Constitution of the Monastic Republic, II

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Chapter I. General principles

Article 17 [Human Dignity Inalienable]

  • The 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.

Article 18 [Equality]

  • §1 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.
  • §2 Public authorities shall create the conditions such that the equality and the liberty of individuals may be real and effective.
  • §3 Nowhere in this Constitution shall the use of the masculine pronoun be construed as meaning only someone of the masculine gender, with the exception of positions on the Holy Mountain.

Chapter II. Monastic Republic nationality

Article 19 [Monastic Republic nationality]

  • §1 A person whose father or mother is a citizen of the Monastic Republic at the birth of the child shall be a citizen of the Monastic Republic by descent.
  • §2 Merely being born in the territory of the Monastic Republic does not confer citizenship.
  • §3 Every child who is found within the Monastic Republic and the whereabouts of whose parents are unknown shall, until the parents of the child are traced, be deemed to be a citizen of the Monastic Republic by descent.
  • §4 Any man who enters the novitiate in any one of the twenty monasteries becomes a citizen of the Monastic Republic.
  • §5 The acquisition of citizenship of the Monastic Republic by a foreign national shall be regulated by Law.

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

Article 20 [Right to Life]

  • §1 The Constitution recognises the right to life and fully protects it in all its phases, from conception to death.
  • §2 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.
  • §3 The death penalty is prohibited.
  • §4 A person shall not be regarded as having been deprived of his life in contravention of this article if he dies as the result of the use of force to such extent as is reasonably justifiable in the following circumstances:
    • a. defending of any person from violence or the defence of property;
    • b. effecting a lawful arrest or preventing the escape of a person lawfully detained;
    • c. suppressing a riot, insurrection or mutiny; or
    • d. preventing the commission by that person of a criminal offence, or if he dies as the result of a lawful act of war.

Article 21 [Right to Liberty and Security]

  • §1 All persons have the right to liberty and security and shall be deprived of them only on such grounds and in accordance with such procedures as are established in the Constitution or by Law.
  • §2 Any person who is arrested or detained shall be informed at the time of his arrest or detention, in a language that he understands, of the reasons for his arrest or detention. If an interpreter is necessary and is not readily available or if it is otherwise impracticable to comply with the provisions of this sub-article at the time of the person’s arrest or detention, such provisions shall be complied with as soon as practicable.
  • §3 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 Court of Justice within 48 hours.
  • §4 The Law shall establish a procedure so that the detained may request the Court of Justice 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.
  • §5 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.
  • §6 It is not permitted to deport or exile Citizens, or to prevent them from returning to the Monastic Republic.
  • §7 Monks who are deemed unsuitable for the vocation by the monastic authorities shall be given the option of either becoming a Citizen or returning to their homeland.

Article 22 [Right to Jurisdiction]

  • §1 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.
  • §2 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 or members of their family and to appeal in criminal causes.
  • §3 No person who shows that he has been tried by any competent court for a criminal offence and either convicted or acquitted shall again be tried for that offence or for any other criminal offence of which he could have been convicted at the trial for that offence, save upon the order of the Supreme Tribunal made in the course of appeal or review proceedings relating to the conviction or acquittal. No person shall be tried for a criminal offence if he shows that he has been pardoned for that offence.
  • §4 In order to guarantee the principle of equality, the Law shall regulate the cases when justice shall be free of cost.
  • §5 Penalties may be threatened or imposed only in accordance with the Law.

Article 23 [Freedom of Thought]

  • §1 The Constitution guarantees the freedom of ideas, religion and cult, and no one is bound to disclose his or her ideology, religion or beliefs; nor may anyone be obliged to contribute in any way whatsoever to the acts and ceremonies of a religion, nor to observe the days of rest.
  • §2 The Monastic Republic does not have the right to intervene either in the nomination or in the installation of ministers of any religion, other than the Orthodox Church of the Holy Mountain, nor to forbid these ministers from corresponding with their superiors, or from publishing their acts, except, in the latter case, taking into consideration normal responsibilities in matters of press and publication.
  • §3 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.
  • §4 The Orthodox Church of the Holy Mountain is the National Church. The Constitution guarantees this Church free and public exercise of its activities.
  • §5 Other faiths shall also be entitled to practice their creeds and to hold religious services within the limits of morality and public order in the Lowland and the Isles.
  • §6 Time for religious teaching shall be provided in all schools in the Monastic Republic as part of compulsory education, unless objection to such requirement is made by the person who according to law has authority over him, in which case the student shall receive non-denominational moral education.
  • §7 Ownership and all other proprietary rights of religious communities and associations in respect of their institutes, foundations and other possessions devoted to worship, instruction, and charity, with the exception of real property, shall be guaranteed.
  • §8 The Monastic Republic awards remuneration and pensions to duly authorized religious leaders in accord with Law; those amounts required are included in the General Budget on an annual basis. No other payments from the General Budget to religious bodies are permitted.

