separation of powers
- The idea that the legislative power, the executive power and the judicial power of any state should be placed in separate hands, through the creation of three independent branches of government. The doctrine was advocated by the French Enlightenment thinker Montesquieu in the eighteenth century in his classic book L’Esprit des lois. He felt that it was desirable to keep the three branches separate, for this would provide a safeguard against too much concentration of power in one single authority. By fragmenting power, liberty could be defended and tyranny kept at bay. He based his assessment on his understanding of the British system, and felt that in Britain good administration derived from the fact that no one person or body could control the three arms. Each could exercise control over the other. Montesquieu’s ideas much influenced the writing of the American Constitution.In Britain there is not the clear separation of powers which Montesquieu detected. In reality there is a considerable overlap between the three branches. For instance: the heads of the executive (the Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet) are drawn from, and sit in, Parliament; some judicial functions are exercised by an elected politician, the Home Secretary (for example, the prerogative of mercy) and leading members of the judiciary are appointed by the Prime Minister (for example, the law lords, who constitute the final court of appeal and yet sit in the legislature); and the Lord Chancellor has powers in all three branch of Government (he is a member of the Cabinet, the senior figure in the judiciary and sits in the House of Lords where he acts as Speaker). These judicial aspects have been addressed in the Constitutional Reform Act (2005).
Glossary of UK Government and Politics . 2013.
Look at other dictionaries:
separation of powers — 1: the constitutional allocation of the legislative, executive, and judicial powers among the three branches of government 2: the doctrine under which the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government are not to infringe upon each… … Law dictionary
SEPARATION OF POWERS — SEPARATION OF POWERS, a fundamental principle of Public Law, which seeks to distinguish between the roles and powers of a number of different public authorities operating in tandem, such as the legislative, executive, and judicial authorities. On … Encyclopedia of Judaism
Separation of powers — Balance of powers redirects here. For other uses, see Balance of power. The separation of powers, often imprecisely used interchangeably with the trias politica principle, is a model for the governance of a state. The model was first developed … Wikipedia
separation of powers — the allocation of executive, legislative, and judicial powers to branches of government independent of each other * * * the principle or system of vesting in separate branches the executive, legislative, and judicial powers of a government. * * * … Useful english dictionary
separation of powers — The governments of states and the United States are divided into three departments or branches: the legislative, which is empowered to make laws, the executive which is required to carry out the laws, and the judicial which is charged with… … Black's law dictionary
separation of powers — valdžių padalijimas statusas T sritis Politika apibrėžtis Valstybės valdymo doktrina, pasak kurios, siekiant išvengti vieno asmens tironijos ir absoliučių galių sutelkimo kurioje nors valdžios institucijoje, visa valdžia turi būti padalyta 3… … Politikos mokslų enciklopedinis žodynas
separation of powers — separation of authority, distribution of power, basic democratic principle in which every government department has independent authority and curbs the power of other departments … English contemporary dictionary
separation of powers — The separation of executive, legislative, and judicial powers, a fundamental characteristic of the United States Government and the state governments as well. 16 Am J2d Const L § 210. See division of powers … Ballentine's law dictionary
separation of powers — the principle or system of vesting in separate branches the executive, legislative, and judicial powers of a government. * * * Division of the legislative, executive, and judicial functions of government among separate and independent bodies.… … Universalium
separation of powers — the vesting of the legislative, executive, and judiciary powers of government in separate bodies. → separation … English new terms dictionary