Lo, Constitution of
The Constitution of the Kingdom of Lo
- We, Jigme Singi Pelbar Bista, Gyalpo of Lo and Manang and Dzongpon of Dolpa, in confirmation of the principles which have guided the Kingdom’s policy in various fields in the past, and in asserting our determination to continue efforts to create a better future characterised by further achievements which will bring benefits to the Kingdom and its Citizens.
- And in our determination to strengthen Lo's international position and its role in establishing the foundations of peace, security, justice and co-operation between different Nations and Peoples.
- And in accordance with the exigencies of the public interest, do hereby decree the following:
- The issue of the Constitution of the Kingdom in accordance with the attached form of words.
- This Decree shall be published in the Official Gazette, in Tibetan, Lepcha, and Limbu, and shall come into force with effect from its date of issue, that is, January 1, 2006, according to the Gregorian calendar.
Part One: The Kingdom and the System of Government
Article 1 [Sovereignty]
- The Kingdom of Lo is an independent, fully sovereign Buddhist Kingdom with Lo Mantang as the royal capital and Jomson as the administrative capital.
Article 2 [Religion]
- §1 - The religion of the Kingdom is Buddhism of the Bön School and all legislation is founded on the Dharma.
- §2 - Buddhism is the spiritual heritage of the Kingdom of Lo, which promotes the principles and values of peace, non-violence, compassion and tolerance.
- §3 - The Gyalpo is the protector of all religions in the Kingdom of Lo.
- §4 - It shall be the responsibility of religious institutions and personalities to promote the spiritual heritage of the country while also ensuring that religion remains separate from politics in the Kingdom of Lo. Religious institutions and personalities shall remain above politics.
- §5 - The Gyalpo shall, on the recommendation of the Five Teachers, appoint a learned and respected monk ordained with the nine qualities of a spiritual master and accomplished in ked-dzog [Vajrayana practice], as the Je Khenpo.
- §6 - His Holiness the Je Khenpo shall, on the recommendation of the Commission of Monastic Affairs, appoint monks with the nine qualities of a spiritual master and accomplished in ked-dzog as the Five Teachers.
- §7 - The members of the Commission of Monastic Affairs shall comprise:
- a. The Je Khenpo as Chairman;
- b. The Five Lopons; and
- c. The Secretary of the Commission of Monastic Affairs who is a civil servant.
- §8 - The Commission of Monastic Affairs and the monasteries shall continue to receive adequate funds and other facilities from the State.
Article 3 [Language]
- Tibetan, Lepcha and Limbu are the official language of the Kingdom.
Article 4 [Symbols]
- §1 - The design of the Kingdom’s flag, the National Emblem and the National Anthem are to be found in the First Schedule to this Constitution.
- §2 - The Law shall determine the Kingdom's other decorations, medals and other National Symbols.
Article 5 [Territory]
- §1 - The international territorial boundary of the Kingdom of Lo is inviolable and any alteration of areas and boundaries thereof shall be done only with the consent of not less than three-fourths of the total number of members of Lodyo Tshogdu [Royal Advisory Council].
- §2 - The Kingdom of Lo comprises the dzongdeys [provinces] of Gandaki, Manang, and Dolpa. These are divided into sixteen dzongkhags [districts]. Alteration of areas and boundaries of any district shall be done only with the consent of not less than three-fourths of the total number of members of the Supreme Council.
- §3 - The order of succession shall be as specified in the Second Schedule of this Constitution.
Article 6 [Form of Government]
- §1 - The system of government is that of an hereditary Kingdom. The title to the Lung Ta Throne of the Kingdom of Lo shall be vested in the legitimate male descendants of Ama Pal. It is a condition that the successor be an adult of sound mind and body and a legitimate son of Buddhist parents.
- §2 - The kingdom is comprised of three dzongdey [province], each of which is governed by a lumbo [hereditary governor] whose powers are limited by an elected provincial council.
- §3 - Each province is divided into several dzongkhag [prefectures], each governed by an elected tshonpon [prefect]. Each prefecture has a prefectural council whose members are elected by universal sufferage.
Article 7 [Oath of the Gyalpo]
- Before exercising his powers the Gyalpo shall swear the following oath at a joint session of the Privy Council and the Family Council:
- "Blessed by the Triratna [Three Jewels] and the protection of our guardian deities and guided by wisdom of the royal family councils, I swear in the name of the Dharma to respect the Constitution of the Kingdom as decreed in the Constitution and the Laws, to fully protect the interests and freedoms of the citizens, and to preserve the independence of the country and its territorial integrity."
