The Liechtenstein Constitution

The Liechtenstein Constitution dates from 1921 and uniquely combines a parliamentary democracy with a politically active monarch and pronounced direct democratic rights of the people.

Liechtenstein's constitution of 1921 remained largely unchanged despite the political turbulence and upheavals in 20th century Europe. Only in 2003, after a comprehensive debate on the role of the monarchy in Liechtenstein, a major constitutional reform took place. In a referendum, 64.3 percent of the people voted in favour of the reform proposed by the Princely House. The counter-proposal received only 16.6 percent of the votes. The turnout was 87.7 percent

A politically active monarchy on a democratic basis

The constitutional reform of 2003 follows the Princely House's vision of a politically active monarchy on a democratic basis. This represents the synthesis of monarchy with democratic legitimacy, both embedded in the social and political structure of the country. Prince Hans Adam II has clearly stated his personal political conviction and philosophy in his book "The State in the Third Millennium", published in 2009 and since translated into many languages. His vision of harmoniously strengthening the forces of democracy as well as the monarchy already found lasting expression in the constitutional reform of 2003, which also enshrines the principle of self-determination for the municipalities. Thus, the municipalities have the possibility to withdraw from the Principality, provided that a voting majority of a municipality decides so in accordance with Art. 4 of the Constitution.

The right to a referendum on the abolition of the monarchy

The constitutional reform brings further changes. The Prince's right to issue emergency decrees is restricted in terms of time and content (Art. 10 of the Constitution). Appointment procedures for civil servants and judges are now more balanced (Art. 11 and Art. 96 of the Constitution), and the procedure by which the Reigning Prince or Parliament can withdraw confidence from the government is formulated more precisely (Art. 80 of the Constitution). Newly included in the central legal document of the state is the possibility of a motion of no confidence against the Reigning Prince via a referendum (Art. 13ter of the Constitution). According to Art. 113 of the Constitution, the citizens of the country also have the right to vote for the abolition of the monarchy through a referendum. At the same time, this paragraph shows more strongly than any other how much the Princely House is in favour of democratic legitimisation of the monarchy.