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Constitution (1992)

CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF MONTENEGRO

(relevant parts only)

(emphasis added)

Section I

Basic Provisions

Article 1.

STATE

Montenegro is a democratic, social and ecological state.

Montenegro is a republic.

Montenegro is the member of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Article 2.

SOVEREIGNTY

Montenegro shall be sovereign in all matters which it has not conferred on to the jurisdiction of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Sovereignty is vested in all the citizens of the Republic of Montenegro.

Citizens shall exercise their sovereignty directly and through their freely elected representatives.

Any change in the status of the country, change of the form of government and any change of frontiers shall be decided upon only by citizens in a referendum.

Article 3.

DEMOCRACY

No authority shall be either established or recognised which does not result from the freely expressed will of citizens.

(...)

Section II

Freedoms and Rights

(...)

2. Political Freedoms and Rights

Article 32.

VOTING RIGHT

Every citizen of Montenegro who has reached the age of 18 shall be entitled to vote and be elected to a public office.

The voting right is exercised at the elections.

The voting right is general and equal.

Elections shall be free and direct and voting shall be by a secret ballot.

Article 33.

INITIATIVE, REPRESENTATION AND PETITION

Every person shall be entitled to a free initiative, to submit representation, lodge a petition or a proposal to a state authority and shall be entitled to receive an answer thereto.

No person shall be held responsible and neither shall suffer any other detrimental consequences for opinions expressed and contained in the initiatives, representations, petitions or proposals, except in case the person in question has therethrough committed a criminal offence.

Article 34.

FREEDOM OF MAN

Freedom of belief and conscience shall be guaranteed.

Freedom of thought and public expression of opinion, freedom of confession, public or private profession of religion and freedom to express national affiliation, culture and the freedom to use one's own language and alphabet shall be guaranteed.

No person shall be obliged to declare his opinion, confession and national affiliation.

Article 35.

FREEDOM OF PRESS

Freedom of press and of other public information media shall be guaranteed.

Citizens shall have the right to express and publish their opinion in the public information media.

Publication of newspapers and public dissemination of information by other media shall be accessible to everyone without prior permission, subject to registration with the competent authority.

Radio and television broadcasting organisations shall be established in accordance with law.

Article 36.

RESPONSE, RECTIFICATION, COMPENSATION OF DAMAGES

The right to a response and the right to rectification of incorrect published information or data as well as the right to compensation of damages caused by publishing of incorrect information or data shall be guaranteed.

Article 37.

CENSORSHIP OF PRESS

Censorship of press and of other forms of public information media shall be prohibited.

DISTRIBUTION OF PRESS

No person shall have the right to prevent distribution of press and dissemination of other information except when the competent court of law shall find that they call for a forcible overthrow of the order established by the Constitution, violation of the territorial integrity of Montenegro and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, violation of guaranteed freedoms and rights or incite and foment national, racial or religious hatred and intolerance.

Article 38.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH

Freedom of speech and of public appearance shall be guaranteed.

Article 39.

FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY

Citizens shall be guaranteed the right to peacefully assemble without prior approval, subject to prior notification of the competent authorities.

Freedom of association and other peaceful assembly may be provisionally restricted by a decision of the competent authority in order to prevent a threat to public health and morals or for the protection of human lives and property.

Article 40.

FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION

Citizens shall be guaranteed the freedom of political, trade union and other association and activities, without the requirement of a permit, subject to registration with the competent authorities.

The state shall offer assistance to political, trade union and other associations whenever there is a public interest thereof.

Article 41.

PROHIBITION OF ORGANISATION

Political organisation in the state authorities shall be prohibited.

Professional members of the police force may not be members of the political parties.

Judges, justices of the Constitutional Court and the public prosecutor may not be members of the bodies of the political parties.

(...)

4. Local Self-Government

Article 66.

LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT

The right to a local self-government shall be guaranteed.

Local self-government shall be exercised in the municipality and in the capital.

Citizens shall decide through local self-government directly and through their freely elected representatives on certain public and other affairs of direct interest for the local population.

Local self-government in the municipality shall consist of the assembly and of the president of the municipality.

The Republic shall offer assistance to the local self-government.

5. Special Rights of National and Ethnic Groups

(...)

Article 73.

REPRESENTATION

Members of the national and ethnic groups shall be guaranteed the right to a proportional representation in the public services, state authorities and in local self-government.

(...)

Section III

Organisation of the State

1. The Assembly

Article 77.

COMPOSITION AND ELECTION

The Assembly shall consist of deputies elected by citizens in direct and secret ballot, on the basis of a general and equitable voting right.

One deputy shall be elected for every six thousand voters.

INDEPENDENCE OF DEPUTIES

Every deputy shall decide and vote according to his own belief and may not be recalled.

PROFESSIONAL FUNCTION

Every deputy shall be entitled to a professional exercise of his function as deputy.

