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Separation of powers


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Discuss the doctrine of separation of powers. Do you think that the separation of powers in the United Kingdom is sufficient? Separation of powers is a principle set out by Montesquieu in the 17th century after observing the British System of the time. The doctrine of the separation of powers sets out that there are three distinct entities at the centre of the decision and law making process. Montesquieu believed that the best safeguard against tyranny was the separation of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary [Barnett, p.

The Executive is the administrative branch of government. It makes laws by way of delegated legislation and drafts bills. The Legislature, the law-making branch of government, is the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The Judiciary, the law-enforcing branch of government, enforce the law through their interpretation of legislation [Units 10 and 11, p.

Another example of overlapping functions is that Cabinet members Executive are members of the House of Commons or Lords Legislative as by convention members of the Legislature always form the Government, and by delegated legislation they may be seen to wield legislative power. The Cabinet Government system could not work without this practice as it requires the support of the Legislature to put in force new bills [Harris, p REF5].

The House of Lords acts as both a Legislative and Judiciary body. In practice the judicial members of the House of Lords very rarely sit on legislative matters and the same is true of the legislative members of the House of Lords and judicial cases.

This shows that although they share the same institution the judicial and legislative aspect of the House of Lords do separate powers [Harris, p REF5]. However, I believe that the purpose of the separation of powers is not compromised as a system of checks and balances is employed in order to maintain a balance of powers.

The three entities can maintain a subliminal control over one another to ensure that no one entity has too much power. For example, the Courts can review delegated legislation to see if it is ultra vires, thus checking the Executive. The Judges can check the Legislative and the Executive through interpretation of statutes, in line with E. An example of this R. Secretary of State for Transport, ex parte Factortame No.

However, a UK statute which repealed the European Community Act would probably be obeyed by the UK courts indicating that final power may well rest with the Legislative and Executive [Units 12 and 13, pp.

A further check on the powers of statutory bodies and ultimately ministers is the concept of Judicial Review. High Court judges have 3 principle legal powers called prerogative writs to control the actions of these bodies. Ministerial responsibility keeps a check on the powers of the Cabinet Executive.

Ministers have both collective responsibility in that they must be loyal to government policy whether or not they personally agree, and have individual responsibility in that they are accountable for all official acts carried out in their department, whether or not they personally sanctioned them. The public and media themselves keep a check on abuse of power. The public are the voters and the government must command their confidence. In conclusion, the doctrine of the separation of powers controls abuse of power.

However, as the separation in the United Kingdom is unclear, the system of checks and balances is effective in prohibiting any one entity becoming too powerful. This is especially true now with the adoption of E. It is this principle that divides government authority into three branches namely the Executive President or Prime Minister and the cabinet , Legislature Parliament or Senate and the Judiciary Chief justice and other Judges.

From this definition, Separation of Powers entails that each organ of the state, namely t will perform its functions without undue interference from the other organs.

Each organ therefore, should be left to do what is assigned to it under the constitution. If any organ is not performing well it ought to be reminded and its performance monitored by way of accountability. This is not interference but a system of checks and balances in the interest of good government. But separation of powers does not mean insulation of powers because the three organs of the State, particularly the Executive and the Legislature, are at one level or another bound to interact and indeed complement each other in the running of the affairs of the State World bank, The executive branch of the government of Zambia is made up of the chief of state president Michael Sata; vice president Guy Scott; the president is both the chief of state and head of government.

Cabinet is appointed by the president from among the members of the national assembly. Chief of state includes the name and title of the titular leader of the country who represents the state at official and ceremonial functions but may not be involved with the day to day activities of government. Head of government includes the name and title of the top administrative leader who is designated to manage the day to day activities of government.

For example in the UK the monarchy is the chief of state while the prime minister is the head of government. The legislative arm of the government; unicameral National assembly in Zambia is made up of seats, are elected by a popular vote, 8 members are nominated by the president to serve 5year terms Bratton, Some of the functions of the legislature include;.

The constitution stipulates a hybrid form of government; a mixture of presidentialism with elements of the Westminster tradition of parliamentary democracy. As in other presidential systems the distribution of power between the legislative parliament and the executive the presidency , is unbalanced in favour of the latter.

As the Constitution review commission clearly spelled out: One, if only formal, indication of the weakness of parliament in the Third Republic might be that the average number of bills passed did not exceed that of its predecessors in the First or Second republics.

The legislature and even single MPs have various means of controlling the government and initiating legislation. The vast MMD majority until and the ability of government to control and monopolize the legislative timetable made parliament even weaker, although MMD MPs were by no means under the strict control of the party whip or leadership.

Since the MMD lost its majority in the elections and experienced more serious internal factionalism, there are clear indications that the government has to be more responsive to parliament. However, through the powerful position of the Assembly Speaker the ruling party and the government is still largely able to control Assembly procedures.

These institutions have been proven largely ineffectual, although the courts have sometimes made rulings against the government. Again, there seems to be some improvement since , which, however, seems to be well calculated and directed by the Mwanawasa government at least in the case of the ACC, when the latter was allowed to investigate corruption cases of the Chiluba government.

The reason why these institutions are unable to make an impact is because, although legally autonomous, they have very few powers apart from one exception; the ACC cannot initiate prosecution on its own , and are financially dependent on the government.

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The political doctrine of the Separation of Powers can be traced back to Aristotle, who states: "There are three elements in each, the deliberative, which discusses everything of common importance; second the officials; and third, the judicial element.".

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In conclusion, the doctrine of the separation of powers controls abuse of power. However, as the separation in the United Kingdom is unclear, the system of checks and balances is effective in .

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Separation Of Powers essaysOver two hundred years ago our Founding Fathers gathered in Philadelphia, PA to rewrite the constitution. In rewriting the Constitution there was one change that they wanted to make above all. That was within this new government there would be a Separation of Powers . Separation of Powers essay American National Government - 6 Professor: Aimellia Siemson The concept of separation of governmental powers is an essential principle to our democracy. The Separation of Powers devised by the framers of the Constitution was designed to do one primary thing: to prevent the majority from ruling with an iron fist, so.

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Free Essay: The separation of powers and checks and balances is a system that was created in America by the founding fathers in the constitution of the. Separation of Powers - Government Essay. The Separation of Powers is a principle of the constitution rather than a legal rule applied by the courts. The Doctrine of the Separation of Powers is particularly associated with Montesquieu.