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What is meant by the term "the separation of power

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Marie Griffiths MBC What is meant by the term "the separation of power" and what is its practical significance for the political system. What would be the major points that you would like to make? The principle behind the separation of power is to limit the powers of government by separating governmental functions into the executive, legislative and judiciary. The concept has its fullest practical expression in the US constitution. James Madison, who was later to become the fourth US President said: "The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny". In Madison's vision, the federal government and state governments, as well as the legislature, executive and judiciary would be clearly divided and each would be given a clear motive to check each other. ...read more.


In this way, the two bodies discipline each other at the voter's advantage. Under appropriate checks and balances, separation of powers also helps voters to elicit information. In the UK system, as in many jurisdictions, this corresponds to a separation between the executive (Prime Minister and other ministers of the Crown), legislative (Parliament) and judicial (judiciary) arms of government. In this system, there are two houses of the legislature: the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The House of Lords consists of the nobility of Britain and due to a recent period of reform, the peerage plays a reduced role. New members are nominated by an Appointment Commission that represents the major political parties and experts in the House of Lords. Appointments, once rubber-stamped by the Queen, are for life. ...read more.


decision to impose a 15 year tariff on the two boys who killed two year old James Bulger - Jack Straws intervention was heavily criticised by the Lord Chief Justice Woolf. The Lord Chancellor indicated that the Government might occasionally refuse to follow judges' rules on cases under the Act - a statement used as evidence that Mr. Straw might refuse to give us his sentencing power in cases such as that of Myra Hindley (Straw stated that life should mean life for Hindley whereas the Lord Chief Justice said that her case had not been dealt with correctly). However, UK courts are not directly bound by the judgements of the European Court of Human Rights. Domestic Courts are only required to take into account decisions of the European Court of Human rights - they are NOT bound by the decisions of the ECHR. ...read more.

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