"A constitution is a document that seeks to legitimise state power,

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"A constitution is a document that seeks to legitimise state power,

but to do this properly it should also act as a restraint on state

power. Those are the only functions of a constitution."

 A constitution is an intricate act in which it is difficult to

formulate a rigid and specific definition. A corroborated understanding

results in perceiving the constitution as being antecedent to the

government and entailing the foremost fundamental principles from which

the government is created and the nation is administered. The

constitution establishes the structure, powers, duties and rights which

enable the government to exist.

 When considering the format of the constitution it must be understood

that the British constitution is not a single written piece[1] such as

the constitution for the United States where there is a single document

in which its three branches, legislative, executive and judicial, of

the government are listed. Unlike most other countries, the British

constitution is considered to be unwritten as there is no one enacted

document for it in which powers of the government are regulated. On the

contrary, other authoritative views find this to be a "misleading

platitude"[2] and agree that a constitution can be named a document as

it has historically evolved from document such as Magna Carta, Bill of

Rights 1688, Act of Settlement 1700, Parliament Act 1911 and others.

These are all written documents from which constitutional laws can be

sought and hence demonstrate that even the British constitution is

documented.[3] 'A constitution is a document' is not an entirely

correct statement as this implies that all constitutions are codified

into single documents and this is not true of the British Constitution

as only the statutes are written. It is a series of statute laws,

constitutional conventions and ancient documents therefore not just a

specific document. The advantages of a single codified written document

are that it gives a rigid way to restrain power of the government and

preventing the government from becoming too centralised. This allows

more control over having constitutional reform and therefore the

regulation of the governmental powers can be updated.[4] Also, many

criticise Britain for having a constitution which is unclear as to what

it articulates as there is not much agreement between the statutes,

laws and conventions. It is also thought to be outdated as it has

historically evolved from documents such as Magna Carta. However, a

constitution that is not a single document and is uncodified allows for

more flexibility and this is convenient when there is need for

constitutional or law changes.

 A constitution can now be perceived as series of documents and laws

which are the embodiment to the legitimising state power and rights for

citizens. Legitimise is defined as 'to make legal' and this is exactly

the act of a constitution, it gives the government the right to rule

and gain authority. Without legitimacy of a government, it is unable to

govern legally, hence why a constitution is antecedent to the

government. For power to be legitimate it must "conform to established

rules and must be exercised in accordance of these established

rules"[5]. It can be deduced that a constitution must contain rules

that seek to legitimise power itself. In the Bill of Rights 1688 there

are various rules of power for how the state should be governed[6] and

also in the Parliament Act 1911 where relations between the two Houses

of Parliament and House of Lords have been developed[7]. Both these

statutes include rules on how to regulate the state and giving certain

powers to judicial, legislative and executive sectors. This emphasises

the importance of the constitution in permitting, and therefore

legitimising, the right of power for the state governing bodies[8]. For

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power to be legitimate its rules must be justifiable to beliefs "by

both the dominant and subordinate"[9]. This means that if a

constitution truly sought legitimacy for the state power, its rules of

powers would be justifiable to shared beliefs of the society. This is

difficult to underpin as each rule of power when designed would have

been justifiable to the beliefs then but societies beliefs are ever

evolving.[10] Nevertheless, at the time of concoction, the rules

through which power is obtained are justifiable. The obvious advantage

of having a constitution that legitimises state power is that the

government is ...

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