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The improvement of the native tribes and their advancement in the arts of agriculture and husbandry being a cherished object of this government, it shall be the duty of the President to appoint in each county some discreet person, whose duty it shall be to make regular and periodical tours through the country for the purpose of calling the attention of the natives to those wholesome branches of industry, and of instructing them in the same; and the legislature shall, as soon as it can conveniently be done, make provisions for these purposes by the appropriation of inoney.



The existing regulations of the American Colonization Society in the Commonwealth relative to emigrants shall remain the same in the Republic until regulated by compact between the Society and the Republic; nevertheless, the legislature shall make no law prohibiting emigration. And it shall be among the first duties of the legislature to take measures to arrange the future relations between the American Colonization Society and this Republic.



This Constitution may be altered whenever two thirds of both branches of the legislature shall deem it necessary; in which case the alterations or amendments shall first be considered and approved by the legislature, by the concurrence of two thirds of the members of each branch, and afterwards by them submitted to the people, and adopted by two thirds of all the electors at the next biennial meeting for the election of senators and representatives.


This principality, whose origin dates back to 1712 and which was raised to an Imperial Principality by Emperor Charles VI in 1719, is the only one which continued to follow the fortunes of Austria after the reconstitution of the German Empire under the hegemony of Prussia. Since 1866 it has had no confederative alliance, but has enjoyed close relations with Austria by virtue of various treaties. Its first Constitution, dated 9 November 1818,1 was promulgated in pursuance of Article 13 of the Act of the German Confederation. Several modifications made in this Constitution in 1848 and 1849 were abolished in part in 1852. The Constitution of 1818 remained in force until the Prince, John II, promulgated the Constitution of 26 September 1862, which since that date has been modified in separate provisions by the Laws of 19 February 1878, 29 December 1895 and 11 October 1901.2



We, John II, by the grace of God, Sovereign Prince of Liechtenstein, Duke of Troppau, Count of Rietberg, etc., etc., etc., make known by these presents that the Constitution of our Principality has, as a result of the wishes expressed by our faithful Estates and with the advice and constitutional sanction of the assembled Diet, been ordered as follows.


ARTICLE 1. The Principality of Liechtenstein, in the union of its two provinces of Vaduz and Schellenberg, forms an indivisible and unalterable unit and as such is a part of the German Confederation.

ART. 2. The Prince is the head of the State, unites in his person all State rights, and exercises them according to the provisions laid down in the present Constitution.

His person is sacred and inviolable.

1 English translation in the British and Foreign State Papers, 5: pp. 1192–1194.

? This introductory paragraph is based upon F. R. DARESTE ET P. DARESTE, Les Consti. tutions modernes (3d edition, Paris, 1910), vol. 1, p. 532. There is a fuller account in Paul POSENER, Die Staatsverfassungen des Erdballs (Charlottenburg, 1909), pp. 656–657. * Translated by E. H. ZEYDEL from the German text in POSENER, op. cit., pp. 657-672.

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Art. 3. The government is hereditary in the princely house of Liechtenstein in accordance with the house laws. The latter also regulate the questions that may arise as to the majority of the Prince and of the hereditary prince, and questions pertaining to guardianship.


Art. 4. Sojourning within the boundaries of the Principality carries with it the duty of obeying its laws and on the other hand forms the basis for legal protection.

Art. 5. The acquisition of all political rights is permitted to every subject in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

Art. 6. The laws provide for the origin and acquisition and for the deprivation and loss of political rights and of citizenship.

Art. 7. The provincial laws provide the general legal standard for all subjects, and all subjects are equal before the law.

ART. 8. Freedom of the person and of external religious worship are guaranteed by this Constitution.

Freedom of communicating thought through the press shall be regulated by a special law.

Art. 9. As a rule no one may be deprived of his ordinary judge nor arrested and punished in a way other than that provided by law in given cases and under observance of the legal forms.

Except when a person is caught in flagrante delicto, his arrest may take place only by virtue of an official order with the reasons stated therein.

Art. 10. Every person who is arrested must be informed of the reasons for his arrest immediately, at the latest within 24 hours after his arrest, and he must be granted a hearing by the officials of the court. If the arrest was not made by the court which is competent to continue the proceedings, the arrested person must be delivered to the competent court.

