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  1. Constitutionalism - Wikipedia › wiki › Constitutionalism

    Constitutionalism is "a compound of ideas, attitudes, and patterns of behavior elaborating the principle that the authority of government derives from and is limited by a body of fundamental law". Political organizations are constitutional to the extent that they "contain institutionalized mechanisms of power control for the protection of the interests and liberties of the citizenry, including those that may be in the minority". As described by political scientist and constitutional scholar Davi

    • Definition

      Constitutionalism has prescriptive and descriptive uses. Law...

    • Core features

      One of the most salient features of constitutionalism is...

  2. Constitutionalism - Simple English Wikipedia, the free ... › wiki › Constitutionalism

    From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Constitutionalism is a form of political thought and action that seeks to prevent tyranny including worst result of majority rule and to guarantee the liberty and rights of individuals. Constitutionalism is the conduct of politics in accordance with a constitution.

  3. Wiki-constitutionalism - Wikipedia › wiki › Wiki-constitutionalism

    Wiki-constitutionalism is a neologism coined by political analyst Daniel Lansberg-Rodriguez in a 2010 article for The New Republic. The term describes the phenomenon in which national governments, particularly in Latin America, rewrite their constitutions completely every few years, a habit which Lansberg-Rodriguez argues usually leads to overly strengthened executives as other branches of government will lack "the institutional legitimacy, memory, relationships, and mandate necessary to ...

  4. Constitution - Wikipedia › wiki › Constitution
    • Etymology
    • General Features
    • History and Development
    • Principles of Constitutional Design
    • Key Features
    • Constitutional Courts
    • See Also
    • Further Reading
    • External Links

    The term constitution comes through French from the Latin word constitutio, used for regulations and orders, such as the imperial enactments (constitutiones principis: edicta, mandata, decreta, rescripta). Later, the term was widely used in canon law for an important determination, especially a decree issued by the Pope, now referred to as an apostolic constitution. William Blackstone used the term for significant and egregious violations of public trust, of a nature and extent that the transgression would justify a revolutionary response. The term as used by Blackstone was not for a legal text, nor did he intend to include the later American concept of judicial review: "for that were to set the judicial power above that of the legislature, which would be subversive of all government".

    Generally, every modern written constitution confers specific powers on an organization or institutional entity, established upon the primary condition that it abides by the constitution's limitations. According to Scott Gordon, a political organization is constitutional to the extent that it "contain[s] institutionalized mechanisms of power control for the protection of the interests and liberties of the citizenry, including those that may be in the minority". Activities of officials within an organization or polity that fall within the constitutional or statutory authority of those officials are termed "within power" (or, in Latin, intra vires); if they do not, they are termed "beyond power" (or, in Latin, ultra vires). For example, a students' union may be prohibited as an organization from engaging in activities not concerning students; if the union becomes involved in non-student activities, these activities are considered to be ultra vires of the union's charter, and nobody wo...

    Since 1789, along with the Constitution of the United States of America (hereinafter U.S. Constitution), which is the oldest and shortest written constitution still in force,around 220 other similar constitutions were adopted around the world by independent states. In the late 18th century, Thomas Jefferson predicted that a period of 20 years will be the optimal time for any Constitution to still be in force since "the earth belongs to the living, and not to the dead." Indeed, according to recent studies, the average life expectancy of any new written constitution is around 19 years. However, a great number of constitutions do not exceed more than 10 years and around 10% do not last more than 1 year, as it was the case of the French Constitution of 1791. The most common reasons for these continuous changes are the political desire of an immediate outcome and the scarcity of time devoted to the constitutional drafting process. A study from 2009 showed that the average time allocated...

    After tribal people first began to live in cities and establish nations, many of these functioned according to unwritten customs, while some developed autocratic, even tyrannical monarchs, who ruled by decree, or mere personal whim. Such rule led some thinkers to take the position that what mattered was not the design of governmental institutions and operations, as much as the character of the rulers. This view can be seen in Plato, who called for rule by "philosopher-kings." Later writers, such as Aristotle, Cicero and Plutarch, would examine designs for government from a legal and historical standpoint. The Renaissance brought a series of political philosophers who wrote implied criticisms of the practices of monarchs and sought to identify principles of constitutional design that would be likely to yield more effective and just governance from their viewpoints. This began with revival of the Roman law of nations concept and its application to the relations among nations, and they...

    Most commonly, the term constitution refers to a set of rules and principles that define the nature and extent of government. Most constitutions seek to regulate the relationship between institutions of the state, in a basic sense the relationship between the executive, legislature and the judiciary, but also the relationship of institutions within those branches. For example, executive branches can be divided into a head of government, government departments/ministries, executive agencies and a civil service/administration. Most constitutions also attempt to define the relationship between individuals and the state, and to establish the broad rights of individual citizens. It is thus the most basic law of a territory from which all the other laws and rules are hierarchically derived; in some territories it is in fact called "Basic Law".

