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法律英語閱讀與翻譯教程(9)

2. 法典化的憲法與非法典化的憲法 

2.Codified Constitution and Uncodified Constitution
(1)法典化的憲法
Codified constitution
   世界上大多數國家有法典化的憲法(成文憲法)。法典化的憲法通常是某種巨大政治變革(比如革命)的產物。任何國家采納一部憲法的過程均與推動此等巨大變革的歷史和政治背景緊密相連。擁有法典化憲法的國家通常 會賦予憲法超越普通制定法的最高效力。換言之,如果一部制定法和法典化的憲法之間存在著沖突,該制定法的全部或部分內容可以被法院宣布為超越權限,并被認定為違憲。在美國,聯邦最高法院對《憲法》有最終解釋權,并有權力對聯邦政府其他兩個部們、州的各部門及其他政府機構的行為的合憲性作出裁決。通過對《憲法》含義進行詳盡的司法解釋,最高法院可擴大或者限制總統和國會的權力。最高法院如此賦予《憲法》生命,使其成為一部隨著國家的變化而變化的“活的”文件。
   Most states in the world have codified constitutions(also known as written constitutions). Codified constitutions are often the product of some dramatic political change, such as a revolution. The process by which a country adopts a constitution is closely tied to the historical and political context driving this fundamental change. States that have codified constitutions normally give the constitution supremacy over ordinary statute law. That is, if there is any conflict between a statute and the codified constitution, all or part of the statute can be declared ultra vires by a court, and struck down as unconstitutional. In the United States, the Supreme Court is the final interpreter of the Constitution and has the power to rule on the constitutionality of the actions of the other two branches of government as well as those of the states and other governmental entities. Through judicial elaboration of the meaning of the Constitution, the Court can broaden or limit the powers of the president and the Congress. In so doing, the Court breaths life into the Constitution, making it a “living” document that changes as the nation changes.
   法典化的憲法通常由以下幾個部分組成:序言(主要規定國家的目標和制定憲法的目的)和正文(若干條5 實體條文)。在一些憲法中,序言部分可能會被省略。序言也可能提及上帝,兼及國家的自由、民主或者人權等基本價值觀。
   Codified constitutions normally consist of a preamble, which sets forth the goals of the state and the motivation for the constitution, and several articles containing the substantive provisions. The preamble, which is omitted in some constitutions, may contain a reference to God and/or to fundamental values of the state such as liberty,democracy or human rights.
  (2)非法典化的憲法
   截至2010年,至少以色列、新西蘭和英國等三個國家是非法典化憲法的國家。非法典化憲法(不成文憲法)是法律和傳統在數個世紀內“進化”的產物。與法典化的憲法不同,非法典化的憲法包括成文的淵源(如議會頒布的憲法性制定法)、不成文的淵源(如憲法性傳統,先例、王室特權,習慣和傳統等的遵守)。在不列顛帝國時期,樞密院的司法委員會是很多英國殖民地(如擁有聯邦憲法的加拿大 和澳大利亞)的憲法法院。
Uncodified constitution
   As of 2010 at least three states have uncodified constitutions:Israel, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Uncodified constitutions(also known as unwritten constitutions) are the product of an “evolution” of laws and conventions over centuries. By contrast to codified constitutions, uncodified constitutions include written sources like constitutional statutes enacted by the Parliament and also unwritten sources,such as constitutional conventions, observation of precedents, royal prerogatives, custom and tradition. In the ways of the British Empire, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council acted as the constitutional court for many of the British Colonies such as Canada and Australia which had federal constitutions.
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