Notes on the Form of a Constitution for France
NOTES ON A FORM OF A CONSTITUTION FOR FRANCE.
The government of a nation should be constructed and administered so as to procure for it the greatest possible good.
The first duty of every State, as well as of every individual, is to provide for self preservation.
Treaties made between nations ought to have in each a sovereign authority, otherwise war could never be terminated except by conquest.
The tranquillity and liberty of nations can only be sustained upon the basis of justice.
The position of a State, its climate, the extent of its territory and the habits and manners of its citizens, have an influence in determining the proper form of government.
The form of the French government is monarchical, and imperious circumstances demand its preservation.
Monarchies should be hereditary, because an elective monarchy is incompatible with order and liberty.
The vigor of the executive power should be proportioned to the external dangers, to the extent of the empire, and to the circumstances resulting from its commerce, from its riches, from the inequality in the distribution of wealth, and from the luxury thence arising.
In order to preserve the integrity of the executive power, it is necessary that the chief should be an integral part of the legislature.
It is essential to the free exercise of the executive power, that the chief be inviolable, but it is likewise essential to the rights and interests of the citizens, that his agents be responsible for his conduct.
It is important to distribute the power in a State, so that all persons entrusted with it be interested to discharge their duties.
The necessary extent of the executive power and the invio- bility of an hereditary chief, require precautions against abuse which might result therefrom.
It is requisite then to form a legislative body, whose members shall be specially interested in the maintenance of the established order of things.
Such a body should be protected against all temptation, as well as against all violence, consequently its members should be immovable and even hereditary.
Such a body should possess only moral powers, and that it may be able to resist authority on the one hand, and license on the other, it is proper to invest it with all the power of opinion.
To preserve to the people public liberty, to guaranty their civil rights, to watch over the administration of their affairs, and to control great criminals, the nation should be represented in the legislature.
None should be represented,-however, except citizens, whose age gives assurance of mature judgment, whose condition guaranties moral independence, and whose connexions insure their attachment to their country.
The right of suffrage, like every other, ought to depend only on general rules; it is proper therefore to establish these on principles in accordance with good morals and social order.
That the representatives may express imperatively the national will, it is proper to constitute them a separate body.
Imposts bear upon the mass of the citizens; therefore the right to levy them belongs exclusively to the representative body.
That the citizens may discharge their duties and preserve their rights, it is proper that they be acquainted with both; therefore the State should provide for public education.
The education of young citizens ought to form them to good manners, to accustom them to labor, to inspire them with a love of order, and to impress them with respect for lawful authority.
Religion is the only solid basis of good morals; therefore education should teach the precepts of religion, and the duties of man towards God.
These duties are, internally, love and adoration; externally, devotion and obedience; therefore provision should be made for maintaining divine worship as well as education.
But each one has a right to entire liberty as to religious opinions, for religion is the relation between God and man; therefore it is not within the reach of human authority.
Social rights and obligations are reciprocal.
The right to be protected in the possession of life, liberty, and property, imposes the duty of not infringing on those of others, and even of protecting them.
It results therefrom, that social liberty is not the permission for each one to follow his own inclination, but the obligation in which all are placed to perform their duty.
So social liberty exists not only within the limits, but by the limits, which the law prescribes.
The law is the will of all, and the rule of each.
The interpretation of the law ought then to be uniform, because the nation cannot require two opposite things, nor can the citizens conform to two opposite rules.
The interpretation of the law ought to be as fixed as the law itself, because the duty of conforming to it demands the means of understanding it, as well as of knowing it.
In the formation of the law, regard should be often had to the convenience, to the faculties, to the interests, and to the habits of the citizens, sometimes even to their prejudices, but in the interpretation of it, nothing but justice should be regarded.
The interpreters of the law ought to enjoy an independence proportioned to the extent and importance of their functions.
The judges ought to be as immovable as the law which they interpret, impartial as the justice which they dispense, and firm as the authority which they represent.
To guaranty the independence of the judiciary power, on which depends civil liberty, and to insure to the system of jurisprudence the necessary stability, it is proper that the Court of Final Appeal should be an integral part of the legislature.
Decisions of cases are the interpretations of the law; consequently they are of general interest; the facts on the contrary concern only the parties.
The choice of arbitrators is a natural right, but submission to legal authority is necessary to social order. Now every society has the right of providing for what concerns the general interest, so that in permitting the parties to choose the judges of facts, the State reserves to itself the power to name the judges of right, who are the interpreters of the law.
In the social, as in the savage state, there are certain subjects which are within the reach of every one, and consequently each citizen can decide in regard to them, but there are others for which it is necessary to refer to those learned therein; therefore reason and justice require, that^the natural right of private judgment should to a certain extent be abridged.
II. Executive Power.
The executive power belongs to the King; consequently he has the right to appoint to all places and employments whatever, except those respecting which it is otherwise provided by this Constitution.
To the King belongs the power of making war, peace, treaties, and other conventions with foreign powers.
To the King belongs the right of granting to foreigners the privileges of French citizens, under such conditions or restrictions as he shall think proper.
Every oath of fidelity shall be taken to the King, in the manner following. I promise in the name of God to be faithful to the King of the French. But such oath can have reference only to the royal authority as recognized by the Constitution; so that to obey an order of the monarch, contrary to the laws and the Constitution, is to violate the oath of fidelity.
The King is commander in chief of all the forces both land and maritime, and of the national militia.
Justice shall be rendered in the name of the King.
The person of the King is sacred and inviolable.
Royalty is hereditary in the male line, in the order of primogeniture.
Regencies shall be established by the legislature.
III. King's Ministers And Council.
To the King belongs the choice and the dismissal of Ministers.
Ministers are responsible for their conduct, and to that effect each one shall countersign the orders of the King relating to his department, without which the order shall be void.
The Chancellor shall countersign every act, to which the seal of State is affixed, and shall be responsible therefor.
The Ministers are,
First, the Chancellor. His duty is to superintend distributive justice, education, and morals.
Secondly, the Minister of the Interior. His duty is to superintend the execution of the laws, and the preservation of public peace.
Thirdly, the Minister of Finance. His duty is to superintend the finances of the State, the receipts and the expenditures.
Fourthly, the Minister of Commerce. His duty is to superintend agriculture, manufactures, commerce, and the colonies.
Fifthly, the Minister of Foreign Affairs. His duty is to cultivate the relations of the State with foreign powers.
Sixthly, the Minister of War. His duty is to superintend the land forces and their operations.
Seventhly, the Minister of Marine. His duty is to superintend the navy, the maritime forces and their operations.
Eighthly, the Secretary of State. He is entrusted with the general charge of affairs.
Ninthly, the President of the Council. He presides at the Council in the absence of the King.
The two last are not essential, and the King may fill the places or leave them vacant at his pleasure.
The Ministers form together the Council of State, and each one shall be responsible for the advice, which he shall there give.
IV. Administration And Police.
There shall be in each department an administrative body to superintend the affairs, which are peculiar to such department, in the manner which shall be prescribed by the legislature.
The administrative body shall be composed of twelve members named by the electors of the department. The Grand Bailiff shall preside over it either in person or by his deputy. The commission of the Grand Bailiff shall be countersigned by the Minister of the Interior. The Bishop of the department and his Vicar are also members of the administrative body. Each department shall be divided into six districts, each of which shall choose two members (administrateurs) for four years, and it shall be decided by lot after the first election which of the two shall retire from the administration at the end of two years, so that subsequently one half of the members shall be elected every two years. To constitute an administrative body, it is requisite that the Grand Bailiff, or his deputy and six other members, should be present.
In each department there shall be a Government Attorney (Procureur Syndic) appointed by the King. He shall assist at the sessions of the administrative body, and shall have there a voice in consultations, but not in decisions. He is to attend to the crown lands, to the ground rents, and to the casual forfeitures to the treasury.
