EVERYTHING FOR AND BY THE PEOPLE
« For the Honour of France, for the sacred interests of Humanity »
(Napoleon the Great, 17th of Ventôse Year VIII / Saturday 8th of March 1800)
Decison of the Consuls, 20th of Floréal Year X (10th of May 1802), ruling that the French people shall be consulted on this question :
Shall Napoleon Bonaparte be Consul for Life ?
FIRST ARTICLE. – The French people shall be consulted on this question : Shall Napoleon Bonaparte be Consul for Life ?
ART. 2. – There shall be opened, in each municipality, registers in which citizens will be invited to inscribe their wish on this question.
ART. 3. – These registers shall be opened in the secretariats of all the administrations, the offices of all the tribunals, and with all the mayors and all the registry clerks.
ART. 4. – The deadline for voting in each département will be three weeks, counted from the date on which this decision will have arrived at the préfecture; and seven days, counted from that on which the news will have arrived in each municipality.
Senatus-consultum of the 14th of Thermidor Year X (2nd of August 1802), which proclaims Napoleon Bonaparte First Consul for Life
FIRST ARTICLE. – The French people name, and the Senate proclaims, Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul for Life.
ART. 2. – A statue of Peace, holding in one hand the laurels of Victory, and in the other the decree of the Senate, will attest to posterity the recognition of the Nation.
ART. 3. – The Senate will bear to the First Consul the expression of the trust, of the love and of the admiration of the French people.
Senatus-Consultum. 16 Thermidor, Year X (4th of August 1802).
- Each justice of the peace jurisdiction has a cantonal assembly.
- Each communal district or sub-prefecture district has a district electoral college.
- Each department has a department electoral college.
Title II. Of the Cantonal Assemblies.
- The cantonal assembly consists of all the citizens domiciled in the canton and who are enrolled there upon the district communal list.
Counting from the date at which, by the terms of the constitution, the communal lists must be renewed, the cantonal assembly shall be composed of all the citizens domiciled in the canton and who there enjoy the rights of citizenship.
- The First Consul appoints the president of the cantonal assembly.
His functions continue for five years: he can be re-appointed indefinitely.
He is assisted by four tellers, two of whom are the eldest and the other two the most highly taxed of the citizens having the right to vote in the assembly of the canton.
The president and the four tellers appoint the secretary.
- The cantonal assembly divides itself into sections in order to perform the operations which belong to it.
At the first meeting of each assembly its organization and forms shall be determined by a regulation issued by the government.
- The president of the cantonal assembly appoints the presidents of the sections.
Their functions terminate with each sectional assembly.
They are each assisted by two tellers, one of whom is the eldest, and the other the most highly taxed of the citizens having the right to vote in the section.
- The cantonal assembly selects two citizens from whom the First Consul chooses the justice of the peace of the canton.
It likewise selects two citizens for each vacant place of substitute justice of the peace.
- The justices of the peace and their substitutes are appointed for ten years.
- In cities of five thousand souls, the cantonal assembly presents two citizens for each of the places in the municipal council. In cities in which there are several justices of the peace or several cantonal assemblies, each assembly shall likewise present two citizens for each place in the municipal council.
- The members of the municipal councils are taken by each cantonal assembly from the list of the one hundred largest tax-payers of the canton. This list shall be drawn up and printed by order of the prefect.
- The municipal councils are renewed by half every ten years.
- The First Consul chooses the mayors and deputies within the municipal councils; they are in office for five years: they can be re-appointed.
- The cantonal assembly appoints to the district electoral college the number of members assigned to it in accordance with the number of citizens of which it is composed.
- It appoints to the department electoral college, out of a list to be spoken of hereafter, the number of members allowed to it.
- The members of the electoral colleges must be domiciled in their respective districts and departments.
- The government convokes the cantonal assemblies, and determines the time of their duration and the purpose of their meeting.
Title III. Of the Electoral Colleges.
- The district electoral colleges have one member per five hundred inhabitants domiciled in the district.
Nevertheless, the number of members cannot exceed two hundred nor be less than one hundred and twenty.
- The department electoral colleges have one member per thousand inhabitants domiciled in the department; nevertheless, these members cannot exceed three hundred nor be less than two hundred.
- The members of the electoral colleges are for life.
- If a member of an electoral college is denounced to the government as being implicated in some act prejudicial to honour or to the fatherland, the government summons the college to express its opinion; there must be three-fourths of the votes in order to cause a denounced member to lose his place in the college.
- Places in the electoral college are lost for the same causes which entail loss of citizenship.
They are also lost when, without legitimate excuse, one has not participated in three successive meetings.
- The First Consul appoints, at each session, the presidents of the electoral colleges.
The president alone has the policing of the electoral college when it is assembled.
- The electoral colleges appoint, at each session, two tellers and a secretary.
- In order to provide for the formation of the department electoral colleges, there shall be prepared in each department, under orders of the minister of finances, a list of the six hundred citizens most highly rated upon the land, personal property, and sumptuary tax-rolls and upon the roll of licenses.
