All In One Guide About Constitution

All In One Guide About Constitution

All In One Guide About Constitution

All In One Guide About Constitution , Sources , features, and Types of constitution .

Constitution is a body of agreed rules and principles stating how the power of governing  a country are given and how these powers are to be exercised.

All In One Guide About Constitution

It also establishes a basic framework or fundamental law of the land . By doing so , it checks and sets limits not only to the actions of the government but also to the actions of ordinary citizens.

The constitution also states the right , duties and obligations of the citizens.

All In One Guide About Constitution

Sources Of Constitution

* History of the people :  it is necessary that the history of the people should be considered in preparing the basic rules that govern them.

Past political developments do form a part of their history.

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Act Of Parliament : The laws or enactments by parliaments form part of constitutional framing.

Custom And Tradition : They are the beliefs , institutions , norms and values of the people, and these are important in the formulation of the constitution.

Past  Constitution : past constitutions and Constitution’s of other countries most often form the basis of any new constitution.

For example , the american constitution provided a model for the 1979 constitution of Nigeria.

Conventions :  These are accepted political precepts and practices which often forms parts of the instruments of a country’s constitution.

Constitutuonal Conferences : These are meetings at which different constitutional issues are discussed and resolved in preparation of a new constitution.

Decisions at such conferences often form the basis of a new constitution.

Judicial Precedents :  These are past judgements at law courts on constitutional matters and they often form basis for a new constitution.

Guide about constitution

Feautures Of A Constitution 

The Preamble : A Constitution contains a preamble which declares it’s aspirations.

Political Structure : it states the structure of the government; whether unitary or federal and at the same time defines the division of powers among the component units in the state.

The Political Institutions : The constitution also defines the power and functions of these institutions such as the executive, legislative and judiciary arms of government.

Type Of Relationship : it states the type of relationship that would exist among the institutions of government, i.e . Whether there would be separation of powers as in the presidential system of the USA or fused separation of powers as in the parliamentary system of britain ,together with necessary checks and balances.

The Party System : The constitution also reveals the type of party system to adopt . One party , two party or multi party system.

Type of administrative structure : The constitution states the administrative structure that would be operated.

Fundamental human rights : it defines he right of citizens , their duties and obligations to the state.

Fundamental objectives of the state : it also states the fundamental principles and objectives of the states e.g it’s political ideology.

The process of amendment :  The constitution equally states the process by which it ( the constitution ) can be amended.

This is very common with all rigid Constitution’s where the methods of amendment are clearly stated.

Citizenship : it defines the qualifications for citizenship. It states hi the citizens of a country are and how citizenship can be acquired.

Tenure of office of government : it states how long a government can stay in office. For example , the nigerian constitution of 1979 states that a government should stay in office for four years.

How political leaders are elected : it states how the political leaders of a country can be Elected . For example ,it states whether by simple majority vote or by absolute majority.

Single Document : written constitution is contained in a single document .

Structure : it defines the structure of both public and civil services.

However  when discussing about constitution , different countries have their type of constitution they practice .

There are two  major types of constitution which includes :- Written and Unwritten constitution.

Guide about constitution

Written Constitution

Written constitution is a document or a set of document establishing the selection of rules embodied in a document in which the fundamental principles concerning the organisation of a political system,power of it’s various agencies are written down and codified.

Thus the constitution of the legislature, the executive , the judiciary and their powers , the fundamental rights of citizens and also mentions a method of amendment.

Reason why Some countries adopt written constitution .

proper documentation : it allows for proper documentation and entrenchment of fundamental human rights.

It allays  the fear of domination : it protect the minority interest against the domination by the majority.

Procedure for amendment : This is clearly stated so that no one group can change the constitution to suit their selfish purpose.

prevent conflict in the exercise of power : This is possible because the constitution has stated clearly and separately the powers and functions of each organ of government.

provide a means of assessment : it helps in measuring and assessing the performance of government as the principles governing their operations are written down.

For ease of reference : for example , judges in the law court can easily turn to it while deciding cases.

it is easily available :  since it is a single document ,it can easily be obtained and studied making it possible for the people to know their rights, duties , and obligations.

Disadvantages of written constitution

*Written constitution are generally rigid , they are not easily adaptable to changing situations.

*It can discourage reforms ,the process of amendment can take a very long time and this may discourage necessary reforms.

* Change cannot be effected quickly as the people might desire.

* Types of government,  a written constitution may not fully accommodate different types of Government, for instance a unitary form of government.

* Tendency to cause political tension ,  this may result of it does not favour a particular group and it can cause disaffection and bad blood within the political system.

* Frequent conflict ,written constitution can cause frequent conflict among the three arms of government especially if their functions are not properly defined.

* A reference point , it is written and can easily be referred to , resulting in litigation as often as possible between individuals, individuals against the government, etc, especially ,when their right are trampled upon.

Unwritten Constitution 

It is defined as one in which the fundamental principles of the organization and powers of a government are not codified in one document.

It’s usually a combination of status , judicial principles , custom and conventions which guide the operation of government.

The constitution of Great britain is a good example .

However , the English ( Britain ) has left different part of their constitution without attempting to bring them together, To classify or codify them into a coherent whole.

For example, the maga carta act of 1215, the bill of rights of 1689, Reform act 1832 , parliaments acts of 1911 and 1949 respectively are part of the british constitution that were written down but not codified in one document.

Merit of Unwritten constitution

* It is flexible, it does not require special procedure for it’s amendment. It can be done in the same way ordinary laws are made.

* It can be change quickly , since it is flexible , it can be changed as quickly as the people might desire.

* Few individual cases , cases involving individuals, institutions etc may not be as frequent as in written constitution.

* Quick decision , decisions are easily made and taken too.

* Easy to interpret , it is flexible and not rigid and so the constitution can easily be interpreted.

* Issue of flexibility , this can help to reduce friction among the three organs of Government.

* Emergencies , flexible constitutions are suitable in time of emergencies.

Demerit of Unwritten constitution

* No check and balance , Unwritten constitution does not have checks and balances which are usually entrenched in written constitution.

* Arbitrary government , this could be made possible in the exercise of powers and functions by political leaders.

* It can easily encourage arbitrary changes , since the parliament is supreme, unwritten constitution creates way for them to act arbitrarily ,they have the power to manipulate and change the constitution easily.

* Not easily known., Since the customs , conventions, status, etc making up an unwritten constitution are not contained in a single document , they are not easily known.

* No ease of reference , it could be easily turned to or studied the way we study a written constitution.

* Violation of the rights of citizens, this could be made possible in the process of arbitrary changes of the constitution.

* Violation of rights,  lack of codification of fundamental rights of citizens undermines the ability to seek redress when rights are violated.

* Ambiguities, Unwritten constitution creates ambiguities which can lead to general misinterpretations.

* It is not suitable , for multi – ethnic / multi racial societies.

* Unconstitutional acts , it is not easy to ascertain unconstitutional acts of some public officers even among the three organs of Government as well .

* Emergence of conflicts , there is possible emergence of conflicts among the organs of government due to none definition of their roles and powers.

Every country are entitled to the type of constitution they practice.

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