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shall be established for the kingdoms and countries represented in the Reichsrat.

ART. 2. The Imperial Court shall decide finally concerning conflicts of jurisdiction:

a. Between the judicial and the administrative authorities, concerning the question whether a matter should be decided judicially or by administrative procedure, in the cases determined by law.

b. Between the provincial diet of a particular country and the higher governmental authorities, when each of them claims the right to regulate or to decide an administrative matter.

c. Between the independent public authorities of the several countries in the affairs of which they have the direction and administration. ART. 3. The Imperial Court shall also decide finally:

a. Concerning claims of a particular kingdom or country against the Empire, and vice versa; claims of one of the kingdoms or countries against another; claims of a commune, corporation, or individual against any one of the kingdoms or countries or against the Empire, if such claims can not be decided by the regular courts.

b. Concerning complaints of citizens on account of the violation of political rights guaranteed to them by the constitution, after the matter shall have been the object of an administrative decision, in accordance with the law.

ART. 4. Concerning the question whether the decision of a particular case is within its jurisdiction, the Imperial Court alone decides; its decisions exclude any further appeal or judicial proceedings.

If a matter is referred by the Imperial Court to a regular court or to an administrative authority, the latter can not refuse to decide such a matter on the ground of incompetence.

Art. 5. The Imperial Court shall sit at Vienna, and shall be composed of a president and president substitute, appointed by the Emperor for life, and of 12 members and 4 substitutes, also appointed for life by the Emperor, upon the nomination of the Reichsrat; 6 members and 2 substitutes shall be nominated by each house.

The nominations should be made in such a way that there shall be three properly qualified candidates for each place to be filled.

Art. 6. A special law shall determine the detailed provisions concerning the organization of the Imperial Court, its procedure, and the execution of its decisions and orders.2



By a decision of 20 January 1897, the Imperial Court held that it was not competent to decide controversies between the legislature and the executive authorities.

: The Imperial Court was organized by a law of 18 April 1869.


ARTICLE 1. All judicial power of the State shall be exercised in the name of the Emperor.

Judgments and sentences shall be executed in the name of the Emperor.

Art. 2. The organization and jurisdiction of courts shall be established by law.

Special tribunals may be established only in the cases previously determined by law.

ART. 3. The jurisdiction of military courts shall be determined by special law.

Art. 4. The jurisdiction with reference to violations of the police and tax laws shall be regulated by law.

Art. 5. The judges shall be appointed for life by the Emperor or in his name.

Art. 6. The judges shall be independent in the execution of their judicial office.

They shall be deprived of their office only in the cases provided by law, and by virtue of a formal judicial sentence; they shall be suspended only by the order of the president of the court or of a higher judicial officer, the matter being at the same time referred to the proper court; the transfer of a judge to another place or his retirement against his will shall take place only by judicial decision in the cases and in the manner provided by law.

However, these provisions do not apply to displacements or retirements which are made necessary by changes in the judicial organization.

ART. 7. The courts shall not have power to decide as to the validity of laws properly promulgated. However, the courts may determine the validity of ordinances (Verordnungen) which are involved in cases before them.

ART. 8. All judicial officers, in taking the oath of office, shall swear to an inviolable observance of the fundamental laws.

Art. 9. Independently of the other means provided by the judicial procedure, an action may be brought against the State or its judicial officers, because of wrongs committed by the latter in the exercise of their functions. This right of action shall be regulated by a special law.2

ART. 10. Proceedings before the judges in civil and criminal cases shall be oral and public.

Exceptions to this rule shall be determined by law. In criminal proceedings the system of public prosecution shall be in force.3

1 Law of 21 May 1868. ? Law of 12 July 1872, & Code of Criminal Procedure of 23 May 1873.

ART. 11. For all offenses punished by severe penalties, which shall be determined by law, as well as for all political crimes and misdemeanors and offenses committed by the press, a jury shall decide concerning the guilt of the accused.

ART. 12. The Supreme Court of Justice and Cassation sitting at Vienna shall be maintained for all of the kingdoms and countries represented in the Reichsrat.

Art. 13. The Emperor shall have the right of amnesty; he shall also have the right to remit or to reduce the penalties imposed by the courts as well as to relieve the convicted person of the legal consequences of his condemnation, with a reservation of the restrictions contained in the law concerning ministerial responsibility.

It is reserved to the law of criminal procedure to provide a legal rule as to the cases in which a punishable act shall not be subject to a criminal proceeding, and that a trial begun in such a case shall be discontinued.

Art. 14. Justice shall be separated from administration in every


Art. 15. In every case where an administrative authority, under present or future laws, has to decide a contest between individuals, the party injured in his rights by such decision shall be free to proceed against the other party in the regular courts.

