The Constitutions and Other Select Documents Illustrative of the History of France 1789-1907

Contents:
Date: 1834–

World History

B. Law of 22 Prairial.

June 10, 1794 (22 Prairial, Year II). Duvergier, Lois, VII, 190–192.

Duvergier, J. B., et al. Collection complète des lois, decrets, ordonnances, reglements, avis du Conseil d’État. Second ed. of vols. 1–31 inclusive. First ed., 32— Paris 1834–.

1. The revolutionary tribunal shall have a president and four vice-presidents, one public accuser, four substitutes for the public accuser and twelve judges.

2. The jurors shall be fifty in number.

3. The different functions shall be discharged by the citizens whose names follow: . . . (The omission relates exclusively to the personnel of the court.)

The revolutionary tribunal shall divide itself into sections composed of twelve members, to wit: three judges and nine jurors, which jurors cannot give judgment at a number less than that of seven.

4. The revolutionary tribunal is instituted in order to punish the enemies of the people.

5. The enemies of the people are those who seek to destroy the public liberty, either by force or by artifice.

6. Those are reputed enemies of the people who shall have promoted the re-establishment of royalty or sought to depreciate or dissolve the National Convention and the revolutionary and republican government of which it is the centre;

Those who shall have betrayed the Republic in the command of places and armies, or in any other military function; carried on correspondence with the enemies of the Republic; labored to make the supplies or the service of the armies fail;

Those who shall have sought to impede the supplies for Paris or to cause scarcity within the Republic;

Those who shall have seconded the projects of the enemies of France, either in aiding the withdrawal and the impunity of conspirators and the aristocracy, or in persecuting and calumniating patriotism, or in corrupting the servants of the people, or in abusing the principles of the revolution, the laws or the measures of the government, by false and perfidious applications;

Those who shall have deceived the people or the representatives of the people, in order to lead them into operations contrary to the interests of liberty;

Those who shall have sought to promote discouragement, in order to favor the enterprises of the tyrants leagued against the Republic;

Those who shall have spread false news in order to divide or disturb the people;

Those who shall have sought to mislead opinion and to prevent the instruction of the people, to deprave morals and to corrupt the public conscience, to impair the energy and the purity of the revolutionary and republican principles, either by stopping the progress of them, or by counter-revolutionary or insidious writings, or by any other machination;

The contractors whose bad faith compromises the safety of the Republic, and the wasters of the public fortune, other than those included in the provisions of the law of 7 Frimaire;

Those who, being charged with public functions, abuse them in order to serve the enemies of the revolution, to distress the patriots or to oppress the people;

Finally, all those who are designated in the preceding laws relative to the punishment of the conspirators and counter-revolutionaries, and who, whatever the means or the appearances with which they cover themselves, shall have made an attack upon the liberty, unity, and security of the Republic, or labored to prevent the strengthening of them.

7. The penalty provided for all offences, the jurisdiction of which belongs to the revolutionary tribunal, is death.

8. The proof necessary to convict the enemies of the people is every kind of evidence, either material or moral or verbal or written, which can naturally secure the approval of every just and reasonable spirit; the rule of judgment is the conscience of the jurors enlightened by love of the fatherland; their aim, the triumph of the Republic and the ruin of its enemies; the procedure, the simple means which good sense dictates in order to come to the knowledge of the truth, in the forms which the law determines.

It is confined to the following points:

9. Every citizen has the right to seize and to arraign before the magistrates conspirators and counter-revolutionaries. He is required to denounce them when he knows of them.

10. Nobody can arraign a person before the revolutionary tribunal, except the National Convention, the committee of public safety, the committee of general security, the representatives of the people who are commissioners of the Convention, and the public accuser of the revolutionary tribunal.

11. The constituted authorities in general cannot exercise this right without having notified the committee of public safety and the committee of general security and obtained their authorisation.

12. The accused shall be examined in public session: the formality of the secret examination which precedes is suppressed as superfluous; it shall occur only under special circumstances in which it shall be judged useful for a knowledge of the truth.

13. If proofs exist, either material or moral, independently of the testified proof, there shall be no further hearing of testimony, unless that formality appears necessary, either to discover the accomplices or for other important considerations of public interest.

14. In a case in which there shall be occasion for this proof, the public accuser shall cause to be summoned the witnesses who can show the way to justice, without distinction of witnesses for or against.

15. All the proceedings shall be conducted in public and no written deposition shall be received, unless the witnesses are so situated that they cannot be brought before the tribunal, and in that case an express authorisation of the committees of public safety and general security shall be necessary.

16. The law gives sworn patriots to calumniated patriots for counsel; it does not grant them to conspirators.

17. The pleadings finished, the jurors shall formulate their verdicts and the judges shall pronounce the penalty in the manner determined by the laws.

The president shall propound the question with lucidity, precision and simplicity. If it was presented in an equivocal or inexact manner, the jury may ask that it be propounded in another manner.

18. The public accuser may not on his own authority discharge a prisoner bound over to the tribunal or one whom he shall have caused to be arraigned there; in a case in which there is no matter for an accusation before the tribunal, he shall make a written report of it, with a statement of the reasons, to the chamber of the council, which shall pronounce. But no prisoner may be discharged from trial before the decision of the chamber has been communicated to the committees of public safety and general security, who shall examine it.

19. A double register shall be kept of the persons arraigned before the revolutionary tribunal, one for the public accuser and the other for the tribunal, upon which shall be enrolled all the prisoners, according as they shall be arraigned.

20. The Convention modifies all those provisions of the preceding laws which may not be in agreement with the present law and does not intend that the laws concerning the organization of the ordinary tribunals should apply to the crimes of counter-revolution and to the action of the revolutionary tribunal.

21. The report of the committee shall be joined to the present decree as instruction.

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Chicago: Duvergier, J. B., ed., "B. Law of 22 Prairial.," The Constitutions and Other Select Documents Illustrative of the History of France 1789-1907 in The Constitutions and Other Select Documents Illustrative of the History of France 1789-1907, ed. Frank Maloy Anderson (New York: Russell Russell, 1908), 154–157. Original Sources, accessed August 15, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=493Z6NS8NAJ8BED.

MLA: . "B. Law of 22 Prairial." The Constitutions and Other Select Documents Illustrative of the History of France 1789-1907, edited by Duvergier, J. B., Vol. VII, in The Constitutions and Other Select Documents Illustrative of the History of France 1789-1907, edited by Frank Maloy Anderson, New York, Russell Russell, 1908, pp. 154–157. Original Sources. 15 Aug. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=493Z6NS8NAJ8BED.

Harvard: (ed.), 'B. Law of 22 Prairial.' in The Constitutions and Other Select Documents Illustrative of the History of France 1789-1907. cited in 1908, The Constitutions and Other Select Documents Illustrative of the History of France 1789-1907, ed. , Russell Russell, New York, pp.154–157. Original Sources, retrieved 15 August 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=493Z6NS8NAJ8BED.