What is Constituent?

Constituent is a term that derives from Latin, as it is the result of the union of several components of that language: the prefix “with”, which is equivalent to “together” or “all”; the verb “statuare”, which is synonymous with “establish”; the suffix “-ente”, which can be translated as “agent” or “the one who performs the action”.

Constituent is a word that, according to the context and its use, can appear as an adjective or as a noun. It is qualified as constituent to that or that which composes, fixes or forms something.

For example: “Ceramics is the main constituent of this artistic work, which also includes wood, stone and dry leaves”, “Tomorrow the constituent convention promoted by the ruling party will begin”, “I am a constituent member of this board of directors and not I’m going to let them ignore my opinion ”.

Constituent power is known as that which has the power to dictate the legal order of a territory and to impose its fundamental norms. This power, therefore, is what sustains the creation of a State and the establishment of its political organization, as well as its subsequent modification.

It is interesting to determine that there is also what is called the constituent process. This, which becomes a fundamental piece of democracy, is the one that is launched with the clear objective of shaping a constitution that is adjusted and adapted to the needs of the population at all times.

Although both concepts are sometimes confused, the constituent process differs significantly from a constitutional reform. And it is that this pretends to carry out a series of modifications in the Magna Carta while the first one seeks to give the opportunity to the citizenship, which is the one with the constituent power, to create a new one. The constitutional reform does not question the legitimacy of the changes proposed to the articles of the constitution, while the constituent process seeks democratic legitimacy.

As a general rule, this aforementioned process is made up of three fundamental phases: the calling of a referendum to initiate and legitimize it, the realization and drafting of the constitution by the representatives who have been elected in the elections, and finally an approval referendum.

A constituent assembly, in this sense, is the entity that is formed ad hoc to modify or create a constitution. This organism can have different configurations. The individual who is chosen to form part of this class of assemblies is known as a constituent: “In 1993 I was a constituent and promoted the reform of the constitution”, “Our political party will contribute eight constituents to the assembly.

In the same way, we have to underline the existence of what is known as Constituent Courts, which have the power to carry out the dictation, or the reform, of the pertinent constitution if they deem it appropriate for the good of a country.

At the grammar level, the term (or the grouping of them) that acts as a unit within the framework of the hierarchy that exists within a sentence is called a syntactic constituent. While all syntactic constituents are made up of one or more words, not all words function as syntactic constituents in the sentence.

Generally, it is possible to decompose a constituent into two or more subgroups, each representing a constituent. The order of the constituents that make up a sentence is calculated based on the possibility of breaking them down into sub-constituents. Normally, the traditional grammar calls a syntagm to any syntactic constituent that has a minimum of two elements, something that at present is not entirely correct.