Moreover, if anyone asserts that through a decision or order of an administrative authority his rights have been violated, he shall have the right to make his claim against a representative of the administrative authority before the administrative court in public oral procedure.

The cases in which the administrative court shall have jurisdiction, the composition of the court and the procedure therein shall be regulated by a special law.



ARTICLE 1. The Emperor is sacred, inviolable, and irresponsible.

ART. 2. The Emperor shall exercise governmental power through responsible ministers and officers and agents subordinate to them.

ART. 3. The Emperor shall appoint and dismiss ministers and, upon the proposal of the respective ministers, appoint all officers in all branches of the public service, in so far as the law does not otherwise provide.

Art. 4. The Emperor shall confer titles, orders and other public distinctions.

1 Law of 22 October 1875, amended 19 March 1894 and 21 September 1905.

ART. 5. The Emperor shall have supreme command of the armed force, shall declare war and conclude peace.

Art. 6. The Emperor shall conclude political treaties. The consent of the Reichsrat is necessary for the validity of any treaties of commerce or political treaties which impose obligations upon the Empire, upon any part thereof, or upon any of its citizens.

ART. 7. The right to coin money shall be exercised in the name of the Emperor.

Art. 8. Before assuming the government the Emperor shall take a solemn oath in the presence of both houses of the Reichsrat:

To maintain inviolable the fundamental laws of the kingdoms and countries represented in the Reichsrat, and to govern in conformity with them, and in conformity with the laws in general.

Art. 9. The ministers shall be responsible for the constitutionality and legality of governmental acts done within the sphere of their powers.

This responsibility, the organization of a court to try impeachments of ministers, and the procedure to be observed in such a court shall be regulated by a special law.1

ART. 10. The publication of the laws shall take place in the name of the Emperor, with a note of their passage by the representative bodies in the constitutional manner and under the signature of a responsible minister.2

ART. 11. The public authorities are empowered, within the sphere of their respective duties, to issue decrees and orders in execution of the laws, and to enforce the observance of such regulations and of the laws by all those to whom they are applicable.

Special laws shall regulate the powers of the administrative authorities, and the powers of the armed force which is permanently organized or called out in a particular case for the maintenance of public safety, peace and order.

ART. 12. All the officers of the State shall be responsible for the observance of the fundamental laws and of the imperial and provincial laws in the performance of their official duties.

To make such responsibility effective it shall be the duty of the organs of the executive power to exercise a disciplinary control over the above-mentioned public officials.

The civil liability of public officers for injury caused by illegal use of their powers shall be regulated by law.

Art. 13. All members of the public administration, in their oath of office, shall swear to an inviolable observance of the fundamental laws.

1 Law of 25 July 1867.

? Law of 10 June 1809.


The constitutional development of Hungary has frequently been compared with that of England, for the Constitution is not embodied in any one instrument, but is contained in numerous laws which may be altered by the regular legislative processes. However, in Hungary the Constitution has been embodied in written laws to a much greater extent than in England.

The most important of the earlier constitutional documents of Hungary is the Bulla Aurea of Andreas II, which was issued in 12:22 1 and which bears a striking resemblance to the English Magna Carta of 1215. Bulla Aurea is now chiefly of historical interest, but is of importance as one of the first steps in a long and continuous constitutional development.

Ferdinand I of Austria was chosen King of Hungary in 1526, after the Hungarian forces had been signally defeated by the Turks at the battle of Mohács. The Hapsburgs constantly endeavored to reduce Hungary to the position of a province of the Empire, and to abolish its independent national institutions. However, by the Pragmatic Sanction, which was embodied in three Hungarian laws of 1722–23, the rights of Hungary were guaranteed.

Notwithstanding the guaranty of Hungarian institutions the efforts to weaken or destroy them continued, and it was only in 1848 that the revolutionary movement finally enabled the liberal members of the Diet to carry their measures. Thirty-one laws, embodying among other things the Hungarian demands for a separate responsible ministry and for annual sessions of the Diet, were enacted and were approved by the Emperor on 11 April 1848. Under these laws Hungary became practically independent, uniting with Austria by a personal union. An attempt on the part of Hungary to secure complete independence resulted in the surrender of the Hungarians at Vilagos on 13 August 1849.

After Vilagos Hungary was governed for 10 years as a subject province. The Diploma of 20 October 1860 recognized the rights of the Hungarian Diet, but the Patent of 26 February 1861 established a central legislature at Vienna. Hungary refused to join in

1 French translation in F. R. DARESTE ET P. DARESTE, Les Constitutions modernes (3d edition, Paris, 1910), vol. I, pp. 470–476.

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