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Final Act of the Viennese Ministerial Conferences (May 15, 1820)

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Art. 35. As a whole power, the Confederation has the right to decide on war, peace, alliances, and other treaties. But, following the aims of the Confederation articulated in the 2nd Article of the Federal Act, the same [i.e., the Confederation] exercises these rights only for its self-defense, to maintain Germany’s autonomy and external security, and for the independence and inviolability of the individual Confederal states.

Art. 36. Since, in the 11th Article of the Federal Act, all members of the Confederation have obligated themselves to protect all of Germany as well as each individual Confederal state from attack, and to guarantee mutually all of the possessions included in the Confederation, no single Confederal state can be injured from abroad without the injury affecting the whole of the Confederation simultaneously and in the same measure. –
However, the individual Confederal states are obliged on their part neither to cause such injuries nor to inflict such [harm] on foreign states. Should a complaint be lodged with the Confederal Assembly by a foreign state about an injury that befell it coming from a member of the Confederation, and should this be judged to have a foundation, then it is incumbent on the Confederal Assembly to summon the Confederal member that occasioned the complaint to immediate and sufficient remedy, and to link this summons, depending on the circumstances, with disciplinary measures whereby additional disruptions to the peace can be prevented in good time.

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Art. 53. The independence guaranteed to the individual Confederal states by the Federal Act generally excludes any influence by the Confederation on the domestic institutions and administration of the states. However, since the Confederal members have agreed in the second section of the Federal Act on some special regulations that relate partly to guaranteeing assured rights and partly to certain conditions of the [various principalities’] subjects, it is incumbent on the Confederal Assembly to effect the fulfillment of the obligations assumed by these regulations if it emerges from sufficiently well-founded proceedings of the participants that such have not taken place. – The application to specific cases of the general arrangements undertaken in accordance with these obligations, however, remains up to the governments.

Art. 54. Since, according to the meaning of the 13th Article of the Federal Act, and the declarations following upon it, there shall be in all Confederal states a constitutionally guaranteed assembly of the estates of the land, the Confederal Assembly has to see to it that this regulation shall not remain unfulfilled in any Confederal state.

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