What are the principles of separation of powers?
In the modern world, democracy is considered to be the highest model of the organization of a just society. Of course, in the ideal version the way it is, but reality dictates other realities. That is precisely in order to understand how well democracy works, and the principles of separation of powers have been created.
Theory from Charles Montesquieu
The great French philosopher really enriched the theory of democracy with a special contribution, laying the foundations for the functioning of most modern states. So, according to his judgments, the fair exercise of power is possible only when it is separated into three major areas, but the presence of each of them means control over the other two.Simply put, the principle of separation of powers implies independence of the most important branches from each other, but the powers of each include a number of clearly defined rights that can be applied if any of the branches encroaches on the other two.These rights later received an informal name in the general theory of constitutional law - “the mechanism of checks and balances”.
Checks and Balances
In accordance with Montesquieu’s thoughts, the constitutional principles of separation of powers must become the basis for preventing not only and not so much the absorption of one branch of authority by the other, as for controlling the positions of power as such. In fact, this mechanism can be represented by one of the UN slogans - “Unity and strength in diversity”. Indeed, neither the judiciary nor the legislative and, of course, no executive branch have the right in the ordinary “life” to encroach on the rights of each of them. Thus, in theory, the principles of separation of powers dictate that the judicial and / or executive authorities are not entitled to create legislative acts (although this is partly refuted by the case law system), and the legislative, for example, take the right to judge the legitimacy of certain actions. But at the same time, the same principles create a mechanism of “mutual aid” in cases of emergency situations, for example, in the event of a crisis of one of the authorities or natural disasters.In this situation, a strictly agreed branch of power has the right to take over clearly specified powers. Coming back to the last example, it’s pretty simple to demonstrate. Thus, with the devastating effects of an earthquake, the executive branch has the right to create emergency laws that are valid within a strictly defined time frame. As soon as they come out, such acts continue to operate, but only in the parameters that were adopted by the legislature.
Advantages and disadvantages
As with any phenomenon, the principles of separation of powers have both light and dark sides. Supporters of their implementation in the body of the main act of the country note that the main advantage is the qualitative distribution of powers, and this increases the efficiency of the entire government as a whole. Another clear winning point is to ensure the activity of each branch and its independence. Well, the third significant advantage is the fact that with the effective use of the mechanism of checks and a counterweight to the population of the country, confidence in the strength of the official authorities is growing. The disadvantages of the considered principles include the fact that sometimes the authorities are able to “shift” each other responsibility for the ineffective resolution of acute problems.However, the described situation is possible only if the principles of separation of powers are not clear, and do not have a really revealed legal mechanism for implementation.