Constitutional Law

Constitutional Law:

It is that branch of the public law of a state that treats of the organization and frame of government, the distribution of political, the organs & powers of sovereignty, and governmental authorities & functions, the fundamental principles that are to regulate the relations of government & subject, and which generally prescribes the method and plan according to which the public affairs of the state are to be administered. It is that department of the science of law which treats of constitutions, their construction, establishment, and interpretation, and of the validity of legal enactments such as tested by the criterion of conformity to the fundamental law. A constitutional law is one that is consonant to, and agrees along with, the constitution; one which is not in violation of any provision of the constitution of the specific state

Constitutional Law is that area of law that ought to do with the subject matter and interpretation and building of constitutions or that deals along with the nature and organization of government, its sovereign powers & their distribution and mode of exercise, and the connection of the sovereign to the subjects or citizens; denoted the constitution of a particular state along with the judicial constructions and interpretations that it has attained.

Scope and Function:

Due to its fundamental character, legally constitutional law is superior to other kinds of law. Most commonly, constitutional law is laid down in a special, set of documents or written document, constitution that is consider as the supreme law of the land. A constitution almost always has a special process for amendment to prevent facile alteration.

Separation of Powers:

The idea of separation of powers plays vital role in delineating the powers of the state & the government. Two of variants of this theory of politics might be distinguished: one variant concerns the distinct branches of government; the other associates to a territorial division of state power. The first asserts that liberty can be only safeguarded in a political system in which governmental power is divided to three different functional branches legislative executive and judicial. Each of these branches is assigned distinct organs that are expected to adhere to their own functions. However, there is one exception to this rule: under some of the constitutions the courts (or a special court) are implicitly or explicitly authorized to review statutes in light of the constitution's mandates.

The second variant, called as division of powers refers to the territorial division of state power that has been established in mostly contemporary states among a central and a local level. Within the constitutional system of the United States (federal constitutional system), in a distinction this division of power resulted between the organization of power on a national and a state level. Additionally to being governed by the Constitution of the United States (the federal constitution), each of the state adheres to a state constitution in which its official powers are described. In other constitutional systems, national government might be divided into a central and a decentralized level (such like in France, which has a unitary constitution) or among a decentralized level of states or regions & one central organ along with restricted powers (such like in Switzerland that has confederate system).

Bills of Rights and Other Sources:

Usually, Nations that have written constitutions also contain an incorporated bill of rights containing fundamental individual rights, such like freedom of press and speech, freedom of worship and religion, and freedom of assembly & association, among others. These rights target to protect the individual from state interference. Several modern constitutions have incorporated other rights as well such as the right to shelter, to employment, and to health care needing the state to undertake positive action for their implementation.

The constitutional law of a country is not limited strictly to the rules of the constitution; it also encompasses statutes by concerning the functions and structure of local and central governments and their connection with the citizens. Additionally, it incorporates judicial decisions (specifically those concerning the interpretation of individual privileges and rights), constitutional conventions, and political practice. In many countries certain provisions of international treaties to which these states are a party are assumed part of constitutional law as well now.

History of Constitutional Law:

Whether unwritten or written, based primarily on territorial divisions or political, or encompassing a diffuse or concentrated model of constitutional review, constitutional law has played a basic role in the development of political systems throughout history.

Ancient History:

The roots of modern Western constitutional law stretch back to ancient Greece. Originally Plato introduced the notion that government must be guided by law (nomos). At the similar time, he insisted that lawmaking power must be concentrated in the hands of philosophers, men wiser than ordinary people and thus more able of ruling. Aristotle distinguished among a nation's basic governmental structure (politeia), its laws, and its alterable policies. His notion of a mixed constitution, a balance of power among aristocracy, monarchy and democracy, foreshadowed the modern doctrine of separation of powers. Somewhat later on, throughout Roman times, the notion of the equality of all of the human beings came to the fore, in spite of the widespread practice of slavery under the Roman Empire.

Middle Ages and the Era of Absolutism:

Construction on the ancient heritage, medieval thinkers build new theories of governance. In the realm the king was assumed the supreme source of government. All matters of government were under his control. Unless it fell beyond physical limitations of his jurisdiction, or encroached on religious dogma, no edict or rule could be assumed illegitimate. The only means to keep the king in check was via resistance. This situation did not alter significantly till the advent of the Reformation or Renaissance. While the king in feudal society was regarded as primus inter pares (the primary among equals) and had, to some extent, to respect the privileges and rights of his vassals, slowly the monarchy freed itself from these restraints. By approximate 1600 the era of absolute monarchy had dawned, with even more free control being enjoyed by the crown.

