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In this context, "within power", intra vires, "authorized" and "valid" have the same meaning; as do "beyond power", ultra vires, "not authorized" and "invalid".In most but not all modern states the constitution has supremacy over ordinary statutory law (see Uncodified constitution below); in such states when an official act is unconstitutional, i.e.
Some of the better-known ancient law codes include the code of Lipit-Ishtar of Isin, the code of Hammurabi of Babylonia, the Hittite code, the Assyrian code and Mosaic law.
In 621 BC, a scribe named Draco codified the cruel oral laws of the city-state of Athens; this code prescribed the death penalty for many offences (nowadays very severe rules are often called "Draconian").
A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity, and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed.
When these principles are written down into a single document or set of legal documents, those documents may be said to embody a written constitution; if they are written down in a single comprehensive document, it is said to embody a codified constitution.
The most basic definition he used to describe a constitution in general terms was "the arrangement of the offices in a state".
In his works Constitution of Athens, Politics, and Nicomachean Ethics he explores different constitutions of his day, including those of Athens, Sparta, and Carthage.Later, the term was widely used in canon law for an important determination, especially a decree issued by the Pope, now referred to as an apostolic constitution.Generally, every modern written constitution confers specific powers on an organization or institutional entity, established upon the primary condition that it abides by the constitution's limitations.Some constitutions (such as the constitution of the United Kingdom) are uncodified, but written in numerous fundamental Acts of a legislature, court cases or treaties.Constitutions concern different levels of organizations, from sovereign countries to companies and unincorporated associations.According to Scott Gordon, a political organization is constitutional to the extent that it "contain[s] institutionalized mechanisms of power control for the protection of the interests and liberties of the citizenry, including those that may be in the minority".Activities of officials within an organization or polity that fall within the constitutional or statutory authority of those officials are termed "within power" (or, in Latin, intra vires); if they do not, they are termed "beyond power" (or, in Latin, ultra vires).Sometimes the problem is not that a statute is unconstitutional, but that the application of it is, on a particular occasion, and a court may decide that while there are ways it could be applied that are constitutional, that instance was not allowed or legitimate.In such a case, only that application may be ruled unconstitutional.He classified both what he regarded as good and what he regarded as bad constitutions, and came to the conclusion that the best constitution was a mixed system, including monarchic, aristocratic, and democratic elements.He also distinguished between citizens, who had the right to participate in the state, and non-citizens and slaves, who did not.