In a flexible constitution there is no distinction between ordinary law and constitutional law.
After Aristotle several other political thinkers have tried to classify the constitution. Among them the most scientific and acceptable to modern states is that of Leacock.
Modern constitutions are classified in the following manner.
1.Evolved and enacted constitutions.2.Written and unwritten constitutions.3.Rigid and flexible constitutions.
FLEXIBLE AND RIGID CONSTITUTION: Bryce has suggested that the classification of the constitution should be based on the method of amendment to the constitution and its relation to the ordinary or statutory law. Under this scheme there are two types of constitution.-flexible and rigid.
In a flexible constitution there is no distinction between ordinary law and constitutional law. Both the enacted in the same way and their source is also same. Constitution may be written or largely based on conventions.
They are amended in the same way. No special procedure is required for amending the ordinary or constitutional law. The constitution of Britain is a classic example of a flexible constitution. Parliament in Britain is sovereign.
There is no law which parliament cannot make. There is no law which parliament can not unmake and there is no law English constitution no marked or clear distinction between law, which are fundamental or constitutional, and laws, which are not. In Britain constitutional changes can be made by following the same way as an ordinary law is enacted. The courts have no authority of review. They cannot nullify any enactment of parliament.
Merits of a flexible constitution:
1. A flexible constitution can be amended with the same ease and facility with which ordinary laws are altered. It makes possible the adjustment of the constitution to the ne and the changing needs of the society.
2. A flexible constitution can easily adopt the needs of people with the change of time because of its elasticity. when the demands of people are fulfilled by the constitution there is hardly any change of revolution. It is theflexible character of the British constitution, which has saved Britain on so many occasions for the danger of revolution. The transfer from a monarchy to parliamentary system also was free from violence. Whereas France, which is very close to Britain experienced a revolution and so far five constitutions have been enacted because of revolutions and odd circumstances.
3. A flexible constitution is very useful for developing a country, because it is a great expression of its development. It does not hinder progress due to it's adaptability. At the same time it protects the basic principles of the constitution. A flexible constitution is based on the sound assumption of some socio-political change and premise that there cannot be a perfect constitution for all times, to tackle the socio-political changes.
4. Flexible constitution is moulded by the conventions of national life. It represents the historical continuity of the nation's life and incorporates within it the changes as and when the need arises. A flexible constitution can, thus, claim to feel the pulse of public opinion. It represents the minds of people. Judge Cooley had said that 'of all the constitutions, which may come into existence for the government of the people, the most excellent is obviously that which is the natural out growth of the national life, and which having grown and expanded as the nation has matured, is likely at any particular time to express the prevailing sentiment regarding government and the accepted principles of civil and political liberty.'
Demerits of a flexible constitution: 1. Due to its flexible nature the constitution keeps on changing. The constitution may be changed just to satisfy thpeople who are in majority ignoring the welfare of minority. It fails to provide a stable system in administration, which results in the poor performance of the government.
2. When the procedure of amendment is simple and easy, it is liable to be seriously affected by ever changing popular passion. And popular passions are guided by emotions, not by reasons. Decisions, which are based on emotions, not by reasons. Decisions, which are based on emotions, may disturb the harmony and balance of a nation. It may divide the society and there may be a possible threat to the integration of the nation itself. 3. Flexible constitution is not suitable for a federal system, because the rights of constituent units are not guaranteed due to flexible nature of the constitution. There are two possibilities if a federation is having flexible constitution. i The units may lose their independence and freedom and centre may become more powerful, which is against the spirit of federal system. ii The units may act very independently without respecting the constitution, as it is not stable.
4. As the constitution can be changed by following a simple procedure, there is no guarantee that fundamental rights will not be disturbed. Any government can very easily change the provision of fundamental rights or even may delete it from the constitution.
Study Material, Lecturing Notes, Assignment, Reference, Wiki description explanation, brief detail
11th 12th std standard Political Science History goverment rule laws life Higher secondary school College Notes : Flexible constitution : with Merits and Demerits |