Update: July 2012
CHAPTER I INSTITUTIONAL FOUNDATIONS
All persons are born free and equal in dignity and rights. The family is the fundamental nucleus of the society.
The State recognizes and e powers the intermediate groups through which society organizes and structures itself and guarantees them adequate autonomy in order to achieve their own specific objectives.
The State serves the people and its purpose is to promote the common good, in order to achieve this aim, it must contribute to the creation of social conditions which permit each and every one of the members of the national community to achieve the greatest spiritual and material fulfillment possible, with full respect for the rights and guarantees that are constitutionally established.
It is the duty of the State to safeguard national security, to give protection to the population and the family and to strengthen the latter, to promote the harmonious integration of all sectors of the Nation and to assure the right of every person to participate equally in national life.
The national flag, the coat of arms of the Republic and the national anthem are national emblems.
Chile is a unitary State.
The administration of the State shall be functional and territorially decentralized, or deconcentrated as the case may be, in conformity with the law.
The organs of the State shall strengthen the regionalization of the country and pro- mote development based on equity and solidarity between the regions, provinces and communes of the national territory.
Chile is a democratic republic.
Sovereignty resides essentially in the Nation. It is exercised by the people by means of plebiscites and periodic elections as well as through the authorities this Constitution establishes. No sector of the people or [any] individual may claim its exercise for itself.
The exercise of sovereignty recognizes as a limitation the respect of essential rights emanating from human nature. The organs of the State must respect and promote such rights, guaranteed by this Constitution as well as by the international treaties that are ratified by Chile and that are in force.
The State organs must act in accordance with the Constitution and the norms dictated in conformity therein, and guarantee the institutional order of the Republic.
The provisions of this Constitution require either the incumbent or members of such organs such as the entire person, institution or group.
Violation of this generates the standard responsibilities and sanctions determined by the law.
The State organs acting prior valid properly invested of its members, within its jurisdiction and in the manner prescribed by law.
No magistrate, individual or group of persons may claim for itself, not even under the pretext of extraordinary circumstances, powers or rights other than those that have been expressly conferred upon it by virtue of this Constitution or the laws.
Any act in contravention this article is null and give rise to the responsibilities and sanctions under the law indicate.
The exercise of public functions requires its holders to give strict implement the principle of probity in all its performances.
The acts and decisions of the State organs as well as the reasons on which they are based and the procedures by which they are adopted are public. Nevertheless, the withholding of the former or the secrecy of the latter may be imposed exclusively by a law adopted by a qualified majority in cases where the publicity would affect the proper fulfillment of the functions of the said organs, the rights of individuals, the security of the Nation or the national interest.
The President of the Republic, the Ministers of State, Members and senators, and other authorities and officials that an organic law constitutional point, must declare their interest and heritage publicly.
This law shall cases and conditions that these authorities delegated to third parties administration of those assets and liabilities involving conflict of interest in the exercising their powers public. Also, may consider additional appropriate steps to resolve and, in cases qualified to have the disposition of all or part of those assets.
Terrorism, in any of its forms, is essentially contrary to human rights.
A law passed by qualified quorum shall determine terrorist conduct and its punishment. Those responsible for such crimes shall be prohibited for a period of fifteen (15) years from exercising public functions or positions, whether or not these are conferred by popular election, or those of a headmaster or director of an educational establishment, or from discharging teaching functions in them; from
running a medium of mass communication as a commercial enterprise or acting as manager or administrator of the same, or from carrying out functions related to the communication or dissemination of opinions or information; nor shall they be leaders of political organizations, organizations related to education, neighborhood associations or others of a professional, business, union, student or corporate character during this period. The preceding shall apply without prejudice to other ineligibilities or to those which the law may establish for a longer period of time [than five years].
The crimes referred to in the preceding paragraph shall always be considered as common and not as political offenses for all legal purposes and shall not warrant particular pardon, except in order to commute the death penalty to lifetime imprisonment.
CHAPTER II NATIONALITY AND CITIZENSHIP
1- Those born in the territory of Chile, with the exception of children of foreigners who are in Chile in order to serve their Government, and the children of transient foreigners; all of them, however, may opt for Chilean nationality;
2- The children of a Chilean father or mother born in foreign territory. It shall be necessary, however, that one of their direct ancestors of the first or second degree [i. e. either parents or grandparents] has acquired Chilean nationality by virtue of the provisions of numerals 1, 4 or 5;
3- Foreigners who have obtained their nationalization letter in conformity with the law;
4- Those who obtain a special grace of nationalization by law.
The law shall regulate the procedure of opting for Chilean nationality; for the granting, denial or cancellation of the nationalization letters, and the creation of a register for all of these acts.
Chilean nationality is lost:
1- By voluntary renunciation expressed before the competent Chilean authority. This renunciation is only effective if the person concerned has previously acquired the nationality of a foreign country;
2- By supreme decree, in case of services rendered during a foreign war to enemies of Chile or its allies;
3- By cancellation of the nationalization letter; and.
4- By a law revoking nationalization which has been granted by special grace.
Those who have lost Chilean nationality on any of the grounds established in this article may only recover it by law.
A person who is affected by a measure or decision of an administrative authority depriving him or her of his nationality or disregarding it, may appeal, either in person or through interposition of another person acting in his or her name, to the Supreme Court which shall hear the case as jury and sit in full court. The lodging of the appeal shall suspend the [legal] effects of the challenged measure or decision.
Citizens are those Chileans who have attained eighteen (18) years of age and have not been sentenced to prison.
The status of citizen grants the rights to vote, to have access to elective office and the other rights conferred by the Constitution and the laws.
In the case of the Chileans referred to in numerals 2 and 4 of Article 10, the exercise of the rights conferred upon them by citizenship depends on their having been citizens of Chile for more than one (1) year.
Foreigners residing in Chile for more than five (5) years who comply with the requirements specified in the first paragraph of Article 13 may exercise the right to vote in the cases and manner determined by law.
Those who have obtained Chilean nationality in conformity with Article 10, numeral 3, shall have access to elective public office only after having been in possession of their nationalization letters for five (5) years.
In a popular vote, the ballot shall be personal, equal and secret. For citizens it shall be, in addition, obligatory.
A popular vote may only be organized in elections and plebiscites expressly provided for in this Constitution.
The right to vote is suspended:
1- By prohibition in case of dementia;
2- For persons being accused of a crime that is punishable by a prison sentence or of a crime that the law qualifies as terrorist conduct; and
3- For [persons] having been punished by the Constitutional Tribunal in conformity with the seventh paragraph of numeral 15 of Article 19 of this Constitution. Those who, for this reason, are deprived of the exercise of the right to vote may recover such right after five (5) years, counted from the date of the declaration of the Court. Without prejudice to the provision of the seventh paragraph of numeral 15 of Article 19, this suspension shall not produce any other legal effect.
The status of citizenship is lost:
1- By loss of Chilean nationality;
2- By a prison sentence; and
3- By being sentenced for crimes that the law qualifies as terrorist conduct and for those linked to drug traffic which, in addition, are punishable by a prison sentence.
Those who have lost their citizenship on the grounds prescribed in numeral 2 may recover it in accordance with the law, once their criminal liability has been extinguished. Those who have lost their citizenship on the grounds provided in numeral 3 may apply to the Senate for its restoration, once the sentence is served.
There shall be a public electoral system. An organic constitutional law shall determine its organization and operation, regulate the manner in which electoral processes and plebiscites are conducted with regard to all matters which are not provided for by this Constitution, and shall always guarantee the full equality between independents and members of political parties, in respect of the presentation of candidates as well as with regard to their participation in the processes described above.
The defense of public order during electoral acts and plebiscites shall rest with the Armed Forces and Armed Police in the manner indicated by law.
CHAPTER III CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES
The Constitution guarantees to all persons:
1- The right to life and to the physical and psychological integrity of the person.
The law protects the life of the one that is to be born.
The death penalty may only be established for a crime contemplated in a law approved by a qualified quorum.
It prohibits the use of any ill-treatment;
2- Equality before the law. In Chile there are no people or group privileged. In Chile there are no slaves and that step on their territory is free. Men and women are equal before the law.
Neither the law or authority some may provide arbitrary differences;
3- Equal protection of law in the exercise of their rights.
Everyone has the right to a legal defense in the manner provided by law and no authority or individual may prevent, restrict or distort the intervention due counsel when required. In case of the members of Armed Forces Order and Security Public, this right shall be governed, in the relative to administrative and disciplinary, by the norms of their respective statutes.
The law shall determine the means to give advice and legal defense those unable to provide it for themselves thereof.
No one shall be tried by special committees, but the court point out by the law and established by prior to the perpetration of the act.
Any judgment of a court exercising jurisdiction must be based on a process previous legally processed. The legislator always set guarantees a procedure rational research and fair.
The law can not presume by right responsibility criminal.
No offense is punishable with another penalty than that indicated by a law enacted prior to commission, unless that a new law benefit to the affected.
No law shall establish penalties without that conduct is sanctioned are expressly described therein;
4- Respect and protection of life private and to honor of the person and their family;
5- The inviolability of the home and all forms of private communication. The home may be searched and communications and private documents intercepted, opened or recorded in the cases and certain forms determinate by law;
6- The awareness freedom, the expression of all beliefs and free exercise of all cults that not inconsistent to morality, to practice or public order.
Religious denominations may erect and maintain temples under the conditions of health and safety established by law and ordinances.
Churches, confessions and any religious institutions shall have the rights issued and recognized, with respect to the goods, by the laws currently into force. The temples and its dependencies, exclusively for the service of worship, shall be exempt from kinds of taxes;
7- The right to personal freedom and to individual security.
As a result:
(a) Every person has right to live and remain in any Instead of the Republic, move from one to another, and in and out of their territory, saved the norms established in law and unless provided the injury of others;
(b) No person may be deprived of personal freedom, not be restricted except in cases and in the manner determined by the Constitution and laws;
(c) No one can be arrested or detained but official order of specifically public authorized by law and after that order has been served legally. However, may be detained that he caught in a crime flagrant, in order to be made available to the judge within the twenty-four hours follows.
If the authority order the arrest or detain any person, shall, within forty and eight hours, notify the competent judge, putting available at affected. The judge may, by resolution cause, extend this term up to five days and up to ten days, in the case that the investigation concern facts qualified by law as terrorists conduct;
(d) No one can be arrested or detained, liable to imprisonment detention or imprisonment but at home or in public places for this object.
Those responsible for the prisons can not receive anyone as arrested or prosecuted or prisoner, without constancy of the order corresponding issued by authority who have legal statutory in a public register.
No isolation may prevent the officer of the prison to visit the arrested or prosecuted or prisoner, who is therein. This official due provided to the arrest if is requires, transmit to the competent judge back the arrest warrant, or to claim to be given that copy, or to give himself a certificate that he is arrested, if at the time of arrest any omitted this requirement;
(e) Freedom of defendant shall unless the detention is considered by the judge as necessary for research or the safety of offended or society. The law establishes the conditions and procedures to obtain it.
The appeal against the decision taken in respect of the liberty of a person charged with the offenses referred to in Article 9 has to be determined by the competent superior tribunal, composed exclusively by its regular members. The decision which it approves and imposes has to be unanimous. While the person charged remains at liberty, he/she is always subject to the control measures of the [competent] authority as defined by law.
(f) In criminal cases the defendant or accused may not be forced to testify under oath on his/her own actions; nor may his/her family, children, spouse and other persons which, depending on the cases and circumstances as determined by law, be forced to testify against him/her;
(g) No penalty of confiscation of goods may be imposed, without prejudice to the confiscation in the cases prescribed by law; but such penalty shall be permitted with respect to illicit associations;
(h) The loss of social security rights may not be imposed as a penalty; and
(i) Once a definitive stay of proceedings or a not-guilty verdict has been issued, a person who has been subject to the trial or sentence in any process as a result of a decision which the Supreme Court declares unjustifiably erroneous or arbitrary shall have the right to be indemnified by the State for patrimonial and moral losses which he/she has suffered. The indemnification shall be judicially determined in a brief and summary proceeding in which the evidence shall be analyzed conscientiously;
8- The right to live in an environment free from contamination. It is the duty of the State to see to it that this right is not affected and to control the preservation of nature.
The law may establish specific restrictions on certain rights or liberties in order to protect the environment;
9- The right to the protection of health.
The State protects the free and equal access to services which have the promotion, protection and recovery of health as their object and to those aiming at the rehabilitation of the individual.
Likewise, the coordination and control of activities related to health shall rest with the State.
It is a primary duty of the State to guarantee the delivery of health care services, whether performed by public or private institutions, in the form and conditions that the law determines, which may establish compulsory fees.
Every person has the right to choose the health system he/she wants to join, whether it is of a public or private character;
10- The right to education.
The objective of education is the full development of the individual in the different stages of life.
Parents have the primary right and the duty to educate their children. The State shall grant special protection for the exercise of this right.
The State shall promote pre-school education. Basic education and intermediate education are compulsory, the State having the obligation to finance a free system for this purpose, designed to ensure the access of the entire population to them. In the case of intermediate education, this system shall be extended, in accordance with the law, until the age of twenty-one (21).
Likewise, the State has to promote the development of education at all levels; to stimulate scientific and technological research, artistic creation and the protection and growth of the cultural patrimony of the Nation.
It is the duty of the community to contribute to the development and improvement of education;
11- Freedom of education includes the right to establish, organize and maintain educational establishments.
Freedom of education has no other limitations than those imposed by morals, good customs, public order and national security.
Officially recognized education may not be oriented towards propagating any political partisan tendency.
Parents have the right to choose the educational establishment for their children.
An organic constitutional law shall establish the minimum requirements that have to formulated for each of the levels of basic and intermediate education and shall provide the objective provisions, of general application, that permit the State to monitor its fulfillment. The law, likewise, shall establish the requirements for the official recognition of the educational establishments of every level;
12- Freedom to express opinions and disseminate information, without prior censorship, in any form and by any means, without prejudice to the responsibility for crimes and abuses that are committed in the exercise of these freedoms, in conformity with the law which must be passed by a qualified quorum.
In no circumstance may the law establish a State monopoly over the media of mass communication.
Every natural or legal person offended or unfoundedly implicated by a medium of mass communication has the right to have his/her declaration or rectification freely disseminated, in the conditions that the law determines.
Every natural or legal person has the right to establish, edit and maintain newspapers, magazines and periodicals in the conditions specified by law.
The State and those universities and other individuals or entities that the law determines, may establish, operate and maintain television stations.
There shall be a National Council for Television, autonomous and with a legal personality, which shall be in charge of supervising the proper operation of this medium of communication.
A law passed by a qualified quorum shall determine the organization and other functions and attributions of this Council;
13- Meetings in public squares, streets and other places of public use shall be governed by the general police provisions;
The meetings in the squares, streets and other public places will be governed by the general provisions of police;
14- The right to submit petitions to the authorities on any matter of public or private interest with no limitation other than that to proceed in a respectful and appropriate manner;
15- The right to associate without prior authorization.
In order to enjoy legal personality, associations must be constituted in conformity with the law.
No one may be obligated to join an association.
Associations contrary to morals, public order and the security of the State are prohibited.
