« AnteriorContinuar »
The modern constitutional era in Portugal did not begin until 1820, when a revolutionary movement was inaugurated which finally forced the passage of the Constitutional Charter of 29 April 1826. Civil wars followed and the reestablishment of this Constitution became ephemeral, although many changes were necessary with each reestablishment, in order to make the Charter more in keeping with the democratic spirit prevailing. In this way the following constitutional documents 1 were accumulated :
1. The Constitutional Charter of 29 April 1826.
5. The Law of 3 April 1896. These laws remained in force for many years, although dictatorships were established at frequent intervals. The institution of a republican form of government brought about the present Constitution which dates from 20 August 1911.2
CONSTITUTION OF 21 AUGUST 1911.3
TITLE I.-THE FORM OF GOVERNMENT AND THE TERRITORY OF THE
ARTICLE 1. The Portuguese nation, constituted as a unitary State, adopts the Republic as the form of government, in the terms of this Constitution.
ART. 2. The territory of the Portuguese nation is that existing at the date of the proclamation of the Republic.
$. The nation does not renounce the rights which it has or may hereafter acquire to any other territory.
1 French translation of these documents in F. R. DARESTE ET P. DARESTE, Les Constitutions modernes (3d edition, Paris, 1910), vol. I, pp. 714–752. German translation of the first three documents in PAUL POSENER, Die Staatsverfassungen des Erdballs (Charlottenburg, 1909), pp. 761-782. English translation of the third and fourth document in the British and Foreign State Papers, 76 : pp. 219–222 and 587–590, respectively.
2 These introductory paragraphs are based upon DARESTE, op. cit., pp. 712–714. * Translation reprinted from the British and Foreign State Papers, 105: pp. 766–781.
TITLE II.-INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AND GUARANTEES. ART. 3. The Constitution guarantees to Portuguese and foreigners resident in the country the inviolability of their rights with regard to liberty, personal security and property, in the following terms:
1. No one can be forced to do anything, or to desist from doing anything, except by virtue of a law.
2. The law is equal for all, but only that which has been promulgated in the terms of this Constitution is binding.
3. The Portuguese Republic does not admit privileges of birtłı or prerogatives of nobility, and abolishes all titles of nobility and of councilorship, as also all orders of merit and all their rights and privileges. Civil deeds and military acts may be rewarded by special diplomas.
No Portuguese citizen may accept a foreign decoration.
5. The State recognizes the political and civil equality of all creeds, and guarantees their exercise within the limits compatible with public order, the laws and good customs, so long as they do not infringe the principles of Portuguese public right.
6. No one can be persecuted on religious grounds, nor questioned by any authority with regard to the religion professed.
7. No one can, on the ground of religious opinions, be deprived of any right or be exempted from the performance of a civic duty.
8. The public observance of any religion is free in the buildings chosen or destined for the purpose by the followers of that religion, and the buildings can always have the exterior form of a church; but, in the interests of public order and of the liberty and safety of citizens, a special law shall lay down the conditions of its observance.
9. Public cemeteries shall have a secular character, the exercise of the respective rites being free to all religions as regards their followers, so long as they do not offend public morals, the principles of Portuguese public right and the law.
10. Teaching in public and private establishments under government control shall be neutral as regards religion.
11. Primary elementary education shall be obligatory and gratuitous.
12. The legislation in force which abolished and dissolved in Portugal the Society of Jesus, the societies therein affiliated, of whatever denomination, and all religious congregations and monastic orders is maintained, and they shall never be admitted in Portuguese territory.
13. The expression of thought in any form whatever is completely free, and not dependent upon the previous giving of security, submission to censure or the obtaining of previous authorization,
but the abuse of this privilege is punishable in the cases and in the manner prescribed by law.
14. The right of meeting and association is free to all. Special laws shall determine the form and conditions of this right.
15. Inviolability of domicile is guaranteed; the house of a citizen may be entered at night without his consent only when a demand there for is made from within or in order to render assistance to victims of crimes or accidents; and during the day only in the cases and in the manner prescribed by law.
16. No one can be arrested unless on a specific charge, except in flagrante delicto and in the following cases:
Forgery of coins or of national bank-notes and bonds of the Portuguese public debt, deliberate homicide when qualified as a crime, burglary, robbery, fraudulent bankruptcy and arson,
17. No one shall be committed to prison or be therein detained if already imprisoned, who offers proper surety or declaration of residence in the cases in which the law admits it.
18. Except in the cases of flagrante delicto, no arrest can be effected without a written warrant from the competent authority and in conformity with the express provisions of the law.
