The Constitution declares that the sovereignty lies with the people and the constitution is the embodiment and solemn expression of the will of the people
Table of Contents
|Sovereignty & People||8|
|Relevant Legal Areas||9-11|
To become a state, there are three basic criteria to be followed; there must be a piece of land, certain number of people and a government. Government is the representative of the people of a country and the government runs the country according to the constitution. A constitution is a set of essential principles or conventional precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. The rights and freedom of the citizens of a state is well described in the constitution of a specific state or country. So it’s the duty of the government to keep the sovereignty of its country and their citizens. In other words we can say that constitution reflects the will of the people and people’s rights and their sovereignty is kept by the government as directed in the constitution.
The term constitution comes through French from the Latin word constitutio, used for regulations and orders, such as the imperial enactments (constitutiones principis: edicta, mandata, decreta, rescripta). Later, the term was widely used in cannon law for an important determination, especially a decree issued by the Pope, now referred to as an apostolic constitution.
A constitution is a set of laws that a set of people have prepared and agreed upon for government—often as a written document—that specified and limits the authority and task of a political entity. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is. In the case of countries and autonomous regions of federal countries the term refers particularly to a constitution defining the fundamental political principles, and establishing the structure, procedures, powers and duties, of a government. By restraining the government’s own reach, most constitutions guarantee certain rights to the people.
The word ‘constitution’ is commonly used in at least two senses in any ordinary discussion of political affairs. First of all it is used to describe the whole system of government of a country, the collection of rules which establish and regulate or govern the government. These rules are partly legal, in the sense that courts of law will recognize and apply them, and partly non-legal or extra-legal, taking the form of usages, understandings, customs, or conventions which courts do not recognize as law but which are not less effective in regulating the government than the rules of law strictly so called. Generally, every modern written constitution confers specific powers to an organization or institutional entity, established upon the primary condition that it abides by the said constitution’s limitations. According to Scott Gordon, a political organization is constitutional to the extent that it “contains institutionalized mechanisms of power control for the protection of the interests and liberties of the citizenry including those that may be in the minority”.
In almost every country in the world except Britain, the word ‘constitution’ is used in a narrower sense than this It is used to describe not the whole collection of rules, legal and non-legal, but rather a selection of them which has usually been embodied in one document or in a few closely related documents.
a) Written and Unwritten
b) Rigid and Flexible
c) Supreme and Subordinate
d) Federal and Unitary
e) Separated powers and fused powers
f) Republican and monarchical.
a) Written and Unwritten
UK, New Zealand and Israel have unwritten constitutions.
The UK’s constitution is unwritten: due to history, the gradual development of the UK constitution, not necessary to frame a single document.
The sources of the UK constitution that are part written and part unwritten: conventions, works of authority, Acts of Parliament, the common law, and EU law.
A written constitution is one contained with a single document or a series of documents, with or without amendments, defining the basic rules of state.
The origins of written constitutions lie in the American War of Independence (1775-83) and French Revolution (1789).
1. Written constitution is very definite where the people can refer to a document which contains all fundamental principles with regard to this structure and working of the government.
2. The powers of the various organs are clearly defined in the constitution and there are fewer chances of confusion and disputes. If a dispute arises, it can be referred to the judiciary, whose duty is to decide it.
3. It is usually stable and avoids the fear of uncertainty.
1. The major defect is rigid. It may not be-easy to amend the constitution to suit the changed circumstances.
2. Written constitution may fail to keep itself in touch with the changing needs of the society. Lord Macaulay says, ‘the great cause of revolutions is that while nations move onward, constitutions stand still’.
3. Judges become powerful
A People permanently occupying a fixed territory bound together by common-law habits and custom into one body politic exercising, through the medium of an organized government, independent sovereignty and control over all persons and things within its boundaries, capable of making war and peace and of entering into international relations with other communities of the globe (United States v. Kusche, D.C.Cal., 56 F.Supp. 201, 207, 208. The organization of social life which exercises sovereign power in behalf of the people. Delany v. Moraitis, C.C.A.Md., 136 F.2d 129, 130).
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided. In theoretical terms, the idea of “sovereignty”, historically, from Socrates to Thomas Hobbes, has always necessitated a moral imperative on the entity exercising it.
The currently only requires that a sovereign state has an effective and independent government within a defined territory. According to current international law norms, states are only required to have an effective and independent system of government pursuant to a community within a defined territory.
For centuries past, the idea that a state could be sovereign was always connected to its ability to guarantee the best interests of its own citizens. Thus, if a state could not act in the best interests of its own citizens, it could not be thought of as a “sovereign” state.
