Definition of Rigid Constitution
- Rigid constitutions are defined as such because at least some part of the constitution cannot be modified by the same procedures used to enact statutory law.
- According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the U.S. Constitution is rigid because an amendment requires super-majorities at both the proposal and ratification stages. The constitutions of Switzerland, Japan, Germany and the Irish Free State are other examples of rigid constitutions.
- Rigid constitutions help establish controls that ensure the "conformity" of legislation, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.
- Some people mistake "rigid constitution" to mean that the constitution cannot be changed. The U.S. Constitution has been amended 27 times, including the first 10 amendments known as the Bill of Rights.
- In contrast to a rigid constitution is the flexible or unwritten constitution. The United Kingdom does not have a written constitution, only a set of documents that make up the laws. Parliament changes the unwritten constitution by passing new Acts of Parliament.