Monaco Politics

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Monaco adopted its first constitution in 1911 ,this was amended in 1962. In 1963 Prince Rainier III signed a major treaty with France which incorporated a number of previous treaties and which guaranteed Monaco its "independence".

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The treaty was subject to French control and the merging with France on a number of economic and legal issues; such as monetary and customs unity.

In 1993 Monaco became a member of the United Nations. Its defence and security are handled by France.

Monaco politics: Structure of Government

The Principality has a constitutional, hereditary monarchy.

The Prince, currently HSH Albert II, wields overall executive power. Prince Albert II, who succeeded his father Prince Rainier III in 2005, represents Monaco in its relations with foreign powers. He alone can sign and ratify treaties.

The 24-seat National Council's sole function is to accept or reject legislation proposed by the Prince and to vote on budget proposals.

It is elected by universal suffrage, with a 5-year residence qualification.

Elections are held every 5 years. 16 members are elected by a list majority system, and 8 by proportional representation.

The National Council meets twice a year. The Prince makes all judicial and diplomatic appointments as well as selecting an executive Council of Government which consists of a Minister of State, a Minister of the Interior (selected from a list proposed by the French Government) and 3 Monegasque councillors responsible for finance, social services and building.

There are no political parties in Monaco.

Monaco is not a member of the European Union but because of the large number of French laws which apply there (and because of its full customs and monetary union with France) a number of European directives which apply in France indirectly apply in Monaco.

Monaco politics: Law and legal system

Monaco civil law jurisdiction and its legal system are based on the French Napoleonic code.

The legal system consists of 4 levels of courts irrespective of whether the matter involves criminal or civil issues.

A single judge deals with relatively minor offences. The next level up is the Court of First Instance which consists of a panel of several judges presided over by a president and which both hears appeals from the single judge and deal with cases involving more serious legal issues.

Appeals from judgements of the Court of First Instance are lodged with the Court of Appeal. The final Court of Appeal is the Cour de Revision which is made up of French judges.

The judiciary is appointed by the Prince but consists entirely of French judges. Procedure is modelled on and virtually identical to French civil and criminal procedure.

Notaries are also appointed by the Prince.