About this project
Commentary on the Constitution of the Principality of Liechtenstein of 1921
This online commentary annotates the provisions of the Constitution of the Principality of Liechtenstein of 5 October 1921. → English translation of the newest edition of the constitution
Aim of the commentary
This online commentary is the first comprehensive interpretation of every single article of the Liechtenstein Constitution. The aim of this annotation is to include not only all of the jurisprudential, but also the relevant historical, political, economic, and sociological literature. When appropriate, statistics will also be used.
This commentary should speak not only to jurists, but to anyone interested in the Liechtenstein legal system, i. e. in the structure of the Liechtenstein state, in the legal ramifications of the constitution, the autonomy of the municipalities, or in the immunity of the Prince.
The current form of the Constitution dates from 1921. It included many articles from the Constitution of 1862. Those who were responsible for formulating the Constitution of 1921 took their inspiration from the Swiss Federal Constitution, several Swiss cantonal constitutions, and also from various Austrian regulations. This is also true of recent constitutional amendments. Of course Liechtenstein also develops its own legislation in line with changes in international law. The most obvious example is the effect of Liechtenstein’s accession to the European Economic Area (EEA) on 1 May 1995.
In order to better understand and grasp each of the regulations and principles it is not only necessary to have a look at historical developments, but also to take Austrian and Swiss constitutional law into consideration, which are of course also influenced by international developments such as the judgments and decisions of the European Court of Human Rights.
Introduction to the Liechtenstein Constitution
In the document “Einführende Bemerkungen zur liechtensteinischen Verfassung” you will find introductory remarks about the constitutional law of Liechtenstein. This general introduction looks at the constitutional history and sources, the significance of doctrine and court rulings and the structure of the legal system. Furthermore, it introduces you to the structure and system of the Constitution. In the section “Strukturprinzipien” fundamental characteristics of the constitutional order of Liechtenstein are explained: sovereignty, rule of law, democracy, monarchy, and the separation of powers. Another section about Liechtenstein’s law vis-à-vis international law and the European multi-level system concludes the introduction.
Progress of the commentary
The annotations of the different articles are uploaded continually. After completion the comments are updated as necessary. The commentary should be completed by 2018. Our newsletter informs you about the latest additions to the commentary. Subscribe to the newsletter by writing to email@example.com. In the section “Kommentar” you can see which articles have already been commented on. Each commentary states the date of publication directly below the text of the constitutional article.
The commentary on the Constitution of the Principality of Liechtenstein is being published by the Liechtenstein Institute solely as an online digital version. Such an online commentary is unique in the entire German-speaking world. No printed version of this online commentary will be published. The online commentary is protected by copyright. Any duplication, distribution, or translation of the commentary and its components is prohibited.
Maintenance and funding
The online commentary is initiated and funded by the Liechtenstein Institute in Bendern (Liechtenstein).
The Liechtenstein Institute was founded in 1986 and is an interdisciplinary research institute. It is dedicated to research relevant to Liechtenstein in the fields of history, politics, law, and economics. The institute is organised as a non-profit association and is state-subsidized. The publications of the Liechtenstein Institute are being made public on its website.