The King shall appoint each year justices of peace to preserve the tranquillity and maintain the police of the departments. The number of such justices shall depend on the will of the King. Their warrants shall be countersigned by the Minister of the Interior, and their authority shall be prescribed by the legislature.
V. Public Forces.
To the King belongs the appointment and the discharge of the Military officers. It is, notwithstanding, just and wise for him to prescribe for himself a regular system of promotions, and to preserve to each his rank, and nothing but the interest of the nation ought to induce a deviation from the general principles of the military administration.
The legislature shall determine upon the formation and organization of the public forces, upon the duties of the officers, soldiers, marines, and of the militia, upon the offences and ncnaltics. and upon the manner of judging and punishing.
The commissions and warrants of the land forces and of the mlitia shall he countersigned by the Minister of War.
It is proper for the officers to be holders of property, because those to whom the State entrusts its forces should be interested in its preservation.
The commissions and warrants of the maritime forces shall be countersigned by the Minister of Marine.
VI. Revenue And Debts of The State.
The legislature shall regulate the imposts, but the collection thereof shall be made by royal authority.
The warrants of the collectors, and other principal agents of the treasury, shall be countersigned by the Minister of Finance. The other agents shall be appointed in such manner as the legislature shall order.
The land taxes and the casual forfeitures shall nevertheless be collected by the constable of the department, his sergeants and deputies, according to the writs issued to him by the Government Attorney, the whole to be done in the manner which the legislature shall prescribe; and nothing shall be paid, either for the collection of the land tax, or for the remittances to be made by the Government Attorney.
The legislature shall regulate whatever relates to the public debt; and no loan can be made without its consent.
VII. Education And Worship.
In each department there shall be a Council of Education and Worship, which shall be formed by the Bishop and the Professor of the department and six Rectors, one for each district. All the members of the Council shall be appointed by the King, but cannot be turned out; and their appointments shall be made under the seal of State.
The Bishop, or in his absence the Professor, shall preside at the Council, and three Rectors as least must assist thereat. By the advice of the Council, the Professor shall appoint the preceptors, and the Bishop shall appoint the curates.
The Bishop shall appoint and dismiss his vicar at his own free will.
The places of preceptor and curate shall be removable according to the regulations of the legislature.
For the maintenance of worship, for providing for education, for the relief of the poor, and to defray the expenses of the hospitals, the tithe shall be collected in the manner prescribed by the legislature; but by the orders and under the superintendence of the administrative body, who shall distribute the same. The Government Attorney shall be the treasurer of the tithe, of which a tenth part shall be paid to the Bishop, who shall pay the fifth part to his vicar. One third of the residue shall be applied by the administrative body to the poor and to the hospitals, one third to public worship, and one third to public education. But a tenth part of this last third shall be paid to the order of the Chancellor, towards defraying the expenses of a National Academy, of which the Chancellor shall be always President, and shall appoint by the orders of the King the instructers. In everything else relating to the Academy the legislature shall direct.
VIII. Commerce And Colonies.
The King shall make all the appointments in the Colonies, in the manner determined upon by common consent. The commissions and warrants shall be countersigned by the Minister of Commerce, who shall also countersign the warrants of the Government Attorneys of the departments, of the Comptrollers of Customs, and of the Consuls in foreign countries.
IX. Relations With Foreign Powers.
Ambassadors, and other Ministers and diplomatic agents, shall be appointed by the King. Their credentials and insructions shall be countersigned by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The expenses thereof shall be paid out of the civil list, and when extraordinary expenses are incurred for secret services, the legislature will reimburse the same if it sees fit.
Treaties and Conventions with foreign powers shall be recorded at the King's Council, and signed by the King in his Council, with the advice of the majority of his Ministers, who are bound to countersign it before the treaty can take effect. It shall then become the supreme law of the State, and the Ministers who shall have signed it shall be all and each responsible therefor.
