« AnteriorContinuar »
11. Regulations concerning the reciprocal execution of judicial sentences in civil cases and the execution of requisitions in general."
12. Regulations concerning authentication of public documents.”
13. General legislation as to the whole domain of civil law, criminal law 4 and judicial procedure.”
14. The imperial military and naval affairs.
16. Regulations concerning the press and the right of association.
Art. 5. The legislative power of the Empire shall be exercised by the Bundesrat and the Reichstag. A majority of the votes of both bodies shall be necessary and sufficient for the passage of a law.
With respect to laws concerning the army, navy and the taxes specified in Article 35, the vote of the præsidium? shall decide in case of a difference of, opinion in the Bundesrat, if such vote be in favor of the maintenance of existing arrangements.
III.—THE BUNDESRAT. ART. 6. The Bundesrat shall consist of representatives of the members of the Confederation, among which the votes shall be divided in such manner that Prussia with the former votes of Hanover. Electoral Hesse, Holstein, Nassau and Frankfort shall have 17 votes; Bavaria, 6; Saxony, 4; Württemberg, 4; Baden, 3; Hesse, 3; Mecklenburg-Schwerin, 2; Saxe-Weimar, 1; Mecklenburg-Strelitz, 1; Oldenburg, 1; Brunswick, 2; Saxe-Meiningen, 1; Saxe-Altenburg, 1; Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, 1; Anhalt, 1; Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, 1; Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, 1; Waldeck, 1; Reuss, elder line, 1; Reuss, younger line, 1; Schaumburg-Lippe, 1; Lippe, 1; Lübeck, 1; Bremen, 1; Hamburg, 1; total, 58 votes.
Each member of the Confederation may appoint as many delegates to the Bundesrat as it has votes, but the votes of each State shall be cast only as a unit.
ART. 6a.s Alsace-Lorraine shall cast 3 votes in the Bundesrat so long as the provisions of Article 2, Section 1, and Section 2, Paragraphs 1 and 3, of the Law of 31 May 1911 concerning the Constitution of Alsace-Lorraine, remain in force.
1 Law of 21 June 1869 on the reciprocal assistance of federal courts.
“ General legislation concerning the law of obligations, criminal law, the law of commerce and exchange, and judicial procedure." The Civil Code was promulgated 16 August 1896.
* Penal Code of 15 May 1871, amended by numerous subsequent laws.
5 Code of Civil Procedure of 30 January 1877; Code of Penal Procedure of 1 February 1877.
6 Law of 7 May 1874 on the press ; Law of 19 April 1908 on association. 1. e., of Prussia (see below, p. 223).
& Article 6a was inserted by the Law of 31 May 1911 (cf. STOERK-RAUCHHAUPT, op. cit., pp. 10–11).
The votes of Alsace-Lorraine shall not be counted if the addition of these votes alone would give the majority to the presidential vote or would give it the deciding vote in the sense of Article 7, Paragraph 3, Sentence 3. The same shall hold good for the decisions upon amendments to the Constitution.
Alsace-Lorraine shall be understood to be a State of the Confederation in the sense of Article 6, Section 2, and of Articles 7 and 8. ART. 7. The Bundesrat shall take action :
1. Upon the measures to be proposed to the Reichstag and the resolutions passed by the same.
2. Upon the general administrative provisions and arrangements necessary for the execution of the imperial laws, so far as not otherwise provided for by imperial law.
3. Upon the defects which may be discovered in the execution of the imperial laws or of the provisions and arrangements heretofore mentioned.
Each member of the Confederation shall have the right to make propositions and introduce motions, and it shall be the duty of the præsidium to submit them for deliberation.
Decision shall be reached by simple majority, with the exceptions provided for by Articles 5, 37 and 78. Votes not represented or not instructed shall not be counted. In the case of a tie, the vote of the præsidium shall decide.
In decisions upon a subject which, according to the provisions of this Constitution, does not concern the whole Empire, only the votes of those States of the Confederation interested in the matter in question shall be counted.
