Parliament

Section 1  Organization and composition
 
Article 50
The Parliament shall represent the entire people of the Netherlands.
 
Article 51
(1) The Parliament shall consist of a Second Chamber and a First Chamber.
(2) The Second Chamber shall consist of one hundred and fifty members.
(3) The First Chamber shall consist of seventy-five members.
(4) The two Chambers shall be deemed a single entity when they meet in joint session.
 
Article 52
(1) The duration of both Chambers shall be four years.
(2) The duration of the First Chamber shall be amended accordingly if the duration of the provincial councils is altered by Act of Parliament to a term other than four years.
 
Article 53
(1) The members of both Chambers shall be elected by proportional representation within the limits to be laid down by Act of Parliament.
(2) Elections shall be by secret ballot.
 
Article 54
(1) The members of the Second Chamber shall be elected directly by the Dutch nationals who have attained the age of eighteen, with the exception of any Dutch nationals who may be excluded by Act of Parliament by virtue of the fact that they are not resident in the Netherlands.
(2) The following persons shall not be entitled to vote:
  1. anyone who has committed an offence designated by Act of Parliament and has been sentenced as a result by irrevocable judgement of a court of law to a custodial sentence of not less than one year and simultaneously disqualified from voting;
  2. anyone who has been deemed legally incompetent by irrevocable judgement of a court because of mental disorder.
Article 55
The members of the First Chamber shall be chosen by the members of the provincial councils.  The election shall take place not more than three months after the election of the members of the provincial councils except in the event of the dissolution of the Chamber.
 
Article 56
To be eligible for membership of the Parliament, a person must be a Dutch national, must have attained the age of eighteen years and must not have been disqualified from voting.
 
Article 57
(1) No one may be a member of both Chambers.
(2) A member of the Parliament may not be a Minister, State Secretary, member of the Council of State, member of the General Chamber of Audit, member of the Supreme Court, or Procurator General or Advocate General at the Supreme Court.
(3) Notwithstanding the above, a Minister or State Secretary who has offered to tender his resignation may combine the said office with membership of the Parliament until such time as a decision is taken on such resignation.
(4) Other public functions which may not be held simultaneously by a person who is a member of the Parliament or of one of the Chambers may be designated by Act ofParliament.
 
Article 58
Each Chamber shall examine the credentials of its newly appointed members and shall decide with due reference to rules to be established by Act of Parliament any disputes arising in connection with the credentials or the election.
 
Article 59
All other matters pertaining to the right to vote and to elections shall be regulated by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 60
Upon accepting office, members of the Chambers shall swear an oath or make an affirmation and promise before the Chamber in the manner prescribed by Act of Parliament that they have not done anything which may legally debar them from holding office, and shall also swear or promise allegiance to the Constitution and that they will faithfully discharge their duties.
 
Article 61
(1) Each Chamber shall appoint a President from among its members.
(2) Each Chamber shall appoint a Clerk who, like the other officials of the two Chambers, may not be a member of the Parliament.
 
Article 62
The President of the First Chamber shall preside when the two Chambers meet in joint session.
 
Article 63
Financial remuneration for members and former members of the Parliament and their dependents shall be regulated by Act of Parliament.  The Chambers may pass a Bill on the matter only if at least two-thirds of the votes cast are in favor.
 
Article 64
(1) Each of the Chambers may be dissolved by Royal Decree.
(2) A decree for dissolution shall also require new elections to be held for the Chamber which has been dissolved and the newly elected Chamber to meet within three months.
(3) The dissolution shall take effect on the day on which the newly elected Chamber meets.
(4) The duration of a Second Chamber that meets following a dissolution shall be determined by Act of Parliament; the term may not exceed five years.  The duration of a First Chamber that meets following a dissolution shall end at the time at which the duration of the dissolved Chamber would have ended.
 
Section 2  Procedure
 
Article 65
A statement of the policy to be pursued by the Government shall be given by or on behalf of the King before a joint session of the two Chambers of the Parliament that shall be held every year on the third Tuesday in September or on such earlier date as may be prescribed by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 66
(1) The sittings of the Parliament shall be held in public.
(2) The sittings shall be held in camera if one tenth of the members present so require or if the President considers it necessary.
(3) The Chamber, or the two Chambers meeting in jointsession, shall then decide whether the deliberations are to continue and the decisions to be taken in camera.
 
Article 67
(1) The two Chambers may deliberate or take decisions, either separately or in joint session, only if more than half of the members are present.
(2) Decisions shall be taken by majority.
(3) The members shall not be bound by a mandate or instructions when casting their votes.
(4) Voting on items of business not relating to individuals shall be oral and by roll call if requested by one member.
 
Article 68
Ministers and State Secretaries shall provide orally or in writing the Chambers either separately or in joint session, with any information requested by one or more members, provided that the provision of such information does not conflict with the interests of the State.
 
Article 69
(1) Ministers and State Secretaries shall have the right to attend sittings of the Parliament and may take part in the deliberations.
(2) They may be invited to be present at sittings of the Chambers of the Parliament meeting either separately or in joint session.
(3) They may be assisted at the sittings by persons nominated by them.
 
Article 70
The two Chambers shall jointly and separately have the right of inquiry to be regulated by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 71
Members of the Parliament, Ministers, State Secretaries, and other persons taking part in deliberations may not be prosecuted or otherwise held liable in law for anything they say during the sittings of the Parliament or of its committees or for anything they submit to them in writing.
 
Article 72
Each Chamber of the Parliament and the two Chambers in joint session shall draw up rules of procedure.