The first Constitution of the FPRY was unanimously declared at the joint session of both chambers of the Constitutional Assembly. It was made on the model of the 1936 Soviet Constitution (Stalin's Constitution). This particularly refers to the part on the role and authority of executive bodies of power. Yugoslavia was defined as "a federal people's state, republican in form, a community of peoples equal in rights who, on the basis of the right to self-determination, including the right of separation, have expressed their will to live together in a federative state," made up of six republics out of which Serbia also included the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina and Autonomous Region of Kosovo and Metohija. Although it was organised on the federative principle, in the initial stages new Socialist Yugoslavia had the markings of a centralised federation, which was reflected in the division of jurisdiction between the federal state and republics, with the stressed domination of federal bodies.
The Constitution defined the coat-of-arms and flag. The fundamental rights of peoples and republics, which received their constitutions, were regulated. It was said that the territorial delineation among the republics was to be carried out by the People's Assembly of the FPRY and that the republican boundaries could not change without their approval. National minorities were guaranteed the right and protection of cultural development and free use of language.
Property was state-owned, cooperative or private. However, private property could be limited or expropriated if this was warranted by the "general interest." It was said that the "land belongs to those who cultivate it." Citizens over 18 years of age had the right to elect and be elected to all bodies of state authority. The freedom of conscience and freedom of religion were guaranteed. The church was separated from the state. The freedom of the press, speech, association, convention, public gatherings and events was guaranteed. School was separated from the church and the general education was compulsory and free.
The Constitution regulated the competence of the FPRY and top federal bodies. The People's Assembly of the FPRY was the top body of state authority and was made up of two houses – Federal Council and the Council of Nationalities. The Presidium of the People's Assembly, and the Presidency of the Constitutional Assembly before it, operated as the collective head of state. It was made up of the president, six vice presidents, a secretary and up to 30 members.
The highest executive and administrative body of state authority was the Government of the FPRY, which was made up of the president, vice presidents, ministers, president of the Federal Planning Commission and president of the Federal Control Commission. The ministries were general federal and "federal-republican." The Government had committees for education, culture, people's health and social welfare for the purpose of general management in these branches of state administration. The Constitution determined the bodies of power of people's republics, autonomous province and autonomous region, administrative and territorial units: circuits, city regions, cities, districts and regions.
The bodies of the judiciary were the Supreme Court of the FPRY, supreme courts of the republics and autonomous provinces and circuit courts.
CONSTITUTION OF THE FPRY, 1946 (523.00 kB)
List of Constituent Acts of Yugoslavia