What is Constitution : A Constitution is a set of fundamental rules and principles according to which a state or a country or any other organization is governed. An organization gets constituted by putting all the mentioned rules and principles altogether. A Constitution is the basic design of its govt. and it may be defined as a body of rules and understandings that determine how govt. is to be carried on.
The word Constitution is derived from a Latin word, “Constitution”, which means ‘regulations and orders’.
A Constitution is generally understood of any country or state, but it is not so. An organization or any company also have their own constitution according to which they run their functions and establish their existence.
A Constitution is the primary necessity for the peaceful, efficient and effective administration of a state. In the absence of a constitution, a state’s govt. will be run according to the will of those who are in power. Actually, a state without any Constitution can’t be called a state, it will just a regime of anarchy.
The Constitution of India is the longest and most bulky written Constitution in the world, with 448 articles and 12 schedules, while the Constitution of USA is the shortest written Constitution, with only 7 articles.
TYPES OF CONSTITUTION
Generally a Constitution can be divided into 4 types:-
1) On the basis of writing:
i> a written Constitution and
ii> an unwritten Constitution
A written Constitution is a Constitution where almost all the fundamental rules and principles of govt. organization are contained in a document. It is generally given shape by the Constituent Assembly. Most of the world’s Constitutions are written Constitutions. The Indian Constitution is also a written Constitution.
An unwritten Constitution is a Constitution which is based on conventions and understandings. The rules and principles of govt. are not reduced to any written form. This type of Constitution is not in the form of any systematic document. The best example of an unwritten Constitution is the British Constitution. This is not made by any constituent assembly or any other authorized body of persons at a time. It has grown by degrees.
The difference between a written and unwritten Constitution is one of degree rather than of kind. No Constitution is wholly written or wholly unwritten. All written Constitutions do contain unwritten elements and all the so-called unwritten Constitutions do contain some written provisions. The British Constitution, for example, contains important written elements such as ‘The Bill of Rights of 1689’,’ The Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949’, and so forth.
2) On the basis of the ease or difficulty in amendment:
i> Flexible Constitution and
ii> Rigid Constitution
If a Constitution can be amended with the same procedure as an ordinary law is passed or repealed, it is said to be a Flexible Constitution. The best example is the British Commission.
On the other hand, if the procedure of amending a Constitution is different from that of passing or repealing ordinary laws, it is said to be a Rigid Constitution. The best example is the Constitution of USA. Congress (i.e., the US Legislature) cannot amend it on its own. In the USA, every amendment proposed by congress has to be ratified by the legislature of at least three-fourths of the states (i.e., the federating units).
3) On the basis of concentration of authority:
i> Unitary Constitution and
ii> Federal Constitution
A Constitution is said to be unitary if it concentrates all authority at the center. Britain and France have unitary Constitutions.
A Constitution is said to be federal if it divides govt. authority between the center and the states and confers on the state an autonomous status. The US Constitution, the Canadian Constitution and the Indian Constitution are examples of federal Constitutions.
4) On the basis of the executive authority a Constitution creates:
i> Parliamentary Constitutions
ii> Presidential Constitutions
A Parliamentary Constitution is one in which the real executive power vests in the hand of cabinet headed by the Prime Minister who is responsible to the Legislature. Parliamentary form of govt. is in Britain, India, Australia, Canada and many other countries.
A Presidential Constitution is one in which the real executive authority is vested in an elected President whose tenure of office is not dependent on the will of the legislature. The best example of this type of Constitution is The US Constitution.