Article 8 [Substantive Kingdom Principles]
- Rule in the Kingdom shall be based on justice, the Dharma, and equality. Citizens shall have the right to take part in public affairs in accordance with this Constitution and the conditions and circumstances defined in the Law.
Part Two: Principles Guiding Kingdom Policy
Article 9 [Political Principles]
- §1 – To preserve the Kingdom's independence and sovereignty, protect its security and stability, and defend it against all forms of aggression.
- §2 – To reinforce co-operation and reaffirm ties of friendship with all Nations and Peoples on a basis of mutual respect, common interest, non-interference in internal affairs, compliance with international and regional charters and treaties, and the generally recognised principles of international law, in a manner conducive to the promotion of peace and security between Kingdoms and Peoples.
- §3 – To lay suitable foundations for the establishment of the Dharma, based on the national heritage, its values, and on pride in its history, while incorporating such contemporary manifestations as are appropriate.
- §4 – To establish a sound administrative system that guarantees justice, tranquillity and equality for citizens, ensures respect for public order and safeguards the higher interests of the Kingdom.
Article 10 [Economic Principles]
- §1 - The basis of the national economy is justice and the principles of a free economy. Its chief pillar is constructive, fruitful co-operation between public and private activity. Its aim is to achieve economic and social development that will lead to increased production and a higher standard of living for citizens, in accordance with the Kingdom's general plan and within the limits of the Law.
- §2 - Freedom of economic activity is guaranteed within the limits of the Law and the public interest, in a manner that will ensure the well-being of the national economy.
- §3 - The Kingdom encourages saving and oversees the regulation of credit.
- §4 - All natural resources are the property of the Kingdom, which safeguards them and ensures that they are properly utilised while taking into account the requirements of Kingdom security and the interests of the national economy. No concession may be granted, nor may any of the country's public resources be exploited, except in accordance with the Law and for a limited period of time, and in such a manner as to preserve national interests.
- §5 - Public property is inviolable. The Kingdom shall protect it, and citizens and all other persons shall preserve it.
- §6 - Private property is protected. No one shall be prevented from disposing of his property within the limits of the Law. Nor shall anyone's property be expropriated, except for the public benefit in those cases defined by the Law and in the manner stipulated by the Law, and on condition that the person whose property is expropriated receives just compensation for it.
- §7 - Inheritance is a right governed by Law .
- §8 - Confiscation of property is prohibited and the penalty of specific confiscation shall only be imposed by judicial order in circumstances defined by the Law.
- §9 - The basis of taxes and public dues shall be justice and the development of the national economy.
- §10 - The institution, adjustment and cancellation of public taxes shall be by virtue of the Law. No one may be exempted from payment of all or part of such taxes except in circumstances defined in the Law.
- §11 - No tax, fee or other entitlement of any kind may be applied retrospectively.
Article 11 [Social Principles]
- §1 - Justice, equality and equality of opportunity among the Lotians are the pillars of society, guaranteed by the Kingdom.
- §2 - Co-operation, compassion, strong ties between citizens, and the reinforcement of national unity are a duty. The Kingdom shall prevent anything that could lead to division, discord, or the disruption of national unity.
- §3 - The family is the basis of society, and the Law regulates the means of protecting it, safeguarding its legal structure, reinforcing its ties and values, providing care for its members, and creating suitable conditions for the development of their aptitudes and capabilities.
- §4 - The Kingdom guarantees assistance for the citizen and his family in cases of emergency, sickness, incapacity and old age in accordance with the social security system. It also encourages society to share the burdens of dealing with the effects of public disasters and calamities.
- §5 - The Kingdom cares for public health and for the prevention and treatment of diseases and epidemics. It endeavours to provide health care for every citizen and to encourage the establishment of private hospitals, clinics and other medical institutions under Kingdom supervision and in accordance with the rules laid down by Law. It also works to conserve and protect the environment and prevent pollution.
- §6 - The Kingdom enacts laws to protect the employee and the employer, and regulates relations between them. Every citizen has the right to engage in the work of his choice within the limits of the Law. It is not permitted to impose any compulsory work on anyone except in accordance with the Law and for the performance of public service, and for a fair wage.
- §7 - Public employment is a national service entrusted to those who carry it out. The Kingdom’s employees while performing their work shall seek to serve the public interest and society. Citizens are considered equal in taking up public employment according to the provisions of the Law.
