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CONFEDERATIONS.                               219
eration is to be settled (Arts. 73-80). Each house has the
initiative, and each member and the cantons are authorized
to propose subjects by means of correspondence (Art. 81).
The bundesrath, or executive council of the confederation,
consists of seven members who are chosen for three years,
by the houses as was said above, out of all Swiss citizens
eligible to the national assembly; but not more than one
member can come from any one canton. The members are
paid out of the treasury; they can engage in no other pur-
suit, nor hold any other office during the term of their coun-
cillprship; they have a president and vice-president annually
chosen by the two houses; they can appear before the
houses and give their opinions or make propositions there;
and must have at least four members present in order to do
business. The president of the council is not re-eligible for
the next year, either as president or as vice-president; nor
can the vice-president fill his office two years in succession
(Art. 83-Art. 89). The duties of the executive council are
enumerated in Art. 90, but need no especial mention for the
most part. In times of pressing necessity it is authorized, if
the two houses are not in session, to raise the requisite num-
ber of troops, and to give orders concerning the disposition
to be made of them, subject to the immediate call of the
houses, provided the number of troops called for exceeds
two thousand men, or the summons is for longer than three
weeks (Art. 90,  n). The council is divided into depart-
ments (committees) in order to forward business (Art. 91).
The federal court, assisted by a jury in criminal cases, con-
sists of eleven judges with as many deputies or assistants as
the houses shall order. They are chosen by the houses for
three years ; and every Swiss is eligible who can be a mem-
ber of the national assembly. They judge, in questions not
international, between cantons and between the confederation
and a canton, in questions between the confederation and a
private person or a corporation, if the latter are complain-
ants, and if the subject of the complaint is of considerable
value, the lower limit of value being subject to the decisions