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Constitution - Essay Example

Laws, as distinct from the frame of the constitution, are the rules by which the magistrates should exercise their powers, and should watch and check transgressors".2
The central role of the constitution of any sovereign state is unquestionable. Not only does a constitution seek to legitimize power but also, it grants the scope for good governance. The challenge arises in the enabling the government with the jurisdiction to mange the government, because it is drafted by men, for men. It is imperative that the governors of the constitution are bestowed with limited power. This concept of power separation is instrumental to constitutionalism. James Madison states that "The great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed: and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions." 3
Constitutions are designed to portray a sense of ultimate power control all the while granting legitimacy and authority. For example, the constitution should accord the state with the capacity to curb anti-social behaviour. A constitution is ensures that there is no abuse of powers by any given individual or institution because the constitution provides with the necessary mechanism to define what constitutes as a violation. Power separation is effected through the separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers and created a sense of checks and balances4. John Locke, in Separationof Powers iinsts that the legislature is the most superior arm. He says that " the Legislative is the Supream Power. For what can give Laws to another, must needs be superior to him and since the Legislative is no otherwise Legislative of the Society, but by the right it has to make Laws for all the parts and for every Member of the Society, prescribing Rules to their actions, and giving power of Execution, where they are transgressed, the Legislative must needs be the Supream, and all other Powers in any Members or parts of the Society, derived from and subordinate to it". 5 However, this separation of power is furthered in power division between the federal government and the State itself. Within the state, power is further allocated to selected individuals and institutions while in the legislature, power is split between the Governor, House of representatives and the Senate. The executive arm is often characterized with corruption, nepotism, inefficiency and favouritism, probably because of public service dealings6. The judiciary acts as the custodian of the constitution and takes a leadership role in the investigation of abuse of legislative and executive papers 7. There is contention over the direction and implementation of the constitution as opposed to the legal mandate of courts as law interpreters8
According to Feldman, there ...Show more


A constitution is the elementary written or unwritten law that outlines the character of a given government by delineating the rules, policies and principles that the given society must adhere to. This is through the constitution description of governmental regulation, organization and distribution…
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Constitution Essay essay example
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