    Constitutions are often, but by no means always, protected by a legal body whose job it is to interpret those constitutions and, where applicable, declare void executive and legislative acts which infringe the constitution. In some countries, such as Germany, this function is carried out by a dedicated constitutional court which performs this (and only this) function. In other countries, such as Ireland, the ordinary courts may perform this function in addition to their other responsibilities. While elsewhere, like in the United Kingdom, the concept of declaring an act to be unconstitutional does not exist. A constitutional violation is an action or legislative act that is judged by a constitutional court to be contrary to the constitution, that is, unconstitutional. An example of constitutional violation by the executive could be a public office holder who acts outside the powers granted to that office by a constitution. An example of constitutional violation by the legislature is...

    Zachary Elkins and Tom Ginsburg. 2021. "What Can We Learn from Written Constitutions?" Annual Review of Political Science.

  5. Constitution of India - Wikipedia › wiki › Constitution_of_India

    The Constitution of India ( IAST: Bhāratīya Saṃvidhāna) is the supreme law of India. The document lays down the framework that demarcates fundamental political code, structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens.

    • 26 January 1950; 71 years ago
    • India
  6. Constitutionalism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) › entries › constitutionalism
    • Constitutionalism: A Minimal and A Rich Sense
    • Sovereign Versus Government
    • Entrenchment
    • Writtenness
    • Montesquieu and The Separation of Powers
    • Constitutional Law Versus Constitutional Convention
    • Constitutional Interpretation
    • Originalism
    • Living Constitutionalism
    • Critical Theories

    In some minimal sense of the term, a constitution consists of a set ofnorms (rules, principles or values) creating, structuring, andpossibly defining the limits of, government power or authority.Understood in this way, all states have constitutions and all statesare constitutional states. Anything recognizable as a state must havesome means of constituting and specifying the limits (or lack thereof)placed upon the three basic forms of government power: legislativepower (making new laws), executive power (implementing laws) andjudicial power (adjudicating disputes under laws).[1] Take the extreme case of an absolute sovereign, Rex, who combinesunlimited power in all three domains. Suppose it is widelyacknowledged that Rex has these powers, as well as the authority toexercise them at his pleasure. The constitution of this state mightthen be said to contain only one rule, which grants unlimited power toRex. He is not legallyanswerable for the wisdom or moralityof his decrees, nor is he...

    Though there are serious difficulties inherent in Austin’s attempt tomake sense of the people’s ultimate sovereignty, his account, with allits weaknesses, does reveal the need to distinguish between twodifferent concepts: sovereignty and government. Roughly speaking, wemight define sovereignty as the possession of supreme (andpossibly unlimited) normative power and authority over some domain,and government as those persons or institutions through whomthat sovereignty is exercised. Once some such distinction is drawn, wesee immediately that sovereignty might lie somewhere other than withthe government and those who exercise the powers of government. Andonce this implication is accepted, we can coherently go on to speak oflimited government coupled with unlimitedsovereignty. Arguably this is what one should say about constitutionaldemocracies where the people’s sovereign authority is thought to beultimate and unlimited but the government bodies—e.g.,legislatures, Presidents and courts...

    According to most theorists, another important feature ofconstitutionalism is that the norms imposing limits upon governmentpower must be in some way, and to some degree, be entrenched,either legally or by way of constitutional convention.[7] In other words, those whose powers are constitutionallylimited—i.e., the institutions of government—must not beconstitutionally at liberty to change or expunge those limits at theirpleasure. Most written constitutions contain amending formulae whichcan be triggered by, and require the participation of, the governmentbodies whose powers they limit. But these formulae invariably requiresomething more than a simple decision on the part of the presentgovernment, through e.g., Presidential fiat or simple majority vote inthe legislature, to invoke a change. Sometimes constitutionalassemblies are required, or super-majority votes, referendums, or theagreement of not only the central government in a federal system butalso some number or percentage of t...

    Some scholars believe that constitutional norms do not exist unlessthey are in some way enshrined in a written document (e.g., Rubenfeld1998). But most accept that constitutions (or elements of them) can beunwritten, and cite, as an obvious example of this possibility, theconstitution of the United Kingdom. One must be careful here, however.Though the UK has nothing resembling the American Constitution and itsBill of Rights, it nevertheless contains a number of writteninstruments which have, for many centuries, formed central elements ofits constitution. Magna Carta (1215 C.E.) is perhaps the earliestdocument of the British constitution, while others include ThePetition of Right (1628) and the Bill of Rights (1689). Furthermore,constitutional limits are also said to be found in certain principlesof the common law, explicitly cited in landmark cases concerning thelimits of government power. The fact remains, however, thathistorically the constitution of the UK has largely taken unwri...

    Does the idea of constitutionalism require, as a matter of conceptualor practical necessity, the division of government powers urged byMontesquieu and celebrated by Americans as a bulwark against abuse ofstate power? In Regina’s case, there is no such separation:legislative, executive and judicial power all reside in her person.But how, it might be asked, can she be the one (qua judge) whodetermines whether her legislation satisfies the prescribedconstitutional limitation? Even if, in theory, Regina’sconstitution prohibits her from removing her constitutionalrestriction at will (because she must observe the 2/3rds meta-rule)can she not always choose to ignore her restrictions, or to interpretthem so as to escape their binding force? Perhaps Bishop Hoadly wasright when he said (1717) in a sermon before the English King:“Whoever hath an ultimate authority to interpret any written orspoken laws, it is he who is truly the Law-giver to all intents andpurposes, and not the person who firs...

