The Functions of Constitution

January 27, 2013 | By Devina Janice | Filed in: Blogging.

The Functions of Constitution is our article Today. Lord Acton from England had said that Power Tends to Corrupt, but Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely, it means that if someone hold a power, there’s a possibility of him/her to corrupt something, so if someone who just have a little power but he/she already corrupted it, how about the person who has absolute power? They must be corrupt absolutely, just like the statement of Lord Acton.

The Functions of ConstitutionSo, it means if we let the government use their power to control everything freely, it surely would lead to the anarchy, because their power had already abused, diverted, and violated.

So that’s why the government or king power should be regulated, restricted, and detailed firmly in the constitution.

In Indonesia there are written constitution and unwritten constitution. Beside the written law which already listed in constitution, in Indonesia there’s also apply the unwritten basic law to control the people’s behave in Indonesia.

Unwritten basic law is the basic rule which appears and maintained in practice of state enforcement, it called convention. Convention is a folkways which maintained in practice of state enforcement. Convention is not contradict with the constitution and it goes on equally.

There are two examples of convention in Indonesia

The first one is decisions making based on consensus agreement in house of representatives.

The second one is president’s speech every August 16th.

The convention could be called as a constitution complement because it existence would make the constitution more completely and make the constitution in a country could adapts with the times.

Back to the constitution, minimal there are 3 things that should be ruled in a constitution.

The first one is about the guarantee of human rights, the second one about the constitutional system, and the last one is about the position, the duty, and the authority of state institutions.

There are two functions of constitution:

  1. Separating the powers between executive, legislative, and judiciary. Just like the Montesqueu thought ‘Trias Politica’, so it could prevent the possibility of being anarchy in one of the state institution and also between those institutions there will be a check and balances system to do.
  2. Restrict the powers of government. It means to delimit the government power, so they cannot be act as arbitrary as they can, because there’s a rule that they have to follow. In a country with the monarchy system, the king or queen powers restricted by constitution, so that kind of country system called constitutional monarchy, as well as the republic.

The restriction of the state power is about its power, means in the constitution there’s provision about their duties and also their authority, so they cannot act arbitrary because their authorities already ruled in the constitution.

Then, it’s about the period of the position, it related to the tenure of each institutions or its official in running their duties.

So, they cannot have the power for their life, because there will be a position rotation maybe in 3 or 4 years like every democracy state does. Every government chosen by vote and they will stepped down in time after finish their state duties. That the functions of constitution, please leave a comment 🙂


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