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The Separation of Powers in The UK - Essay Example

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The aim of the essay "The Separation of Powers in The UK" is to undertake a critical analysis of how far the UK system implements the constitutional convention of the separation of powers. It is submitted that a contextual discussion of the reforms implemented by the Act is vital…
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The Separation of Powers in The UK
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Download file to see previous pages In the UK there has not been a clear separation of the branches of the state4, but rather a fusion. For example, the executive clearly carries out legislative functions and a prime example is the Law Commission. Additionally, the judiciary obtains their power from the Crown and there is a distinct overlap of functions between the powers, which should be under the separation of powers doctrine5.
This obfuscation of the theoretical separation of powers has ramifications for the procedure of passing Acts of Parliament. Parliament is essentially the legislative section of the British political system. As such, through the executive Prime Minister and the Cabinet, Parliament sanctions executive sovereignty in a party governmental system. Theoretically, Parliament is a policy influencing body, relying on the executive to formulate policy and reacts to it and therefore the party machine reinforces the power of the executive to initiate policy.
Parliament is not therefore involved in the policy-making process and has minor powers of initiation. Whilst government controls Parliament the passing of an Act of Parliament ultimately depends on control, possession of majority, loyal voting from supporters, the curtailing of debate and the control of drafting. This undermines the symbolic purpose of Parliament as a check on the executive.
To address these inefficiencies in the constitutional notion of a separation of powers, the Government implemented the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (the Act). The Act introduced provisions for modifying the office and functions of the Lord Chancellor in addition to the issue of determining new judicial appointments. It also provided for a Supreme Court of the United Kingdom to replace the current role of Law Lords. These provisions have far-reaching constitutional implications and impact the relationship between the Executive, Legislative and the Judiciary powers in the United Kingdom where the demarcation of the separation of power has traditionally been blurred. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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