Section I The Two Chambers Article 55 Parliament
(1) The parliament consists of the House of Representatives and the senate.
(2) The parliament holds joint session only in cases defined by the constitution. Article 56 The House of Representatives
(1) The house of representatives is elected by universal and direct suffrage.
(2) The number of representatives is six hundred and thirty, of which twelve are elected by the constituency of italians abroad.
(3) Eligible are voters who have reached the age of twenty-five on election day.
(4) Having set aside the seats assigned to the constituency of italians abroad, the distribution of seats among the constituencies is calculated by dividing the population of the last general census by six hundred and eighteen, and distributing the seats in proportion to the population of each constituency, based on the quotients and the largest remainders. Article 57 The Senate
(1) The senate is elected on a regional basis except for the seats assigned to the constituency of italians abroad.
(2) Three hundred and fifteen senators are elected, of which six are elected by the constituency of italians abroad.
(3) No Region shall have fewer than seven senators; Molise has two senators and the Aosta Valley one.
(4) Having set aside the seats assigned to the constituency of italiens abroad, the distribution of seats among the regions is calculated proportionally to the population of the last general census, based on the quotients and the largest remainders. Article 58 Elections for the Senate
(1) Senators are elected universally and directly by voters older than twenty-five years.
(2) Voters older than forty years are eligible to the senate. Article 59 Senators for Life
(1) Anyone who was president of the republic is a senator for life unless waiving this privilege.
(2) The president may appoint as senators for life five citizens who have brought honor to the nation through their exceptional accomplishments in the social, scientific, artistic, and literary fields. Article 60 Term
(1) The house of representatives and the senate are elected for five years.
(2) The term of each chamber may not be extended except by law and only in the case of war. Article 61 Reelections
(1) The reelection of new chambers must take place within seventy days from the dissolution of the previous ones. The first session has to be take place no later than twenty days after elections.
(2) The previous chambers retain their powers until the new chambers meet. Article 62 Sessions
(1) Sessions commence on the first days of february and october that are no holidays.
(2) Each chamber may be summoned in extraordinary session on the initiative of its speaker, the president of the republic, or of one third of its members.
(3) If a chamber is summoned for an extraordinary session, the other chamber also convenes. Article 63 Speaker
(1) Each chamber elect a speaker and members of the speaker's office from among its members.
(2) The speaker and the speaker's office of the house of representatives preside when the parliament convenes in joint session. Article 64 Rules of Procedures
(1) Each Chamber adopt its rules of procedure by a majority of its members.
(2) Sessions are public, but the chambers or the parliament in joint session may decide to sit in private.
(3) Decisions of the chambers and of the parliament require the presence of a majority of the members and the consent of a majority of those present, notwichtstanding special majorities required by the constitution.
(4) Government members, even if not members of the chambers, have the right to attend sessions and are required to be present if summoned. They have to be heard on their request. Article 65 Ineligibility and Incompatibility
(1) Conditions of ineligibility or incompatibility with the office of deputy or senator are defined by law.
(2) Nobody may be a member of both chambers at the same time. Article 66 Qualifications for Admission
Each chamber decide about the electoral admissibility of its members and about instances of ineligibility and incompatibility. Article 67 Free mandate
Members of parliament represent the nation; they are free from imperative mandate. Article 68 Indemnity, Immunity
(1) Members of parliament may not be called to answer for opinions expressed or votes cast in the exercise of their office.
(2) Members of parliament may not be subjected to searches of their person or homeshall without prior authorization by their chamber, nor arrested or otherwise deprived of personal freedom, nor kept in a state of detention, except on an irrevocable conviction or caught in the act of a crime for which arrest is mandatory.
(3) The same authorization is required to subject members of parliament to any form of interception of their conversations or communications, and in order to seize their mail or correspondence. Article 69 Allowance
Members of parliament receive an allowance defined by law.
