Do constitutions really matter?
A constitution sets out the formal structure of government specifying the powers and institutions of central government. It also defines the balance between Central and other levels of government. A constitution will specify the rights of citizens, therefore creating limits of duties for the government. Nations need and use constitutions in order to help them put the workings of government into practise, whether it is a codified or uncodified constitution. Many factors, social and economic as well as the countries political culture affect whether a constitution will work and therefore matter to that country.
‘The age of constitutions was initiated by the enactment of the first written constitutions, the US constitution in 1787and the French Declaration of Rights of Man and citizens in 1789’. There are several different types of classifications.
Although every constitution is a blend of written and unwritten rules, the balance between them varies. This is why the classifications of codified and uncodified came about. Within these classifications, different definitions have come about as well.
A codified constitution is itself authoritative in that it constitutes the higher law. It binds all political institutions and establishes a hierarchy of laws. The US constitution was the first written constitution, consisting of just 7000 words, outlining the broad principles and so lays down a loose framework of government. Originally the US constitution was silent on many points, which subsequently have had to be clarified by judicial interpretation.
In many Western European Countries, for example France and Germany, constitutions act as state code in which the powers of and relationships between political institutions are specified in detail.
Other constitutions have come into existence as Revolutionary manifestos. This sort of constitution could be classified as nominal, as they may accurately describe the...