Constitution, Constitutional law & Constitutionalism – UPSC GS2

Constitution is a legal document having a special legal sanctity, which sets out the framework and the principal functions of the organs of the government of a state, and declares the principles governing the operation of those organs.
Functions of the Constitution
  1. Expression of Ideology
  2. Expression of Basic Law
  3. Organizational frame work
  4. Levels of Government
  5. Amendment provision
The Constitutional law means the rule, which regulates the structure of the principal organs of the Government and their relationship to each other, and determines their principal functions. The rules consist both of legal rules enacted or accepted as binding by all who are concerned in Government.
Constitutionalism, in brief, is specific limitations on general governmental powers to prevent exercise of arbitrary decision-making. Unlimited powers concentrated in a few hands at the helm of affairs and their exercise would jeopardize the freedom of the people. These powers have to be checked and balanced with equally powerful alternatives in a system, where it will be nearly impossible for dictators to emerge. In one word ‘Limited Governance’ is the Constitutionalism, which is supposed to reflect in the Constitutional Law of a democratic state. Constitution of India is the Constitutional Law incorporating the Constitutionalism.
The listed fundamental rights and guaranteed remedies, creation of judiciary as an impartial arbiter with all independent powers besides broad based legislative check on the executive are the reflections of such constitutionalism. From these essential characters the doctrines of judicial review, rule of law, separation of powers, universal franchise, transparent executive, fundamental right to equality and quality of life emerged and consolidated.

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