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Constitution of the German Empire (April 16, 1871)

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Art. 71
The common disbursements are, as a rule, voted for one year; they may, however, in particular cases, be voted for a longer period.

During the time of transition mentioned in Art. 60, the estimates of the expenditure for the army, arranged under heads, are to be laid before the Federal Council and the Reichstag, only for their information and as a reminder.

[ . . . ]

Section XIII. Settlement of Differences and Penal Stipulations

Art. 74
Any action against the existence, the integrity, the safety or the Constitution of the German Reich, finally, insulting the Federal Council or the Reichstag, or a member of the Federal Council or of the Reichstag or any authority, or a public servant of the Reich whilst in the exercise of their vocation, or in reference to their vocation, by word, in writing, printing, symbolic, figurative or other representation, will be sentenced and punished in the separate States of the Federation according to the existing law, or the laws which may in future be enacted there, in pursuance of which a similar offence committed against that separate State of the Federation, its Constitution, its Chambers, or Diet, the members of its Chambers, or Diet, its authorities and functionaries, would be punished.

[ . . . ]

Art. 76
Differences between various States of the Federation, in so far as they are not of a private legal nature and therefore to be decided by the competent judicial authorities, will, at the suit of one of the parties, be settled by the Federal Council.

Constitutional differences in those States of the Federation in whose constitution no authority for settling such disputes is provided, are to be amicably arranged by the Federal Council at the suit of one of the parties, or if this should not succeed, they are to be settled by way of Reich legislation.

[ . . . ]

Section XIV. General Stipulations

Art. 78
Alterations in the Constitution take place by way of legislation. They are considered as rejected if they have 14 votes of the Federal Council against them.

Those provisions of the Constitution of the Reich by which certain rights are established for separate States of the Federation in their relation to the community, can only be altered with the consent of the State of the Federation entitled to those rights.

Source of English translation: Elmar M. Hucko, ed., The Democratic Tradition: Four German Constitutions. Oxford, New York, Munich: Berg, 1987, pp. 119-45.

Original German text printed in Verfassung des Deutschen Reichs [The Constitution of the German Reich], April 16, 1871, published on April 20, 1871 in the Reichsgesetzblatt (1871), pp. 63ff. Original German text with explanatory footnotes reprinted in Ernst Rudolf Huber, ed., Dokumente zur Deutschen Verfassungsgeschichte [Documents on German Constitutional History], 3rd rev. ed., vol. 2, 1851-1900. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1986, pp. 384-402, and in Holger Bussek et al., eds, Deutsche Verfassungen [German Constitutions], CD-ROM. Berlin: heptagon, 2004.

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