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Separation of powers

By Ryu_Igarashi Mar 16, 2014 14596 Words

1) The separation of powers, often imprecisely used interchangeably with the trias politica principle,[1] is a model for the governance of a state (or who controls the state). The model was first developed in Ancient Greece and Rome. Under this model, the state is divided into branches, each with separate and independent powers and areas of responsibility so that the powers of one branch are not in conflict with the powers associated with the other branches. The normal division of branches is into a legislature, an executive, and a judiciary. History

Aristotle first mentioned the idea of a "mixed government" or hybrid government in his work Politics where he drew upon many of the constitutional forms in the city-states of Ancient Greece. In the Roman Republic, the Roman Senate, Consuls and the Assemblies showed an example of a Mixed government according to Polybius (Histories, Book 6, 11-13). Montesquieu's tripartite system

The term tripartite system is ascribed to French Enlightenment political philosopher Baron de Montesquieu.[2][3] Montesquieu described the separation of political power among a legislature, an executive, and a judiciary. Montesquieu's approach was to present and defend a form of government which was not excessively centralized in all its powers to a single monarch or similar ruler. He based this model on the Constitution of the Roman Republic and the British constitutional system. Montesquieu took the view that the Roman Republic had powers separated so that no one could usurp complete power.[4][5][6] In the British constitutional system, Montesquieu discerned a separation of powers among the monarch, Parliament, and the courts of law. Montesquieu did actually specify that "the independence of the judiciary has to be real, and not apparent merely". "The judiciary was generally seen as the most important of powers, independent and unchecked", and also was considered dangerous.[7] Bipartite systems

In the sixteenth century, John Calvin favoured a system of government that divided political power between democracy and aristocracy (mixed government). Calvin appreciated the advantages of democracy: "It is an invaluable gift if God allows a people to elect its own government and magistrates."[8] In order to further reduce the danger of misuse of political power, he suggested setting up several political institutions which should complement and control each other in a system of checks and balances. In this way, Calvin and his followers resisted political absolutism and furthered the growth of democracy. Calvin's aim was to protect the rights and the well-being of ordinary people.[9] In 1620, a group of English separatist Congregationalists and Anglicans, who later became known as Pilgrim Fathers, founded Plymouth Colony in North America. Enjoying self-rule, they established a bipartite democratic system of government. The "freemen" elected the General Court, which functioned as legislative and judiciary and which in turn elected a governor, who together with his seven "assistants" served in the functional role of providing executive power.[10] Massachusetts Bay Colony (founded 1628), Rhode Island (1636), Connecticut (1636), New Jersey, and Pennsylvania had similar constitutions. They all separated political powers. Except for Plymouth Colony and Massachusetts Bay Colony, these English outposts added religious freedom to their democratic systems, an important step towards the development of human rights.[11][12] Books like William Bradford's History of Plymoth Plantation were widely read in England. So the form of government in the colonies was well known in the mother country, also to philosopher John Locke. He deduced from a study of the English constitutional system that political power was to be divided into the legislative, which should be distributed among several bodies, for example, the House of Lords and the House of Commons, on the one hand, and the executive and federative, responsible for the protection of the country and prerogative of the monarch, on the other hand. England had no written constitution.[13] Checks and balances

To prevent one branch from becoming supreme, protect the "opulent minority" from the majority, and to induce the branches to cooperate, government systems that employ a separation of powers need a way to balance each of the branches. Typically this was accomplished through a system of "checks and balances", the origin of which, like separation of powers itself, is specifically credited to Montesquieu. Checks and balances allow for a system-based regulation that allows one branch to limit another, such as the power of Congress to alter the composition and jurisdiction of the federal courts. Both bipartite and tripartite governmental systems apply the principles of the separation of powers to allow for the branches represented by the separate powers to hold each other reciprocally responsible to the assertion of powers as apportioned by law. The following example of the separation of powers and their mutual checks and balances for the experience of the United States Constitution is presented as illustrative of the general principles applied in similar forms of government as well. Legislative (Congress)Executive (President)Judicial (Supreme Court) Passes bills; has broad taxing and spending power; regulates inter-state commerce; controls the federal budget; has power to borrow money on the credit of the United States (may be vetoed by President, but vetoes may be overridden with a two-thirds vote of both houses) Has sole power to declare war, as well as to raise, support, and regulate the military. Oversees, investigates, and makes the rules for the government and its officers. Defines by law the jurisdiction of the federal judiciary in cases not specified by the Constitution Ratification of treaties signed by the President and gives advice and consent to presidential appointments to the federal judiciary, federal executive departments, and other posts (Senate only) Has sole power of impeachment (House of Representatives) and trial of impeachments (Senate); can remove federal executive and judicial officers from office for high crimes and misdemeanors Is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces

Executes the instructions of Congress.
May veto bills passed by Congress (but the veto may be overridden by a two-thirds majority of both houses) Executes the spending authorized by Congress.
Declares states of emergency and publishes regulations and executive orders. Makes executive agreements (does not require ratification) and signs treaties (ratification requiring approval by two-thirds of the Senate) Makes appointments to the federal judiciary, federal executive departments, and other posts with the advice and consent of the Senate. Has power to make temporary appointment during the recess of the Senate Has the power to grant "reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment." Determines which laws Congress intended to apply to any given case Exercises judicial review, reviewing the constitutionality of laws Determines how Congress meant the law to apply to disputes

Determines how a law acts to determine the disposition of prisoners Determines how a law acts to compel testimony and the production of evidence Determines how laws should be interpreted to assure uniform policies in a top-down fashion via the appeals process, but gives discretion in individual cases to low-level judges. The amount of discretion depends upon the standard of review, determined by the type of case in question. Comparison between tripartite and bipartite national systems

Constitutions with a high degree of separation of powers are found worldwide. The UK system is distinguished by a particular entwining of powers. In Italy the powers are completely separated, even if Council of Ministers need the vote of confidence from both chambers of Parliament, that's however formed by a wide number of members (almost 1,000). A number of Latin American countries have electoral branches of government. Countries with little separation of power include New Zealand and Canada. Canada makes limited use of separation of powers in practice, although in theory it distinguishes between branches of government. New Zealand's constitution is based on the principle of separation of powers through a series of constitutional safeguards, many of which are tacit. The Executive's ability to carry out decisions often depends on the Legislature, which is elected under the Mixed Member Proportional system. This means the government is rarely a single party but a coalition of parties. The Judiciary is also free of government interference. If a series of judicial decisions result in an interpretation of the law which the Executive considers does not reflect the intention of the policy, the Executive can initiate changes to the legislation in question through the Legislature. The Executive cannot direct or request a judicial officer to revise or reconsider a decision; decisions are final. Should there be a dispute between the Executive and Judiciary, the Executive has no authority to direct the Judiciary, or its individual members and vice versa. Complete separation of powers systems are almost always presidential, although theoretically this need not be the case. There are a few historical exceptions, such as the Directoire system of revolutionary France. Switzerland offers an example of non-Presidential separation of powers today: It is run by a seven-member executive branch, the Federal Council. However, some might argue that Switzerland does not have a strong separation of powers system, as the Federal Council is appointed by parliament (but not dependent on parliament) and although the judiciary has no power of review, the judiciary is still separate from the other branches. Typical branches

electoral - in which election commissions, tribunals or courts are maintained separately from other branches prosecutory
Three branches
Main article: Separation of powers in Australia
Australia does not maintain a strict separation between the legislative and executive branches of government—indeed, government ministers are required to be members of parliament—but the federal judiciary strictly guards its independence from the other two branches. However, under influence from the American constitution, the Australian constitution does define the three branches of government separately, and this has been interpreted by the judiciary to induce an implicit separation of powers. State governments have a similar level of separation of power, but this is generally on the basis of convention, rather than constitution. Austria

The Constitution of Austria was originally written by Hans Kelsen, the prominent constitutional scholar in Europe at that time. Kelsen was to serve as a part of the judicial court of review for Austria as part of its tripartite government.

