The powers and responsibilities of the BIS in regard to protecting constitutionality and democratic principles
- Section 5, paragraph 1, letter a) of Act No. 153/1994 Coll., on the Intelligence Services of the Czech Republic – the BIS secures information on schemes and activities directed against the democratic foundations, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Czech Republic
- Section 5, paragraph 1, letter d) of Act No. 153/1994 Coll., on the Intelligence Services of the Czech Republic – the BIS secures information on activities the consequences of which may jeopardize the security or major economic interests of the Czech Republic
Within its powers and responsibilities the BIS collects, gathers and evaluates information on phenomena, schemes and activities that directly or in their consequences seriously endanger the democratic foundations of the Czech Republic given by the Constitution and other Acts of the Czech Republic, the security, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state, and human and civil rights of its citizens and the enforcement thereof.
The Constitution of the Czech Republic and the Declaration of Human Rights provide for the democratic foundations of the Czech political system, in particular for:
- the rule of law and a legal system
- free elections
- the distinction between legislative, executive and judicial power
- the existence of a representative democracy – parliamentary system
- civil freedoms (of speech, assembly, religion, ownership etc.)
- the equal access to rights and freedoms
The task of our Service in regard to the protection of constitutionality is to monitor the following phenomena (stances, activities etc):
- aimed against the system, i.e. directly or in their consequences endangering the democratic foundations of the Czech Republic (mainly its constitutionality, protected values, declared human rights and civil freedoms)
- aimed at destabilising the existing democratic, political and socially-economic system, replacing it by an antagonistic system (totalitarianism, dictatorship, anarchy) and conducting deliberate destructive activities against the existing system
- employing all available means to reach their goals incl. means beyond the rule of law, i.e. means enforced and implemented mainly by unconstitutional and illegal methods.
Our Service also deals with activities employing disproportionate, i.e. illegal, methods to implement otherwise legitimate goals (e.g. a partial change of a political or economic decision).
Thus, the BIS looks into the activities of the following entities:
- entities that openly or covertly profess ideologies incompatible with the legal system and democratic foundations of the Czech Republic
- entities engaging in politically, economically or socially motivated activities, instigating actions against the democratic system of the Czech Republic, promoting the use of violence against representatives of the democratic system of the Czech Republic, their ideological opponents and other groups of citizens, and calling for the limitation of the rights of certain groups of citizens
The BIS also monitors related phenomena that may, mainly in the long term, increase tensions within the society and contribute to citizens’ distrust in democratic principles and in the legal system of the Czech Republic.
Our Service is aware of the fact that this is a very wide, diverse and variable sphere of activities. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully distinguish between the legitimate exercise of civil constitutional rights and activities aimed directly or in their consequences against the democratic foundations and the constitutional system of the Czech Republic.