    The idea of constitutionalism requires limitation on government powerand authority established by constitutional law. But according to mostconstitutional scholars, there is more to a constitution thanconstitutional law. Many people will find this suggestion puzzling,believing their constitution to be nothing more (and nothing less)than (usually) a formal, written document, possibly adopted at aspecial constitutional assembly, which contains the nation’s supreme,fundamental law. But there is a long-standing tradition of conceivingof constitutions as containing much more than constitutional law.Dicey is famous for proposing that, in addition to constitutional law,the British constitutional system contains a number of constitutionalconventions which effectively limit government in the absence of legallimitation. These are, in effect, social rules arising within thepractices of the political community and which imposeimportant, but non-legal, limits on government powers. Anexample of a...

    As we have just seen, there is often more to a constitution thanconstitutional law. As we have also seen, constitutional norms neednot always be written rules. Despite these important observations, twofacts must be acknowledged: (1) the vast majority of constitutionalcases hinge on questions of constitutional law; and (2) modernconstitutions consist primarily of written documents.[12] Consequently, constitutional cases often raise theoretical issuesconcerning the proper approach to the interpretation of writteninstruments—colored, of course, by the special roleconstitutions play – or ought to play – in defining and limiting theauthority and powers of government. Differences of view on thesematters come to light most forcefully when a case turns on theinterpretation of a constitutional provision that deals with abstractcivil rights (e.g., the right to due process of law, or to equality).[13]How such provisions are to be interpreted has been subject to intensecontroversy among legal p...

    Originalism[16] comes in a wide variety of forms (Bork 1990; Scalia 1997; Whittington1999b; Barnett 2004; Solum 2008). An originalist might claim that herview follows necessarily from a more general theory of interpretation:to interpret is necessarily to retrieve something thatexisted at the time of authorship—an original object. Anothermight be happy to acknowledge that interpretation could,theoretically, take the form of an innovative orcreative interpretation that evaluates or in some way changesan original, as might be the case with a revolutionary interpretationof a play or work of art. But such a theorist might go on to add that,for reasons of political morality having to do with, e.g., theprinciples of democracy, the rule of law, and values underlying theseparation of powers, such innovative interpretations ought never bepursued by constitutional interpreters. The object of constitutionalinterpretation should, to the greatest extent possible, remain fixedby factors like origi...

    Whatever else might be said of law, this much is undeniably true:where law exists, our conduct is subject to various forms ofrestriction. But in many instances, the relevant restrictions can beremoved or changed with minimal effort, as when a problematiccommon-law precedent is overturned because of changing socialcircumstances, or a statute is repealed or amended because it nolonger serves useful purposes. Not so with constitutions. As notedabove, they tend to be heavily entrenched. Constitutions are alsomeant to be long lasting, so as to serve the values of continuity andstability in the basic framework within which the contentious affairsof law and politics are conducted. The entrenched nature ofconstitutions is largely unproblematic when we consider provisions dealing withsuch matters as the length of term of a senator or which branch ofgovernment is responsible for regulating public education. But thingsget much more complicated and contentious when we turn to the highlyabstract...

    Although constitutionalism has been widely embraced round the world,it is by no means without its detractors. This is especially true whenwe turn to those constitutions that not only create and regulate theoffices of government but also purport to protect abstract rights ofpolitical morality. Some critics—we’ll call these the hardcritics—assert that such apparently rights-protectiveconstitutions cannot effectively and legitimately serve to protectindividuals against the oppressive forces of governments.[24] On the contrary, they only serve to mask legal and political practicein a false cloak of legitimacy. Other critics—we’ll call thesethe democratic critics—are not so utterly dismissive ofrights-protecting constitutions. Rather, their main concern is tochallenge the role that democratically unaccountable judges typicallyplay in the interpretation and application of such constitutions. According to hard critics, factors like original understandings andthe supposed discipline of comm...

  7. Constitutionalism - definition of constitutionalism by The ... › constitutionalism

    constitutionalism 1. the principles of the form of government defined by a constitution. 2. an adherence to these principles. 3. constitutional rule or authority. — constitutionalist, n.

  8. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia › wiki › Main_Page

    Local embassy – For Wikipedia-related communication in languages other than English. Reference desk – Serving as virtual librarians, Wikipedia volunteers tackle your questions on a wide range of subjects. Site news – Announcements, updates, articles and press releases on Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation.

  9. Nov 27, 2019 · Constitutionalism is a political philosophy based on the idea that government authority is derived from the people and should be limited by a constitution that clearly expresses what the government...

  10. Constitutionalism | law | Britannica › topic › constitutionalism

    Constitutionalism, doctrine that a government’s authority is determined by a body of laws or constitution. Although constitutionalism is sometimes regarded as a synonym for limited government, that is only one interpretation and by no means the most prominent one historically.

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