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Constitution of Andorra (1993)

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3Preamble

4The Andorran People, with full liberty and independence, and in the exercise of their own sovereignty,

5Conscious of the need to conform the institutional structure of Andorra to the new circumstances brought about by the evolution of the geographical, historical and sociocultural environment in which it is situated, as well as of the need to regulate the relations which the institutions dating back to the Pareatges. shall have within this new legal framework,

6Resolved of the need to be endowed with all the mechanisms leading to juridical security in the exercise of the fundamental rights of the individual, which, although always present and respected in the nature of Andorran society, have not received the protection of any kind of general laws,

7Eager to use every endeavour to promote values such as liberty, justice, democracy and social progress, and to keep and strengthen the harmonious relations of Andorra with the rest of the world, and especially with the neighbouring countries, on the basis of mutual respect, co-existence and peace,

8Willing to bring their collaboration and effort to all the common causes of mankind, and especially to those of preserving the integrity of the Earth and guaranteeing an environment fit for life for the coming generations,

9Desiring that the motto "virtus, unita, fortior", which has presided over the peaceful journey of Andorra over its more than seven hundred years of history, may continue to be a completely valid principle and may always guide the conduct of Andorrans,

10Approve the present Constitution, in the exercise of their sovereignty.

11TITLE I. SOVEREIGNTY OF ANDORRA

12Article 1

131. Andorra is a Democratic and Social independent State abiding by the Rule of Law. Its official name is Principat d'Andorra..

142. The Constitution proclaims that the action of the Andorran State is inspired by the principles of respect and promotion of liberty, equality, justice, tolerance, defence of human rights and dignity of the person.

153. Sovereignty is vested in the Andorran People, who exercise it through the different means of participation and by way of the institutions established in this Constitution.

164. The political system of Andorra is a parliamentary Coprincipality .

175. Andorra is composed of the Parishes of Canillo, Encamp, Ordino, La Massana, Andorra la Vella, Sant Julia de Loria and Escaldes-Engordany.

18Article 2

191. Catalan is the official language of the State.

202. The national anthem, the State flag and the coat of arms of Andorra are the traditional ones.

213. Andorra la Vella is the capital of the State.

22Article 3

231. The present Constitution, which is the highest rule of the legal system, binds all the public institutions as well as the individuals.

242. The Constitution recognizes the principles of equality, hierarchy, publicity of the judicial rules, non-retroactivity of the rules restricting individual rights or those that are unfavourable in their effect or sanction, juridical security, accountability of public institutions and prohibition of any kind of arbitrariness.

253. The universally recognized principles of international public law are incorporated into the legal system of Andorra.

264. The treaties and international agreements take effect in the legal system from the moment of their publication in the Official Gazette of the Principality of Andorra and cannot be amended or repealed by law.

27TITLE II. RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS

28Chapter I. General principles

29Article 4

30The Constitution recognises human dignity to be inalienable and therefore guarantees the inviolable and imprescriptible rights of the individual, which constitute the foundation of political order, social peace and justice.

31Article 5

32The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is binding in Andorra.

33Article 6

341. All persons are equal before the law. No one may be discriminated against on grounds of birth, race, sex, origin, religion, opinions or any other personal or social condition.

352. Public authorities shall create the conditions such that the equality and the liberty of the individuals may be real and effective.

36Chapter II. Andorran nationality

37Article 7

381. The status of Andorran national, as well as its legal effects, is acquired, kept and lost in accordance with the regulations of a Qualified Law.

392. The acquisition or retention of a nationality other than Andorran shall entail the loss of the latter, subject to the terms and periods established by law.

40Chapter III. The fundamental rights of the person and public freedoms

41Article 8

421. The Constitution recognises the right to life and fully protects it in its different phases.

432. All persons have the right to physical and moral integrity. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

443. The death penalty is prohibited.

45Article 9

461. All persons have the right to liberty and security and shall only be deprived of them on such grounds and in accordance with such procedures as are established in the Constitution and the laws.

