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The Political Constitution of the Spanish Monarchy : Promulgated in Cádiz, the nineteenth day of March

España. Constitución 1812

The General and Extraordinary Cortes of the Spanish Nation, well convinced; after the most minute examination and mature deliberation, that the ancient fundamental laws of this Monarchy, aided by every precaution and authority, which can enable and insure their being permanently established and thoroughly carried into effect, are perfectly calculated to fulfil the grand object of promoting the glory, prosperity and welfare of the Spanish Nation; decree the following Political Constitution for the well governing and right administration of the State.


Chapter I. Of the Spanish Nation and Spaniards

Article 1.- The Spanish nation is the re-union of all the Spaniards of both hemispheres.

Article 2.- The Spanish nation is free and independent, and neither is nor can be the property of any family or person.

Article 3.- Sovereignty belongs to the nation, consequently it exclusively possesses the right of establishing its fundamental laws.

Article 4.- The nation is obliged, by wise and just laws, to protect the liberty, property and all other legitimate rights, of every individual which composes it.

Article 5.- Of those who are Spaniards, and lawfully considered as such:

1. All free-men, born and bred up in the Spanish dominions, and their sons;

2. Foreigners who may have obtained letters of naturalization from the Cortes;

3. Those who, without it, have resided ten years in any village in Spain, and acquired thereby a right of vicinity;

4. The slaves who receive their freedom in the Spanish dominions.

Article 6.- The love of their country, as well as to be just and honest, are the first and absolute duties of every Spaniard.

Article 7.- Every Spaniard is obliged to be faithful to the Constitution, to obey the laws and to respect the established authorities.

Article 8.- It is also the duty of every Spaniard, without exception, to bear arms in defence of the country, when called on by the laws.

Article 9.- Also, every Spaniard, without exception, is obliged to contribute, in proportion to his means, to the finances of the State.


Chapter II. Of the Spanish Territory, Religion, Government and Rights of Citizenship

Article 12.- The religion of the Spanish nation is, and ever shall be, the Catholic Apostolic Roman and only true faith; the State shall, by wise and just laws, protect it and prevent the exercise of any other.

Article 13.- The object of Governments is the welfare of nations; as is the happiness of the individuals who compose them, that of all political societies.

Article 14.- The Government of the Spanish nation is a moderate, hereditary monarchy.

Article 15.- The power of making laws is in the Cortes, with the King.

Article 16.- The power of executing, the laws is in the King.

Article 17.- The power of applying the laws, in civil and criminal causes, exists in the tribunals established by law.

Article 18.- Those who, by both lines, are of Spanish parents, of either hemisphere, and have resided ten years in some village in the Spanish dominions.

Article 19.- Also any foreigner, who, according to the form prescribed, has become a Spaniard, may be made a citizen, by special letter of citizenship from the Cortes.

Article 21.- The legitimate children of foreigners settled in the Spanish dominions, who are born in them, and have never gone to other countries without permission of the Government, are citizens; provided they are 21 years of age, residents in some village in the dominions, and are of some profession, office or useful trade.

Article 23.- Only those who are citizens can obtain municipal employments; and elect for them, in the cases pointed out by law.

Article 24.- The right of Spanish citizenship is forfeited for ever:

1. By naturalization in another country;

2. By accepting an employment or situation from another Government;

3. By being sentenced to receive a corporeal or infamous punishment (unless it be remitted);

4. By residing abroad five years successively, without commission or leave from the Government.

Article 25.- The exercise of the same right is suspended:

1. In consequence of judicial interdiction for physical or moral incapacity;

2. By becoming a bankrupt in any trade or debtor to the public treasury;

3. By being in the situation of a domestic servant;

4. For holding no office or having no employ, nor known means of living;

5. By being under trial for a criminal offence;

6. From the year 1830, those who enter on the exercise of t he rights of citizenship, must have learned to read and write.

