The Council of State is an independent institution, tasked by the Constitution to perform as a moderating second legislative assembly in Luxembourg's unicameral system.
The Council of State is composed of 21 councillors. State councillors are formally appointed and dismissed by the Grand Duke on proposal by the government, Parliament or the Council of State.
Their term of office is fifteen years, non-renewable, unless the age limit (72 years) is reached first, or by accepting an office incompatible with the office of state councillor.
The Council of State, a consultative body
The Council of State acts as a consultative organ in the legislative procedure. In fact, all bills submitted either by the government or Parliament require the opinion of the Council of State.
Its opinion must entail a thorough examination to ensure compliance of the draft texts with the Constitution, international conventions and the rule of law. Its role is to persuade, not to impose. Thus its role is purely consultative.
The main missions of the Council of State:
- giving its opinion on all bills, as well as on their amendments proposed in the course of the procedure;
- giving its mandatory opinion on every draft grand ducal regulation, except in cases of emergency;
- deciding whether to waive the second constitutional vote, that is to say the second vote of a law, cast at least three months after the first vote by Parliament. Its refusal of exemption is thus limited to the right of a suspensive veto.
Information about the history, composition, organisation and attributions of the Council of State can be gained from its website.