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Embraced in the area of Italy is the independent Republic of San Marino, which claims to be the oldest State in Europe. Its institutions go back to the remotest times and were founded on no written document. The Arringo, or assembly of the heads of families, which was sovereign, delegated its powers in 1652 to the Great Council (generale Consiglio Principe) of 60 members who since that time have been chosen by cooption, 20 from among the nobility, 20 from the citizens of the town and 20 from the inhabitants of the rural district. This Council elected two of its members Regents (Capitani reggenti), whose offices, purely gratuitous, expired every six months. The popular election of councilors instead of the more ancient method was brought about as a result of the convocation of the Arringo generale, which met on 25 March 1906 and pronounced itself by a great majority in favor of the reform. An“Electoral Regulation for the General Election of the Prince and Sovereign Council” was adopted on 5 May 1906 and the first elections took place on 10 and 17 June 1907. On 24 July 1907 the Council took the name of Grand General Council and the quorum was reduced from 40 to 30. A smaller council consists of 12 members and is divided into 4 sections: Congresso Economico di Stato, Congresso dei Legali, Congresso degli Studi, Congresso Militare. The law given below supplements and modifies the provisions contained in the Electoral Regulation of 5 May 1906 and is included here, because it contains principles of a constitutional character. All the successive governments in Italy have respected the independence of the Republic of San Marino.1

LAW OF 29 AUGUST 1907.2



ART. 1. All native or naturalized citizens of San Marino are electors.

1 This introductory paragraph is based upon F. R. DARESTE ET P. DarESTE, Les Constitutions modernes (3d edition, Paris, 1910), vol. 1, pp. 757-758.

. Promulgated by decree of the Grand Council of 10 September 1907. Translated by JULIA K. KERNAN from the French translation in the Annuaire de législation étrangère, 37 (1907) : pp. 498-505. See the Electoral Regulation of 5 May 1906 in the Annuuire de législation étrangère, 36 (1906): pp. 355–359.

ART. 2. The following are deprived of the right to vote: (a) women; (6) persons prohibited from and incapable of voting by reason of mental infirmity; (c) individuals permanently or temporarily deprived of their full judicial capacity, and those condemned to punishment for crimes (reati) or for electoral corruption.

Art. 3. The elector shall exercise his right to vote only in the parish wherein he has his civil domicile; and, should he remove therefrom outside of the territory of the Republic, he shall exercise his political rights in the parish wherein he had his last domicile or his last residence, the choice of the parish wherein the voting shall take place being permitted only to those electors whose last domicile or last residence it is impossible to determine, provided that they make the request to the registrar general after 1 January and before 15 February of each year.


ARTS. 47.1


Art. 8. For the elections the territory of the Republic is divided into as many electoral districts as there are parishes.

Art. 9. Each parish has the right to elect a number of councilors proportionate to the number of its inhabitants, namely: Parish.

Metropolitan (della Piere).

The Borgo-

10 Sera valle

12 Faetano

6 Montegiardino

4 Chiesa nuova.

4 Acquaviva

4 Domagnano

4 Fiorentino

2 San Giovanni.

2 Art. 10. There may be elected from each parish not only those who have their domicile therein, but also those domiciled in any other parish whatever of the Republic.


ARTS. 11-28.1


ARTS. 29–36.1

1 These articles contain merely technical details and are therefore omitted.


ART. 37. Independently of the other general conditions required of electors and mentioned in Articles 1 and 2, the following requirements are exacted and indispensable for eligibility:

a. To be able to read and write.
b. To have reached the age of 25 years.
c. To have no ecclesiastic character.

d. To be domiciled in the Republic. ART. 38. The following can not be councilors simultaneously: Father and son, or two brothers living together and not having divided their common property or patrimonial estate.

In verifying simultaneous elections, that of the candidate obtaining the greatest number of votes is considered valid. In case of successive elections, the mandate obtained by the first is a cause of ineligibility for the second.


ART. 39. The council is renewed by thirds every three years.

For the first two triennial periods (counting from the general elections of 10 June 1906), the end of the mandate shall be determined by drawing lots; after which the determining factor shall be seniority.