Article 24 [Freedom of Expression]

  • §1 Freedoms of expression, of communication and of information are guaranteed. All persons shall have the right to freely express their opinions and to communicate their ideas verbally, in writing, in print or with images, within the limits of the Law and morality.
  • §2 The Law shall regulate the right of reply, the right of correction and of professional secrecy.
  • §3 Preliminary censorship or any other means of ideological control on the part of the public authorities shall be prohibited.
  • §4 Censorship may be exercised only in respect of public performances and exhibitions.

Article 25 [The Family]

  • §1 The Monastic Republic shall promote a policy of protection of the family, which is the basic foundation of society.
  • §2 Marriage is a civil contract; only those marriages witnessed by a minister of the Monastic Republic are valid. However, the right of religions to conduct marriages is upheld. Duly authorized ministers of religion may function as ministers of the Monastic Republic with respect to marriage.
  • §3 Only that union between one man and one woman shall be called a marriage and shall have the full protection of the Law. The civil status of persons and forms of marriage shall be regulated by Law. The civil effects of Canon Law marriage shall be recognized.
  • §4 The Monastic Republic shall not recognize a union contrary to that described in §3 that has taken place between those who wish to become citizens of the Monastic Republic.
  • §5 Both spouses have the same rights and duties. All children are equal before the Law, regardless of their parentage.

Article 26 [Right to Privacy]

  • The right to privacy, honor and reputation shall be guaranteed. All shall be protected by Law against unlawful interference in their family and private life.

Article 27 [Inviolability of the Home]

  • §1 Inviolability of the home 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 flagrante delicto. The privacy of communication shall also be guaranteed, except upon a reasoned court order.
  • §2 Except in the cases specified by Law and in the manner prescribed by Law, no person may be arrested or kept in custody, no houses, persons, letters or documents may be searched, and no letters or documents may be seized.
  • §3 Persons arrested unlawfully and persons arrested or convicted and shown to be innocent shall be entitled to full compensation from the Monastic Republic as determined by the Court of Justice. Whether and to what extent the Monastic Republic has a right of recourse against third parties in such cases shall be determined by Law.

Article 28 [Right to Assemble]

  • The 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.

Article 29 [Right to Associations]

  • §1 The 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 the Lowland and the Isles, shall have their own autonomy without any organic dependence on foreign bodies, and shall function democratically. A law shall establish a Registry of the associations which may be constituted.
  • §2 Workers and employers have the right to defend their own economic and social interests. Laws shall regulate the conditions to exercise this right in order to guarantee the functioning of the services essential to the community.
  • §3 Civil and military positions are the exclusive rights of the Citizens of the Lowland and the Isles.

Article 30 [Right to Education]

  • §1 All Citizens have the right to an 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.
  • §2 Freedom of teaching and of establishing teaching centers shall be recognised.
  • §3 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.

Article 31 [Freedom of Movement]

  • §1 The Citizens have the right to move freely throughout the Lowland and the Isles and to enter and leave the Lowland and the Isles in accordance with the laws.
  • §2 The residence rights of foreigners shall be determined by international treaties or, if applicable, by reciprocity.
  • §3 The Citizens and lawful resident foreigners have the right freely to choose their residence in the Lowland and the Isles, unless there is a law to the contrary.
  • §4 Women may not enter the Holy Mountain. Men may enter only by invitation.

Article 32 [Rights of Foreigners]

  • §1 Foreigners enjoy all the public and private rights and privileges not reserved by Law to Citizens.
  • §2 Every foreigner who is legally resident or a tourist in the Monastic Republic 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.
  • §3 The 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 decision of the Court of Justice, if the interested person exercises his right to jurisdiction.

Article 33 [Right to Petition]

  • §1 The right to petition the Archimandrite shall be guaranteed; not only individuals whose rights or interests are affected but also associations shall be entitled to have their wishes and requests brought before the Archimandrite.
  • §2 The right of complaint shall be guaranteed. Every Citizen of the Monastic Republic shall be entitled to lodge a complaint regarding any action or procedure on the part of a public authority that is contrary to the Constitution, the Law, or ordinances and that is detrimental to his rights or interests. Such complaint may be addressed to the immediately superior authority and may, if necessary, be pursued to the highest authority, to the extent that the stages of recourse are not limited by Law. If a complaint thus submitted is rejected by the superior authority, the superior authority shall be required to disclose to the complainant the reasons for its decision. The Court of Justice is the court of final appeal.

Article 34 [Obligation to Bear Arms]

  • §1 Defense of the homeland is a sacred duty. Every Citizen fit to bear arms shall be required to serve in the Gendarmery for a period of two years.
  • §2 Every Citizen fit to bear arms shall be required, until the completion of his 59th year, to serve in the Gendarmery in the event of emergency.
  • §3 The freedom to own and use firearms shall be regulated by Law.

Chapter IV. Political rights of Citizens

Article 35 [Right to Vote]

  • Every Citizen of the Lowland and the Isles who has completed his 18th year, has his residence in the Monastic Republic, and whose right to vote has not been suspended shall be entitled to all political rights in national matters.

Article 36 [Right to Public Office]

  • Every Citizen has 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 the Citizens, with the exceptions that may be provided for in the Constitution or in international treaties.

