What are the merits and demits of Unwritten Constitution?

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Merits of Unwritten Constitution:

1. Adjustability and Adaptability:

The great merit of an unwritten constitution lies in its adjustment and adaptability. It can be changed in accordance with the changing social, political and economic needs of society.

2. Flexibility:

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Countries having unwritten constitutions are not susceptible to revolutions and political upheavals because there is a lot of flexibility in the working of the government.

Demerits of Unwritten Constitution:

1. Indefinite:

An unwritten constitution is neither well defined nor precise. Powers of the different organs of government are not clearly defined. There is, therefore, every chance of an abuse of authority. Moreover, an unwritten constitution is vague and uncertain. Several complications may, therefore, arise at the time of a crisis.

2. Fundamental Rights Undefined:

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In an unwritten constitution fundamental rights of the people cannot be clearly defined and hence there is no guarantee of individual liberty.

3. Unsuitable in a Federation:

An unwritten constitution is quite unsuitable for a federation since constitutional division of powers be­tween the federal centre and the federating units is not possible.

However, these are theoretical considerations. No constitution is less or more effective in protecting rights and privileges of people or providing for stability and flexibility.

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The constitution has been as much respected in England as in the U.S.A. and both have provided flexibility for the needed change and growth. No country has suffered because of the constitutional obstructions to achieve the social or economic progress at any time.

It is the political consciousness and maturity that leads to a successful working of constitution rather than its written or unwritten character. The fundamental rights in Britain are no less secure than they are in the U.S.A. even though these are not put down precisely in a separate document.

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