Page images



(Continued from p. 164.) CHAP. II.-On the administration of justice in civil causes.

ART. 280. No Spaniards can be deprived of the riglit of termi. pating their differences by arbitrators chosen by both parties.

ART. 231. The decision of the arbitrators shall be carried into execution if the parties should not have reserved the right of appeal.

Art. 282. The magistrate of every settlenient shall discharge the duties of a Reconciling Court; and all persons intending to sue, either in civil matters, or on accouut of wrongs, must appear before him for the said purpose.

ART. 283. The mazistrate, with two honest men named by each party, shall hear the complaint and the reply, shall inform himself ihoroughly of the arguments on each side, and consulting the opinions of his associates, shall take such measures as may appear to him best adapted to put an end to the further progress of the litigation, as in fact it shall be terminateil, if the parties remain satisfied with this extra-judicial decision.

ART. 284. Without proof that reconciliation has been attempted, no law-suits can be commenced.

ART. 285. In all causes, whatever niay be the amounts, there shall be at the most three trials and three judgments definitively pronounced therein. Whenever the bird trial is an appeal from two corresponding sentences, the number of judges to decide thereon, must be greater than that on the second hearing, according to the form prescribed by law. They shall also have power of limiting the appeal, after enquiry into the importance of the subject, the nature and character of the difserent opinions, and determine which of the two sentences shall be carried into execution.

Chap. III.-On the administration of justice in criminal affairs.

ART. 286. The laws shall regulate the administration of justice, in criminal matters, in such manner that the proceedings shall be cuncise and pure, so that culprits shall be promptly punished.

ART. 287. No Spaniard can be made a prisoner without summary preceding information on the fact for which he may deserve corporal punishment by the law, and also an order of the judge in writing, which shall be communicated to him at the moment of his arrest.

ART. 288. All persons are bound to obey these orders: all oppasition thereto shall be regarded as a serious crime,

ART. 289. Wherever opposition may be aftempted, or escape suspected, furce may be employed to secure the person.

ART. 290. The person arrested, previous to being placed in gaol, shall be brought before the judge, provided there is nothing to prevent it, to be examined; but if he cannot justify himself, he shall be conducted to gaol, and detained, and the judge shall take his examination within twenty-four hours.

ART. 291. The examination of the arrested person shall not be upon oath, which is not to be taken by any criminal in matters relating to himself or concerning his own acts.

ART. 292. Any delinquent caught in the fact, may be arrested, and any person whatever may arrest and conduct him to the judge. On his appearance in court, or if kept in custody, the proceedings shall be the same as those pointed out in the two preceding articles.

ART. 293. If it should be determined that the arrested person shall be committed to prison, or shall be detained there as prisoner, the reason shall be assigned, and a copy thereof delivered to the governor, to be inserted in his register of prisoners, without which formality the governor shall not receive any person whatever as prisoner, under the most rigid responsibility.

ART. 294. Detention of property is admitted only when proceedings take place against crimes which may be punished by pecuniary fine, and in proportion to its probable extent.

ART. 295. Whoever procures bail shall not be committed to prison in those cases in which the law does not expressly prohibit bail to be taken.

ART. 296. In any state of the proceedings that it may appear the prisoner cannot lawfully receive corporal punishment, he shall be set at liberty on bail.

ART. 297. The prisons shall be so ordered as to secure, and not to punish the prisoners ; the governor will keep them in safe custody, and separate those whom the judge may order to have no communication, but never in subterraneous, nor unwholesome dungeons. ART. 298. The law shall determine the frequency of the inspec

of the prisons, and no prisoner whatever, under any pretext, shall avoid appearing thereat.

ART. 299. The judge and the governor, who shall be deficient in attention to the preceding articles, shall be punished as guilty of arbitrary imprisonment, which shall be regarded as a crime in the crinji. pal code.

ART. 300. The cause of his imprisonment, and the name of liis accuser, if there shall be one, shall be declared within 24 hours, to the person regarded as guilty.

ART. 301. On taking a confession from the person regarded as

guilty, the whole of the documents and declarations made by the wit. nesses shall be read to him, also their names, and if he should not know them thereby, whatever information he may require to aseertain who they are, shall be given to him.

ART. 302. The proceeding thenceforward shall be public in the mode and manner which the laws may determine.

ART. 303. Neither torture nor compulsion shall ever be used.
Art, 304. Neither shall confiscation of property be permitted.

ART. 305. No penalty that may be inflicted for whatever crime, can attach, in any manner, to the family of the sufferer, but shali carry its wliole effect precisely on the individual wlio deserves it.

ART: 306. No house belonging to any Spaniard shall be forcibly entered, except in those cases that the law may determine for the good order and safety of the state.

ART. 307. If, at a future period, the Cortes should think it desirable to make a distinction between the judges of the law and the fact, they shall establish ibe same in such manner as they may think proper.

ART. 308, If, in extraordinary circumstances, the safety of the state should require, in all the monarchy, or in a part of it, the suspension of any of the formalities prescribed in this chapter for the arrest of delinquents, the Cortes have power to decree it for a certain period.

This chapter has made ample provision for the liberty of the subject. No man can be here imprisoned because another man may think that he has published a libel, and thinking so is tolerated in swearing it before a magistrate. We warrant it that we hear nothing in Spain about libels to bring the Cortes into hatred or contempt. The moment this begins, adieu to Spanish liberty. Whoever was the individual, or were the individuals that drew up this Constitution they deserve a monument to their memory in the capital of every country in the world. In Spain there will be no need of an Habeas Corpus Act, much less the suspension of it.

DIVISION VI. On the interior Government of the Provinces and Towns.

CHAP. 1.- On the Ayuntamientos.* A:T. 309. For the interior government of the towns, Ayunta* Ayuntamientos. No single word or expression in English will give

proper signification of this wo It embraces Ibe terins and duties, of Corporatious, Town Halls, Court Leets, Courts of Conservancy, of Lieutenancies of Counties, and in short, all descriptions of Courts fur municipal internal regulations. -TRANSLAIOR.

mientos shall be formed, of one or more magistrates, alderman, and the public connsellor, presided over by the chief of police, (corregidor) wherever there is one, and in default of him by the magistrate, or the first appointed of these, if there should be two.

ART. 310. An ayuntamiento shall be established in those settlements that are without it, and in which it is desirable; all those which possess either in themselves or in their liberties, a population of a thousand souls, being required to have it, and a proportionate district shall be assigned it.

ART.311. The laws shall determine the number of individuals of each rank to compose thé ayuntamientos of the towns, with regard to their population.

ART. 312. The magistrates, alderman, and public counsellor, shall be nominated by election in the towns; the alderman, and others who may discharge permanent duties, of whatever description in the ayuntamientos, discontinuing to act.

ART. 313. Every year in the month of December, the citizens of each town shall assemble to elect by a majority of votes, in proportion to its population, the requisite number of electors who may reside in the same town, and are in the exercise of the rights of citizens.

ART. 314. The electors shall, in the same month nominate, by a majority of votes, the magistrate or magistrates, alderman and public counsellor or counsellors, in order that they should commence their functions on the first of January of the following year.

ART. 315. The magistrates and half of the aldermen, shall be changed every year, also the Public Counsellor, where there are (wo; where there is only one, every year.

ART. 316. Whoever may have discharged any of these offices, is not again eligible for any of them within two years at least, where the population permits it.

ART. 317. To be qualified as a magistrate, alderman, or public counsellor, besides being a citizen in the exercise of bis rights, it is necessary to be twenty-five years of age, with at least five dence in the town. The laws shall determine what other qualifications may be required from these public officers.

ART. 318. No public officer actually enrployed and nominated by the king, can be eligible as a magistrate, alderman, or public counselJor; the national militia, however, not being included in this regulation.

Art 319. All these before-mentioned municipal employments shall be public duty, from which no person cau be exempt without lawful reason.

ART. 320. There shall be a secretary in every Ayuntamiento, elected by it, by an absolute plurality of votes, and paid from the funds of the district,

years resin

ART. 321. To the Ayuntamientos shall be intrusted, in the first place, police regulations for health and convenience. Secondly, To assist the magistrate in wbatever may relate to the safety

of the persons and property of the inhabitants, and to the

preservation of public order. Thirdly, The administration and application of the funds belonging

to the city, and duties of excise, according to the law and regulations, with the duty of nominating a trustee, under the

responsibility of those who appoint him. Fourthly, To make out a division, and proportion equally the taxes,

and forward them to the respective treasury. Fifthly, To take care of all preparatory schools, and other establish.

ments of education to be paid out of the funds of the

district. Sixthly, To take care of the hospitals, religious houses of charity,

foundling hospitals, and other establishments of benevolence

under the prescribed regulations. In the Seventh place, To take care of the construction and repairs of

roads, causeways, bridges, and prisons; the forests and plantations of the district, and of all public works of necessity,

utility and ornament. Eighthly, To draw up the municipal regulations of the town, and

present them to the Cortes for their approbation, by a provincial deputation, which shall attend them with the neces.

sary information thereon. Ninthly, To encourage agriculture, industry, and commerce, accord

ing to local circumstances of the towns, and whatever may be

useful and beneficial to them. Art. 322. Should public works, or other objects of general utility be desirable, and from the insufficiency of the funds of the Corporation, it should be necessary to resort io excise duties, these latter shall not be laid on, without obtaining the approbation of the Cortes, through the means of the provincial deputation. Should the work, or the proposed ubject, be urgent, the ayuntamientos ay make use of them, in the interval, with the consent of the same deputation, until the receipt of the resolution of the Cortes. These duties of excise shall be adiuinistered exactly in the same wanner as the corporation funds.

Art. 323. The Corporations shall discharge all these duties, uuder the inspection of the provincial deputation, to whom they shall every year, give in a certified account of the public funds they have received and applied. CHAP. II.- On the political government of the Provinces, and the

provincial deputations, Art. 324. The political goverument of the provinces, shall reside in the superior chief or goveruor appointed by the king in eaclı.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »