Written Constitution: Definition, Advantages And Disadvantages

Table Of Contents
1. Meaning Of Written Constitution
2. Advantages Of Written Constitution
3. Disadvantages Of Written Constitution
Meaning Of Written Constitution
It is defined as one in which the fundamental principles concerning the organisation of government, the powers of its agencies and the rights of the citizens are deliberately framed and written down in a single document.
Example of countries operating with written constitution are: Nigeria (1979, 1999 Constitution), U.S.A (1789 Constitution), India, France, Canada, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Ghana etc.
Advantages Of Written Constitution
1. It reduces the rate of dispute among the organs of government. This stems from the clear definition of their function.
2. A written constitution reduces the dictatorial/tendencies of a ruling government. This is because its provisions act as a check.
3. It removes ambiguity (expression have more than meaning) associated with an unwritten constitution.
4. Written constitution helps to dictate the unconstitutional act of the ruler. This makes it possible to institute legal action to effect a change.
5. A written constitution is found in a single document. This make reference and constitution simple.
6. It helps citizens to dictate the abuse of their rights. This helps them to seek redress and effect a change.
7. It is easy and accessible to everybody. This makes constitution easy and simple.
8. It ensures stability in Government. This is because every government office holder works according to the dictates of the constitution.
Disadvantages/Demerits Of Written Constitution
1. It is not suitable for a unitary system of government.
2. The rigid nature of a written constitution make amendment difficult.
3. It delays government functions. Frequent court actions and unconstitutional declaration of worst government action may cause delay in government worker.
4. There is this problem of interpretation, This is a result of its rigidity.
5. Tendency to cause political tension. A written constitution may lead to constant disaffection especially if it does favour some section of the country.
6. Due to the awareness it creates in respect to people’s right, it may bring about constant litigation (going to law court more often) among people or among people and government.

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