No treaty of commerce can take place without the previous consent of the Minister of Commerce, which shall be given and confirmed by his signature before the treaty shall be submitted to the Council.
The decisions of the Admiralty Courts respecting prizes taken at sea, shall be made in accordance with the ordinances of the King in his Council, because they affect the external relations of the State, and depend on the rights of war; consequently the appeal from the Admiralty shall be made to the Council in such manner as the ordinances shall prescribe.
The judges of the Admiralty Courts shall be appointed by the King, and their commissions shall be countersigned by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. They are removable.
The royal attorneys in the Admiralty Courts are also removable. They shall be appointed by the King, and their warrants shall be countersigned by the Minister of Marine.
X. Legislative Power.
The legislative power shall reside always in the Senate and National Assembly, which, in concert with the King, shall make all laws, ordinances, and regulations whatever, which they shall judge necessary to the defence, preservation, and prosperity of the State.
The Senate shall be composed of ninety Senators, hereditary in the male line in order of primogeniture. They shall be appointed by the King, that is to say the King shall appoint forthwith fifty, and others according as circumstances may appear to him to require it. The patents of the Senators shall be issued under the seal of State, and registered at the chancery. They shall never have any other title than that of French Senator. The King shall appoint from among the members of the royal family Senators for life, of which the number shall never exceed nine, and they shall have no other title than that of French Senators; but the Prince Royal shall be always a Senator without the nomination of the King. Thus the Senators of the royal family may be ten in number including the Prince Royal, whose title however shall not be Senator, but only Prince Royal.
The King shall appoint twenty Ecclesiastical Senators, among whom shall be all the Archbishops; their title shall be Bishop Senator. Finally, the twenty-four Superior Judges hereafter mentioned shall also be Senators, but shall not have the title thereof.
No one shall have a seat in the Senate before the age of thirty years, except the Prince Royal, who shall have a seat there at sixteen years, and a voice in the decisions at twenty years, but shall never have a voice in consultations.
The Chancellor shall preside in the Senate, and when he is not there, the President shall take his place. The President shall be nominated by the King at the opening of each session, from among the hereditary Senators.
The Senate shall choose its other officers, such as registers, sergeants, and doorkeepers.
Every Senator shall lose his place for the crime of high treason, and for dishonorable actions or scandalous conduct, according to the decision of the Senate. A Senator cannot be judged except by the Senate.
The King can appoint to the Senate the son of one, who has lost his place, but he cannot reinstate a Senator degraded by a decision of the Senate.
The Senate judges of accusations brought by the National Assembly, because the complaints of the nation, through the medium of its Representatives, ought not to be submitted to any inferior tribunal.
In order that the accusations of the representative body nuiy be judged in the most solemn manner, the King shall appoint from among the hereditary Senators a constable of France to preside over the Senate; but this office shall cease with the occasion which gives birth to it. The appointment shall be made to the Senate viva voce.
The King cannot pardon him, whom the Senate upon the accusation of the representatives shall have condemned.
The Senate is judge in the last resort of all cases and causes, which shall be brought to it by appeal, according to the regulations of the legislature.
The Ecclesiastical and Royal Senators shall not assist the judiciary sessions, and the judges shall have only a voice in the consultations.
The Senate can never for purposes of legislation consist of less than forty members, hereditary or others. To fulfil its judicial functions, at least thirty hereditary Senators are necessary.
The National Assembly shall always consist of four members for each department, eight for Paris, and four for each of the cities hereafter named, and of those to which the legislature shall grant a representation.
In great cities the citizens, who are not holders of property, have the stability necessary to form for themselves an opinion upon public affairs; in the country, on the contrary, they are reduced by circumstances to second the ambition of the rich, and consequently to destroy the equilibrium upon which depends the importance of the middling class and public liberty.
The cities which shall henceforth have representatives are Dunkirk, Lisle, Dieppe, Amiens, Havre, Rouen, Metz, Strasbourg, Lyons, St Malo, Nantes, Bordeaux, Bayonne, and Marseilles.
