Constitutional Custom

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Constitutional Custom


a rule that is not sanctioned by the norms of state law but has been applied for a long time by agencies of state power and administration. Constitutional custom is sometimes called constitutional agreement, conventional norm, or constitutional ethic. Constitutional custom is most frequently encountered in Great Britain, the United States, and countries that have adopted the Anglo-Saxon legal system. In Great Britain, for example, supreme executive power legally belongs to the monarch, but by constitutional custom it is exercised by the cabinet. According to constitutional custom the only person whom the king may appoint to the post of prime minister is the leader of the party with a majority in the House of Commons. The cabinets of the United States and India exist only through constitutional custom; they are not provided for by the constitutions of these countries. Bourgeois legal scholars hold that public opinion guarantees the observance of constitutional custom, and therefore these customs are sometimes regarded as nonlegal norms that regulate the application of the norms of state law.

Constitutional custom also exists in the socialist countries, primarily with respect to procedure in representative bodies, for example, the election of the Council of Elders in the chambers of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
There has yet to be fundamental evolution in relevant constitutional custom or tradition, still less one manifested by a consistent line of case law.
Moving from the descriptive to the normative, the final part of the book briefly answers "yes." Sloss first argues that treaty supremacy's effective repeal has since aquired a measure of validity through constitutional custom. Decades of legislative and executive practice have legitimized a rule in which the President and the Senate can employ a version of NSE doctrine to "opt out" of treaty supremacy over state law, though not out of the requirement that judges have a duty to adjudicate treaty claims.
Constitutional custom almost certainly affords the best defense for the doctrine's continuing eclipse.
Radu Carp also concluded that the "ministerial political responsibility took progressively constitutional custom character" (Carp, 2003: 174).
Romanians could not develop a constitutional custom to fill the constitutional silence.
(23) Professor Bruff's careful accounts of key episodes in our over two centuries of constitutional custom nonetheless make the task immeasurably easier.
It's verycommon for Constitutional Law sources to serve constitutional customs (in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, they are called constitutional agreements), although they have legal force.
JoviciC divided constitutional customs into three groups (15).
As for Hariri, he wished for the governmental launch to be able to satisfy the aspirations of the Lebanese people, adding that the national coalition government is an exception rather than a rule to build constitutional customs upon it.

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