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The Constitution

Prof. Erland D. Palean

Objectives:
At

the conclusion of the session, you


must have been able to:
Define

constitution;

Classify

constitutions;

Enumerate

the characteristics of a good


written constitution;

Identify

the essential parts of a typical


written constitution

Constitution Defined:
The

fundamental law of
the state which:
contains

the principles
on which government is
founded;

regulates

the division of
sovereign powers; and

directs

to what persons
each of these powers is
to be entrusted and the
manner of its exercise.

Constitution Defined:
A body

of rules and
maxims in accordance
with which the
powers of sovereignty
are habitually
exercised. (Cooley)

Constitution Defined:

The

fundamental
law of the state
from which all its
other laws
emanate.

Nature and purpose/function


of Constitution:
Serves

as the supreme
or fundamental law.

Establishes

basic
framework and
underlying principles of
government

Classifications of
Constitutions:
As

to form
As to origin
As to ease of amending

Classifications of
Constitutions:
As to form

As to origin

As to ease
of
amending

Written

Conventional
or enacted

Rigid

Unwritten

Cumulative
or evolved

Flexible

As to their origin and history


A.

Conventional or Enacted

- enacted by a constituent assembly


or granted by a monarch to his subjects.
Ex: Constitution of Japan (1889)
B. Cumulative or Evolved
-product of growth or a long period
of development originating in customs,
traditions, judicial decisions, etc.
Ex. English Constitution

As to Form
A.

Written

> Has been given definite written form at a


particular time, usually by a specially constituted
authority called a constitutional convention.
B. Unwritten
> Entirely the product of political evolution,
consisting largely of a mass of customs, usages and
judicial decisions together with a smaller body of
statutory enactments of a fundamental character,
usually bearing different dates.

Manner of Amendment
A.

Rigid or Inelastic
> a document of special sanctity which
cannot be amended or altered except by
some special machinery more cumbrous
than the ordinary legislative process.

B. Flexible or Elastic
> this possesses no higher legal authority
than ordinary laws and which may be
altered in the same way as other laws.

What kind of Constitution is


the
1987 Philippine Constitution?
The 1987 Philippine
Constitution
is classified as
conventional or enacted,
written,
and rigid or inelastic

Characteristics of a Good
Written Constitution:
Comprehensiveness

Conciseness

Clarity

Completeness

Broad in terms of scope


Brief in terms of content
Clear in terms of language
Not lacking in essential
parts

As to contents, it should contain at


least three sets of provisions
A series of prescriptions setting forth the fundamental civil
and political rights of citizens.
Constitution
The limitation of the powers of government over citizens.
of Liberty

Constitution
of
Government

A series of provisions outlining the organization of


government and distribution of the powers of government.

A series of provisions outlining the mode or procedure in


accordance with which formal changes in the fundamental
Constitution
of Sovereignty law may be brought out.

Constitution distinguished from


statute

Constitution

Statute

Legislation direct from the


people.
Merely states the general
framework of the law and the
government.
Intended not merely to meet
the existing conditions but to
govern the future as well.
The supreme or fundamental
law of the State.
A legislation from the peoples
representatives.
Provides the details of the
subject of which it treats.
Intended primarily to meet
existing conditions only.
Must conform to the constitution.