for example, the 14th Amendment to the American Constitution has been interpreted as protecting access to abortion and enshrining the right of same-sex couples to marry, even though neither of these is explicitly set out in the Constitution.
For example, the fact that a state adopts property laws that enable the rich to avoid paying their share of tax could be as constitutionally interesting as a bill of rights; it tells us something about the relationship between individuals and the state, the type of relationship which the state aspires to create between its members, and the values that the state seeks to pursue.
the written Constitution is never identical with its small ‘c’ counterpart.
The constitution constitutes the state, it establishes, empowers, and, in establishing and empowering, limits, state institutions.
the UK aspires to be a democratic state and is committed to providing a level of social support to its citizens; these objectives can also be said to be objectives of its constitution.
the integrative role of constitutions and their unifying function.
One of the things that constitutions attempt to do, and must succeed in doing to an extent, is to contain disagreement.
they accept that the decisions made by state institutions bind.
For a constitution to succeed in playing this integrative role, people must be prepared, on the whole, to submit to its rules and structures.
Where the constitution fails to play this integrative role, where its structures are not broadly accepted, disagreement will arise over the institutions of the state themselves with people declining to accept their decisions.
to unify the state
combining its various elements into a single system.
the written Constitution empowers and establishes the primary institutions of the state and these institutions, in turn, create more rules and institutions.
providing a clear statement of the fundamental rules of the state and an outline of its key institutions.
Individuals who wish to become citizens are presented with something akin to a contract
A written Constitution has the potential to mislead as much as to inform.8
a lack of clarity may sometimes help constitutions succeed in this function.
Could the UK produce a written Constitution without choosing between a monarchy and a republic? Could it avoid addressing the question of federalism and, if so, would it be required to answer the difficult question of a parliament for England?
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