Council of the twelve

 

The Council of Twelve, "Consilium duodecim virorum", is a collegial body composed of twelve members. It is appointed at the beginning of each legislature by the Great and General Council from among its members in proportion to the Parliamentary Groups that compose it. Under Art. 7 of Constitutional Law no. 183 of 15 December 2005, the members of the Congress of State are not entitled to be members of the Council of the Twelve, because of their suspension from the office of members of Parliament. The Council of Twelve remains in office for the entire legislature and is dissolved with the decree convening Election Rallies. It is presided over by the Captains Regent, who have the power to steer and coordinate it, but do not have voting rights. Recently, in contrast to the tradition, the practice of replacing the member of the Council of the Twelve elected as Captain Regent with another member of the Great and General Council has been consolidating. This body, which is an original institution of San Marino system, appears for the first time in the positive law of the Republic of San Marino in the Statutes of 1491, Book no. 6 (De appellationibus). Subsequently, its functions were established by Law no.13 of 5 June 1923 "Law establishing the functions of the Council of the Twelve", which considered it a judicial body (it acted as a Court of Appeal of third instance) and of administrative justice. Its competences were then integrated, repealed and amended by following rules to be found in a wide range of law provisions. Currently, the Council of the Twelve has only administrative competences. These are the powers exercised:
-authorising the purchase of real estate by foreigners -accepting inheritance of immovable property
-authorising the purchase of real estate by companies
-control and supervision over the management of non commercial companies and foundations
-legal recognition of San Marino Communities abroad. The only type of company for which the legal recognition by the Council of the Twelve still remains is that of San Marino Communities abroad, since this is provided for by a specific law.
-authorising the reopening of a civil case declared time-barred. This is the only task of a partly judicial nature still performed by the Council of the Twelve.
-granting of legal aid. Legal aid is granted to poor foreigners (Art. 5 -Convention of good neighbouring with the Kingdom of Italy of 27 March 1872); to San Marino citizens in a proven state of poverty and rightfully in the dispute for which they request legal assistance.
The meetings of the Council of the Twelve are held once a month. Case files are examined in chronological order of submission. Traditionally, rejected requests cannot be submitted again before at least three following meetings have been held. According to Law no. 42 of 21 March 1995 establishing the Permanent Parliamentary Commissions and reforming Parliamentary Commissions, the members of the Council of the Twelve receive an attendance fee.

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