The Republic of San Marino does not have an official Constitution; it relies, instead, on Ancient Customs, statutes from the 1600’s and successive legislation; such as, the Declaration of citizens’ rights and the fundamental principles of San Marino’s political and legal system (Law of July 8 1974, n° 59, modified and integrated by Law n° 36 of February 26, 2002.
The oldest Republic in the world retains its original institutions which have survived throughout the centuries. As with any self-respecting democracy, each of the three governing branches: legislative, executive, judiciary is distinct and autonomous.
The highest position in the institutional hierarchy is constituted by two Heads of State; namely, Regents (Capitani Reggenti). These two individuals form a directive unit which is renewed every six months. The days dedicated to the official investitures are April 1st and October 1st and are national holidays.
GRAND AND GENERAL COUNCIL
A single-chamber parliament is the legislative organ. It is made up of sixty parliamentarians, called councilors, who are elected every five years.
The State Congress is the Government of San Marino and controls the public administration. The Executive is composed of a maximum of ten Ministers, called Secretaries of State and two Regents.
Administrative and statutory justice is exercised by magistrates. Statutory justice is carried out by: the Court of Appeals, the Legal Commissioner, the Justice of the Peace and the Uditore Commissariale. Administrative justice is exercised by first instance and appeal courts. Lastly, the Council of Guarantors is the body which guarantees constitutionality.
DIRECT DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS
Besides the national and local political elections and referendums, the Republic of San Marino is a unique example of popular participation of its citizens in public affairs and offices: namely, the Arengo; in fact, every six months, during the installation of the Regents, the citizens of San Marino can present any proposals or appeals they may have on themes of public interest to the newly-elected Regents who,for their part, will present the proposals to the Grand and General Council within the term of their six-month mandate.