Wednesday, June 23, 2010

DOCTRINE OF SEPARATION OF POWERS

Originally suggested by Aristotle in his treatise on Politics, and later on recognized by Marsiglio of Padua, Cromwell, Locke and Montesquieu, the doctrine of separation enunciates the idea of grouping the powers of government into three classes and of their apportionment among three coordinate departments, separate from and independent of each other.

This doctrine is being carried out until this modern day that it is now incorporated in the constitutions of many states. Among which is the United States of America. Kilbourne vs. Thompson, 103 US 168, 190, 25L.ed. 377, ruled:
It operates to maintain the legislative powers to the legislative department, executive powers to the executive department, and those which are judicial in character to the judiciary. Through this allocation of powers, the person entrusted shall not be permitted to encroach upon the power confided to the others, but that each shall, by the law of its creation, be limited to the exercise of the powers appropriate to its own department and no other. There must be independence and equity of the several departments.


In essence, the separation of powers means that the making of the laws belongs to Congress, the execution of the laws is to the executive and the settlement of controversies rests in the Judiciary. Each is prevented from invading the domain of the others. The purpose of the separation of powers is to prevent concentration of authority in one department and thereby avoid tyranny.

The separation of powers however should not be interpreted as complete separation and absolute exclusion. The doctrine carries that although the three branches are not subject to the control by either of the others and each is supreme within its own sphere, they are still equal and coordinate. Equal because they all derive their powers from the same common sovereign through the constitution. And coordinate because they cannot simply ignore the acts done by other departments as nugatory and not binding.

3 comments:

  1. I appreciate this profile and continue with your good inspiration

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  2. If it takes to be tyrannical to have the President correct the actions of the Supreme Court in order to provide justice to the people...so be it. After all, the Constitution is for the people, by the people and of the people. Ironically, there is no perfect democracy...the way to greater prosperity lies in the right leadership of all the branches of government. The people as a whole will be the beneficiaries of such actions.

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