472. Executive detention shall take no longer than the time needed to carry out the enquiries in relation to the clarification of the case, and in all cases the detained shall be brought before the judge within 48 hours.

483. The law shall establish a procedure so that the detained may request the court to decide about the lawfulness of the detention. Likewise the law shall establish the procedure to restore the impaired fundamental rights of any person under detention.

494. No one shall be held criminally or administratively liable on account of any acts or omissions which were lawful at the time when they were committed.

50Article 10

511. All persons shall have the right to jurisdiction and to have a ruling founded in the law, and to a due trial before an impartial tribunal established by law.

522. All persons shall have the right to counsel and the technical assistance of a competent lawyer, to trial within a reasonable time, to the presumption of innocence, to be informed of the charges against them, not to declare themselves guilty, not to testify against themselves and to appeal in criminal causes.

533. In order to guarantee the principle of equality, the law shall regulate the cases when justice shall be free of cost.

54Article 11

551. The Constitution guarantees the freedom of ideas, religion and cult, and no one is bound to state or disclose his or her ideology, religion or beliefs.

562. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in the interests of public safety, order, health or morals, or for the protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.

573. The Constitution guarantees the Roman Catholic Church free and public exercise of its activities and the preservation of the relations of special co-operation with the State in accordance with the Andorran tradition.

58The Constitution recognises the full legal capacity of the bodies of the Roman Catholic Church which have legal status in accordance with their own rules.

59Article 12

60Freedoms of expression, of communication and of information are guaranteed. The law shall regulate the right of reply, the right of correction and professional secrecy. Preliminary censorship or any other means of ideological control on the part of the public authorities shall be prohibited.

61Article 13

621. The civil status of persons and forms of marriage shall be regulated by law. The civil effects of Canon Law marriage shall be recognised.

632. The public authorities shall promote a policy of protection of the family, which is the basic foundation of society.

643. Both spouses have the same rights and duties. All children are equal before the law, regardless of their parentage.

65Article 14

66The right to privacy, honour and reputation shall be guaranteed. All shall be protected by law against unlawful interference in their family and private life.

67Article 15

68Inviolability of the dwelling shall be guaranteed. No one shall enter a dwelling or any other premises against the will of the owner or without a warrant, except in case of flagrant delicto. The privacy of communication shall also be guaranteed, except upon a reasoned court order.

69Article 16

70The right to meet and assemble for any lawful purpose shall be respected. The exercise of the right of assembly requires that the authorities be notified in advance, and shall not prevent the free movement of goods and people.

71Article 17

72The right to associate for a lawful purpose shall be recognised. A law shall establish a Registry of the associations which may be constituted.

73Article 18

74The right to form and maintain managerial, professional and trade-union associations shall be recognised. Without prejudice to their links with international institutions, these organizations shall operate within the limits of Andorra, shall have their own autonomy without any organic dependence on foreign bodies and shall function democratically.

75Article 19

76Workers and employers have the right to defend their own economic and social interests. A Law shall regulate the conditions to exercise this right in order to guarantee the functioning of the services essential to the community.

77Article 20

781. All persons have the right to education, which shall be oriented towards the dignity and full development of the human personality, thus strengthening the respect for freedom and the fundamental rights.

792. Freedom of teaching and of establishing teaching centres shall be recognised.

803. Parents have the right to decide the type of education for their children. They also have the right to moral or religious instruction for their children in accordance with their own convictions.

81Article 21

821. Everyone has the right to move freely throughout the national territory and to enter and leave the country in accordance with the laws.

832. Andorran nationals and lawful resident aliens have the right freely to choose their residence in Andorra.

84Article 22

85The non-renewal of the residence permit or the expulsion of a lawful resident shall only be decided pursuant to the causes and terms determined by law, after a non-appealable court decision, if the interested person exercises his or her right to jurisdiction.

86Article 23

87Everyone with a direct interest has the right to petition the public authorities in the form and with the effects provided by law.

88Chapter IV. Political rights of Andorran nationals

89Article 24

90All Andorrans of age, in full use of their rights, enjoy the right of suffrage.

91Article 25

92All Andorran nationals have the right of accession to public service and office under the same conditions and in accordance with the requirements determined by law. The exercise of institutional posts is reserved to Andorrans, with the exceptions that may be provided for in this Constitution or in international treaties.

93Article 26

94Andorrans have the right freely to create political parties. Their functioning and organization must be democratic and their activities lawful. The suspension of their activities and their dissolution is the responsibility of the judicial organs.

95Chapter V. Rights, and economic, social and cultural principles.

96Article 27

971. Private property and the rights of inheritance are recognised without other limits than those derived from the social function of property.

982. No one shall be deprived of his or her goods or rights, unless upon justified consideration of the public interest, with just compensation by or pursuant to a law.

99Article 28

100The right of enterprise shall be recognised within the framework of the market economy and in accordance with the law.

101Article 29

102All persons have the right to work, to their promotion through work, and to just income which shall guarantee a living befitting human dignity for themselves and their families, as well as to the reasonable limitation of the working day, weekly rest and paid vacation.

103Article 30

104The right to health protection and to receive services to look after personal needs shall be respected. With that intent the State shall guarantee a system of Social Security.

105Article 31

106The State has the task of ensuring the rational use of the soil and of all the natural resources, so as to guarantee a befitting quality of life for all and, for the sake of the coming generations, to restore and maintain a reasonable ecological balance in the atmosphere, water and land, as well as to protect the autochthonous flora and fauna.

107Article 32

108The State may intervene in the ordering of the economic, commercial, labour and financial system to make possible, within the frame of a market economy system, the balanced development of the society and general welfare.

109Article 33

110The public authorities shall promote the necessary conditions to implement the right for everyone to enjoy decent housing.

111Article 34

112The State shall guarantee the conservation, promotion and diffusion of the historical, cultural and artistic heritage of Andorra.

113Article 35

114The rights of consumers and users shall be guaranteed by law and protected by the public authorities.

115Article 36

116The State may create media of social communication. In accordance with the principles of participation and pluralism, a law will regulate their organization and control by the General Council.

117Chapter VI. Duties of Andorran nationals and of aliens

118Article 37

119All individuals and juridical persons shall contribute to the public expenditure depending on their economic capacity, by means of a just taxing system, pursuant to a law and founded upon the principles of generality and equitative distribution of tax burdens.

120Article 38

121The State may create by law types of community service to pursue tasks of general interest.

122Chapter VII. Guarantees of rights and freedoms

123Article 39

1241. The rights and freedoms recognised in chapters III and IV of this TITLE bind immediately all public authorities as directly enforceable law. Their contents cannot be limited by law and are protected by the Courts.

1252. Aliens legally resident in Andorra can freely exercise the rights and freedoms of chapter II of this TITLE.

1263. The rights of chapter V form the basis of the legislation and the actions of the public authorities, but they may only be invoked within the conditions determined by the laws.

127Article 40

128The exercise of the rights recognised in this TITLE may only be regulated by law. The rights of chapters III and IV shall be regulated by means of qualified laws.

129Article 41

1301. The rights and freedoms recognised in chapters 111 and IV are protected by regular courts through urgent and preferent proceedings regulated by law, which in any case shall be transacted in two instances.

1312. A law shall create an exceptional Procedure of Appeal before the Tribunal Constitucional against the acts of the public authorities which may violate the essential contents of the rights mentioned in the paragraph above, with the exception of the case provided for in article 22.

132Article 42

1331. A Qualified Law shall regulate the states of alarm and emergency. The former may be declared by the Govern in case of natural catastrophes, for a term of fifteen days, notifying the General Council. The latter shall also be declared by the Govern for a term of thirty days in the case of interruption of the normal functioning of democratic life and this shall require the previous authorisation of the General Council. Any extension of these states requires the necessary approval of the General Council.

