Full text: Iceland 1930

According to paragraph 1 of the Icelandic constitution the form of 
government is a limited monarchy, and § 2 of the constitution pre- 
scribes that the legislative power rests jointly with the crown and 
Althingi. The executive power is vested in the crown, while the adminis- 
tration of justice is exercised by the courts. As will appear below the 
constitution has not followed this division of powsr with full consistency. 
The king has the highest power in all affairs of the State, subject 
to the reservations set forth in the constitution. The kingdom passes 
in direct male line to the descendants of king Christian IX and his 
queen, Louise. The Crown-prince, in order to succeed to the throne, 
must belong to the Lutheran Church; and he must not, without the 
sanction of Althingi and the Rigsdag, be the sovereign of another 
country. But in order to be able to exercise the royal power, he 
must have reached the age (18 years) fixed by the law; he must be 
so sound in mind and body as to be fit to discharge his official du- 
ties; he must be able personally to exercise his royal power, and 
he must have taken an oath of fidelity to the constitution. If the king 
is not in a condition to reign, the heir to the crown, a special regent, 
or the council of State, exercises the royal power ad interim. The 
king's person is sacred, and he enjoys in an especial degree the pro- 
tection of the law. The Civil List of the king is fixed by law. 
The king is exempted from responsibility, but the ministers are re- 
sponsible for the conduct of affairs. The king appoints the ministers, 
accepts their resignation, fixes their number, and defines their respec- 
tive spheres of action. As a rule, the ministers have been three 
since 1917, but sometimes a minister has been in charge of more 
than one department for a short period of time. The king decides 
which of the ministers shall be the premier. The seat of the govern- 
ment is Reykjavik. In order to be valid, all royal decrees, both con- 
cerning legislative and administrative affairs, must be countersigned 
by a minister. All laws and important measures must be laid before 
the king in council composed of the ministers and the Crown-prince, 
if he is of age, and presided over by the king. Qutside Iceland the

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