Chapter Two Legislative PowerArticle 15: Parliament
1. Legislative power in the Czech Republic shall be vested in Parliament.
2. Parliament is composed of two Chambers, the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.Article 16: Chambers
1. The Chamber of Deputies has 200 deputies, elected for a term of four years.
2. The Senate has 81 Senators, elected for a term of six years. One third of the Senators is elected every second year.Article 17: Elections
1. Elections to both Chambers shall be held in a period of time starting the thirtieth day before the expiration of the electoral term and ending on the day of its expiration.
2. If the Chamber of Deputies was dissolved, elections shall take place within sixty days of its dissolution.Article 18: Suffrage
1. Elections to the Chamber of Deputies shall be held on the basis of universal, equal, and direct suffrage by secret ballot, according to the principles of proportional representation.
2. Elections to the Senate shall take place on the basis of universal, equal, and direct suffrage by secret ballot, on the basis of the majority system.
3. Every citizen of the Czech Republic, on reaching the age of 18, has the right to vote.Article 19: Eligibility
1. Every citizen of the Czech Republic who is eligible to vote and has reached the age of 21 may be elected to the Chamber of Deputies.
2. Every citizen who is eligible to vote and has reached the age of 40 may be elected to the Senate.
3. The mandate of a Deputy or a Senator shall be effective upon his or her election.Article 20: Conditions
Additional conditions for the exercise of suffrage, the organization of elections, and the scope of judicial review are stipulated by law.Article 21: Chamber Incompatibility
No one may simultaneously be a member of both Chambers of Parliament.Article 22: Incompatibilities
1. The exercise of the office of the President of the Republic, the office of judges, and other functions, set forth by law, are incompatible with the post of Deputy or Senator.
2. A Deputy's or a Senator's mandate expires the day he or she enters upon the office of the President of the Republic, or the day he or she assumes a judgeship or another post incompatible with the post of Deputy or Senator.Article 23: Oaths
1. A Deputy shall take the oath at the first session of the Chamber of Deputies which he or she attends.
2. A Senator shall take the oath at the first session of the Senate which he or she attends.
3. The oath of a Deputy or a Senator is worded as follows:
"I pledge allegiance to the Czech Republic. I pledge to uphold its Constitution and laws. I pledge on my honor to exercise my mandate in the interest of the people and in accordance with my best conviction and conscience."Article 24: Resignation
A Deputy or a Senator may surrender his or her mandate by a declaration made personally at a session of the Chamber of which he or she is a member. If he or she is prevented from doing so by serious circumstances, he or she may do so by a method set forth by law.Article 25: Expiration
A Deputy's or a Senator's mandate expires upon:
Article 26: Independence
- refusing to take the oath or taking the oath with reservations,
- the expiration of the term of office,
- the resignation,
- the loss of eligibility,
- the dissolution of the Chamber of Deputies, in the case of deputies,
- the incompatibility of the functions specified in Article 22.
Deputies and Senators shall exercise their mandates personally in accordance with their oath and shall not be bound by any directions.Article 27: Indemnity, Immunity
1. A Deputy or a Senator may not be prosecuted for voting in the Chamber of Deputies or the Senate or their bodies.
2. A Deputy or a Senator may not be prosecuted for statements made in the Chamber of Deputies or the Senate or their bodies. A Deputy or a Senator is only accountable to the disciplinary authority of the Chamber of which he or she is a member.
3. A Deputy or a Senator shall be accountable for his or her misdemeanor only to the disciplinary authority of the Chamber of which he or she is a member, unless determined otherwise by law.
4. A Deputy or a Senator may not be criminally prosecuted without consent of the Chamber of which he or she is a member. If the respective Chamber declines its consent, criminal proceedings are rendered impossible forever.
