Brief on Constitution, State & related terms [Daniel Berhane]
1.Constitution, Constitutionalism, Constitutional Government
The root word of constitution, ‘constitute’ means ‘comprise, make up, order, or form’. The constitution of a given political system can be a single written document, titled “constitution”, containing the fundamental or basic rules principles and elements and. On the other hand, the “constitution” of country may be found in various phenomena, rather than in a single constitutional act. Among these are: A fundamental norm, value of moral principle, a set of common aspirations or expectations, a social and economic program and an important juridical fact. Okoth-Ogendo emphasizes that the defining element of “the constitution’’ of given society is that its organic of generic character, or its being recognized as the primary point of reference for governance in the society.
The liberal democratic understanding of the function of a constitution is as a devises to limit governmental authority, employing principles of separation of power and the rule of law. Thus, Constitutionalism connotes, at least in classic of liberal democratic conception, the existence of codified rules defining the organs and powers of the government and restraints to its exercise. This is a logical subsequent of However, the mere presence of these elements in the constitution cannot evidence the existence of constitutionalism in society. A fundamental principle of constitutionalism is “fidelity to life under law’’. Public respect for the constitution is the minimum criterion. The ultimate yardstick of the adherence of a society to the principles of constitutionalism is that rules of the constitution, or other rules consistent with it, are regarded as the ultimate basis of political choices and frequently so.
Constitutional government is a term employed to refer to a government that is committed and /or bound by the constitution of the concerned political system....