Article 26.- Only for the causes expressed in the two preceding Articles, and none others, can the rights of a citizen be lost or suspended.


Chapter III. Of the Cortes

Article 27.- The Cortes is the junction of all the deputies who represent the nation, named by the citizens in the manner hereafter to be explained.

Article 28.- The basis of national representation is the same in both hemispheres.

Article 29.- This basis is, the people composed of those inhabitants who, by both lines, are natives of the Spanish dominions; of those who have letters of citizenship from the Cortes; as also those who are comprehended in Article 21.

Article 31.- For every seventy thousand souls of population, consisting of those expressed in Article 29, shall be sent one deputy to the Cortes.

Article 34.- For the election of deputies to the Cortes, juntas shall be held in the parishes, cities and provinces.

Article 35.- The parish electoral juntas shall be composed of all the citizens, residents within the bounds of the respective parishes, among whom shall be included the secular clergy.

Article 36.- These juntas shall meet, in the Peninsula, islands and possessions adjacent, the first Sunday in the month of october, the year preceding that in which the Cortes is to meet.

Article 37.- In the provinces beyond the seas, the first Sunday of december, fifteen months preceding the meeting of the Cortes, in order to insure time sufficient for both to send their returns previously.

Article 38.- In the parish juntas, for every two hundred resident citizens or electors, shall be chosen one parochial elector.

Article 45.- To be named a parochial elector, it is necessary it should be a citizen of above twenty-one years of age, a vecino and resident in the parish.

Article 55.- No citizen shall be excused this duty, under any pretext or motive whatsoever.

Article 56.- No citizen shall appear armed at the parochial junta.

Article 57.- Immediately on the conclusion of the election, the junta shall dissolve: any other business, which it may attempt to transact, shall be null, void and illegal.

Article 59.- The electoral juntas of hundreds shall be composed of the parochial electors, who shall unite, in the principal town of the hundred, to nominate the elector or electors; who are to resort to the capital of the province, to elect the deputies to the Cortes.

Article 78.- The electoral juntas of provinces shall be composed of all the electors de partido (of hundreds) within it, who shall assemble in the capital, to elect the proportion of deputies who are to assist at the Cortes, as representatives of the nation.

Article 91.- The following are the qualifications requisite for a deputy of the Cortes: He must be a citizen, of above twenty-five years of age, in the full exercise of his rights; either a layman or secular priest, a native of the province or one at least who possesses property, and has resided in it above seven years; but he may belong to the junta or not.

Article 92.- To be a member of the Cortes, it is also necessary to possess a sufficient real and personal property.

Article 95.- The secretaries of State, counsellors and officers of the royal household, cannot be elected deputies of the Cortes.

Article 96.- No foreigner, although he may have obtained from the Cortes a letter of citizenship, can be elected a deputy.

Article 97.- No person in a public office can be elected a deputy of the Cortes, for the province in which he is employed, if he be appointed by the Government.

Article 106.- The sessions of the Cortes shall be of three months continuance, each year, beginning on the 1 of march, and continuing the three months succeeding.

Article 107.- On two occasions, alone, the Cortes may prorogue their meeting for one month:

-First, on petition from the King;

-Secondly, if it should appear requisite to themselves; by a majority of two-thirds of the deputies.

Article 108.- An entire new deputation shall be chosen every two years.

Article 121.- The King shall assist at the opening of the Cortes; and, should any impediment occur, the president shall open it himself, on the day appointed, without any circumstance whatever being allowed to defer it to another period. The same forms shall be observed in closing the sessions.

Article 122.- The King shall enter the hall of the Cortes without a guard and accompanied only by the persons appointed for receiving and accompanying him on his return, by the rules formed for the interior government of the Cortes.

Article 123.- The King shall publicly address the Cortes, proposing such things as shall appear to him necessary; to which the president shall answer in general terms. If the King does not attend, he shall send his speech to the president, that it may be read.

Article 124.- The Cortes cannot deliberate in the presence of the King.

