Institutions

Institutions

Introduction

The Principality of Monaco is a hereditary and constitutional monarchy.

Adopted on December 17th, 1962 and amended by the Law No 1249 on April 2nd, 2002, the Constitution guarantees the separation of powers, and guarantees every person the benefit of European standards of human rights and fundamental freedoms, that has been confirmed by the membership into the Council of Europe in 2004.

At the institutional level:
  • The Executive power is exercised by the Prince; the Government assumes the leadership of Executive Services.
  • The legislative power is exercised by the Prince and the National Council.

  • The judicial power is delegated to the Courts.

The Prince

The Prince exercises His Sovereign authority under the Constitution.

He is the Executive Chief, assisted by the Government. He represents the Principality in its relations with foreign states. He also has the right of pardon and amnesty, the right of naturalization and reinstatement of Monegasque nationality. In the exercise of certain prerogatives, He is assisted by the Crown Council.

Regarding the Legislative power, the Prince has the initiative of the Laws. Once passed by the National Council, He also promulgates them.

The Succession to the Throne, taking place after the death or abdication of the Reigning Prince, is effected by his direct legitimate descendants, or otherwise, by his brothers and sisters or their direct legitimate descendants. This succession is based on primogeniture with male priority in the same degree of relationship.

The Government

The Government of the Principality is entrusted to the Minister of State, who runs the "Council of Government." The Council includes five "Government Councillors", in charge of managing the various administrative departments:
  • The Home Affairs Department

  • The Department of Finance and Economy

  • The Department of Social Affairs and Health

  • The Department of Infrastructure, Environment and Urban Affairs

  • The External Relations Department

To ensure the enforcement and operation of public services, the Government has regulatory powers, which are materially exercised by:
  • Sovereign Orders: Their purpose is to carry enforcement of the Laws. They receive their enforceability by the signature of the Prince, after publication in the “Journal de Monaco”.

  • Ministerial Orders: They carry enforcement of the laws and Sovereign Orders. They are enforceable only in the absence of objection by the Prince within ten days of their transmission by the Minister of State.

The Minister of State

According to the Constitution, the Minister of State administers the Country. In this respect, he has the management of executive services, the police command, performs the administrative police missions, and ensures the administration services which are under his authority, in accordance with the constitutional, legal and conventional standards.

As Director of Executive Services, the Minister of State is the competent authority to decide on administrative appeals against individual decisions, such as hierarchical or informal, in accordance with the Sovereign Order No. 3413 of 29 August 2011, adopting various measures relating to the relationship between the Administration and the constituents. The constituents have the right to obtain new examination of their application or their position or to be informed of the reasons upon which an administrative decision was rendered

Based on the aforementioned Sovereign Order, any citizen has the right to refer to a Government Councillor for prior mediation with the administration concerned to resolve the disputes between them.

Similarly, any constituent is entitled to refer to any administration to obtain access to any administrative document not published in the Journal de Monaco, as long as there is a legitimate interest for this.

The National Council

The National Council is composed of twenty-four members, elected every five years by universal suffrage by the citizens of Monegasque nationality aged at least eighteen years.

Its members meet each year in two ordinary sessions, of a maximum of three months each.

It is up to them to adopt the legal enactments subject to their vote. The Parliamentary Assembly also has a faculty of legislative proposal and amendment.

Justice

The judiciary power comes under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Prince, who, under the provisions of the Constitution, has delegated its enforcement to the Courts and Tribunals of Monaco. Decisions are made in His name.

The administration of justice is provided by the Department of Legal Services, separate from the government authority since 1918, in order to ensure its self-rule

The Law establishes the status of magistrates, the organization and functioning of courts. Impartiality and fairness are guaranteed to litigants, particularly because of the collective responsibility of the bodies delivering sentences, two-tier courts, the possibility of exercising a judicial review for violation of the Law or due to the separation of the prosecution and trial in criminal matters ... Independence of Judges is also guaranteed by the Constitution, judges being irremovable.