Separation of powers

checks and balancesbranches of governmentdivision of powerscheck and balanceseparation of powerthree branchesindependentthree branches of governmenttrias politicabranches
The separation of powers is a model for the governance of a state.wikipedia
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Fusion of powers

fused executiveclosely linkedconflation of legislative and executive powers
It can be contrasted with the fusion of powers in parliamentary systems and semi-presidential systems where the executive and legislative branches overlap.
It is contrasted with the European separation of powers found in presidential and semi-presidential forms of government where the legislative and executive powers are in origin separated by popular vote.

Polybius

PolybiosPolyb.Polybius of Megalopolis
In the Roman Republic, the Roman Senate, Consuls and the Assemblies showed an example of a mixed government according to Polybius (Histories, Book 6, 11–13).
Polybius is important for his analysis of the mixed constitution or the separation of powers in government, which was influential on Montesquieu's The Spirit of the Laws and the framers of the United States Constitution.

Executive (government)

executiveexecutive branchExecutive power
The typical division is into three branches: a legislature, an executive, and a judiciary, which is the trias politica model. In The Spirit of the Laws (1748), Montesquieu described the various forms of distribution of political power among a legislature, an executive, and a judiciary.
In political systems based on the principle of separation of powers, authority is distributed among several branches (executive, legislative, judicial)—an attempt to prevent the concentration of power in the hands of a single group of people.

Democracy

democraticdemocraciesdemocratically
John Calvin (1509–1564) favoured a system of government that divided political power between democracy and aristocracy (mixed government).
In the United States, separation of powers is often cited as a central attribute.

Constitution of the United States

United States ConstitutionU.S. ConstitutionConstitution
The origin of checks and balances, like separation of powers itself, is specifically credited to Montesquieu in the Enlightenment (in The Spirit of the Laws, 1748), under this influence was implemented in 1787 in the Constitution of the United States. The following example of the separation of powers and their mutual checks and balances for the experience of the United States Constitution is presented as illustrative of the general principles applied in similar forms of government as well:
Its first three articles embody the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches: the legislative, consisting of the bicameral Congress (Article One); the executive, consisting of the president (Article Two); and the judicial, consisting of the Supreme Court and other federal courts (Article Three).

Montesquieu

Charles de Secondat, baron de MontesquieuBaron de MontesquieuCharles de Montesquieu
The origin of checks and balances, like separation of powers itself, is specifically credited to Montesquieu in the Enlightenment (in The Spirit of the Laws, 1748), under this influence was implemented in 1787 in the Constitution of the United States. The term "tripartite system" is commonly ascribed to French Enlightenment political philosopher Baron de Montesquieu although he did not use such a term but referred to "distribution" of powers.
He is famous for his articulation of the theory of separation of powers, which is implemented in many constitutions throughout the world.

Age of Enlightenment

Enlightenmentthe EnlightenmentFrench Enlightenment
The term "tripartite system" is commonly ascribed to French Enlightenment political philosopher Baron de Montesquieu although he did not use such a term but referred to "distribution" of powers.
The political philosopher Montesquieu introduced the idea of a separation of powers in a government, a concept which was enthusiastically adopted by the authors of the United States Constitution.

Election commission

Electoral CommissionCommission on ElectionsCentral Election Commission
A number of Latin American countries have electoral branches of government.
In the branch model the election commission is often called an electoral branch, and is usually a constitutionally-recognized separate branch of government, with its members appointed by either the executive or the legislative branch.

French Directory

DirectoryDirectoireDirectorate
There are a few historical exceptions, such as the Directoire system of revolutionary France.
The new Constitution sought to create a separation of powers; the Directors had no voice in legislation or taxation, nor could Directors or Ministers sit in either house.

Constitution of the United Kingdom

British constitutionconstitutionEnglish constitution
He based this model on the Constitution of the Roman Republic and the British constitutional system.
In other systems the idea of a separation of powers is seen as an essential part of maintaining the rule of law.

Politics of New Zealand

New Zealand politicsNew Zealand GovernmentNew Zealand
Countries with little separation of power include New Zealand and Canada.
The Constitution Act 1986 describes the three branches of government in New Zealand: the executive (the Sovereign and the Executive Council), the legislature (Parliament) and the judiciary (Courts).

The Spirit of the Laws

Spirit of the LawsDe l'esprit des loisSpirit of Laws
The origin of checks and balances, like separation of powers itself, is specifically credited to Montesquieu in the Enlightenment (in The Spirit of the Laws, 1748), under this influence was implemented in 1787 in the Constitution of the United States. In The Spirit of the Laws (1748), Montesquieu described the various forms of distribution of political power among a legislature, an executive, and a judiciary.
He pleaded for a constitutional system of government with separation of powers, the preservation of legality and civil liberties, and the end of slavery.

