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Public Law Directions

Public Law Directions (2nd edn)

Anne Dennett
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date: 01 December 2023

p. 714. How the UK is organisedlocked

p. 714. How the UK is organisedlocked

  • Anne DennettAnne DennettSenior Lecturer, University of Lincoln


This chapter details how power is allocated in the UK, and its organisation in terms of devolution and regional and local government. Power in the UK is divided into three branches or arms of state: legislature (law-makers), executive (government and administration), and judiciary (courts and judges). Before devolution, the government’s (executive’s) administrative power was centralised and it extended to the whole of the UK, but devolution has made significant changes to the constitution and has brought a substantial rebalancing of power in the government of the UK. Since devolution’s introduction, the power of central government no longer extends to the growing areas of domestic policy that have been devolved to Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The UK government’s remit therefore now covers England and the whole of the UK on non-devolved matters including the conduct of foreign affairs, defence, national security, and oversight of the Civil Service and government agencies.

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