We explain what constitutional law is and why it is important. Origin, branches and examples of constitutional law.
What is constitutional law?
Constitutional Laws or Political Laws is a branch of Public Laws dedicated to the study of the fundamental precepts (principles, concepts and laws) that determine the existence and operation of a national State , normally established in the content of a National Constitution or Magna Carta.
Constitutional Law is also interested in what refers to the possible forms of State and also of Government , and especially in the regulation of public powers , the links they establish with citizenship and the fundamental rights that individuals grants the legal framework of a State.
In conclusion, its main objective is the maintenance of the rule of laws and the fundamental laws of the human being . For this, it generally proposes the division and autonomy of the Public Powers , which fulfill the functions of limitation and reciprocal surveillance, as well as the national sovereignty of the national States, which give their respective constitutional texts the last word in legal matters, and not the interests of other more powerful nations.
Since the legal regulations governing public life are found in the National Constitution of a country , constitutional laws normally aims to comply with the provisions of this document. For this, it has different judicial bodies , responsible for the interpretation and application of constitutional laws, such as certain rooms of the Supreme Courts of Justice (called Constitutional Chambers).
Origin and history of constitutional law
The existence of Constitutional Law as an autonomous legal discipline could not exist, as is evident, before modern constitutions appeared, as common legal agreements to govern the life of a nation state. Therefore, his birth generally coincides with that of the British Constitution of the 18th century , widely studied by the Baron de Montesquieu, one of the most important writers and jurists of the French Enlightenment .
That does not mean that there was no historical background. In classical antiquity there were the fundamental laws of Ancient Greece, studied by philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato, who distinguished them from the other laws in their treaties. Likewise, during the Roman Empire, the Roman Constitutio was signed in 824 between King Lothair I of Italy, co-promoter with his father Luis the Pious since 817, and Pope Eugene II, stabilizing the power struggle between the Empire and the Papacy.
Importance of constitutional law
Constitutional Law is extremely important, as it establishes a limit for governments , restricting the powers provided by political power and forcing it to adapt to the legal regulations written in the Magna Carta. No transitory power, however majority, should be able to contravene the Constitution itself, and in that the Constitutional Laws plays a key role.
Therefore, this branch of laws guarantees the rights of the people , defending their interests from the will of the governmental power, establishing the requisites and control mechanisms necessary to modify any content of the Magna Carta.
Branches of constitutional law
According to its study procedures, Constitutional Laws can be classified into four types or branches:
- Classic Constitutional Law . It focuses on the theoretical debate of the Magna Carta, using the positive method.
- Comparative Constitutional Law . Make a comparison of the different possible constitutional texts and their modes of application, highlighting differences, similarities and contrasts.
- General Constitutional Law . It is concerned with the ideology and concepts of legal thought around the Constitution, that is, the abstract matter of it.
- National Constitutional Law . It deals with the historical perspective: the specific legal cases of the constitutional history of a nation or of all nations.
Examples of constitutional law
Any national Constitution is a clear example of the interests of Constitutional Law. So are the debates of the Constitutional Chambers of the Supreme Courts of Justice , which determine whether an action, a decision or a measure taken by any public authority respects or perhaps violates the provisions of the Magna Carta.
In fact, when some law or set of laws explicit in the Constitution are not clear or lend themselves to the need for any interpretation, it is the instances of Constitutional Law that are responsible for doing so.