A Look at Constitutions of Developed Nations

Dishant Sharma[1]

The constitution of India is the longest constitution of the world it has 395 articles and 268-page s. It was adopted by the parliament on 26th November 1949 and came into force on 26th January 1950. The main features of Indian Constitution Are Democracy, Secularism, Fundamental rights and duties, Directive principles of state policy, judicial review, Single citizenship and Writ jurisdiction. The team enacting the constitution of India before enactment took ideas from different constitutions around the globe such as France, Britain, South Africa, Australia, Canada, United States and Ireland. The constitution of India is perfectly enacted for a diverse and dense nation like India, however everything has some flaws which can only be filled by improvements. This Essay will discuss various constitutions around the world and their features which can be included in The Indian Constitution.

The United States of America

The United States is a federal union of states where various states came forward collectively and agreed to form a union of states to be called as United States of America. The constitution of U.S.A came in force in 1789. Congress is the highest authority in America, Article 2 and 3 of the constitution establishes House of Representatives and senates in congress. The members of senate and house are elected from each state as prescribed in the constitution, the term of members of house is 5 years and that for senate is 6 years. Electorates are elected equal to the number of senates who have two votes for president, the person with highest votes is chosen as president. India took fundamental rights, judicial review and preamble of the constitution from America. Other good provisions of constitution of America is, President has the absolute power which makes him empowered to work efficiently, There is no party system in America and there is only one party which is congress that makes ministers more responsible towards work and reduces unnecessary stress, article 10 contains provision regarding import and export duties which is a major miss in the constitution of India, Article 9 Contains a provision according to which state is directed to publish the annual expenditure report so that people can get know about the commodities the government is spending that brings transparency.

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Australia

The constitution of Australia came into force in year 1901. Australia has parliament as legislative body, Government as executive and courts as judiciary. The parliament of Australia is formed of senate, House of representative and commonwealth parliament. All of them are under the rule of Queen as Australia practice monarchy, queen has appointed governor general to work in place of her. Governor General is the highest authority after the queen and has powers such as law making, execution, foreign affairs, trade policies, military etc. The members of senate and house are selected by form of fair election carried throughput state in which people vote for them. The features adopted by the constitution of India from the Constitution of Australia are Concurrent List, Joint meeting of both houses and freedom of trade and commerce. Australian constitution have also other good features such as, Article 44 lay down the disqualifications for the members of both house and senate as it clearly states that no person who has been charged or sentenced with an offence punishable for more than one year can  be elected as a member of house or senate and so is the case with bankrupts, also if any person is disqualified under article 44 and still holds the seat of a minister then that person is liable to pay 100 pounds per day when sued.

Canada

Canadian constitution came in force on 29th march 1867. Canada also is under rule of queen as it practices monarchy, queen has appointed Governor General to act accordingly or on part of the Queen. To advice queen and Governor General a privy council has been established whose members are elected by the Governor General. All of the powers such as legislative and executive powers are to be exercised by the Governor General, Governor General may appoint any number of employees for execution of his duties, all judicial, legislative and executive appointments are to be made by the Governor General. The command of army is with governor general. Features taken from Canadian constitution by the Constitution of India are residuary powers with centre, appointment of governor by centre, advisory jurisdiction. Although it also has other beneficial feature too, Canadian Constitution gives Governor General Power to make laws regarding Immigration which is not available in Indian Constitution and can be included to make provisions regarding illegal immigrants in India. International trade regarding import and export has also been mentioned in the Constitution of Canada which states that the Governor General shall make laws to increase trade via import and export in the state. It also mentions criminal rights and procedure of arrest and detention in the Constitution which is not in Indian Constitution and should be included as these are part of basic knowledge.

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China

The preamble of china is big and is written on 2 pages, it contains the history of republic of china and the struggles and efforts it took to make china Independent. The preamble of constitution of People’s Republic of China states the morals on which Chinese government is established. China is a socialist state and follows the principle of dictatorship led by working class people. Chinese government is elected by people every 5 years who then is responsible for making policies, carrying out trade and finance across nation and growing economy of the nation. All the property of city belongs to Chinese government. Property outside city is partially governments and peoples. Features that can be adopted from china are, Article 25 makes provision regarding family planning and it states that government can make provision regarding family planning to control population which is also necessary for second most dense nation India, State is responsible to raise labor standards by making them qualified according to demands of time to increase productivity and economy of the nation, China supports freedom of speech under article 35 and no person can be charged or inquired into anything said publicly, The Chinese constitution also contains right to do rest with right to work in article 43 as it is necessary for workers to get proper rest. Such things can be adopted from China.

Japan

The constitution of Japan came into force on 3rd May 1947. The constitution of Japan makes people sovereign as government derives its powers from the people. The preamble of the constitution of japan rejects any kind of war and is concise about the high ideals that controls human relationships and promotes peace while rejecting slavery, oppression and intolerance. The head of Japan is Emperor who derives powers from people but is not a dictator, even bills passed by the Emperor requires approval from cabinet. Japan offers some needed rights to its people.

  • Freedom of speech and non-violation of secrecy from any kind of communication under article 21.
  • Right to work is given to people along with right to rest also with standards of working hours.
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All of these are controlled by diet formed by collection of House of Representatives and councillors.

Republic of Korea

The Constitution of Republic of Korea was adopted in year 19. The Korean government is elected by voting of democratic republic. The head of the nation is Prime minister. The Korean Constitution Includes provisions regarding criminal laws which explains the basic criminal rights starting from Article 12. Article 22 protects the rights of inventors, Scientists, authors, Engineers and Artist. Article 30 gives aid to citizens suffering bodily injury which should be include in the constitution of India as fundamental right along with right to life. Article 31 gives free compulsory education to individuals. Article 34 gives protection to disabled person. Article 35 ensures comfortable housing to all of the citizens by various housing schemes. Article 36 protects the mothers and health of all citizens shall be protected by state. Article 37 gives that if any right is not present in constitution then it shall not be restricted and should be granted on basis of human principles. These fundamental rights are important and are basic human rights it shall be include in the Constitution of India.

Conclusion

The Indian Constitution is enacted keeping in mind that Indian is a diverse nation so no one’s rights are not violated so a drastic change in the Constitution is unneeded and almost impossible which can lead to failure of law making and executing body, but some amendments regarding qualification of ministers, Fundamental rights of people, transparency in government, foreign trade and human rights can be made as discussed above. The constitution of India can improve more by adapting some alterations although it still is one of the best constitutions of the world.


[1] Student (B.A.Ll. B 5th Year), Government Mohindra College Of Law Patiala.