This is an essay on “Separation of Powers” for CSS, PMS, and All Judiciary examinations. The concept of Separation of Powers deals with bilateral relations among the three organs of the Government namely legislature, executive, and judiciary. The origin of this principle goes back to the period of Plato and Aristotle. So this is an important topic to write an essay on. Here is an essay “Separation of Powers” for CSS, PMS, and All Judiciary Examinations.
Essay on “Separation of Powers”
Separation of powers a term coined by French political Enlightenment thinker Baron de Montesquieu is a model for the governance of democratic states.
Under this model, the state is divided into branches, and each branch of the state has separate and independent powers and areas of responsibility. The normal division of branches is into the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judicial.
Proponents of separation of powers believe that it protects democracy and forestalls tyranny; opponents of separation of powers, such as Professor Charles M. Hardin have pointed out that, regardless of whether it accomplishes this end, it also slows down the process of governing
, it promotes executive dictatorship and unaccountability, and it tends to marginalize the legislature.
No democratic system exists with an absolute separation of powers or an absolute lack of separation of powers. Nonetheless, some systems are clearly founded on the principle of separation of powers, while others are clearly based on a mingling of powers.
Montesquieu described the division of political power
between an executive, a legislature, and a judiciary. He based this model on the British constitutional system, in which he perceived a separation of powers between the king, Parliament, and the courts of law.
Subsequent writers have noted that this was misleading since Great Britain has a very closely connected legislature and executive, with further links to the judiciary (though combined with judicial independence).
But in Montesquieu’s time, the political connection between Britain’s Parliament and the king’s Ministry was not as close as it would later become.
Montesquieu did precisely that “the independence of the judiciary has to be real, and not apparent merely the judiciary was generally seen as the most important of powers, independent and unchecked”, and also considered the least dangerous.
Some politicians call the judicial action against them “criminalization”, but the criminalization of politics is a response to collusion among politicians.
Justice Louis D. Brandeis said:
“The doctrine of the separation of powers was adopted by the convention of 1787, not to promote efficiency but to preclude the exercise of arbitrary power. The purpose was, not to avoid friction, but, by means of the inevitable friction incident to the distribution of the governmental powers among three departments, to save the people from autocracy”/
The doctrine that political power should be divided among several bodies as a precaution against tyranny. Opposed. to the absolute sovereignty of the Crown, Parliament, or any other body.
Separation of powers was a leading idea in medieval Europe under the name of the ‘two swords’. Most thinkers agreed that power should be shared between the State and the Church. But no convincing argument was produced for the supremacy of one over the other. Those who argued that the State was superior to the Church faced the fact that divine authority was supposed to be conferred on kings at their coronation, and that religious authorities claimed the power to excommunicate kings (as happened to King John of England).
Those who argued that the Church was superior to the State had to explain away Jesus’s command to ‘Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. Thus there was the de facto separation of powers in medieval Europe.
Defenders of separation of powers insist that it is needed against tyranny, including the tyranny of the majority. Its opponents argue that sovereignty must lie somewhere and that it is better, and arguably more democratic; to ensure that it always lies with the same body such as Parliament.
The main institutions of law in industrialized countries are independent courts, representative parliaments, an accountable executive, the military and police, bureaucratic organization, the legal profession, and civil society itself.
Division of the legislative, executive, and judicial functions of government among separate and independent bodies. Such a separation limits the possibility and arbitrary excesses by the government since the sanction of all three branches is required for the making executing and administering of laws.
The concept received its first modern formulation in the work of Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brede et de Montesquieu, who declared it the best way to safeguard liberty; he influenced the farmers of the Constitution of the United States.
Even so, the separation of powers among the three branches of the federal government is the fundamental constitutional means for achieving limited government and protecting the people against abuses of power. Limited government means that officials cannot act arbitrarily.
Rather, they are bound by the higher law of the Constitution
, which guides and limits their use of power in order to protect the liberties of the people and prevent tyranny. James Madison said:
“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elected, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”
Separation of powers is a doctrine that is often believed to rest at the foundation of the US Constitution. it holds that liberty is best preserved if the three functions of government
legislation, law enforcement, and adjudication are in different hands.
The modern idea of separation of powers is to be found in one of the most important Eighteenth-century works on political science, the Baron de Montesquieu The Spirit of the Laws (1748) which states that “There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person or body of magistrates . . . if the power of judging is not separated from the legislative and executive powers.”