Theory of separation of powers, or how democratic government is implemented


In most cases, a democratic state is associated with the equal existence of all its institutions. This situation was caused by the theory of separation of powers, the foundations of which were laid by a whole galaxy of prominent philosophers. What is the essence of such a device of the country? To give a detailed answer to this question, it is necessary not only to assimilate the essence, but also to reveal its formation.

Theory of separation of powers - a historical excursion

If we trace the evolution of power, it will become extremely clear that its status has significantly changed. Anyway, but for most of the history of mankind, power was concentrated in a single source. At first it was a tribe, then a council of elders, then an elder or leader himself. With the emergence of the state as a form of organization of society, all power was transferred either to the monarch (as it was in Egypt) or to a collegial body (as evidenced by the examples of Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece). In this case, it was always about the judicial, executive and legislative branches. But even at that distant time, ideas about dividing them wandered among philosophers and statesmen. This is evidenced by the work of Aristotle, Plato, Polybius.

However, these views were most widely manifested in the Renaissance, which reached its peak at the change of this period and the Enlightenment. Thus, the famous scholars John Locke and Thomas Hobbes laid the foundation for their work, arguing that absolute monarchy should be limited to the people. Their ideas were supported and developed by S.-L. Montesquieu, thanks to which the modern concept of separation of powers arose.

The theory of separation of powers - a modern concept

Modern Western perception of the state states that all its branches must be separated from each other. Those. legislative, judicial and executive powers must cooperate with each other on the principles of independence and equality. It is this concept of the functioning of democratic countries that the theory of the division of power advances.

But why adhere to such a mechanism of functioning? The answer is in the essence of the theory under consideration. According to her, the separation of the branches of government and its bodies eliminates the very possibility of concentrating more powers from a certain group. So, there are four basic principles on which the theory of separation of powers of Montesquieu is based:

- these three branches of government should be designated in the basic law of the country and, according to it, be governed by different bodies;

- the three authorities operate in cooperation, but not subordinate to each other;

- they do not have the right to interfere with the powers of each other;

- strict apoliticality of the judiciary.

It is on these principles that the fundamental beginning of interaction between the executive and legislative branches is based. The theory of separation of powers calls this mechanism as follows: checks and balances. It is used in cases where representatives of these two types purposefully violate the scope of administration of each other.

In addition to this mechanism, the theory of separation of power helps to clearly correlate which government agencies should join a particular branch.

Thus, the main legislative body is the Parliament. Depending on the country, its name may vary. However, the essence remains the same - the development and adoption of laws.

The executive power is the Government with its structural subdivisions, the judicial power, respectively, the courts. The Constitutional Court stands apart against the latter. Due to the duality of the decisions taken by him, it is customary to allocate this body of the country into a separate state-legal institution, which acts as an arbiter between all the structural elements of the state.

Launched in the Enlightenment, the theory of separation of powers Montesquieu is still the fundamental principle of the existence of the majority of Western countries. Therefore, a clear understanding of its essence allows an objective assessment of not only the forms of government, but also the political regime.

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