Art. 11. Every person against whom a charge has been made shall, unless there is conclusive evidence of a crime against him, be immediately released from custody after the deposit of a suitable bail or security to be fixed by the court.

Art. 12. Domiciliary search shall take place only in unavoidable instances and by virtue of an order granted by the competent court, under observance of the legal forms. This order must be presented in writing to the owner of the domicile.

ART. 13. The arrested person has the right, under the supervision of the competent court, to communicate with his relatives orally or in writing concerning his family relations, and, during the examination, to secure through his own means better food than the ordinary. This right may be curtailed or formally prohibited by the court because of abuse or for other reasons of importance.

Art. 14. Property or other rights and privileges may be demanded for purposes of the State or of a community only in the cases and forms prescribed by the law and in consideration of full indemnity, which must be paid previously.,

ART. 15. The Constitution guarantees the release by sale of all existing tithes, also of ground taxes in accordance with the provisions of a law, which does not, however, exclude the possibility of a friendly agreement.

ART. 16. All confiscation of property is prohibited, but the confiscation of separate articles which have served or may serve as the tool or means of a crime or a violation is henceforth permitted.

ART. 17. Exclusive commercial and industrial privileges for a limited period will be regulated by a special law in agreement with the laws of the Confederation thereto pertaining.

Art. 18. The right of forming societies is regulated by a law and is protected by the Constitution.

ART. 19. The right of making complaints is guaranteed.

Consequently every subject has the right to complain, to the authorities which are immediately superior, about the conduct or acts of public officials injurious to his interest and in violation of the Constitution, the laws, or the regulations. Such complaints, if necessary, may be prosecuted to the highest authorities. If the complaint is rejected by the superior authorities, the said authorities must furnish the petitioner with the reasons for their decision.

Art. 20. The right of petitioning the Diet is guaranteed, and not only individual subjects and others acting in their interests, but also communes and corporations may present their wishes and requests to the Diet through a member thereof.

Art. 21. Every man capable of bearing arms is liable to be called to the defense of the country in case of need, until he has passed his sixtieth year.

The law determines the obligations of military service and the ordinary and extraordinary military duties in time of war as well as of peace, in accordance with the laws of the Confederation thereto pertaining.

Apt. 22. A communal law which is to be promulgated shall be based on the following points:

a. Free choice of the communal president by the communal assembly.

1 Here and elsewhere the term " Confederation " refers to the German Confederation to which Liechtenstein belonged prior to 1866. See the introductory paragraph above, D. 375,


b. Independent administration of property and of local police under supervision of the government.

c. The administration and regulation of the poor laws and of the schools.

d. The right of the commune to grant citizenship.
e. Freedom of settlement of subjects in every commune.



ART. 23. The Prince represents the State in all its relations with foreign States.

Without the consent of the Diet neither the State as a whole nor any part thereof, nor any property of the State, may be sold by treaties with foreign States, and no sovereign right or royal prerogative of the State may be relinquished or otherwise disposed of in favor of a foreign State; moreover, no new burden may be imposed upon the Principality or its subjects and no obligation may be contracted which might violate the rights of the subjects.

ART. 24. Without the cooperation and the consent of the Diet ng law may be promulgated, rescinded, modified or authentically interpreted.

However, the Prince will without the cooperation of the Diet take measures required for the execution and administration of the laws, as well as make regulations concerning the right of supervision and administration and issue the proper ordinances. The Prince will also in cases of urgency take the necessary precautions for the safety and welfare of the State.

Art. 25. These provisions are applied by the laws in practice in police matters of the country.

ART. 26. All laws and ordinances which are at variance with an express provision of the present Constitution are hereby rescinded.

Such legal provisions as are not in accord with the spirit of this Constitution shall be submitted to a constitutional revision.

Art. 27. The governing power, which is in the hands of the Prince, shall, in conformity with the provisions of this Constitution, be exercised by responsible State officials appointed by the Prince.

ART. 28. The organization of the State authorities shall be regulated by the Prince through decrees, but these decrees must be based on the constitutional provision that the authorities have their official residence in the Principality.

ART. 29. All laws and ordinances and all decrees, which issue from the Prince or a regency, must, in order to gain validity, be countersigned by a responsible official who is present in the land.

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