Unwritten Constitution: Definition, Advantages And Disadvantages

Table Of Contents

1. Meaning Of Unwritten Constitution
2. Advantages Of Unwritten Constitution
3. Disadvantages Of Unwritten Constitution

Meaning Of Unwritten Constitution

Written constitution is the type of constitution where the whole body of fundamental laws, customs, convention (official agreement), principles, rules and regulations according to which a particular government of a country operate are not written down in a single document. Such constitutions are said to be originated from age long customs and practise rather than written laws.

The constitution of Britain is the oldest form of unwritten constitution, it is said to be unwritten because it is an “An algam” (ie drawn from diverse sources).

Extending from 13th century to the present day or time. Britain constitution is made up of five basic ingredients such as:

1. Great document and status.
2. Parliamentary status.
3. The great mass of law, created by many general of English judges.
4. Customs and conventions.
5. Judicial decisions.
Another example of unwritten constitution us that of New Zealand.

Advantages Of Unwritten Constitution

1. It is flexible and adaptable to change circumstances.

2. Unwritten constitution meets present and future needs of a country due to its flexibility.

3. It does not pose any problem to its flexibility.

4. Unwritten constitution makes possible quick decision making by the organs of government.

5. Similarly it helps in eliminating dispute among organs of government as well as avoiding constant litigation among the people.

6. It develops from age long practice experience of the people and government.

Disadvantages/Demerits Of Unwritten Constitution

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1. Unwritten constitution may lead to dictatorship if not properly guided.

2. It can be highly abused by government and individuals, This is because it is not found in one document.

3. It makes it difficult for individual to know their rights and duties.

4. Unwritten constitution cannot guarantee stability of government, this is because it is not easy to determine when it is broken.

5. It is made up of ambiguities.

6. It is difficult to determine what constitute an establish convention. Differences may arise about a particular convention.

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