Functions of a constitution
Determine how political power is distributed:
- Constitution either sets up a federal (USA) or unitary (UK) system.
- Also lays down whether there's a fusion or seperation of powers.
Establish the political processes which make the system work:
- Constitution lays out relationships between institutions and the rule in which govern how they operate, and it also gives the branches of government its roles.
State the limits of what governmental powers should be:
- Constitutions outline the competence of government and detail when the institution should can act beyond its powers.
Assert the rights of citizens:
- States the rights of citizens in wither a Bill of Rights or states what they cant do and everything else is considered to be their rights.
Establish the rules by which nationality are established:
- Who is entitled to be a citizen and how insiders might become a citizen. This means that the constitution is the territorial boundary of a country.
Contains rules on how to amend the constitution:
- Written constitutions (like in the US) have procedures which need to be carried out in order to amend the constitution.
- Unwritten constitutions (like in the UK) tend to evolve over time through laws being passed through Parliament.