One hundred members shall suffice to form a Chamber of Representatives, because circumstances may often prevent members from being present, and the urgency of affairs sometimes does not permit any delay.
The Representatives shall be chosen for eight years, and it shall be decided by lot in each city and department, after the first election, which of the members shall retire from the Assembly at the end of two years, which of them shall retire at the end of four years, and which at the end of six years, so that consequently one quarter of the Representatives shall be elected every two years, and when the place of a Representative shall become vacant, the vacancy shall be filled by an extraordinary election.
The electors of the departments are the male holders of property. The legislature shall determine on the value of the property. No one shall vote before he is married, and has attained the age of twenty-five years.
The elections shall be made in the districts and in the manner which the legislature shall point out. The list of voters of each district shall be sent to the department which shall examine the same, and the Grand Bailiff shall certify to the chancery, by the advice of the administrative body, the person elected. And in case of a disputed election, he shall send the lists to the National Assembly, to which alone belongs the right of judgins of its members and of elections.
The electors of the represented cities are those who pay taxes; but after the first election, the cities may grant the right of citizenship to whomsoever they may see fit, provided he shall have attained the age of twenty-five years, shall be married, and of good character. Persons thus admitted by the cities are the only citizens, who have the right to vote for representatives of cities and municipal officers. And this right is inalienable except in cases of conviction of crime.
The municipal officers in the cities above named shall be chosen in the manner pointed out by the legislature, which shall determine upon the organization of the municipal bodies, and upon the cities to which such bodies ought to be granted. But in all cases the Mayors shall be appointed by a warrant from the King, which shall be countersigned by the Minister of the Interior.
The National Assembly shall choose its President at the commencement of each session, for the entire session, and all the other officers necessary shall be chosen in the same manner.
The expenses of the Representatives of each department and city shall be paid by the electors of the cities and departments represented, at a rate regulated by the legislature, and the assessments shall be respectively made by the administrative and municipal bodies.
Every law, or ordinance having the force of a law, other than those specially indicated in this Constitution, may be agreed to by the majority of the Senate and of the Chamber of Representatives, and shall then be presented to the King for his sanction.
Each Chamber has the right of making the alterations it may see fit in acts before assenting to them, and to each belongs the originating of laws, except those of revenue of which the originating belongs exclusively to the Representatives; so the Senate can never have the right of changing anything in relation to imposts, but only of consenting or not consenting.
The style of the laws shall be,— 'The King, by common consent with the Senate and the French Nation, orders that, &c.' But the style of the laws which levy imposts shall be,— 'The nation grants to the King for the necessities and honor of the State the imposts, which the Senate has consented to, and which his Majesty accepts, to be employed for the objects designed by the people in granting them; it is therefore ordered by common consent, &c.'
The laws being presented to the King, he shall signify by his Chancellor, to the Senators and Representatives assembled in the Chamber of the Senate, the royal will. If the King does not agree, his refusal shall be expressed by these words, —'The King will consider.' If he agrees to the law, the form shall be,— 'The King consents, and will cause to be executed.' But if it is a question of a law, which grants an impost, and which the King accepts, the form shall be,— "The King accepts and will cause to be executed.'
The laws shall be registered at the Chancery, and then sent by the Chancellor to the Keeper of the Records, to be printed under his inspection, and the originals to be deposited among the archives of the State. The Keeper of the Records shall send to the Constable of the department two printed copies of each law, that he may make proclamation thereof, and send one copy with the certificate of having proclaimed it to the Government Attorney, and the other copy with a similar certificate to the Register of the department.
The King shall assemble and prorogue the two Chambers; but if the Ministers suffer more than a year to intervene between two sessions, the Chambers shall assemble themselves by their chief, and the King cannot prorogue them before the expiration of six months without their consent.
Each Chamber can adjourn itself from day to day, but not for more than five days at a time.