ART. 8. The Bundesrat shall appoint from its own members permanent committees:
1. On the army and the fortifications.
7. On accounts.1 In each of these committees there shall be representatives of at least four States of the Confederation, besides the præsidium, and each State shall be entitled to only one vote therein. In the Committee on the Army and Fortifications Bavaria shall have a permanent seat; the remaining members of this Committee, as well as the members of the Committee on Marine Affairs, shall be appointed by the Emperor; the members of the other committees shall be elected by the Bundesrat. These committees shall be newly formed at each session of the Bundesrat, i. e., each year, and the retiring members shall be eligible for reelection.
1 Five other permanent committees derive their personnel from the membership of the Bundesrat: 8. On foreign affairs.
11. On the order of business. 9. On Alsace-Lorraine,
12. On railway freight tariffs. 10. On the Constitution.
A Committee on Foreign Affairs, over which Bavaria shall preside, shall also be appointed in the Bundesrat; it shall be composed of the plenipotentiaries of the Kingdoms of Bavaria, Saxony and Württemburg and of two plenipotentiaries of the other States of the Empire, who shall be elected annually by the Bundesrat.
The employees necessary for the conduct of their work shall be placed at the disposal of the committees.
ART. 9. Each member of the Bundesrat shall have the right to appear in the Reichstag, and must be heard there at any time he shall so request, in order to represent the views of his government, even when such views shall not have been adopted by the majority of the Bundesrat. No one shall at the same time be a member of the Bundesrat and of the Reichstag.
Art. 10. The Emperor shall afford the customary diplomatic protection to the members of the Bundesrat.
Art. 11. The presidency (præsidium) of the Confederation shall belong to the King of Prussia, who shall bear the title of German Emperor. It shall be the duty of the Emperor to represent the Empire among nations, to declare war and to conclude peace in the name of the Empire, to enter into alliances and other treaties with foreign countries, to accredit and receive ambassadors.
For a declaration of war in the name of the Empire, the consent of the Bundesrat is required, unless an attack is made upon the federal territory or its coasts.
So far as treaties with foreign countries relate to matters which, according to Article 4, are to be regulated by imperial legislation, the consent of the Bundesrat shall be required for their conclusion, and the approval of the Reichstag shall be necessary to render them valid.
Art. 12. The Emperor shall have the right to convene, open, adjourn and close the Bundesrat and the Reichstag.
ART. 13. The Bundesrat and the Reichstag shall be convened annually, and the Bundesrat may be called together for the preparation of business without the Reichstag; the latter, however, shall not be convened without the Bundesrat.
ART. 14. The Bundesrat shall be convened whenever a meeting is demanded by one third of the total number of votes.
Art. 15. The Imperial Chancellor, to be appointed by the Emperor, shall preside in the Bundesrat and supervise the conduct of its business.
The Imperial Chancellor shall have the right to delegate the power to represent him to any other member of the Bundesrat; this delegation shall be made in writing.
Art. 16. The necessary bills shall be laid before the Reichstag in the name of the Emperor, in accordance with the resolutions of the Bundesrat, and shall be advocated in the Reichstag by members of the Bundesrat or by special commissioners appointed by the latter.
Art. 17. It shall be the duty of the Emperor to prepare and publish the laws of the Empire and to supervise their execution. The decrees and ordinances of the Emperor shall be issued in the name of the Empire and shall require for their validity the countersignature of the Imperial Chancellor, who thereby assumes the responsibility for them.2
Art. 18. The Emperor shall appoint Imperial officials, cause them to take the oath to the Empire and dismiss them when necessary.
Officials of any one of the States of the Confederation, who shall be appointed to any Imperial office, shall enjoy, with reference to the Empire, the same rights as those to which they are entitled in their native State by virtue of their official position, provided that no other legislative provision shall have been made previous to their entrance into the service of the Empire.3
ART. 19. If the States of the Confederation do not fulfill their constitutional duties, they may be compelled to do so by execution. This execution shall be decided upon by the Bundesrat and carried out by the Emperor.