Article 12 [Cultural Principles]
- §1 - Education is a fundamental element for the progress of society which the Kingdom fosters and endeavours to make available to all.
- §2 - Education aims to raise and develop general cultural standards, promote scientific thought, kindle the spirit of enquiry, meet the needs of the economic and social plans, and create a generation strong in body and moral fibre, proud of its nation, country and heritage, and committed to safeguarding their achievements.
- §3 - The Kingdom provides public education, combats illiteracy and encourages the establishment of private schools and institutes under Kingdom supervision and in accordance with the provisions of the Law.
- §4 - The Kingdom fosters and conserves the national heritage, and encourages and promotes the sciences, literature, and scientific research.
Article 13 [Security Principles]
- §1 - The Kingdom's goal is peace, and safeguarding the country's security is a duty entrusted to every citizen.
- §2 - The Defence Council studies matters concerning the maintenance of the Kingdom's security and its defence.
- §3 - It is the Kingdom alone that establishes the Armed Forces, public security organizations and any other forces. They are all the property of the nation and their task is to protect the Kingdom and ensure security and tranquillity for its citizens. No institution or group may set up military or paramilitary organizations. The Law regulates military services, general or partial mobilization and the rights, duties and disciplinary rules of the Armed Forces, the public security organizations and any other forces the Kingdom decides to establish.
Part Three: Public Rights and Duties
Article 14 [Citizenship]
- Nationality is regulated by the Law. It may not be forfeited or withdrawn except within the limits of the Law.
Article 15 [Deportation, Right of Entry]
- It is not permitted to deport or exile citizens, or prevent them from returning to the Kingdom.
Article 16 [Citizen Equality, No Discrimination]
- All citizens are equal before the Law, and they are equal in public rights and duties. There shall be no discrimination between them on the grounds of gender, origin, colour, language, religion, sect, domicile or social status.
Article 17 [Personal Freedom]
- Personal freedom is guaranteed in accordance with the Law. No person may be arrested, searched, detained or imprisoned, or have his residence or movement curtailed, except in accordance with the provisions of the Law.
Article 18 [Imprisonment]
- Detention or imprisonment is not permitted, except in the places designated for that purpose in the prison laws, which provide for health care and social welfare.
Article 19 [Personal Integrity]
- No person shall be subjected to physical or psychological torture, enticement or humiliating treatment, and the Law lays down the punishment for anyone who is guilty of such actions. No statement shall be valid if it is established that it has been obtained as a result of torture, enticement or humiliating treatment, or threats of such measures.
Article 20 [Criminal Punishments]
- There shall be no crime and no punishment except in accordance with the criteria of a Law, and there shall be no punishment except for actions cognisable in Law. Punishment is personal not transferable.
Article 21 [Presumption of Innocence, Due Process, Personal Integrity]
- An accused person is innocent until proven guilty in a legal trial which ensures him the essential guarantee to exercise his right of defence according to the Law. It is prohibited to harm the accused either bodily or mentally.
Article 22 [Right to Counsel]
- The accused has the right to appoint a person who has the ability to defend him during the trial. The Law defines the circumstances which require the presence of a lawyer on behalf of the accused and guarantees those without the financial capacity, the means to resort to justice and the defence of their rights.
Article 23 [Arrest]
- Anyone who is arrested shall be notified of the causes of his arrest immediately and he shall have the right to contact whomever he sees fit, to inform them of what has taken place or seek their assistance, in the manner regulated by the Law. He must be informed promptly of the charges against him, and he and his representative shall have the right to appeal before the judicial authorities against the measure which has restricted his personal freedom. The Law regulates his right of appeal in a manner which ensures that a judgment will be issued on it within a specified period, failing which he must be released.
Article 24 [Right to Litigation]
- The right to litigation is sacrosanct and guaranteed to all people. The Law defines the procedures and circumstances required for exercising this right and the Kingdom guarantees, as far as possible, that the judicial authorities will reconcile the litigants and settle cases promptly.
Article 25 [Personal Integrity Against Experiments]
- It is not permitted to perform any medical or scientific experiment on any person without his freely given consent.
Article 26 [Home]
- Dwellings are inviolable and it is not permitted to enter them without the permission of the owner or legal occupant, except in the circumstances specified by the Law and in the manner stipulated therein.
Article 27 [Religion]
- The freedom to practice religious rites in accordance with recognised customs is guaranteed provided that it does not disrupt public order or conflict with accepted standards of behaviour.
