This is the major pillar of democracy. The existence of democracy is not meaningful without the constitution. In the constitution are the written/fixed laws/rules, customs/traditions and principles by which a country is governed.

Therefore, the constitution is the stronghold of democracy.

Constitution can be defined as a body of rules, regulations and principles by which a people, state or country is governed. The constitution states how laws should be made, and how they should be carried out and defines the rights of citizens.


1. Customs, traditions and conventions: These are ancient precepts, which have gained general acceptance by previous rulers.

2. Constitutional conferences: These are decisions of national conferences usually attended by major political leaders and other leaders of thought and traditional rulers.

3. Legislation/Judicial precedents and precepts: Important acts of the parliament and that of the judiciary also form the precedents upon which a constitution can be built.

4. Historical Origin and Past Experiences: The historical antecedents of a people also help to determine a country’s constitution.

5. Intellectual Works: Opinions expressed by intellectuals like the late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe are often crystallized to form a major source of reference when drawing up a constitution.

6. The Customary Laws/native laws: The customs of a people could equally be considered when writing a constitution.

7. Charters: Charters are usually not written as laws but are written in separate documents and later referred to as parts of the constitution. Examples abound in Britain. For instance, the Magna Charter (1215) and the petitions of Rights (1628).

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