Mixed government

Mixedmixed constitutionmixed monarchy
In the Roman Republic, the Roman Senate, Consuls and the Assemblies showed an example of a mixed government according to Polybius (Histories, Book 6, 11–13). John Calvin (1509–1564) favoured a system of government that divided political power between democracy and aristocracy (mixed government).
To further safeguard the rights and liberties of ordinary men and women, Calvin also favored the distribution of power to several political institutions (separation of powers).

Judicial review

judicial oversightreviewjudicially reviewed
The courts frequently exercise a power of judicial review of administrative actions and also decide matters of constitutionality of legislation, though this power is circumscribed under the power of the People's Republic of China's National People's Congress to make final determinations as to interpretation.
Judicial review is one of the checks and balances in the separation of powers: the power of the judiciary to supervise the legislative and executive branches when the latter exceed their authority.

Constitutional Council (France)

Constitutional CouncilConstitutional Council of FranceConseil Constitutionnel
The Government of France consists of an executive branch (President of the Republic, Prime Minister, ministers, and their services and affiliated organizations); a legislative branch (both houses of Parliament); and a judicial branch.

Plymouth Colony

PlymouthPlymouth PlantationColony of New-Plimouth
In 1620, a group of English separatist Congregationalists and Anglicans (later known as the Pilgrim Fathers) founded Plymouth Colony in North America.
It followed a recommendation in John Calvin's political theory to set up several institutions which complement and control each other in a system of checks and balances in order to minimize the misuse of political power.

Semi-presidential system

semi-presidentialsemi-presidential republicsemi-presidential systems
It can be contrasted with the fusion of powers in parliamentary systems and semi-presidential systems where the executive and legislative branches overlap.
Cohabitation can create an effective system of checks and balances or a period of bitter and tense stonewalling, depending on the attitudes of the two leaders, the ideologies of themselves or their parties, or the demands of their constituencies.

Presidential system

presidentialpresidential republicpresidentialism
The following example of the separation of powers and their mutual checks and balances for the experience of the United States Constitution is presented as illustrative of the general principles applied in similar forms of government as well:
Of the three common branches of government, the executive is in the best position to use extra-constitutional measures, especially when the president is head of state, head of government, and commander-in-chief of the military.

Liberal democracy

constitutional democracyliberal democraticliberal democracies
Also referred to as Western democracy, it is characterised by elections between multiple distinct political parties, a separation of powers into different branches of government, the rule of law in everyday life as part of an open society, a market economy with private property and the equal protection of human rights, civil rights, civil liberties and political freedoms for all people.

Veto

overridevetoedveto power
In 1983, the Supreme Court struck down the one-house legislative veto, on separation of powers grounds and on grounds that the action by one house of Congress violated the Constitutional requirement of bicameralism.

John Locke

LockeLockeanJ Locke
So the form of government in the colonies was well known in the mother country, including to the philosopher John Locke (1632–1704).
Locke also advocated governmental separation of powers and believed that revolution is not only a right but an obligation in some circumstances.

John Calvin

CalvinJean CalvinCalvinist
John Calvin (1509–1564) favoured a system of government that divided political power between democracy and aristocracy (mixed government).
To further minimize the misuse of political power, Calvin proposed to divide it among several political institutions like the aristocracy, lower estates, or magistrates in a system of checks and balances (separation of powers).

Parliamentary sovereignty

parliamentary supremacylegislative supremacysovereignty of Parliament
With this came a switch to a parliamentary system of government and while the full process takes decades, it has led to a system of parliamentary sovereignty where the Montesquieu idea of separation of powers is technically dead even though the three branches remain important institutions.
In some countries, parliamentary sovereignty may be contrasted with separation of powers, which limits the legislature's scope often to general law-making, and judicial review, where laws passed by the legislature may be declared invalid in certain circumstances.

Judiciary

judicialjudicial branchjudicial system
The typical division is into three branches: a legislature, an executive, and a judiciary, which is the trias politica model. In The Spirit of the Laws (1748), Montesquieu described the various forms of distribution of political power among a legislature, an executive, and a judiciary.
Under the doctrine of the separation of powers, the judiciary generally does not make statutory law (which is the responsibility of the legislature) or enforce law (which is the responsibility of the executive), but rather interprets law and applies it to the facts of each case.

Constitution of Austria

Austrian ConstitutionConstitutionFederal Constitution
The Constitution of Austria was originally written by Hans Kelsen, the prominent constitutional scholar in Europe at that time.
The federal constitution defines Austria itself as a bicameral parliamentary democracy with near-complete separation of powers.