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By JEROME MICHAEL EBRUPHIYO/Politics/Tuesday, August 24, 2021

The Different Types Of Constitution With Reference To Their Advantages And Disadvantages


The Different Types Of Constitution With Reference To Their Advantages And Disadvantages
Any country operating or functioning without a constitution cannot progress. Hence, this post will provide information about the different types of constitution with reference to their advantages and disadvantages and also provide answers to frequently asked questions like: What is a Constitution? How many types of constitution are there? What is the difference between rigid and flexible constitution? What are the features of constitution? What are the sources of constitution? What are different types of constitution? What are the 5 types of constitution? What is a constitution and its types? What are the advantages and disadvantages of a constitution? What are the importance of constitution? and lots more

What is a constitution?

It is the supreme law of a state that lays down rules regulating the organization, powers, and functions of government. It defines the basic features of the state and the relationship between the state and its citizens. It can also be defined as the fundamental and organic laws and principles of a country or state that create a system of government and provide a basis against which the validity of all other laws is determined.

Types Of Constitution

There are different types of constitution and they include;

1. Written Constitution

This is a single, formal document that describes the arrangement of governance in a country. It is framed systematically, usually by a representative body called the constituent assembly, after many deliberations and discussions.

2. Unwritten Constitution

An unwritten constitution is derived from several sources that are part written and unwritten, such as conventions, traditions, customs, Acts of parliament, and common law. It is flexible and evolves over some time.

3. Flexible Constitution

A flexible or elastic constitution can be easily amended. Constitutional law can be amended in the same way as ordinary law.

Advantages Of A Flexible Constitution

  • Its ability to change quickly in accordance with changes in the social and political environment of the society and the state
  • Helpful in meeting emergencies since it can be easily amended
  • It is dynamic; hence there is less opportunity for revolt
  • This is also because of its ability to keep pace with changing times
  • It keeps on developing with time; hence, it is up to date and popular

Disadvantages Of A Flexible Constitution

  • It is a source of instability
  • This is because the government in power can use it for its benefit
  • It is unsuitable for a federation
  • This is because it can lead to undesired changes by the federal government or governments of federating units

4. Rigid Constitution

This constitution that cannot be easily amended. It is amended by a particular procedure requiring the passing of the amendment proposal by a big majority of votes followed by ratification by the people in a referendum.

Advantages Of A Rigid Constitution

  • It is a source of stability in administration It maintains continuity in administration
  • It cannot become a tool in the hands of the party exercising the state's power at a particular time
  • It prevents the autocratic exercise of powers by the government It is ideal for a federation

Disadvantages Of A Rigid Constitution

  • It doesn't keep pace with the fast-changing social environment
  • It hinders the process of social development because of its inability to change easily
  • It is a source of hindrance during emergencies
  • Its inability to change easily can lead to revolts against the government
  • It can be a source of conservativeness
  • What Is The Difference Between Rigid And Flexible Constitution?

    A rigid constitution cannot be easily amended, a flexible constitution can be amended in the same way as ordinary law

    5. Evolved Constitution

    Evolved constitution is not made at any time by any assembly of persons, it is a result of a slow and gradual process of evolution. Its rules and principles draw binding force from being recognized as ancient, historical, time tested, and respected customs and conventions

    6. Enacted Constitution

    This is made or adopted by an assembly or council called a Constituent Assembly or Constitutional Council. It is duly passed after a thorough discussion over its objectives, principles, and provisions. It is written in the form of a book or a series of documents systematically and formally. Examples of enacted constitutions include those of India, the USA, Japan, and China.

    Sources Of Constitution

    • The people Statutory instruments or Acts of parliament
    • Judicial precedents and interpretations, that is, court decisions
    • Customs and conventions
    • International conventions and treaties
    • Academic works of eminent jurists and political scientists

    Features Of Constitution

    A good constitution must possess these features:
    • Clarity and definiteness
    • Brevity
    • Comprehensiveness
    • Flexibility
    • Declaration of rights
    • Independence of judiciary

    Qualities Of A Good Constitution

    A good constitution must possess these qualities:
    • The language used must be simple, clear, and unambiguous
    • It must be systematically written
    • Should have the ability to change and develop according to the changes in the environment and the needs of the people
    • Should be neither unduly rigid nor unduly flexible
    • Must provide for the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people
    • Should clearly define the organization, powers, functions, and interrelations of the government and its organs
    • Must provide for the organization of a representative, responsible, limited, and accountable government
    • Must clearly reflect the sovereignty of the people
    • Functions Of Constitution

      • Curbs the powers of government by fundamental law
      • Protects the rights of individuals
      • Establishes the principle of the rule of law
      • Saves the state from anarchy
      • Defines the operations of the sovereign power of the state
      • Limits the vagaries of present and future generations

      Importance Of Constitution

      We need a constitution in view of the following reasons :
      • It governs all, and no one can violate its rules
      • It reflects the sovereign will of the people
      • It expresses the identity and values of a national community
      • It commits states to particular social, economic, and development goals
      • It declares and defines the rights and duties of citizens
      • It gives a detailed account of the organization of the government
      • It lays down the aims, objectives, values, and goals the people want to secure
      • In a federation, it lays down the division of powers between the central government and the governments of the federating states or provinces
      • It lays down the election system and political rights of the people
      • It provides for the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law
      • It declares and defines the nature and authority of the political community
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