The 6-Rs of Constitutions

by Elias Blum

Here’s a handy alliterative aide memoire for the functional elements of constitutions.

I call it the 6-Rs.

1. Representation and referendums (franchise, electoral systems, terms of office, direct democracy provisions).

2. Relationships and responsibility (how institutions of govt interact, separation of powers, checks and balances etc).

3. Rights (human rights and enforcement mechanisms).

4. Recognition, religion and respect (national identity, language, church-state relations, status of minorities etc).

5. Regions (sub-national govt, federalism, localism).

6. Reform (how the constitution can be amended).