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Concept of Constitution
Roel Gordolan Eroma USJ-R

Meaning of Constitution
In broad sense, the term constitution refers to that body of rules and principles in accordance with which the powers of sovereignty are regularly exercised.  It maybe defined as that written instrument by which the fundamental powers of the government are established, limited, and defined and by which these powers are distributed among the several departments or branches for their safe and useful exercise for the benefit of the people.

Nature and purpose or function of constitution

the charter creating the government. It has the status of a supreme or fundamental law as it speaks for the entire people from whom it derives its claim to obedience. It is binding on all individual citizens and all organs of the government. It is the law to which other laws must conform and in accordance with which all private rights must be determined and all public authority administered. It is a test of the legality of all government action, whether proceeding from the highest official or lowest functionary.

 The

purpose is to prescribe the permanent framework of the system of government and to assign to the different departments or branches, their respective powers and duties and to establish certain basic principles on which the government is founded  Designed to preserve and protect the rights of individuals against the arbitrary actions of those in authority.

Meaning of constitutional law
 Branch

of jurisprudence which treats of constitutions, their nature, formation and amendment, operation and interpretation.  It refers to the law embodied in the constitution as well as the principles growing of the interpretation and application made by the courts.

Kinds of Constitution

As to the origin and history: – Conventional-enacted by constituent assembly or granted by the monarch to his subjects like the constitution of Japan in 1889; – Cumulative or evolved-like the English Constitution, product of growth or a long period of development originating in customs, traditions, judicial decisions, etc., rather than from a deliberate and formal enactment.

Kinds of Constitution

As to their form:
– Written-one which has been given definite written form at a particular time, usually by a specially constituted authority called a “constitutional convention.” – Unwritten-entirely, the product of political evolution, consisting largely of a mass customs, usages and judicial decisions together with a smaller body of statutory enactments of a fundamental character, usually bearing different dates. The English Constitution is unwritten only in the sense that it is not codified in a single document

Kinds of Constitution

As to manner of amending them: – Rigid or inelastic-one regarded as a document of special sanctity which cannot be amended or altered except by some special machinery more cumbrous that the ordinary legislative process. – Flexible or elastic-one which possesses no higher legal authority than ordinary laws and which maybe altered in the same way as other laws. – Philippine Constitution maybe classified as conventional or enacted, written, and rigid or inelastic, drafted by appointive body called “Constitutional Commission.”

Advantages and disadvantages of a written constitution
It has the advantage of clearness and definiteness over an unwritten one because it is prepared with great care and deliberation. Cannot easily be bent or twisted by the legislature or by the court.  Its disadvantages lies in the difficulty of its amendment. This prevents the immediate introduction of needed changes and may thereby retard the healthy growth and progress of the state

Requisite of a good written constitution

As to form, a good written constitution should be;
– Brief-outlines the structure o the government of the whole state and the rights of the citizens. – Broad-statement of the powers and functions of the government, and the relations between the governing body and the governed, requires that it be as comprehensive as possible. – Definite-any vagueness which may lead to opposing interpretation of essential features may cause incalculable harm.

Requisite of a good written constitution

As to contents:
– That dealing with the framework of government and its powers, and defining electorate. This group of provisions has been called the constitution of government – That setting forth the fundamental rights of the people and imposing certain limitations on the powers of the government as a means of securing the enjoyment of these rights. This group has been referred to as the constitution of liberty. – That pointing out the mode or procedure for amending or revising the constitution. This group has been called the constitution of sovereignty.

Constitution of a good written constitution

A constitution is a legislation direct from the people, while a statute is a legislation from the people’s representatives. Merely states the general framework of the law and the government, while a statue provides the details of the subject of which it treats. Intended not merely to meet existing conditions but to govern the future, while a statue is intended primarily to meet existing conditions only. Supreme or fundamental law of the States to which statues and all other laws must conform.

Constitution Distinguished from statute

A constitution is a direct legislation from the people, while a statute is a legislation from the people’s representatives; A constitution merely states the general framework of the law and the government, while the statute provides the details of the subject of which it treats; A constitution is intended not merely to meet existing conditions but to govern the future, while s statute is intended primarily to meet existing conditions; only and A constitution is the supreme fundamental law of the State to which statutes and all other laws must conform.

 The

end….  Assignment…please research the different constitutions of the Philippines .Prepare

for or quiz next meeting……...

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