Each Chamber shall have the right of police within its interior, and in what relates to it, and that of punishing its own members; the whole according as the legislature shall determine.
The members of the Senate and of the Assembly cannot be arrested during the session, nor in the space of time fixed by the legislature before and after the session, except for crime.
XI. Judiciary Power.
The Judges shall be named by the King; their com missions shall be issued under the seal of State, and they shall receive a fixed salary from the public treasury.
The Judges are either Superior or Inferior.
The Superior Judges are not removable, and are twentyfour in number, of which twelve are stationary, and twelve circuit judges.
No one can be appointed a Superior Judge before the age of thirty-five years.
The stationary Judges shall be divided into four Chambers, or Courts, of which each shall have a supreme judge. The first Court shall judge all disputes upon fiscal concerns; the criminal code is the department of the second; the third shall determine cases which relate to real estate ; and the fourth, all other cases.
The King shall appoint a crown lawyer for each Court, whose duty it is to attend to the fiscal concerns of the nation. His warrant shall be countersigned by the Minister of Finance.
The King shall appoint a Royal Attorney, whose duty it is to prosecute every violation of public order. His warrant shall be countersigned by the Minister of the Interior.
A single Judge shall suffice to hold an ordinary session, but to decide fully upon a subject two at least shall be necessary.
Cases shall be judged by the Stationary Tribunals in the same manner as by the Circuit Courts.
The Judges of Assizes shall be divided into six circuits, and there shall be in each department two annual Assizes, one in the Spring, and the other in the Autumn. A single Superior Judge shall suffice to hold an Assize, with two of the Judges of the department hereafter mentioned, the Superior Judge presiding.
The Assize Courts shall judge all the complaints and cases whatsoever of the department, whether civil, criminal, or fiscal. There shall be an appeal from the decisions of the Judges, whether upon the principles or the adventitious circumstances, which shall be made, according to the nature of the case, to one or the other of the Stationary Tribunals.
The Stationary Tribunals shall likewise hold their sessions twice a year, in the Spring and in the Autumn, to decide on cases which are within their respective jurisdictions. They shall hold two other sessions in Winter and in Summer, to judge the various appeals which shall be made to them.
There shall be also an appeal from the decisions of the Stationary Courts to the Court of Appeals, over which the Chancellor shall preside, and at which at least twelve Superior Judges shall assist.
There shall be also an appeal from the decisions of the Appeal Court to the Senate, the whole according to the forms and conditions, and under the restrictions which the legislature shall prescribe.
When the subject of discussion in a civil matter involves the examination of accounts, or by the absence of witnesses out of the kingdom, or by other reasons it happens that the Assizes cannot render justice, then the cause may be either commenced in the Court of the Pretor, or be brought there, and appeal shall be had from the Pretor to the Chancellor, and from the Chancellor to the Senate, whether upon the facts or upon the judgments rendered, as well upon the principle as upon the form, the whole in the manner which the legislature shall determine upon.
The Pretor shall be appointed in each department by the Chancellor, and shall be removable. Every dispute in matters of business and of accounts is within his jurisdiction. He shall appoint four Commissioners ; the facts shall be established by a Commissioner, and they shall be examined afterwards by the Pretor if he sees fit; and in view of the appeal granted on the facts, the depositions of the witnesses shall be written before the judgment.
There shall be in each department four Inferior Judges appointed by the King, who shall be removable, and their warrants shall be countersigned by the Chancellor. The Inferior Judges or two of them, with one or more Judges of Assize, shall hold the Assizes. A single Judge of a department can decide on the forms and adventitious circumstances to accelerate the proceedings, and obtain an eariler decision upon the principles of the case, but an appeal may be had from his judgment to the Assize Court, and thence a further appeal.
The register shall be named in each department every three years by the Assize Court sitting in the Spring, from among three persons, who shall be presented by the administrative body.
