The Principality of Liechtenstein is a constitutional hereditary monarchy on a democratic-and parliamentary basis. One of the most important achievements for the country was the replacement of the constitution of 1862 by the constitution of 1921.
This constitutional reform was accompanied by the emergence of political parties and not least the breakaway from Austria and rapprochement with Switzerland, culminating in the 1923 Customs Treaty. If the Prince exercised before all state power, since the constitution of 1921 the power of state is shared between the Prince and the people. The courts became independent and it became possible to bring legal cases against administrative authorities in front of the Administrative Court. The basic provisions of the 1921 constitution remained in place until 2003, with a few small but important changes made over the course of the years such as the introduction of active and passive voting rights for women (1984) and the establishment of gender equality (1992).
Following an extensive debate in the Principality over role of the Monarchy, a reform process lead to several changes to the constitution proposed by the Princely House in a 2003 referendum. The constitutional reform was favoured and accepted by 64.3 percent of the voting public, with a voter turnout of 87.7 percent.
The changes of the 2003 constitutional reform include the protective limitations of emergency powers of the Prince in time and scope, the balanced appointment process for officials and judges, an improved process for votes of no-confidence in the Government and for the first time a vote of no-confidence in the Prince. Finally, it was newly incorporated into the constitution that citizens have the right to vote by referendum for the abolition of the monarchy.