Political parties may not intervene in any activities other than those specific to them nor have any privilege or monopoly on citizen participation; the list of its members must be registered with the electoral service of the State, which shall keep a copy of it that shall be accessible to the members of the respective party, its accounting shall be public; the sources of its financing may not come from money, goods, donations or credits of foreign origin; its statutes must contemplate rules ensuring an effective internal democracy. An organic constitutional law shall regulate other matters that concern them and the penalties that are to be applied for the breach of its rules, which may include their dissolution. Associations, movements, organizations or groups of people that pursue or carry out activities of political parties without conforming to the aforementioned rules are illicit and will be sanctioned in accordance with the above-mentioned organic constitutional law.
The Political Constitution guarantees political pluralism. Unconstitutional are parties, movements or other forms of organization whose objectives, acts or conduct do not respect the basic principles of the democratic and constitutional regime or promote the establishment of a totalitarian system, as well as those which use, propagate or encourage violence as a means of political action. The Constitutional Tribunal is competent to pronounce said unconstitutionality.
Without prejudice to the other penalties established in the Constitution or the law, the persons who have participated in the events leading to the declaration of unconstitutionality that the preceding paragraph refers to, may not participate in the formation of other political parties, movements or other forms of political organizations, nor run for elective public office nor carry out the functions that are mentioned in numerals 1 to 6 of Article 57 for a period of five (5) years, counted from the date of the declaration of the Court. If, at this date the persons referred to are in charge of the tasks or functions indicated, they shall lose them as of right.
Persons punished by virtue of this provision may not benefit from rehabilitation during the period indicated in the preceding paragraph. The duration of the ineligibilities contemplated in the said paragraph is doubled in the case of recurrence;
16- Freedom to work and its protection.
Every individual has the right to freely enter employment contracts and to freely choose his/her occupation with a just pay.
Any discrimination which is not based on capacity or personal qualification is prohibited, without prejudice to the law which may require Chilean nationality or age limits in determined cases.
No type of work may be prohibited except if it is contrary to morals, public security or health or if the national interest demands it and a law so declares. No law or provision from a public authority may require affiliation to an organization or any entity as a prerequisite for carrying out a determined activity or work, nor may it demand that any such affiliation be discontinued as a condition for keeping such activity or work. The law shall determine the professions that require a university degree or title and the conditions that must be full filled in order to exercise them. The professional bodies established in accordance with the law which are associated with the work of such professions shall be authorized to decide on the complaints which are brought with regard to the ethical conduct of their members. Its decisions may be appealed before the respective Court of Appeal. The non-associated professionals shall be judged by special tribunals established by the law.
Workmen have the right to collective bargaining with the company for which they work, except in circumstances where the law expressly does not permit negotiations. The law shall establish the modalities of collective bargaining and the adequate procedures to bring about a just and peaceful solution within its framework. The law shall determine the cases in which collective bargaining must be submitted to mandatory arbitration which shall be assigned to special courts of experts whose organization and powers shall be established by it.
Neither State nor municipal employees may go on strike. Nor persons may working for corporations or enterprises, regardless of their nature, objectives or functions, which provide services of public interest or whose paralysis might cause serious damage to [public] health, the economy of the country, the supply of the population or national security. The law shall establish the procedures to determine the corporations or enterprises whose workers will be subject to the prohibition which is established in this paragraph;
17- Admission to all roles and public jobs, without other requirements that imposing the Constitution and laws;
18- The right to social security.
The laws governing the exercise of this right be qualified quorum.
The action of the State shall be directed to guarantee to all inhabitants the access to the enjoyment of uniform basic benefits, whether granted by public or private institutions. The law may establish compulsory fees.
The State shall supervise the proper exercise of the rigth to social security;
19- The right unions in cases and so by law. Trade union membership will always be voluntary.
Union organizations shall enjoy legal personality solely by registration of their constitutive acts and statutes in the form and conditions that the law determines.
The law shall contemplate the mechanisms which ensure the autonomy of these organizations. Union organizations may not take part in partisan political activities;
20- Equal taxes distribution in proportion to income or in the progression or manner established by law, and equal distribution of other public loads.
In any case the law may levy taxes manifestly disproportionate or unjust.
The taxes that are collected shall, regardless of their nature, form part of the wealth of the Nation and may not be earmarked for a specific purpose.
However, the law may authorize that certain taxes may be set aside for national defense. Likewise, it may authorize that those [taxes] imposed on activities or goods which have a clear regional or local identification, may be used, within the limits established by it, by the regional or communal authorities for the financing of development projects;
21- The right to carry out any economic activity which is not contrary to morals, public order or national security in conformity with the legal provisions which regulate it.
The State and its organs may carry out entrepreneurial activities or participate in them only if a law passed by a qualified quorum authorizes it. In such a case, those activities shall be subject to the common legislation applicable to private individuals without prejudice to exceptions that may be established for well-founded motives by the law, which must equally be adopted by a qualified quorum;
22- The prohibition of arbitrary discrimination with respect to the treatment that has to be granted by the State and its entities in economic matters.
Only by virtue of a law, and always provided that they do not imply such discrimination, may certain direct or indirect benefits in favor of any sector, activity or geographic zone be authorized or special charges affecting the one or the other be established. In the case of tax exemptions or indirect benefits, the estimated cost of these must be included annually in the Budget Law;
23- Freedom to acquire ownership of all types of goods except those which nature has made the common property of all men or which have to belong to the entire Nation and which are so qualified by the law. The preceding is without prejudice to what is prescribed in other provisions of this Constitution.
When the national interest requires, a law passed by a qualified quorum may establish limitations or requirements for the acquisition of ownership of specific goods;
24- The right of property in its different forms in respect of all classes of material and immaterial property.
Only the law may establish the manner in which property is acquired, used, enjoyed and disposed of, and the limitations and obligations derived from its social function. This includes, to the extent required by the general interests of the Nation, national security, public utility and public health and the conservation of the environmental patrimony.
No one may, in any circumstance, be deprived of his/her property, of the objects concerned or of any of the essential faculties or attributes of ownership except by virtue of a general or special law which authorizes the expropriation for the public benefit or the national interest as duly qualified by the legislator. The person whose property has been expropriated may challenge the legality of the expropriation act before the ordinary courts and shall always have the right to compensation for the material damage effectively caused, which shall be fixed by mutual agreement or by a sentence rendered in accordance with the law by said courts.
In the absence of an agreement the compensation must be paid in cash.
The seizure of the expropriated objects shall take place following the total payment of the compensation, which, in the absence of agreement, shall be provisionally determined by evaluators in the manner prescribed by law. In the case of a dispute about the way in which the expropriation has been carried out, the judge may, on the basis of the files presented to him/her, order the suspension of the taking of possession.
The State has the absolute, exclusive, inalienable, and imprescriptible ownership of all mines including metal-rich sands, salt mines, coal and hydrocarbon deposits and other fossil substances with the exception of surface clays, notwithstanding the ownership of natural or legal persons over the lands under whose surface they are situated. The surface lands shall be subject to the obligations and limitations specified by law in order to facilitate the exploration, exploitation and benefits of these mines.
The law shall determine which of the substances among those referred to in the preceding paragraph, except liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons, may be the object of exploration or exploitation concessions. Such concessions shall always be conferred by judicial resolution and shall last for the period [specified], shall confer the rights and impose the obligations prescribed by a law which shall have the character of organic constitutional law. The mining concession obliges the owner to carry out the necessary activities in order to satisfy the public interest which justifies its granting. Its protection regime shall be established by said law which shall seek, by direct or indirect means, to secure the fulfillment of this obligation and shall contemplate grounds of expiry or of simple termination of the ownership of the concession in the case of non-fulfillment. In every case such grounds and their effects must be established at the moment of the granting of the concession.
The ordinary courts of justice shall have the exclusive jurisdiction to declare the termination of such concessions. They shall settle the controversies that arise with respect to [the] expiry or termination of the ownership of the concession, in the case of expiry, the party affected may request from the courts of justice a declaration on the continued existence of his/her rights.
The ownership of the person holding title in respect of his/her mining concession shall be protected by the constitutional guarantee dealt with in this numeral.
The exploration, exploitation or the beneficial use of deposits which contain substances that are not subject to concession may be carried out directly by the State or by its companies, or by means of administrative concessions or special operation contracts, in accordance with the requirements and in the conditions which the President of the Republic determines for each case by supreme decree. This provision shall also apply to any species existing in maritime waters subject to the national jurisdiction and those located, wholly or in part, in zones that, in conformity with the law, are qualified as being essential to national security. The President of the Republic may at any time, without giving reasons and with the corresponding compensation, terminate administrative concessions or operation contracts relating to exploitation measures in zones which have been declared essential to national security.
The rights of the individuals over the waters, recognized or established in conformity with the law, conferred the former ownership of the latter;
25- The freedom to create and disseminate works of art, as well as the rights of the author in respect of his/her intellectual and artistic creations of any kind, for a period prescribed by law and which shall not be shorter than the life of the owner.
The rights of the author are understood to include the ownership of the works and other rights such as authorship, the edition and the integrity of the work, all this in conformity with the law.
Also, industrial ownership of invention patents, trademarks, models, technological processes or other analogous creations is guaranteed for the period established by law.
The conditions set forth in the second, third, fourth and fifth paragraphs of the preceding numeral are applicable to the ownership of intellectual and artistic creations and industrial ownership; and
26- The certainty that the legal provisions which by mandate of the Constitution regulate or complement the guarantees established therein or which limit them in the cases authorized by the Constitution may not affect the rights in their essence nor impose conditions, taxes or requirements which impede their free exercise.
Anybody who, due to arbitrary or illegal actions or omissions, suffers privation, disturbance or threats in the legitimate exercise of the rights and guarantees established in Article 19, numerals 1, 2, 3 of the fourth paragraph, 4, 5, 6, 9 of the final paragraph, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16 relative to freedom of work and to freedom of choice and freedom of contract, and to what is established in the fourth paragraph, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25 may on his/her own or by third party approach the respective Court of Appeal which shall immediately adopt the measures that it deems necessary to re-establish the rule of law and to ensure the due protection of the affected person without prejudice to other rights which he/she might invoke before the competent authorities or courts.
The action of for the protection of fundamental rights shall always he in the case of numeral 8 of Article 19, when the right to live in an environment free from contamination has been affected by an illegal act or omission imputable to an authority or specific person.
Every individual who is arrested, detained or imprisoned in contravention of the Constitution or the laws may appeal on his/her own or through a third party to the magistrate prescribed by law, for the result of the magistrate ordering compliance with the legal formalities and adopting without delay the judgment necessary to re-establish the rule of law and to assure the due protection of the affected person.
The magistrate may order that the individual be tried in his/her presence and everyone in charge of the jails or places of detention shall scrupulously observe this decree. After having examined the files, the magistrate shall decree the individual’s immediate release or shall rectify the legal defects [of the detention order] or may put the individual at the disposal of a competent judge, always proceeding in a brief and summary manner, and correcting on his/her own such defects or informing the person competent for their correction thereof.
The same remedy, in the same manner, may be granted in favor of every person who unlawfully suffers any other deprivation, infringement or threat with regard to his/her right to personal freedom and individual security. The respective judicial authority shall dictate in such a case the measures indicated in the aforementioned paragraph which it deems conducive to the re-establishment of the rule of law and the due protection of the affected individual.
Every inhabitant of the Republic must respect Chile and its national emblems.
Chileans have the fundamental duty to honor their fatherland, to defend its sovereignty and contribute to the preservation of national security and of the essential values of the Chilean tradition.
Military service and other personal charges imposed by law are mandatory in terms and forms established by it.
The Chilean state to bear arms shall be inscribed in Military Records, if they are not legally excepted.
Intermediate groups of the community and their leaders who abuse the autonomy which the Constitution accords to them, by taking part in activities alien to their specific objectives, shall be sanctioned in conformity with the law. The leadership positions in trade unions shall be incompatible with leadership functions, at the national and regional level, in political parties.
The law shall establish the sanctions to be applied to union leaders who intervene in partisan political activities and to the leaders of the political parties who interfere in the operation of union organizations and other intermediate groups that the relevant law specifies.
CHAPTER IV GOVERNMENT
President of the Republic
The government and the administration of the State are vested in the President of the Republic, who is the Head of State.
His authority extends to all matters related to the conservation of the public order in the domestic sphere and the external security of the Republic in accordance with the Constitution and the laws.
On May 21 of each year, the President of the Republic shall give before Congress in plenary session an account to the country of the administrative and political state of the Nation.
In order to be elected President of the Republic it is necessary to possess Chilean nationality in accordance with the provisions of numerals 1 or 2 of Article 10; to have attained thirty-five (35) years of age and possess the other qualities necessary in order to be a citizen with the right to vote.
The President of the Republic shall hold office for a term of four (4) years and may not be re-elected for the following period.
The President of the Republic may not leave the national territory for more than thirty (30) days nor do so in the last ninety (90) days of his/her term without the consent of the Senate.
In any case, the President of the Republic shall communicate with due notice in advance to the Senate his/her decision to leave the territory and the reasons which justify it.
The President of the Republic shall be elected by direct ballot and by an absolute majority of the votes validly cast. The election shall be held jointly with that of the members of Parliament, in the manner determined by the respective organic constitutional law, ninety (90) days before the end of the administration that is in office.
If, in the Presidential election, more than two (2) candidates are presented and neither of them has obtained more than half of the votes validly cast, then a second round of voting shall be held which will be restricted to the candidates having obtained the two (2) highest number of votes and in this round the candidate shall be elected who obtains the highest number of votes. This new election shall be held in accordance with the law on the thirtieth (30th) day after the first election if this day falls on a Sunday. If it does not so fall, then it shall be held on the Sunday immediately following the thirtieth (30th) day.
With regard to the two preceding paragraphs, blank votes and those which are null and void shall be considered to have never been cast.
In case of the death of one or both candidates referred to in paragraph 2, the President of the Republic shall convene a new election within a period of thirty (30) days, starting with the day of the death. The election shall be held on the Sunday which is closest to the ninetieth (90th) day following the convening of the elections.
If the term of the President of the Republic in office expires before the inauguration of the President who is elected in accordance with the preceding paragraph, the provision contained in paragraph 1 of Article 28 shall apply, as far as it is pertinent.
The process of qualification for the Presidential election must be concluded within fifteen (15) days following the first or second election, whichever is applicable.
The Elections Tribunal shall immediately notify the President of the Senate of the proclamation of the elected President.
The Plenary Congress shall convene a public session ninety (90) days after the first and only round of voting and, with the members in attendance, shall take note of the resolution by virtue of which the Elections Tribunal proclaims the President-elect.
On the same occasion, the President-elect shall take before the President of the Senate the oath or the promise to faithfully carry out his/her Presidential duties, preserve the independence of the Nation, comply and ensure compliance with the Constitution and the laws, and shall take office immediately afterwards.
If the President-elect is impeded from taking office, [the office] is taken over, with the title of Vice-President of the Republic, by the President of the Senate; in his/her absence, by the President of the Chamber of Deputies and, in the absence of the latter, by the President of the Supreme Court.
