Constitution and its Functions as well as Types

Constitution and its Functions as well as Types
A country that adheres to constitutionalism is a state system that makes the constitution the embodiment of the highest law. Indonesia is a country that adheres to this understanding. As stated in the 1945 Constitution, article 1 paragraph 2, which states that sovereignty is in the hands of the people and is implemented according to the Constitution.

Constitutionalism can be defined as an ideology that adheres to the principle that the highest embodiment of law that must be obeyed by all components of the state, including the people and government, is the constitution. Constitutionalism can be used as an integral component of a country that adheres to a democratic system. This is the basis on which a democratic government system would not be possible without the implementation of constitutionalism as the embodiment of the highest law.

So, this article will discuss the meaning of the constitution thoroughly and in detail. The following is the meaning of the constitution that you need to understand, namely:

A. Definition of Constitution

In a paper published by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia with the title “Constitution and Constitutionalism”, Professor of Legislation from Andalas University, Professor Yuliandri, stated that constitution and constitutionalism are two forms of words that are related and can confirm each other’s existence.

Constitutionalism itself is an ideology that really needs to be maintained through the formation of a constitution. It is the same as that the constitution is a means so that the understanding of constitutionalism can be implemented in a country.

Professor Yuliandri explains in the book that the word constitution is a word that comes from French, namely constituer, which means to form. The word constituent itself means the formation of a country. Therefore, the constitution has a position as a form of supreme law. The constitution itself can be formed from the thoughts of the founding fathers of the country.

In the Indonesian state system, the founding fathers formed the 1945 Constitution as the Indonesian state constitution. The 1945 Constitution was the result of an agreement by the founders of the Republic of Indonesia who came from various regional backgrounds and various scientific disciplines. The 1945 Constitution can be said to have been born through a democratic mechanism with compromise from all parties.

Still quoting Professor Yuliandri’s opinion, the constitution contains basic provisions regarding institutions and powers that wish to carry out formal aspects or what is usually called state authority. Not only that, the constitution also contains basic provisions regarding powers and institutions related to guarantees for material aspects or human rights.

Now, after understanding the explanation above, in simple terms, the definition of a constitution can be understood as a basic law that can be used as a guideline in carrying out the implementation of state government. Next, we will discuss the meaning of the constitution according to the terms of a number of experts, as follows:

1. Understanding the Constitution according to LJ van Apeldoor

The Constitution is a basic law that includes basic laws such as written basic laws to unwritten basic laws or what are usually called conventions.

2. Understanding the Constitution according to ECS Wade

The constitution is a text that is able to explain the framework and main tasks of a state government body as well as determine various points in the work guidelines of that body.

3. Understanding the Constitution According to Jimly Asshidiqie

The Constitution is a Basic Law which is included in the legal hierarchy and occupies the highest position and has fundamental characteristics, so that the making of various kinds of regulations under it must not conflict with the Constitution.

4. Understanding the Constitution according to Miriam Budiarjo

The constitution is a charter that contains a statement about the ideals of a nation and is the basis of a nation’s organization.

5. Understanding the Constitution according to KC, Wheare

Wheare expressed the opinion that a constitution is a whole system of state administration in a remote area in the form of a collection of various styles for forming and managing the government of a country.

6. Understanding the Constitution according to Herman Heller

According to Herman Heller, the constitution can be divided into three meanings, namely:

  1. Sociological political constitution, namely a constitution that is a reflection of the political life of the population.
    b. A yur idis constitution , namely a constitution which is a unity of rules that live in society.
    c. A political constitution, namely a constitution that can be translated into written form and contained in one of the texts as a law.

7. Understanding the Constitution According to F. Lassalle

There are two meanings of constitution according to F. Lasalle, including:

  1. Juridically, a constitution is a text that contains various kinds of buildings and various types of government in a country.
  2. Sociologically and politically, a constitution is a synthesis or final result of various factors that occur in a society. The constitution is an explanation of the relationship between the powers that be in a country, namely the cabinet, parliament, political parties, king, prime minister, and so on.

Based on various opinions from experts that have been presented previously, it can be concluded that the constitution has two meanings, namely in a narrow sense and in a broad sense.