Article 28 [Expression]
- Freedom of opinion and expression, spoken, written or in any other form, is guaranteed within the limits of the Law.
Article 29 [Communication]
- Freedom of postal, telegraphic, telephonic and any other forms of communication is sacrosanct and their confidentiality is guaranteed. Hence, it is not permitted to monitor or inspect them, reveal their contents, or delay or confiscate them except in circumstances defined by the Law and in accordance with the procedures laid down therein.
Article 30 [Press]
- Freedom of the press, printing and publication is guaranteed in accordance with the conditions and circumstances defined by the Law. It is prohibited to print or publish material that holds the Gyalpo up to ridicule, leads to public discord, violates the security of the Kingdom or abuses a person's dignity and his rights.
Article 31 [Assembly]
- Citizens have the right of assembly within the limits of the Law.
Article 32 [Association]
- The freedom to form associations on a national basis for legitimate objectives and in a proper manner, in a way that does not conflict with the stipulations and aims of this Constitution, is guaranteed under the conditions and in the circumstances defined by the Law. It is forbidden to establish associations whose activities are inimical to social order, or are secret, or of a military nature. It is not permitted to force anyone to join any association.
Article 33 [Petition, Public Affairs]
- Citizens have the right to address the public authorities on personal matters or on matters related to public affairs, in the manner and on the conditions laid down by the Law.
Article 34 [Rights of Foreigners]
- Every foreigner who is legally resident in the Kingdom shall have the right to protection of his person and his property in accordance with the Law. Foreigners shall have regard for society's values and respect its traditions and customs.
Article 35 [Asylum]
- Extradition of political refugees is prohibited. Extradition of criminals is subject to the provisions of international laws and agreements.
Article 36 [Territorial Integrity, Military Duty]
- Defence of the homeland is a sacred duty, and rendering service in the Armed Forces is an honour for citizens regulated by the Law.
Article 37 [National Unity, Duty of Citizens]
- Preserving national unity and safeguarding Kingdom secrets is a duty incumbent upon every citizen.
Article 38 [Taxes]
- Payment of taxes and public dues is a duty in accordance with the Law.
Article 39 [Observance of the Law]
- Respect for the Constitution of the Kingdom and the laws and ordinances issued by the public authorities, as well as observance of public order and public morals, is a duty incumbent upon all residents of the Kingdom.
Article 40 [The Militia]
- §1 - The Royal Body Guards shall be responsible for the security of the King.
- §2 - The Royal Militia shall, as a trained uniform force under the Ministry of Home Affairs, be primarily responsible for maintaining law and order and prevention of crime, and shall also be considered an important part of the nation’s security force.
- §3 - The Gyalpo may, by decree, require compulsory militia service for adult citizens to strengthen the defence of the country.
- §4 - The Kingdom shall be responsible for the maintenance of the Royal Militia to safeguard the security of the country and the well-being of the nation.
- §5 - The Kingdom of Lo shall not use military force against a foreign Nation except in self-defence or for the purpose of maintaining its security, territorial integrity and sovereignty.
Part Four: The Head of the Kingdom
Article 41 [Head of Kingdom, Commander-In-Chief]
- §1 - The Gyalpo is the Head of the Kingdom and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
- §2 - He is the symbol of national unity as well as its guardian and defender.
- §3 - He shall not be answerable in a court of law for His actions.
- §4 - His person is inviolable and must be respected and his orders must be obeyed.
Article 42 [Functions]
- The Gyalpo has the following responsibilities:
- §1 – To preserve the country's independence and territorial integrity and assure its internal and external security, maintaining the rights and freedoms of its citizens, guaranteeing the rule of law, and guiding the general policy of the Kingdom.
- §2 – To take prompt measures to counter any threat to the safety of the Kingdom or its territorial integrity, to the security and interests of its people, or to the smooth running of its institutions.
- §3 – To represent the Kingdom both internally and externally in all international relations.
- §4 – To preside over the Lodyo Tshogdu or to appoint a person to serve in that position.
- §5 – To appoint and dismiss the heads of any ministries, commissions or committees established by Him, including:
- a. The Auditor General;
- b. The heads of the Defence Forces from a list of names recommended by the Service Promotion Board;
- c. The Attorney General;
- d. The Governor of the Central Bank of the Kingdom of Lo;
- e. The Chairperson of the Pay Commission;
- §6 - To appoint and dismiss senior thrimpon.
- §7 – To declare a state of emergency, general mobilization, or war, and to make peace in accordance with the provisions of the Law.
- §8 – To issue and ratify laws.
