Importance of a Constitution
BY: CAITANYA DAS
Jan 01, 2018 MANCHESTER, ENGLAND (SUN)
Below we find written some meanings and importance of a constitution, many devotees may argue that ISKCON has its law book. But we can see in the last paragraph that a constitution has supremacy over enacted laws. It's also noted that if someone is acting outside a constitution, it can be considered that their actions are null and void. If a constitution is formed, our GBC would have to operate within specific given authority, and will not be able to act outside that authority without further amended additions,
In my talks with several devotees I find many do not, unfortunately, see the absolute importance of these matters, and how a solid constitution would prevent GBC and Presidents from leaving aside fundamental principles of practice and purpose that Srila Prabhupada established. I do hope that they come to see this as a solid foundation to enact the wishes of Srila Prabhupada.
Certainly this being established will make the GBC job easier, as currently they don't really know what to do or not to do, and certainly in the future things will not become more clear but the opposite, without this binding method, which may occasionally have to be verifiable by a judicial council, appointed by the GBC, but independent of them.
"Generally, every modern written constitution confers specific powers to an organization or institutional entity, established upon the primary condition that it abide by the said constitution's limitations. According to Scott Gordon, a political organization is constitutional to the extent that it "contain[s] institutionalized mechanisms of power control for the protection of the interests and liberties of the citizenry, including those that may be in the minority".
Activities of officials within an organization or polity that fall within the constitutional or statutory authority of those officials are termed "within power" (or, in Latin, intra vires); if they do not, they are termed "beyond power" (or, in Latin, ultra vires). For example, a students' union may be prohibited as an organization from engaging in activities not concerning students; if the union becomes involved in non-student activities, these activities are considered to be ultra vires of the union's charter, and nobody would be compelled by the charter to follow them. An example from the constitutional law of sovereign states would be a provincial parliament in a federal state trying to legislate in an area that the constitution allocates exclusively to the federal parliament, such as ratifying a treaty. Action that appears to be beyond power may be judicially reviewed and, if found to be beyond power, must cease. Legislation that is found to be beyond power will be "invalid" and of no force; this applies to primary legislation, requiring constitutional authorization, and secondary legislation, lordinarily requiring statutory authorization. In this context, "within power", intra vires, "authorized" and "valid" have the same meaning; as do "beyond power", ultra vires, "not authorized" and "invalid".
In most but not all modern states the constitution has supremacy over ordinary statutory law (see Uncodified constitution below); in such states when an official act is unconstitutional, i.e. it is not a power granted to the government by the constitution, that act is null and void, and the nullification is ab initio, that is, from inception, not from the date of the finding. It was never "law", even though, if it had been a statute or statutory provision, it might have been adopted according to the procedures for adopting legislation. Sometimes the problem is not that a statute is unconstitutional, but the application of it is, on a particular occasion, and a court may decide that while there are ways it could be applied that are constitutional, that instance was not allowed or legitimate. In such a case, only the application may be ruled unconstitutional. Historically, the remedy for such violations have been petitions for common law writs, such as quo warranto.