1974 Yugoslav Constitution

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The 1974 Yugoslav Constitution was the fourth and final constitution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It came into effect on February 21.

With 406 original articles, the 1974 constitution was one of the longest constitutions in the world. It added elaborate language protecting the self-management system from state interference and expanding representation of republics and provinces in all electoral and policy forums. The Constitution called the restructured Federal Assembly the highest expression of the self-management system. Accordingly, it prescribed a complex electoral procedure for that body, beginning with the local labor and political organizations. Those bodies were to elect communelevel assemblies, which then would elect assemblies at province and republic level; finally, the latter groups would elect the members of the two equal components of the Federal Assembly, the Federal Chamber and the Chamber of Republics and Provinces.[1]

The new Constitution also reduced the State Presidency from twenty-three to nine members, with equal representation for each republic and province and an ex-officio position for the president of the League of Communists. The 1974 Constitution also expanded protection of individual rights and court procedures, with the all-purpose caveat that no citizen could use those freedoms to disrupt the prescribed social system. Finally, Kosovo and Vojvodina, the two constituent provinces of Serbia, received substantially increased autonomy, including de facto veto power in the Serbian parliament.[1]

The Yugoslav Federal Constitution of 1974 confirmed and strengthened the principles of the Yugoslav Federal Constitution Amendments of 1971, which introduced a concept that sovereign rights were exercised by the federal units, and that the federation had only the authority specifically transferred to it by the constitution.[2][3]

The constitution also proclaimed Josip Broz Tito president for life.


  1. ^ a b Glenn E. Curtis. "Political Innovation and the 1974 Constitution". Yugoslavia: A country study (Glenn E. Curtis, ed.). Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress of the USA (December 1990).  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ Čobanov, Saša; Rudolf, Davorin (2009). "Jugoslavija: unitarna država ili federacija povijesne težnje srpskoga i hrvatskog naroda – jedan od uzroka raspada Jugoslavije" [Yugoslavia: a unitary state or federation of historic efforts of Serbian and Croatian nations—one of the causes of breakup of Yugoslavia]. Zbornik radova Pravnog fakulteta u Splitu (in Croatian) (University of Split, Faculty of Law) 46 (2). ISSN 1847-0459. Retrieved December 10, 2010. 
  3. ^ Roland Rich (1993). "Recognition of States: The Collapse of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union". European Journal of International Law 4 (1): 36–65.