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The Constitutional Convention of the Separation of Powers in the UK

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Montesquieu asserts the necessity for separation of powers as follows “ again, there is no liberty if the power of judging is not separated from the legislative and the executive ” . However, the fusion of the Executive and Legislative has undermined the democratic ideal of separation. Nowhere was this more evident than the fusion between Executive and Legislative, where the Executive is drawn from the Legislative, indeed from the leadership of the majority party in Parliament. Furthermore, the Executive actually sit as members of the central legislative body of the House of Commons, effectively resulting in the Executive domination of Parliament.

This is further compounded by the fact that as regards Parliamentary sovereignty, constitutional convention dictates that Parliament has ultimate authority over all affairs of government, which again undermines the separation of powers. Moreover, the concept of law reform is often intertwined with policy in practice and reacts to social, political and economic factors. Indeed Eddey & Darbyshire comment that “ New Governments want to make their mark ” and a government with a significant majority has a greater chance of pushing their bill through Parliament, which undermines the essential objective of transparent law reform.

A Parliamentary bill has three stages namely; initiation, formulation, and implementation. If the most relevant MPs are likely to support the bill, then the second part is Parliamentary formulation and drafting, which is often according to how the government wants it to appear on the statute. At this stage, MPs have little or no influence. As such, whilst Parliament is a public arena and supposed to justify its bills, there appears to be little difference in the bill during the various stages through Parliament, with an often assured passage.

This is further highlighted by the effect of the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949. The Parliament Act 1911 highlighted the supremacy of the House of Commons by limiting the suspensory veto powers of the House of Lords.

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preview essay on The Constitutional Convention of the Separation of Powers in the UK
  • Pages: 8 (2000 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Law
  • Level: Undergraduate
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