The following outline is provided as an overview of and introduction to Vatican City:
Vatican City – an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical1 state, being the sovereign territory of the Holy See and ruled by the Bishop of Rome—the Pope, the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. The territory of this landlockedsovereigncity-state consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of just over 800.23 This makes Vatican City the smallest independent state in the world by both area and population.
Laws passed by the Commission must be approved by the pope through the Secretariat of State prior to being published and taking effect.
Judicial branch of the government of Vatican City
Absolute judicial authority: Pope, Pope, currently Pope Francis
Supreme Court of Vatican City (Corte di Cassazione)
The Cardinal Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura serves ex officio as the President of the Supreme Court of Vatican City (Corte di Cassazione). The two other members of the Supreme Court are also Cardinals of the Apostolic Signatura and are chosen by the Cardinal Prefect on a yearly basis.12
Under the terms of article 22 the Lateran Treaty,13 Italy will, at the request of the Holy See, punish individuals for crimes committed within Vatican City and will itself proceed against the person who committed the offence, if that person takes refuge in Italian territory. Persons accused of crimes recognized as such both in Italy and in Vatican City that are committed in Italian territory will be handed over to the Italian authorities if they take refuge in Vatican City or in buildings that under the treaty enjoy immunity.1415
On the last Sunday of each month, the Vatican Museum is open to the public for free. This is extremely popular and it is common to wait in line for many hours. This image is a panoramic view of one small stretch of the entire queue in April 2007, which continues for some distance in both directions beyond view. In the background is the Vatican City's wall.