Constitution of the Empire of Brazil

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Constitution of the Empire of Brazil
Pedro I of Brazil
Constitution of 1824

Adopted March 25, 1824. Subsequently amended with the enactment of the Additional Act of 1834, and the Law of Interpretation of 1840 (text of amendments not incorporated into the document below). Ceased de facto effect with the deposal of Emperor Pedro II on November 15, 1889, and ultimately replaced by the Constitution of the United States of Brazil on February 24, 1891.


Title I: Of the Empire of Brazil, its Territory, Government, Dynasty and Religion

Article 1. The Empire of Brazil is the political association of all Brazilian citizens. They form a free and independent nation, which does not admit with any other (nation), any bond of union or federation that conflicts with its independence.

Art. 2. Its territory is divided into provinces in the form in which they are at present; they may, however, be subdivided as the good of the State may require.

Art. 3. Its Government is monarchical-hereditary, constitutional and representative.

Art. 4. The ruling dynasty is that of Senhor D. Pedro I, actual Emperor and Perpetual Defender of Brazil.

Art. 5. The apostolic Roman Catholic religion shall continue to be the religion of the Empire. All other religions shall be permitted with their domestic or private worship in buildings destined therefor, but without any exterior form of a temple.

Title II: Of Brazilian Citizens

Article 6. Brazilian citizens are

I. Those who may be born in Brazil, whether they be born free (ingenuos) or may be set free (libertos) even though the father be a foreigner, so long as he is not resident here in the services of his own nation.

II. The children of a Brazilian father and the illegitimate children of a Brazilian mother, born in a foreign country, who may come to establish their homes in the Empire.

III. The children of a Brazilian father who may be in a foreign country in the service of the Empire, even though they do not come to establish their homes in Brazil.

IV. All those born in Portugal and in her possessions, who, being residents in Brazil at the time when independence was proclaimed in the provinces in which they then resided, adhered to it expressly or tacitly by a continuation of their residence.

V. Naturalized foreigners whatever their religion. The law shall determine the qualifications for naturalization.

Art. 7. He loses his rights as a Brazilian citizen:

I. Who becomes naturalized in a foreign country.

II. Who, without the permission of the Emperor, accepts employment, pension, or decoration from any foreign government.

III. Who is sentenced to banishment.

Art. 8. The exercise of political rights is suspended

I. For physical or moral incapacity.

II. For sentence condemning to prison or banishment (degredo) during the time the sentence is in effect.

Title III: Of all Powers and National Representation

Article 9. The division and harmony of the political powers is the chief conserver of the rights of citizens and the surest means of making effective the guarantees which the Constitution offers.

Art. 10. The policital powers recognized by the Constitution of the Empire of Brazil are four: Legislative, moderating, executive, and judicial.

Art. 11. The representatives of the Brazilian nation are the Emperor and the General Assembly.

Art. 12. All these powers in the Empire of Brazil are delegations of the nation.

Title IV: Of the Legislative Power

Chapter I

Article 13. The Legislative power is delegated to the General Assembly with the sanction of the Emperor.

Art. 14. The General Assembly is composed of two chambers, the Chamber of Deputies, and the Chamber of Senators or the Senate.

Art. 15. The functions of the General Assembly are:

I. To take the oath to the Emperor, the Imperial Prince, and the Regent or the Regency.

II. To choose the Regency or the Regent and to define the limits of his authority.

III. To recognize the Imperial Prince as the successor to the throne at the first meeting after his birth.

IV. To appoint a tutor to the minor Emperor in case his father may not have appointed one in his will.

V. To settle questions that may arise concerning the succession to the crown.

VI. At the death of the Emperor, or in case of a vacancy of the throne, to institute an examination of the administration ended and to reform the abuses introduced therein.

VII. To choose a new dynasty in case of the extinction of the ruling one.

VIII. To make, to interpret, to suspend and to repeal laws.

IX. To watch over the Constitution and to promote the well-being of the nation.

X. To fix annually the public expenses and to apportion the direct tax.

XI. Upon the information of the Government to fix annually the land and naval forces, both ordinary and extraordinary.

XII. To admit or refuse entrance of foreign forces, whether naval or land, to the Empire or its ports.

XIII. To authorize the Government to contract loans.

XIV. To establish convenient means for the payment of the public debt.

XV. To regulate the administration of national property and to make disposition of it.

XVI. To create or suppress public offices and to fix the compensations therefor.

XVII. To determine the weight, value, inscription, type, and denomination of coins, and also the standards of weights and measures.

Art. 16. Each of the chambers shall be addressed as: August and Most Worthy Senhores Representatives of the Nation.

Art. 17. Each Legislature shall last four years; and each annual session four months.

Art. 18. The imperial opening session shall be on the third of May of each year.

Art 19. There shall also be an imperial closing session, and this as well as the opening session shall take place in joint session of the General Assembly.

Art. 20. Its ceremonial and that of the notification of the Emperor shall be according to the rules for its internal Government.

Art. 21. The nomination of the respective Presidents, Vice-Presidents, and Secretaries of the chambers, the verification of the powers of its members, the oath and its internal police shall be carried out according to its rules.

Art. 22. At the meeting of the two chambers the President of the Senate shall preside; the Deputies and Senators shall take their places indiscriminately.

Art. 23. No session can be held in either of the chambers unless there be present one more than half the respective members.

