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Welcome to the The Government of Timor-Leste Welcome to the The Government of Timor-Leste
PART VI OF THE CONSTITUTION OF DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF TIMOR-LESTE

PART VI

GUARANTEE AND REVISION OF THE CONSTITUTION

TITLE I

GUARANTEE OF THE CONSTITUTION

Section 149

(Anticipatory review of constitutionality)

1. The President of the Republic may request the Supreme Court of Justice to undertake an anticipatory review of the constitutionality of any statute submitted to him or her for promulgation.

2. The preventive review of the constitutionality may be requested within twenty days from the date on which the statute is received, and the Supreme Court of Justice shall hand down its ruling within twenty-five days, a time limit that may be reduced by the President of the Republic for reasons of emergency.

3. If the Supreme Court of Justice rules that the statute is unconstitutional, the President of the Republic shall submit a copy of the ruling to the Government or the National Parliament and request the reformulation of the statute in accordance with the decision of the Supreme Court of Justice.

4. The veto for unconstitutionality of a statute from the National Parliament that has been submitted for promulgation can be circumvented under section 88, with the necessary adaptations.

Section 150

(Abstract review of constitutionality)

Declaration of unconstitutionality may be requested by:

a) The President of the Republic;

b) The Speaker of the National Parliament;

c) The Prosecutor-General , based on the refusal by the courts, in three concrete cases, to apply a statute deemed unconstitutional;

d) The Prime Minister;

e) One fifth of the Members of the National Parliament;

f) The Ombudsman.

Section 151

(Unconstitutionality by omission)

The President of the Republic, the Prosecutor-General and the Ombudsman may request the Supreme Court of Justice to review the unconstitutionality by omission of any legislative measures deemed necessary to enable the implementation of the constitutional provisions.

Section 152

(Appeals on constitutionality)

1. The Supreme Court of Justice has jurisdiction to hear appeals against any of the following court decisions:

a) Decisions refusing to apply a legal rule on the grounds of unconstitutionality;

b) Decisions applying a legal rule the constitutionality of which was challenged during the proceedings.

2. An appeal under paragraph (1) (b) may be brought only by the party who raised the question of unconstitutionality.

3. The regime for filing appeals shall be regulated by law.

Section 153

(Decisions of the Supreme Court of Justice)

Decisions of the Supreme Court of Justice shall not be appealable and shall be published in the official gazette. They shall have a general binding effect on processes of abstract and concrete monitoring, when dealing with unconstitutionality.

TITLE II

CONSTITUTONAL REVISION

Section 154

(Initiative and time of revision)

1. It is incumbent upon Members of Parliament and the Parliamentary Groups to initiate constitutional revision.

2. The National Parliament may revise the Constitution after six years have elapsed since the last date on which a law revising the Constitution was published.

3. The period of six years for the first constitutional review shall commence on the day the present Constitution enters into force.

4. The National Parliament, regardless of any timeframe, may take on powers to revise the Constitution by a majority of four-fifths of the Members of Parliament in full exercise of their functions.

5. Proposals for revision should be submitted to the National Parliament one hundred and twenty days prior to the date of commencement of debate.

6. After submission of a proposal for constitutional revision under the terms of item 5 above, any other proposal shall be submitted within 30 days.

Section 155

(Approval and promulgation)

1. Amendments to the Constitution shall be approved by a majority of two-thirds of the Members of Parliament in full exercise of their functions.

2. The new text of the Constitution shall be published together with the revision law.

3. The President of the Republic shall not refuse to promulgate a revision law.

Section 156

(Limits on matters of revision)

1. Laws revising the Constitution shall respect:

a) National independence and the unity of the State;

b) The rights, freedoms and guarantees of citizens;

c) The republican form of government;

d) The separation of powers;

e) The independence of the courts;

f) The multi-party system and the right of democratic opposition;

g) The free, universal, direct, secret and regular suffrage of the office holders of the organs of sovereignty, as well as the system of proportional representation;

h) The principle of administrative deconcentration and decentralisation;

i) The National Flag;

j) The date of proclamation of national independence.

2. Paragraphs c) and i) may be reviewed through a national referendum, in accordance with the law.

Section 157

(Limits on time of revision)

No action may be taken to revise the Constitution during a state of siege or a state of emergency.