Statuto, 1848
[1848, Constitution]
Kingdom of Sardinia, Carlo Alberto, Charles Albert, March

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The Statuto or Constitution of the
Kingdom of Sardinia (March 1848)



by grace of God


With regal loyalty and love of Our Father We come today to accomplish what We had announced to Our most beloved subjects with our proclamation of the 8th of the February last, with which We wanted to demonstrate, in the midst of the extraordinary events which  surround the country, how Our confidence in them increases with the gravity of the circumstances and, heeding only of the impulses of Our heart,  how determined is Our intention to adapt their destiny to the spirit of the times,  for the interest and for the dignity of the Nation. 

Having considered the broad and strong representative institutions contained in the present Constitution to be the most certain means of  redoubling with the links of indissoluble affection that bind to Our Italian Crown a  People who have given Us so many proofs of faith, of obedience and of love, We have determined to sanction it and to promulgate it, in the faith that God will bless Our intentions, and that the free, strong and happy Nation will always show itself  ever more worthy of its ancient fame and will deserve a glorious future. For this reason, by  Our certain Royal authority, having had the opinion of Our Concil, We have ordered and We do order with the force of  Constitution and fundamental Law, perpetual and irrevocable from the Monarchy, that which follows:

Article 1. The Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman religion is the sole religion of the state. All other forms of worship now existing are tolerated in conformity with the law.

Art. 2. The state is governed by a representative monarchical government. The throne is hereditary according to the Salic law.

Art. 3. The legislative power shall be exercised collectively by the King and two Chambers, the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. 

Art. 4. The person of the King is sacred and inviolable.

Art. 5. The executive power is reserved to the King alone. He is the supreme head of the state; he commands all the armed forces on land and sea; he declares war, makes treaties of peace, of alliance, of commerce, and of other kinds, giving notice of them to the Chambers as soon as the interest and security of the state allow, and accompanying such notice with opportune explanations. Treaties entailing either a financial burden or changes in the territories of the state shall have effect only after the approval of the two Chambers.

Art. 6. The King makes all appointments to offices of the state; he issues the decrees and regulations necessary for the execution of the laws, without suspending or dispensing with the observance thereof.

Art. 7. The King alone has the power to sanction and promulgate laws.

Art. 8. The King can grant clemency and commute sentences.

Art. 9. The King convenes the two Chambers annually; he may prorogue [discontinue] their Sessions and dissolve the Chamber of Deputies; but in the latter case he shall convene a new Chamber within four months.

Art. 10. The King and the two Chambers have the right to propose legislation, but all laws imposing taxes or approving the budgets and accounts of the state shall be presented first in the Chamber of Deputies....

Art. 22. Art. 22. The King, ascending the throne, will take, in the presence of both Chambers, the oath to ovserve loyally the present Constitution. . . .


Art. 24. All subjects of the Kingdom are equal before the law, regardless of their rank or title.

All shall equally enjoy civil and political rights and shall be eligible to civil and military offices, except as otherwise provided by law.

Art. 25. All shall contribute without distinction to the burdens of the state, in proportion to their possessions.

Art. 26. Individual liberty is guaranteed. No one shall be arrested or brought to trial except in cases and in the manner prescribed by law.

Art. 27. The domicile is inviolable. No search of domicile shall be permitted except in cases and in the manner prescribed by law.

Art. 28. The press shall be free, but the law may suppress abuses of this freedom. However, Bibles, catechisms, liturgical and prayer books shall not be printed without the prior permission of the [local] bishop.

Art. 29. All forms of property without exception are inviolable. However, when legally ascertained public interest requires it, one may be obliged to give up such property wholly or in part, with just compensation and in conformity with the law.

Art. 30. No tax shall be levied or collected without the consent of the Chambers and the King.

Art. 31. The public debt is guaranteed. Every obligation
of the State to its creditors is inviolable. 

Art. 32. The right of peaceful assembly without arms is recognized, in conformity with laws that may regulate this right in the interest of public welfare. This provision does not apply to assemblies in public places or in places open to the public. Such assemblies remain completely subject to police regulations.


Art. 33. The Senate shall be composed of members appointed by the King for life; its number is not limited. . . .
Art. 34. The Princes of the Royal Family take part with full rights. They are seated immediately after the President. They enter the Semate at twenty years of age and hve the vote at twenty-five

Art. 35. The President and Vice-Presidents of the Senate shall be appointed by the King. The Senate shall choose its own Secretaries. . . .