Art. 24. The sessions of both chambers will be public, except in cases in which the welfare of the State requires them to be secret.

Art. 25. Questions shall be decided by the absolute majority of the votes of the members present.

Art. 26. The members of each of the chambers are inviolable for opinions expressed in the exercise of their functions.

Art. 27. No Senator or Deputy during the term of his oflice may be arrested by any authority save by order of his respective chamber, except when taken in the act of a capital crime.

Art. 28. If sentence be pronounced upon any Senator or Deputy, the judge, suspending all the subsequent procedure, shall report to his respective chamber, which shall decide whether the trial ought to continue and the member be or not be suspended from the exercise of his functions.

Art. 29. Senators or Deputies may be appointed Ministers or Counselors of State, with the difference that the Senators shall continue to hold their seats in the Senate, while the Deputy will vacate his place in the chamber and a new election shall be held, in which he may be re-elected and combine the two functions.

Art. 30. They may also combine the two functions when either of the positions mentioned is held at the time they are elected.

Art. 31. No one can be a member of both chambers at the same time.

Art. 32. The exercise of any other office with the exception of that of Counselor of State and Minister of State ceases, temporarily so long as the functions of Deputy or Senator last.

Art. 33. In the interval between the session (of the Assembly) the Emperor shall not employ a Senator or Deputy outside of the Empire, nor shall they go to the discharge of any ofllcial duties which may prevent their meeting at the time of the convocation of the General Assembly, whether ordinary or extraordinary.

Art. 34. If by some unforeseen event upon which public securily or the good of the State depends, it should become necessary that a Senator or Deputy should go upon another commission the respective chamber may decide the question.

Chapter II: Of the Chamber of Deputies

Article 35. The Chamber of Deputies is elective and temporary.

Art. 36. Initiative action relating to the following measures belongs to the Chamber of Deputies:

I. Imposts.

II. Recruiting.

III. The choice of a new dynasty in case of the extinction of that now ruling.

Art. 37. There shall also begin in the Chamber of Deputies:

I. The examination of the past administration and the reform of abuses introduced therein.

II. The discussion of the proposition made by the executive power.

Art. 38. It is an initiative attribute of the same chamber to bring accusation against Ministers and Counselors of State.

Art. 39. The Deputies shall receive during the sessions a salary fixed at the end of the last preceding session of the Legislature. Besides this they shall be reimbursed for the expenses of their journeys both ways.

Chapter III: Of the Senate

Article 40. The Senate is composed of life members, and shall be made up (organizado) by provincial elections.

Art. 41. Each province shall furnish half as many Senators as it has Deputies; with the difference that when the number of Deputies of the province is odd, the number of Senators shall be half of the next smaller number, so that the provinces having to furnish eleven Deputies will furnish five Senators.

Art. 42. The province that may have but one Deputy shall, however, elect its Senator, notwithstanding the rule above established.

Art. 43. The elections shall be held in the same manner as those for Deputies, but in triple lists from which the Emperor shall choose the third of the whole of the list.

Art. 44. The places of Senators that may become vacant shall be filled by the respective provinces, in the same way as in the first election.

Art. 45. In order that one may be a Senator it is requisite:

I. That he be a Brazilian citizen, and in the enjoyment of his political rights.

II. That he be at least forty years of age.

III. That he be a person of knowledge, capacity and virtues, with a preference for those who have served the country.

IV. That he shall have an annual income of eight hundred milreis from property, industry, commerce or employment.

Art. 46. The Princes of the Imperial House are Senators by right, and shall have seats in the Senate as soon as they are twenty-five years of age.

Art. 47. The exclusive functions of the Senate are:

I. To take cognizance of individual offenses committed by the members of the Imperial family, Ministers of State, Counselors of State and Senators; and of offenses of Deputies during the sessions of the Legislature.

II. To take cognizance of the responsibility of the Secretaries and Counselors of State.

III. To dispatch letters calling together the assembly, in case the Emperor shall not have done so two months after the time set by the Constitution, that the Senate may meet in extraordinary session.

IV. To convoke the Assembly on the death of the Emperor for the election of the Regency, in the cases in which election is required and where the provisional Regency does not do so.

Art. 48. In the judgment of crimes in which the accusation is not the duty of the Chamber of Deputies, the Attorney of the Crown and National Sovereignty shall bring complaint.

Art. 49. The sessions of the Senate begin and end at the same time as those of the Chamber of Deputies.

Art. 50. With the exception of the cases ordained by the Constitution the meeting of the Senate at any other time than during the sessions of the Chamber of Deputies is illegal and null.

Art. 51. The salaries of the Senators shall be one and a half times as much as those of the Deputies.

Chapter IV: Of the Proposition, Discussion, Sanction and Promulgation of Laws

Article 52. The proposal, opposition, and adoption of bills belong to each of the Chambers.

Art. 53. The executive power, through its Ministers of State, makes its proposals for the enactment of laws; and only after a proposal is examined by a committee of the Chamber of Deputies, where it ought to have its beginning, can it become a bill.

Art. 54. After the report of the committee the Ministers may be present and discuss the proposition, but they shall not vote or be present at the voting unless they be Senators or Deputies.

Art. 55. If the Chamber of Deputies adopts the bill, it will send it to the Senate with the following formula: “The Chamber of Deputies sends to the Senate the accompanying proposal of the executive power (with or without amendments) and thinks that it should pass.”

