Separation of Powers in United Kingdom

British constitution unwritten characteristic does not secure the doctrine of Separation of Powers however it is implemented through conventions and by common law tradition which has been practiced by them till today. Members of one organ of Government are often also members of one or more others. Legally and constitutionally, the Queen is head of all three organs of government and also acts as ‘the Queen in Parliament’ or the Monarchy itself. She is also the legislature whom assent to a bill is necessary for it to become law, acts as Head of State (executive), and as ‘Fount of Justice’ (judiciary) as power vested in pardoning individuals. In practices however, the monarch exercises very little constitutional power personally.

Executive is the law officers of the Crown. In England is known as Attorney General& Solicitor General and in Scotland known as Lord Advocate. Legislatures compromising members of House of Lords and House of commons often legislation only needed bills with the stipulated procedure and conventions are used more widely as tradition in their administration. The existence of the doctrine of Parliamentary supremacy which effectively means that Parliament as the ultimate source of law, can make law as it determines and to which extend Separation of powers operates in United Kingdom can be debated.

The position of Lord Chancellor who is member of government and the same time most senior judge in the land with control over judicial appointment often becomes controversial issue and it was later changed in Constitutional Reform Bill published in February 2004. Judicial authority claims separation of powers is an essential element in the constitution of the United Kingdom as remarked by Lord Diplock in the case of R v Hinds (1979).

In the United Kingdom it was the Human Rights Act 1988 that untangle the tension in between courts and executive.That Act, the courts given the right to subject the actions and operations of the executive and given power to public authorities to control the law in such a way to prevent the executive from abusing its power. The Human Rights Act represents a change and emphasis in the approach to the protection of rights and liberties of individuals in the United Kingdom.

Sarah from Law Aspect

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