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Public Law Directions

Public Law Directions (2nd edn)

Anne Dennett
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date: 21 April 2024

p. 1467. Separation of powerslocked

p. 1467. Separation of powerslocked

  • Anne DennettAnne DennettSenior Lecturer, University of Lincoln


This chapter looks at the separation of powers. The separation of powers is a doctrine requiring that executive, legislative, and judicial powers within a state should be clearly divided and allocated to separate institutions; the aim is to prevent the concentration of power in any one branch and reduce the potential for arbitrary or oppressive exercise of power. Although the degree of separation between the three branches varies between states, codified constitutions will regulate those spheres of power by allocating specific roles and functions to each branch and will allow checks or controls to operate between them to ensure accountability. The separation of powers in the UK is weakest between the legislative and executive, and strongest and most distinct between the judiciary and the other two branches. Indeed, the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 has brought stronger separation between the judiciary and the executive, making the judiciary more autonomous.

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