Art. 56. If it cannot adopt the proposal it shall notify the Emperor through a deputation of seven members in the following manner:

“The Chamber of Deputies testifies to the Emperor its gratitude for the zeal with which he watches over the interests of the Empire, and respectfully begs that he may deign to take into future consideration the proposition of the government.”

Art. 57. In general the proposition which the Chamber of Deputies admits and approves shall be sent to the Senate with the following formula: “The Chamber of Deputies sends to the Senate the accompanying proposal and thinks that it is proper to ask the sanction of the Emperor for it.”

Art. 58. If, however, the Senate does not adopt entirely the bill of the Chamber of Deputies, but if it alter or add to the bill, it shall return it in the following manner: “The Senate sends to the Chamber of Deputies its proposal (so and so) with the accompanying amendments or additions and thinks that with them the sanction of the Emperor should be asked for it.”

Art. 59. If the Senate, after deliberation, decides that it cannot pass the proposal or bill, it shall say so in the following terms: “The Senate returns to the Chamber of Deputies the proposal (so and so) to which it has not been able to give its consent.”

Art. 60. The same custom will be followed by the Chamber of Deputies toward the Senate when the bill originates with the latter.

Art. 61. If the Chamber of Deputies does not approve the amendments or additions of the Senate, or vice versa, and if, nevertheless, the chamber objecting, judges that the bill is advantageous, it may, by means of a deputation of three members, ask for a joint session of the two chambers, which shall take place in the Senate chamber, and the result of the discussion shall decide the question.

Art. 62. If, on the conclusion of the discussion either of the two chambers fully adopts the bill sent by the other chamber, it shall reduce it to a decree, and after it is read in session, shall direct it to the Emperor in duplicate copies signed by the President and the two chief Secretaries, asking his sanction in the following form:

“The General Assembly addresses to the Emperor the inclosed decree which it judges to be advantageous and useful to the Empire, and asks His Imperial Majesty to deign to give it his sanction.”

Art. 63. This remittance shall be made by a deputation of seven members sent by the chamber lately deliberating which shall, at the same time, inform the other chamber, in which the bill originated, that it has adopted its (the latter’s) proposal relative to such an object, and that it has addressed it to the Emperor asking his sanction.

Art. 64. The Emperor refusing to give his consent shall reply in the following terms:

“The Emperor wishes to take the bill into consideration in order to decide at his leisure.” To which the chamber shall respond that: “The interest he takes in the nation honors His Imperial Majesty.”

Art. 65. This refusal has only a suspensive effect, so that when the two Legislatures following that which may have approved the bill, return successively to present it in the same terms, it shall be understood that the Emperor has given it his approval.

Art. 66. The Emperor shall give or refuse his sanction to each decree within a month from the time it is presented.

Art. 67. If he does not give it within the term specified, it shall have the same effect as if he had expressly refused his sanction, in order that the Legislatures may be counted, in which it will be possible to refuse his consent, or in order that it may be ranked as an obligatory decree on account of his having already refused his approval in the two previous Legislatures.

Art. 68. If the Emperor adopts the bill of the General Assembly he shall express himself thus:

“The Emperor consents.” By this the bill is sanctioned, and is ready to be promulgated as a law of the Empire; and one of the copies, after it is signed by the Emperor, shall be returned to the archives of the chamber that sent it, and the other shall serve for making the promulgation of the law by the respective department of State, where it shall be preserved.

Art. 69. The formula in which the law shall be promulgated will be conceived in the following terms: “We, Dom (N .) by the Grace of God and the unanimous acclamation of the people, Constitutional Emperor and Perpetual Defender of Brazil, make known to all our subjects that the General Assembly has decreed and that we will the following law (here follows the whole text of the law in its provisions only): We therefore direct all authorities to whom the cognizance and execution of the said law belongs, that they comply with it and have it complied with and guard it as fully as in them lies.” The Secretary of (the proper department) will have it printed, published, and circulated.

Art. 70. When the law is signed by the Emperor, referred to the proper Secretary of State, and sealed with the seal of the Empire, the original shall be preserved in the public archives and printed copies of it shall be sent to all the chambers of the Empire, tribunals, and other places where it should be made public.

Chapter V: Of the Councils-General of a Province and of their Functions

Article 71. The Constitution recognizes and guarantees the right of every citizen to take part in the affairs of his province, and in those that relate immediately to his private interests.

Art. 72. This right shall be exercised by the chambers of the districts and by the Councils, which, under the title of Council-General of the province of . . . . . ., shall be established in each province, except in that in which the capital of the Empire is located.

Art. 73. Each one of the Councils-General shall consist of twenty-one members in the more populous provinces, as Para, Maranhao, Ceara, Pernambuco, Bahai, Minas Geraes, S. Paulo, and Rio Grande do Sul; and in the others of thirteen members.

Art. 74. Its (the province’s) election shall take place at the same time and in the same manner as that for the national representatives, and for the term of each Legislature.

Art. 75. Twenty-five years of age, probity, and a decent subsistence are the qualities necessary for a member of these councils.

Art. 76. Its meeting shall be held in the capital of the province; and at the first preliminary session they shall nominate a President, Vice-President, Secretary, and assistant, who shall serve all the time of the session, and shall examine and verify the legality of the election of the members.