However, if the impediment of the President-elect is absolute or continues indefinitely, the Vice-President, within the ten (10) days following Senate approval adopted in conformity with Article 53, numeral 7, shall expedite the appropriate orders in order to proceed with a new election within a period of sixty (60) days in the manner prescribed by the Constitution and the Electoral Law. The President of the Republic elected in this procedure assumes his/her functions on the occasion indicated by that law, and shall stay in office until the day which corresponds with the end of the term of the President-elect who could not assume his/her office and whose impediment has motivated the new election.
If the President of the Republic, whether it be for sickness, absence from the territory or another serious reason, is temporarily prevented from discharging the duties of office, he/she shall be replaced, with the title of Vice-President, by the Minister who, in accordance with the rules of protocol, is next in one. In his/her absence, the President is replaced by the Minister who is next on the list and, in the absence of all of them, in successive order by the President of the Senate, the President of the Chamber of Deputies and the President of the Supreme Court.
In case of the vacancy of the office of President of the Republic, the replacement is provided in the same manner as in the cases referred to in the preceding paragraph, and a successor is elected in accordance with the rules stipulated in the following paragraphs.
If the vacancy occurs less than two (2) years before the next general parliamentary election, the President shall be elected by the Plenary Congress with the absolute majority of the senators and deputies in office. The election by Congress shall take place within ten (10) days following the date of the vacancy, and the elected individual shall assume his/her duties within the following thirty (30) days.
If the vacancy occurs two (2) or more years from the next general parliamentary election, the Vice-President, within the first ten (10) days of his/her term, shall convene the citizens for a presidential election on the sixtieth (60th) day after the convocation order has been issued. The President who is elected shall assume his/her duties on the tenth (10th) day after his/her proclamation.
The President who has been elected in accordance with one of the preceding paragraphs shall stay in office until the end of the term which remained to the person he/she is replacing, and may not stand as a candidate in the following presidential election.
The President shall cease his/her functions on the same day on which his/her term ends and shall be succeeded by the recently elected person.
Whoever has performed these duties for a full term shall acquire, immediately and of right, the official capacity of Ex-President of the Republic.
By virtue of this capacity, the provisions of the second, third and fourth paragraphs of Articles 61 and 62 shall apply:
Neither the citizen who occupies the office of President of the Republic by virtue of a vacancy in that office nor the one who has been found guilty in an impeachment procedure brought against him/her acquires the capacity of Ex- President.
The Ex-President of the Republic who assumes any functions paid for by public funds shall not receive, during the period in which he/she discharges these functions, his/her allowances, but shall retain the other privileges attached to him/her. With the exception of teaching jobs and functions of that nature or commissions of higher secondary and special education.
The President appointed by the Plenary Congress, or as the case may be, the Vice-President of the Republic shall have all the powers which this Constitution confers upon the President of the Republic.
Special powers of the President of the Republic are:
1- To concur in the making of laws in accordance with the Constitution, to sanction them and promulgate them;
2- To request, by indicating the reasons, the convening of any of the branches of the National Congress. In such a case, the session must take place at the shortest possible notice;
3- To dictate, subject to the prior authorization by Congress, decrees with the force of law on the matters determined by the Constitution;
4- To convene a plebiscite in the cases referred to in Article 128;
5- To declare the constitutional state of emergency in the manner and form determined by this Constitution;
6- To exercise the regulatory powers in all those matters which are not of a legal nature without prejudice to the ability to issue other decrees or instructions which he/she deems appropriate for the execution of the laws;
7- To appoint and remove at will Ministers of State, Under- Secretaries, Superintendents and Governors,
8- To appoint ambassadors and diplomatic ministers and representatives to international organizations. These officials, as well as those referred to in the preceding numeral 7, depend exclusively on the confidence of the President of the Republic and shall remain in office as long as they can be counted upon;
9- To nominate the Comptroller-General of the Republic with the agreement of the Senate;
10- To nominate and remove functionaries considered by law to be dependent exclusively on his/her confidence and to fill the other civilian positions in conformity with the law. The removal of other functionaries shall be subject to the provisions that this law determines;
11- To grant pensions, retirements, widows’ pensions and de gratia pensions, in accordance with the rules of law;
12- To nominate the magistrates and public prosecutors of the Courts of Appeal and the career judges upon the proposition of the Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeal, respectively; the members of the Constitutional Tribunal to be appointed by him/her, and the magistrates and public prosecutors of the Supreme Court as well the National Prosecutor, upon proposition of this Court and with the approval of the Senate in conformity with the provisions of this Constitution;
13- To watch over the ministerial conduct of the judges and other employees of the judiciary and to request from the Supreme Court for this purpose, if necessary, the declaration of misconduct by these persons or of the public ministry that it asks for disciplinary measures from the competent court or, if there is sufficient merit to the case, that it files the relevant accusation;
14- To grant individual reprieve in the cases and manner determined by law. The reprieve shall be inappropriate in the absence of a final judgment in the respective process. Functionaries impeached by the Chamber of Deputies and condemned by the Senate may only be pardoned by Congress;
15- To conduct political relations with foreign powers and international organizations, and to carry out negotiations; to conclude, sign and ratify treaties deemed beneficial to the interest of the country, which must be submitted to the approval of Congress in conformity with Article 54, numeral 1. The discussions and deliberations of these matters shall be secret if the President of the Republic so requests;
16- To appoint and remove Commanders-in-Chief of the Army, Navy, Air Force and the Director-General of the Armed Police in conformity with Article 104, and to make arrangements for the appointment, promotion and retirement of officers of the Armed Forces and the Armed Police in the manner prescribed in Article 105;
17- To command the air, sea and land forces and to organize and deploy them in accordance with national security needs;
18- To assume, in case of war, the supreme command of the Armed Forces;
19- To declare war, after authorization by law and after having heard the National Security Council; and
20- To oversee the collection of public revenue and decree its expenditure in accordance with the law. The President of the Republic, with the signatures of all the Ministers of the State, may decree payments not authorized by law in order to meet needs which cannot be postponed, resulting from public calamities, foreign aggression, internal unrest, a serious danger or detriment to national security or the exhaustion of resources designed for the maintenance of services which cannot be interrupted without causing serious damage to the country. The total investment made towards such objectives shall not exceed two percent (2%) of the cumulated expenses authorized by the Budget Law. The hiring of employees charged to this law is permitted but this item may not be increased nor diminished by transfers. The Ministers of State or officers who authorize or approve expenditures that contravene the provisions of this numeral shall be jointly and personally responsible for the reimbursement thereof and guilty of the crime of embezzlement of public funds.
Ministers of State
The Ministers of the State are the direct and immediate collaborators of the President of the Republic in the government and administration of the State.
The law shall determine the number and organization of the Ministers as well as the order of precedence of the incumbent Ministers.
The President of the Republic may entrust one or more Ministers with the coordination of the work to be performed by the Secretaries of State and the relations of the Government with the National Congress.
In order to be nominated as a Minister, one must be Chilean, have attained twenty-one (21) years of age and meet the general requisites for entering Public Administration.
In cases of absence, impediment or resignation of a Minister or when for another reason a vacancy occurs, he/she shall be replaced in the manner established by law.
The regulations and decrees of the President of the Republic must be signed by the respective Minister and shall not be enforced without this essential requirement.
Decrees and instructions may be issued with the sole signature of the respective Minister by order of the President of the Republic, in conformity with the rules as established by law.
The Ministers shall be individually responsible for the acts which they sign and jointly responsible for acts which they sign or agree upon with other Ministers.
Ministers may, when they deem it appropriate, attend sessions of the Chamber of Deputies or of the Senate and take part in their debates, having a preferential right to speak, but without the right to vote. During the vote they may, however, rectify the concepts put forward by a deputy or senator in order to justify his/her vote.
Without prejudice to the foregoing, the Ministers have to personally take part in the special sessions which are convened by the Chamber of Deputies or Senators in order to inform themselves on matters falling within the sphere of competences of the respective Secretaries of State which they agree to discuss.
Article 37 bis
For the Ministers will be applicable incompatibilities established in the first paragraph of Article 58. For the single accepting the appointment, the Minister shall cease to hold office, employment, function or commission incompatible to play.
During the year from office, the Ministers subject to the ban on contracts or bail with the State, acting as lawyers or attorneys in any kind of trial or as attorney or agent in particular negotiations of the administration, be director of banks or of any corporation and holding office similar importance in these activities.
General Bases for the State Administration
An organic constitutional law shall determine the basic organization of the Public Administration; guarantee the career of civil servants and the principles of a technical and professional character on which it must be based, and ensure the equality of opportunity for entering it as well as the training and the improvement of the skills of its officers.
Any person whose right may have been adversely affected by the Administration of the State, its organs or the municipalities, may appeal to the courts determined by law, without prejudice to the liability which might be incurred by the officer who has caused the harm.
States of Constitutional Exception
The exercise of the rights and guarantees that the Constitution offers to al persons may only be affected in the following situations of exception: foreign or internal war, internal disturbances, emergency and public calamity, when they gravely affect the normal functioning of the institutions of the State.
The state of assembly, in the case of a foreign war, and the state of siege, in the case of internal war or grave internal disturbances, shall be declared by the President of the Republic with the approval of the National Congress. The declaration must determine the zones affected by the respective state of exception.
Within a period of five (5) days from the submission of the declaration of the state of assembly or siege for its consideration by the President of the Republic, the National Congress must make the decision either to accept or to reject the proposal, without having the possibility to amend it. If the Congress does not make a decision within this period, the proposal of the President is deemed to have been accepted.
However, the President of the Republic may implement the state of assembly or siege immediately while the Congress ponders its decision on the declaration, but in the latter state [of exception], may only restrict the exercise of the right to assemble. The measures adopted by the President while the National Congress is not in session are subject to revision by the courts of law, without the provisions in Article 45 being applicable, however.
The declaration of the state of siege may only be made for a period of fifteen (15) days, although the President of the Republic may request its extension. The state of assembly remains in force as long as the situation of foreign war lasts, unless the President of the Republic decides to suspend it on an earlier date.
The state of catastrophe, in the case of a public calamity, shall be declared by the President of the Republic who determines the zone affected by it.
The President of the Republic is obliged to inform the National Congress about the measures which have been adopted with regard to the state of catastrophe. The National Congress may render the declaration ineffective one hundred and eighty (180) days after it has been made if the reasons for it have disappeared completely. However, the President of the Republic may declare the state of catastrophe for a period exceeding one (1) year only with the approval of the National Congress. The approval is granted in the manner established in the second paragraph of Article 40.
After the state of catastrophe has been declared, the respective zones remain under the direct control of the Chief of National Defense appointed by the President of the Republic. He/she assumes the direction and control in his/her jurisdiction with the rights and duties defined by the law.
The state of emergency, in the case of a grave alteration of the public order or grave damage to the security of the Nation, shall be declared by the President of the Republic who determines the zones affected by those circumstances. The state of emergency may not last longer than fifteen (15) days, although the President of the Republic may extend it for the same period. However, for successive extensions the President of the Republic always needs the approval of the National Congress. The approval is granted in the manner established in the second paragraph of Article 40.
After the state of emergency has been declared, the respective zones remain under the direct control of the Chief of National Defense appointed by the President of the Republic. He/she assumes the direction and control in his/her jurisdiction with the rights and duties defined by the law.
The President of the Republic is obliged to inform the National Congress about the measures which have been adopted with regard to the state of emergency.
By virtue of the declaration of the state of assembly, the President of the Republic is authorized to suspend or restrict personal liberty, the right to assembly and freedom to work. He/she may also restrict the exercise of the right of association, intercept, open or register documents and any type of communications, order the requisition of goods and establish limitations on the exercise of the right to property.
By virtue of the declaration of the state of siege, the President of the Republic may restrict the free movement of persons and arrest people in their own homes or in places determined by the law that are neither jail nor intended to be used for the detention or imprisonment of common criminals. He/she may, in addition, suspend or restrict the right of assembly.
By virtue of the declaration of the state of catastrophe, the President of the Republic may restrict the free movement of persons and the freedom of assembly. He/she may also order the requisition of goods, establish limitations on the exercise of the right to property and adopt all exceptional measures of an administrative character which are necessary for a quick return to normality in the affected zone.
By virtue of the declaration of emergency, the President of the Republic may restrict the free movement of persons and the freedom of assembly.
A constitutional organic law shall regulate the states of exception as well as their declaration and the implementation of the legal and administrative measures made necessary by them. This law shall contemplate what is strictly necessary for a quick return to constitutional normality and may not affect the competences and the functioning of the constitutional organs nor the rights and immunities of the respective office holders.
The measures which are taken during the states of exception may in no case extend beyond their duration.
The courts of law may question neither the justification nor the facts upon which the authority bases its decisions to decree the states of exception, the provision in Article 39 not withstanding. This does not exclude, however, that the specific measures which affect constitutional rights can always be challenged before the judicial authorities with the appropriate remedies.
The requisitions which are carried out give rise to compensation in accordance with the law. The right to compensation is also triggered by limitations imposed on the right to property when they entail the deprivation of any of the essential qualities or faculties attached to it and thereby cause damage.
CHAPTER V NATIONAL CONGRESS
The National Congress consists of two (2) branches: the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. Both concur in the formation of laws in conformity with this Constitution and have the other powers established therein.
Composition and Establishment of the Chamber of Deputies and Senate
The Chamber of Deputies is composed of one hundred and twenty (120) members elected by direct ballot in the electoral district established by the respective organic constitutional law.
The Chamber of Deputies shall be totally renewed every four (4) years.
In order to be elected, representatives must be Chilean citizens with the right to vote, have attained twenty-one (21) years of age, have received secondary education or its equivalent and have resided in the region of the pertinent electoral district for a period of no less than two (2) years prior to the date of the election.
The Senate shall be composed of members elected by direct ballot in senatorial constituencies, with regard to the regions of the countries. The respective constitutional organic law shall determine the number of the senators, the senatorial constituencies and the manner of their election.
The senators shall remain in office for eight (8) years, and shall be partially renewed every four (4) years, the renewal taking place in one period with regard to the representatives of odd-numbered regions and in the following period with regard to the representatives of even- numbered regions and the Metropolitan Area.
In order to be elected Senator, one needs to be a [Chilean] citizen with the right to vote, to have completed secondary education or the equivalent and attained thirty-five (35) years of age on the day of the election.
It shall be understood that deputies have, by the sole operation of the law, their residence in the corresponding region while they are in the exercise of their charge.
The elections of the deputies and of the senators shall be held jointly. Parliamentarians may be re-elected to their offices.
The vacant seats of deputies and those of senators shall be filled with the citizen nominated by the political party to which the parliamentarian whose seat has become vacant belonged when he/she was elected.
The parliamentarians who have been elected as independents shall not be replaced.
The parliamentarians elected as independents who as candidates had joined the list of one or more political parties shall be replaced by the citizen who is nominated by the party which the respective parliamentarian had named at the time he/she presented his/her candidacy.
The replacement candidate must meet the requirements for being elected deputy or Senator, as the case may be. However, a deputy may be appointed to fill the post of Senator; in this case, the provisions of the preceding paragraphs must apply in order to fill the vacant seat left by the deputy who ceases his/her former functions [of deputy] on assuming his/her new office [of Senator].