- §9 – To sign international treaties and agreements in accordance with the provisions of the Law (or authorising a signatory to sign them) and to issue decrees ratifying them.
- §10 – To appoint and dismiss political representatives to other Nations and international organizations according to the limits and circumstances laid down by the Law, and to accept accreditation of representatives of Nations and international organizations.
- §11 – To waive or commute punishments.
- §12 – To confer honors, decorations, dar for Lhengye, and military ranks.
Part Five [The Lodyo Tshogdu]
Article 43 [Assisting Function of Lodyo Tshogdu]
- The Gyalpo shall be assisted in drafting and implementing the general policy of the Kingdom by the Lodyo Tshogdu.
Article 44 [Functions]
- The Lodyo Tshogdu is the body entrusted with implementing general Kingdom policies. It shall have as its functions:
- §1 – To submit recommendations to the Gyalpo on economic, political and social, as well as executive and administrative matters of concern to the Government, and propose draft laws and decrees.
- §2 – To foster the welfare of citizens and ensure the provision of health and other essential services in order to improve the quality of their life socially and culturally as well as economically.
- §3 – To formulate aims and general policies for economic, social, and administrative development and propose methods of implementing these policies which will make the best use of financial, economic and human resources.
- §4 – To discuss developmental plans prepared by the relevant departments, submit them to the Gyalpo for approval, and follow up their implementation.
- §5 – To discuss proposals by Ministries in their fields of executive jurisdiction and make appropriate recommendations and decisions in this regard.
- §6 – To oversee the smooth running of the Kingdom's administrative apparatus, follow up its performance of its duties, and co-ordinate the activities of its different departments.
- §7 – To monitor the implementation of all laws, decrees, ordinances and decisions, as well as treaties and agreements and court judgments, in a manner that will ensure that they are complied with.
- §8 – To discharge any other competencies vested in it by the Gyalpo or conferred upon it by the provisions of the Law.
Article 45 [Composition]
- §1 - The Lodyo Tshogdu shall consists of the three lumbos [provincial governors]; four of the nine dzongpon [prefects], elected from among their membership; the Lyongchhen' [prime minister], any lhengay [ministers] and any departmental ministers; and the je khenpo [royal abbot].
- §2 - The Law shall specify their duties, the length of their terms, the frequency of their sessions, and their rules of procedure. It shall also specify the method of their selection and appointment, the reasons for their dismissal, and other regulatory provisions.
Article 46 [Chairmanship of Sessions]
- The Gyalpo shall preside over the Lodyo Tshogdu's sessions and has the right to entrust the chairmanship of sessions which he does not attend, to one of the other members of the Lodyo Tshogdu.
Article 47 [Quorum, Secrecy, Majority]
- A quorum of the Lodyo Tshogdu shall consist of a majority of its members. Its deliberations are secret and its decisions are issued with the approval of a majority of those present.
Article 48 [Standing Orders, General Secretariat]
- The Lodyo Tshogdu shall draw up Standing Orders including its Rules of Procedure. The Lodyo Tshogdu shall have a General Secretariat which will be provided with a sufficient number of staff to assist it in carrying out its work.
Article 49 [Appointment of the Lyongchhen [Prime Minister]
- Should the Gyalpo appoint a Lyongchhen, his competencies and powers shall be specified in the Decree appointing him.
Article 50 [Qualifications]
- The following qualifications apply to those who are to be appointed a Lyongchhen or a Lhengay:
- §1 – He or she shall be originally of Lotian nationality in accordance with the Law.
- §2 – He or she shall not be less than 30 years of age.
Article 51 [Oath of Ministers]
- Before assuming their duties, the Lyongchhen and the Lhengay shall swear the following oath in the presence of the Gyalpo:
- “I swear in the name of the Dharma that I shall be faithful to my Gyalpo and my Country, that I shall respect the Constitution of the Kingdom and its implementing regulations; that I shall uphold at all times the integrity of the Kingdom and the security of its territories, and shall work to promote fully its interests and the interests of its citizens, and that I shall discharge my duties truly and honestly."
Article 52 [Ministries]
- Lyongchhen and Lhengay shall supervise the affairs of their Ministries and Organizations, and implement the general policy of the Government therein, as well as drawing up future guidelines for their Ministries and Organizations and following up their implementation.
Article 53 [Responsibility]
- Members of the Lodyo Tshogdu are politically collectively responsible before the Gyalpo for carrying out the general policies of the Kingdom, and each is individually responsible before the Gyalpo for the discharge of his duties and the exercise of his duties.
