Chapter Nine On Laws

  1. The government of the Russian Empire is established upon a firm foundation of laws that have been properly enacted.
  2. Laws are equally applicable, without exception, to all Russian subjects and foreigners residing within the Russian State.
  3. No new law can be enacted without the ratification of the State Council and the State Duma, and cannot go into effect without being approved by the Sovereign Emperor.
  4. If extraordinary circumstances necessitate the introduction of a measure which requires legislative action when the State Duma is in recess, the Council of Ministers submits the measure directly to the Sovereign Emperor. Such a measure, however, cannot introduce changes into the Fundamental State Laws, or the Institutions of the State Council and State Duma, or in the Regulations on elections to the Council or the Duma. The force of such a measure will cease if the responsible minister or department head fails to introduce appropriate legislation in the State Duma during the first two months of its session upon reconvening, or if the State Duma or State Council refuse to enact it into law.
  5. Laws specifically enacted for certain localities or segments of the population are not repealed by a new, general law unless precisely such a repeal is specified.
  6. Every law becomes effective only in the future, except in those cases when the law itself specifies that it is in force retroactively or when it exists only to confirm and clarify the meaning of a previous law.
  7. The Governing Senate is the general depository of laws. Therefore, all laws must be submitted in the original or in duly certified copies to the Governing Senate.
  8. To inform the general public, laws are promulgated by the Governing Senate according to established procedures and do not take effect before their promulgation.
  9. Legislative decrees are not subject to promulgation if they were not enacted according to the procedures set in these Fundamental Laws.
  10. Upon promulgation, the law becomes effective from the time specified by the law itself, if such a period of time is not specified -- from the day on which the Senate publication containing the printed law is received locally. The law being published may itself indicate that by means of telegraph or courier it be transmitted for execution before its publication.
  11. A law cannot be repealed otherwise than by the force of another law. Therefore, until an active law is effectively repealed by a new law, it retains its full force.
  12. No one can plead ignorance of a law once it has been duly promulgated.
  13. Regulations concerning regimental, engineering and quartermaster corps, as well as provisions and orders to institutions and authorized personnel in the departments of the Army and Navy are submitted directly to the Sovereign Emperor upon review by the Military and Admiralty Councils, as long as these regulations, provisions and orders, in fact pertain only to the above-mentioned establishments, and do not concern matters of general laws and do not call for new expenditures from the treasury or if they do call for new expenditures, these are covered by expected surpluses in the financial budgets of the War or Naval Ministries. In case a new expenditure cannot be covered by the expected surplus, the submission of such regulations, provisions and orders for the Emperor’s approval are permitted only after petitioning, in the prescribed manner, for the necessary allocation.
  14. Regulations concerning military and naval courts are issued according to procedures established in the Codes of Military and Naval Regulations.

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