The new deputy or Senator shall exercise his/her functions for the rest of the term which was left to the person who caused the vacancy.
In no case shall complementary elections be held.
Exclusive Powers of the Chamber of Deputies Article 52
The exclusive powers of the Chamber of Deputies are:
1- To oversee the acts of the Government. In order to exercise this power, the Chamber may:
(a) With the vote of the majority of deputies present, adopt resolutions or submit observations which shall be transmitted in writing to the President of the Republic who must give a reasoned reply, through the competent Minister of State, within thirty (30) days.
Without prejudice to the foregoing, any deputy may, with the favorable vote of one-third (1/3) of the Chamber members present, request specific documents from the Government. The President of the Republic shall give a reasoned reply, through the competent Minister of State, within the delay specified in the preceding paragraph.
In no case shall the resolutions, observations or requests of documents affect the political responsibility of the Ministers of State;
(b) Summon a Minister of State, upon the application of at least one- third (1/3) of the deputies in office, in order to question him/her on matters related to the exercise of his/her functions. However, the same Minister may not be summoned for this purpose more than three (3) times in a calendar year without a prior decision by an absolute majority of the deputies in office.
The presence of the Minister is compulsory; he/she must answer the questions and requests which have motivated his/her summons; and
(c) Establish special investigation committees upon the application of at least two-fifths (2/5) of the deputies in office, with the objective to collect information in relation to specific Government actions.
The investigation committees may, upon application of one-third (1/3) of its members, issue summons and request documents. The Ministers of State, the other officials of the Administration and the staff of the companies run by the Government or of those in which the State holds majority shares, who are summoned by these committees, shall be obliged to appear before them and to deliver the documents and the information which have been requested from them.
Nevertheless, the Ministers of State may not be summoned more than three (3) times before the same investigation committee without prior decision by an absolute majority of its members.
The constitutional organic law of the National Congress shall regulate the functioning and the powers of the investigation committees and the way in which the rights of the persons which they summon or deal with are protected.
2- To declare whether or not accusations made by no less than ten (10) or more than twenty (20) of its members against the following persons have merit:
(a) The President of the Republic, for acts of his/her administration which have gravely compromised the honor and the security of the Nation, or have openly violated the Constitution or the laws. This accusation may be filed while the President is in office and within six (6) months following the expiration of his/her term. During the latter period he/she may not leave the Republic without the approval of the Chamber;
(b) Ministers of State, for actions which may have gravely compromised the honor and security of the Nation, for violating the Constitution or the laws or for not having executed the laws and for the crimes of treason, blackmail, embezzlement of public funds and bribery;
(c) Magistrates of the higher courts of justice and the Comptroller General of the Republic for genuine neglect of their duties;
(d) Generals or admirals of the institutions belonging to the Forces of National Defense for having gravely compromised the honor or the security of the Nation; and
(e) Superintendents and governors for breach of the Constitution and crimes of treason, sedition, embezzlement of public funds and blackmail.
The accusation shall be processed in conformity with the organic constitutional law relative to Congress.
The accusations referred to in letters b), c), d) and e) may be filed while the affected person is in office or in the three (3) months following the expiration of his/her term. Upon filing the accusation, the affected person may not leave the country without the permission of the Chamber, and he/she may not do so in any case if the accusation should have been already approved.
The vote of the majority of the deputies in office is necessary in order to declare whether the accusation brought against the President of the Republic is or is not acceptable.
In the other instances, the majority of the deputies present shall be required and the accused shall be suspended in the performance of his/her functions from the time the Chamber declares that the accusation has merit. The suspension shall cease to be effective if the Senate rejects the accusation or if it does not make a pronouncement within the following thirty (30) days.
Exclusive Powers of the Senate
The exclusive powers of the Senate are:
1- To decide on the accusations submitted to it by the Chamber of Deputies in accordance with the preceding article.
The Senate shall act as jury and shall be limited to declare whether or not the accused is guilty of the offense, infraction or abuse of power imputed to him.
The declaration of guilt must be pronounced by two-thirds (2/3) of the senators in office when the accusation is brought against the President of the Republic, and by the majority of the senators in office in other cases.
By the declaration of guilt, the accused shall be dismissed from his/her position and may not perform any public function, whether elective or not, until five (5) years have passed.
The official declared guilty shall be judged in accordance with the laws by a competent court in order to apply the penalty attached to the crime, if any, as well as in order to establish civil liability for the harm and damage caused to the State or to private individuals;
2- To decide on the admissibility of judicial actions which any individual might bring against any Minister of State for damages unjustly suffered as a result of the actions of a Minister of State while performing his/her duties;
3- To decide on jurisdictional disputes which arise between political or administrative authorities and the higher courts of justice;
4- To grant the restoration of the citizenship in the case of Article 17, numeral 3 of this Constitution;
5- To lend or deny its consent to actions of the President of the Republic in cases required by the Constitution and law.
If the Senate does not make a pronouncement within thirty (30) days after the request of urgency by the President of the Republic, it shall be deemed that its assent has been granted;
6- To grant its approval so that the President of the Republic can leave the country for more than thirty (30) days or within the last ninety (90) days of his/her term;
7- To declare the incapacity of the President of the Republic or of the President-elect when a physical or mental impediment prevents him from exercising his/her duties; and equally to declare when the President of the Republic resigns from his/her office whether or not the grounds that have caused the resignation are well founded and consequently to accept or reject the resignation. In both cases it must previously hear the Constitutional Tribunal;
8- To approve, by the majority of its members in office, the declaration of the Constitutional Tribunal which is referred to in the second part of numeral 10 of Article 93;
9- To approve in a special session convened for this purpose and with the vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the senators in office the appointment of the ministers and the public prosecutors of the Supreme Court and of the National Prosecutor; and
10- Give the opinion to the President of the Republic where that its request.
The Senate, its commissions and other organs thereof including the parliamentary committees, if they have them, may not control the actions of the Government or of its independent entities or adopt decisions which imply such control.
Exclusive Powers of Congress
The powers of Congress are:
1- To approve or reject international treaties which are presented to it by the President of the Republic prior to the ratification thereof. The approval of a treaty shall be subject to the procedures provided by law.
The approval of the treaty requires in each Chamber the relevant quorum defined in Article 66 and is subject, so far as it is pertinent, to the procedure governing the adoption of laws.
The President of the Republic informs the Congress about the contents and the scope of the treaty, as well as about the reservations which he/she intends to confirm or to formulate.
Congress may suggest the formulation of reservations or interpretative declarations to an international treaty in the course of the proceedings for its approval, always provided that these are in conformity with the provisions of the treaty itself and the general rules of international law.
The measures which the President of the Republic adopts or the agreements which he/she concludes in order to fulfill a treaty in force shall not require new approval by Congress, unless they concern matters which have to be dealt with by way of legislation. The treaties concluded by the President of the Republic in the exercise of his/her regulatory powers shall not require the approval of Congress.
The provisions of a treaty may only be derogated, modified or suspended in the manner provided for in the treaties themselves or in accordance with the general rules of international law.
The power to denounce a treaty or to withdraw from it belongs exclusively to the President of the Republic who shall ask both Chambers of Congress for their view if the treaties in question have been approved by them. When the renunciation or withdrawal becomes effective in accordance with the provisions of the international treaty, the latter ceases to produce effects in the Chilean legal order.
In the case of the denunciation of or withdrawal from a treaty which had been approved by Congress, the President of the Republic must inform the former about it within fifteen (15) days after the denunciation or withdrawal has become effective.
The withdrawal of a reservation, which had been formulated by the President of the Republic and which the National Congress had discussed at the time when it approved the treaty, shall require the approval of the latter, in accordance with the provisions in the respective constitutional organic law. The National Congress must make a decision within thirty (30) days after the reception of the official request asking for its consent. If it does not make a decision within this time period, the withdrawal of the reservation is deemed to have been approved.
In accordance with the provisions of the law, facts related to the international treaty—its entry into force, the formulation and withdrawal of reservations, interpretative declarations, objections to a reservation and its withdrawal, the denunciation of the treaty, the withdrawal from it, its suspension, termination and nullity—shall receive appropriate publicity.
In the decision approving an international treaty, Congress may authorize the President of the Republic to dictate, while it is in force, the provisions with the force of law which he/she deems necessary for its comprehensive fulfillment, with the consequence, that in such a case the provisions of the second and the following paragraphs of Article 64 are applicable; and
2- To make the decisions for which it is competent with regard to the states of constitutional exception, in the manner prescribed in the second paragraph of Article 40.
Functioning of Congress
The National Congress will be installed and start his period sessions in the form determine in its constitutional organic law.
In any case, means convened whenever full right to know the declaration of states of constitutional exception.
The constitutional organic law referred to in the first paragraph shall regulate the proceedings for constitutional impeachments, the assessment of urgency matters in accordance with Article 74 and everything which is related to the internal discussion of the law.
The House Deputies and the Senate meeting and may enter adopt resolutions without the concurrence of the third its members in exercise.
Each of the chambers shall at its own closure rules the debate by simple majority.
Common Rules for Deputies and Senators
The following persons may not be candidates for deputies or senators:
1- Ministers of State;
2- The superintendent, the governors, mayors, regional directors, the councilors and secretaries;
3- Members of the Board of the Central Bank;
4- Magistrates of the high courts of justice and the ordinary judges;
5- Members of Constitutional Court, of the Elections Court and regional electoral tribunals;
6- The Comptroller-General of the Republic;
7- Persons that are in direct charge of unions or local groups,
8- Individuals and managers or managers of legal persons entered into or guarantee government contracts;
9- The National Prosecutor, regional prosecutors and the Deputy Prosecutors, and
10- The Commanders-in-Chief of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, the Director-General of the Armed Police (Carabineros), the Director-General of the Investigation Police and the officials of the Armed Forces and the Forces of Public Order and Security.
The ineligibilities established in this article shall apply to those who have had the qualifications or functions previously mentioned within the year immediately preceding the election; with the exception of the persons mentioned in numerals 7) and 8) who do not have to meet these conditions at the time when they register their candidacy, and of those indicated in numeral 9), in respect of which the period of ineligibility will cover the two (2) years immediately preceding the election. If they are not elected, they may not be re-instated in the same position nor appointed to positions similar to those held until one (1) year after the election.
The offices of deputies and senators are incompatible with each other and with any employment or commission financed with State funds or by municipalities or autonomous public entities, semi-public or State enterprises or those in which the National Treasury participates with the contribution of capital funds, and with all other functions or commissions of the same nature. Teaching positions and functions or commissions of a like character in higher, intermediate and special education are excepted there from.
Likewise, the duties of deputies and senators are incompatible with the functions of board members or advisors, even when they are of an honorary character, in autonomous fiscal entities, semi-public or State enterprises, or those companies in which the State holds a share of the capital.
Solely by virtue of the fact of having been proclaimed elected by the Elections Tribunal, the deputy or senator ceases to perform the other incompatible office, employment or commission.
No deputy or senator, from the time of his/her proclamation by the Elections Tribunal, may be nominated for an employment, function or commission referred to in the preceding article.
This provision shall not apply in case of a foreign war; nor is it applicable to the offices of President of the Republic, Minister of State and diplomatic agent; only the offices which are bestowed in a state of war are compatible with the functions of deputy or senator.
A deputy or senator, who leaves the country for more than thirty (30) days without permission from the Chamber to which he/she belongs, or if in recess, of its President, shall cease to hold office.
A deputy or senator shall cease to hold office if during his/her term he/she concludes or approves contracts with the State, acts as an attorney or agent in any class of lawsuit against the National Treasury, or as a proxy or agent in special proceedings of administrative character or in the public provision of jobs, departments, functions or commissions of a similar nature. The same penalty shall be incurred [by a deputy or senator] who agrees to be the director of a bank or of an anonymous society or occupies a position of similar importance in these activities.
The incapacity referred to in the preceding paragraph shall apply regardless of whether the deputy or senator acts in his/her own name or through a natural or legal person intervening as an intermediary or through an association of which he/she is a part.
A deputy or senator shall cease to hold office if he/she exercises any influence upon the administrative or judicial authorities in favor or on behalf of the employer or the workers in labor negotiations or conflicts, whether of the public or private sector, or intervenes in them on their behalf. The same penalty shall be applied to the parliamentarian who participates or intervenes in student activities, whatever the branch of education, with the goal of hindering their normal development.
Without prejudice to the provisions in the seventh paragraph of numeral 15 of Article 19, a deputy or senator shall likewise cease to hold office if he/she verbally or in writing incites a transformation of the public order or advocates a change of the legal institutional order by means other than those established by the Constitution, or which seriously compromises the security or the honor of the Nation.
Whoever loses the position of deputy or senator for any of the aforementioned grounds shall not be eligible for any function or public employment, whether elective or not, for a period of two (2) years except for the cases mentioned in the seventh paragraph of numeral 15 of Article 19, in which case the penalties contemplated in that provision shall apply.
Likewise, the deputy or senator who, during his/her term of office, loses any general prerequisite for eligibility or realizes any of the causes of ineligibility referred to in Article 57 shall lose his/her office, without prejudice to the exception contemplated in the second paragraph of Article 59 with regard to Ministers of State.
Deputies and senators may renounce their office when they are affected by a grave illness which prevents them from discharging their duties and [the renunciation] is qualified accordingly by the Constitutional Tribunal.
Deputies and senators are only inviolable with regard to the opinions they express and the votes they cast in performance of their duties in congressional sessions or committees.
No deputy or senator, from the day of his/her election or from the taking of the oath, as the case may be, may be accused or deprived of his/her freedom except if he/she is caught in flagrant delicto, unless the Court of Appeals of the respective jurisdiction has previously authorized in plenary session the accusation, declaring that the case has merit. This decision may be appealed before the Supreme Court.
In the case of a deputy or senator who is arrested on charges of a crime committed in flagrant delicto, he/she shall be brought immediately before the respective Court of Appeals with the corresponding summary information. The Court shall then proceed in accordance with the provisions of the aforementioned paragraphs.
From the time it is declared by a firm resolution that the case has merit, the defendant deputy or senator shall be suspended from his/her position and submitted to the competent judge.
Deputies and senators shall receive as sole compensation a fee equal to the remuneration of a Minister of State including all the corresponding allowances.
Only the following are legislative matters:
1- Those which, by virtue of the Constitution, must be the object of organic constitutional laws;
2- Those which the Constitution subjects to regulation by law;
3- Those which are subject to codification, whether civil, commercial, procedural, criminal or other;
4- Basic matters relative to the legal regimes of labor, the unions, provisional and social security;
5- Those that govern the awarding of public honors to distinguished servants;
6- Those that modify the form or characteristics of the national emblems;
7- Those that authorize the State, its organs and the municipalities to contract loans designed to finance specific projects. The law must indicate the sources of the funds to which the servicing of the debt will be charged. However, a law passed by a qualified quorum shall be required in order to authorize the invitation of tenders for loans whose maturity date exceeds the duration of the term of the respective presidential period.
The provisions in this numeral shall not apply to the Central Bank;
8- Those that authorize any type of operation which may directly or indirectly compromise the credit or financial responsibility of the State, its organs and the municipalities.
This provision shall not apply to the Central Bank;
9- Those that establish the rules determining which State enterprises and those enterprises in which the State holds a share may contract loans, which in no case could be contracted with the State, its organs or enterprises;
10- Those that establish the disposal rules of government property or of municipalities and their tenancy or concession;
11- The establish or modify the division political and administrative the country;
12- Those that indicate the value, type and name currency and the system weights and measures;
13- Those that establish the air, sea and land forces that must be maintained in time of peace or war and the rules for permitting the entry of foreign troops into the territory of the Republic as well as the departure of national troops from the territory;
14- Other than the Constitution designates as laws proposed exclusive of the President of the Republic;
15- Those that authorizing declaration of war, proposal of the President of the Republic;
16- Those that concede general pardons and amnesties and those fix the general rules to which the exercise of the power of the President of the Republic to grant special pardons or ex gratia pensions must comply.
The laws that grant general pardons and amnesties always require a qualified quorum. However, this quorum shall consist of two-thirds (2/3) of the deputies and senators in office when offenses contemplated in Article 9 are condemned;
17- Those that specify the city in which the President of the Republic must reside, where the National Congress must hold its sessions and where the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Tribunal must operate;
18- Those that establish the procedures bases governing the actions of the public administration;
19- The governing operation of lotteries, racetracks and betting general, and
20- Any other norms of general and compulsory adjudication by the essential foundations of a legal system.
The President of the Republic may request authorization from the National Congress in order to issue provisions with the force of law during a period not exceeding more than one (1) year on matters which fall within the domain of the law.
This authorization may not extend to nationality, citizenship, elections or plebiscite, or to matters which are part of the constitutional guarantees or which must be the object of organic constitutional laws or of a qualified quorum.
The authorization may not contain provisions that affect the organization, powers and status of the officials of the Judicial Power, the National Congress, the Constitutional Tribunal or the Comptroller- General of the Republic.
The law that grants the aforementioned authorization shall indicate the specific matters to which the delegation of power refers and may establish or determine the limitations, restrictions and formalities deemed appropriate.
Without prejudice to the provisions of the preceding paragraphs, the President of the Republic remains authorized to fix the consolidated, coordinated and systematized text of the laws when this is convenient for their better execution. In the exercise of this power, he/she may introduce the formal changes which are indispensable, without, in any case, altering the laws true meaning and scope.
The office of the Comptroller-General of the Republic shall register these decrees with force of law and must refuse them when they exceed or contravene this authorization.
The decrees with the force of law shall be submitted, with regard to their publication, validity and legal effects, to the same rules which apply to the [statutory] law.
Formation of Laws
Laws may originate in the Chamber of Deputies or in the Senate by a message sent by the President of the Republic or by a motion from any of its members. The motions may not be signed by more than ten (10) deputies or by more than five (5) senators.
The laws on taxes, whatever their nature, on the budgets of the Public Administration and on the final accounts may originate in the Chamber of Deputies.
Laws on amnesty and general pardon may only originate in the Senate.
The President of the Republic has the exclusive initiative for legal projects related to the alteration of the political or administrative division of the country or to the financial or budgetary administration of the State, including the amendments to the Budget Law and to the matters specified in numerals 10 and 13 of Article 63.
Likewise, the President of the Republic shall also have the exclusive initiative for:
1- Imposing, suppressing, reducing or approving taxes of any type or nature, establishing exemptions or amending those in existence, and determining their form, proportionality or progression;
2- Creating new public services or remunerated jobs, whether they have a fiscal, semi-fiscal or autonomous character or the character of a State enterprise; suppressing them and determining their functions or attributes;
3- Contracting loans or carrying out any other operations that may compromise the credit or the financial responsibility of the State, of the semi-fiscal entities, autonomous agencies, of the regional governments or of the municipalities, and approving, reducing or amending obligations, interest, and other financial burdens of any nature established on behalf of the National Treasury or of the central organs or entities;
4- Fixing, modifying, granting or increasing wages, retirement payments, pensions, widows’ pensions, rents and any other type of payments, loans or benefits to persons in service or in retirement and to the beneficiaries of the widows’ and orphans’ allowance of the Public Administration and of the other organizations and entities previously mentioned, as well as the fixing of minimum wages for workers of the private sector, the mandatory increase of their salaries and other economic benefits or the alteration of the bases which serve to determine them; all of this without prejudice to the provisions in the following numerals;
5- Establishing the norms and procedures of collective bargaining and determining the cases where bargaining is not allowed; and
6- Establishing or amending the rules on or regarding social security of both the public and the private sector.
The National Congress may only accept, reduce or reject the services, employments, payments, loans, benefits, expenditures and other initiatives on the matter that the President of the Republic proposes.
The legal rules which interpret constitutional provisions require—for their approval, modification or derogation—the vote of three-fifths (3/5) of the deputies and senators in office.
The legal provisions upon which the Constitution confers the character of an organic constitutional law require—for their approval, modification or derogation—the vote of four-sevenths (4/7) of the deputies and senators in office.
The legal provisions requiring a qualified quorum shall be enacted, modified or derogated by an absolute majority of the deputies and senators in office.
The other legal rules shall require the majority of the members present of each Chamber or the majorities applicable in accordance with Article 68 and [the articles] thereafter.
The draft of the Budget Law must be presented by the President of the Republic to the National Congress at least three (3) months prior to the date on which it must start to be effective; and if the Congress does not pass it within sixty (60) days from the date of its submission, the draft submitted by the President of the Republic shall become effective.
The National Congress may not increase nor diminish the estimation of revenues; it may only reduce the expenditures contained in the draft of the Budget Law, except those established by permanent law.
The estimation of the revenue generated by the resources stated in the Budget Law and by the new ones established by any other legislative initiative rests exclusively with the President, after previous information of the respective technical entities.
Congress may not approve any new expenditure by charging them to the funds of the Nation without indicating at the same time the sources of revenue needed in order to meet such expenditure.
If the source of revenue granted by Congress is insufficient to finance any new expenditure that is approved, the President of the Republic, upon promulgating the law, subject to prior favorable information by the service or institution through which the new revenue is collected, as authenticated by the Comptroller-General of the Republic, must proportionally reduce all expenses, whatever their nature.
A bill which has been rejected in the Chamber of origin may not be reintroduced until after one (1) year. However, in the case of a bill of his/her initiative, the President of the Republic may request that the message be sent to the other Chamber; if the latter generally approves it by two-thirds (2/3) of the members present, it shall be returned to the Chamber of origin and may only be considered as failed if this Chamber rejects it with the vote of two-thirds (2/3) of its members present.
Every bill may be subject to amendments or corrections in the course of its consideration in the Chamber of Deputies as well as in the Senate;
but in no case shall those [amendments or corrections] that do not have a direct connection with the central or fundamental ideas of the draft law be admitted.
A draft law that has been approved in the Chamber of origin shall immediately pass to the other Chamber for discussion.
A bill which has been totally rejected by the reviewing Chamber shall be considered by a mixed commission of an equal number of deputies and senators, which shall propose the manner and form of solving the difficulties. The bill drafted by the mixed commission shall be returned to the Chamber of origin and in order to be approved, both in this and in the reviewing Chamber shall require the majority of the members present in each. If the mixed commission does not reach an agreement or if the Chamber of origin rejects the bill of the commission, the President of the Republic may request the Chamber to decide whether it persists with two-thirds (2/3) of its members present with the bill which it has approved in the first reading. If the Chamber persists, the bill will be transmitted for the second time to the Chamber which dismissed it and it shall only be deemed to have been rejected if two-thirds (2/3) of its members present concur to this effect.
A bill which has been subject to additions or amendments by the reviewing Chamber shall be returned to the Chamber of origin and the additions or amendments are deemed to have been approved with the vote of the majority of the members present of the Chamber of origin.
If the additions or amendments are rejected, a mixed commission shall be formed and shall proceed in the same manner as indicated in the previous article. In case the mixed commission does not reach an agreement in order to resolve the differences between both Chambers, or if any of the Chambers rejects the proposition of the mixed commission, the President of the Republic may request that the Chamber of origin consider anew the bill approved in the second reading by the reviewing Chamber. If the Chamber of origin rejects the additions or amendments by two-thirds (%) of its members present, there shall be no law in this part or in its totality, but, if the majority for the rejection was less than two-thirds (%), the bill will pass to the reviewing Chamber and shall be deemed to have been approved with the vote of two-thirds (%) of the members of the latter present.
Approved a project by both Cameras will be sent the President of the Republic, who, if also approves, arrange for its enactment into law.
If the President of the Republic disapproves of the bill, it shall be returned to the Chamber of origin with the appropriate observations within a period of thirty (30) days.
In no case shall observations be admitted which do not have a direct relation with the central or fundamental ideas of the bill, unless they had been considered in the respective message.
If the two Chambers reject all or some of the observations, and persist with two-thirds (%) of their members present with the whole or part of the draft approved by them, it shall be returned to the President for its promulgation.
If the two Houses reject all or some of observations and insist, by two thirds of its members present in all or part of the project approved by them, returned to the President for enactment.
The President of the Republic may invoke the urgency of a project when presenting it, in one or in all of its readings and in such a case the respective Chamber must make its decision within a maximum period of thirty (30) days.
The qualification of a project as urgent by the President of the Republic is in accordance with the organic constitutional law relating to Congress, which also determines everything in relation with the internal discussion of the law.
If the President of the Republic does not return the bill within thirty (30) days, starting with the date of its transmission [by Congress], it is deemed to have been approved by him/her and shall be promulgated as law.
The promulgation shall always be made within a period of ten (10) days, counted from the date of its origin.
The publication shall occur within five (5) working days following the date on which the proceedings of the promulgation decree have been completed.
CHAPTER VI JUDICIAL POWER
The right to hear civil and criminal cases, to resolve them and to have the judgment enforced is vested exclusively in the courts established by law. Neither the President of the Republic nor the Congress may, in any case, exercise judicial functions, advocate pending causes, revise the grounds for or contents of their decisions or reopen closed proceedings.
If [the court’s] intervention is requested in a legal manner and in matters falling within their competence, they may not refuse to exercise their power, not even for the lack of legal provisions which resolve the dispute or case submitted for their decision.
In order to execute their resolutions and to carry out or to have carried out the acts of instructions determined by law, the ordinary and the special courts of justice comprising the Judiciary may issue direct orders to the public authority or use the appropriate means of action at their disposal. The other courts shall do it in the manner determined by law.
The requested authority shall comply without further proceedings with the judicial order, and may not question its justification or appropriateness, nor the equity or legality of the decision to be executed.
An organic constitutional law shall determine the organization and competences of the courts which are necessary for the prompt and effective administration of justice in the whole territory of the Republic. The same law shall specify the qualities that the judges must have and the number of years that the persons appointed as court members or career judges must have practiced as lawyers, respectively.
The organic constitutional law relating to the organization and the competences of the courts can only be amended after the Supreme Court has been previously heard in accordance with the provisions of the respective organic constitutional law.
The Supreme Court must issue an opinion within thirty (30) days from the reception of the communication in which it was requested
However, if the President of the Republic has invoked the urgency procedure in respect of his bill in question, he/she shall communicate this circumstance to the Court.
In such a case, the Court must proceed with the consultation within the period implied by the respective urgency.
If the Supreme Court does not give its opinion within the stated period, the proceedings shall be vacated.
The organic constitutional law of the organization and powers of the courts and procedural laws that regulated the prosecution system may set different dates for entry into force in the various regions of the national territory.
Subject the foregoing, the term for the entry into force of such laws in all the country can not be over four years.
With regard to the appointment of judges, the law shall conform to the following general rules:
The Supreme Court shall be composed of twenty-one (21) justices.
The justices and prosecutors of the Supreme Court shall be nominated by the President of the Republic, picking them from a list of five (5) persons who shall be proposed in each case by the Court, and with the approval of the Senate. The latter will adopt the relevant decisions with two-thirds (2/3) of its members in office in a special session convened for that purpose. If the Senate does not approve the proposal of the President of the Republic, the Supreme Court must complement the list of five (5) candidates, proposing a new name in substitution for the rejected one, repeating the proceedings until a name is approved.
Five (5) of the members of the Supreme Court must be lawyers outside the administration of justice, have at least fifteen (15) years of professional experience, be detached from professional or university activity and fulfill the other prerequisites which the respective organic constitutional law provides.
When a post reserved for a member coming from the Judicial Power has to be filled, the Supreme Court will include in the list exclusively members of the latter, and one place of the list has to be occupied by the oldest member of the Court of Appeals who appears on the list of merits. The other four (4) places shall be filled based on the merits of the candidates. If a vacant seat reserved for lawyers outside the administration of justice has to be filled, the list shall be formed only following a public competition with lawyers who fulfill the requirements stated in paragraph four.
The justices and prosecutors of the Courts of Appeal shall be appointed by the President of the Republic, on the basis of a proposal containing three (3) names by the Supreme Court.
Career judges shall be appointed by the President of the Republic, upon a proposal containing three (3) names by the Court of Appeals of the respective jurisdiction.
The most senior career judge in civil or criminal cases of the Court, or the most senior civil or criminal judge in the post immediately below that which has to be filled and who appear, on the list of merits and expresses his/her interest in the task shall have a place on the list. The other two (2) places shall be filled with due regard to the merits of the candidates.
The Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeal, as the case may be, shall draw up the five- (5) and three- (3) member lists in a plenary session especially convened for that purpose by a single vote in which each of its members shall have the right to vote for three (3) or two (2) persons, respectively. Elected are those [candidates] who obtain the five (5) or three (3) highest numbers of votes, respectively. A tie shall be resolved by means of a drawing of lots.
However, in the case of the appointment of members of the [Supreme] Court called upon to serve as replacements, the designation may be made by the Supreme Court and, in the case of judges, by the respective Court of Appeals. These appointments shall not last more than sixty (60) days and are not extendable. In case the high courts referred to above do not use this option or that the replacement period has lapsed, the vacancies shall be filled in the ordinary manner previously described.
Judges are personally liable for bribery, failure to observe substantial legal requirements regulating the proceedings, denial and miscarriage of justice, and in general for any misdemeanor in the performance of their functions.
With regard to the members of the Supreme Court, the law shall determine the conditions and the manner for enforcing this responsibility.
Judges shall remain in office while in good standing; but lower-court judges shall perform their respective judicial functions for the period determined by law.
Notwithstanding the preceding, judges shall cease their functions upon attaining seventy-five (75) years of age; or by resignation or legal incapacity, or in the case of being removed from their office for a reason which has been subject to a legal sentence. The rule relating to age shall not apply with regard to the President of the Supreme Court who shall continue in office until the end of his/ her term.
In any case, the Supreme Court, by request of the President of the Republic, upon application by an interested party or on its own initiative, may declare that the judges have not shown good behavior and, after having heard the defendant and the respective Court of Appeals, as the case may be, may remove him/her from office with the absolute majority of its members. These decisions shall be communicated to the President of the Republic for their implementation.
The Supreme Court, in a plenary session especially convened for this purpose and with the absolute majority of its members in office, may authorize and order in a reasoned decision the transfer of judges and other officials and employees of the Judiciary from one post to another of equal rank.
Justices of the higher courts, prosecutors and career judges who are members of the Judiciary may not be apprehended without an order from the competent court, except in the case of a crime or offense in flagrant delicto, and only to be immediately put at the disposal of the court which is to try the matter in conformity with the law.
The Supreme Court exercises directing, corrective and economic supervision over all the courts of the Nation. Excepted from this rule are the Constitutional Tribunal, the Elections Tribunal and the regional electoral courts.
The higher courts of justice, in using their disciplinary abilities, may only invalidate jurisdictional decisions in the cases and the manner established by the respective organic constitutional law.
CHAPTER VII PUBLIC MINISTRY
An autonomous, hierarchical organ with the name of Public Ministry shall exclusively direct the investigation of the facts which constitute an offense, establish the facts that determine culpability of the participants and those that prove the innocence of the defendant and, as the case may be, shall bring the public criminal action in the form provided for by the law. It is equally competent to adopt the measures for the protection of victims and witnesses. In every case it may exercise jurisdictional functions.
The victim of the offense and other people as determined by the law may also bring the criminal action.
The Public Ministry may impart direct orders to the Forces of Order and Security during the investigation. Nevertheless, the actions that deprive the defendant or third parties of the exercise of the rights that this Constitution guarantees, or which restrict or disturb it shall require previous judicial approval. The requested authority must implement these orders without further proceedings and may not question their foundation, expediency, justice or legality, except to request the presentation of the previous judicial authorization, if applicable.
The exercise of public criminal action and the direction of the investigations of the facts constituting the offense, of those that establish culpability and those that prove the innocence of the defendant in the cases which are heard by the military courts, as well as the adoption of measures in order to protect the victims and witnesses of such facts, shall be the competence—in conformity with the rules of the Code of Military Justice and the respective laws—of the organs and the persons that the Code and those laws determine.
An organic constitutional law shall determine the organization and competences of the Public Ministry, shall determine the qualifications and requirements that the public prosecutors must have and meet for their appointment and the grounds for the removal of the adjunct prosecutors, insofar as they are not contemplated in the Constitution. Persons who are appointed public prosecutors may not have any handicap which would prevent them from discharging the functions of a judge. The regional and adjunct public prosecutors shall cease their functions upon the attainment of seventy-five (75) years of age.
An organic constitutional law shall establish the degree of independence and autonomy and the responsibility that the public prosecutors shall have in the direction of the investigations and in the exercise of the public criminal action in the cases within their competence.
The National Prosecutor shall be appointed by the President of the Republic upon a proposal by the Supreme Court containing five (5) names and with the approval of the Senate adopted by two-thirds (2/3) of its members in office in a session especially convened for this purpose. If the Senate does not approve the proposal of the President of the Republic, the Supreme Court shall complement the list, proposing a new name in substitution for the rejected one, repeating the process until an appointment is approved.
The National Prosecutor must have at least ten (10) years of experience as a lawyer, have attained forty (40) years of age and possess the other qualities necessary in order to be a citizen with the right to vote; he/she shall exercise his/her functions for eight (8) years and may not be appointed for the following period.
The rules concerning age limits laid down in the second paragraph of Article 80 apply to the National Prosecutor.
There shall be a Regional Prosecutor in each of the regions in which the country is administratively divided unless the population or the geographical extension of the region makes it necessary to nominate more than one.
The regional prosecutors shall be nominated by the National Prosecutor upon a proposal of three names by the Court of Appeals of the respective region. In case the region has more than one Court of Appeals, the list shall be drawn up in a joint plenary meeting of all of them especially convened for this purpose by the President of the Court, as already established.
The regional prosecutors must have at least five (5) years of experience as a lawyer, have attained thirty (30) years of age and possess the other qualities necessary in order to be a citizen with the right to vote; he/she shall stay in office for eight (8) years and may not be appointed as a regional prosecutor for the following term, which shall not prevent him/her from being nominated to another position in the Public Ministry.
The Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeal, as the case may be, shall call for a public competition to fill the five (5) and three (3) member nomination lists which are decided by the absolute majority of their members in office in a plenary meeting especially convened for this purpose. Active or retired members of the Judicial Power may not figure on these lists.
The lists shall be subject to a single vote in which each member of the plenary shall have the right to vote for three (3) or two (2) persons, respectively. Those who obtain the five (5) or three (3) highest number of votes respectively shall be elected. If a tie results, it shall be resolved by a drawing of lots.
There shall be adjunct public prosecutors who shall be appointed by the National Prosecutor, upon a proposal containing three (3) names by the respective regional prosecutor, which must be formulated following a public competition in accordance with the organic constitutional law. They must have the title of lawyer and possess the other qualities necessary in order to be a citizen with the right to vote.
The National Prosecutor and the regional prosecutors may only be removed by the Supreme Court, at the request of the President of the Republic, of the Chamber of Deputies, or ten (10) of its members, for incapacity, bad behavior or manifest negligence in the exercise of their functions. The Court shall decide on the matter in plenary session specially convened for this purpose and, in order to approve the removal, must obtain the consenting vote of the majority of its members in office.
The removal of the regional prosecutors may also be requested by the National Prosecutor.
The provisions of Article 81 shall apply to the National Prosecutor, the regional prosecutors and the adjunct public prosecutors.
The National Prosecutor shall exercise the directing, correctional and economic supervision of the Public Ministry in conformity with the respective organic constitutional law.
CHAPTER VIII CONSTITUTIONAL TRIBUNAL
There shall be a Constitutional Tribunal composed of ten (10) members appointed in the following form:
(a) Three (3) members appointed by the President of the Republic;
(b) Four (4) members elected by the National Congress. Two (2) members shall be appointed directly by the Senate, and two (2) shall be proposed by the Chamber of Deputies for approval or rejection by the Senate. The appointments, or the proposal for appointment, take place by single ballot and require for their approval the favorable vote of two- thirds (2/3) of the senators and deputies in office, as the case may be;
(c) Three (3) members elected by the Supreme Court by secret ballot which shall take place in a session especially convened for this purpose.
The members of the Tribunal shall remain nine (9) years in office and shall be partially replaced every three (3) years. They must have held for at least fifteen (15) years the title of lawyer, have distinguished themselves in their professional, academic or public activity; they may not be prevented by any impediment from discharging the office of a judge, shall be subject to the provisions in Articles 58, 59 and 81, and may not exercise the profession of trial lawyer, including in the judiciary, nor carry out any of the activities referred to in the second and third paragraph of Article 60.
The members of the Constitutional Tribunal shall not be subject to removal and may not be re-elected, with the exception of those who have been elected as replacements and have occupied the office for less than five (5) years. They shall cease their functions upon attaining seventy-five (75) years of age.
In case a member of the Constitutional Tribunal resigns from office, the competent organ provides for his/her replacement in accordance with the first paragraph of this article and for the remaining term of the person to be replaced.
The Tribunal shall sit in plenary or in two (2) separate chambers. In the first case, the quorum for a session shall be at least eight (8) members, and in the second case, four (4) members. The Tribunal shall adopt its decisions by simple majority, save in the cases in which a different quorum is required, and shall render its judgments in accordance with the law. The plenary Tribunal shall adopt final decisions on the matters indicated in numerals 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 11 of the following article. For the exercise of its other powers, it may sit in plenary or in chamber in accordance with the provisions of the respective organic constitutional law.
An organic constitutional law shall determine its organization, functioning and procedures and shall establish the structure, the rules concerning salaries and the status of its staff.
The powers of the Constitutional Tribunal are:
1- To control the constitutionality of laws interpreting a provision of the Constitution, of constitutional organic laws and of treaty rules relating to matters governed by them [the Constitution and the constitutional organic laws] before their promulgation;
2- To decide on constitutional issues raised by judicial decisions issued by the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals and the Elections Tribunal;
3- To resolve the issues about constitutionality which arise during the discussion of legislative or constitutional reform bills or of the treaties submitted for approval to Congress;
4- To resolve the issues which arise in respect of the constitutionality of a decree having the force of law;
5- To resolve the issues which arise in respect of the constitutionality of the decision to hold a plebiscite, without prejudice to the competences of the Elections Tribunal;
6- To decide, with the majority of its members in office, on the inapplicability of a legal provision whose application in proceedings before an ordinary or special tribunal would result in a violation of the Constitution;
7- To decide, with the majority of four-fifths (4/5) of its members in office, on the unconstitutionality of a legal provision which has been declared inapplicable in accordance with the preceding numeral;
8- To decide on the complaints in the cases where the President of the Republic does not promulgate a law when he/she is obligated to do so or promulgates a text different from the one which, under the Constitution, he/she ought to promulgate;
9- To decide on the constitutionality of a decree or a decision of the President of the Republic to which the Office of Comptroller-General has objected because it deems it to be unconstitutional, upon request of the President in conformity with Article 99;
10- To declare the unconstitutionality of the organizations and movements or political parties, as well as the liability of the persons which have taken part in the events which gave rise to the declaration of unconstitutionality, in accordance with the provisions of the sixth, seventh and eighth paragraph of numeral 15 of Article 19 of this Constitution. However, if the person concerned is the President of the Republic or the President-elect, the above-mentioned declaration shall, in addition, require the approval of the Senate voted by the majority of its members in office;
11- To inform the Senate in the cases referred to in numeral 7 of Article 53 of this Constitution;
12- To decide on the conflicts of jurisdiction arising between political or administrative authorities and the courts of justice which do not fall within the competence of the Senate;
13- To decide on the constitutional or legal ineligibilities which affect the capacity of a person to be appointed as Minister of State, to remain in that function or to discharge simultaneously other functions;
14- To decide on the ineligibilities, incompatibilities and grounds for resignation concerning the functions of the parliamentarians;
15- To assess the ineligibility invoked by a parliamentarian under the terms of the final paragraph of Article 60 and to decide on the renunciation of his/her functions; and
16- To decide on the constitutionality of the supreme decrees, regardless of the defects invoked, including those which have been issued in the exercise of the autonomous regulatory powers of the President of the Republic, provided that they relate to matters which may be reserved for statutory legislation under the mandate of Article 63.
In the case of numeral 1, the Chamber in which the bill originated sends the respective bill to the Constitutional Tribunal within five (5) days after its discussion has been fully completed by Congress.
In the case of numeral 2, the Tribunal may hear the matter upon request by the President of the Republic, by any of the Chambers or by ten (10) of their members. Similarly, any person being a party to litigation or proceedings pending before an ordinary or special tribunal or from the first stage of the criminal proceedings may request a decision by the Tribunal when he/she is affected in the exercise of his/her fundamental rights by the contents of the respective judicial decision.
In the case of numeral 3, the Tribunal may only hear the matter upon request by the President of the Republic, by any of the Chambers or by one-fourth (1/4) of their members in office, provided that the request is formulated before the promulgation of the law or the transmission of the communication which informs the approval of the treaty by the National Congress and, in all cases, after the fifth (5th) day following the dispatch of the bill or of the above-mentioned communication;
The Tribunal must decide within a period of ten (10) days, starting with the receipt of the request, unless it determines to extend it for another ten (10) days for grave and qualified reasons.
The request does not suspend the [parliamentary] discussion of the bill; but its challenged part may not be promulgated before the expiry of the above-mentioned period, unless the Budget bill or the bill relating to the declaration of war proposed by the President of the Republic is concerned.
In the case of numeral 4, the question may be submitted by the President of the Republic within a period of ten (10) days if the Office of Comptroller- General rejects as unconstitutional a decree having the force of law. It may also be submitted by any of the Chambers or by one-fourth (1/4) of their members in office in case the Office of Comptroller-General has examined a decree having the force of law which is challenged as unconstitutional. This request must be presented within a period of thirty (30) days, starting with the publication of the respective decree having the force of law.
In the case of numeral 5, the issue may be raised by request of the Senate or the Chamber of Deputies, within ten (10) days from the date of publication of the decree which fixes the day of the popular consultation.
The Tribunal establishes in its decision the final text of the popular consultation, if it is upheld.
If, at the time when the decision is written, the holding of the plebiscite is less than thirty (30) days away, the Tribunal sets a new date in the decision between the thirtieth (30th) and the sixtieth (60th) day following the judgment.
In the case of numeral 6, the question may be submitted by any of the parties or by the judge competent to decide the matter. Any of the chambers of the Tribunal is competent, without further appeal, to state the admissibility of the question, provided that it has verified the existence of proceedings pending before an ordinary or special tribunal, that the application of the challenged legal provision could be decisive for the resolution of the case, that the challenge is reasonably argued and that the other requirements established by the law are met. The same chamber is competent to decide on the suspension of the proceedings in which the action of inapplicability for unconstitutionality has originated.
In the case of numeral 7, once the declaration of inapplicability of a legal provision has been made in a prior judgment in accordance with numeral 6 of this article, there will be a public action to request from the Tribunal the declaration of unconstitutionality, without prejudice to the ability of the latter to issue that declaration on its own initiative. The respective constitutional organic law shall establish the conditions of admissibility for cases where public action is instituted, as well as regulate the proceedings to be followed if the Tribunal acts on its own initiative.
In the case of numeral 8, the issue may be raised by any of the Chambers or by one-fourth (1/4) of their members in office within thirty (30) days following the publication of the challenged text or within sixty (60) days following the date on which the President of the Republic ought to have promulgated the law. If the Tribunal accepts the complaint, it promulgates in its judgment the law which has not been promulgated or rectifies the incorrect promulgation.
In the case of numeral 11, the Tribunal may only hear the matter upon request by the Senate.
There shall be a public action for requesting from the Tribunal a decision with regard to the powers which are conferred upon it by numeral 10 to 13 of this article.
However, if in the case of numeral 10, the person concerned is the President of the Republic or the President-elect, the request must be formulated by the Chamber of Deputies or by one-fourth (1/4) of its members in office.
In the case of number 12, the request must be deduced by either authorities or courts in conflict.
In the case of numeral 14, the Tribunal may only hear the matter upon request by the President of the Republic or by no less than ten (10) parliamentarians in office.
In the case of numeral 16, the Tribunal may only hear the matter upon request by any of the Chambers submitted within thirty (30) days following the publication or notification of the challenged text. In the case of [alleged] defects which are not related to decrees exceeding the autonomous regulatory powers of the President of the Republic, said request may also be presented by one-fourth (1/4) of the members in office.
The Constitutional Tribunal may freely consider the facts when it exercises its powers under numerals 10, 11 and 13, as well as when it decides on the grounds for termination of the functions of a parliamentarian.
In the cases of numerals 10, 13 and in the case of numeral 2, a chamber of the Tribunal is competent, if a party so requests, to make a decision without further appeal on the issue of admissibility.
No appeal whatsoever shall he against the decisions of the Constitutional Tribunal, the possibility notwithstanding that the Tribunal may itself, in conformity with the law, correct the factual errors which it may have made.
The provisions that the Court declared unconstitutional may not become law in the project or decree with force of law in question.
In the case of numeral 16 of Article 93, the challenged supreme decree remains without legal effect solely by virtue of the decision of the Tribunal which accepts the complaint. However, the legal provision declared unconstitutional in conformity with the provisions in numerals 2,4 or 7 of Article 93 are deemed to have been derogated with the publication of the judgment accepting the complaints, which does not produce any retroactive effects, in the Official Journal.
The decisions which declare, wholly or in part, the unconstitutionality of a law, a decree having the force of law, a supreme decree or a judicial order, as the case may be, shall be published in the Official Journal within three (3) days after the sentence.
CHAPTER IX ELECTORAL JUSTICE
A special court which shall be known as the Elections Tribunal shall examine the general ballot and the regularity of the election for President of the Republic, deputies and senators; it shall resolve complaints which arise and shall proclaim those who are elected. Said Tribunal shall also examine the plebiscites and have the other powers that the law determines.
It shall be composed of five (5) members appointed in the following manner:
(a) Four (4) justices of the Supreme Court appointed by the Supreme Court, by means of a drawing of lots, in the form and manner that the respective organic constitutional law determines; and
(b) A citizen who has exercised the function of President or Vice- President of the Chamber of Deputies or of the Senate for a period of not less than three hundred and sixty-five (365) days, appointed by the Supreme Court in the manner specified in letter a) from among all those who have the indicated qualities.
The appointments referred to in letter b) may not fall upon parliamentary candidates, candidates to elective office, Ministers of State, or a leader of a political party.
Members of this Tribunal shall stay in office for a period of four (4) years, and the provisions of Articles 58 and 59 of this Constitution shall be applicable to them.
The Tribunal proceed as a juror in assessment of the facts and decide with according to law.
A constitutional organic law regulate the organization and operation of this Tribunal.
There will be regional electoral tribunals charged with the examination of the general ballot and the qualification of the elections that the law entrusts to them, as well as to resolve the claims to which they give rise and to proclaim the elected candidates. Their resolutions may be appealed before the Elections Tribunal in the manner which the law determines. It is also their duty to examine the regularity of union elections and of those that take place in the intermediate groups determined by law.
These tribunals shall be composed of a justice of the respective Court of Appeals, elected by the latter, and by two (2) members appointed by the Elections Tribunal from among persons who have practiced as a lawyer or served as a justice or lawyer at the Court of Appeals for a period of no less than three (3) years.
The members of these tribunals shall exercise their functions for four (4) years and they shall be subject to the ineligibilities or incompatibilities as determined by law.
The Tribunal proceed as a juror in assessment of the facts and decide with according to law.
The law determines the other functions of these courts and regulate its organization and operation.
The Budget Law of the Nation shall allocate annually the funds necessary for the organization and operation of these tribunals; their structure, the rules concerning salaries and the status of their staff shall be established by law.
CHAPTER X OFFICE OF COMPTROLLER-GENERAL OF THE REPUBLIC
An autonomous body with the name of Comptroller-General of the Republic shall exercise control over the legality of the acts of the Administration, oversee the revenue and the investment of the funds of the National Treasury, the municipalities and the other bodies and services determined by law; examine and judge the accounts of persons who manage assets of such entities; conduct the general accounting of the Nation, and perform the other functions entrusted to it by the respective organic constitutional law.
The Comptroller-General of the Republic must have held the title of lawyer for at least ten (10) years, have attained forty (40) years of age and possess the other qualities necessary to be a citizen with the right to vote. He/she shall be appointed by the President of the Republic with the approval of the Senate by a vote of a three-fifths (3/5) majority of its members in office for a term of eight (8) years and may not be appointed for the following term. However, upon attaining seventy-five (75) years of age, he/she shall cease his/her functions.
In the exercise of the function of control of legality, the Comptroller- General shall register decrees and resolutions which, in conformity with the law, must be processed by the Comptroller-General’s Office, or state the illegality by which they could be affected; but he/she must proceed with them when, despite his/her observations [of the potential illegality], the President of the Republic persists with the signature of all his/her Ministers, in which case he/she must send a copy of the respective decrees to the Chamber of Deputies. In no case shall he/she clear decrees on expenditures which exceed the limit set forth in the Constitution; in such cases, he/she shall remit a complete copy of the files to the same Chamber.
The Comptroller-General of the Republic is also required to register decrees having the force of law and to make representations whenever they exceed or contravene the authorizing law or are contrary to the Constitution.
If the representation takes place with respect to a decree promulgating a law or a constitutional amendment for deviating from the approved text, or with respect to a decree or resolution for being contrary to the Constitution, the President of the Republic shall not have the ability to persist; and in case he/she does not comply with the observations of the Office of the Comptroller-General, he/she shall send the files to the Constitutional Tribunal within a period of ten (10) days in order to have the controversy resolved by it.
As to the remaining issues, the organization, operation and competences of the Office of the Comptroller-General of the Republic shall be the object of an organic constitutional law.
The Treasuries of the State may not make any payment except by virtue of a decree or resolution issued by a competent authority, in which the law or the chapter of the budget is indicated that authorizes such expenditure. Payments shall be made, in addition, with regard to the chronological order established by it and the previous budgetary check of the document ordering the payment.
CHAPTER XI ARMED FORCES, FORCES OF ORDER AND PUBLIC SECURITY
The Armed Forces dependent on the Ministry in charge of National Defense are composed only and exclusively of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. They exist for the defense of the country (patria) and are essential for the security of the Nation.
The Forces of Order and Public Security are composed only of Armed Police Officers (Carabineros) and investigation units. They constitute the public force and exist in order to implement the law effectively, to guarantee the public order and the internal public security, in the manner determined by their respective organic laws. They depend of the Ministry in charge of Public Security.
The Armed Forces and Armed Police Officers, as armed bodies, essentially have executive and not decision-making functions. The forces dependent on the Ministries in charge of National Defense and Public Security are, in addition, professional, hierarchical and disciplined.
Entry to the posts and grants of the Armed Forces and Armed Police may only take place through their own schools with the exception of the professional ranks and civil servants that the law determines.
No person, group or organization may own or possess arms or other similar elements indicated by a law approved by a qualified quorum, without authorization granted in conformity with the latter.
The Ministry in charge of National Defense or a body under its control shall exercise the supervision and control of weapons in the manner determined by law.
The Commanders-in-Chief of the Army, Navy and Air Force, and the Director-General of the Armed Police shall be appointed by the President of the Republic from among the five (5) senior generals who meet the qualities that the respective institutional statutes demand for such posts. They shall serve their posts for four (4) years, may not be named for a new term of office and shall be irremovable from their post.
The President of the Republic may, by reasoned decree and after prior information of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, confine the Commanders-in-Chief of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, as the case may be, to retirement before the completion of their respective term.
The appointments, promotions and retirements of officials of the Armed Forces and Armed Police shall be effected by a supreme decree, in conformity with the corresponding organic constitutional law, which shall determine the respective basic rules as well as the basic rules relating to professional career, accession to posts, social security, seniority, command, and chain of command of the Armed Forces and Armed Police.
The entrance, appointments, promotions and retirements in the Investigations Department shall be made in accordance with its organic law.
CHAPTER XII NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL
There shall be a National Security Council with the task to assist the President of the Republic on matters related to national security and to discharge the other functions assigned to it by this Constitution. It shall be presided by the Head of State and be composed of the Presidents of the Senate, the Chamber of Deputies and the Supreme Court, by the Commanders-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, by the Director-General of the Police and by the Comptroller-General of the Republic.
In the cases determined by the President of the Republic, the ministers in charge of domestic affairs, national defense, public security, foreign relations and of economy and finance of the country may be present at its meetings.
The National Security Council shall meet when it is convened by the President of the Republic and shall require the absolute majority of its members as a quorum for its meetings.
The Council does not adopt decisions other than the regulations to which the last paragraph of the present provision refers. In its meetings, every member may freely express his/her views on any fact, measure or matter related to the institutional foundations [of the State] or national security.
Council Minutes be public, unless most of its members to determine what otherwise.
Regulations which are issued by the Council itself shall establish the other provisions concerning its organization, function and publicity of its debates.
CHAPTER XIII CENTRAL BANK
There shall exist an autonomous body of a technical character with its own funding under the name of the Central Bank, whose composition, organization, functions and competences shall be determined by an organic constitutional law.
The Central Bank may only conduct operations with financial institutions, be they public or private. In no way whatsoever may it act as a guarantor or acquire documents issued by the State, its organs or enterprises.
No public expenditure or loan may be financed by direct or indirect credit of the Central Bank.
Nevertheless, in case of a foreign war or the threat of war, as qualified by the National Security Council, the Central Bank may obtain, grant or finance credits to the State and public or private entities.
The Central Bank may not adopt any decision which represents, in a direct or indirect manner, the establishment of different or discriminatory rules or requirements in relation to persons, institutions or entities that perform transactions of the same nature.
CHAPTER XIV GOVERNMENT AND INTERNAL ADMINISTRATION OF THE STATE
For the government and the internal administration of the State, the territory of the Republic is divided into regions and these provinces. For the purposes of local administration, the provinces shall be divided into communes.
The creation, suppression and denomination of regions, provinces and communes; the modification of their boundaries, as well as the determination of the capitals of the regions and provinces shall be the object of a constitutional organic law.
Government and Regional Administration
The government of each region rests with a superintendent who depends exclusively on the confidence of the President of the Republic. The superintendent shall exercise the functions in accordance with the law and the orders and instructions of the President, who is the natural and direct representative in his/ her jurisdictional territory.
The superior administration of each region shall rest with a regional government which has as its objective the social, cultural and economic development of the region.
The regional government shall be constituted by the superintendent and the regional council. In order to exercise its functions, the regional government shall enjoy legal personality under public law and shall have its own funds.
The superintendent shall preside over the regional council and is entrusted with the coordination, surveillance and fiscal control of the public services created by law for the fulfillment of administrative functions which operate in the region.
The law shall determine the form in which the superintendent shall exercise these faculties, his/her other competences and the organs that collaborate in the fulfillment of his/her functions.
The regional council shall be an organ of rule-making, implementing and supervisory character within the jurisdiction of the regional government, charged with the enforcement of regional citizen participation and exercising the competences that the respective organic constitutional law entrusts to it, which in addition shall regulate its composition and organization.
The regional council shall consist of directors elected by universal suffrage in voting directly, in accordance with the constitutional organic law respectively. Last four years in office and may be reelected. The same law establishes the organization regional council, will determine the number of councilors to integrated and how they replacement, always ensuring that both population and the territory of the region are equally represented.
Relinquish his office the regional adviser during his tenure lose any requirement of eligibility or incurred in any of the disabilities, incompatibilities, disability or other grounds for suspension that organic constitutional law set.
As stated in the preceding paragraphs respect of the regional council and regional councilors applies, so that appropriate, to territories referred special Article 126 bis.
The regional council absolute majority of its members in office elect a president among its members. The Chairman of the Board last four years in office and he shall cease if incurring any of the grounds mentioned in subsection third, by removal agreed by two thirds of the regional directors exercise or waiver approved by a majority thereof.
The organic constitutional law determines the constitutional functions and powers of Chairman of the Board regional.
The regional council shall be competent to approve the development plans of the region and the budget bill of the regional government as adjusted to the national politics of development and the budget of the Nation. Likewise, it shall decide on the use of the resources earmarked for the region in the national fund of regional development on the basis of a proposal which is formulated by the superintendent.
Senators and Deputies representing constituencies and districts of the region may, when they see fit, attend meetings of the regional council and take part in its proceedings without right to vote.
The constitutional organic law respective determine the form and how the President of the Republic may transfer one or more regional governments, in temporary or permanent one or more powers of ministries and public services created to fulfill administrative function in land matters, promotion of activities productive and social development and culture.
The government and the interior administration of the State to which the present chapter refers shall observe as a basic principle the search for a harmonious and equitable territorial development. The laws that are dictated to this effect must ensure the fulfillment and application of this principle, incorporating also the criteria of solidarity among the regions as well as in their interior with regard to the distribution of public resources.
Without prejudice to the resources that are assigned to the regional governments for their operation in the Budget Law of the Nation and those resulting from the provision of numeral 20 of Article 19, this law shall provide for a proportion of the total public investment costs which it defines as the national fund of regional development.
The Budget Law of the Nation shall also provide for expenses corresponding to sectorial investments of a regional character whose distribution among regions shall correspond to the criteria of equity and efficiency, taking into account the corresponding national investment programs. The assignment of such expenses to the interior of each region shall be a matter for the regional government.
On the initiative of the regional governments or of one or more ministries, annual or pluri-annual meetings oil the programming of public investment in the respective region or, in the whole of the regions which agree to from an association for this purpose, may be held.
The law may authorize the regional governments and the public companies to join with natural or legal persons in order to promote activities and initiatives without profit aims which contribute to the regional development. The entities that are established to this effect are governed by the common rules applicable to private persons.
The provision in the previous paragraph shall be without prejudice to what is provided in numeral 21 of Article 19.
Government and Provincial Administration
In each province, there shall exist a government that will be a territorially deconcentrated organ of the superintendent. It will be run by a governor who shall be freely appointed and removed by the President of the Republic.
The governor shall exercise, in accordance with the instructions of the superintendent, the supervision of public services existing in the province. The law shall determine the powers that the superintendent may delegate to him/her and the other competences assigned to him/her.
Governors may appoint delegates for the exercise of their powers in one or more localities in the cases and manner determined by law.
Local administration of each commune or group of communes as determined by law is vested in a municipality, which shall be composed of the mayor, who is its highest authority, and by the council.
The respective organic constitutional law shall establish the modalities and forms that the participation of the local community in municipal activities shall take.
Mayors may, in the cases and in the manner determined by the respective organic constitutional law, appoint delegates for the exercise of their competences in one or more localities.
Municipalities are autonomous corporations with legal personality under public law and their own funds, whose objective is to satisfy the needs of the local community and to ensure their participation in the economic, social and cultural progress of the commune.
An organic constitutional law shall determine the functions and competences of the municipalities. This law shall specify, in addition, the matters of municipal competence that the mayor, with the agreement of the council or by request of two-thirds (2/3) of the councilors in office, or the proportion of citizens that the law establishes, shall submit to a non-binding consultation or a plebiscite, as well as the relevant dates, the manner in which the electorate is convened, and the effects of the consultation or plebiscite.
The municipalities may form associations among themselves for the achievement of their specific purposes. Likewise, they may establish or join private nonprofit foundations whose objective is the promotion and dissemination of art, culture and sports. Municipal participation in them shall be governed by the respective organic constitutional law.
The municipalities may, in accordance with the respective organic constitutional law, establish within the jurisdiction of the communes or group of communes territories known as neighborhood units with the objective of promoting a balanced development and adequate forms of citizen participation.
Public services must coordinate their efforts with the municipality when they carry out their activities in the respective communal territory, in conformity with the law.
The law shall determine the form and manner in which the ministers, public services and regional governments may transfer competences to the municipalities, as well as the temporary or final character of the transfer.
In each municipality there shall be a council composed of councilors chosen by universal suffrage in conformity with the organic constitutional law on municipalities. Their term of office is four (4) years and they may be re-elected. The same law shall determine the number of councilors and the manner of electing the mayor.
The council shall be an organ in charge of implementing the participation of the local community and shall exercise rule-making, implementing and supervisory functions and other competences that are entrusted to it, in the form determined by the respective organic constitutional law.