5. A Deputy or a Senator may be taken into custody only if caught while committing a criminal offense or immediately thereafter. The responsible body is obliged to immediately notify of the detention the Chairman of the Chamber of which the detainee is a member; if the Chamber's Chairman fails to give his or her consent to handing the detainee over to court within 24 hours of the detention, the responsible body is obliged to set him or her free. The Chamber shall decide with final authority about the admissibility of the prosecution at its first following session.Article 28: Secrecy
A Deputy or a Senator is entitled to withhold testimony about matters of which he or she learned in connection with the exercise of his or her mandate, even after he or she ceased to be a Deputy or a Senator.Article 29: Chairmen
1. The Chamber of Deputies elects and dismisses the Chairman and Vice Chairmen of the Chamber of Deputies.
2. The Senate elects and dismisses the Chairman and Vice Chairmen of the Senate.Article 30: Investigatory Commission
1. The Chamber of Deputies may set up an investigatory commission for the investigation of an affair of public interest if this is suggested by at last one fifth of deputies.
2. Proceedings before the commission shall be determined by law.Article 31: Committees
1. The Chambers establish committees and commissions as their bodies.
2. The activities of committees and commissions shall be determined by law.Article 32: Governmental Incompatibility
A Deputy or a Senator who is a member of the Government may not be the Chairman or Vice Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies or the Senate, or a member of Parliamentary committees, investigatory commission, or commissions.Article 33: Legislation
1. If the Chamber of Deputies is dissolved, the Senate shall be responsible for adopting legislative measures in matters which cannot be postponed and which would otherwise require the adoption of a law.
2. The Senate, however, cannot adopt legislative measures on matters of the Constitution, the state budget, the state annual account, the election law, and international agreements according to Article 10.
3. Only the Government may propose legislative measures to the Senate.
4. The Chairman of the Senate, the President of the Republic and the Premier shall sign legislative measures of the Senate these measures are promulgated like laws.
5. A legislative measure of the Senate must be approved by the Chamber of Deputies at its first session. If the Chamber of Deputies does not approve it, the measure loses further validity.Article 34: Sessions
1. The Chambers are continually in session. A session of the Chamber of Deputies is called by the President of the Republic so that it be started no later than the thirtieth day after the election day. If he fails to do so, the Chamber of Deputies shall meet on the thirtieth day after the election day.
2. A session of a Chamber may be adjourned by resolution. The total period for which a session may be adjourned shall not exceed 120 days in one year.
3. During the period of adjournment, the Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies or of the Senate may convene a session of the respective Chamber before the scheduled date. He shall always do so if requested by the President of the Republic, the Government or at least one fifth of deputies of the respective Chamber.
4. A session of the Chamber of Deputies ends with the expiration of its election term or with its dissolution.Article 35: Dissolution
1. The President of the Republic can dissolve the Chamber of Deputies if:
- the Chamber of Deputies passes a vote of non-confidence in a newly appointed Government whose Premier was appointed by the President of the Republic on the suggestion of the chairman of the Chamber of Deputies,
- the Chamber of Deputies fails to decide within three months on a Government bill with the discussion of which the Government links the question of confidence,
- a session of the Chamber of Deputies is adjourned for a longer period than admissible,
- the Chamber of Deputies has not reached a quorum for a period longer than three months, although its session was not adjourned and although it was repeatedly called to session during this period.
2. The Chamber of Deputies cannot be dissolved three months before the expiration of its election term.Article 36: Publicity
Sessions of both chambers are open to public. The public can be excluded solely under conditions stipulated by law.Article 37: Joint Sessions
1. A joint session of both Chambers is called by the Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies.
2. The proceedings of a joint session of both Chambers are governed by the rules of procedure of the Chamber of Deputies.Article 38: Government Attendance
1. A member of the Government has the right to attend sessions of both Chambers, their committees, and commissions. He shall be given the floor any time he requests it.
2. A member of the Government is obliged to attend personally a session of the Chamber of Deputies upon the basis of its resolution. This also applies to a session of a committee, commission, or investigatory commission, where, however, a member of the Government may have himself be represented by his deputy or any other member of the cabinet, if his or her personal presence is not expressly requested.Article 39: Quorum, Majorities
1. The Chambers constitute a quorum if at least one third of their members are present.
2. The passage of a resolution of the respective Chamber requires consent of an absolute majority of deputies or Senators present, if not prescribed otherwise by the Constitution.
