The separation of powers is a significant part of the British constitution.

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Seema Patel


  The separation of powers is a significant part of the British constitution. Montesquieu was the first to address that there ought to be a separation of powers within the United Kingdom. Montesquieu established the principles of the doctrine of separation of powers after he observed the British system in the eighteenth century. He believed “Political liberty is to be found, only when there is no abuse of power. But constant experience shows us that every man invested with power is liable to abuse it, and to carry his authority as far as it will go…To prevent this abuse, It is necessary from the nature of things that one power should be a check on a another”. He is expressing that it is important to the British Constitution that all three organs are separate and domain. The objective of the separation of powers is to provide support for a mixed and balanced government. In the absence of a written constitution there is not a strict separation of powers. This has led to different positions merging. The merging should lead to a balanced government. The principle reason for this flexibility of an uncodified constitution is legislative supremacy. Some may say there is need for flexibility because of modern society. The separation of powers is an effective rule of law. The separation of powers limits and allocates powers to the different institutions. There are three essential bodies; the executive, the legislative and the judiciary. The functions of the legislature and the executive are closely interconnected. There is a need for a system of checks and balances to ensure that the individual bodies do not have excess power. Nevertheless the Parliament, judiciary and the executive do overlap. The overlap of powers lets Parliament make any changes it desires by Act of Parliament and helps to safeguard against arbitrary use of power.

   The executive creates and controls the legislature by producing peers. It deals with a broader area than the legislature. It has both legislature and judicial responsibilities and includes the civil service, local authorities, police, armed forces and mainly Members of Parliaments. They are not allowed to taking part in political activities. It is the administrative division of government. The executive has both legislature and judicial responsibilities. The Government failed to notice the distinction between themselves and executive which gave rise to the Fire Brigades Union case. In this case explains the abuse that can occur concerning prerogative power. In this case Parliament had the right to make whatever law they think is necessary.

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   There is little separation between the executive and the legislature in the UK but a good deal between the legislative-executive and the judiciary. M v Home office illustrates the close relationship between the executive and the judiciary. However it also demonstrates the conflict that can occur. The executive makes laws by means of delegated legislation and drafts bills. Through the whip system it controls the legislature. It is formed by a portion of the legislature in the sense of the Government ministers. Only ministers exercise roles in both Parliament and in the executive.  It makes treaties which have a level ...

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