The organic law on municipalities shall determine the rules on organization and operation of the council and the matters in which the consultation of the council by the mayor shall be compulsory and those in which the approval of the latter shall be necessarily required. In any case this approval shall be needed for the adoption of the communal development plan, of the municipal budget and of the respective investment projects.
The respective organic constitutional law shall regulate the transitory administration of the communes that are created, the procedure for establishing new municipalities, and for the transfer of the municipal staff and the services and reinforcements necessary to allow for the use and disposal of the goods that are located in the territories of the new communes.
The organic constitutional law on municipalities must also establish the proceedings that have to be observed in cases of the suppression or the merger of one of the communes.
For the fulfillment of their functions, the municipalities may create or terminate employments and fix salaries as well as establish the organs or units that the respective organic constitutional law permits.
These abilities shall be exercised within the limits and conditions that, upon the exclusive initiative of the President of the Republic, the organic constitutional law on municipalities determines.
The municipalities shall enjoy autonomy in the administration of their finances. The Budget Law of the Nation may assign to them resources to take care of their expenses, without prejudice to the revenue that is directly transferred to them by law or that is granted to them by the regional governments. An organic constitutional law shall provide for a mechanism of redistribution of their own revenues among the municipalities of the count-ry based on solidarity with the name of the common municipal fund. The rules on distribution of this fund shall be a matter of law.
The law shall establish coordination formulas for the administration of all or any of the municipalities, with respect to the problems that are common to them, as well as between the municipalities and the other public services.
Without prejudice to in the previous section, the constitutional organic law respectively regulate the administration of the metropolitan areas, and establish the conditions and formalities permit conferring such certain quality territories.
In order to be appointed as superintendent or governor and in order to be elected member of regional council or councilor, it is necessary to be a citizen with the right to vote, to meet the other conditions of aptitude which the law stipulates and to have lived in the region at least during the last two (2) years prior to his/her appointment or election.
The duties of superintendent, governor and member of regional council and councilor shall be incompatible with each other.
No mayor, governor or chairman regional, from the date of its nomination or election as the case may be charged or deprived of their liberty, except in case of in flagrant delictio, if the Court of Appeals for the respective jurisdiction, in full, has previously authorized the charge claiming to be room for prosecution. In this resolution may be appealed before the Supreme Court.
Should be arrested a mayor, governor or regional council chairperson in flagrant delictio, be immediately brought provide the respective Court rose, with the corresponding summary information. The Court shall, then, as provided in preceding paragraph.
From the moment is declared, by firm resolution, have resulted in cause formation, is Mayor, Governor or chairman regional accused suspended from office and subject to judge.
The respective organic constitutional law shall establish the grounds for the loss of the office of mayors, members of the regional council and councilors.
The law shall determine the form for resolving questions of competence which might arise between national, regional, provincial and communal authorities.
It shall also establish the manner to resolve disputes which may arise between the superintendent and the regional council, as well as between the mayor and the council.
Article 126 bis
The special territories are Easter Island and the Juan Fernandez Archipelago. The Government and administration of these territories are governed by special statutes established by law constitutional organic respective.
The rights to reside, stay and move to and from any Instead of the Republic guaranteed in the paragraph 7 of Article 19, be exercised in such territory in the manner determined by the special laws governing the exercise, which quorum shall be qualified.
CHAPTER XV REFORM OF THE CONSTITUTION
Bills to amend the Constitution may be initiated by a message of the President of the Republic or by- a motion of any member of the National Congress, with the limitations indicated in the first paragraph of Article 65.
In order to be approved, the reform bill shall require in each Chamber the consent of three-fifths (3/5) of the deputies and senators in office. If the reform has an impact on Chapters I, III, VIII, XI, XII, or XV it shall need, in each Chamber, the approval of the two-thirds (2/3) of the deputies and senators in office.
In matters not provided for in this Chapter, the rules on the law- making process shall apply to the discussion of constitutional reform bills; in all cases, however, the quorums indicated in the preceding paragraph have to be respected.
The project approved both Houses pass the President of the Republic.
If the President of the Republic entirely rejects a reform bill approved by both Chambers and the latter insists upon the proposal in all its parts by two-thirds (2/3) of the members in office of each Chamber, the President shall have to promulgate the proposal unless he/she consults the citizens through a plebiscite.
If the President partially objects to the reform bill approved by both Chambers, the objections shall be understood to have been approved by a supporting vote of three-fifths (3/5) or two-thirds (2/3) of the members in office of each Chamber in conformity with the preceding article, and the bill shall be returned to the President for its promulgation.
In case the Chambers do not approve all or some of the objections made by the President, no constitutional reform shall take place on the issues on which there is disagreement, unless two-thirds (2/3) of the members in office of both Chambers insist upon the part of the bill approved by them. In the latter case, the part of the bill which has been the object of the insisting vote shall be returned to the President for its promulgation, unless the President consults the citizens through a plebiscite with respect to the matters in dispute.
The organic constitutional law relating to Congress shall regulate the remaining matters with regard to the vetoes on reform bills and their discussion in Congress.
The convening of the plebiscite must take place within thirty (30) days following the date on which both Chambers have insisted upon the proposal approved by them, and is decided by supreme decree fixing the date on which the plebiscite is to be held, which may not take place earlier than thirty (30) days or later than sixty (60) days after the publication of this decree. If this period expires and the President has not convoked a plebiscite, the proposal approved by Congress shall be promulgated.
The decree of convocation shall contain, as the case may be, the proposal approved by the Plenary Congress and vetoed in total by the President of the Republic, or the parts of the bill on which the Congress has insisted [remain valid]. In the latter case, each of the issues on which there is disagreement shall be voted upon separately in the plebiscite.
The Elections Tribunal shall communicate to the President of the Republic the result of the plebiscite and specify the text of the bill approved by the citizens which shall be promulgated as a constitutional reform within five (5) days following this communication.
Once the bill has been promulgated, and as of the date it enters into force, its provisions shall become a part of the Constitution and shall be regarded as incorporated therein.
Until issuance of the provisions which implement the provision in the third paragraph of numeral 1 of Article 19 of this Constitution, the legal provisions presently in force shall continue to apply.
Until issuance of the new Mining Code which shall regulate, among other matters, the form, conditions and effects of mining concessions as referred to in paragraphs seven to ten of numeral 24 of Article 19 of this Political Constitution, the holders of mining rights, in their capacity as concessionaries, shall be subject to the legislation which applies at the time this Constitution has entered into force.
The mining rights referred to in the preceding paragraph shall subsist under the new Code; however, as regards enjoyment of and levies imposed on such rights, and as far as their termination is concerned, the provisions of the new Mining Code shall prevail. This new code shall grant a delay to concessionaries to comply with the new requirements which may-be established in order to provide legal protection.
During the time that lapses between the date on which this Constitution enters into force and that on which the new Mining Code becomes effective, the establishment of mining rights with the character of a concession pursuant to paragraphs seven to ten of numeral 24 of Article 19 of this Constitution, as well as the concessions granted, shall continue to be governed by the current legislation.
The large copper mining industry and the enterprises considered as such, nationalized by virtue of the Transitory Provision 17(a) of the 1925 Political Constitution shall continue to be governed by the constitutional norms in force on the date of the promulgation of this Constitution.
The laws currently in force on matters which, according to this Constitution must be objects of organic constitutional laws or be approved by a qualified quorum, fulfill these requirements and shall continue to apply in so far as they are not contrary to the Constitution, until the pertinent legal regimes are established.
Notwithstanding the provision in numeral 6 of Article 32, the legal norms which, up to the promulgation date of this Constitution, have regulated matters not covered in Article 63 shall continue to be in force so long as they are not expressly abrogated by law.
Without prejudice to what is provided in the third paragraph of numeral 20 of Article 19, the legal provisions which have established appropriation of taxes for a determined purpose shall continue in force so long as they are not expressly abrogated by law.
The special pardon shall always proceed with respect to the offenses referred to by Article 9 committed before the 11 th of March 1990. A copy of the respective Decree shall be sent under reservation to the Senate.
The provisions of Chapter VII “Public Ministry” shall be applicable upon entry into force of the organic constitutional law on the Public Ministry. This law may establish different dates for the entry into force of its provisions as well as determine its gradual applications in the different matters and regions of the country.
Chapter VII “Public Ministry,” the organic constitutional law on the Public Ministry and the laws that, by complementing said norms, modify the Organic Code on Courts and the Code of Penal Proceedings, shall apply exclusively to the facts that occur after the entry into force of such provisions.
Notwithstanding the provisions in Article 87, the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal may include in the five-names-list and each of the three-names-lists, which are established to fill for the first time the positions of National Prosecutor and regional prosecutors, respectively, an active member of the Judicial Power.
The powers granted to the municipalities in Article 121 relating to the modification of the organic structure, staff and salaries shall be applicable when the modalities, conditions and limitations for exercising these new competences are regulated in the respective law.
In the year following the date of publication of the present law of constitutional reform, those who have held the positions of President of the Republic, Deputy, Senator, Minister of State, Superintendent, Governor or Mayor may not appear on the nomination lists for joining the Supreme Court.
The term of the President of the Republic in office shall be six (6) years, without the possibility of being re-elected for the following term.
The Senate shall be composed only by senators elected in conformity with Article 49 of the Political Constitution of the Republic and the Constitutional Organic Law on Popular Votes and Ballots currently in force.
The modifications of the mentioned Organic Law on Popular Votes and Ballots concerning the number of senators, the existing constituencies and the electoral system in force shall require the consenting vote of three-fifths (3/5) of the deputies and senators in office.
The senators currently in office which have joined the Senate or have been appointed in conformity with the letters a), b), c), d), e) and f) of Article 49, which are derogated, shall continue in their functions until March 10, 2006.
The replacement of the current judges and the appointment of the new members of the Constitutional Tribunal shall take place in accordance with the following rules:
The current judges appointed by the President of the Republic, the Senate, the Supreme Court and the National Security Council shall be maintained in their functions until the end of their term or until they resign their office.
The President of the Republic is responsible for the replacement of the judges appointed by the National Security Council.
The Senate shall appoint three (3) judges to the Constitutional Tribunal, two (2) directly and the third upon a prior proposal by the Chamber of Deputies. The latter shall remain in office until the same day on which the [judge] currently appointed by the Senate or the one who replaces him/her in accordance with the seventh paragraph of this article ceases his/her functions, and may be re-elected.
The current judges of the Supreme Court, whom in time may become judges of the Constitutional Tribunal, shall be temporarily suspended from the exercise of their functions in said Court for six (6) months after the present constitutional reform has been published and without affecting their rights as public officials. They shall resume their functions at the end of the term for which they have been appointed to the Constitutional Tribunal or when they cease their functions in the latter, for whatever reason.
The Supreme Court shall appoint, in conformity with letter c) of Article 92, the lawyers referred to [therein] in the order in which the corresponding vacancies occur. However, the first one shall be appointed for three (3) years, the-second for six (6) years and the third for nine (9) years. The one which has been appointed for three (3) years may be re-elected.
If any of the current judges not mentioned in the preceding paragraph should cease his/her functions, he/she shall be replaced by the authority referred to in letters a) and b) of Article 92, as the case may be, and the term of the replacement shall last as long as the remaining term of his/her predecessor, with the possibility of being re- elected.
The judges appointed in conformity with this provision must be designated prior to December 11, 2005 and shall assume their functions on January 1, 2006.
The international treaties approved by the National Congress prior to the entry into force of the present constitutional reform, which concern matters that in conformity with the Constitution have to be approved by the absolute majority or by four-sevenths (4/7) of the deputies and senators in office, are deemed to be in compliance with those requirements.
The conflicts of jurisdiction which are currently pending before the Supreme Court and those which will be brought before it until the entry into force of the amendments to Chapter VIII shall remain on that court’s docket until they have been dealt with in full.
Proceedings initiated on its own accord, or upon application of a party, or which will be initiated in the Supreme Court in order to declare the inapplicability of a legal provision for being contrary to the Constitution prior to the application of the reforms of Chapter VIII, shall continue to be subject to the examination and decision by that Court until their complete disposal.
The reforms introduced in Chapter VIII enter into force six months after the publication of the present constitutional reform with the exception of the provisions in the fourteenth transitory provision.
The Forces of Order and Public Security shall continue to be dependent on the Ministry in charge of National Defense until the new law creating the Ministry in charge of Public Security is adopted.
The modifications laid down in Article 57, numeral 2, shall start to apply after the next general parliamentary election.
Notwithstanding the amendment to Article 16, numeral 2, of this Constitution, the right to vote by persons tried with regard to acts committed prior to June 16, 2005, for offenses which carry a prison sentence or which the law qualifies as terrorist conduct, shall also be suspended.
As long as the special tribunals to which the fourth paragraph of numeral 16 of Article 19 alludes have riot been established, the complaints motivated by the ethical conduct of professionals who do not belong to professional bodies shall be heard by the ordinary courts.
The reform introduced the section 10 of article 19 in relation to the second transition from level nursery education, take effect gradually, as provided by law.
As not are effective special statutes referred to Article 126a, the special territories of Easter Island and Juan Fernandez Archipelago will continue governed by the common rules for political- administrative and government and administration.
The reforms introduced to the articles 15 and 18 on voluntary the vote and incorporation into voter registration by the only of law, governed as it goes the respective effective bill of rights to referred to in subsection Article 18, second to is introduced by these reforms.
The State of Chile may recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court under the terms of the treaty approved in the city of Rome on July 17, 1998, by the Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries of the United Nations on the establishment of the Court.
In making this acknowledgment, Chile reaffirms its preferred option to exercise its criminal jurisdiction in relation to the jurisdiction of the Court. The latter is a subsidiary of the first, in the terms foreseen in the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court.
The cooperation and assistance between national authorities and the International Criminal Court and the judicial and administrative proceedings that might arise will be subject to the directive of the Chilean law.
The jurisdiction of the ICC, under the terms of its Statute, may only be exercised in respect of the crimes within its jurisdiction which first arose after the entry into force in Chile of the Rome Statute.
The amendment introduced in subsection four of Article 60, take effect one hundred and eighty days from the date of publication of this law in the Official Journal.
TO BE ANNOTATED, CHECKED AND PUBLISHED.
RICARDO LAGOS ESCOBAR, President of the Republic.
Eduardo Dockendorff Vallejos, Minister and Secretary General of the Presidential Office.
Francisco Vidal Salinas, Minister of the Interior.
Ignacio Walker Prieto, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Jaime Ravinet de la Fuente, Minister of National Defense.
Jorge Rodriguez Grossi, Minister of Economy, Development and Reconstruction and President of the National Energy Commission.
Nicolás Eyzaguirre, Minister of Finance. Sergio Bitar Chacra, Minister of Education.
Luis Bates Hidalgo, Minister of Justice.
Jaime Estévez Valencia, Minister of Public Works, of Transport and Communication
Jaime Campos Quiroga, Minister of Agriculture.
Yerko Ljubetic Godoy, Minister of Labor and Social Welfare. Pedro Garcia Aspillaga, Minister of Health.
Alfonso Dulanto Rencoret, Minister of Mining.
Sonia Tschorne Berestecky, Minister of Housing, Urbanism and National Property.
Osvaldo Puccio Huidobro, Minister and Secretary General of the Government. Yasna Provoste Campillay, Minister of Planning.