Endorse – What it is, definition and concept

Countersigning consists of signing or authorizing a document to give it legal validity by a person who is authorized to do so. It is a figure widely used in monarchical systems to limit the power of the head of state (the monarch).

In other words, to endorse is to give a series of official papers as valid.

The endorsement is a historical institution that aims to limit the power of the king in a monarchy. In other words, it is a way of prohibiting the head of state from acting on his own and, in turn, the responsibility ends up falling on the government.

This function of limiting the powers of the king has evolved and the endorsement has become a way of compensating for the inviolability of the king.

Countersigning is a traditional rule of constitutionalism. It exempts the head of state from responsibility in the monarchy, which requires that the acts of the king be endorsed. They are generally authorized or endorsed by the president of the government or some member of the same as his ministers in their own powers.

The endorsement validates the act and, in the event that this authorization does not exist, the act will be null and void.

At this point, we must remember that a constitutional monarchy is a system where the king holds the executive power, but not the legislative power.

Limitations when endorsing

The function of the endorsement is limited to two types of acts:

  • Those acts in which only the head of state can intervene through a formal proposal from the president of the government: appointment of ministers or dissolution of legislative chambers, for example.
  • Acts in which the formal proposal comes from the head of state himself, for example, the proposal of the candidate for the presidency of the government.
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On the other hand, the endorsement is not necessary in the following acts:

  • Very personal acts of the king.
  • Distribution of the state budget that is used to support the royal family.
  • Appointment of the civil and military members of your household.

What does the endorsement certify?

The act of countersigning authorizes two parties:

  • The legality of the act, that is, that the formal requirements have been met for the act to be issued.
  • The content of the same, that is, that what is agreed in that act complies with the legality and with the opportunity.

countersign: types

There are two ways to endorse these acts of the head of state:

  • Express: It is usually a countersignature in the same document of the act.
  • Tacit: Through the presence of ministers together with the head of state in his official activities, speeches or conferences.

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