First, in a narrow sense, the definition of a constitution is that the Constitution is a written basic law. The 1945 Constitution itself is a document that contains all the basic rules and provisions of a country’s constitutional system.

Second, in a broad sense, it can be concluded that the definition of a constitution is a totality of basic rules and provisions, both from basic law which includes written basic law to unwritten basic law. The constitution also regulates a system of government that has been implemented in a country.

B. Types of Constitutions and Examples of Constitutions in Indonesia

In general, constitutions have 2 types based on their form. The two types of constitution are a written constitution and an unwritten constitution.

Based on the Class VII Citizenship Education Module published by the Ministry of Education and Culture in 2017, it explains 2 types of constitutions along with examples, as follows:

1. Written Constitution

A written constitution is a set of basic basic rules of the state, state buildings and state administration that regulate the life of a nation within the legal framework of the state.

The following are several examples of written constitutions that have been used by the Indonesian state, including:

  1. 1945 Constitution
    b. RISc Constitution. Interim Constitutiond. 1945 Constitution Results of Amendments

2. Unwritten Constitution

An unwritten constitution can also be called a convention. Convention itself has the meaning of a customary system of state administration that often exists in a country.

The following are several examples of written constitutions that have been used by the Indonesian state, including:

  1. Decisions at the MPR are taken and decided based on deliberation and consensus.
    b. The President’s speech at the DPR plenary session every August 16 1945, and the President’s speech before the MPR held a session. The President as head of state has prepared materials for the upcoming MPR general session.
    c. Customs

C. Function of the Constitution

In his work, CF Strong argues that basically the principle of the function of the constitution is as something that limits the government’s authority to act. Not only that, the function of the constitution is to guarantee the rights of those who are governed as well as formulate the implementation of sovereign power.

1. General Functions of the Constitution

In general, the constitution has several functions, including:

  1. The constitution functions to provide limitations on the power of a government to prevent a government acting arbitrarily so that the rights of citizens can be guaranteed, protected and channeled.
  2. The constitution has a function as a charter for the birth of a country
  3. The Constitution has a function as the highest source of law
  4. The constitution has a function as a tool to limit the power of a government
  5. The constitution has a function as a national identity and state symbol
  6. The Constitution has a function as a way to provide protection for human rights as well as guarantee freedom for the citizens of a country.

2. Function of the Constitution According to Jimly Asshidiqie

Not only the opinion of CJ Strong, Jimly Asshidiqie as chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia for the period 2003 to 2008 also expressed his opinion about the constitution. According to Professor Jimly Asshidiqie, there is 1 constitutional function for a country. The following are 10 constitutional functions that you need to know, including:

  1. The constitution can function as a determinant and limiter of the power of a state organ
    b. The constitution has a function as a regulator of power relations between state organs. The constitution has a function as a regulator of power relations between state organs and the people of that country. The constitution has a function as a provider or source of legitimacy for state power or state power administration activities
    e. The constitution has the function of channeling or transferring the authority of the people or as a genuine source of power to state organs
    f. The Constitution has a symbolic function for unifying efforts. The Constitution has a symbolic function to become a reference for national identity and greatness. The constitution has a symbolic function to become the center of the ceremony
    i. The constitution has a function as a means of controlling society. Both in a narrow sense only in the political field and in a broader sense that includes the social and economic fields, the Constitution has a function as a means of engineering and renewing society. Both in the narrow sense and in the broad sense

D. Purpose of the Constitution

Apart from the constitutional functions above, the constitution also has objectives that are important to know. The following are the three objectives of the constitution in brief, including:

  1. The Constitution aims to provide limitations and supervision of political power. This goal serves to limit the power of the authorities so that they do not take actions that are detrimental to society at large.
  2. The Constitution aims to release control of power from self-control. It can also provide protection for human rights (HAM), so that with the existence of a constitution, every ruler and society is obliged to respect human rights and has the right to receive protection in exercising their rights.
  3. The Constitution aims to provide regulatory limits for rulers in exercising their power. Apart from providing limitations for rulers in exercising their power, this also aims to provide guidelines for state administrators so that the state can stand firmly.
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