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San Marino - Government and Political Conditions (Notes)

The Arengo, initially formed with the heads of each family, relinquished its power to the Great and General Council. In 1243, the first two Captains Regent were nominated by the Council, and this method of nomination is still in use today. The Council is composed of 60 members who are elected every 5 years under a proportional representation system in all nine administrative districts. These districts (Townships) correspond to the old parishes of the Republic, and each one is ruled by a Council, which is chaired by a Captain elected every 5 years. The Great and General Council approves the budget, as well as the nominations of Captains Regent and heads of the Executive.

Every 6 months, the Council elects two Captains Regent to be the heads of state. The Regents are chosen from opposing parties so they can keep an eye on each other. They serve a 6-month term. The investiture of the Captains Regent takes place on April 1 and October 1 in every year. Once this term is over, citizens have 3 days in which to file complaints about the previous Regents' activities. If they warrant it, judicial proceedings against the former head(s) of state can be initiated.

The State Congress, composed of 10 Secretaries, wields executive power. The 10 Secretaries are (1) Secretary of State for Foreign and Political Affairs, and Economic Planning; (2) Secretary of State for Internal Affairs and Civil Defense; (3) Secretary of State for Finance, Budget, and Relations with the State Philatelic and Numismatic Office; (4) Secretary of State for Education, Culture, University and Social Affairs; (5) Secretary of State for Territory, Environment and Agriculture; (6) Secretary of State for Health and Social Security; (7) Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Relations with the Azienda Autonoma di Stato for Services; (8) Secretary of State for Communication, Transport, Tourism, and Sport; (9) Secretary of State for Justice, Information, and Peace; and (10) Secretary of State for Labor and Cooperation.

The Great and General Council elects the Council of Twelve for the duration of the Legislature and serves a jurisdictional body that also acts as a third instance Court of Appeals. Two government inspectors represent the State in financial and patrimonial questions.

The Legislative body consists of the Great and General Council, the parliament, and a unicameral Chamber. The members of parliament are usually elected every five years and are in charge of legislation, justice, and the administration of jurisdiction. In addition, they are tasked with electing the Captains Regent, the State Congress, the Council of Twelve, the Advising Commission, and the Government Unions once the Council nominates them. Parliament also has the power to ratify contracts with other countries. The parliament is divided into five different Advising Commissions consisting of 15 councils which examine, propose, and discuss the implementation of new laws that are on being submitted to the Great and General Council.

The judiciary is composed of the commissioner of the law, the judging magistrate, the appellate judge, the juvenile court, and the judge of last appeal. The commissioner tries civil and penal cases with penalties not exceeding a three-year sentence. The judging magistrates, who are appointed by parliament for a three-year term and can be indefinitely reappointed, preside over all other cases.

Reform legislation, enacted in 2004, no longer requires that the country's lower court judges be noncitizens; however, most lower court judges remained Italian citizens. A local conciliation judge handles cases of minor importance. Under the same reform, the final court of review is the judge of the last appeal. In civil matters, this judge confirms or overrules either the lower court judgment or an appellate decision; in criminal matters, he judges on the legitimacy of detention measures and on the enforcement of a judgment.

On April 28, 2005 a new act established the country's constitutional court with the following functions: 1) to verify that laws, acts, and traditions that are given the force of law conform to constitutional precepts; 2) to verify the admissibility of a referendum; 3) to decide on conflicts between constitutional institutions; 4) to control the activity of the Captains Regent. The court is composed of three standing judges and three alternate judges. They are selected by the Great and General Council with a two-thirds majority to a four-year term. After the first selection one-third of the members of the court are reselected every two years.

Principal Government Officials
Captains Regent--Alessandro Mancini and Alessandro Rossi (from April 1-October 1, 2007)
Secretary of State for Foreign and Political Affairs--Fiorenzo Stolfi (since July 27, 2006)

San Marino has honorary Consulates General in Washington, DC and New York and honorary Consulates in Detroit and Honolulu. The honorary Consulate General in Washington, DC is located at 1899 L Street NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036.

The Republic of San Marino's Web Site provides information on politics, trade, and events in San Marino.

Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Current Time - Ranking Positions - Euro Exchange Rates
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.

Facts at a Glance
Current Time
Ranking Positions
Euro Exchange Rates

Notes and Commentary
Government and Political Conditions
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.

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