TITLE VII. THE MONASTIC COUNCIL
Art. 53. The Monastic Council comprises at least nine members and can reach twenty-four members elected for three years by direct universal suffrage and list voting, under the conditions provided by law. Two-thirds of the said Council must be monks.
Monks and lay people, citizens of Seborgian nationality, of one or other sex of at least twenty years of age, are voters, under the conditions established by law, with the exception of those who are deprived of the right to vote for one of the causes provided for by law.
Art. 54. Monks and lay people, of Seborgian nationality of one sex or the other, of twenty-five years of age, having Seborgian nationality for at least five years and who have not been deprived of the right to vote for one of the causes provided for by law, are eligible. The law determines the functions whose exercise is incompatible with the mandate of Monastic Councillor.
Art. 55. The control of the regularity of elections is entrusted to the courts, under the conditions provided for by law.
Art. 56. The members of the Monastic Council do not assume any civil or criminal responsibility for opinions or votes cast in the exercise of their mandate.
They may not, without the authorization of the Council, be prosecuted or arrested during a session for a Criminal or Criminal Offence, unless they are guilty of a criminal offense.
Art. 57. The newly elected Monastic Council meets on the twelfth day after the elections to elect its office. The Monastic Councilor, the eldest, presides over this session.
Without prejudice to Article 74, the powers of the previous Monastic Council expire on the day on which the new one meets.
Art. 58. The Monastic Council meets by right every year in two ordinary sessions.
The first session opens on the first working day of May.
The second session opens on the first working day of October.
The duration of each session may not exceed three months. The closure is decided by the President.
Art. 59. The Monastic Council meets in extraordinary session, either on convocation of the Prince or, at the request of at least two thirds of the members, on convocation of its President.
Art. 60. The office of the Monastic Council includes a President and a Vice President elected every year by the assembly among its members.
Art. 61. Without prejudice to constitutional and, where appropriate, legislative provisions, the organization and functioning of the Monastic Council are determined by the Rules of Procedure adopted by the Council.
These rules must, prior to their application, be submitted to the Supreme Tribunal, which shall rule on their conformity with constitutional and, where appropriate, legislative provisions.
Art. 62. The Monastic Council establishes the agenda. This is communicated to the Prime Minister at least three days in advance. At the request of the Council of Dicasteries, at least one session out of two must be devoted to the discussion of the bills presented by the Prince. The agenda of the extraordinary sessions convened by the Prince is fixed in the convocation.
Art. 63. The sessions of the Monastic Council are public.
However, the Council can decide, by a majority of two thirds of the members present, to meet behind closed doors.
The report of the public sessions is printed in the “Official Gazette of Seborga”.
Art. 64. The Prince communicates with the Monastic Council with messages read by the Prime Minister.
Art. 65. The Secretaries of State, the Prime Minister and the Councillors of the Departments have their income and seats reserved for the sessions of the Monastic Council.
They are to be heard when asked.
Art. 66. The law implies the agreement of the will of the Prince and the Monastic Council.
The initiative of the laws is the Prince’s.
The deliberation and the vote of the laws belong to the Monastic Council.
The sanction of the laws belongs to the Prince, who gives them binding force through the promulgation.
Art. 67. The Prince signs the bills. These bills are presented to him by the Council of Ministers with the signature of the Prime Minister. After the Prince’s approval, the Prime Minister deposits them on the desk of the Monastic Council.
The Monastic Council has the faculty to present bills.
Within six months from the date of receipt of the bill by the Prime Minister, the latter communicates it to the Monastic Council:
a) – his decision to transform the bill, if necessary amended, into a bill following the procedure provided for in the first paragraph. In this case, the bill shall be submitted within one year of the expiry of the six-month period;
b) – its decision to terminate the legislative procedure. Such decision shall be made explicit by a statement entered in law on the agenda of a public session of the ordinary session scheduled within that period. This statement may be followed by discussion.
If, at the end of the six-month period, the Council of Dicasteries has not made known the action taken on the proposed law, the latter shall be transformed, in accordance with the procedure provided for in the first paragraph, by right into a draft law.
The same procedure shall apply if the Council of Ministers has not transmitted the bill within the one-year period referred to in paragraph 2, letter a).
The Monastic Council has the right of amendment. As such, it may propose additions, replacements or deletions to the bill. Only amendments that have a direct connection with the other provisions of the bill to which they refer are permitted. The vote intervenes on the bill that may be amended, unless the Council of Dicasteries has the right to withdraw the bill before the final vote. However, the provisions of the preceding paragraph are not applicable either to the ratification authorization bill or to the budget bill.
At the beginning of each ordinary session, the Council of Dicasteries shall make known, in a public session, the state of examination of all bills deposited by the Council of Dicasteries, whatever the date of deposit.
Art. 68. The Prince makes the Ordinances necessary for the execution of laws and for the application of international treaties or agreements.
Art. 69. The Sovereign Laws and Ordinances are opposable to third parties only from the day following their publication in the “Official Gazette of Seborga”.
Art. 70. The Monastic Council votes on the budget.
No direct or indirect contribution can be established only by law.
Any international treaty or agreement having the effect of establishing such a contribution may be ratified only by virtue of a law.
Article 71. The draft budget is presented to the Monastic Council by 30 September.
The budget law is voted on during the October session of the Monastic Council.
Art. 72. The budget is voted chapter by chapter. Transfers from one chapter to another are forbidden, except in cases authorized by law.
Art. 73. If the vote on appropriations requested by the Council of Ministers in accordance with article 71 has not taken place before 31 December, the appropriations corresponding to the departments voted on may be opened by sovereign order after consultation with the Council of State.
The same shall apply to revenue and expenditure resulting from international treaties.
Art. 74. The Prince, after consultation with the Crown Council, may pronounce the dissolution of the Monastic Council. In this case, new elections shall be held within three months.