What is a Constitution?


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What is a Constitution?

If you Google the phrase ‘What is a Constitution?’, you’ll probably get a result that says something like, “a Constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed.

Uhhhh, thanks Wikipedia, but what does that actually mean?

Basically, a Constitution is a list of human rights and guidelines that sit at the heart of a country and tells us about how citizens of that country should interact with their government and with one another.

A Constitution tells us about that country, and the rights included in a Constitution often tell us a lot about that country’s history and past struggles.

Some people say that a Constitution is like a recipe for a successful nation: the rules of the Constitution are the ingredients, and when cooking it is always recommended you follow the recipe to get the best results! Not having a recipe… well, that’s a recipe for disaster.

Do all countries have a Constitution?

Not all countries have a Constitution that is written down, but every country will have a set of principles that underpin the law in that country. Some countries, like South Africa have a written Constitution which brings all the rights and guidelines of the country into one document, while others, such as the United Kingdom and New Zealand have ‘unwritten’ Constitutions which means that their countries rules are found in lots of documents and not just one.

South Africa’s Constitution

South Africa’s Constitution is incredibly important and very special as it not only marks the end of Apartheid and the beginning of our free and fair rainbow nation, but it is also considered one of the most progressive Constitutions in the world. You can find out more about South Africa’s Constitution by clicking here.