Difference Between Written and Unwritten Constitution

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 19, 2022, 11:33

The Indian Constitution is a powerful and historical legacy of India's freedom struggle. It was drafted by the Constituent Assembly, a specially elected body of representatives elected from the provinces of British India. The Constituent Assembly adopted it on November 26, 1949, in New Delhi, and it went into effect on January 26, 1950. In three phases, the Constituent Assembly worked on the Constitution for nearly three years. Read Difference Between Written and Unwritten Constitution.

The Constitution of India is an uncodified or partly codified constitution. It is the longest written constitution of any sovereign country in the world. It has been amended by the Constitution (Forty-fourth Amendment) Act, 1978, which inserted two Articles, namely Article 31C and Article 31D, in the Constitution. The Constitution of India has several provisions with regard to the Fundamental Rights, the Directive Principles of State Policy, and the Basic Structure of the Constitution.

What is a Written Constitution?

As a nation of diverse cultures, India is one of the few countries in the world which has a written constitution. This document is one of the most important and the most revered constitutions in the world. Free speech is one of the most important areas of any constitution, and India is no different.

The Indian Constitution not only protects the freedom of speech in the media but also gives people the right to protest in public, speak out against the government, and criticize other people and groups. The Constitution provides for religious freedom for all the citizens of India regardless of their caste, creed, or gender. It also guarantees equal opportunities and equal rights for everyone.

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What is an Unwritten Constitution?

An unwritten constitution is considered to be adopted when the fundamental principles of a constitution are developed through customs and conventions. However, it has not been formally enacted as a written document. It is also referred to as a deep Constitution or living Constitution.

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Difference Between Written and Unwritten Constitution

Here is the Difference Between Written and Unwritten Constitution -

Written Constitution

Unwritten Constitution

The constitution has supreme rights over the affairs of the state and the nation.The parliament has supreme rights.
Cohesive in nature and can be referred to when in doubt.It is unstructured.
The Constitution of San Marino is the world's oldest written constitution.Magna Carta is the oldest unwritten constitution.
Ideal for democracyIdeal for Monarchy
Brazil, Australia, India, France, and the USA are some countries with a well-drafted written constitution.UK, New Zealand, and Israel have unwritten constitutions.

When it comes to the Difference Between Written and Unwritten Constitution, both constitutions have their own importance. It is said that the written constitution is the country’s supreme law. Whereas, the unwritten constitution is referred to as the set of customs, rules, and traditions.

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FAQs on the Difference Between Written and Unwritten Constitution

Q.1. With regards to the Difference Between Written and Unwritten Constitutions, Which Country has the oldest Written Constitution?

With regards to the Difference Between Written and Unwritten Constitutions, The United Kingdom (UK) is the country with the oldest written constitution in the world. It is referred to as the Constitution of the United Kingdom and was adopted in 1947. It has gone through several changes throughout its history, and the current one is the basic law of the land.

The Constitution of the United Kingdom covers the political and legal structures of the UK. It establishes the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary. The document also describes the rights of the citizens and the relationship between the government and the nations of the UK.

Q.2. In the context of the Difference Between Written and Unwritten Constitution, Which Country Has the Longest Constitution?

In the context of the Difference Between Written and Unwritten Constitution, The Canadian Constitution is the longest continuously operating constitution in the world. It was formally enacted on April 17, 1982, and is the supreme law of Canada. It consists of written text and unwritten traditions, so no one actually knows the exact length of its constitution. The preamble of the constitution is actually three times the length of the Constitution itself, it's preamble is 1,026 words long, while the Constitution is only 1,869 words long.

Q.3. Keeping in mind the Difference Between Written and Unwritten Constitution, which Countries Adopted the UK's Constitution?

Keeping in mind the Difference Between Written and Unwritten Constitution, The United Kingdom's Constitution is a very old one that was established during the period of enlightenment. The nation has been adopting some of the laws and principles of the Constitution since it was written. The UK's Constitution and law-making quickly influenced many countries.

It should be known that there are countries that still follow the United Kingdom's Constitution, especially the former British colonies. Some of the countries that adopted the UK's Constitution were Australia, Canada, India, and New Zealand.

Q.4. Which Countries Have Unwritten Constitutions, when considering the Difference Between Written and Unwritten Constitution?

Ireland, New Zealand, and Myanmar have no written constitution. These countries are not the only ones. There are many other countries in the world which do not have a written constitution, when considering the Difference Between Written and Unwritten Constitution.