Section II Lawmaking Article 70 Legislative Power
Legislative power is exercised jointly by the chambers. Article 71 Initiative
(1) The right to initiatives belongs to the government, to each member of the chambers, and to those organs and bodies assigned by constitutional law.
(2) The people may introduce public initiatives consisting of a bill drafted in articles and supported by at least 50,000 voters. Article 72 Legislative Proceedings
(1) Every bill introduced to one of the chambers is first examined by a committee as defined by the rules of procedures and then adopted by the chamber article by article and with a final vote.
(2) The rules of procedure establish an abbreviated procedure for bills declared urgent.
(3) They may also establish when and how the examination and approval of bills may be delegated to committees, including standing committees, composed in a way reflecting the relative size of groups in parliament. In such cases, a bill must be submitted to the full chamber if the government, one-tenth of the chamber's members, or one-fifth of the committee so demand, or it must be submitted to the committee for a final vote preceded only by statements of vote. The rules of procedure define the manner in which the committees' deliberation is made public.
(4) The ordinary procedure for the deliberation and decisionmaking by each chamber has to be followed for bills on constitutional or electoral matter and for those delegating legislative power or authorizing the ratification of international treaties or approving the budgets and the final balance. Article 73 Promulgation
(1) Laws are promulgated by the president within a month after having been adopted.
(2) If each chamber declares a bill urgent with a majority of its members, it has to be promulgated within the time set in the bill.
(3) Laws have to be published immediately after they were promulgated; they enter into force on the fifteenth day after their publication unless the laws establish a different time. Article 74 Request for New Deliberation
(1) Before promulgation, the president may ask for further deliberation by message to the chambers giving the reasons for such request.
(2) The law has to be promulgated if the chambers adopt the bill once more. Article 75 Referendum
(1) When requested by 500,000 voters or by five regional councils, a popular referendum decides on total or partial repeal of a law or other acts with legal force.
(2) No such referenda are allowed for tax or budget laws, amnesties, pardons, or ratification of international treaties.
(3) Citizens entitled to vote for the house of representatives may also participate in a referendum.
(4) The referendum succeeds if a majority of those eligible have participated and if the proposal has received a majority of the valid votes.
(5) The law establishes procedures for referenda. Article 76 Delegation of Legislative Power
Legislative power may not be delegated to the government unless parliament specifies principles and criteria of guidance, and only for limited time and well-specified subjects. Article 77 Law Decrees
(1) The government may not issue decrees with the force of law unless empowered by a proper delegation of the chambers.
(2) As an exception by necessity and urgency, government may issue provisional measures with the force of law and submits them on the same day to the chambers for confirmation; if the chambers are not in session, they have to be summoned for that purpose within five days.
(3) Legal decrees lose effect at the date of issue if they are not confirmed within sixty days of their publication. However, chambers may sanction rights and obligations arising out of decrees are not confirmed. Article 78 State of War
Chambers are competent to declare war and assign the necessary powers to government. Article 79 Amnesty and Pardon
(1) Amnesties and pardons may be granted by a law which must be adopted both article by article and in its entirety by two thirds of the members of each chamber.
(2) A law granting amnesty or pardon has to establish time limits for its enforcement.
(3) In no instance may amnesty or pardon be extended to offences committed after the bill has been introduced. Article 80 Ratification of Treaties
Chambers ratify by law international treaties which are of political nature, provide for arbitration or judicial regulation, imply modifications of the territory, impose financial burdens, or result in modifications of the laws. Article 81 Budgets
(1) For each year, chambers are voting the budget and final balance submitted by the government.
(2) Temporary execution of the budget may not be granted except by law and for periods of no more than four months altogether.
(3) In the budget law, no new taxes or expenditures may be adopted.
(4) All other laws implying new or additional expenditures must define the means to cover them. Article 82 Inquiries
(1) A chamber may start inquiries into matters of public interest.
(2) It therefore appoints a committee composed of its members in proportion to the size of the groups in parliament. The committee of enquiry investigates and examines the matters carrying the same powers and limitations as the judiciary.