19. No one shall be committed to prison for inability to pay costs
20. The preliminary investigation in criminal proceedings shall be open to contestation, thus ensuring the accused, before and after the drawing up of the indictment, every means of defending themselves.
21. No one shall be sentenced except by the competent authority, by virtue of an existing law and in the manner prescribed by the same.
22. In no cases can the penalty of death be established, nor can corporal punishment be perpetual or of unfixed duration.
23. No punishment shall extend beyond the person of the delinquent; in no case whatever shall there be confiscation of property, nor shall the infamy of the guilty party affect relatives in any degree.
24. The right to the revision of all sentences of condemnation is assured exclusively in favor of the condemned.
S. Special laws shall determine what cases are subject to revision and the manner of revision.
25. The right of property is guaranteed within the limitations established by the law.
26. Every description of work, industry and commerce, except such as are restricted by law or for the public good, is allowed.
Only the legislative power and administrative bodies can, in cases of recognized public utility, grant the exclusive right to develop any branch of trade or industry.
27. No one is obliged to pay taxes which have not been voted by the legislative power or by the administrative bodies legally authorized to impose them, when their collection is not effected in the manner prescribed by the law.
28. The secrecy of correspondence is inviolable.
30. Every citizen may present to the powers of the State claims, complaints and petitions, they may report any infringement of the Constitution, and may, without any previous authorization, demand from the competent authorities the punishment of offenders.
31. The habeas corpus must always be granted whenever a person suffers, or is in imminent danger of suffering, violence or restraint illegally or through an abuse of power.
The guarantee of the habeas corpus shall only be suspended in cases of a state of siege on account of sedition, conspiracy, rebellion or foreign invasion.
A special law will regulate the extent of this guarantee and the procedure to be followed.
32. All persons employed in the public service, in administrative bodies or companies under contract with the State are guaranteed their posts, together with the rights inherent therein, during their term of obligatory military service.
33. Matters relating to civil status and the respective registers appertain exclusively to the civil authorities.
34. If, after the execution of a criminal sentence, it subsequently comes to be proved by legal means to have been unjust, the condemned person or his heirs shall have the right to compensation for losses and damages, which shall be paid by the National Treasury after judgment has been passed in conformity with the law.
35. In cases not provided for by law, no one, even if mentally abnormal, can be deprived of his personal liberty, without previous judicial sanction, except in cases of duly proved necessity, the proper judicial confirmation being immediately applied for.
36. Any person interned or detained in a lunatic establishment or placed under private restraint, and also his legal representative or any relative or friend, may at any time call on the judge concerned to set him at liberty, after the necessary inquiries have been made, should there be good cause to do so.
37. It is lawful for every citizen to resist any order which infringes individual guarantees, unless they have been legally suspended.
38. None of the powers of the State shall separately or conjointly suspend the Constitution or limit the rights asserted in it, except in the cases expressly mentioned therein.
ART. 4. The particular guarantees and rights mentioned in the Constitution do not exclude other guarantees and rights not enumerated but resulting from the form of government it establishes, and from principles asserted or contained in other laws.
TITLE III.—THE SOVEREIGNTY AND POWERS OF THE STATE.
Art. 5. The sovereignty essentially resides in the nation.
The legislative, executive and judicial powers, independent and mutually harmonious.
SECTION 1.-THE LEGISLATIVE POWER.
Art. 7. The legislative power is exercised by the Congress of the Republic composed of two houses, called the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.
§ 1. The members of Congress are representatives of the nation and not of the colleges which elect them.
§ 2. No one can at one and the same time be a member of the two houses.
$ 3. No one can be a senator under 35 years of age, or a deputy under 25 years.
ART. 8. The Chamber of Deputies and the Senate are elected by direct suffrage of the citizen electors.
$. The organization of the electoral colleges of the two houses and the procedure of election shall be regulated by special law.
ART. 9. The Senate shall be composed of senators elected in the proportion of 3 for every district of the continent and the adjacent islands, and of 1 for every overseas province.
$. For the elections of senators in each of the districts of the continent and adjacent islands, lists shall only contain two names.
ART. 10. For the election of the Chamber of Deputies and of the Senate, the electoral colleges shall meet on their own prerogative, if they are not duly convoked before the termination of the legislature and within the period prescribed by law.
ART. 11. Congress of the Republic will meet on its own prerogative in the capital of the nation on the second day of December of each year. The legislative session shall last four months and may only be prorogued or adjourned by decision of Congress itself, taken at a joint session of the two houses. Each legislature shall last three years.
ART. 12. Congress may be convoked extraordinarily by a fourth part of its members or by the executive power.
Art. 13. The two houses, the opening and closing sessions of which shall be on the same days, shall work separately and in public sessions, except when otherwise decided.