Constitution Keywords

Definitions under the Constitution topic

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  • Created on: 31-03-12 15:01
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The Constitution
A constitution is a set of rules and principles which can be codified or
uncodified and defines the duties, powers and functions of institutions of
Constitution government and the relationships between them. It also defines the
relationship between the state and individual citizens and the limits of
government jurisdiction. E.g The US constitution
This is a form of government where government power is subject to
limitation and checks, to provide protection for the individual, it is the
Limited government
opposite to arbitary government. E.g The constitution is an example of
limited government working in practice.
A type of constitution, in which key constitutional provisions are collected
together within a single legal document. The features of a codified
constitution are that the document is always authoritative, it is `higher' law
Codified Constitution than other laws, the constitution is entrenched, it is difficult to amend or
abolish and it is judiciable, all political bodies are subject to the authority fo
the courts. E.g The US constitution which comprises of the Bills of Rights
and the Patriot Act
This is the name of the process which protects the constitution from short
term amendment, because constitutional reform makes such large political
changes to the country it makes it hard for the government to change the
constitution, a special process has to be used, making sure the change has
the support of the country. E.g. The changes to the US constitution have
to be approved by 2/3 of Congress and ¾ of the states.
A constitution that is made up of rules that are found in a variety of
sources, in the absence of a single written legal document or written
constitution. The features are that it is not authoritative, it has no higher
Uncodified status than ordinary law, it is not entrenched, thereby can be changed by
Constitution the normal process and it is not judiciable, there is no legal standard where
the actions of other bodies can be declared `constitutional' or
`unconstitutional'. E.g The UK constitution which is drawn from the Magna
Carta and the Human Rights Act
Has a constitution that concentrates sovereign power in a single body of
national government, sovereignty is vested in the national legislature which
Unitary State can create or abolish all other institutions. E.g Parliament in the UK ­ for
example when Margaret Thatcher abolished the Greater London Council in
Has a constitution that is based on the principle of shared sovereignty, in
that there are two relatively autonomous levels of government, the
national/ federal and the regional/ state, which both possess powers which
the other level cannot encroach on. E.g US constitution, the provisions deal
Federal State
with federal government, but the Ninth Amendment states that all other
powers are reserved to state governments and the people, therefore
causing some states such as Florida and Texas to still have the death

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This is the name given to the state of the UK constitution, since the
formation of devolved assemblies has led it to be argued that the UK has a
Quasi - federalism federal constitution, but Parliament still has ultimate power, because it
granted them this power and can in theory abolish the assemblies. E.g The
Codified constitutions are relatively inflexible because their provisions are
entrenched, therefore hard to change or remove.…read more

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increase in majority voting, and the Treaty of Lisbon 2009 meaning there is
now an EU President to attempt to have joint foreign policy.…read more


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