A constitution provides the governing framework of an organisation. Any organisation might have a constitution; for example, most golf clubs do so. In our case the organisation is the state. A state is a geographical territory with a government that has effective control over that area. A constitution has three purposes: first, to enable the organisation to run effectively; second, to define the powers of those in charge of the organisation; and third, to protect members of the community against the abuse of those powers. Thus, the late Lord Bingham, a leading judge, suggested that ‘any constitution, whether of a state, a trade union, a college, a club or other institution seeks to lay down and define … the main offices in which authority is vested and the powers which may be exercised (or not exercised) by the holders of those offices’ (R v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, ex p Quark Fishing Ltd  1 AC 3, at ).
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