U.S. Constitution vs. Jamaican Constitution

Topics: United States Constitution, President of the United States, Law Pages: 4 (1437 words) Published: February 17, 2006
Upon initial consideration, one would presume that the United States Constitution and the Constitution of Jamaica would not be similar at all. After all, the United States Constitution was ratified in 1787, whereas the Jamaican Constitution was not ratified until 1962, the year Jamaica gained its independence. At first glance, Jamaica's constitution appears to be most similar to that of England, because they both establish a parliament and share the same chief of state (Queen Elizabeth II). These similarities are understandable considering the United Kingdom owned Jamaica until Jamaica gained its independence in 1962. But if one digs deeper into Jamaica's constitution, the many resemblances with the United States Constitution begin to surface.

The Constitution of Jamaica was drafted by a bipartisan joint committee of the Jamaican legislature from 1961 to 1962. It was "approved in the United Kingdom and included as the Second Schedule of the Jamaica (Constitution) Order in Council, under the West Indies Act" (Politics of Jamaica). The document came into effect with the Jamaica Independence Act of 1962, which gave Jamaica political independence. The Laws of Jamaica exist under the Jamaican Constitution of 1962. Except for the entrenched sections, the constitution may be altered by a majority of all the members of each of the two Houses of Parliament. The constitution states the rules regarding the executive, the legislature, a judicature and the public service. It contains provisions relating to Jamaican citizenship and to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual. The United States and Jamaican constitutions are comparable in terms of their respective organizations of government, election methods, establishment of fundamental rights and freedoms.

Jamaica is a constitutional parliamentary democracy. The fusion of United States and England's governments is apparent simply from this name, with democracy relating to the U.S. and the...
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