By Graham Hassall
This ebook analyzes the formal constitutional adjustments that experience lately taken position within the Asia-Pacific area, embracing the nations of East and South East Asia and the Pacific Island states. In analyzing different constitutional structures within the zone, it asks a number of key questions: What constitutional preparations function within the quarter and the way can their primary modifications be defined? How do social, political and financial components restrict the effectiveness of the prevailing structure? What classes are received for the perform of constitutionalism in different places?
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Additional resources for Asia-Pacific Constitutional Systems
Clan holdings were clearly known and could be temporarily, but not permanently, alienated. Land holding was patrilineal in West Ambai and matrilocal in East Ambai and North Pentecost. 20 Colonisation in Southeast Asia From the seventeenth century into the nineteenth, Europeans came to Asia and the Pacific in search of wealth and expansion of empire. The French, Portuguese, British, Dutch, Spanish and Americans exerted their influence, not only imposing colonial rule but also establishing such infrastructure as roads and railways, and elaborating new regimes of taxation and administration.
Can any and all actions by the possessors of state power be regarded as 'constitutional' provided that they occur under the pretext of one or other law? Even the most controlled society in Asia, North Korea, has made efforts to conduct its state business by 'constitutional' means. Such efforts notwithstanding, we suggest that a 'constitutional' state has both a legal form and an accompanying 34 Modernity and Nation-States set of public values with which the legal form is in accord. Actors in non-constitutional states dismiss the pre-political claims to legitimacy by either the individual or the community, and exercise power in their own interests rather than the interests of 'the people', however conceived.
The possessors of state power take responsibility for correcting the inequalities between rich and poor that emerged through histories of class struggle. Socialist constitutions thus accord the state a more extensive role than the individual in the allocation of goods in society. Communist states, which are also in a sense 'law-based', derive their law from a legislature that is not representative of the people but of the Communist Party, acting as the 'vanguard of the people'. In the People's Republic of China, for instance, the State Council is the executive body of the highest organ of state power.
Asia-Pacific Constitutional Systems by Graham Hassall