Constitution

Constitution in Europe

Definition of Constitution

Formerly, a law or ordinance; now, the form in which a State is organised
A constitution may be (a) unwritten, resting mainly on custom and convention ; (b) written, drawn up in legal form ; (c) flexible, capable of being altered by ordinary legislative act ; (d) rigid, capable of being altered only by special procedure
The British Constitution is unwritten and flexible ; that of the United States is written and rigid

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Definition of Constitution is, temporally, from A Concise Law Dictionary (1927). This page needs to be proofread.

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URI The URI of Constitution (more about URIs)

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European Constitution

Content about Constitution from the publication “The ABC of European Union law” (2010, European Union) by Klaus-Dieter Borchardt.

Every social organisation has a constitution. A constitution is the means by which the structure of a political system is defined, i.e. the relationship of the various parts to each other and to the whole is specified, the common objectives are defined and the rules for making binding decisions are laid down. The constitution of the EU, as an association of states to which quite specific tasks and functions have been allotted, must thus be able to answer the same questions as the constitution of a state.

Context of Constitution in the European Union

In the Member States the body politic is shaped by two overriding principles: the rule of law and democracy. All the activities of the Union, if they are to be true to the fundamental requirements of law and democracy, must therefore have both legal and democratic legitimacy: the elements on which it is founded, its structure, its powers, the way it operates, the position of the Member States and their institutions, and the position of the citizen.

More about Constitution in the European Union

Following the failure of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe of 29 October 2004, the EU ‘constitution’ is still not laid down in a comprehensive constitutional document, as it is in most of the constitutions of its Member States, but arises from the totality of rules and fundamental values by which those in authority perceive themselves to be bound. These rules are to be found partly in the European Treaties or in the legal instruments produced by the Union institutions, but they also rest partly on custom.


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