The concept of sovereignty has been discussed, debated and questioned throughout history, from the time of the Romans through to the present day. It has changed in its definition, concept, and application throughout, especially during the Age of Enlightenment. The current notion of state sovereignty is often traced back to the Peace of the Westphalia (1648), which, in relation to states, codified the basic principles:
- Territorial integrity
- border inviolability
- supremacy of the state (rather than the Church)
- A sovereign is the supreme lawmaking authority within its jurisdiction.
Sovereignty & People
“There exists perhaps no conception the meaning of which is more controversial than that of sovereignty It is an indisputable fact that this conception, from the moment when it was introduced into political science until the present day, has never had a meaning which was universally agreed upon”. –Lassa Oppenheim
Sovereignty is declared by the constitution and is a vital part of the constitution for people. Sovereignty gives people the right to move free all over the country and do what ever they like to do. If a country is not sovereign then the people of that country would not be able to practice their rights. In this way sovereignty ultimately lies with the people.
Where ever a person is born in a sovereign country or what ever class he belongs to or whoever his family members are that person automatically gets right to move freely and lead his life according to his will without the intervention of the government until his act is illegal by the law. This sovereignty of a country is kept protected by the government by the order of the constitution. Governments are made by the people and for the people and that government protects the sovereignty of the country for the people. So in this way sovereignty is for the people and lies with them.
Relevant Legal Areas
To talk about the relevant legal areas it generally means the Constitutional Law. Constitutional law is the fundamental law, without a constitution the legal system can not operate. A constitution is a set of rules, generally written, which identify and regulate the major institutions of the stale, i.e. the executive, the legislative and the judiciary; delineates their ambits of power and govern the inter-relationship between them; and explains the rights and freedoms of citizens. Constitutional law consist three issues: the institutions of the government, the powers of the government and the relationship between the government and the individual citizens .
In all cases, except that of the United Kingdom, the fundamental provisions of the governmental system are set forth in a document or set of documents which, as a document, is called the constitution. Constitutional law, however, should not be taken to be synonymous with a constitution. The text of a constitution contains only a bare statement, in general terms, of those aspects of the question relating to the establishment of government as have been considered essential. From this one cannot know fully the constitutional law of a country, though he may form a fair idea about it. A constitution is the core or centre of the constitutional law of a country, but constitutional law is something more which gathers round a constitution in the form of legislation, judicial decisions and conventions and practices to complement it.
Here I would like to describe the constitution and constitutional laws regarding Bangladesh-
The making of constitution of Bangladesh was leaded by the then law mister eminent lawyer Mr. Barrister Kamal Hossain in 1972 just one year after the Liberation War. The constitution of Bangladesh is the supreme law of Bangladesh. It declares Bangladesh as a secular democratic republic where sovereignty belongs to the people; and lays down the framework defining fundamental political principles of the state and spells out the fundamental rights of citizens. Passed by the Constituent Assembly of Bangladesh on November 4, 1972, it came into effect from December 16, 1972, the day commemorated as Victory day in the country, marking the defeat of the Pakistan Army in the Bangladesh Liberation War .
There are 3 basic organs of the state of Bangladesh as per constitution-
- Legislative Branch
- Executive Branch
- Judicial Branch
The constitution of Bangladesh is divided into 11 parts and then they are also subdivided into 153 articles. The parts are-
- I. The Republic
- II. Fundamental Principals of State policy
- III. Fundamental Rights
- IV. The Executive
- V. The Legislature
- VI. The Judiciary
- VII. Elections
- VIII. The Comptroller & Auditor –General
- IX. The Services of Bangladesh Chapter 1 Services
- X. The Amendment of the Constitution
- XI. Miscellaneous
By instinct man is gregarious and lives in company of his fellow beings. This has led to the emergence of society and rules to regulate the conduct of the members of the society. The association was not, however, for mere companionship, but to achieve various objectives and purposes. Dealings between the individuals in the society invariably resulted in disputes. The need to settle disputes gave rise to leadership in the society and with the problem of protection of life and property came the concepts of allegiance and obedience. By a slow and intermittent process of social, economic and political evolution the State emerged as an indispensable institution run by an agency called the government. Constitution is the legal body which describes the structure of the organs of the government, their functions and their relationship with each other and with the citizens. This constitution is made only for the citizens of specific sovereign countries and the constitution is the solemn expression of free will of people.
Constitutional Law, Retrieved from, http://www.lawyersnjurists.com/course-materials/constitutional-law-course-materials/constitutional-law/
Islam , M. (2003). Constitutional Law of Bangladesh, p. 1.
Islam , M. (2003). Constitutional Law of Bangladesh, p. 2.
 Retrieved from, http://www.1215.org/lawnotes/lawnotes/sovreign.htm
 Mahmudul , I. (2003). Constitutional Law of Bangladesh, p. 2.
 Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Bangladesh
 Mahmudul , I. (2003). Constitutional Law of Bangladesh, p. 1.