1342. Under the state of alarm the exercise of the rights recognised in articles 21 and 27 may be limited. Under the state of emergency the rights covered by articles 9.2, 12, 15, 16, 19 and 21 may be suspended. The application of this suspension to the rights covered in articles 9.2 and 15 must apply under the control of the judiciary notwithstanding the procedure of protection established in article 9.3.

135TITLE III. THE COPRINCES

136Article 43

1371. In accordance with the institutional tradition of Andorra, the Coprinces are, jointly and indivisibly, the Cap de l'Estat, and they assume its highest representation.

1382. The Coprinces, an institution which dates from the Pareatges and their historical evolution, are in their personal and exclusive right, the Bishop of Urgell and the President of the French Republic. Their powers are equal and derive from the present Constitution. Each of them swears or affirms to exercise their functions in accordance with the present Constitution.

139Article 44

1401. The Coprinces are the symbol and guarantee of the permanence and continuity of Andorra as well as of its independence and the maintenance of the spirit of parity in the traditional balanced relation with the neighbouring States. They proclaim the consent of the Andorran State to honour its international obligations in accordance with the Constitution.

1412. The Coprinces arbitrate and moderate the functioning of the public authorities and of the institutions, and are regularly informed of the affairs of the State by their own initiative, or that of the Syndic General or the Head of Government.

1423. Except for the cases provided for in this Constitution, the Coprinces are immune from suit. The acts of the Coprinces are under the responsibility of those who countersign them.

143Article 45

1441. The Coprinces, with the countersignature of the Head of Government, or when appropriate, of the Syndic General, as politically responsible:

145 a.Call for general elections in accordance with the Constitution.

146 b.Call for a referendum in accordance with articles 76 and 106 of the Constitution.

147 c.Appoint the Head of Government following the procedure provided for in the Constitution.

148 d.Sign the decree of dissolution of the General Council following the procedure of article 71 of the Constitution.

149 e.Accredit diplomatic representatives of Andorra to foreign States. Foreign envoys present credentials to each of the two.

150 f.Appoint the holders of office of the other institutions of the State in accordance with the Constitution and the laws.

151 g.Sanction and enact the laws in accordance with article 63 of this Constitution.

152 h.Express the consent of the State to honour its international treaties under the provisions of chapter III of TITLE IV of the Constitution.

153 i.Perform such other functions as may specifically be conferred to them by the Constitution.

1542. The dispositions provided for in letters g) and h) of this article shall be simultaneously brought to the attention of each Coprince, who shall sanction and enact them or express the consent of the State, as may fit the case, and the Coprinces shall ordain their publication within the period between the eighth and the fifteenth days thereafter.

155In that period the Coprinces, individually or jointly, may send a reasoned message to the Tribunal Constitucional, so that this institution may render judgment on their constitutionality. If the resolution is positive the act may be sanctioned with the signature of at least one of the Coprinces.

1563. When there may be circumstances impairing one of the Coprinces from formalising the acts listed in part 1 of this article within the periods constitutionally provided for, his representative shall make it known to the Syndic General, or when appropriate, to the Head of Government. In that case, the acts, norms or decisions in question shall take effect once the aforementioned days have elapsed with the signature of the other Coprince and the countersignature of the Head of Government, or, when appropriate, the Syndic General.

157Article 46

1581. The Coprinces may perform the following acts of their free will:

159 a.The combined exercise of the prerogative of grace.

160 b.The creation and structuring of the services considered to be necessary for the performing of their institutional functions, the appointment of the holders of these services and their accreditation to all effects.

161 c.The appointment of the members of the High Court of Justice, in accordance with article 89.2 of the Constitution.

162 d.The appointment of the members of the Tribunal Constitucional, in accordance with article 96.1 of the Constitution.

163 e.The requirement of a preliminary judgment of unconstitutionality of the laws.