Article 78.

TERM OF OFFICE

Term of office of the Assembly shall be four years.

In cases of the state of war the term of office of the Assembly shall be extended for as long as peace is not established.

At the proposal of not less than 25 deputies, Government or the President of the Republic, the Assembly may decide to shorten the term of office.

Article 79.

IMMUNITY

A deputy shall enjoy immunity.

A deputy shall not be called to account for an opinion expressed or a vote cast in the Assembly.

No deputy may be subject to criminal proceedings nor detained without prior approval of the Assembly.

A deputy may be detained without the approval of the Assembly if he should be apprehended during a criminal offence for which the penalty prescribed exceeds five years of prison sentence.

The immunity enjoyed by the deputies is also enjoyed by the President of the Republic, members of the Government, judges, justices of the Constitutional Court and the public prosecutor.

(...)

Article 81.

COMPETENCIES

The Assembly shall:

    (...)

    6. announce a republican referendum;

(...)

Article 83.

DECISION MAKING

The Assembly shall decide if the session is attended by more than one half of the total number of deputies, and the decision shall be made by a majority of votes of the deputies present, if not otherwise prescribed by the Constitution.

When the Assembly is deciding on the enactments regulating the manner in which the freedoms and rights are exercised, on the electoral system, on the material obligations of the citizens, on the state symbols, on the dismissal of the President of the Republic and on the vote of confidence to the Government, on a referendum, on shortening of the term of office and on its rules of procedure, decision shall be brought by a majority of votes of the total number of deputies.

2. President of the Republic

Article 86.

ELECTION

The President of the Republic shall be elected in direct elections and by secret ballot, on the basis of a general and equitable voting right, and for a term of office of five years.

In the event of a state of war the term of office of the President of the Republic shall be extended for as long as the peace is not established.

The same person may be elected only two times for the President of the Republic.

Article 87.

TERMINATION OF MANDATE

The term of office of the President of the Republic shall cease when the term of office for which he has been elected expires, in the event of recall or by his resignation.

The President of the Republic may be recalled by the Assembly only in case the Constitutional Court should decide that he has breached the provisions of the Constitution.

The procedure to determine the breach of Constitution shall be instituted by the Assembly.

Article 88.

COMPETENCIES

The President of the Republic shall:

    (...)

    3. call elections for the Assembly;

    (...)

    5. propose to the Assembly calling of a referendum;

    (...)

Section IV

Constitutionality and Legality

Constitutional Court

Article 113.

The Constitutional Court shall:

    (...)

    4. decide on constitutional complaints for violation, by individual enactments or deeds, of the freedoms and rights of man and citizen as prescribed by the Constitution, whenever this protection is not within the competencies of the Federal Constitutional Court and whenever some other legal remedy is not prescribed;

COMPETENCIES

    (...)

    2. decide on conformity of statutes of a political party or association of citizens;

    3. decide on banning of a political party and association of citizens;

    4. decide on electoral disputes and disputes connected with a referendum, which are not within the competencies of the regular courts of law;

(...)

Article 116.

DECISION

The Constitutional Court shall decide by a majority of vote of the justices.

The decision of the Constitutional Court shall be generally binding and final.

Decision of the Constitutional Court shall be published together with the opinion of justices who did not vote in favour of the decision.

Whenever necessary, execution of the decision of the Constitutional Court shall be enforced by the Government.

(...)

Section V

Amendments to the Constitution

Article 117.

PROPOSAL OF AMENDMENTS

A proposal to amend the Constitution may be submitted by at least 10,000 voters, by not less than 25 deputies, by the President of the Republic and by the Prime Minister.

A proposal to amend the Constitution shall contain the provisions where amendments are requested and an adequate explanation thereof.

The Assembly shall decide on the proposal for amending the Constitution by the two-thirds majority of votes of all of its deputies.

If the proposal to amend the Constitution should not be adopted, the same proposal may not be submitted again before one year has elapsed from the day the proposal was refused.

Article 118.

AMENDMENTS

The Constitution shall be amended by the Constitutional amendments.

DRAFT

The Assembly shall provide the draft of the amendment to the Constitution.

The Assembly shall decide on the amendment to the Constitution by the two-thirds majority of votes of all of its deputies.

Article 119.

SIGNIFICANT AMENDMENTS AND A NEW CONSTITUTION

If the proposal to amend the Constitution shall pertain to the provisions regulating the status of the country and the form of rule, if it restricts freedoms and right or if the adoption of a new constitution is proposed, with the day of adoption of the amendment to that effect the Assembly shall be dissolved and a new Assembly convened within 90 days from the day such an amendment was adopted.

The new Assembly shall decide by a two-thirds majority of votes of all the deputies only on those amendments to the Constitution which are contained in the adopted amendment, i.e. the adopted amendment for the promulgation of the new constitution.

(...)


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