Russian Constitution of 1906


Russian Constitution of 1906

The first Russian constitution, known as the Fundamental Laws, was enacted on April 23, 1906, on the eve of the opening of the first State Duma.

Its Chapter I declared and defined the autocracy of the Russian Empire, including the Emperor's supremacy over the Law, the Church, and the Duma. Article 4 states: "The supreme autocratic power is vested in the Emperor of all the Russias. It is God's command that his authority should be obeyed not only through fear but for conscience's sake." Article 9 provides that: "The Sovereign Emperor approves the laws, and without his approval no law can come into existence."

Chapter II defined the rights and the obligations of the citizens of the Russian Empire. It defined the scope and supremacy of the law over Russian subjects. It confirmed the basic human rights granted by the October Manifesto, but made them subordinate to the law.

Chapter III is the regulation about laws. Article 42 stipulates: "The Russian Empire is governed by firmly established laws that have been properly enacted."

Article 44 of this chapter established that: "No new law can be enacted without the approval of the State Council and the State Duma, and it shall not be legally binding without the approval of the Sovereign Emperor."

Article 45 further stipulated: "Should extraordinary circumstances demand, when the State Duma is not in session, and the introduction of a measure requires a properly constituted legal procedure, the Council of Ministers will submit such a measure directly to the Sovereign Emperor. Such a measure cannot, however, introduce any changes into the Fundamental Laws, or to the organization of the State Council or the State Duma, or to the rules governing elections to the Council or to the Duma. The validity of such a measure is terminated if the responsible minister or the head of a special department fails to introduce appropriate legislation in the State Duma during the first two months of its session upon reconvening, or if the State Duma or the State Council should refuse to enact it into law."

Chapter IV defined the composition and the scope of the activities of the State Council and the State Duma.

ee also

*Constitution of Russia

External links

* [http://www.angelfire.com/pa/ImperialRussian/royalty/russia/rfl.html Fundamental Laws]
* [http://rushistory.stsland.ru/Documents/Document6_1.html The text of the 1906 Constitution in Russian]


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