164 f.The requirement of a judgment about the unconstitutionality of international treaties, prior to their ratification.

165 g.The lodging of conflict before the Tribunal Constitucional in relation to their constitutional functions, under the provisions of articles 98 and 103 of the Constitution.

166 h.The granting of the agreement for the adoption of the text of an international treaty, in accordance with the provisions of article 66, before its parliamentary approval.

1672. The acts derived from articles 45 and 46 are exercised by the Coprinces personally, except for the faculties provided for in letters e), f), g), and h) of this article, which may be performed by delegation.

168Article 47

169The General Budget of the Principality shall assign an equal amount to each Coprince, for the functioning of their services, which amount they may freely dispose of.

170Article 48

171Each Coprince appoints a personal representative in Andorra.

172Article 49

173In case of vacancy of one of the Coprinces the present Constitution recognises the validity of the mechanisms of substitution provided for in their respective legal systems, so as not to interrupt the normal functioning of the Andorran institutions.

174TITLE IV. THE GENERAL COUNCIL

175Article 50

176The General Council, which expresses the mixed and apportioned representation of the national population and of the seven Parishes, represents the Andorran people, exercises legislative powers, approves the budget of the State and prompts and controls the political action of the Govern.

177Chapter I. Organization of the General Council

178Article 51

1791. The Councillors are elected by universal, free, equal and direct suffrage for a four-year term. Their mandate shall cease four years after their election or on the day that the General Council is dissolved.

1802. Elections shall be held between the thirtieth and fortieth days following the dissolution of the General Council.

1813. All Andorran nationals fully enjoying their political rights are entitled to vote and to be eligible for election.

1824. A Qualified Law shall regulate the electoral system and shall envision the causes for ineligibility or incompatibility of Councillors.

183Article 52

184The General Council consists of a minimum of twenty-eight and a maximum of forty-two Councillors Generals, half of whom shall be elected in an equal number by each of the seven Parishes and the other half elected on the basis of a national single constituency.

185Article 53

1861. The members of the General Council have the same representativity, are equal in terms of rights and duties and are not subject to any form of imperative mandate. Their vote is personal and may not be delegated.

1872. The Councillors may not be called to account for votes cast or any utterances made in the exercise of their functions.

1883. Throughout their term the Councillors may not be arrested or detained, except in the cases of flagrant delicto. But for that case, their detention and prosecution shall be decided by the plenary session of the Criminal Law Court and the trial shall be held by the Tribunal Superior.

189Article 54

190The General Council draws up and modifies its own Rules of Procedure, with a majority vote of the Chamber, it fixes its budget and regulates the statute of the staff at its service.

191Article 55

1921. The Sindicatura is the ruling organ of the General Council.

1932. The General Council assembles in its inaugurating session fifteen days after the proclamation of the electoral results. The Syndic General, the SubSyndic General and, should this be the case, the other members who may statutorily be part of the Sindicatura, shall be elected in that same session.

1943. The Syndic General and the SubSyndic General may not exercise their office for more than two consecutive full terms.

195Article 56

1961. The General Council meets in traditional ordinary and extraordinary sessions, convened in the form prescribed in the Rules of Procedure. There shall be two ordinary periods of session throughout the year, as prescribed in the Rules of Procedure. The sessions of the Consell General are public, unless otherwise decided by the absolute majority of its members.

1972. The General Council functions as a Plenum or in committees. The Rules of Procedure shall provide for the formation of legislative committees such that they represent the composition of the Chamber.

1983. The General Council appoints a Permanent Commission to safeguard the powers of the Chamber while it is dissolved or in the period of recession. The Permanent Commission, under the presidency of the Syndic General, shall be formed in a way that will represent the apportioned composition of the Chamber.

1994. The Councillors may form parliamentary groups. The Rules of Procedure shall provide for the rights and duties of the Councillors and of the parliamentary groups, as well as for the statute of those Councillors not attached to a group.

200Article 57

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