What is the Constitution? Definition and characteristics
The Constitution is practically in anycivilized state. What is this normative act, and what is it for? How does the Constitution differ from other laws? Answers to these and many other questions will be provided in the article.
What is the Constitution?
The definition of constitutio in Latin means"device". In fact, the Constitution is the law that secures the state structure. That is why this normative act has the highest legal force.
The Constitution is a collection of basic rulesor laws. This law determines what kind of political device the state should have. The norms enshrined in the basic law of the country are valid for all citizens.
The first collections of laws existed before ourera. It is worth remembering, for example, the law of 12 tables or the collection of Hammurabi. However, for the first time the Constitution appeared in the United States in 1787, precisely in the form that is closest to us today. This document has a relatively small volume, divided into several parts. The basic law of the USA has become an example for the adoption of Constitutions in many other countries.
The differences of the Constitution from other laws
What is the Constitution? The definition here can be given a very simple one: this is the law. But how does it differ from other laws that can also be adopted in a state? Constitutional norms are the main ones in the country. On their basis all other laws are built. That's why the Constitution is spoken of as a normative act with the highest legal force.
The Constitution should contain the mostgeneral information about the most important state problems. This, for example, is a territorial and power structure, freedoms and human rights, the judicial system, etc. The abrogation and adoption of the Constitution must take place in a special way - not as with the rest of the laws. A special procedure should be established, according to which certain norms of the country's basic law can be changed or supplemented.
Types of Constitutions
Law specialists have developed severalclassifications on which it is possible to identify the main types and forms of the Constitutions. In form, state laws are divided into unwritten and written. Here everything is simple: the document is either fixed on paper or not. Writings of the Constitution are characteristic of most Western countries. Unwritten are common to states of the Anglo-Saxon system (except the US). This, for example, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.
Also, laws are divided into codified and non-codified. In the first case, the law is a single normative act, and in the second - a collection of customs, precedents, doctrines, etc.
Constitutions are rigid and flexible. Here everything depends on the way of making additions and amendments. Flexible laws are easy to change - it is enough just to issue an appropriate act. With the hard, everything is somewhat more complicated. Often, they can not be changed at all - you can only cancel, and then adopt a new Constitution.
Thus, the Constitution is prettyan unusual normative act. The basic law of the state is adopted in a special way, affects all other documents, and can also have one of many forms.
Functions of the Constitution
What is the Constitution? The definition of this concept will give, though understandable, but still not enough exhaustive information about the phenomenon. That is why it is worth paying attention to the role and functions of the Constitution as the main state law.
The first function is called the constituent. It is the Constitution that establishes all the foundations of life in the country: the political and territorial system, human rights, social relations, etc. What is the foundation function? As a rule, the basic law of the country is based on certain laws. The Constitution of the Russian Federation, for example, has 9 chapters, each of which is backed by a federal constitutional law - FKZ. At the same time, ordinary federal laws should be based on the norms of the main normative act.
The constituent function is divided intoforeign policy, ideological, and also legal. The basic law of the country establishes the order of relations with the world, establishes a certain ideology or its complete absence, and also gives an idea of the legal system in the state.
The next function is called organizational. The Constitution is not designed to consolidate the achieved results, but to set new tasks. This, for example, increased political activity, improved quality of life, modernization of external relations, etc.
The Constitution of Russia
The Russian basic law consists of three parts. This preamble (introductory word), as well as the first and second sections. The preamble sets out the goals, objectives and principles of the normative act. In the first section there are 9 chapters, each of which is devoted to a separate topic. It tells about the state and territorial structure, about human rights, branches of power and local self-government. The second section contains transitional provisions and conclusion.
The Russian Constitution was adopted on December 12 in1993. Before that, four different Constitutions were in force in Russia: the first was adopted in 1918 and concerned Soviet Russia. In 1925 it was changed to the basic law of the RSFSR. In 1937 and 1978, the Constitution was also amended and supplemented.
What is the Constitution? Definition here can be given the simplest: it is the basic law of the country, which has the highest legal force and consolidates the foundations of the state system.