Hans Kelsen was the principal author of the tripartite Constitution of Austria and the Constitution of Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia
The Constitution for Czechoslovakia was written by Hans Kelsen at about the same time as he wrote the Constitution for the government of Austria in 1920. The Constitution was written as a tripartite government with judicial review. This principle model used for this Constitution is that of the model of the United States Constitution. France

Main article: Government of France
According to the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, the government of France[14] is divided up into three branches: Executive. This includes the popularly elected president as well as the prime minister and cabinet. The French Prime minister is nominated by the president, but the government is responsible to the lower house of the legislature, the National Assembly. Legislature. A bicameral legislature that includes the Senate (upper house) and the National Assembly (lower house). The relationship between the two houses is asymmetric, meaning that in case of dispute, the National Assembly has the final word according to Article 45[15] of the Constitution. Judiciary. This includes the judicial and administrative orders. It also includes a constitutional court. Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a self-governing Chinese territory pursuant to the Sino-British Joint Declaration, an international treaty registered with the United Nations. Currently, Hong Kong has three branches of government as codified in theBasic Law, which preserves the political setup of the British colonial era under the doctrine of one country, two systems: Government - executive

Legislative Council - legislature
Judiciary (Court of Final Appeal and other courts and tribunals) - judiciary The Chief Executive, elected by a 1200-member Election Committee, is both head of the region and head of government, and chairs the Executive Council which is composed of unofficial members and government secretaries. The law courts exercise the power of judicial review of constitutionality of legislation and administrative actions, and emphasize the separation of powers in their rulings. The Chief Justice also stated this position in the ceremonial opening of the 2010 legal year.[16] However, politically separation of powers is usually argued against, with the leaders of the People's Republic of China and supportive politicians publicly requesting for the three branches to cooperate and emphasizing an "executive-led" system.[17] India

Main articles: Constitution of India and Government of India Parliament - Legislative
Prime Minister, Cabinet, Government Departments & Civil Service - Executive Supreme Court - Judicial
India follows a parliamentary system of government, which offers a clear separation of powers. The judiciary branch is fairly independent of the other two branches. Executive powers are vested with the President and Prime Minister, who are assisted by the Cabinet Secretary and other Secretaries. All three branches have "checks and balances" over each other to maintain the balance.[18] United Kingdom

Main article: Separation of powers in the United Kingdom
Parliament - legislature
Prime Minister, Cabinet, Government Departments & Civil Service - executive Courts - judiciary
The development of the British constitution, which is not a codified document, is based on this fusion in the person of the Monarch, who has a formal role to play in the legislature (Parliament, which is where legal and political sovereignty lies, is the Crown-in-Parliament, and is summoned and dissolved by the Sovereign who must give his or her Royal Assent to all Bills so that they become Acts), the executive (the Sovereign appoints all ministers of His/Her Majesty's Government, who govern in the name of the Crown) and the judiciary (the Sovereign, as the fount of justice, appoints all senior judges, and all public prosecutions are brought in his or her name). Although the doctrine of separation of power plays a role in the United Kingdom's constitutional doctrine, the UK constitution is often described as having "a weak separation of powers" A. V. Dicey, despite its constitution being the one to which Montesquieu originally referred. For example, in the United Kingdom, the executive forms a subset of the legislature, as did—to a lesser extent—the judiciary until the establishment of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister, the Chief Executive, sits as a member of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, either as a peer in the House of Lords or as an elected member of the House of Commons (by convention, and as a result of the supremacy of the Lower House, the Prime Minister now sits in the House of Commons) and can effectively be removed from office by a simple majority vote. Furthermore, while the courts in the United Kingdom are undoubtedly amongst the most independent in the world, the Law Lords, who were the final arbiters of judicial disputes in the UK sat simultaneously in the House of Lords, the upper house of the legislature, although this arrangement ceased in 2009 when the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom came into existence. Furthermore, because of the existence of Parliamentary sovereignty, while the theory of separation of powers may be studied there, a system such as that of the UK is more accurately described as a "fusion of powers".[citation needed] Until 2005, the Lord Chancellor fused the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary, as he was the ex officio Speaker of the House of Lords, a Government Minister who sat in Cabinet and was head of the Lord Chancellor's Department which administered the courts, the justice system and appointed judges, and was the head of the Judiciary in England and Wales and sat as a judge on the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords, the highest domestic court in the entire United Kingdom, and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, the senior tribunal court for parts of the Commonwealth. The Lord Chancellor also had certain other judicial positions, including being a judge in the Court of Appeal and President of the Chancery Division. The Lord Chancellor combines other aspects of the constitution, including having certain ecclesiastical functions of the established state church, making certain church appointments, nominations and sitting as one of the thirty-three Church Commissioners. These functions remain intact and unaffected by the Constitutional Reform Act. In 2005, the Constitutional Reform Act separated the powers with Legislative functions going to an elected Lord Speaker and the Judicial functions going to the Lord Chief Justice. The Lord Chancellor's Department was replaced with a Ministry of Justice and the Lord Chancellor currently serves in the position of Secretary of State for Justice. The judiciary has no power to strike down primary legislation, and can only rule on secondary legislation that it is invalid with regard to the primary legislation if necessary. Under the concept of parliamentary sovereignty, Parliament can enact any primary legislation it chooses. However, the concept immediately becomes problematic when the question is asked; "If parliament can do anything, can it bind its successors?". It is generally held that parliament can do no such thing. Equally, while statute takes precedence over precedent-derived common law and the judiciary has no power to strike down primary legislation, there are certain cases where the supreme judicature has effected an injunction against the application of an act or reliance on its authority by the civil service . The seminal example of this is the Factortame case, where the House of Lords granted such an injunction preventing the operation of the Merchant Shipping Act 1988 until litigation in the European Court of Justice had been resolved. The House of Lords ruling in Factortame (No. 1), approving the European Court of Justice formulation that "a national court which, in a case before it concerning Community law, considers that the sole obstacle which precludes it from granting interim relief is a rule of national law, must disapply that rule", has created an implicit tiering of legislative reviewability; the only way for parliament to prevent the supreme judicature from injunctively striking out a law on the basis of incompatibility with Community law is to pass an act specifically removing that power from the court, or by repealing the European Communities Act 1972. The British legal systems are based on common law traditions, which require: Police or regulators cannot initiate complaints under criminal law but can only investigate (prosecution is mostly reserved for the Crown Prosecution Service), which prevents selective enforcement, e.g. the 'fishing expedition' which is often specifically forbidden. Prosecutors cannot withhold evidence from counsel for the defendant; to do so results in mistrial or dismissal. Accordingly, their relation to police is no advantage. Defendants convicted can appeal, but only fresh and compelling evidence not available at trial can be introduced, restricting the power of the court of appeal to the process of law applied. United States

Main article: Separation of powers under the United States Constitution

George Washington at Constitutional Convention of 1787, signing of U.S. Constitution In the United States Constitution, Article 1 Section I gives Congress only those "legislative powers herein granted" and proceeds to list those permissible actions in Article I Section 8, while Section 9 lists actions that are prohibited for Congress. The vesting clause in Article II places no limits on the Executive branch, simply stating that, "The Executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America."[19] The Supreme Court holds "The judicial Power" according to Article III, and it established the implication of Judicial review in Marbury v. Madison under the Marshall court.[20] The federal government refers to the branches as "branches of government", while some systems use "government" to describe the executive. The Executive branch has attempted to claim power arguing for separation of powers to include being the Commander in Chief of a standing army since the American Civil War, executive orders, emergency powers and security classifications since World War II, national security, signing statements, and the scope of the unitary executive. Other systems

Main article: Government of the Republic of China
According to Sun Yat-sen's idea of "separation of the five powers", the government of the Republic of China has five branches: Executive Yuan - led by the premier but in actuality it is the president who sets policy - executive Legislative Yuan - unicameral - legislature

Judicial Yuan - its Constitutional Court (highest) and Supreme Court have different jurisdictions - judiciary Control Yuan - audit branch
Examination Yuan - civil service personnel management and human resources The president and vice president as well as the defunct National Assembly are constitutionally not part of the above five branches. Before being abolished in 2005, the National Assembly was a constitutional convention and electoral college for the president and vice president. Its constitutional amending powers were passed to the legislative yuan and its electoral powers were passed to the electorate. The relationship between the executive and legislative branches are poorly defined. An example of the problems this causes is the near complete political paralysis that results when the president, who has neither the power to veto nor the ability to dissolve the legislature and call new elections, cannot negotiate with the legislature when his party is in the minority.[21] The examination and control yuans are marginal branches; their leaders as well as the leaders of the executive and judicial yuans are appointed by the president and confirmed by the legislative yuan. The legislature is the only branch that chooses its own leadership. The vice president has practically no responsibilities. Belgium

Belgium is currently a federated state that has imposed the trias politica on different governmental levels. The constitution of 1831, considered one of the most liberal of its time for limiting the powers of its monarch and imposing a rigorous system of separation of powers, is based on three principles (represented in the Schematic overview of Belgian institutions): Trias Politica (horizontal separation of powers):

The legislative power is attributed to an elected parliamentary body elected with a representative general election system (one person one vote). The executive power is attributed to the Council of Ministers. Ministers are appointed by the King, usually from the elected members of parliament (non-elected people can also be nominated). However, they must first resign from their elected seat. The judicial power is in the hands of the courts. Magistrates are nominated by the minister (on proposal from a Council of the Magistrates). Magistrates can be nominated to become a judge (sitting magistrates) or instructing judge (investigating judge) of Procureur (public prosecutor) (the standing magistrates). The executive branch of the government is responsible to provide the physical means to execute its role (infrastructure, staff, financial means). Judges and some other people cannot run for elected office while they are nominated to certain positions (military, police-officers, clergy, notaries, bailiffs). Subsidiarity (vertical separation of powers):

Supranational directives (EU legislation) and international treaties are subjected to approval of the federal level (the federal level being Belgium the nation state) The federal level is composed of the following:

A bicameral parliament (House of Representative and Senate) (in 2014 this will be a directly elected house and an indirectly appointed Senate of the regions) A federal government (lead by the Prime Minister and the ministers and secretaries of state) Tasked with overseeing justice, defense, foreign affairs, and social security, public health High Court, constitutional Court, Cassation Court

The regional level is composed of the following:
A monocameral parliament
A regional government led by the minister-president (ministers and secretaries of state) is tasked with regional matters. Provinces also have similar structures:
A monocameral provincial council
A nominated provincial governor assisted by deputees is tasked with provincial matters. Appellate Court, Assisses Court
An intermediate level of Arrondissements subdivides the provinces it has only an executive level with an arrondissemental commissars City and communal entities:
A city or communal council
A mayor, assisted by aldermen, is tasked with local matters. Magistrates Court, Correctional Court (three judges).
Justice of the peace and Police Court judges (single judge courts) Secularism (separation of state and religion):
The king, the head of state, holds no political authority and requires executive approval by a minister for every action and statement; he nominates the ministers but he does not choose them (his executive powers); he signs and decrees the laws voted in parliament (his legislative powers); The head of state is commander in chief of the military (in title only), politically the military depends of the Minister of Defense and the chiefs of staff are responsible towards parliament and take their orders from the Minister of Defense and the government; Certain functions are deemed incompatible and people must resign from their function if they want to assume responsibilities in another function (military commanders have never been government ministers, even during a war) Costa Rica

In the aftermath of the 44-day civil war in 1948 (after former President and incumbent candidate Rafael Álgel Calderón Guardia tried to take power through fraud, by not recognising the results of the presidential election that he had lost), the question of which transformational model the Costa Rican State would follow was the main issue that confronted the victors. A Constituent Assembly was elected by popular vote to draw up a new constitution, enacted in 1949, and remains in force. This document was an edit of the constitution of 1871, as the constituent assembly rejected more radical corporatist ideas proposed by the ruling Junta Fundadora de la Segunda República (which, although having come to power by military force, abolished the armed forces). Nonetheless, the new constitution increased centralization of power at the expense of municipalities and eliminated provincial government altogether, at the time it increased the powers of congress and the judiciary. It established the three supreme powers as the legislature, executive, and judicial branches, but also created two other autonomous state organs that have equivalent power, but not equivalent rank. The first is the Supreme Elections Tribunal (electoral branch) which controls elections and makes unique, unappealable decisions on their outcomes. The second is the office of the Comptroller General (audit branch), an autonomous and independent organ nominally subordinate to the unicameral legislative assembly. All budgets of ministries and municipalities must pass through this agency, including the execution of budget items such as contracting for routine operations. The Comptroller also provides financial vigilance over government offices and office holders, and routinely brings actions to remove mayors for malfeasance, firmly establishing this organization as the fifth branch of the Republic European Union

The European Union is a supranational polity, and is neither a country nor a federation; but as the EU wields political power and is fully aware of its "democratic deficit", it attempts to comply with the principle of separation of powers. There are seven institutions of the European Union. In intergovernmental matters, most power is concentrated in the Council of the European Union – giving it the characteristics of a normal international organization. Here, all power at the EU level is in one branch. In the latter there are four main actors. The European Commission acts as an independent executive which is appointed by the Council in conjunction with the European Parliament; but the Commission also has a legislative role as the sole initiator of EU legislation.[22][23] [24] An early maxim was: "The Commission proposes and the Council disposes"; and although the EU's lawmaking procedure is now much more complicated, this simple maxim still holds some truth. As well as both executive and legislative functions, the Commission arguably exercises a third, quasi-judicial, function under Articles 101 & 102 TFEU (competition law ); although the ECJ remains the final arbiter. The European Parliament is one half of the legislative branch and is directly elected. The Council itself acts both as the second half of the legislative branch and also holds some executive functions (some of which are exercised by the related European Council in practice). The European Court of Justice acts as the independent judicial branch, interpreting EU law and treaties. The remaining institution, the European Court of Auditors, is an independent audit authority (due to the sensitive nature of fraud in the EU). Council of the European Union – legislative and executive

European Commission – executive, legislative and quasi-judicial European Council – executive
European Court of Auditors – audit
European Court of Justice – judicial
European Parliament – legislative
The three branches in German government are further divided into six main bodies enshrined in the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany: Federal President (Bundespräsident) - executive
Federal Cabinet (Bundesregierung) - executive
Federal Diet (Bundestag) & Federal Council (Bundesrat) - legislative Federal Assembly (Bundesversammlung) - presidential electoral college (consisting of the members of the Bundestag and electors from the constituent states) Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) - judiciary Besides the constitutional court the judicial branch at the federal level is made up of five supreme courts — one for civil and criminal cases (Bundesgerichtshof), and one each for administrative, tax, labour, and social security issues. There are also state (Länder / Bundesländer) based courts beneath them, and a rarely used senate of the supreme courts. Hungary

The four independent branches of power in Hungary (the parliament, the government, the court system, and the office of the public accuser) are divided into six bodies: Parliament (Magyar Országgyűlés): elected every 4 years by the people in a highly complex, two-round voting system Government (Magyar Kormány): installed and removed by 50%+1 basic majority vote of the parliament, 4-year terms Supreme Court (Legfelsőbb Bíróság): Chief justice elected by qualified (2/3) majority of the parliament, no government oversight Constitutional court (Alkotmánybíróság): members elected by qualified majority of the parliament for 8 years, this body nullifies laws and has no government oversight. Chief public accuser (Legfőbb ügyész): elected by qualified majority of the parliament, 6-year terms, office budget fixed, no government oversight. The President of the Republic (Köztársasági Elnök) is elected by qualified majority of the Hungarian parliament for 5-year terms (cannot be reelected more than once). He/she has ceremonial powers only, signs laws into power and commands the military in time of peace. The independent pillar status of the Hungarian public accuser's office is a unique construction, loosely modeled on the system Portugal introduced after the 1974 victory of the Carnation Revolution. The public accuser (attorney general) body has became the fourth column of Hungarian democracy only in recent times: after communism fell in 1989, the office was made independent by a new clausule XI. of the Constitution. The change was meant to prevent abuse of state power, especially with regards to the use of false accusations against opposition politicians, who may be excluded from elections if locked in protracted or excessively severe court cases. To prevent the Hungarian accuser's office from neglecting its duties, natural human private persons can submit investigation requests, called "pótmagánvád" directly to the courts, if the accusers' office refuses to do its job. Courts will decide if the allegations have merit and order police to act in lieu of the accuser's office if warranted. In its decision No.42/2005 the Hungarian constitutional court declared that the government does not enjoy such privilege and the state is powerless to further pursue cases if the public accuser refuses to do so.

Fusion of powers is a feature of parliamentary democracies, wherein the executive and legislative branches are intermingled. It is often contrasted with the more strict separation of powers found in the presidential democracies. Fusion of powers exists in many, if not a majority, of democracies today, and does so by design. But the system was the result of political evolution in Britain over many centuries, as the powers of the monarch and the upper house withered away, and the lower house became dominant.[1] The term fusion of powers is believed to have been coined by the British authority, Walter Bagehot.[2] Advantages

One advantage of a fusion of powers, according to promoters, is that it is easier for the government to take action. There exists virtually no way for there to be a deadlock in the manner that can sometimes occur where the legislature and executive are separated,[3] but see the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis for a counterexample. Senator Eugene Forsey of Canada, a country with fusion of powers, remarks that "in Canada, the Government and the House of Commons cannot be at odds for more than a few weeks at a time. If they differ on any matter of importance, then, promptly, there is either a new government or a new House of Commons."[4] Disadvantages

The disadvantage with a fusion of powers, paradoxically, is the power it gives to the executive, not the legislative, arm of government. In a fusion of powers, the head of government must have the confidence of a majority in the legislature. If the majority is made up of members of one's own party, the head of government can use these supporters to control the legislature's business, thus protecting the executive from being truly accountable and at the same time passing any laws expedient for the government. A revolt by members of the government's own party (or, if the government is a coalition or minority government, by supporting parties) is possible, but party discipline, along with a tendency by many electorates to vote against unstable governments, makes such a revolt unattractive and therefore rare. Many states have responded to this by instituting or retaining multicameral legislatures, in which all houses must pass legislation in the same form. The responsible house is usually the most powerful and the only house with the actual power to terminate the government. Other houses, though, can often veto or at least delay controversial bills, perhaps until the government's performance can be judged by the electorate. They also provide additional forums for inquiry into the conduct of the executive. In addition, since the government's future is not at stake in other houses, members of the governing party or coalition in these houses can be freer to oppose particular government policies they disagree with. A second approach to curbing executive power is the election of the responsible house by some form of proportional representation, as in the case of Japan. This often, but not necessarily, leads to coalitions or minority governments. These governments have the support of the legislature when their survival is at stake but less absolute control over its proceedings. A fusion of powers was specifically rejected by the framers of the American constitution, for fear that it would concentrate a dangerous level of power into one body. However, other countries reject the presidential system for the same reason, arguing it concentrates too much power in the hands of one person, especially if impeachment is difficult. Examples[edit]

The United Kingdom is generally considered the country with the strongest fusion of powers. Until 2005, the Lord Chancellor was a full fusion of all branches, being speaker in the House of Lords, a government minister heading the Lord Chancellor's Department and head of the judiciary. At the other end of the spectrum is the United States, with a strong separation of powers mandated by its constitution. But even in this system, checks and balances result in some connections between the branches. For example, the legislature may exercise the power to impeach the executive or judges, the executive may exercise the power to veto actions of the legislature, and the legislature may exercise the power to override the executive's veto. The French Fifth Republic, a model known alternatively as a semi-presidential system or “mixed” presidential-parliamentary system, exists somewhere near the middle of the spectrum. Mixed systems are being adopted by some of the newer democracies in eastern Europe.[5] See also[edit]

There are different ways to run political states or countries. Separation of Powers, Division of Power and fusion of powers are a few of them. These ways are important to run the systems of countries in organized ways. Otherwise there will be no system and country will be divided into many small parts. A common person cannot differentiate between them, so here we are describing few basic differences between them.

Separation of Powers

This is derived from an old model called as Trias Politica. This is an ancient model for the governance of state. It has its roots in Greece and it spread all over the world from Roman republic. This is still a part of Constitution of Roman Republic. In this model, state is divided into branches and each branch has independent powers and specific areas of responsibility. These branches are commonly divided into executive, judiciary and legislature.

Division of Powers

According to this system, powers of the government shall be divided into three departments i.e. Legislative, executive and Judicial and all three departments will exercise their own powers, no one will interfere with the others. Some powers are with central government, while others are for provinces.

Fusion of Power

Where executive and legislative branches are intermingled, it is called as fusion of power. We can see Fusion of power is many democratic countries. This system was evolved in Great Britain over the period of centuries.

Separation of Powers vs Division of Powers vs Fusion of Powers

Separation of power and division of power are similar but yet different. Separation of power is on higher level, between different departments, while division of powers in within a department. In both case powers are divided among executive, legislative an judiciary but in separation of power, powers are dividing in these branches, while in division of powers we talk about powers division between a single branch. Fusion of powers is entirely opposite. In this situation, executive and legislative branches are intermingled and there is no separation of powers. Separation of powers is usually present in presidential democracies while fusion of powers is found in parliamentary democracies. Fusion of power was evolved from Britain while separation of power has its root in Roman model of state. Both systems are different but yet both are present in different countries of the world, according to the situation of country. 2) A legislature is a decision-making organization, usually associated with national government, that has the power to enact, amend and repeal laws.[1] Legislatures observe and steer governing actions and usually have exclusive authority to amend the budget or budgets involved in the process. The most common names for national legislatures are "parliament" and "congress", although these terms have more specific meanings


As well as "parliament" and "congress", names for legislatures include "assembly", "diet", "majlis" and "council". "Parliament" generally refers to a legislature within a Westminster-style system. Because members of legislatures usually sit together in a specific room to deliberate, seats in that room may be assigned exclusively to members of the legislature. In parliamentary language, the term "seat" is sometimes used to mean that someone is a member of a legislature. For example, to say that a legislature has 100 "seats" means that there are 100 members of the legislature; and saying that someone is "contesting a seat" means they are trying to be elected as a member of the legislature. By extension, the term "seat" is often used in less formal contexts to refer to an electoral district itself, as, for example, in the phrases "safe seat" and "marginal seat". In parliamentary systems of government, the executive is responsible to the legislature which may remove it with a vote of no confidence. According to the separation of powers doctrine, the legislature in a presidential system is considered an independent and coequal branch of government along with both the judiciary and the executive.[2] Institutional framework

A legislature creates a complex interaction between individual members, political parties, committees, rules of parliamentary procedure, and informal norms. Chambers

A legislature is composed of one or more deliberative assemblies that separately debate and vote upon bills. These assemblies are normally known as chambers or houses. A legislature with only one house is a unicameral legislature, while a bicameral legislature possesses two separate chambers, usually described as an "upper house" and a "lower house". These usually differ in the duties and powers they exercise – the upper house being more revisionary or advisory in parliamentary systems – and the methods used for the selection of members. Tricameral legislatures are rare; the Massachusetts Governor's Council still exists, but the most recent national example existed in the waning years of caucasian-minority rule in South Africa. In presidential systems, the powers of the two houses are often similar or equal, while in federations, the upper house typically represents the federation's component states. This is case with the supranational legislature of the European Union. The upper house may either contain the delegates of state governments – as in the European Union and in Germany and, before 1913, in the United States – or be elected according to a formula that grants equal representation to states with smaller populations, as is the case in Australia and the United States since 1913. 3) Executive Branch

The Executive Branch of government is responsible for delivering programs and services to the population within the framework of laws, expenditures, and tax measures approved by Legislature. At the apex of the Executive Branch is the Executive Council (or Cabinet), composed of Ministers appointed from elected Members of the Legislative Assembly of the political party in power. Each Minister (or Member of the Executive Council) is responsible for one or more departments and agencies. Each department has a Deputy Minister. Ministers provide political and policy leadership, whereas Deputies provide policy advice and administrative leadership. The Executive Branch directs and oversees day-to-day operations of government. In New Brunswick, the provincial government is composed of four parts: Government Departments and Agencies (Part I), the School System (Part II), the Hospital System (Part III), and Crown Corporations (Part IV).

Legislative Branch
(supplied by Clerk's Office Legislative Assembly)
The main function of the legislative branch is to enact laws and to exercise control over government action. The 55 members of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick are elected to represent the 55 constituencies of the province and they form the working arm of the legislative branch. Members must fulfill many roles:

They represent their constituents;
They serve as ombudsmen and law-makers;
They act as watchdogs on the government and the bureaucracy. The Legislative Assembly is responsible for approving all provincial statutes, expenditures and taxation measures. Within the Legislative Branch there are independent statutory officers who report directly to the Legislative Assembly for the manner in which they carry out their statutory duties. These officers include: Auditor General

Child and Youth Advocate
Commissioner of Official Languages
Conflict of Interest Commissioner
Consumer Advocate for Insurance
Elections New Brunswick
Information and Privacy Commissioner
Legislative Assembly

Judicial Branch
The Judicial Branch is composed of both federal and provincial courts. Federal courts include the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Canada (Trial Division and Appellate Division), and the Tax Court. Provincial courts include the Court of Appeal of New Brunswick, the Court of Queen’s Bench of New Brunswick (Trial Division and Family Division), the Court of Divorce, the Probate Court, the Small Claims Court, and the Provincial Court. Justices of the Court of Queen’s Bench and the Court of Appeal are appointed by the Governor General in Council. Salaries for federally-appointed judges are paid by the federal government. With respect to the Provincial Court (also designated as the Youth Court under the Young Offenders Act and the Provincial Offences Procedure for Young Persons Act ), judges are appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council. Adjudicators (senior lawyers) appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council preside over matters in the Small Claims Court. The Province, by virtue of section 92(14) of the Constitution Act, is responsible for the constitution, maintenance and organization of provincial courts. All costs related to court operations (excluding the salaries and expenses related to federally-appointed judges) in the Province of New Brunswick are borne by the Province.

4) The judiciary (also known as the judicial system or court system) is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes. Under the doctrine of the separation of powers, the judiciary generally does not make law (that is, in a plenary fashion, which is the responsibility of the legislature) or enforce law (which is the responsibility of the executive), but rather interprets law and applies it to the facts of each case. This branch of the state is often tasked with ensuring equal justice under law. It usually consists of a court of final appeal (called the "Supreme court" or "Constitutional court"), together with lower courts. In many jurisdictions the judicial branch has the power to change laws through the process of judicial review. Courts with judicial review power may annul the laws and rules of the state when it finds them incompatible with a higher norm, such as primary legislation, the provisions of the constitution or international law. Judges constitute a critical force for interpretation and implementation of a constitution, thus de facto in common law countries creating the body of constitutional law. In the US during recent decades the judiciary became active in economic issues related with economic rights established by constitution because "economics may provide insight into questions that bear on the proper legal interpretation".[3] Since many countries with transitional political and economic systems continue treating their constitutions as abstract legal documents disengaged from the economic policy of the state, practice of judicial review of economic acts of executive and legislative branches have begun to grow. In the 1980s, the Supreme Court of India for almost a decade had been encouraging public interest litigation on behalf of the poor and oppressed by using a very broad interpretation of several articles of the Indian Constitution.[4] Budget of the judiciary in many transitional and developing countries is almost completely controlled by the executive. The latter undermines the separation of powers, as it creates a critical financial dependence of the judiciary. The proper national wealth distribution including the government spending on the judiciary is subject of the constitutional economics. It is important to distinguish between the two methods of corruption of the judiciary: the state (through budget planning and various privileges), and the private.[5] The term "judiciary" is also used to refer collectively to the personnel, such as judges, magistrates and other adjudicators, who form the core of a judiciary (sometimes referred to as a "bench"), as well as the staffs who keep the system running smoothly. Contents [hide]

1 History
2 Various functions
3 Judicial Systems
4 See also
5 References
6 Further reading

After the French Revolution, lawmakers stopped interpretation of law by judges, and the legislature was the only body permitted to interpret the law; this prohibition was later overturned by the Code Napoléon.[6] In civil law jurisdictions at present, judges interpret the law to about the same extent as in common law jurisdictions[citation needed] – however it is different from the common law tradition which directly recognizes the limited power to make law. For instance, in France, the jurisprudence constante of the Court of Cassation or the Council of State is equivalent in practice with case law. However, the Louisiana Supreme Court notes the principal difference between the two legal doctrines: a single court decision can provide sufficient foundation for the common law doctrine of stare decisis, however, "a series of adjudicated cases, all in accord, form the basis for jurisprudence constante." [7] Moreover, the Louisiana Court of Appeals has explicitly noted that jurisprudence constante is merely a secondary source of law, which cannot be authoritative and does not rise to the level of stare decisis. [8] Various functions

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In common law jurisdictions, courts interpret law, including constitutions, statutes, and regulations. They also make law (but in a limited sense, limited to the facts of particular cases) based upon prior case law in areas where the legislature has not made law. For instance, the tort of negligence is not derived from statute law in most common law jurisdictions. The term common law refers to this kind of law. In civil law jurisdictions, courts interpret the law, but are prohibited from creating law, and thus do not issue rulings more general than the actual case to be judged. Jurisprudence plays a similar role to case law. In the United States court system, the Supreme Court is the final authority on the interpretation of the federal Constitution and all statutes and regulations created pursuant to it, as well as the constitutionality of the various state laws; in the US federal court system, federal cases are tried in trial courts, known as the US district courts, followed by appellate courts and then the Supreme Court. State courts, which try 98% of litigation,[9] may have different names and organization; trial courts may be called "courts of common plea", appellate courts "superior courts" or "commonwealth courts".[10] The judicial system, whether state or federal, begins with a court of first instance, is appealed to an appellate court, and then ends at the court of last resort.[11] In France, the final authority on the interpretation of the law is the Council of State for administrative cases, and the Court of Cassation for civil and criminal cases. In the People's Republic of China, the final authority on the interpretation of the law is the National People's Congress. Other countries such as Argentina have mixed systems that include lower courts, appeals courts, a cassation court (for criminal law) and a Supreme Court. In this system the Supreme Court is always the final authority, but criminal cases have four stages, one more than civil law does. On the court sits a total of nine justices. This number has been changed several times. Judicial Systems

Japan’s process for selecting Judges is longer and more stringent than the process in the United States and in Mexico. Assistant judges are appointed from those who have completed their training at the "Legal Training and Research Institute" located in Wako City. Once appointed, assistant judges still may not qualify to sit alone until they have served for five years, and have been appointed by the Supreme Court. Judges require ten years of experience in practical affairs, public prosecutor, or practicing attorney. In the Japanese Judicial Branch there is the Supreme Court located in Japan, eight high courts, fifty district courts, fifty family courts, and 438 summary courts. In difference, Mexican Supreme Court Justices are appointed by the president, and then are approved by the Senate to serve for a life term. Other justices are appointed by the Supreme Court and serve for six years. Federal courts consist of the Supreme Court with 21 magistrates, 32 circuit tribunals and 98 district courts. The Supreme Court of Mexico is located in "Mexico City. Supreme Court Judges must be of ages 35 to 65 and hold a law degree during the five years preceding their nomination. In the United States Supreme Court, justices are appointed by the president and approved by the Senate. As in Mexico, justices serve for a life term or until retirement. The Supreme Court of the United States is located in "Washington D.C". The Federal court system consists of 94 federal judicial districts. The 94 districts are then divided into twelve regional circuits. The United States consist of five different types of courts that are considered subordinate to the Supreme Court, U.S bankruptcy courts, U.S Courts of Appeal for the federal circuit, U.S Court of International Trade, U.S Courts of Appeal, and U.S District Courts. 5)

An election commission is a body charged with overseeing the implementation of election procedures. The exact name used varies from country to country, including such terms as "electoral commission", "central election commission", "electoral branch" or "electoral court". Election commissions can be independent, mixed, judicial or governmental. They may also be responsible for electoral boundary delimitation. In federations there may be a separate body for each subnational government. Contents [hide]

1 Electoral models
2 Boards of elections in the United States
3 List of election commissions
4 See also
5 References
6 External links
Electoral models

Independent model
In the independent model the election commission is independent of the executive and manages its own budget. Countries with an independent election commission include Australia, Canada, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, South Africa, Thailand and the United Kingdom. In some of these countries the independence of the election commission is constitutionally guaranteed e.g. section 190 of the Constitution of South Africa. Branch model

In the branch model the election commission is often called an electoral branch, and is usually a constitutionally-recognized separate branch of government, with its members appointed by either the executive or the legislative branch. Countries with an electoral branch include Bolivia, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Mixed model

In the mixed-model there is an independent board to determine policy, but implementation is usually a matter for an executive department with varying degrees of supervision by the independent board. Countries with such a model include Cameroon, France, Germany, Japan, Senegal and Spain. Executive model

In the executive model the election commission is directed by a cabinet minister as part of the executive branch of government, and may include local government authorities acting as agents of the central body. Countries with this model include Denmark, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia and the United States. Judicial model

In the judicial model the election commission is closely supervised by and ultimately responsible to a special "electoral court". Countries with such a model include Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. Boards of elections in the United States

Tangipahoa Parish Board of Election Supervisors selecting election commissioners for 2011 by means of the statutorily required plastic balls. Left to right: James "Rube" Ardillo, John Russell, Richard David Ramsey, Cindy Benitez, and Julian Dufreche. A board of elections is a body of officials designated to administer elections in some U.S. states and municipalities, such as New York City. The board is typically not under the direct control of the executive branch and therefore is buffered somewhat from political pressure. An example of a board of elections in the process of selecting election commissioners appears in the image to the right—the Tangipahoa Parish Board of Election Supervisors.[1] Such a board is established by the Louisiana Revised Statutes § 18:484. The statute specifies that such a board in every one of Louisiana's 64 parishes (counties) shall be constituted of a representative of each recognized political party plus the Registrar of Voters, the Governor's appointee, and the clerk of court. The statute articulates explicit charges to the board, including stipulating the manner of selecting the commissioners: "A ball made of plastic or a similar material with a number corresponding to each of the numbers on the compiled list of proposed commissioners for a precinct shall be placed in a receptacle and thoroughly mixed. The members of the parish board of election supervisors may participate in the mixing."[2] List of election commissions

Albania: Central Election Commission
Australia: Electoral Commission
Australian Capital Territory: Electoral Commission
New South Wales: Electoral Commission
Northern Territory: Electoral Commission
Queensland: Electoral Commission
South Australia: Electoral Commission
Tasmania: Electoral Commission
Victoria: Electoral Commission
Western Australia: Electoral Commission
Bangladesh: Election Commission
Belarus: Central Election Commission
Belize: Elections and Boundaries Commission
Plurinational Electoral Organ (since 2010)
National Electoral Court (defunct since 2010)
Brazil: Superior Electoral Court
Regional Electoral Courts
Republic of China: Central Election Commission
Canada: Elections Canada
Directeur général des élections du Québec
Elections Alberta
Elections BC
Elections Manitoba
Elections New Brunswick
Elections Newfoundland & Labrador
Elections Nova Scotia
Elections Nunavut
Elections NWT
Elections Ontario
Elections Prince Edward Island
Elections Saskatchewan
Elections Yukon
Colombia: National Electoral Council
Democratic Republic of the Congo: Independent National Electoral Commission Ethiopia: National Election Board
France: Constitutional Council
Ghana: Electoral Commission
Guyana: Elections Commission
Haiti: Provisional Electoral Council
Hong Kong: Electoral Affairs Commission
India: Election Commission
Indonesia: Indonesian Election Commission
Iran: Guardian Council
Iraq: Independent High Electoral Commission
Interim Independent Electoral Commission (since 2008)
Electoral Commission (defunct since 2008)
Liberia: National Elections Commission
Libya: High National Election Commission
Malaysia: Election Commission
Federal Electoral Institute
Federal Electoral Tribunal
Moldova: Central Election Commission
Myanmar (Burma): Union Electoral Commission
Nepal: Election Commission
New Zealand: Electoral Commission
Nicaragua: Supreme Electoral Council
Nigeria: Independent National Electoral Commission
Pakistan: Election Commission
Palestine: Central Elections Commission
Philippines: Commission on Elections
Once a winner is proclaimed, only these tribunals can rule on election matters: Presidential Electoral Tribunal (entirely composed of the Supreme Court) Senate Electoral Tribunal
House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal
Regional Trial Courts for local officials
Puerto Rico: State Elections Commission
Russia: Central Election Commission
Singapore: Elections Department
South Africa: Independent Electoral Commission
South Korea: National Election Commission
Sweden: Election Authority
Thailand: Election Commission
Turkey: Supreme Electoral Council
Ukraine: Central Election Commission
United Kingdom: Electoral Commission
United States:
Election Assistance Commission, administers federal elections and establishes standards for state and local elections Federal Election Commission, regulates campaign finance legislation Electoral Commission, a special commission for the 1876 presidential election Florida: Election Commission

New York: State Board of Elections
Oklahoma: State Election Board
Virginia: State Board of Elections
Uruguay: Electoral Court
Venezuela: National Electoral Council
Zimbabwe: Electoral Commission

Attorney general
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Attorney-general)
In most common law jurisdictions, the attorney general or attorney-general is the main legal advisor to the government, and in some jurisdictions he or she may also have executive responsibility for law enforcement, public prosecutions or even ministerial responsibility for legal affairs generally. In practice, the extent to which the attorney-general personally provides legal advice to the government varies between jurisdictions, and even between individual office-holders within the same jurisdiction, often depending on the level and nature of the office-holder's prior legal experience. The term is originally used to refer to any person who holds a general power of attorney to represent a principal in all matters. In the common law tradition, anyone who represents the state, especially in criminal prosecutions, is such an attorney. Although a government may designate some official as the permanent attorney general, anyone who comes to represent the state in the same way may, in the past, be referred to as such, even if only for a particular case. Today, however, in most jurisdictions the term is largely reserved as a title of the permanently appointed attorney general of the state. Civil law jurisdictions have similar offices, who may be variously called "procurators", "advocates general", "public attorneys", and other titles. Many of these offices also use "attorney general" or "attorney-general" as the English translation of the title, although because of different historical provenance the nature of such offices is usually different from that of attorneys-general in common law jurisdictions Contents [hide]

1 Attorneys-General in common law and hybrid jurisdictions
1.1 Australia
1.2 Canada
1.3 Fiji
1.4 Hong Kong
1.5 India
1.6 Ireland
1.7 Isle of Man
1.8 Israel
1.9 Jamaica
1.10 Kenya
1.11 Kiribati
1.12 Malaysia
1.13 Maldives
1.14 Mauritius
1.15 Nepal
1.16 New Zealand
1.17 Pakistan
1.18 Philippines
1.19 Samoa
1.20 Singapore
1.21 Sri Lanka
1.22 Tonga
1.23 United Kingdom
1.23.1 England and Wales
1.23.2 Northern Ireland
1.23.3 Scotland
1.23.4 Wales
1.23.5 Other Attorneys General in the UK
1.24 United States
1.25 Zimbabwe
2 Similar offices in non-common law jurisdictions
2.1 Afghanistan
2.2 Brazil
2.3 Dominican Republic
2.4 Germany
2.5 Hungary
2.6 Indonesia
2.7 Italy
2.8 Mexico
2.9 Netherlands
2.10 Russia
2.11 Serbia
2.12 Soviet Union
2.13 Spain
3 References
Attorneys-General in common law and hybrid jurisdictions

Attorneys-General in common law jurisdictions, and jurisdictions with a legal system which is partially derived from the common law tradition, share a common provenance. Australia
Main articles: Attorney-General for Australia and Australian Attorneys-General In Australia, the Attorney-General is the chief law officer of the Crown and a member of the Cabinet. The Attorney-General is the minister responsible for legal affairs, national and public security, and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. The Senator the Hon. George Brandis QC is the current Attorney-General. The Australian states each have separate attorneys-general, who are state ministers with similar responsibilities to the federal minister with respect to state law. Functions of the state and federal attorneys-general include the administration of the selection of persons for nomination to judicial posts, and authorizing prosecutions. In normal circumstances, the prosecutorial powers of the Attorney-General are exercised by the Director of Public Prosecutions and staff; however, the Attorney-General maintains formal control, including the power to initiate and terminate public prosecutions and take over private prosecutions. Statutory criminal law provides that prosecutions for certain offences require the individual consent of the Attorney-General. This is generally for offences whose illegality is of a somewhat controversial nature or where there is perceived to be a significant risk that prosecutions of a political nature may be embarked upon. The Attorney-General also generally has the power to issue certificates legally conclusive of certain facts (e.g., that the revelation of certain matters in court proceedings might constitute a risk to national security); the facts stated in such certificates must be accepted by the courts and cannot legally be disputed by any parties. The Attorney-General also has the power to issue a nolle prosequi with respect to a case, which authoritatively determines that the state (in whose name prosecutions are brought) does not wish to prosecute the case, so preventing any person from doing so. Canada

Main articles: Canadian Minister of Justice and Canadian Minister of Public Safety The Attorney General of Canada (French: Procureur général du Canada) is a separate title held by the Canadian Minister of Justice (Ministre de la Justice), a member of the Cabinet. The Minister of Justice is concerned with questions of policy and their relationship to the justice system. In his role as attorney general, he is the chief law officer of the Crown. A separate cabinet position, the Minister of Public Safety (Ministre de la Sécurité publique), formerly the "Solicitor General", administers the police, prisons, and security agencies of the federal government. Fiji

Main article: Attorney-General (Fiji)
In Fiji, the role of the Attorney General is defined as "providing essential legal expertise and support to the Government". More specific functions include "legislative drafting", "legal aid", "the prerogative of mercy" (advising the President), "liquor licensing" and "film censorship".[1] The current Attorney General is Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. In January 2008, he sparked controversy by accepting other government positions in addition to his role as Attorney General; Sayed-Khaiyum is currently responsible also for "Public Enterprise, Electoral Reform and Anti-Corruption". An article in the Fiji Times pointed out that "never before in the history of this nation has the Attorney-General held a portfolio dealing with matters other than the law and the judiciary", and criticised the decision.[2] Hong Kong

Main article: Secretary for Justice (Hong Kong)
The Secretary for Justice, known as the Attorney General before the Transfer of the Sovereignty in 1997, is the legal adviser to the Hong Kong Government and heads the Department of Justice. He/She is assisted by 5 law officers, namely: the Solicitor General who heads the Legal Policy Division,

the Director of Public Prosecutions who head the Prosecutions Division, the Law Officer (Civil Law) who heads the Civil Law Division, the Law Officer (International Law) who heads the International Law Division, and the Law Draftsman who heads the Law Drafting Division

(The Administration and Development Division is headed by an Administrative Officer.) Crimes and offences are prosecuted at the suit of the Secretary of Justice. The Secretary of Justice, appointed by the Chinese government on the advice of the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, is an ex officio member of the Executive Council of Hong Kong. The position is normally held by a legal professional, and was, before July 2002, a civil service position. India

Main article: Attorney General of India
"The Mission of the Office of the Attorney General is to provide the highest standard of professional legal services to Government, Departments and Offices." The Attorney General of Ireland is the legal adviser to the Government and is therefore the chief law officer of the State. The Office of the Attorney General, is made up of a number of different offices: The Attorney General's Office (located at Merrion Street, Dublin 2) containing the Advisory Counsel to the Attorney General The Office of Parliamentary Counsel to the Government (also located at Merrion Street, Dublin 2) containing the Parliamentary Counsel who draft legislation and have responsibilities in the area of Statute Law revision The Chief State Solicitor's Office (CSSO) (located at Little Ship Street, Dublin 8) containing the solicitors representing the Attorney and the State Since the enactment of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1974 the responsibility for the prosecution of indictable criminal offences is mostly in the hands of the Director of Public Prosecutions who is by law independent of the Attorney General and the State. The current attorney general is IS Máire Whelan, Isle of Man

In the Isle of Man, Her Majesty's Attorney General is a Crown appointment and Mr Attorney sits in the Legislative Council of the Isle of Man, 'ex officio'. Israel
Main article: Attorney General of Israel
The Attorney General of Israel is the head of the public prosecution from the state, the person who advises the government in legal matters, the person who represents the state's authorities in the courts, and advises in preparation of law memoranda of the government in general and the Justice Minister in particular (likewise he examines and advises for private proposals for a law of Knesset members). Jamaica

This is a position which existed in Jamaica for a long time. Hon Patrick Atkinson is the new Attorney General of Jamaica as of January 10, 2012. "Attorney General Sworn In". Jamaican Information Service. Kenya

Main article: Attorney General of Kenya
In Kenya the Attorney General is the Principal Legal Adviser to the Government and ex officio Member of Parliament and Cabinet. His duties include the formulation of legal policy and ensuring proper administration of Kenya's legal system including professional legal education. Assisting the Attorney General in the performance of his duties as Principal Legal Adviser to the Government are: Solicitor General

Senior Deputy Solicitor General
Director of Public Prosecutions
Registrar General
Administrator General
Chairman of Advocates Complaints Commission
Chief Parliamentary Counsel
Chief State Counsel
In Kiribati, the Attorney General is defined by section 42 of the Constitution as "the principal legal adviser to the Government". The Constitution specifies: "No person shall be qualified to hold or to act in the office of Attorney-General unless he is qualified to practise in Kiribati as an advocate in the High Court." The current Attorney General, as of 2007, is the Honourable Titabu Tabane. Malaysia

Main article: Attorney General of Malaysia
In Malaysia the Attorney-General or Peguam Negara (as he is referred to in Bahasa Malaysia) is the principal legal adviser to the Government. He is also the principal public prosecutor in the country, and is also known as the Public Prosecutor. He has the power, exercisable at his discretion, to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence, other than proceedings before a Syariah court, a native court or a court-martial. The current Attorney-General is Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Abdul Gani Patail. Maldives

Main article: Attorney General of the Maldives
In Mauritius, the Attorney-General who should be a Barrister, is the principal legal adviser to the Government and holds the office of a Minister. The Attorney-General‟s Office is also responsible for the drafting of legislation, and vetting of all contracts or agreements of which the Government is a party, including international agreements, treaties or conventions. Nepal

In Nepal, the Attorney General is the chief legal adviser of Government of Nepal as well as its chief public prosecutor. An Attorney General is appointed by the President on the recommendation of Prime Minister. The Attorney General's Office is a Constitutional body under the Interim Constitution of Nepal. For a person to be eligible for the post of Attorney General, he/she also has to be qualified to be appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court.[3] New Zealand

