Costa Rica, national Popular or citizens initiative [PCI] - Referéndum Constitución y Leyes

General Typology

Instrument
Popular or citizens initiative [PCI]
Location
Costa Rica
Political level
national
Local Name:
Referéndum Constitución y Leyes
Normative Level:
constitutional
Legally Binding:
yes
Legally Defined:

Article 105. - The power to legislate resides in the people, who delegate it to the Legislative Assembly by means of the suffrage. Such power could be resigned neither to be subject to limitations by means of no agreement nor contract, direct nor indirectly safe by treaties, according to the principles of the International Right. The people also will be able to exert this power by means of the referendum, to approve or to countermand laws and partial reforms of the Constitution, when it summons at least a five percent (5%) of the citizens enrolled in the electoral register; the Legislative Assembly, by means of the approval of the two third parts of the total of its members, or the Executive authority along with the absolute majority of the totality of the members of the Legislative Assembly. The referendum will not come if the projects are regarding budgetary, tributary, fiscal, monetary, credit matter, from pensions, security, approval of loans and contracts or acts of administrative nature. This institute will be regulated by law, approved by the two third parts of the totality of the members of the Legislative Assembly.

Ref.:Constitution of Costa Rica (accessed Nov. 17, 2017)

Subject Matter:

To initiate law projects or constitutional reforms.

Actors

Author:
Citizens
Initiator:
Citizens
Decision maker:
The whole electorate

Requirements

Number Of Signatures:
5% of the electorate
Available Time:
9 months
Turnout Quorum:
30% for ordinary laws; 40% for laws with qualified majority
Approval Quorum:
Legal source does not mention special approval quorum
Geographical Quorum:
Legal source does not mention geographical quorum
Excluded Issues:

The referendum will not come if the projects are regarding budgetary, tributary, fiscal, monetary, credit matter, from pensions, security, approval of loans and contracts or acts of administrative nature.

Other Formal Requirements:

Article 6 Request of collecting signatures

The proceeding of the referendum of citizen initiative will be the following one:

a) Any interested in the call to referendum will be able to solicit, before the TSE, authorization to gather signatures.

b) The request will have to indicate the text of the consultation in a referendum, the reasons that justify the proposal, as well as the names, the numbers of certificate and the qualities of law of the interested persons, and the place to receive notifications.

c) The TSE will send the text of the normative project to the Legislative Assembly, in order to evaluate it by the Department of Technical Services, which will be pronounced in a lapse of eight working days, after to realise the corresponding obligatory consultations. If the text contains formal mistakes, it will be corrected by the Department the corrected text given back to the Court

d) If the project lacks formal mistakes, the Court will order the publication in the newspaper and the initiators will at least collect the signatures of five percent (5%) of the citizens enrolled in the electoral register in the forms offered by the Court.

e) The initiators of the call for a referendum will collect within nine months the signatures from the indicated publication. If this term expires without the collection of the respective signatures, the initiators one will be able to ask before the Court for a prorogation of one month. If the additional term expired, any request of additional prorogation will be denied and  being filed without more proceeding.

Reference: Ley 8492; Gaceta: 67 del: 04/04/2006. (accessed Nov. 17, 2017)

Procedural Elements

Collection Mode:
restricted
Specify Collection Mode:

Article 8-Collecting of signatures.

The TSE will determine the places for the collection of the signatures. For such effects, the municipalities, the schools, the schools and the public institutions are authorized to facilitate the physical space of their facilities, when therefore they consider it opportune, in coordination with the Court. The TSE will be able to authorize, following a proposal by the people responsible for the management, the signalling of the places for the collecting of signatures and the people will guard who them. The Court will previously credit to the people in charge to guard the forms of signatures, as well as the collecting of these forms, when he corresponds.

Reference: Ley 8492; Gaceta: 67 del: 04/04/2006.

Wording Of Ballot Question:
Interaction With Authorities:
Supervision And Support:
Transparency And Finance:

Practice

Archive:
Remarks:

The English version here is a courtesy translation only. Only the original Spanish version is binding.