CupertinoGuide/Constitution

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This page is apart of the Cupertino Guides project, a project by the Cupertino Alliance.

Next: Preamble

Chapter 1 of the Cupertino Guide is currently being re-worked on to align with our standards set in Chapter 2; expect incomplete work and live construction. We hope that we can finish this as fast as possible. Thank you for your interest!

Now comes one of the hard parts, drafting your constitution.

What is this thing?

This is a document that sets up your government and outlines how your micronation is governed and who will have the power along with the rights given to citizens. Most micronations have a codified constitution. That means that their constitution is on one document, which is written. Other micronations have an uncodified constitution. That means that their constitution is made up of a number of sources.

Pro and cons

Diagram explaining the differences between a codified and uncodified constitution.

There are both pros and cons for both codified and uncodified constitutions.

Pros: Codified

  • Is considered "higher law"
  • Clear rules
  • Can be found in one place
  • Fewer spaces for a constitutional crisis
  • Usually faster to write

Cons: Codified

  • Will be slow to amend (especially if you have a big population) and may not be up for times

Pros: Uncodified

  • More flexible
  • Easier to amend and thus more modern

Cons: Uncodified

  • More documents to look through.
  • Documents have the same status of other laws, which means rights can be easily amended.

I am the law. Do I really need a constitution of some sort?

Yes. If you do not have this / these document(s), then you won't legally have the power to "be the law"

Preamble

This part tells what is the document's purpose. This should always be at the beginning of your constitution.

Whereas statement

Generally, these statements would start with the word "whereas" just to sound more fancy and lawlike. A general whereas statement for something like a constitution would likely be "WHEREAS the people from <land claims> voted to unite into one nation. This document outlines the governance of this new nation."

Citation

This part is important as it will tell the preader how to cite this document. They usually have 2 names, a short and a formal name. Most short names are "Constitution Act, <year>", whilst most long names are usually "An act to constitute <nation name>, <year>".

Commencement

This will tell people when this document will be law. It is usually

  • Day after the signing and ratification of the document
  • Immediately after the signing and ratification of the document

Furthermore, this will also tell which land claims that this act will be effected upon.

Form of government

There are many forms of governments, however since they are listed , this guide will be very brief. Some popular forms of government include monarchy, democracy, or direct democracy. Ensure that you do a lot of research before selecting your government.

Which one should I choose?

Some observations I have within micronationalism are:

Democracy

  • Increased citizen engagement
  • More laws passed
  • More activity
  • Democratic
  • Less power
  • More chances of a political crisis
  • Increased chances of a new leader
  • Lots of people in government
  • Stronger political divide

Absolute monarchy

  • More power
  • Less chances of a political crisis
  • You are leader until you want to abdicate
  • Lower citizen engagement
  • Less activity
  • One man nation

Constitutional monarchy

  • Generally mixes democracy with monarchy
  • Monarchy shares duties with a government or appoints a government to do governing duties
  • Constitution defines powers between the government and the monarchy

When making your constitution, you will need to decide what basic rights of your citizen your constitution will protect. There are many different rights commonly used in a constitution. You might want to think about what rights your citizens should be able to have.

Rights

Rights are certain freedoms that your citizens are entitled to. Your government needs to respect and fulfill these rights. Examples of commonly used rights are: These rights are frequently granted by a government to its citizens:

  • Right to vote (only used in constitutional monarchies or democracies usually)
  • Right to privacy
  • Right to a fair trial
  • Right to political affiliation
  • Right to form a union
  • Right to peaceful assembly
  • Right to work
  • Right to life

Which ones should I choose?

Choose the rights that you believe will lead to a prosperous and successful government! If you don't feel like doing that, you could adopt the UDHR, short for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees numerous rights to the citizens of its signatories. Overall, while they may depend between micronations, the rights of your nation's citizens are an issue that should not be left unnoticed.

Freedoms

Freedoms are certain activities you can do which your government can not interfere with. These can include:

  • Freedom of speech
  • Freedom of expression
  • Freedom of movement
  • Freedom of religion
  • Freedom of the press
  • Freedom from forced servitude