Article 125.- When the secretaries of State may have to make propositions to the Cortes, on behalf of the King, they shall assist at the discussion, at the time and in the manner the Cortes may determine, and deliver their sentiments; but they shall not be present at the division.

Article 126.- The sessions of the Cortes shall be public; and only under circumstances which particularly require it, shall a secret sitting be held.

Article 128.- The deputies shall be inviolable for their opinions; and in no time, circumstance, nor by any authority, made responsible for the same. In any criminal causes, which may be formed against them, they shall be judged by the tribunal of the Cortes, in the manner and form directed by the laws for its interior government. During the sessions of the Cortes, and one month after, no deputy can be arrested by the civil power, nor his property be subject to execution for debt.

Article 129.- During the period of their deputation, commencing on the day, in this respect, of their nomination being made known to the permanent deputation, the deputies cannot accept themselves or solicit for others, any lucrative employ or place from the King or even advancement, unless it be in the due course of service, in their respective situations.

Article 130.- In the same manner, during their deputation, and one year after the last act of their official functions, they cannot accept themselves, or solicit for others, any pension, honour, place or order, which is in the gift of the King.

Article 131.- The powers and duties of the Cortes are:

1. To propose and decree the laws and interpret and repeal them, when it shall be necessary;

2. To administer the oath to the King, and Prince of Asturias and to the Regency, according to the forms directed in their proper places;

3. To resolve any doubt which may occur as to the act or right of succession to the Crown;

4. To elect a Regency or Regent, in the cases pointed out by the Constitution, and prescribe the restrictions with which the Regency or Regent are to exercise the royal authority;

5. Publicly to acknowledge the Prince of Asturias;

6. To appoint a tutor to a minor King, when it may be directed by the Constitution;

7. To approve, before their ratification, the treaties of offence, alliance, subsidy and particularly those of commerce;

8. To grant or deny the admission of foreign troops into the kingdom;

9. To decree the creation or suppression of places in the tribunals established by the Constitution; and also the creation or suppression of public offices;

10. To fix, by proposals from the King, the proportion of sea and land forces for the year; determining the standing force in time of peace and augmentation in war;

11. To issue codes of established instructions to the army, navy and national militia, for their direction, under all circumstances;

12. To fix the expences of the public service;

13. To establish the annual contributions and imposts;

14. To borrow money, in cases of emergency, on the credit of the nation;

15. To approve the division of the proportion of contributions to be levied on each province;

16. To examine and approve the returns of the receipts of the public monies;

17. To establish customhouses and the rates of duties;

18. To make the necessary dispositions for the administration, preservation and expenditure of the public funds;

19. To determine the value, weight, standard, impression and denomination of the circulating medium;

20. To adopt the system of weights and measures, which may appear to them most just and convenient;

21. To promote and encourage all descriptions of industry and remove the obstacles which may check them;

22. To establish a general plan of public education throughout the whole monarchy and approve that which is pursued for the instruction of the Prince of Asturias;

23. To approve the regulations for the general health and police of the kingdom;

24. To protect the political liberty of the press;

25. To make the responsibility of the secretary of State and other public officers, effective;

26. Lastly, it belongs to the Cortes to give or refuse its consent to all those acts and circumstances, in which, according to the Constitution, it may be necessary.

Article 132.- Every deputy possesses authority to propose new laws; doing it in writing and explaining to the Cortes the reasons upon which he founds their necessity.

Article 138.- Having determined to come to a division, it shall be proceeded to immediately; admitting or NEGATIVING the whole, or ANY PART of the Bill, VARYING or modifying IT, according to the observations which MAY have been made IN the DISCUSSION.

Article 139.- No division of THE CORTES can take PLACE UNLESS THERE be present, at LEAST, HALF and ONE MORE, of its deputies; and THE QUESTION MUST be carried by THE ABSOLUTE PLURALITY of VOTES.

