Discuss, considering in particular Bogdanor’s argument that the separation of powers has been strengthened within the British Constitution in recent years.
This essay aims to look at the Separation of Powers in the UK Constitution. The relationship between the three categories of public power-legislative, executive and the judicial. The overlaps that are present with the individuals operating in the various organs and their functions in the institutions. Reasons why the separation of powers is an important factor in the UK Constitution. Finally, the significance of changes made to the doctrine over the years.
The legislature is made up of the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The legislative role involves; making laws and general rules that govern the powers of public authorities that maintain the structure and conduct of the ordinary citizen as well as private institutions. The Queen holds primary authority in parliament, however parliament does not directly make new legislation that is passed by executive bodies which receive their power from parliament. The executive carries out the general policy determined by cabinet. The public authorities role is to implement the law constructed by the legislative body, support social and economic welfare , maintain order and provide security, conducting public services for example; health, electricity. The judicial has the power to administer the law by settling disputed questions of fact and law while observing the law made by parliament and interpreting it court. This function is executed by professional independent judges whose roles are exercised in criminal and civil courts.
Critiques argue whether or not a strict separation should be present in each of the above stated functions. Locke stated “It may be too great a temptation to human frailty apt to grasp at power, for the same persons who have the power of making laws , to have also the power to execute them, whereby they may exempt themselves from obedience to the laws they make, and suit the law both in its making and execution, to their own advantage”1 Separation of powers keeps each institution in check and stops the misuse of discretionary power.
Montesquieu, a French jurist, developed the concept further and intended for the judiciary to function separately from the executive and legislative. This however does not mean that legislature and executive have no influence or control over the acts they make but that the two may not exercise their whole power over the other.2
Both academics illustrate that if one, or a group of people, were in control over more than one organ of the triad model (Legislature, Executive, Judicial) the end result would be corruption and taking advantage of power, dictatorship would rise and the people would face loss of liberty. Although each emphasise the significance of upholding strict separation, however in the UK this is not the case. There exists in its tradition of a fusion rather than separation of...