Theory of the seperation of powers

My notes on the seperation og powers

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Theory of the separation of powers
The theory of the separation of powers was first put forward by Montesquieu, a French
political theorist in the 18th century. The theory states that there are 3 functions of the
The Judiciary 3 arms of state the
The Executive (government) power of each is exercised
The Legislative (parliament) by different bodies
Members should not be part of more than one of the 3 arms of state. However, some
members from the Executive overlap into the Legislative. Apart from this, there is
very little overlap.
The Judiciary:
The judiciary apply the law (aka judges).
The Executive:
The executive (government) have strict authority and responsibility to administer the
The Legislative:
The legislative (parliament) make the laws and are also authorised to raise taxes and
other money bills.
Why are they separate?
To stop one arm from gaining absolute power and abusing the power they are
To allow each arm to become more specialised
To stop bias decisions being made (e.g. if a judge makes a law and then tries a
case dealing with this law, he may make the wrong decision because of the
opinion that has already been made.


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