San Marino has the smallest population of all the members of the Council of Europe. San Marino claims to be the oldest surviving sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world, as the continuation of the monastic community founded on 3 September 301, by stonecutter Marinus of Arbe. Legend has it that Marinus left Rab, then the Roman colony of Arba, in 257 when the future emperor, Diocletian, issued a decree calling for the reconstruction of the city walls of Rimini, which had been destroyed by Liburnian pirates.
San Marino is governed by the Leges Statutae Republicae Sancti Marini, a series of six books written in Latin in the late 16th century, that dictate the country’s political system, among other matters. San Marino has the political framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic. The Captains Regent are the heads of state, and there is a pluriform multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Grand and General Council. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.