Art. 77. Every year there shall be a session which shall last two months, and may be prorogued for one month longer if the majority of the council agree to it.

Art. 78. In order to hold a session there must be present more than half of the number of the members.

Art. 79. Neither the President of the provinces, the Secretary, nor the commandant can be elected members of the Council-General.

Art. 80. The President of the province shall be present at the opening of the Council-General, which shall take place on the first day of December, and shall have a seat equal to that of the President of the council, and at his right; and there the President of the province shall address his message to the council, instructing it concerning the state of public affairs and of the provisions which the province most needs for its improvement.

Art. 81. These councils shall have for their chief object to propose, discuss, and deliberate concerning affairs of prime interest to their provinces; forming ordinances especially (projectos pecutiareo), adapted to their localities and their needs.

Art. 82. Affairs which should begin in the chambers shall be sent officially to the Secretary of the council, where they, as well as those originating in the councils themselves, shall be discussed with open doors. Their decisions will be determined by an absolute majority of the votes of the members present.

Art. 83. There cannot be either proposed or discussed in these councils bills relating to:

I. The general interests of the nation.

II. Any adjustments between other provinces.

III. Imposts of which the initiative belongs to the Chamber of Deputies.

IV. The execution of laws; upon this subject, however, they may address representations to the General Assembly, and to the executive power, conjointly.

Art. 84. The resolutions of the Councils-General of a province shall be sent directly to the executive power, through the President of the province.

Art. 85. If the General Assembly is at this time in session, they shall be immediately sent in by the respective Secretary of State, to be proposed as bills and to obtain the approval of the assembly by a single discussion in each chamber.

Art. 86. If the General Assembly is not in session at this time, the Emperor shall order them provisionally executed if he judges them worthy of prompt action on account of the utility their observance will bring to the general welfare of the province.

Art. 87. If, however, these circumstances do not exist, the Emperor shall declare that “He suspends judgment respecting that affair.” To which the counsel shall reply that “It has received very respectfully the reply of His Imperial Majesty.”

Art. 88. As soon as the General Assembly meets these suspended resolutions as well as those that may have been in force shall be sent to it to be discussed and deliberated upon according to article 85.

Art. 89. The manner of conducting the Councils-General of a province in its work and its internal and exteral police, shall all be regulated by rules give by the General Assembly.

Chapter VI: Of Elections

Article 90. The nominations of the Deputies and Senators for the General Assembly and of the members of the Councils-General of the provinces, shall be made by indirect elections, the mass of active citzens electing in parochial assemblies the provincial electors and these electing the national and provincial representatives.

Art. 91. The following persons have votes in these primary elections:

I. Brazilian citizens in the enjoyment of their political rights.

II. Naturalized foreigners.

Art. 92. The following persons are excluded from voting in the parochial assemblies:

I. Those under 25 years of age, among whom are not included married men and military officers more than 21 years of age, college graduates (bachareis formados) and clergymen in sacred orders.

II. Unemancipated sons (filhos-familias) living with their parents, except when they hold public offices.

III. Hired servants, in which class are not included bookkeepers, head clerks of commercial houses, servants of the Imperial House who do not wear the galao branco, and the administrators of the rural estates and factories.

IV. Monks and persons who live in cloistered communities.

V. Those who do not have a net annual income of one hundred milreis from real estate, industry, commerce, employment.

Art. 93. Those who cannot vote in the primary parochial elections cannot be members or vote on the nomination of any elective authority, whether national or local.

Art. 94. All those who can vote in the parochial assembly may be electors and vote in the election of Deputies, Senators and members of the councils of the province, excepting:

I. Those who do not have a net income of 200 milreis from real estate, industry, commerce or employment.

II. Freed slaves.

III. Criminals accused in court or in process of trial.

Art. 95. All those who may be electors are qualified to be nominated as Deputies, excepting:

I. Those who have not a net income of 400 milreis as specified in articles 92 and 94.

II. Naturalized foreigners.

III. Those who do not profess the State religion.

Art. 96. Brazilian citizens wherever they may be, are eligible in each electoral district as Deputies or Senators, even though they may not have been born there and may not live there, either temporarily or permanently.

Art. 97. A regulating law shall fix the practical method of elections and the number of Deputies with relation to the population of the Empire.

Title V: Of the Empire

Chapter I: Of the Moderating Power

Article 98. The moderating power is the key to the whole political organization and is delegated exclusively to the Emperor as supreme chief of the nation and its first representative, that he may incessantly watch over the maintainance of independence, the equilibrium and harmony of the other political powers.

Art. 99. The person of the Emperor is inviolable and sacred; he is not subject to any responsibility whatever.

Art. 100. His titles are—Constitutional Emperor and Perpetual Defender of Brazil—and he has the style of address (tratamento) of Imperial Majesty.

Art. 101. The Emperor exercises the moderating power as follows:

I. In nominating Senators according to article 43.

II. In convoking the extraordinary General Assembly in the intervals of the sessions when the good of the Empire makes it necessary.

III. In sanctioning the decrees and resolutions of the General Assembly and giving them the force of laws.

IV. In approving and temporarily suspending the resolutions of the provincial councils.

V. In proroguing or adjourning the General Assembly and dissolving the Chamber of Deputies in cases in which the salvation of the State demands it; convoking immediately another to take its place.

