Constitution of Montecara

The constitution of Montecara is a mixture of written and unwritten elements that together make up an uncodified constitution. The constitution draws from two domains: law and custom. Montecaran laws are the written component of the city-state's constitution, and include public, private, and international laws where they apply to Montecara. Custom includes the legal and political traditions that form the foundation of the Montecaran state, many of which date back to the Solarian Republic.

History

Fundamental components of the Montecaran constitution include:

Constitutional principles

Sources

Montecara's form of government draws its legitimacy ultimately from the laws and customs of the Solarian Republic, while incorporating changes and developments that have occurred over the past two millennia.

Popular sovereignty

The fundamental basis of the Montecaran constitution is the concept of the city-state, the polis, as the foundation of the body politic. This implies the independence of the city as well as the right of its citizens to make laws through direct democracy. As a republic, Montecara's sovereign is its citizenry, who are the collective head of state. The laws that citizens make in their sovereign capacity to do so are by definition constitutional, so they may not be challenged in substance by any court of law.

Rule of law

The basis of all political and judicial legitimacy in Montecara is written law, to which all citizens are equally subject. Rule by whim and punishment without a basis in written law (nulla poena sine lege) are impermissible.

Diffusion of power

In order to keep power widely diffused, the state executive uses a directorial system so that no single person is empowered as "head of government." The entire Colegio is jointly in charge of the executive, and all decisions must be ratified by the entire body acting in unison. Internal disagreements are not made public.

Communal government is also designed around the concept of power-sharing, with all local government decisions made by open meetings of citizens.

Sortition

An extension of this deep-rooted commitment to civic republicanism is the idea that public service is a duty to be performed by all when called upon, so sortition is used to select many public officials and lay judges who are responsible for administering civil affairs and justice.

Constitutional conventions

Certain concepts, while not enshrined in law, are nonetheless considered to carry constitutional weight given their importance to Montecara's system of government. These include cabinet collective responsibility by the Colegio, which means that all members of the Colegio publicly agree to its decisions and debate only in private, and respect for judicial independence despite the fact that ultimate sovereignty is held by the people.

Institutions

The Popular Assembly was a traditional body in the Solarian Republic that was called on an ad-hoc basis as an alternative or adjunct to the normal legislative procedure. It was made a permanent fixture of Montecaran government after the Great Restoration in 1935.

The Colegio is a committee of the Popular Assembly that functions as an executive cabinet. Decisions are made collectively in keeping with the directorial system.

The Senate traces its lineage and authority back to the original Senate of the Solarian Republic. It forms part of the legislature and must pass all proposed legislation before it is voted on by the Popular Assembly. It also functions as the court of final appeal for administrative law.

Montecara's judiciary is based on civil law, and statutes are codified in a corpus that consists of four parts: