The Separation of Powers

Topics: Separation of powers, Australia, Judiciary Pages: 4 (1305 words) Published: September 10, 2013

Davenport S. & Parker D.’s statement (as above) explores the concept of the ‘separation of powers’ doctrine and how this is embedded within the ‘Commonwealth Constitution’. It also states that Australia is a ‘constitutional democracy’. To address the meaning of this statement it is important to separate the statement into individual questions. What is a constitutional democracy? What is the doctrine of separation of powers? And lastly, what are the three parts that make up the separation of powers doctrine, and how does this operate in Australia? The following essay will provide a brief overview of these questions.


The first part of Davenport S. & Parker D.’s quote, relative to the ‘constitutional democracy’ term refers to the government systems in place within Australia, as a nation and how this functions in a practical sense. As described by Way A.L. a constitutional democracy is made up of two parts. Firstly, the power a government has within the constraints of a country’s constitution, and secondly the control of the general population in electing representatives, and those representatives accountabilities. Simply put, a constitutional democracy describes a countries framework that is somewhat controlled by the populous via the election of representatives (governments), and at the appointment of these representatives, the limitations of power they have within the constitution. Furthermore the ‘constitution’ terms describes a written set of principles that provide the fundamental law of a country and which were implemented in Australia (New South Wales) in 1900 (Pembroke, M et al, 2006, pg.96). The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (referred to as the Constitution, hereafter) infers differentiated powers both exclusive and concurrent, and at both a state and federal level.

The second part of this quote refers to the ‘separation of powers at both federal and state or territory levels’. The term ‘separation of...
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