- "When power is invested in many, it can never be seized by one! That was the plan and the purpose when the Republic was formed."
- ―Bail Prestor Organa
The Galactic Constitution was the founding document and highest set of laws in the Galactic Republic. The Constitution was written in 25,053 BBY by a member of House Organa to unify the Core Worlds, and it is widely believed that the same Constitution existed throughout the Republic's existence; however, it certainly underwent drastic revisions and modifications at times (for example, the Ruusan Reformation). There is evidence that, as time went on, the Constitution was continually modified to grant more power to the central government.
The Constitution invested executive powers in the General Ministry and Galactic Senate, legislative powers in the Galactic Senate, and judicial powers in the Supreme Court and the Regional Courts. It placed the Republic's capital at Coruscant, set its official language as Old Galactic Standard (later Galactic Basic Standard), and made its official currency the Galactic Credit Standard. It made the President of the Senate (later Supreme Chancellor) Head of State and Head of Government and the Minister of Defense Commander-in-Chief. The Senate was granted the authority to levy a military and to regulate trade. The Constitution had strict provisions against persecution of one's personal beliefs.
Two notable clauses of the Constitution were the Rights of Sentience and Contemplanys Hermi. The first provided the rights all citizens in the Republic were entitled to, and included the formal outlawing of slavery; the second allowed for the Corellian system to enact temporary autonomy in exchange for withdrawal from the Senate. The Coruscant Accords, possibly part of the Constitution, determined guidelines for Republic membership. By the time of the Galactic War, thirty-six wartime provisions were listed in the Constitution, and Supreme Chancellor Leontyne Saresh enacted all thirty-six of them within days of her election.
The Emergency Powers Act, passed in 24 BBY, contained (among other things) an amendment to the Constitution that eliminated term limits for Supreme Chancellors, giving them the choice of when to stand down. During the Clone Wars, the Constitution was increasingly modified by the Senate (among whom a supermajority were loyal to Palpatine) including the controversial Fourth Constitutional Amendment and granting more powers to the executive branch. This led to the establishment of the Galactic Empire.
The Galactic Constitution presumably was the basis for the Imperial Charter, no doubt with several major changes including the nature of the executive branch, military, law enforcement, and the Rights of Sentience. Whatever constitution the Empire used was presumably overridden by the state of emergency declared in 0 BBY. Later, the New Republic would develop a new constitution that, although somewhat different, was based on the Old Republic's.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (Mentioned only)
- The Old Republic: Annihilation (Mentioned only)
- The Old Republic: Annihilation audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Cloak of Deception
- (Mentioned only)
- Labyrinth of Evil
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith (Appears in deleted scene(s))
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith novelization
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith unabridged audiobook
- Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Dark Empire (First mentioned)
- Dark Empire endnotes
- Galaxy Guide 12: Aliens — Enemies and Allies
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- The Journal of Master Ghost-Dural
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Core Rulebook
- Suns of Fortune