Article 54 [Economic Incompatibility]
- Members of the Lodyo Tshogdu shall not combine their Ministerial position with the chairmanship or membership of the Board of any joint stock company. Nor may the Government departments of which they are in charge have dealings with any company or organization in which they have an interest, whether direct or indirect. They should be guided in all their actions by considerations of national interest and public welfare and should not exploit their official positions in any way for their own benefit or for the benefit of those with whom they have special relations.
Article 55 [Remuneration]
- The emoluments of Deputy Lyongchhen and Lhengay, during their term of office and after their retirement, shall be determined in accordance with the directives of the Gyalpo.
Article 56 [Ministers]
- The provisions of Articles 49, 50, 51, 52, 53 and 54 shall apply to all those with the rank of Lhengay.
Article 57 [Establishment of Specialisec Councils]
- The Specialised Councils shall be established, their powers defined and their members appointed in accordance with Royal Decrees.
Article 58 [Financial Laws]
- The Law specifies the provisions concerning the following matters and the bodies responsible for them:
- §1 - Collection of taxes, revenues and other public monies, and measures for their disbursement.
- §2 - Maintenance and administration of the Kingdom’s property, the conditions of its disposal, and the limits within which any part of this property may be assigned.
- §3 - The general Kingdom budget and the final account.
- §4 - The autonomous and supplementary budgets and their final accounts.
- §5 - Control of Kingdom finances.
- §6 - Loans extended by or obtained by the Kingdom.
- §7 - Currency and banking, credit, standards, weights and measures.
- §8 - Salaries, pensions, indemnities, subsidies and gratuities charged to the Kingdom Treasury.
Article 59 [Pay Commission]
- §1 - There shall be a Pay Commission, headed by a Chairperson, which shall be autonomous and shall be constituted, from time to time, on the recommendation of the Lodyo Tshogdu.
- §2 - The Pay Commission shall recommend to the Gyalpo revisions in the structure of the salary, allowances, benefits, and other emoluments of the Royal Civil Service, the Judiciary, the members of Lodyo Tshogdu and the Local Governments, the holders and the members of constitutional offices and all other public servants with due regard to the economy of the Kingdom and other provisions of this Constitution.
- §3 - The recommendations of the Commission shall be implemented by the Gyalpo upon the recommendation of the Lodyo Tshogdu.
Part Six: The Judiciary
Article 60 [Rule of Law, Impartiality]
- The sovereignty of the Law is the basis of governance in the Kingdom. Rights and freedoms are guaranteed by the dignity of the judiciary and the probity and impartiality of the judges.
Article 61 [Independence of the Courts]
- Judicial power is independent and vested in the Courts of Law, of whatever type or status, which issue judgments in accordance with the Law.
Article 62 [Independence of Thrimpon (Judges)]
- There is no power over the thrimpon in their rulings except the Law. Thrimpon can only be dismissed in cases specified by the Law. No party may interfere in a law suit or in matters of justice; such interference shall be a crime punishable by law. The Law shall specify the conditions to be fulfilled for those administering justice, the conditions and procedures for the appointment of thrimpon, their transfer and promotion, the security offered to them, the cases in which they are not liable for dismissal, and other relevant provisions.
Article 63 [Organization, Military Courts, Martial Law]
- The Law shall regulate the Law Courts of whatever type or status and shall specify their functions and competencies. The jurisdiction of Military Courts shall be restricted to military crimes committed by members of the Armed Forces and the security forces and shall only extend to others in the case of martial law and then within the limits laid down by the Law.
Article 64 [Publicity]
- Court hearings are public except when the Law Court decides to hold the case in camera in the interests of public order or public morals. In all cases pronouncement of finding and sentence shall be in open session.
Article 65 [Public Prosecution, Attorney General]
- The public prosecution shall conduct legal proceedings on behalf of the community, shall oversee matters of judicial prosecution and shall be vigilant in the application of the penal code, the pursuit of the guilty and the execution of court judgments. The Law shall regulate the public prosecution and its competencies and shall specify the conditions and security applicable to those who discharge its functions. In exceptional cases, Public Security departments may be legally empowered to conduct proceedings in cases involving misdemeanours, in accordance with the conditions laid down by the Law.
Article 66 [Legal Profession]
- The legal profession shall be regulated by the Law.
Article 67 [Higher Council]
- The judiciary shall have a Higher Council, which shall oversee the smooth running of the Law Courts and auxiliary bodies. The Law shall specify the powers of this Council with regard to the functions of the thrimpon and the public prosecutor.
