A constitutional right can be a prerogative or a duty, a power or a restraint of power, recognized and established by a sovereign state or union of states. Constitutional rights may be expressly stipulated in a national constitution, or they may be inferred from the language of a national constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, meaning that laws that contradict it are considered unconstitutional and invalid. Usually any constitution defines the structure, functions, powers, and limits of the national government and the individual freedoms, rights, and obligations which will be protected and enforced when needed by the national authorities. Nowadays, most countries have a written constitution comprising similar or distinct constitutional rights.
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Other coded set of laws have existed before the first Constitutions were developed having some similar purpose and functions, like the United Kingdom's 1215 Magna Carta or the Virginia Bill of Rights of 1776.