State decorations of the Czech Republic
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State decorations of the Czech Republic recognize outstanding acts of service to the Czech Republic. They are awarded by the President of the Czech Republic, usually, but not necessarily, on the recommendation of the Chamber of Deputies, the Senate or the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. They may also be promulgated solely on the president's authority. They come in two varieties: orders being the higher honor and medals the lower.
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As originally envisioned by the constitution in 1992, the president had little more than a ceremonial role with respect to state decorations. Article 63 promulgated an order or an award on the recommendation of the government, as expressed by the signature of the Prime Minister. The constitution did not clearly give the president a way to refuse such a referral, unless it came to him by way of an enacted law, vulnerable to his veto. Nothing in the constitution suggests that a recommendation for decoration be voted on by parliament.
Article 63 allows for the president to be granted powers by a lesser law to "exercise powers not explicitly defined in the Constitutional Act". Such a law came into effect in 1994, which allowed for the president to award state decorations on his own authority.It also seemed to multiply the legislative routes by which a person could be recommended for an award. As a consequence of this 1994 change, the Senate, the Chamber of Deputies, the Government, or the President can all recommend a person to receive a decorations. In any of these cases, however, it is still the responsibility of the president, or his designee, to actually present the award.
This 1994 act — The Act on the State Decorations of the CR — specifically codifies what are the orders and medals capable of being conferred or awarded. Annexes (or amendments) to the Act instructed that the designs for the insignia associated with the state decorations should be chosen following a public competition.
By law, insignia for all state decorations are individually numbered, and accompanied by a matching numbered certificate.
- Constitution of the Czech Republic
- Act No. 157/1994, The Act on the State Decorations of the Czech Republic