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Separation of powers

Date: 16 February 2021 Tags: Constitution


Certain judicial decisions by the courts have been considered a violation of separation of powers doctrine.



  • The separation of powers is the division of a state's government into branches, each with separate, independent powers and responsibilities, so that the powers of one branch are not in conflict with those of the other branches.

  • The typical division is into three branches: a legislature, an executive, and a judiciary, which is the trias politica model.

  • It can be contrasted with the fusion of powers in parliamentary and semi-presidential systems, where the executive and legislative branches overlap.

  • The intention behind a system of separated powers is to prevent the concentration of power by providing for checks and balances. 


Branches of power structure

  • Executive

The role of the executive or administrative function is that to formulate and implement government policy across all governmental activities.  It comprises all official and public authorities. 


  • Legislature

The legislative function is the making of a new Law and the existing Law alternative or repeal. It involves the enactment of general rules determine the structure and powers of public and authority and regulation the conduct of citizens and private organisation.


  • Judiciary

The judicial function includes disputed questions of particular cases and Law according to the Law lied down by Parliament and expanded by the Courts. It is the branch that adjudicates upon conflicts between State Institution, between individuals, and between state and individuals.


Benefits of separation of power

  • The separation of powers in a democracy is to prevent abuse of power and to safeguard freedom for all.

  • It prevents tyranny between the functions, and provides the ability for each branch to check and balance on each other to prevent one from becoming supreme.



  • The power is centralised in the executive arm of government. 

  • Executive function exercises unwarranted influence over Parliament.

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