Article 37 [Right to Create Political Parties]

  • The Citizens have the right freely to create political parties. The functioning and organization of these political parties must be democratic and their activities lawful. The suspension of their activities and their dissolution is the responsibility of the Court of Justice.

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

Article 38 [Right to Own Property]

  • §1 Every Citizen shall have the right to acquire all forms of property, except real property, in accordance with the Law.
  • §2 Real estate may not be privately owned. All real estate is owned by the Monastic Republic and is made available to the Citizens as determined by Law.
  • §3 Private property and the rights of inheritance are recognised without other limits than those derived from the social function of property.
  • §4 The inviolability of private property shall be guaranteed. No one shall be deprived of his goods or rights, unless upon justified consideration of the public interest, with just compensation by or pursuant to Law.
  • §5 Copyright shall be regulated by Law.

Article 39 [Right of Enterprise]

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

Article 40 [Right to Work]

  • §1 Every Citizen shall have a right to work, to his promotion through work, and to a just income which shall guarantee a living befitting human dignity for himself and his family, as well as to the reasonable limitation of the working day, weekly rest and paid vacation. This right cannot be renounced.
  • §2 No person shall be required to perform forced labour. Forced labour does not include:
    • a. any labour required in consequence of the sentence or order of a court;
    • b. any labour required of any person while he is lawfully detained by sentence or order of a court that, though not required in consequence of such sentence or order, is reasonably necessary in the interests of hygiene or for the maintenance of the place at which he is detained or, if he is detained for the purpose of his care, treatment, education or welfare, is reasonably required for that purpose;
    • c. any labour required of a member of the Gendarmery in pursuance of his duties as such;
    • d. any labour required during a period of public emergency or in the event of any other emergency or calamity that threatens the life or well-being of the community.
  • §3 The maximum number of hours of work per day shall be fixed by Law.
  • §4 The minimum age for paid labor shall be fixed by Law.

Article 41 [Right to Health Services]

  • §1 The right to health protection and to receive services to look after personal needs shall be respected. With that intent the Monastic Republic shall guarantee a system of Social Security.
  • §2 Disabled persons and persons incapable of work are entitled to education and vocational training.

Article 42 [Monastic Republic Intevention in the Market]

  • The Monastic Republic may intervene in the ordering of the economic, commercial, labor and financial system to make possible, within the frame of a market economy system, the balanced development of the society and general welfare.

Article 43 [Decent Housing]

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

Article 44 [Conservation of Heritage]

  • The Monastic Republic shall guarantee the conservation, promotion and diffusion of the historical, cultural and artistic heritage of the Serene Monastic Republic of the Holy Mountain.

Article 45 [Rights of Consumers]

  • The rights of consumers and users shall be guaranteed by Law and protected by the public authorities.

Article 46 [Social Communication]

  • The Monastic Republic may create media of social communication. In accordance with the principles of participation and pluralism, laws shall regulate their organization and control by the Holy Synod.

Chapter VI. Duties of nationals and of foreigners

Article 47 [Taxes]

  • §1 All individuals, that is, both citizens and resident aliens, and juridical persons shall contribute to the public expenditure depending on their economic capacity, by means of a just taxing system, pursuant to laws and founded upon the principles of generality and equitative distribution of tax burdens.
  • §2 Through the enactment of legislation, the Monastic Republic shall provide for equitable taxation that exempts a minimum subsistence level and draws more heavily on high assets and income.
  • §3 No privileges with regard to taxes can be established.
  • §4 No exemption or reduction of taxes can be established except by a law.

Article 48 [Community Service]

  • The Monastic Republic may create by Law types of community service to pursue tasks of general interest.

Chapter VII. Guarantees of rights and freedoms

Article 49

  • §1 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 Court.
  • §2 Foreigners legally resident in the Monastic Republic can freely exercise the rights and freedoms of chapter III of this Title.
  • §3 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.

Article 50 [Regulation of Rights]

  • The exercise of the rights recognised in this Title may be regulated only by Law. The rights of chapter III shall be regulated by means of Law.

Article 51 [Protection of Rights]

  • §1 The rights and freedoms recognized in chapter III are protected by the Court of Justice through urgent and preferent proceedings regulated by Law, which in any case shall be transacted in two instances.
  • §2 A law shall create an exceptional Procedure of Appeal before the Court of Justice 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 26.

Article 52 [States of Alarm]

  • §1 Laws shall regulate the states of alarm and emergency. The former may be declared by the Archimandrite in case of natural catastrophes, for a term of fifteen days, notifying the Holy Synod. The latter shall also be declared by the Archimandrite for a term of thirty days in the case of interruption of the normal functioning of democratic life and this shall require the previous authorization of the Holy Synod. Any extension of these states requires the necessary approval of the Holy Synod.
  • §2 Under the state of alarm or of emergency, the exercise of the rights recognised in articles 22, 24, 26, 27, 28, 31, and 32 may be limited or suspended.
  • §3 In the event of a state of emergency or alarm, the kephales may request that the Archimandrite send help from the monasteries.

Constitution of the Monastic Republic, III