V.—THE REICHSTAG. Art. 20. The Reichstag shall be elected by universal and direct suffrage on secret ballot.
Until regulation by law, the power to make such regulation being reserved by Section 5 of the Electoral Law of 31 May 1869 (Bundesgesetzblatt, 1869, page 145), 48 deputies shall be elected in Bavaria, 17 in Württemberg, 14 in Baden, 6 in Hesse south of the River Main, and the total number shall consequently be 382.*
1 The Law of 17 March 1878 authorized the Imperial Chancellor to delegate various functions of imperial administration.
? By the Law of 17 March 1878, the countersignature may be made by an authorized representative of the Imperial Chancellor.
3 Law of 31 March 1873 on the rights and duties of imperial officials (amended in 1886, 1887, 1893, 1903 and 1905. There are nine departments : Foreign Affairs, Interior. Marine, Posts, Treasury, Railroads, Imperial Railroads, Banks, Justice.
+ Including, that is to say, those deputies returned by the States of the North German Confederation. By the Law of 25 June 1873, 15 additional members are elected from Alsace-Lorraine, making the total number 397, the remaining 297 being distributed as follows:
Prussia, 235; Saxony, 23; Mecklenburg-Schwerin, 6: Hesse, Saxe-Weimar, Oldenburg, Brunswick, and Hamburg, 3 each ; Saxe-Meiningen, Saxe-('oburg-Gotha, and Anhalt, 3 each; the rest, 1 each.
With certain minor exceptions every male German of the age of 25 years may vote for members of and may be elected to the Reichstag.
ART. 21. No leave of absence shall be required for public officials to enter the Reichstag.
When a member of the Reichstag accepts a salaried office of the Empire, or a salaried office in one of the States of the Confederation, or accepts any office of the Empire or of a State involving higher rank or salary, he shall forfeit his seat and vote in the Reichstag and may recover his place in the same only by a new election.
ART. 22. The proceedings of the Reichstag shall be public.
No one shall be held responsible for truthful reports of the proceedings of the public sessions of the Reichstag.
ART. 23. The Reichstag shall have the right to propose laws within the competence of the Empire and to refer petitions addressed to it to the Bundesrat or the Chancellor of the Empire.
ART. 24. The term of the Reichstag shall be five years. To dissolve the Reichstag during that time, a resolution of the Bundesrat, with the consent of the Emperor, is required.
ART. 25. In case of the dissolution of the Reichstag, new elections shall take place within a period of 60 days, and the Reichstag shall be called together within a period of 90 days after its dissolution.
ART. 26. Without the consent of the Reichstag, an adjournment of that body shall not exceed the period of 30 days and shall not be repeated during the same session.
Art. 27. The Reichstag shall examine into the legality of the election of its members and decide thereon. It shall regulate its own procedure and its own discipline, through its order of business, and elect its president, vice-presidents and secretaries.
Art. 28. The Reichstag shall take action by absolute majority. To render any action valid, the presence of a majority of the statutory number of members is required.
Art. 29. The members of the Reichstag are the representatives of the people as a whole and shall not be bound by orders or instructions.
Art. 30. No member of the Reichstag shall at any time suffer legal or disciplinary prosecution on account of his vote or on account of utterances made while in the performance of his functions, or be held responsible in any other way outside of the Reichstag.
Art. 31. Without the consent of the Reichstag, no one of its members shall be tried or arrested during the session for any penal offense,
1 As amended by the Law of 19 March 1888. Originally the term was three years.
· The second paragraph of this article was repealed by the Law of 24 February 1873. It read as follows: " In decisions of a matter which, according to this Constitution, does not concern the entire Empire, only such members shall vote as are elected from States whose interests are affected by the proposition." (f. the last paragraph of Article 7, p. 222, above.