Underlying Tenets of Modern Constitutionalism

Subject: Politics & Government
Pages: 2
Words: 327
Reading time:
2 min

The tendency towards constitutionalism has grasped the majority of nations and countries in the course of the 20th century. Constitutionalism, in fact, dictates the necessity to limit the power and authority of the government to the borders of the constitution that serves to protect human rights and to establish the rule of law in the country.

There are chapters dedicated to the limitations of governmental powers and rules established for the adoption of laws, for protection of human rights in all constitutions, but in fact, these laws are not always observed because of authoritarian or autocratic rule in the country when the ruler is the only person deciding on the country’s policy despite the supremacy of constitutionalism in the country: “Examples abound showing when constitutions become political liabilities to autocratic rulers, and they simply replace them. The average number of constitutions for all of Latin America is about 10 for each state. The reality of constitutionalism in Latin America is that many constitutional provisions are either ignored, suspended, or rewritten at the whim of the government in power”.

Speaking about the constitutional tenets reflected in the Canadian Constitution, it is essential to note that there is no single document in Canada that would be called that way and that there are a number of documents summarized under the name of the constitution. It is the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that has substituted the Canadian Bill of Rights and the Constitutional Act, 1867, that summarized the basic rights and freedoms of the nation and the major regulations under which the country would function. One can agree that the tenets of constitutionalism are reflected in the constitutional acts of Canada, but with the major functions and responsibilities passed on to provincial governments, it becomes rather hard at times to agree on the due authority responsible for enacting laws, provisions and protecting the rights of the individuals.