VI. In nominating and freely discharging the Ministers of State.

VII. In suspending the Magistrates according to article 154.

VIII. In pardoning and moderating the verdicts imposed upon condemned criminals.

IX. In urgent cases in conceding such grace and pardon (lamnestia), as may be suggested by humanity and the welfare of the State.

Chapter II: Of the Executive Power

Article 102. The Emperor is the chief of the executive power, and exercises it through his Ministers of State.

His principal duties are:

I. To convoke the regular new General Assembly on the third day of June of the third year from the existing Legislature.

II. To appoint bishops, and to dispose of the ecclesiastical benefices.

III. To appoint Magistrates.

IV. To dispose of the other civil and political positions.

V. To appoint the commandants of the land and naval forces and to remove them when the service of the nation makes it necessary.

VI. To appoint ambassadors and other diplomatic and commerical agents.

VII. To direct political negotiations with foreign nations.

VIII. To make treaties of alliance offensive and defensive, of subsidy and commerce, and to bring them, when concluded, to the knowledge of the General Assembly when the interest and security of the State permits it. If the treaties made in time of peace involve the cession or exchange of territory of the Empire or of possessions to which the empire has a right, they shall not be ratified without having been approved by the General Assembly.

IX. To declare war and to make peace, notifying the assembly of the communications that may be compatible with the interests and security of the State.

X. To grant letters of naturalization according to the law.

XI. To bestow titles, honors, military orders, and distinctions in recompense for services rendered the State, pecuniary rewards depending upon the approval of the Assembly when not already designated and fixed by law.

XII. To dispatch the decrees, instructions, and regulations required by the good execution of the laws.

XIII. To decree the application of the funds appropriated by the General Assembly for the various branches of public service.

XIV. To grant or refuse his approval to the council decrees, apostolic letters, and any other ecclesiastical Constitutions that are not opposed to the Constitution; the approval of the assembly is prerequisite, however, if they contain general regulations.

XV. To look after everything that may be for the internal and external security of the State according to the Constitution.

Art. 103. Before being acclaimed, the Emperor will take of the President of the Senate in the presence of the two chambers the following oath:

“I swear to maintain the Apostolic Roman Catholic religion, the integrity and individuality of the Empire, to observe and have observed the political Constitution of the Brazilian nation and the other laws of the Empire and to look after the general welfare of Brazil in so far as it in me lies.”

Art. 104. The Emperor cannot go out of the Empire of Brazil without the consent of the General Assembly; and if he does so, it will be understood that he has abdicted the Crown.

Chapter III: Of the Imperial Family and its Dowry

Article 105. The presumptive heir of the Empire shall have the title of “Prince Imperial,” and his first born son that of “Prince of Grao-Para;” all the others shall have that of Prince. The style of address (tratamento) of the heir presumptive shall be “Imperial Highness,” and that of the Prince of Grao-Para shall be the same; the other Princes shall be addressed as “Highness.”

Art. 106. The heir presumptive on completing fourteen years of age, shall take the following oath at the hands of the President of the Senate, in the presence of the united chambers:

“I swear to maintain the apostolic Roman Catholic religion, to observe the political Constitution of the Brazilian nation, and to be obedient to the laws of the Emperor.”

Art. 107. As soon as the Emperor come to the throne, the General Assembly shall assign him and the Empress, his august spouse, a dowry corresponding to the decorum of their lofty dignity.

Art. 108. The dowry assigned the present Emperor and his august spouse shall be increased in view of the fact that present circumstances do not permit that a sum be fixed at once that is adequate to the decorum of their august persons and the dignity of the nation.

Art. 109. The General Assembly shall also make provisions for the Prince Imperial and the other princes as soon as they may be born. The allowances given the princes shall cease only when they go out of the Empire.

Art. 110. The tutors of the Princes shall be chosen and appointed by the Emperor and the assembly, shall fix their salaries which shall be paid by the national treasury.

Art. 111. At the first session of each Legislature the Chamber of Deputies shall require of the tutors an account of the State of advancement of their august pupils.

Art. 112. When the Princesses are about to marry the assembly shall assign a dowry and with its payment the allowances shall cease.

Art. 113. To the Princes who may marry and go to live outside of the Empire there will be delivered at one time a sum fixed by the assembly, and with this their allowances shall cease.

Art. 114. The endowments, allowances, and portions above mentioned shall be paid by the public treasury, and delivered to a majordomo appointed by the Emperor, with whom the interests of the Imperial House, both active and passive, may be arranged.

Art. 115. The palaces and national lands now belonging to Sr. D. Pedro I, shall always belong to his successors; and the nation will care for the acquisitions and constructions that may be thought appropriate for the dignity and recreation of the Emperor and his family.

Chapter IV: Of the Succession of the Empire

Article 116. Sr. D. Pedro I, by unanimous acclamation of the people, actual Constitutional Emperor and Perpetual Defender, shall always rule in Brazil.

Art. 117. His legitimate offspring shall succeed to the throne according to the regular order of primogeniture and representation, preferring always the anterior line to the posterior lines; in the same line the nearer degree to the more remote ones; in the same degree the male sex to the female; in the same sex the older to the younger person.

Art. 118. The lines of the legitimate descendants of Sr. D. Pedro I, being extinct, during the life of the last descendant and in his reign, the General Assembly shall choose a new dynasty.

