Another main function of constitutions may be to describe the procedure by which parliaments may legislate. For instance, special majorities may be required to alter the constitution. In bicameral legislatures, there may be a process laid out for second or third readings of bills before a new law can enter into force. Alternatively, there may further be requirements for maximum terms that a government can keep power before holding an "election.
Study of constitutional law
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Constitutional law is a major focus of legal studies and research. For example, most law students in the United States are required to take a class in Constitutional Law during their first year, and several "law journals are devoted to the discussion of constitutional issues.
The rule of law
The doctrine of the "rule of law dictates that government must be conducted according to law. This was first established by British legal theorist "A. V. Dicey.
Dicey identified three essential elements of the British Constitution which were indicative of the rule of law:
- Absolute supremacy of regular law as opposed to the influence of arbitrary power;
- "Equality before the law;
- The Constitution is a result of the ordinary law of the land.
Dicey’s rule of law formula consists of three classic tenets. The first is that the regular law is supreme over arbitrary and discretionary powers. "[N]o man is punishable ... except for a distinct breach of the law established in the ordinary legal manner before the ordinary courts of the land."
The separation of powers
The "Separation of Powers is often regarded as a second limb functioning alongside the Rule of Law to curb the powers of the Government. In most modern nation states, power is divided and vested into three branches of government: The "Executive, the "Legislature and the "Judiciary. The first and the second are harmonized in traditional "Westminster forms of government.
- Constitutional conventions (disambiguation)
- "Constitutional economics
- "Constitutional rights
- "Philosophy of law
- "Rule of law
|"Library resources about
- "Markwell, Donald (2016). Constitutional Conventions and the Headship of State: Australian Experience. Connor Court. "ISBN "9781925501155.
- "Entick v. Carrington (1765) 19 Howell's State Trials 1030
- "Entick v. Carrington". 19 Howell’s State Trials 1029 (1765). "USA: Constitution Society. Retrieved 2008-11-13.
- Chapter 9, Line 124, "John Locke, "Second Treatise on Government (1690)
- A. V. Dicey, Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution (Macmillan, 10th ed, 1959) p.202
- A. V. Dicey, Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution (10th ed, 1959) p.188
- W B Gwyn, The Meaning of the Separation of Powers: An Analysis of the doctrine from Its Origin to the Adoption of the United States Constitution, Tulane University (1965).