Article 68 [Administrative Courts]
- The Law shall adjudicate in administrative disputes through an Administrative Court, whose organization and mode of procedure shall be specified in Law.
Article 69 [Jurisdiction Disputes]
- The Law shall adjudicate in disputes over jurisdiction between judicial departments and in cases of conflict of judgments.
Article 70 [Ministerial Opinions]
- The Law shall define the competencies of the department which expresses legal opinions to Ministries and other Government departments and formulates and revises draft laws, regulations and decisions. The Law shall also specify the mode of representation of the Kingdom and other public bodies and organizations before the Departments of Justice.
Article 71 [Judicial Review]
- The Law shall stipulate the judicial department concerned with settling disputes arising from the incompatibility of laws andregulations with the Constitution of the Kingdom and ensuring that the latter's provisions are not contravened, and shall define that department's powers and procedures.
Article 72 [Judgments]
- Judgments shall be issued and executed in the name of His Majesty the Gyalpo. Failure or delay in executing these judgments on the part of the concerned public officials shall be a crime punishable by law. In such a case the judgment beneficiary has the right to bring a criminal action directly to the court concerned.
Part Seven: General Provisions
Article 73 [Treaties]
- The application of this Constitution shall not infringe the treaties and agreements concluded between the Kingdom of Lo and other Kingdoms and international bodies and organizations.
Article 74 [Martial Law]
- None of the provisions of this Constitution shall be suspended except in the case of martial law and within the limits laid down by the Law.
Article 75 [Publication]
- Laws shall be published in the Official Gazette, in Tibetan, Lepcha, and Limbu, within two weeks of the day of their issuance. Laws will come into force from their date of publication unless they stipulate another date.
Article 76 [Retroactive Law]
- Provisions of laws shall only apply from the date of their coming into force; whatever happens before that date is of no consequence, unless the text specifies otherwise. Excluded from this exception are penal laws and laws concerning taxes and financial dues.
Article 77 [Ratification]
- Treaties and agreements shall not have the force of law until they have been ratified. In no case may a treaty or an agreement contain secret conditions which contradict its declared conditions.
Article 78 [Old Laws]
- Everything stipulated by laws, regulations, decrees, directives and decisions in force on the date of this Constitution becoming effective shall remain in force, provided that they do not conflict with any of its provisions.
Article 79 [Required Laws]
- Laws which are not yet in existence but are necessitated by this Constitution shall be promulgated by the competent departments within two years of its coming into force.
Article 80 [Supremacy of the Constitution]
- Laws and procedures which have the force of law must conform to the provisions of the Constitution of the Kingdom.
Article 81 [Executive Bound By Law]
- Nobody in the Kingdom may issue rules, regulations, decisions or instructions which contravene the provisions of laws and decrees in force, or international treaties and agreements which constitute part of the law of the country.
Article 82 [Amendments]
- This Constitution can only be amended in the same manner in which it was promulgated.
Section 1: The National Flag and the National Emblem of the Kingdom of Lo
- The hoist half of the flag is white, the color of the snows on the sacred Himalayas, which symbolizes the secular tradition of the Kingdom. The auspicious Parasol in the blue color of peace symbolizes His Majesty the King, whose noble actions enhance the Kingdom. Hence, it symbolizes that His Majesty is protector of the people of the Kingdom and the upholder of the secular foundations of the Kingdom.
- The fly half of the flag is maroon, the color of the robes of the monks and symbolizes the spiritual tradition. The golden dharma wheel, with the gankyil in the center symbolizes the flourishing of the Buddhist teachings in the Kingdom.
- The pale wavy green symbolizes the Kandaki River that flows through the Kingdom
- The lung ta [wind horse] flies from fly to hoist symbolizing that the Buddhist tradition infuses the government of the Kingdom.
Section 2: The National Emblem
- Per pale white and maroon, a pale wavy vert, on the dexter an auspicious parasol azure, on the sinister the Wheel of Dharma or; on a chief vert a lung ta [wind horse] courant to the dexter.
- For supporters, on the dexter a cow and on the sinister a snow lion white. [These symbolize the Kingdom’s supporting neighbors, Nepal and Tibet respectively.]
- For a crest, a vajra or rising out of a lotus white.
Section 3: The National Anthem
In the Kingdom of Lo adorned with cypress trees,
The Protector who reigns over the realm of spiritual and secular traditions,
He is the King of the Kingdom of Lo, the precious sovereign.