Art. 119. No foreigner can succeed to the Crown of the Empire of Brazil.

Art. 120. The marriage of the Princess presumptive heir to the Crown, will be made at the pleasure of the Emperor; if there is no Emperor at the time this marriage is proposed it cannot be effected without the approval of the General Assembly. Her husband will have no part in the Government, and will only be called Emperor after he has by the Empress, a son or daughter.

Chapter V: Of the Regency During the Minority or Impediment of the Emperor

Article 121. The Emperor is a minor until he is eighteen years of age.

Art. 122. During his minority the Empire shall be governed by a regency, which shall belong to the relative nearest the Emperor, according to the order of succession, and who is more than twenty-one years of age.

Art. 123. If the Emperor has no relative who combines these qualities, the Empire shall be governed by a permanent regency appointed by the General Assembly and composed of three members, the oldest of whom shall be its president.

Art. 124. During the time in which the regency is not elected the Empire shall be governed by a provisional regency composed of the minister of Empire, the minister of justice, and of the two counselors of State longest in oflice, presided over by the Empress dowager, and in her absence by the oldest counselor of State.

Art. 125. In case of the death of the ruling Empress this regency shall be presided over by her husband.

Art. 126. If the Emperor, from physical or moral cause, evidently recognized by the plurality of each of the chambers of the Assembly, should become unfit to govern, the Imperial Prince, if he be more than eighteen years of age, shall govern in his stead as regent.

Art. 127. The regent, and the regency as well, shall take the oath mentioned in article 103, adding the clause of fidelity to the Emperor and to deliver to him the government as soon as he reaches his majority or his impediment is removed.

Art. 128. The acts of the regency and of the regent shall be dispatched in the name of the Emperor by the following formula:

“The regency commands in the name of the Emperor;” “The Imperial Prince regent commands in the name of the Emperor.”

Art. 129. Neither the regency nor the regent shall be responsible.

Art. 130. During the minority of the successor to the crown his tutor shall be the one whom his father shall have appointed in his will; in default of this one, the Empress mother shall act so long as she remains unmarried; in her default the General Assembly shall appoint a tutor, although no one to whom the succession of the crown would fall in case of his death can ever be tutor to the minor Emperor.

Chapter VI: Of the Ministry

Article 131. There shall be different departments (secretaries) of State. The law shall designate their number and the business pertaining to each; shall call them together or dismiss them as may seem best.

Art. 132. The Ministers of State shall countersign or sign all the acts of the executive power, without which they cannot become effective.

Art. 132. The Ministers of State shall be responsible:

I. For treason.

II. For bribery, corruption or extortion.

III. For abuse of power.

IV. For failure to obey the law.

V. For working against the liberty, security or property of citizens.

VI. For any dissipation of the public property.

Art. 134. A particular law shall specify the nature of these offenses and the manner of proceeding against them.

Art. 135. The order of the Emperor, whether verbal or written, does not relieve the Ministers from responsibility.

Art. 136. Foreigners, even though naturalized, cannot be Ministers of State.

Chapter VII: Of the Council of State

Article 137. There shall be a council of State composed of life counselors appointed by the Emperor.

Art. 138. Their number shall not exceed ten.

Art. 139. The Ministers of State are not included in this number, nor shall they be considered Counselors without the special appointment by the Emperor to this position.

Art. 140. The same qualities are required to be a Counselor of State as to be Senator.

Art. 141. Before assuming office the Counselors of State shall take of the Emperor the oath to maintain the apostolic Roman Catholic religion, to observe the Constitution and the laws, to be faithful to the Emperor, and to advise him conscientiously, looking solely to the good of the Nation.

Art. 142. The Counselors shall be heard in all grave affairs and general measures of public administration; principally in regard to the declaration of war, the adjustments of peace, negotiations with foreign Nations, as well as on all occasions in which the Emperor proposes to exercise any of the attributes belonging to the moderating power indicated in article 101, except VI.

Art. 143. The Counselors of State are responsible for manifestly misleading advice given in conflict with the laws and the interest of the State.

Art. 144. The Prince Imperial, as soon as he is eighteen years of age, shall of a right belong to the Council of State; the other Princes of the imperial house, for their entrance into the Council, depend upon the appointment of the Emperor. They and the Prince Imperial cannot enter to the number marked by article 138.

Chapter VIII: On the Military Force

Article 145. All Brazilians are under obligations to take up arms to maintain the independence and integrity of the Empire and to defend it against its enemies external or internal.

Art. 146. So long as the General Assembly does not fix the permanent land and naval military force, it will remain at what it may be until changed by the same Assembly to more or to less.

Art. 147. The military force is essentially obedient; it can never come together unless so ordered by the legitimate authority.

Art. 148. To the executive power belongs exclusively the employment of an armed land or sea force, as may seem proper for the security and defense of the Empire.

Art. 149. The officers of the army and navy cannot be deprived of their commissions except by sentence passed in a competent court.

Art. 150. A special ordinance shall regulate the organization of the army of Brazil, its promotions, salaries and discipline, and also those of the naval force.

Title VI: Of the Judicial Power

Chapter I: Of the Judges and Tribunals of Justice

Article 151. The judicial power is independent, and shall be composed of judges and jurymen, who shall hold office in both civil and criminal cases and in the manner that the Codes determine.