There is added to the amount of the tax in the domicile of the department that which can be proven to have been paid in the other parts of the territory of France and its colonies.
This list shall be printed.
- The cantonal assembly shall take from this list the members whom it must appoint to the electoral college of the department.
- The First Consul can add to the district electoral college ten members taken from among the citizens belonging to the Legion of Honour, or who have rendered the services.
He can add to each department electoral college twenty citizens, ten of them, taken from among the thirty largest tax-payers of the department, and the other ten from among the members of the Legion of Honour or the citizens who have rendered services.
For these appointments he is not subject to the fixed periods.
- The district electoral colleges present to the First Consul two citizens domiciled in the district for each vacant place in the district council.
At least one of the citizens must be taken from outside of the college which presents him.
The district councils are renewed by thirds every five years.
- The district electoral colleges present at each meeting two citizens to make part of the list from which the members of the Tribunate must be chosen.
At least one of these citizens must necessarily be taken from outside of the college which presents him.
Both can be taken from the outside of the department.
- The department electoral colleges present to the First Consul for each vacant place in the general council of the department two citizens domiciled in the department.
At least one of these citizens must necessarily be taken from outside of the electoral college that presents him.
The general councils of the department are renewed by thirds every five years.
- The department electoral colleges present at each meeting two citizens in order to form the list from which the members of the Senate are appointed.
At least one must necessarily be taken from outside the college which presents him; and both can be taken from outside the department.
They must have the age and qualifications are required by the constitution.
- The department and district electoral colleges each present two citizens domiciled in the department in order to form the list from which the members of the deputation in the Legislative Body must be appointed.
One of these citizens must necessarily be taken from outside the college that presents him.
There must be three times as many different candidates upon the list formed by the union of the presentations of the department and district electoral colleges as there are vacant places.
- One can be a member of a communal council and of a district or department electoral college.
One cannot be at the same time a member of a district college and a department college.
- The members of the Legislative Body and of the Tribunate cannot be present at the meetings of the electoral college to which they belong. All other public functionaries have the right to be present and to vote there.
- No cantonal assembly proceeds to make appointments for the places which belong to it in an electoral college, except when these places are reduced to two-thirds.
- The electoral colleges assemble only in virtue of an act of convocation issued by the government, and in the place which is assigned to them.
They cannot engage in any operations except those for which they are convoked, nor continue their sittings beyond the term fixed by the act of convocation.
If they exceed these limits the government has the right to dissolve them.
- The electoral colleges cannot directly or indirectly, under any pretext whatever, correspond with each other.
- The dissolution of an electoral body entails the renewal of all its members.
Title IV. Of the Consuls.
- The consuls are for life.
They are members of the Senate, and preside over it.
- The second and third consuls are appointed by the Senate upon the presentation of the first.
- For that purpose, when one of the two places becomes vacant, the First Consul presents to the Senate a first choice; if he is not appointed, he presents a second; if the second is not accepted, he presents a third who is necessarily appointed.
- When the First Consul thinks it seasonable, he presents a citizen to succeed him after his death, in the form indicated by the preceding article.
- The citizen appointed to succeed the First Consul takes an oath to the Republic at the hands of the First Consul, assisted by the second and third consuls, in the presence of the Senate, the ministers, the Council of State, the Legislative Body, the Tribunate, the tribunal of cassation, the archbishops, the bishops, the presidents of the appellate tribunals, the presidents of the electoral colleges, the presidents of the cantonal assemblies the grand officers of the Legion of Honour, and the mayors of the twenty-four principal cities of the Republic.
The secretary of state prepares the record of the taking of the oath.
- The oath is thus expressed:
« I swear to maintain the constitution, to respect liberty of conscience, to oppose a return to feudal institutions, never to make war except for the defence and glory of the Republic, and to employ the authority with which I shall be invested only for the good of the people, from whom and for whom I shall have received it. »
- Having taken the oath. He takes a seat in the Senate immediately next to the Third Consul.
- The First Consul can deposit in the archives of the government his opinion upon the appointment of his successor, in order to be presented to the Senate after his death.
- In that case he summons the second and third consuls, the ministers, and the presidents of the sections of the Council of State.
In their presence he transfers to the secretary of state the paper, sealed with his seal, in which his opinion is contained.
This paper is attested by all those who are present at the act. The secretary of state deposits it in the archives of the government in the presence of the ministers and the presidents of the sections of the Council of State.
- The First Consul can withdraw his deposit, observing the formalities prescribed in the preceding article.
- After the death of the First Consul, if his opinion remains on deposit, the paper which contains it is withdrawn from the archives of the government by the secretary of state, in the presence of the ministers and presidents of the sections of the Council of State. The integrity and authenticity of it is recognized in the presence of the second and third consuls It is forwarded to the Senate with a message of the government, together with the dispatch of the records which have established its deposit, authenticity, and integrity.
- If the person presented by the First Consul is not appointed, the second and third consuls each present one: in case of non-appointment, they each present another, and one of the two is necessarily appointed.
- If the First Consul has not left any presentation, the second and third consuls make their separate presentations; one first and one second; and if neither of them obtains the appointment, a third. The Senate necessarily appoints from the third.
