1.1.3 Constitutions as symbols and manifestos, and as legal rules

A constitution has several dimensions. A distinguished authority on constitutions, the late Professor Kenneth Wheare, drew a distinction between those who regard a constitution as primarily and almost exclusively a legal document in which, therefore, there is place only for rules of law and for practically nothing else, and those who think of a constitution as a sort of manifesto, a confession of faith, a statement of ideals, a “charter of the land” (Wheare 1966). Since he wrote this in 1966, the debate over the proper function of constitutions has intensified.