May His being remain unchanging, and the Kingdom prosper,
May the teachings of the Enlightened One flourish,
May the sun of peace and happiness shine over all people.
Second Schedule-Order of Succession
- The order of succession to the Lung Ta throne shall:
- §1 - Pass only to children born of lawful marriage;
- §2 - Pass by hereditary succession to the direct lineal descendants on the abdication or demise of the Gyalpo, in order of seniority, subject to the requirement that, in the event of shortcomings in the elder prince, it shall be the sacred duty of the Gyalpo to select and proclaim the most capable gyalsay [prince] as heir to the Lung Ta Throne;
- §3 - Pass to the child of the gyalmo [queen] who is pregnant at the time of the demise of the Gyalpo if no heir exists under section 2;
- §4 - Pass to the nearest collateral line of the descendants of the Gyalpo in accordance with the principle of lineal descent, with preference being given to elder over the younger, if the Gyalpo has no direct lineal descendant;
- §5 - If there is no legitimate heir, pass to a man adopted by the Gyalpo during his lifetime, upon the advice of the Lodyu Tshogdu.
- §6 - Not pass to children incapable of exercising the Royal Prerogatives by reason of physical or mental infirmity; and
- §7 - Not pass to a person entitled to succeed to the Lung Ta Throne who enters into a marriage with a person other than a natural-born citizen of the Kingdoms of Lo or Tibet.
Third Schedule-Accession and Regency
- §1 - The successor to the Lung Ta Throne shall receive the dar [scarf symbolizing conferral of rank] from the Machhen [holy relic] of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal at Punakha Dzong [fortress] and shall be crowned on the Lung Ta Throne.
- §2 - Upon the ascension of the King to the Lung Ta Throne, the members of the Royal Family and the members of the Lodyo Tshogdu shall take an Oath of Allegiance to the King.
- §3 - Upon reaching the age of sixty-five years, the King shall step down and hand over the Lung Ta Throne to the Crown Prince, provided he has come of age.
- §4 - There shall be a Council of Regency when:
- a. The successor to the Lung Ta Throne has not attained the age of twenty-one years;
- b. The King has temporarily relinquished, by Proclamation, the exercise of the Royal Prerogatives; or
- c. It has been resolved by not less than three-fourths of the total number of members of the Lodyo Tshogdu that the King is unable to exercise the Royal Prerogatives by reason of temporary physical or mental infirmity.
- §5 - The Council of Regency shall collectively exercise the Royal Prerogatives and the powers vested in the King under this Constitution and shall be composed of:
- a. A senior member of the Royal Family nominated by the Lodyo Tshogdu;
- b. The Chief Justice of the Kingdom of Lo;
- c. One member of the Lodyo Tshogdu; and
- d. The Je Khenpo.
- §6 - The descendant of the King, who is the gyalchung [heir apparent], shall, instead of the Council of Regency, become Regent by right, if he has attained the age of twenty-one years.
- §7 - The members of the Council of Regency shall take an Oath of Allegiance before the Lodyo Tshogdu to faithfully discharge their duties.
- §8 - When the successor to the Lung Ta Throne attains the age of twenty-one years or when the King resumes the exercise of the Royal Prerogatives under sections 5(a) and 5(b) of this Article, notice shall be given by Proclamation. However, when the King regains the ability to exercise the Royal Prerogatives under section 5(c) of this Article, notice shall be given to that effect by resolution of Lodyo Tshogdu.
- §9. The members of the Royal Family shall be the reigning and past Monarchs, their Queens and the Royal Children born of lawful marriage.
- §10 - The King and the members of the Royal Family shall be entitled to:
- a. Annuities from the Kingdom in accordance with a law made by the Lodyo Tshogdu;
- b. All rights and privileges including the provision of palaces and residences for official and personal use; and
- c. Exemption from taxation on the royal annuity and properties provided for by sections 10(a) and 10(b) of this Article.
Fourth Schedule-Privy Council
- There shall be a Privy Council, which shall consist of two members appointed by the King, two members appointed by the Chief Abbot and one member nominated by the Lodyo Tshogdu. The Privy Council shall be responsible for:
- a. All matters pertaining to the privileges of the King and the Royal Family;
- b. All matters pertaining to the conduct of the Royal Family;
- c. Rendering advice to the King on matters concerning the Lung Ta Throne and the Royal Family;
- d. All matters pertaining to crown properties; and
- e. Any other matter as may be requested by the King.