What Constitutional Law Is?
Constitutional Law pertains to the account of fundamental laws of nation-states and other political associations. Thus, constitutions refer to the foundation and structure for government and could limit or characterize the power and system of political institutions to carry out new laws and policies (Chemerinsky, 2003).
Nevertheless, it is not the case that all nation-states have their codified constitutions, although all nation-states have a law of the land that could contain a multiplicity of necessary and consensual policies. These may include traditional law, statutory law, and international system and standards (Chemerinsky, 2003). A frequent mistake is to refer to nation-states, such as, the United Kingdom, as having a tacit constitution. In actual fact, the constitution is printed in an immense body of manuscripts, decrees and law reports, rather than being codified into a sole article, for an instance, the U. S. Constitution. But then again, some groups of people may be short of whichever constitution at all, for the reason that there is an absolute nonexistence of law and order. These are called as anarchies.
Constitutional laws could regularly be judged as rules concerning the making of rules of implemented authority (Chemerinsky, 2003). It directs and manages the affairs and interactions among the judiciary, the legislature, and the executive branches as well as other political institutions under its powers. One of the principal functions of constitutions contained in this framework is to specify levels and relationships of power. Such as, in a unitary state, the constitution will give decisive power in one fundamental administration and legislature, and judiciary, while there is a lot of delegation of power to municipal authorities (Chemerinsky, 2003). When a constitution ascertains a centralized state, it will recognize the several hierarchies of the government simultaneous with special or common areas of control over lawmaking, application, and enforcement.
The Non-feasibility of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is an Islamic religious kingdom wherein Islam is the only authorized religion. the law obliged that the general public in Saudi Arabia be Muslims (Teitelbaum, 2000). Freedom of religion is practically fictional. The government does not offer lawful respect or fortification for freedom of religion, and it is harshly constrained in practice (International Religious Freedom Report, 2002). The community performance of non-Muslim faith is outlawed. As a subject of policy, the government of Saudi Arabia secures and upholds the right to clandestine worship for all, as well as non-Muslims who congregate and assemble in homes for pious performance. nonetheless, this right is not constantly maintained in practice and is not definite in the law (Teitelbaum, 2000).
The exclusion of the freedom of religion makes the Universal Declaration of Rights or the UDHR not applicable in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia (International Religious Freedom Report, 2002). Tracing from the history, the Saudi Arabia were among the countries in the world which did not sign the UDHR covenant. The basic reason was that if Saudi would sign the UDHR , there would be a conflicting law that would arise upon the implementation of the laws derived from the UDHR (Donnelly, 2002).
The freedom of a person to choose his or her own religion, the freedom to practice his or her chosen religious faith is incorporated in the UDHR as part of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Donnelly, 2002). Yet, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a law on religion which is sated in their constitution therefore a constitutional law that states that all citizens of Saudi Arabia shall only have one religion and that is Islam (Jerichow, 1997). Hence there would be a conflict in the implementation and even in the drafting of law if UDHR would insist itself on Saudi Arabia.
Because of the strict implementation of law on religion and religious practices, Saudi Arabia has been questioned by its neighboring countries regarding its severe enforcement of law and its stand on the issue of freedom of religion (Jerichow, 1997). But still Saudi Arabia refuses to kneel down and surrender its current constitutional law on religion. Yet the government of Saudi expresses that it has law that protects the right of non-Muslims to practice their religious faith.
The government of Saudi Arabia has declared in public, together with the United Nations Committee on Human Rights, that its law on religion is directed towards the protection of the right of the non-Muslim people in Saudi Arabia to worship in private (Teitelbaum, 2000). On the other hand , non-Muslim associations have argued that there are no clear rule for making distinction between private and public worship, for an instance, the number of persons allowed to be present at religious practices and the kinds of place that are tolerable for the performance of their religious practices. Such lack of transparency , with the occurrences of subjective enforcement by the system , compels nearly every non-Muslim to practice their religious faith in such a way that would not be discovered by the authorities (Jerichow, 1997). Those arrested for non-Muslim worship roughly and constantly are exiled by authorities after extensive stages of detain throughout investigation. In various cases, they are also punished to be given lashes before the deportation (Teitelbaum, 2000).
Analysis of the Case
Still up to the present, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia declines to sign the UDHR. The chief reason for such refusal is founded on the idea that if Saudi would adopt the UDHR as standard for its law, the prior constitutional law on region – that which imposes Islam as the sole religion in the land and which compels non-Muslims practices to be performed in private places – would be violated by the government itself.
In the first place, Saudi Arabia, as well as other nation-states, has the right to say no to any mechanism that would limit its sovereignty (Jerichow, 1997). Hence, Saudi has a valid reason to refuse to adopt the UDHR.
Conversely, the UDHR requires holistic application (Donnelly, 2002). This means that it cannot be applied partially. Moreover the UN Commission on Human Rights has regularly decline the idea that would allow the Saudi Arabia to continue the implementation of its law on religion just to have the latter sign the UDHR.
To conclude, the constitutional law governs the way the government does its functions. It is a no-optional, absolute, and binding mechanism that makes the acts of the government legitimate. Constitutional law is composed of different laws which are aimed to serve the upholding of the rights of the people – both fundamental rights and constitutional rights (Chemerinsky, 2003). In the case of Saudi Arabia, it cannot afford to subscribe to a particular international standard in place of maintaining its prior constitutional law established by the state.