The councilors going out of office may always be reelected.

ART. 40. If, in the course of a triennial period, a seat becomes vacant for any cause whatsoever, a new election shall not take place immediately, unless the number of councilors lacking is more than one twelfth of the entire assembly. If this last contingency does not arise in the course of the first two triennial periods, the third of the number of councilors to be drawn by lot shall be diminished by a corresponding number of vacant seats.

When the end of the mandate is determined by seniority, the third to be renewed is, on the contrary, increased by a corresponding number of vacant seats, and the last elected in excess of the third of the entire assembly shall replace those who shall have left the Council at the first renewal.

The same plan of renewal shall be followed in case it becomes necessary to replace five or more councilors, who have vacated their seats during the course of a triennial period.

Art. 41. Complementary elections shall not be held, even in the case covered by the preceding article, if the councilors shall vacate their seats during the last six months of the triennial period.

ART. 42. In case the Council loses more than one half of its members through resignation or some other extraordinary cause, it shall be renewed integrally.


In such case it belongs to the Most Excellent Regency to convoke the electoral assemblies, to regulate and conduct to good issue all the electoral proceedings, in conformity with the present law.

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ART 43. The electoral assemblies are convoked by decree of the Council and are notified to the public at least one month before the date of the convocation.

ART. 44. The elector who removes his domicile and his residence into another parish has the right to be entered upon the electoral list of that place, on the condition that he address a request to that effect to the registrar general after 1 January and before 15 February.

Art. 45. If, after a triennial or general renewal, the Captains Regents are deprived of their seats as councilors, they shall nevertheless continue in office for the rest of the six months with the some powers and the same prerogatives.

ART. 46. Without prejudice to the sanctions promulgated by Articles 478 and 479 of the Penal Code in force, the punishment prescribed by the latter article shall be applicable to all other attempts against the free exercise of political rights, even if committed by other means than those covered in the said article.


From the insurrection of Karageorge in 1804 until 1826 the Serbs fought for their independence. The Additional Act of the Akkerman Convention of 7 October 1826, ratified three years later by Article 6 of the Treaty of Adrianople, raised the pashalic of Belgrade to an autonomous and tributary principality under the suzerainty of the Porte and the protectorate of Russia. Since that time the following constitutional measures have been promulgated :

1. The Constitution of 15 February 1835 (171 articles) which created a Council of State of 22 permanent members charged with the elaboration of the laws. The Skupshtina, which was to meet only two days each year, preserved scarcely any powers but those of a Chamber of Registry.

2. The Hatt-i-sherif of 12/24 December 1838, which was promulgated at Belgrade on 2 March 1839 under the name of Ustav or statute (66 articles). This document entrusted the legislative power to a Senate, whose members were under the jurisdiction of the Porte.

3. The Law of 3 May 1858, reforming the Ustav, but this law was soon after abrogated.

4. The Constitution of 29 June/11 July 1869, passed by the Great Skupshtina and promulgated by the Council of Regency.

Nearly ten years later the final independence of Serbia with regard to the Porte was recognized by Article 34 of the Treaty of Berlin of 13 July 1878, but at the same time the conditions set forth in Article 35 of the same treaty were attached thereto. These conditions, relative to the liberty of conscience and of worship, are the same as those imposed (Article 27) on Montenegro. On 22 February/6 March 1882 the National Skupshtina proclaimed 2 the raising of the principality into a kingdom, and, in the terms of the law of the same date, Prince Milan Obrenovitch IV became Milan I, King of Serbia.

5. The Constitution of 22 December 1888/3 January 1889,4 which lived scarcely more than five years. On 9/21 May 1894 a royal proclamation suspended the Constitution of 1888 and put back into force that of 1869.


1 See above, p. 407.
a French translation in the British and Foreign State Papers, 73: pp. 737-739.
3 English translation in the British and Foreign State Papers, 73: p. 798.
* French translation in the British and Foreign State Papers, 81: pp. 508-540.
5 See the British and Foreign State Papers, 86: p. 987.


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