The Republic of San Marino has no Constitution, rather a number of laws and acts which make up constitutional rules, dating back to ancient “Statutes” of the 1600s to more recent legislation, notably the 1974 Declaration on Citizens‘ Rights; the latter considered the fundamental basis of the San Marino legal system.
Article 5 of the 1974 Declaration stipulates that “human rights are inviolable”, while Article 6 reads “everybody shall enjoy civil and political freedoms in the Republic. In particular, personal freedoms, freedom of residence, establishment and expatriation, freedom of assembly and association, freedom of thought, conscience and religion shall be guaranteed” and ends with the following statement “arts, science and education shall be free. The law shall secure education to all citizens, free and at no cost”. Moreover, secrecy of communication is safeguarded, except for special cases expressly envisaged by law. Therefore, participation in cultural life is guaranteed to all, without any restrictions, by the State. Despite the fact that the Declaration on Citizens’ Rights does not contain a specific article on culture, the mandate of the State to deal with the cultural sector as a whole can be inferred from Article 6 of the Declaration, which provides for some rights strictly connected with the right of all to participate in the cultural progress of San Marino. Article 6, which establishes the right to freedom of expression and its restrictions, implies that there are no legal prohibitions to the dissemination of artistic creations.
Article 10 of the Declaration is extremely significant in that it states the Republic’s duty to protect its historical and artistic heritage and natural environment. This constitutes the legal basis for all initiatives promoted in the sector concerning the protection of the historical, artistic and archaeological heritage of the State. It is a common understanding that the term “protect” does not simply mean “preserve”, but rather to make the best efforts to ensure the integrity, existence, recovery and restoration, scientific and documentary knowledge of goods to be protected. Under the Declaration, the notion of “cultural good” covers not only artistic evidence but also historical evidence, natural and human landscapes.
Finally, Article 11 of the Declaration on Citizens’ Rights states that: “the Republic shall promote the development of the personality of young people and shall educate them on the free and responsible exercising of their fundamental rights”, among which are all rights connected with the cultural sector.
Law n. 95 of 2000 integrates the original Article 4 with an additional clarification on the principle of equality between sexes. Law n. 36 of 2002 partially amends the 1974 Declaration in that it precisely lists the hierarchy of the sources of law, constitutionally guarantees the principles set forth in the European Convention for the Safeguard of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and establishes a Board of Guarantors. Lastly, Decree n. 79 of 8 July 2002 is a consolidated version of the 1974 Declaration as amended by Laws n. 95 of 2002 and n. 36 of 2002 respectively.