichsrat should provide for the election of substitutes of representatives, the foregoing provisions concerning eligibility are also applicable to such substitutes.
* This paragraph added by amendment of 26 January 1907.
2 This article was amended on 26 January 1907, increasing the membership of the House of Representatives from 425. The new election law bears the same date.
* Art. 66, Sect. 1 of the Law of 1 August 1895.