GOVP4 key terms

Fundamental Law
The constitution of a state or nation; the basic law and principles contained in federal and state constitutions that direct and regulate the manner in which government is exercised.
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Codified constitution
Codified constitution is one in which key constitutional provisions are provided for within a single written document.
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Limited government
Limited government is one in which the powers of the state are limited by law, usually in a written/codified constitution.
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Federalism
mode of political organisation that unites separate states or other polities within an overarching political system in such a way as to allow each to maintain its own fundamental political integrity
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De-centralisation
is the process of distributing power away from the centre of an organisation
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States’ Rights
The rights or powers retained by the regional governments of a federal union under the provisions of a federal constitution.
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Constitutional sovereignty
the overarching power of the constitution on laws that are not part of the constitution and seen as unconstitutional
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Entrenched rights
those rights which are explicitly protected by the Constitution. These rights will have a special status and will be immune from change by political whims through legislation. In order to change them, a Constitutional Amendment will be required.
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Constitutional interpretation
Name given to the different viewpoints on the Constitution when it is applied to court cases and legislation.
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separation of powers
Division of the legislative, executive, and judicial functions of government among separate and independent bodies.
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checks and balances
The abilities and powers that are exclusively given to one branch of government in order to ‘check’ the actions of the other branches. These powers are often constitutionally enshrined.
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Judicial review
Type of court proceeding in which a judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body.
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Original intent
A theoretical approach that is taken by justices in cases surrounding the constitution and its interpretation. Justices, will seek to look at the intentions of the Founding Fathers when writing the Constitution, to inform their rulings.
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Judicial activism
Philosophy that justices should use their position to promote desirable social outcomes from their rulings.
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Judicial restraint
belief that justices should not seek to ‘legislate’ from the bench, this should be left to the legislature and executive. To this end greater stress should be placed upon the rulings of lower courts.
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Judicial independence
judiciary is free from political interference, enabling the judiciary to make their decisions in accordance with their judicial oath “without fear or favour”
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Strict constructionism
The judicial philosophy whereby the Constitution is interpreted in a literal or strict manner.
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Loose constructionism
The judicial philosophy whereby the Constitution is interpreted loosely, typically reading between the lines, to extract a meaning.
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Judicial power
Power of the Judicial Branch of the United States government to hear cases and interpret, enforce or nullify laws and statutes in order to render verdicts.
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Card 2

Front

Codified constitution is one in which key constitutional provisions are provided for within a single written document.

Back

Codified constitution

Card 3

Front

Limited government is one in which the powers of the state are limited by law, usually in a written/codified constitution.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

mode of political organisation that unites separate states or other polities within an overarching political system in such a way as to allow each to maintain its own fundamental political integrity

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

is the process of distributing power away from the centre of an organisation

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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