Definition of separation of power in Government
Separation of powers can be defined as the separation and division of powers of the three organs of government in the modern political system. The three of them are the executive, legislature, and judiciary. The constitution of most countries has defined functions for each of them.
Separation of powers in government is more explained below;
For example, the executive is for policy making and implementation, the legislature is for law-making and the judiciary is for the interpretation and punishment of offenders. However, efforts would be made to discuss each of them and their functions in detail.
The executive arm of government is the organ responsible for policymaking and implementation of policies and laws made in the country. The executive arm of government is the same with administration or cabinet, the president or prime minister of a country, governors of states, ministers, the civil services the armed forces, the police, etc, belong to the executive arm of government. It carries out the day-to-day work of government.
In some countries, the executive may equally perform some legislative and judicial functions. For example, the President of the United States of America has power from the constitution to pardon offenders.
Also, he appoints civil servants and judges to the supreme court. However, the functions of the executive largely depend on the type of constitution in operation in a particular country. For example, the functions of the executive in a presidential system of government, as in the U.S.A. are different from the parliamentary system of government in Britain.
Functions of the Executive
1. Policy formulation: Policy formulation is one of the major functions of the executive.
2. Supervision: The executive supervises the administrative functions and directs the execution of laws made in the state.
3. Appointment of top officials: The executive has the power to appoint and remove top officials of the state from government.
4. Declaration of war: It can declare war,maintain peace and fight back foreign invasion.
5. Representation: It represents the state in its relations with other countries.
6. Power of pardon: It pardons those that have offended the state.
7. Initiation of bills: The executive initiates bills defend them and make recommendations on the bill.
Types of Executives
There are different types of executives and
the following should be considered:
(a) Single and plural executives
(b) Parliamentary and non-parliamentary
(a) Single executives: The control of the executive rests with one individual. The President of the U.S.A. has his ministers named by him and dependent on him, they are his advisers and agents, not his colleagues.
Plural executives: The president of the Swiss
Confederation (Switzerland) is the chairman of the federal council and exercises the usual powers of a chairman. Other members of the council are his colleagues, not agents or advisers.
(b) Parliamentary executives: The executive
in Britain is chosen from parliament and holding office only so long-lasting commands in the confidence of that parliament.
Non-parliamentary executives: The executive
in the U.S.A. is chosen independently of the
the legislature and holding office for a fixed term.
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