3. The passage of a resolution on the declaration of the state of war and a resolution approving the presence of foreign troops on the territory of the Czech Republic requires consent of an absolute majority of all deputies and of all Senators.
4. The passage of a constitutional law and the approval of an international agreement under Article 10 shall require consent of a three-fifths majority of all deputies and a three-fifths majority of all Senators present.Article 40: Election and Procedure Laws
The passage of an election law and the legislation on the principles of deliberations and contacts between both Chambers as well as external contacts, and the law on the rules of procedure of the Senate shall necessitate its approval by both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.Article 41: Initiative
1. Draft laws shall be submitted to the Chamber of Deputies.
2. A draft law may be submitted by deputies, groups of deputies, the Senate, the Government, and representatives of a higher territorial self-governing entity.Article 42: Budget
1. A draft law on the state budget and a draft state annual account are presented by the Government.
2. These draft proposals are discussed and decided on only by the Chamber of Deputies at a public session.Article 43: War
1. Parliament decides on a declaration of the state of war in the event that the Czech Republic is attacked or if it is necessary to meet international treaty obligations concerning joint defense against aggression.
2. Armed forces can be sent outside the territory of the Czech Republic only with the consent of both Chambers.Article 44: Deliberation
1. The Government has the right to comment on all draft laws.
2. If the Government fails to express its opinion within thirty days of the receipt of a draft law, it is assumed that it has expressed itself positively.
3. The Government has the right to demand that the Chamber of Deputies complete discussing a Government draft law within three months of its submission, as long as the Government links with it a request for a vote of confidence.Article 45: Approval to Senate
The Chamber of Deputies shall advance a draft law with which it expressed its approval to the Senate without unnecessary delay.Article 46: Resolution of Senate
1. The Senate shall discuss a draft law and decide upon it within a period of thirty days of its advancement.
2. With its resolution, the Senate approves the draft law or turns it down, or returns it to the Chamber of Deputies with draft amendments, or expresses its intention not to concern itself with it.
3. If the Senate fails to express its resolution in a time limit given in Paragraph (1), it is assumed that the draft law was passed.Article 47: Rejection by Senate
1. If the Senate rejects a draft law, the Chamber of Deputies shall vote on it again. A draft law is passed if it is approved by an absolute majority of all deputies.
2. If the Senate returns a draft law to the Chamber of Deputies with draft amendments, the Chamber of Deputies shall vote on the wording approved by the Senate. With its resolution, the draft law is passed.
3. If the Chamber of Deputies fails to pass a draft law in the wording approved by the Senate, it shall vote once again on the version of the draft law advanced to the Senate. A draft law is passed if it is approved by an absolute majority of all deputies.
4. In discussion of a rejected or returned draft law in the Chamber of Deputies draft amendments are inadmissible.Article 48: Inactivity
If the Senate expresses its intention not to concern itself with a draft law, it is passed with this resolution.Article 49: International Accords
1. International accords requiring consent from Parliament are passed by Parliament in the same way as draft laws.
2. Accords on human rights and fundamental freedoms, political agreements, and economic agreements of a general nature, as well as agreements on the implementation of which a law must be passed, require consent from Parliament.Article 50: Rejection by President
1. The President of the Republic has the right to return an adopted law, except a constitutional law, giving explanation within fifteen days of the day of its advancement.
2. The Chamber of Deputies shall vote on the rejected law once again. Draft amendments are inadmissible. If the Chamber of Deputies re-approves the returned law by an absolute majority of all deputies, the law is promulgated. Otherwise it is assumed that the law was not passed.Article 51: Signatures
Adopted laws are signed by the Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies, the President of the Republic, and the Premier.Article 52: Promulgation
A law becomes effective upon its promulgation. The method of promulgation is stipulated by law. The same applies to international treaties approved by Parliament.Article 53: Interpretation
1. Every Deputy has the right to interpenetrate the Government or its members in matters falling under their jurisdiction.
2. Interpenetrated members of Government shall be obliged to respond to the interpenetration within a period of thirty days from the day of its notification.