The Enlightenment:

In the development of constitutional law, the next phase occurred in the 17th & 18th centuries, or the Age of Reason (or Enlightenment). Throughout these period important new elements of constitutional law emerged.

Firstly among such new elements were the theories of natural law that evolved as a reaction to the legal principles of medieval society. The English political philosophers John Locke (1632–1704) and Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) depends their theories on the notion that, before the emergence of state & civil society, human beings lived in a hypothetical state of nature. In this state each of the human being was a potential threat to others. Locke defined the rise of civil society as being the result of a social contract between citizens who agreed to turn over their natural rights to the state in exchange for protection of liberty, life and property. In the constitutions of the British colonies the notion of natural law became political reality in America. The first of these, the constitution of Virginia of the year of 1776, contained a catalog of natural, inalienable rights. Later on, individual privileges and rights became the cornerstone of virtually all constitutions.

In constitutional law this point serves to introduce a second key trend. During & following the Revolutionary period (1776–1799), several political systems, following the model of the United States, started to lay down the fundamental structure of government in a special document, a constitution that was assigned a higher status than ordinary law.

In the 18th century, the foundation for the doctrine of separation of powers was laid. The French political philosopher Montesquieu (1689–1755) formulated the doctrine by distinguishing three distinct branches of government the executive, legislative and judicial departments and assigning each to a separate group or individual. In the French and American constitutions of the 18th century this doctrine was institutionalized and, to this day, remains one of the central ideas of constitutional law.

Contemporary Developments:

The development of constitutional law, and of particular constitutions, in the 20th century has been characterized via paradox. Conversely, by now constitutions have become universally accepted as a means of laying down the law of the land. Conversely, constitutions are no longer wholly linked to constitutionalism, or the idea of restricting government in service to high principles. Not only do liberal democracies have written constitutions however so to done authoritarian and one-party systems. In some of the cases a constitution serves primarily as a means of legitimizing the existing political order, as in the case of some particular Latin American countries. In addition, for discrepancies it is not uncommon to exist between constitutional precepts and their exercise in real circumstances. The constitution of the Weimar Republic (1919), that technically was a model of liberal-democratic principles, proved unfit to remove the Nazi regime from taking power. In constitutions liberal faith ended up shaken severely by this event.

In the 1980s, the fall of communism brought a revival of constitutional law, along with many countries in Eastern Europe & former states of the Soviet Union adopting liberal-democratic constitutions that restricted the power of government and, in some of the cases, limited or prohibited the participation of communists. However, the procedure of transition did not come easily, to which several armed conflicts in the region attested.

In Africa, as several countries achieved independence from their former colonial overlords, initially constitutional developments were characterized by a clear commitment to the idea of constitutionalism and the rule of law. However, at the similar time the notion of restricting the power of the state or its sovereign was drop off, both formally and in practice. In Africa Recent developments have demonstrated a search for adapting European constitutional principles to social circumstances and African political; however the success of such efforts remains unclear.

In the United Kingdom one of the main contemporary questions is whether to accept a written constitution and enshrine a bill of rights along with a system of judicial review. In the United States, discussion has targeted on the position of the Supreme Court as a counter majoritarian institution in the constitutional system. The question is whether the judiciary must adhere to a narrow, or strict, interpretation of the Constitution or play a more advanced role. However, This difficulty is not exclusively American. In several European countries the growing significance of the judiciary is a hotly contested issue as well, raising the intriguing question of the politicization of judiciary or the "judicialization" of politics.

What is the difference between Constitutional Law and Statutory Law?

Administrative and Constitutional law is intended to discover the ways that public law provides the citizen with remedies and rights; to study how government is accountable; to understand the system of ministerial responsibility; to refer mechanisms to develop the effectiveness and efficiency of Parliament, by including the electoral system, freedom of information & reform of the House of Lords. The role of the courts is verified in the context of human values and rights. The reform of public law over the past decade is evaluated and assessed by including the creation of a new administrative court.

On the other hand, Statute law refers to law that has been developed by Parliament in the form of legislation. Although there has been a important increase in statute law in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the courts till have an vital role to play in creating and operating law in general and in determining the operation of legislation in specific. This is in spite of the fact that there is no legislative or express democratic authority for the court to be law-makers.

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