The Institutions of the Republic of San Marino

The Republic of San Marino is the third smallest state in Europe (after the Holy See and Monaco) and the oldest Republic in the world. Its institutions, which have been survived throughout the centuries, are distinct and autonomous.



Their Excellencies the Regents

The Republic of San Marino’s Regency Institute is very old, and almost certainly began in the Communal period. The first time we hear mention two San Marino Regents (Filippo da Sterpeto and Odonte di Scarito) is on a document dated 12 December 1243...READ MORE

The Great and General Council

Which can be considered the “San Marino parliament”, is mentioned in documents dating back to the 13th century; in that period, it almost certainly shared power and control of the small San Marino community with other political bodies such as the Arengo and the Council of the XII and consisted of sixty members. During the course of the centuries, the Council was the most powerful authority in the country, to the extent that the 17th-cent. statutes call it “the supreme, absolute and only prince” of the State....READ MORE

The State Congress

The State Congress, coordinated by the Captains Regent, wields power of government according to principles of collectiveness and responsibility.

This state body was established by law on 15 May 1945. Constitutional Law no. 183, dated 15 December 2005, indicates and regulates its powers, while Law no. 184 dated 15 December 2005 regulates its organisation and operation, identifying eligibility requirements, appointment procedures, the incompatibility and removal from office of its members... READ MORE

The Council of the XII

The Council of the XII is a peculiar feature of the San Marino legal system which dates back over the centuries to the communal period when it wielded very important political and government powers.
With the 17th-cent. statutes, these powers were limited and more precisely defined, though some confusion still remained as to the council’s institutional role...READ MORE

The Guarantor Board

Established by constitutional law no. 36 dated 26 February 2002 and subsequently regulated by law no. 55 dated 25 April 2003, it has a substantially dual function - of a constitutional and jurisdictional nature.
Part of the former is the Syndicate of Constitutional Legitimacy of the Provisions, to be exercised in an incidental and a direct way, the Regency Syndicate, the Judgement of Acceptability of Referendums, and the Decision on Conflicts between Constitutional Bodies...READ MORE

The Township Councils

In times gone by, the Republic of San Marino was split into ten “Gualdarie”. This had practical purposes - the protection of the natural environment, of rural properties, and the maintaining of law and order. In 1463, San Marino was extended by annexing various townships, called Communes or Castles, including Serravalle, Montegiardino and Faetano, all of which were granted administrative independence...READ MORE

The Arengo

Though we know little about the early history of the San Marino community, it is likely that major decisions were taken during meetings in which members of all the families took part, meaning that political powers were not delegated to anyone and that a direct-democracy system was operative. In this meeting, historically known as “Arengo”, all the heads of family of the country took part and, until the 16th century, it was the power-wielding body of the tiny San Marino community...READ MORE