Article 140.- If, during ANY STAGE, a Bill SHOULD be negatived, it shall be considered as thrown out, and cannot be brought forward again in the same year.

Article 141.- If it should regularly pass into a law, a duplicate shall be formed and officially read in the Cortes; and both, being duly signed by the president and two secretaries, shall, by a deputation, be presented to his Majesty.

Article 142.- The King possesses authority to sanction or reject the laws.

Article 143.- The King shall give his assent according to this form, under his sign manual: «This may be published».

Article 144.- The King shall refuse his consent in the following manner, under his sign manual: «It may be returned to the Cortes»; accompanied by an exposition of the reasons which induced his dissent.

Article 145.- The King shall be allowed thirty days for the exercise of this prerogative, and if, at the expiration of that period, he shall have neither sanctioned nor rejected it, assent shall be understood as given, and granted accordingly.

Article 146.- One of these Bills, whether sanctioned or not, shall be returned to the Cortes for their information, and be preserved in their archives; the other shall remain in the possession of the King.

Article 147.- If the King refuse his consent, the same question shall not be agitated in the Cortes that year, but may be in the year succeeding.

Article 148.- If the same Bill shall be brought before the Cortes; and regularly passed, the succeeding year, it shall be presented to the King and either refused or sanctioned, according as his Majesty may think fit; and, in case of dissent, it shall not be brought forward again the same year.

Article 149.- If it be brought forward a third year, and approved by the Cortes, it shall be understood to have obtained his Majesty's assent, which, on being presented, it shall receive accordingly.

Article 150.- If, before the expiration of the thirty days in which the King is to sign the Bill, the period for the termination of the sessions should arrive, he shall give his ultimatum the ninth day of the succeeding session; and, should he omit doing it in this period, it shall be understood as granted, and given accordingly. Should the King refuse his assent, it may be brought in again the same session.

Article 151.- Although, after the King has refused to sanction a Bill, some years shall be passed without an attempt being made to bring it in again, still, should it be renewed during the sitting of the same deputation, before whom the original motion was made, or either of the two succeeding, it shall be considered as falling under and be proceeded upon, with respect to the royal assent, according to the three preceding Articles. But if it should be permitted to remain until after the expiration of the sessions of the three deputations, then it shall, on being renewed, be treated, in every respect, as a new Bill.

Article 152.- If, on being brought into the Cortes, a second or third time, it should be thrown out, then, on any future motion, it must be considered as a new Bill.

Article 153.- To repeal an act, the same course and ceremonies must be pursued as to enact it.

Article 154.- A statute having regularly passed the Cortes, the King shall be immediately informed thereof, for the purpose of promulgating the same.

Article 155.- The following form, directed to the different secretaries of State, shall be pursued by his Majesty, in promulgating the laws: N. by the grace of God and Constitution of the Spanish Monarchy, King of all Spain, do hereby make known unto all those to whom these presents may come greeting, that the Cortes have decreed and we have sanctioned, AS follows: [Here shall be literally inscribed the preamble of the Bill]. We therefore direct and command all tribunals, justices, commanders, governors and other authorities, civil, military and ecclesiastical, of every class whatsoever, to preserve, follow, comply with, and obey and cause to be preserved, followed, complied with, and obeyed, this the above law, in all and every of its branches, using their powers and authorities to accomplish the same, and causing it to be printed, published and circulated.

Article 156.- All the laws shall be transmitted by the secretaries of State, by the command of his Majesty, to all and every of the supreme tribunals of the provinces, other civil chiefs and supreme authorities, and by them circulated among those of inferior descriptions.

Article 157.- Before the prorogation of the Cortes, a deputation shall be elected, consisting of seven members:-

-Three from the European provinces;

-Three from those beyond the seas; and,

-The other by lot from both; which shall be termed the Permanent Deputation.

Article 158.- The Cortes shall, at the same time, elect two supplementary members for this deputation:

-One for Europe;

-The other for beyond the seas.

