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Paraguayan Constitutional Commission


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Constitution of the Republic of Paraguay


We the People of Paraguay, in the hope to form a more perfect nation, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general good, and secure the Natural Freedoms to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Republic of Paraguay.

 

Article. 1. NATURAL RIGHTS OF CITIZENS

Section. 1.
The Chamber shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Section. 2.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Section. 3.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Section. 4.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Section. 5.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Section. 6.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

Section. 7.
There shall be no law discriminating persons nor institutions based upon race, sex, beliefs, nationality, or any other previous condition.

Section. 8.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Section. 9.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Section. 10.
The powers not delegated to Paraguay by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Section. 11.
The right of citizens of Paraguay to vote shall not be denied or abridged by Paraguay or by any State on account of race, color, sex, or previous condition of servitude.

 

Article. II. LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

 

Section. 1.

All legislative powers shall be granted to a Chamber of Freedom of Paraguay, which shall consist of one chamber.

 

Section. 2.

The Chamber shall be composed of Members chosen every third year by the people of the several states.

No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five years, and been seven years a citizen of Paraguay, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen.

 

Section. 3.

The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one hundred for every state, but no less than four hundred members and have one vote.

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any state, the Executive Authority of each state is to fill such Vacancies.

The Representatives shall choose the Speaker of the Chamber and Deputy Speaker; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

 

Section. 4.

The Chamber shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

They are to consider no more than 12 bills, not including the annual budget.

The Chamber may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly behavior, and, with the boncurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

 

Section. 5.

The Representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the Treasury of Paraguay. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of the Chamber, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in the Chamber, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

No Representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the Authority of Paraguay, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time; and no person holding any office under Paraguay, shall be a Member of the Chamber during his continuance in office.

 

Section. 6.

All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate and be passed in the Chamber by 2/3 majority.

Every Bill which shall have passed the Chamber, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of Paraguay: If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to the Chamber, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration two thirds of the Chamber shall agree to pass the bill, it shall become a law. But in all such cases the votes of the chamber shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal.

If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Chamber by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a Law.

Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the concurrence of the Chamber may be necessary (except on a question of adjournment) shall be presented to the President of Paraguay; and before the same shall take effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be re passed by two thirds of the Chamber, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

 

Section. 7.

The Chamber shall have power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of Paraguay; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the Republic of Paraguay;

To borrow money on the credit of Paraguay;

To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the indigenous population;

To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout Paraguay;

To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of Paraguay;

To establish Post Offices;

To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;

To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval forces;

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the country, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of Paraguay, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

 

Section. 8.

The Migration or Importation of such persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Chamber prior to the year two thousand XX, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person.

The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

No Capitation, or other direct, tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any State.

No preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another; nor shall vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay duties in another.

No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time.

No title of nobility shall be granted by Paraguay: and no person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Chamber, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign state.

 

Section. 9.

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any title of nobility.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Chamber, lay any Imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection laws: and the net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by any state on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the Treasury of Paraguay; and all such laws shall be subject to the Revision and Control of the Chamber.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Chamber, lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops, or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.

 

Article. III. EXECUTIVE BRANCH

 

Section. 1.

The executive power shall be vested in a President of Paraguay. He shall hold his office during the term of four years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same term, be elected, as follows:

The Chamber of Freedom and its Representatives are to have one vote for the election.

The candidate for the office must obtain a two thirds majority from the Chamber in order to declared the winner.

No Person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of Paraguay, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been four years a resident within Paraguay.

The President shall, at stated times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other emolument from Paraguay, or any of them.

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the Republic of Paraguay, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Republic of Paraguay."

 

Section. 2.

In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of the Chamber of Freedom.

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as the Chamber may by law provide, transmit to the Speaker of the Chamber their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

 

Section. 3.

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Paraguay, and of the militia of the several States, when called into the actual service of the Republic of Paraguay; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against Paraguay, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Chamber, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Representatives present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Chamber, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of Paraguay, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law: but the Chamber may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The President shall not have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Chamber, unless deemed necessary for national safety and defense.

 

Section. 4.

The President, Vice President and all civil officers of Paraguay, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

 

Article IV. JUDICIAL BRANCH

 

Section. 1.

The judicial power of the Republic of Paraguay shall be vested in one supreme court, and in such inferior courts as the Chamber may from time to time ordain and establish. The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good Behavior, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

 

Section. 2.

The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of Paraguay, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority;--to all cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;--to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction;--to controversies to which Paraguay shall be a party;--to controversies between two or more States;-- between a State and Citizens of another State,--between Citizens of different States,--between Citizens of the same State claiming lands under grants of different States, and between a State, or the citizens thereof, and foreign states, Citizens or Subjects.

In all cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be party, the supreme court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the supreme court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Chamber shall make.

The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury; and such trial shall be held in the State where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Chamber may by law have directed.

 

Section. 3.

Treason against the Republic of Paraguay, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

The Chamber shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attained.

 

Article. V. STATES RIGHTS

 

Section. 1.

Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other State. And the Chamber may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

 

Section. 2.

The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States.

A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other crime, who shall flee from justice, and be found in another State, shall on demand of the executive authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the crime.

 

Section. 3.

New States may be admitted by the Chamber into this nation; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the consent of the legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Chamber.

The Chamber shall have power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the Republic of Paraguay; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to prejudice any claims of Paraguay, or of any particular State.

 

Section. 4.

Paraguay shall guarantee to every State in this nation a Republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on application of the legislature, or of the E\executive (when the legislature cannot be convened), against domestic violence.

 

Article. VI. AMMENDMENTS

 

Section. 1.

The Chamber, whenever two thirds it shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the A\application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Chamber.

 

Article. VII. ADOPTION

 

Section. 1.

All debts contracted and engagements entered into, before the adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the Republic of Paraguay under this Constitution.

 

Section. 2.

This Constitution, and the laws of Paraguay which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of Paraguay, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

 

Section. 3.

The Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several State legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the Republic of Paraguay and of the several States, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under Paraguay.

 

 

Ratified this 30th day of October 20XX,

 

Chamber of Freedom

Speaker of the House Juanito Farias

President of the Senate Florinio Casados

 

Executives

President Jose Gomez

Vice President Melosa Navar

 

Supreme Court

Chief Justice Sylvia Warren

Promoter of Justice Cedric Montgomery

Promoter of Justice Marian Martin

 

States' Executives

State of San Sebastián: Governor Eleena Rubio

State of La Paz: Governor Neta Uriarte

State of San Juan: Governor Alejandro Guerrero

State of San Miguel: Governor Rosario Armando

State of Santa Maria: Governor Natanael Ledesma

Edited by lkfht
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