Essay on Separation of Powers in the Uk

1479 Words Jan 22nd, 2012 6 Pages
This essay will seek to analyse the doctrine of the separation of powers and the importance of its presence within a constitution. Particular emphasis will be placed on identifying how this idea is incorporated into the United Kingdom’s (UK) constitution and the effect that recent developments of constitutional reform such as the introduction of the UK Supreme Court in place of the House of Lords has had.
The doctrine of the separation of powers is an idea that can be seen in writings as far back as the time of Aristotle. This concept states that any constitution relies on the ‘three pillars of state’ which are the executive, legislative and judiciary. Montesquieu formulated this concept in the eighteenth century and in ‘L’Esprit des
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It has very much been convention that from before 2006 the law lords that sit in the appellate committee of the House of Lords refrain from sitting in political matters whereas; members of the Lords who exercise political functions do not participate with any matters of the judiciary.
True, the introduction of the Supreme Court has made it impossible for the legislative and judicial powers to be fused as members appointed within the Supreme Court will no longer be members of the House of Lords thus making this house of Parliament solely legislative. Perhaps a more important development is that future members of the Supreme Court need not even be peers which could in time sever any link between the two chambers.
The act also placed restraints on the role of the Lord Chancellor that have met the same feeling as that of the Supreme Court, whilst yes these changes are positive, the question remains were they necessary?
The introduction of the UK Supreme Court is a positive step to incorporate not only more written sources to the constitution but towards properly establishing a separation of powers within the UK. However, it can be suggested that a more appropriate step to achieving this goal would be to

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