Article 159.- The permanent deputation shall sit from the dissolution of one Cortes until the meeting of the other.

Article 160.- The duties of the permanent deputation are:

1. To observe whether the Constitution and laws are duly acted upon and obeyed, advising the succeeding Cortes of the infractions they may have observed;

2. To convoke the Extraordinary Cortes, in the cases prescribed by the Constitution;

3. To execute the functions directed in Article 111 and 112;

4. To notify to the supplementary deputies when they are to attend, from incapacity of the originals; or, should circumstances occur to render it absolutely impossible, in either the original or supplementary, to assist, issue the requisite instructions and directions for a new election.

Article 161.- The Extraordinary Cortes shall consist of the same deputies as those which are chosen for the regular Cortes during the two years of their deputation.

Article 162.- The permanent deputation shall convoke the Extraordinary Cortes, fixing the day, in the three following cases:

1. When the crown becomes vacant;

2. When, by any means, the King becomes incapable of governing or wishes to abdicate the throne in favour of his successor; the deputation being previously authorized to resort to such measures as may be deemed necessary to establish proof of his incapacity;

3. When, in consequence of critical or important circumstances, it may appear to the King requisite, and he advises the deputation to that effect.

Article 163.- The Extraordinary Cortes shall not transact any business but that for which it was convened.

Article 164.- The same ceremonies shall be observed on the opening and closing the session of the Extraordinary, as of the regular Cortes.

Article 165.- The meeting of the Extraordinary Cortes shall not affect the election of new deputies at the times prescribed.

Article 166.- If the session of the Extraordinary Cortes shall not be concluded by the period appointed f or the regular one to assemble, the functions of the first shall immediately cease and the other shall close the affair for which that was convoked.

Article 167.- The permanent deputation shall continue in the exercise of the duties pointed out in Article 111 and 112, under the circumstances expressed in the succeeding Article.


Chapter IV. Of the King

Article 168.- The Kinds person is sacred and inviolable; neither is he responsible for any thing.

Article 169.- The King shall be styled, his Catholic Majesty.

Article 170.- The exclusive power of enforcing and rendering the laws effective resides in the King, whose authority extends to whatever may conduce to the interior good regulation, and exterior security and defence of the State, consistently with the laws and the Constitution.

Article 171.- In addition to the prerogative of sanctioning and promulgating the laws, the King possesses many other rights and powers; such as:

1. Publishing such decrees, directions and instructions, as may appear likely to contribute to the due execution of the laws;

2. Taking care that justice may be promptly and effectually administered throughout the kingdom;

3. To declare war and make and ratify peace; laying, afterwards, authentic documents of the same before the Cortes;

4. To nominate, by and with the assistance of the council of State, all civil and criminal magistrates;

5. To appoint all civil and military officers;

6. To present, by and with the advice of the council of State, to all bishopricks, ecclesiastical benefices and dignities;

7. To bestow honours and distinctions on all classes, within the limits of the laws;

8. To command the navy and army, and appoint the generals;

9. To dispose of the forces, distributing them according to his judgment;

10. To nominate ambassadors, ministers and consuls, and direct the commercial and diplomatic relations with other States;

11. To regulate the coinage of money, on which shall be impressed his image and name;

12. To decree the application of funds, to answer the demands of each branch of the public administration;

13. To pardon criminals, consistently with the laws;

14. To submit, for the consideration of the Cortes, such laws or reforms, as may appear to him beneficial to the nation, in order to their being deliberated on, according to the prescribed form;

15. To detain, or permit to be published, with the consent of the Cortes, the decrees of the councils or pontifical bulls; advising, should they be of general tenour, with the council of State, as to their influence upon affairs of State or of material consequences; and should they appear of doubtful tendency, turning them over to the supreme tribunal of justice, to be proceeded upon according to law;

16. To appoint and grant, liberal allowances to the different secretaries of State.

Article 172.- The restrictions upon the regal authority are as follows:

1. The King, under no pretext whatsoever, can prevent the meeting of the Cortes, at the times or under the circumstances, directed by the Constitution; nor suspend nor dissolve them; nor, in any way whatsoever, check nor embarass their deliberations. Those who are guilty of advising him to, or assisting him in any of these acts, shall be punished as traitors;

2. The King shall not leave the kingdom, without the consent of the Cortes; and, in case of so doing, shall be considered to have abdicated the throne;

3. The King cannot renounce, yield, deliver up, or make over, to any other person, the royal authority, or any of its prerogatives;

4. If, under any pretence whatsoever, he may wish to abdicate the throne in favour of the lawful heir, he cannot do it without the consent of the Cortes; he cannot grant, yield up, or exchange, any city, town, village, or part of the Spanish territory, however, small it may be;

5. He cannot make any offensive or defensive alliance, or special treaty of alliance or commerce, with any foreign power, without the consent of the Cortes;

6. Neither can he bind himself, by any treaty, to subsidize a foreign State, without their consent;

7. He cannot cede or make over the national property without consent of the Cortes;

8. He cannot, without a previous decree of the Cortes, directly or indirectly, impose contributions, or make loans, under any name or for any object whatsoever;

9. Neither can he grant any exclusive privilege to any person or corporation;

10. He cannot dispossess any corporation or individual of their property; neither can he disturb them in the enjoyment or direction and profit of it; and if, in case of necessity, for the general advantage of the public good, it should be required to convert that of an individual for a particular object, it cannot be done without a full indemnification, by just valuation of respectable persons;

11. The King cannot punish, in any manner whatsoever, or deprive any individual of his liberty, under any pretence; the secretary of State who signs and the judge who executes the order shall be responsible to the nation; and, in such case, punished as criminals against civil liberty;

12. Only in case of treason or any attempt against the security of the State, can the King give directions for personal arrests; and even then the offender must be delivered up, to a competent tribunal, within forty-eight hours;

13. Before marriage, the King shall advise the Cortes, to obtain their consent; in default of which he shall be understood to have abdicated the throne.

Article 173.- On the King's accession to the throne, or, if he should be under age, when his Government begins, he shall make oath before the Cortes according to the following form: I, N., by the grace of God and the Constitution of the Spanish Monarchy, King of all Spain, do swear before God and the holy Evangelists, that I will defend and preserve the Catholic Apostolic Roman Religion, without permitting the exercise of any other, throughout the kingdom: that I will observe, and cause to be observed, the laws and political constitution of the Spanish monarchy, doing and acting, in all things, only for their good and benefit; that I will not make over, yield or dismember any part of the kingdom; that I will never exact contributions, money or any other thing, without it shall have been decreed by the Cortes; that I will respect private property and, above all, the civil liberty of the nation and rights of every individual; and if, to what I have now sworn, or any part of it, I should be found to act contrary, such act shall be null, void and not be obeyed. If thus I do, may God reward and protect me, if not, may it be at my own peril.

Article 174.- The kingdom of Spain is indivisible: from the period of the promulgation of this, the crown shall descend, in regular order, by right of primogeniture and representation, through the legitimate heirs, male and female, of the lines to be hereafter pointed out.

Article 181.- The Cortes shall exclude from the succession, any person or persons who may be incapable of governing, or who, by any act or deed, may have deserved to forfeit their right to the same.

Article 182.- In case of the extinction of the lines before mentioned, the Cortes shall make such nomination as may appear to them best calculated to insure the national prosperity; following, as much as possible, the rules established for the succession.

Article 185.- The King is under age until the completion of his eighteenth year.

Article 186.- During the King's minority, the kingdom shall be governed by a Regency.

Article 187.- The same alternative shall be resorted to, when the King, by any moral or physical cause, may be rendered incapable of governing.

Article 195.- The Regency shall exercise the royal authority, under the restrictions ordered by the Cortes.

Article 213.- The Cortes shall fix the annual revenue for the support of the King's household, which shall correspond with the dignity of his situation.

Article 214.- To the King shall belong all the royal palaces which appertained to his predecessors; and the Cortes shall grant what land they may consider necessary for his personal recreation.

Article 226.- The principal. secretaries of state shall be responsible for every order they may thus authorise; and, in case of acting contrary to the laws, having committed it by the King's orders shall be no vindication.

Article 227.- The secretaries of state shall make an annual estimate of the public expenditure requisite for their branches of administration and deliver in a return of those which have been incurred, according to the form directed.

Article 231.- There shall be a council of state, composed of forty persons, who must be citizens, in the exercise of their rights; excepting foreigners, who shall not be eligible, although possessed of letters of citizenship.

Article 236.- The council of state is the only one with which the King shall advise, on matters of importance in the state; such as, to decide on a proposed act of the Cortes, declare war, form alliances, etcetera.


Chapter V. Of the Tribunals, and Administration of Civil and Criminal Justice

Article 242.- To the tribunals appertain, exclusively, authority to administer justice in civil and criminal causes.

Article 243.- Neither the King nor the Cortes can, under any circumstances, exercise the judicial authority, advocate a pending trial, or command a cause to be rejudged.

Article 244.- The laws shall direct a general form and order of trial, to be followed by all the tribunals, which neither the King nor Cortes can dispense with nor change.

Article 245.- The tribunals shall exercise no other function than that of judging and causing their judgments to be carried into execution.

Article 246.- Neither can they, for the administration of justice, suspend any law or form new ones.

Article 247.- No Spaniard can, either in civil or criminal causes, be tried by any commission, or any other than the competent tribunal established by an anterior law.

Article 248.- In common causes, civil and criminal, there shall be but one form of trial, for all classes of persons.

Article 249.- Ecclesiastics shall continue in the enjoyment of their privileges, as far as the present law may prescribe or future direct.

Article 250.- The military shall also enjoy such privileges as the present or future orders may permit.

Article 251.- A magistrate or judge, must be a native of the Spanish dominions and above twenty five years of age: the laws shall direct what other qualifications shall be required.

Article 252.- A magistrate or judge, cannot be removed from his situation, whether temporary or perpetual, without he be legally sentenced for some crime, fully proved; nor suspended, but for some accusation legally preferred.

Article 253.- If a complaint, against any magistrate, should be preferred to the King, and, upon the case being drawn out, it appear well founded, he may, by and with the advice of the council of state, suspend him; passing the case immediately to the supreme tribunal of justice, to be tried according to law.

Article 254.- The responsibility of observing the laws, for civil and criminal justice, shall be attached to judges, who shall be tried for any misapplication of the same.

Article 255.- Subornation, prevarication or corruption, in a magistrate or judge, render him worthy of public trial and punishment.

Article 256.- The Cortes shall decree a competent salary for the judges and magistrates.

Article 257.- Justice shall be administered in the name of the King; and the acts and deeds of the superior tribunals shall likewise be registered in his name.

Article 258.- The civil, criminal and commercial code of laws shall be the same throughout the kingdom: the Cortes may, from any particular circumstances, make such variations in it as they may deem requisite.

Article 262.- All civil and criminal causes shall be tried within the jurisdiction of their particular courts.

Article 280.- All Spaniards possess the right, of which they cannot be dispossessed, of settling their differences by arbitration, at the will of the parties.

Article 282.- The alcalde of every village shall, in himself, exercise the office of conciliator; and he who has to complain of civil and personal injury, shall apply for his mediation.

Article 286.- The laws shall regulate the administration of justice, in criminal causes, in such a manner, that the trials may be commenced without delay, and crimes effectively and promptly punished.

Article 287.- No Spaniard can be imprisoned, without authentic information of the deed committed; which must, according to law, deserve corporeal punishment and an order given by the justice, before whom the deposition was taken, for his commitment.