Art. 37. Except in cases of flagrante delicto [caught red-handed in a crime], no Senator can ce arrested except by an order of the Senate. It alone is competent to judge crimes of which its members are accused.


Art. 39. The elective Chamber shall be composed of Deputies chosen from electoral constituencies in conformity with the law.

Art. 40. No Deputy shall be admitted to the Chamber unless he is a subject of the King, has reached the age of thirty, enjoys civil and political rights, and fulfills other requirements specified by law.

Art. 41. The deputies represent the Nation in general, and not solely the provinces in which they were elected. They can be given no imperative mandate by the Electors.

Art. 42. Deputies are elected for a period of five years. Their mandate expires automatically at the end of this period.

Art. 43. The President, Vice-Presidents, and Secretaries of the Chamber of Deputies are chosen by the Chamber at the beginning of every Session for its entire duration.

Art. 44. If a Deputy ceases, for whatever reason, to fulfill his functions, the Consitituency  which had elected him will be quickly convened to hold a new election.

Art. 45. Except for the case of flagrante delicto, no Deputy shall be placed under arrest while the Chamber is in session nor may he be brought before a court in a criminal proceeding without the prior consent of the Chamber.

Art. 46. No warrant of arrest for debts shall be executed against a Deputy while the Chamber is in session, nor for the three weeks immediately preceding and following such Session.

Art. 47. The Chamber of Deputies has the right to impeach the King's Ministers and bring them to trial before the High Court of Justice [the Senate].


Art. 49. Senators and Deputies, before being admitted to the exercise of their functions take the oath of loyalty to the King and swear loyally to observe the Constitution and the laws of the State and to exercise thir functions with the sole goal of the inseparable good of the King and of the Fatherland.

Art. 50. The offices of Senator and Deputy are without remuneration or monetary compensation of any kind.

Art. 51. Senators and Deputies shall not be held accountable for opinions expressed and votes given in the Chambers.

Art. 52. Sittings of the Chambers shall be public; but when ten or more members request it in writing, deliberations may be held in closed session....

Art. 54. Deliberations are taken by majority vote.

Art. 55. All bills shall first be examined by the Committees each Chamber shall elect for preliminary consideration. After a bill is discussed and approved by a Chamber, it shall be transmitted to the other Chamber for debate and approval; thereafter, it shall be transmitted to the King for his sanction. .

Art. 56. If a bill is rejected by one of the three legislative powers [Chamber of Deputies, Senate, and the King], it shall not be presented again during the same Session....

Art. 62. the Italian language is the official language of the Chamber. It is, however, optional to use French for those members who belong to areas in which it is used or in response to the same. . . .

Art. 64. No one shall be a Senator and a Deputy at the same time.


Art. 65. The King appoints and dismisses his Ministers.

Art. 66. Ministers do not have the right to vote in either of the Chambers unless they are members thereof.

They do have the right of entrance [to both Chambers] and the right to speak.

Art. 67. Ministers are responsible. Laws and Acts of the Government do not come into force without the signature of a Minister.


Art. 68. Justice emanates from the King and is administered in his name by such judges as he shall appoint.

Art. 69. Except for cantonal judges, judges appointed by the King shall be irremovable after three years of service.

Art. 70. Courts, tribunals, and judges currently existing are retained. The judicial organization may not be altered except by legislation.

Art. 71. No one shall be withdrawn from his ordinary legal jurisdiction. Consequently, no extraordinary tribunals or commissions shall be created.

Art. 72. Proceedings of tribunals in civil matters and hearings in criminal matters shall be public, in conformity with the law.

Art. 73. Binding interpretation of the laws is an exclusive prerogative of the legislative power.


Art. 79. Titles of nobility are maintained for those who have a right to them. The King can confer new ones. 

Art. 80. No one can receive decorations, titles, or pensions from a foreign power without the authorization of the King. 

Art. 81. All laws contrary to the present Statute are abrogated. . . .

Given in Turin this day, the 4th of March in the year of our Lord 1848 and the 18th year of our reign.


Emerson's essay "History"
Emerson's "Transcendental" approach to History
The Vienna Declaration
Framework Convention on National minorities


Start of
The Statuto or Constitution of the
Kingdom of Sardinia (March 1848)