Art. 152. The jurymen decide upon the fact and the judges apply the law.

Art. 153. The judges of the law (juizes de direito) are perpetual, by which it is not understood, however, that they cannot be changed from place to place at the time and in the manner that the law may determine.

Art. 154. On account of complaints made against them, the Emperor, after hearing the counsel of the State, may suspend them, prior to a hearing of the same judges, and necessary information. The papers concerning them shall be sent to the tribunal of the respective district to proceed according to the law.

Art. 155. These judges can lose their places only by sentence.

Art. 156. All judges of law and officials of justice are responsible for abuses of power and prevarications which they may commit in the exercise of their duties; this responsibility shall be made effective by a regulating law.

Art. 157. For corruption, bribery, peculation and extortion suit may be brought against them inside of a year and a day either by the plaintiff himself or by any one of the people in the manner established by law.

Art. 158. To judge the cases in the second and last instance there shall be in the Provinces of the Empire the tribunals necessary for the accommodation of the people.

Art. 159. In criminal cases the examination of witnesses and all the other steps of the trial after the suit is brought shall be public.

Art. 160. In civil suits and in penal causes brought civilly the parties may appoint arbitrating judges. Their decisions shall be executed without appeal if the same parties so agree.

Art. 161. No suit whatever shall be begun without its being shown that means of reconciliation have been attempted.

Art. 162. To this end there shall be judges of the peace who shall be elected at the same time and in the same manner as the aldermen (vereadores) of the chambers. Their duties and districts will be regulated by law.

Art. 163. Besides the tribunal which shall exist at the capital of the Empire and in the provinces as well, there shall be also a tribunal called the Supreme Court of Justice, composed of learned judges, taken from the lower courts (relacoes) according to their ages, and they shall have bestowed upon them the title of Counsel. At the first organization there may be employed in this court the ministers of those that are to be abolished.

Art. 164. It is the duty of this court:

I. To allow or deny revisions in the cases and in the manner fixed by law.

II. To take cognizance of the offenses and official errors committed by ministers, officers of the tribunals, attaches of the diplomatic corps and the Presidents of the Provinces.

III. To consider and decide in cases of conflict of jurisdiction and competency of the provincial courts.

Title VII: Of the Administration and Economy of the Provinces

Chapter I: Of the Administration

Article 165. There shall be in each Province a President, appointed by the Emperor who may remove him whenever he thinks it for the good service of the State.

Art. 166. The law shall designate his attributes, fitness and authority, and whatever is fitted for the best discharge of this administration.

Chapter II: Of the Chambers

Article 167. In all the cities and towns now existing, and in those that may be created hereafter, there shall be chambers for the economic and municipal government of the cities and towns.

Art. 168. The chambers shall be elective and composed of the number of aldermen that the law may specify, and the one who receives the largest number of votes shall be President.

Art. 169. The exercise of their municipal functions, the formation of their police orders, the application of their revenues, and all their particular and useful functions shall be fixed by law.

Chapter III: Of the National Finances

Article 170. The receipt and expenditure of the national finances (fazenda) shall be intrusted to a tribunal under the name of the National Treasury, where, in divers departments (estacoes) duly established by law, its administration, collection and accounts shall be regulated, in reciprocal correspondence with the treasuries and authorities of the Provinces of the Empire.

Art. 171. All the direct taxes, except those to be applied to the interest and the amortisation of the public debt, shall be fixed annually by the General Assembly; but they shall continue until their repeal is published or until they are replaced by others.

Art. 172. The Minister of the Treasury having received from the other Ministers the estimates of the expenses for their departments, shall present annually to the Chamber of Deputies as soon as it meets a general balance of the receipts and expenses of the national treasury during the preceding year, and at the same time the general estimate of all the public expenses for the future year and the amount of all the sources of revenue and public incomes.

Title VIII: Of the General Dispositions and Guaranties of the Civil and Political Rights of Brazilian Citizens

Article 173. The General Assembly, at the beginning of its sessions, shall ascertain whether the political Constitution of the State has been exactly observed in order to make just provisions.

Art. 174. If, four years after the ratification of the Constitution of Brazil, it is found that any of its articles merit reform, the proposition shall be made in writing, which (proposition) must originate in the Chamber of Deputies, and be supported by a third of the members.

Art. 175. The proposition shall be read three times at intervals of six days between the readings, and after the third reading the Chamber of Deputies shall decide whether it can be admitted to discussion; everything else can follow that is necessary to the formation of a law.

Art. 176. The discussion being admitted and the necessity of amendment of the article of the Constitution being recognized, a law shall be passed, sanctioned and promulgated by the Emperor in the usual way in which the electors of Deputies for the subsequent Legislature shall be directed to confer in their procurations (procuraeoes) a special authorization for the desired amendment or reform.

Art. 177. At the first session of the next Legislature the matter shall be brought forward and discussed, and that which is decided upon shall determine the change of or addition to the original law; and when added to the Constitution it shall be solemnly promulgated.

Art. 178. Only those things pertain to the Constitution that refer to the limits and respective attributes of the political powers and to the political and individual rights of the citizens; that which is not constitutional can be changed by the ordinary Legislatures without the foregoing formalities.