Article 290.- The prisoner, before commitment, shall be taken to the magistrate, who shall take his deposition, unless particular circumstances should prevent it; in that case he shall be kept in custody, as a detained person, and the justice shall hear his deposition within twenty-tour hours.

Article 291.- The prisoner's deposition shall not be taken on oath; as, on criminal matters, no person shall swear upon his own act.

Article 292.- In flagrant crimes, every delinquent may be arrested, and any person may arrest and carry him before a magistrate: taken into custody, he shall be proceeded against, according to the form directed in the preceding articles.

Article 293.- If the magistrate should resolve to commit the prisoner or detain him in custody, he shall draw out the case, with an order for the same, and transmit a copy to the alcalde, who shall enter it on the arrest book: without this requisite, the alcalde shall admit no prisoner as such, under the most heavy responsibility.

Article 294.- Property shall only be put under sequestration when the action is brought for some crime of pecuniary responsibility; and then only to the extent of such amount.

Article 295.- No person shall be committed to prison who offers bail, unless under circumstances in which the law expressly forbids accepting it.

Article 296.- Bail may be granted to a prisoner, at any period of the trial, should it appear he is not liable to corporeal punishment.

Article 297.- The prisons shall be constructed so as to secure, but not to distress the prisoners; the alcalde shall therefore be careful to keep them in custody; and, in solitary confinement, those whom the magistrates shall order, but never in subterraneous or unwholesome dungeons.

Article 298.- He shall be directed by the laws how often to visit the prisons, when no prisoner shall be excused from presenting himself, under any pretence whatsoever.

Article 299.- An alcalde, who shall neglect any of the duties pointed out in the preceding Articles, shall be punished as guilty of false imprisonment; which crime shall be included in the criminal code.

Article 300.- Within twenty-four hours the prisoner shall be acquainted with the cause of his confinement and the name of his accuser, should there be any.

Article 301.- At the time of taking the prisoner's deposition or confession, all the documents and evidence of the witnesses shall be read to him, with their names; and, should there be any with whom he is not acquainted, every information on the subject shall be given him.

Article 302.- From this time all proceedings shall be public, according to the form and manner directed by the laws.

Article 303.- Neither the rack, nor any violence, shall be used to extort confession.

Article 304.- The penalty of confiscation of property shall never be imposed.

Article 305.- No punishment, for any crime whatsoever, shall fall, in any respect, upon the family; but its whole weight rest on him who has incurred it.

Article 306.- The house of no Spaniard can be taken from him, or destroyed, unless under particular circumstances, pointed out by law, for the public good, or in defence of the state.

Article 307.- If it should hereafter appear to the Cortes necessary to make a distinction between the magistrates of civil and criminal justice, they shall establish such as may appear to them convenient.

Article 308.- It is in the power of the Cortes to decree the cessation of any of the proceeding forms, for personal arrests, in all or any part of the monarchy, whenever particular circumstances, affecting the security of the state, may require it.


Chapter IX. Of Public Education

Article 366.- Introductory schools shall be established in every town throughout the kingdom, in which children shall be taught to read, write and cypher, the catechism of the Roman Catholic Religion, and a brief exposition of natural and civil duties and obligations.

Article 367.- Measures shall also be immediately taken to found a competent number of universities and other establishments, for the promotion of literature and the fine arts.

Article 368.- The plan of general instruction shall be the same, throughout the kingdom; the Constitution of the monarchy shall be expounded in all the universities, and in the literary establishments where divinity and politics are taught.

Article 369.- A committee shall be formed of persons of known judgment and learning, to which, under the authority of the Government, shall be intrusted the direction and inspection of public education.

Article 370.- The Cortes, by means of special decrees and plans, shall regulate the important object of public education.

Article 371.- Every Spaniard possesses liberty to write, print and publish, his political ideas, without any previous licence, permission or revision, under the restrictions and responsibility established by law.