- In any case the presentations and the appointment must be consummated within the twenty-four hours which shall follow the death of the First Consul.
- The law fixes for the life of each First Consul the list of the expenses of the government.
Title V. Of the Senate.
- The Senate regulates by an organic senatus-consultum:
1st. The constitution of the colonies:
2d. All which has not been provided for by the constitution and which is necessary for its operation:
3d. It interprets the articles of the constitution which give rise to different interpretations.
- The Senate by the decrees entitled senatus-consulta:
1st. Suspends for five years the functions of juries in the departments in which that measure is necessary;
2d. Declares, when circumstances require it, the departments that are outside of the constitution;
3d. Determines the time within which the persons arrested in virtue of article 46 of the constitution must be brought before the tribunals, when they have not been within ten days after their arrest;
4th. Annuls the judgments of the tribunals when they are injurious to the security of the state;
5th. Dissolves the Legislative Body and the Tribunate;
6th. Appoints the consuls.
- The organic senatus-consulta and the senatus-consulta are considered by the Senate, upon the initiative of the government.
A simple majority suffices for the senatus-consulta; there must be two-thirds of the votes of the members present for an organic senatus-consultum.
- The proposals for senatus-consulta, made in consequence of articles 55 and 56, are discussed in a privy council, composed of the consuls, two ministers, two senators, two councillors of state, and two grand officers of the Legion of Honor.
The First Consul designates at each sitting the members wino shall compose the privy council.
- The First Consul ratifies treaties of peace and alliance after having taken the opinion of the privy council.
Before promulgating them, he gives notice of them to the Senate.
- The decree of appointment of a member of the Legislative Body, the Tribunate, and the tribunal of cassation is entitled arrêté.
- The decrees of the Senate relative to its police and its internal administration are entitled délibérations.
- In the course of the year XI appointments shall be made of the forty citizens to complete the number of the eighty senators fixed by article 15 of the constitution.
These appointments shall be made by the Senate, upon the presentation of the First Consul, who, for this presentation and for the further presentations within the number of eighty, takes three persons from the list of citizens prepared by the electoral colleges.
- The members of the grand council of the Legion of Honour are members of the Senate, whatever may be their ages.
- The First Consul can, in addition, appoint to the Senate without previous presentation by the department electoral colleges, citizens distinguished by their services, and their talents, on condition, nevertheless, that they shall be of the age required by the constitution, and that the number of senators shall in no case exceed one hundred and twenty.
- The senators can be consuls, ministers, members of the Legion of Honour, inspectors of public instruction, and employees in extraordinary and temporary missions.
The Senate appoints each year two of its members to fill the, functions of secretaries.
- The ministers have seats in the Senate, but without deliberative voice unless they are senators.
Title VI. Of the Councillors of State.
- The councillors of state shall never exceed the number of fifty.
- The Council of State is divided into sections.
- The ministers have rank, seats and deliberative voice in the Council of State.
Title VII. Of the Legislative Body.
- Each department shall have in the Legislative Body a number of members proportionate to the extent of its population, in conformity with the appended table.
- All members of the Legislative Body belonging to the same deputation are appointed at the same time.
- The departments of the Republic are divided into five series, in conformity with the appended table.
- The present deputies are classed in the five series.
- They shall be renewed in the year to which shall belong the series in which the department shall be placed to which they shall have been attached.
- Nevertheless, the deputies who have been appointed in the year X shall complete their five years.
- The government convokes, adjourns and prorogues the Legislative Body.
Title VIII. Of the Tribunate.
- Dating from the Year XIII, the Tribunate shall be reduced to fifty members.
Half of the fifty shall retire every third year. Until this the retiring members shall not be replaced.
The Tribunate is divided into sections.
- The Legislative Body and the Tribunate are renewed in their whole membership when the Senate has decreed their dissolution.
Title IX. Of Justice and the Tribunals.
- There is a high-judge minister of justice.
- He has a distinguished place in the Senate and the Council of State.
- He presides over the tribunal of cassation and the tribunals of appeal, when the government thinks it desirable.
- He has the right of surveillance and reproof over the tribunals, the members who compose them, and the justices of the peace.
- The tribunal of cassation, presided over by him, has the right of censure and discipline over the tribunals of appeal and the criminal tribunals: it can, for grave cause, suspend the judges from their functions, and cite them before the high judge, in order to there render account of their conduct.
- The tribunals of appeal have the right of surveillance over the civil tribunals of their jurisdiction, and the civil tribunals over the justices of the peace of their district.
- The commissioner of the government to the tribunal of cassation supervises the commissioners to the tribunals of appeal and the criminal tribunals.
The commissioners to the tribunals of appeal supervise the commissioners to the civil tribunals.
- The members of the tribunal of cassation are appointed by the Senate upon the presentation of the First Consul.
The First Consul presents three persons for each vacant place.
Title X. Right of Pardon.
- The First Consul has the right to pardon.
He exercises it after having heard in a privy council the high-judge, two ministers, two senators, two councillors of state, and two judges of the tribunals of cassation.