Art. 179. The inviolability of the civil and political rights of Brazilian citizens based upon liberty, individual security and propriety, is guaranteed by the Constitution of the Empire in the following manner:

I. No citizen can be obliged to do or not to do anything except by virtue of the law.

II. No law shall be made without public utility.

III. It (the law) cannot be retroactive in its application.

IV. All persons may communicate their thoughts by words and writings and may publish them in the press without censure, but they shall be held responsible for abuses committed in the exercise of this right in the cases and in the manner that the law may determine.

V. No one can be persecuted on account of his religion so long as he respects that of the State and does not offend public morals.

VI. Any person can remain in or go out of the Empire at pleasure, taking with him his property, so long as the police regulations are complied with and there is no injury done other parties.

VII. Every citizen has in his house an inviolable asylum. At night it cannot be entered without his consent or to protect it from fire or flood; during the day its entrance can only be made freely in the cases and in the manner determined by law.

VIII. No one can be made a prisoner without specific charges, except in the cases specified by law; and in these cases, inside of twenty-four hours from the time he enters the prison, if in cities, towns, or other settlements near the places of residence of the judge, and in distant places inside of a reasonable time that the law shall mark according to the extent of the territory, the judge, by a note signed by him, shall make known to the defendant the reason for his imprisonment, the names of his accuser, and of the witnesses if there are such.

IX. Even with the charge formulated no one shall be taken to prison or retained therein after arrest, if, in cases admitted by law, he offers suitable bail; and in general, in cases of crimes whose punishment does not exceed six months’ imprisonment or banishment from the district, the defendant may be left at large.

X. Except when taken in the act of committing a crime, a person cannot be made prisoner without an order written by the proper authority. If this is given arbitrarily the judge who issues it shall be punished as the law may direct.

The regulation concerning arrest prior to a formulated charge does not include either military ordinances established as necessary for the discipline and recruit of the army, nor cases that are not purely criminal, but in which the law directs the arrest of a person for disobeying the commands of justice, or for not complying with some obligation within a specified time.

XI. No person shall be condemned except by competent authority and by virtue of an anterior law and in the manner prescribed by it.

XII. The independence of the judicial power shall be maintained. No authority can appeal pending cases, stop them, or revive trials that are ended.

XIII. The law shall be the same for all whether to protect or to punish, and it shall reward each one according to his merits.

XIV. Every citizen may be admitted to public positions whether civil, political or military without other distinction than (that made by) his talents and virtues.

XV. No one shall be exempt from contributing to the expenses of the State in proportion to his property.

XVI. All privileges that are not essential to and entirely connected with offices for public utitlity are abolished.

XVII. With the exception of the cases which by nature belong to special judges under the law, there shall be no privileged tribunal or special commissions in civil or criminal cases.

XVIII. There shall be drawn up as soon as possible civil and criminal codes founded on the solid bases of justice and equity.

XIX. Flogging, torture, marking with a hot iron and all other cruel punishments are abolished summarily.

XX. No punishment shall go beyond the guilty person. In no case, therefore, shall there be confiscation of property, nor shall the infamy of the defendant be transmitted to his relatives of any degree whatever.

XXI. The jails shall be secure, clean and well aired, with different buildings (casas) for the separation of prisoners according to their circumstances and the nature of their crimes.

XXII. The right of proprietorship is guaranteed in all its fullness. If the public good, legally verified, require the use and employment of the property of a citizen he shall be previously reimbursed for its value. The law shall specify the cases in which this only exception will hold, and shall give rules for its determination and indemnity.

XXIII. The public debt is also guaranteed.

XXIV. No kind of labor, culture, industry or commerce can be prohibited, so long as it is not opposed to public customs, and the security and health of the citizens.

XXV. Trades unions (as corporacoes de officios), their judges, scribes and masters are abolished.

XXVI. Inventors shall be the owners of their discoveries or their productions. The law shall secure them an exclusive temporary right, or shall make amends to them for the loss they may suffer from its general use.

XXVII. The privacy of letters is inviolable. The post-office department shall be held rigorously responsible for any infraction of this article.

XXVIII. Rewards conferred for services done the State, whether civil or military, are guaranteed; likewise the right acquired to them in the form of the law.

XXIX. Public employees are strictly responsible for abuses and omissions committed in the performance of their duties, and for not making their subordinates responsible.

XXX. Any citizen may present in writing to the legislative and the executive power reclamatlons, complaints or petitions, and he may even expose any infraction of the Constitution, demanding of the competent authority that those violating it be held to account.

XXXI. The Constitution also guarantees the public charities.

XXXII. Primary instruction is free to all citizens.

XXXIII. (There shall be) schools and colleges where shall be taught the elements of science, belles-lettres and of arts.

XXXIV. The constitutional powers cannot suspend the Constitution in respect to what it says of individual rights, except in the cases and under the circumstances specified in the following paragraph.

XXXV. In cases of rebellion or the invasion of the enemy, when seeking the security of the State, some of the formalities that guarantee individual liberty may be dispensed with for a specified length of time by a special act of the legislative power. But if the Assembly be not in session at this time and if the country is in imminent danger, the government shall exercise this authority as a provisional and indispensable measure, suspending it as soon as the urgent necessity that required it shall cease; there must, in either case, be sent to the Assembly as soon as it meets, a report giving the reasons for the arrests and the other preventive measures taken; but whatever authorities may have been active in the matter shall be held responsible for abuses that they may have practised in this respect.

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