Every transfer or hypothecation of real estate, must be made before the Register, certified by him, and registered by the Government Attorney in the archives of the department; and every deed must be so registered, and the copy of the registry certified by the Government Attorney shall be available in justice; the whole to be according to regulations which the legislature shall establish.
Decisions in Assize Courts on facts shall be by juries of twelve respectable persons, and the witnesses shall all be publicly examined in presence of the jury and of the parties.
To form the juries, the electors shall choose every two years in each district forty-eight persons from among the holders of-property in the district, and the list of them shall be registered at the administration and at the registry of the department. The Constable shall make for each case a list of forty-eight persons, according as the Court shall direct, and shall cause them to be summoned to appear under penalties, at the time and place designated, for judging the case. Each individual shall have the right of challenging six of the jurors without cause, and others for sufficient cause, and of the remaining number, twelve shall be drawn by lot to sit in the case. It is necessary that the verdict of the twelve composing the jury be unanimous.
The Contsable shall likewise summon, when necessary, twenty-four persons for a grand jury of the department; and no person shall be judged at the Assizes for crime or offence, until he shall have been previously accused by the grand jury. The grand jury shall decide by a majority, but twelve voices are requisite for an accusation.
A person belonging to the grand jury cannot be summoned for another jury.
The King shall order extraordinary Assizes whenever circumstances require it.
To judge of criminal cases the Constable shall summon forty-eight persons, and the accused shall have the right of challenging twelve without cause, and others for sufficient cause. The twelve of whom the jury consists must be agreed to acquit or condemn.
Each person before taking his place as member of a jury shall make oath to give impartial attention to the case, and to speak the truth according to the evidence.
In every suit, before submitting it to the jury, the statements of the parties must be reduced to direct affirmations and negations, that the jury may be able to decide by yea and nay. And for this purpose in every complaint and every defence the facts must be precisely stated with the time, place and circumstances, that the opposite party may admit or deny them positively, and prepare their proofs.
There shall be in each department a Constable appointed by the King every year. His warrant shall be countersigned by the Minister of the Interior. He shall appoint in each district a serjeant, and such number of tipstaffs as he may think proper. To the Constable shall be addressed every writ, sentence, order, or letter of execution whatever, to execute the same. To him belongs particularly to keep the peace of the department, to cause the police to be performed, and the laws to be respected. It is his duty to suppress insurrections, and the citizens are required forcibly to assist him, his Serjeants and tipstaffs, when called upon in the name of the King.
The Constable is governor of all the prisons of the department, and he shall appoint the deputy governors, jailers, and other necessary officers.
The legislature shall determine upon the rights honorary and pecuniary of the Constable, of the Government Attorney and Register, in such manner that these officers, their substitutes and agents, shall not be chargeable to the treasury. For it is right, that the citizens should pay the expenses resulting from the execution of the laws, when they have recourse to the protection which they afford; and it is right, that he, who will not render to any one his due, should defray the expenses which his bad faith makes necessary; finally, it is right, that the good and peaceable citizens should be protected in the enjoyment of their property, at the expense of the malevolent and unjust.
To avoid as much as possible lawsuits and quarrels, there shall be conciliatory tribunals for the resident inhabitants. The conciliatory tribunal shall be composed of one Justice of Peace and of two respectable citizens of the neighborhood, whom the Justice of Peace shall summon. This tribunal shall hear the statements of the parties but not the witnesses, and shall recommend means of accommodation.
If accommodation cannot be had, the Judge shall give to each of the parties a certificate of having appeared, that he may be able to proceed; and if the parties have agreed on the facts, it shall be declared by the same certificate. The facts upon which they have agreed shall likewise be stated, in order to abridge the process of law when it cannot be avoided.
The Justices of Peace shall have such other authority, as the legislature shall grant to them ; and the legislature shall establish from time to time all the tribunals, which shall be deemed convenient, useful, or necessary, and shall regulate all proceedings that shall be necessary for the most perfect distribution of justice, and to protect the property, rights, and privileges of all the citizens.