Main article: Attorney-General (New Zealand)
In New Zealand, the Attorney-General is the chief law officer and primary legal advisor of the New Zealand government. Historically, the post could be held either by a politician or by a senior jurist, but today, it is invariably held by a member of Parliament. The Attorney-General attends Cabinet, but the post is not the same as the Minister of Justice. The Attorney-General has departmental responsibility for the Crown Law Office, the Parliamentary Counsel Office, and the Serious Fraud Office. By tradition, persons appointed to the position of Attorney-General have almost invariably been lawyers. Only two former Attorneys-General have not been lawyers, most recently Dr Michael Cullen who held the post in 2005, and again from 2006. Cullen's appointment was controversial at the time because of his non-legal background. Pakistan

Main article: Attorney-General of Pakistan
The Attorney-General of Pakistan is the legal adviser to the government of the Pakistan and its public prosecutor. Currently Munir A. Malik is serving as the Attorney General of Pakistan. Philippines

Main article: Office of the Solicitor General (Philippines)
The Attorney General of the Philippines was an office that existed from 1901 until 1932, when the office was abolished and its functions taken over by the Minister of Justice. Since then, the Solicitor General of the Philippines, previously the second law officer, has been the principal law officer and legal defender of the Philippine Government. The Office of the Solicitor General is the law firm of the Republic of the Philippines. It is tasked with representing the Philippines, the Philippine Government, and all its officials in any litigation or matter requiring the services of a lawyer especially before appellate courts.[4] It is an independent and autonomous office attached to the Department of Justice for budgetary purposes.[5] Samoa

In Samoa, the Attorney General is the legal adviser to the government. The current Attorney General is Aumua Ming Leung Wai.[6] Singapore
Main article: Attorney-General of Singapore
The Attorney-General of Singapore is the legal adviser to the government of the Republic of Singapore and its public prosecutor. The current Attorney-General is Steven Chong. Sri Lanka
The Attorney-General of Sri Lanka is the chief legal adviser of the Government of Sri Lanka and head of the Attorney-General department which is the public prosecutor. Tonga
Main article: Attorney General (Tonga)
The office of Attorney General was established in Tonga in 1988, and was held jointly with the portfolio of Justice Minister until the two were separated in 2009.[7][8] The Attorney General is defined as the "Chief Legal Advisor to Government".[9] United Kingdom

Main article: Law Officers of the Crown
England and Wales
Main article: Law Officers of the Crown in England and Wales The Attorney General for England and Wales is similarly the chief law officer of the Crown in England and Wales, and advises and represents the Crown and government departments in court. In practice, the Treasury Solicitor (who also has the title of Procurator General) normally provides the lawyers or briefs Treasury Counsel to appear in court, although the Attorney General may appear in person. The person appointed to this role provides legal advice to the Government, acts as the representative of the public interest and resolves issues between government departments. The Attorney General has supervisory powers over the prosecution of criminal offences, but is not personally involved with prosecutions; however, some prosecutions (e.g. Riot) cannot be commenced without his/her consent, and he/she has the power to halt prosecutions generally. Criminal prosecutions are the responsibility of the Crown Prosecution Service, headed by the Director of Public Prosecutions. The Attorney General may appeal cases to the higher courts where, although the particular case is settled, there may be a point of law of public importance at issue. The Attorney General's deputy is the Solicitor General for England and Wales. Northern Ireland

Main article: Law Officers of the Crown in Northern Ireland
Since the prorogation of the Parliament of Northern Ireland in 1972, the Attorney General for England and Wales was also Attorney General for Northern Ireland. The separate office of Attorney General for Northern Ireland is due to be re-created alongside the new office of Advocate General for Northern Ireland upon the devolution of policing and justice powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly. Scotland

Main article: Law Officers of the Crown in Scotland
Under the recent constitutional reforms, the Lord Advocate has become an officer of the Scottish Government, while the United Kingdom Government is advised on Scots law by the Advocate General for Scotland. The Lord Advocate is assisted by the Solicitor General for Scotland. Wales

Under the Government of Wales Act 2006, the Counsel General is the chief legal adviser to the Welsh Assembly Government. Other Attorneys General in the UK
Main article: Law Officers of the Crown (Other persons)
The Attorney General of the Duchy of Cornwall is the chief legal adviser to the Prince of Wales, and there is a separate Attorney General for the Duchy of Lancaster, an appointment that is held by the Crown. United States

Main articles: United States Attorney General and State attorney general See also: District attorney and United States Attorney
In the federal government of the United States, the Attorney General is a member of the Cabinet and as head of the Department of Justice is the top law enforcement officer and lawyer for the government. The attorney general may need to be distinguished from the Solicitor General, a high Justice Department official with the responsibility of representing the government before the Supreme Court. In cases of exceptional importance, however, the Attorney General may choose to represent the government himself or herself to the Supreme Court. The individual U.S. states and territories, as well as the Federal capital of Washington, D.C. also have attorneys general with similar responsibilities. The majority of state Attorneys General are chosen by popular election, as opposed to the U.S. Attorney General who is a presidential appointee. Zimbabwe

Main article: Attorney General of Zimbabwe
The Attorney General is the chief legal advisor of the government of Zimbabwe. The office falls under the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs. Similar offices in non-common law jurisdictions

See also: Advocate General and Public procurator
Non-common law jurisdictions usually have one or more offices which are similar to attorneys-general in common law jurisdictions, some of which use "attorney-general" as the English translation of their titles. Afghanistan

Main article: Attorney General's Office of Afghanistan
The Attorney General's of Afghanistan (AGO) is the legal advisor to the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA). It also monitors the implementation of laws in order to promote peace and prosperity through the rule of law, and to enhance the quality of life of the Afghan people. Currently Mohammad Ishaq Aloko is the Attorney General of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The AGO’s mission is to serve all of the people of Afghanistan, without discrimination, by defending the people’s right to safety and security, and ensuring fairness, impartiality, and justice when investigating and prosecuting criminality. This also requires monitoring the implementation of laws in order to promote peace and prosperity through the rule of law, and to enhance the quality of life of the Afghan people. Brazil

Main articles: Attorney General of the Union and Prosecutor General of the Republic In Brazil, the Attorney General of the Union[10] (Portuguese: Advogado-Geral da União) is in charge of the legal defense of the State and of advising the President of the Republic on legal matters. The current AGU is Luís Inácio Adams. A separate position, the Prosecutor General of the Republic (Procurador-Geral da República), is the head of the Public Prosecutor's Office (Ministério Público da União). The Prosecutor General is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The current Prosecutor General is Rodrigo Janot. A third position, the Public Defender General, oversees Brazil's public defenders offices. Dominican Republic

In the Dominican Republic the Procuraduría General de la República is an institution belonging to the executive branch that is responsible for representing the Dominican State in courts of law, defending public interest, assuring respect for the due process of law and overseeing penitentiaries in the Republic.[11] Germany

Main article: Attorney General of Germany
Main article: Chief Prosecutor of Hungary
The Attorney General of Indonesia is responsible to advise the Government about law problems. The Attorney General is also a Solicitor General. So, the Attorney General can represent the Government in the Supreme Court. The current Attorney General of Indonesia is Basrief Arief. Italy

In Italy there is no strict equivalent of an Attorney General, and all comparisons risk being misleading due to the differences in the constitutional and legal systems. The very approximate equivalent of an U.S. A-G would be the Ministro della Giustizia, who is a member of the government and head of the Italian Department of Justice. Also the English A-G has no direct equivalent, as the function of legal adviser to the government does not exist as such, and we find part of its responsibilities in the Avvocato Generale dello Stato, who is in charge of representing the State in any civil, criminal or administrative lawsuit, but not in charge of prosecution. Prosecution in Italy enjoys constitutional independence from the Government, and is entrusted to a district attorney, the Procuratore della Repubblica (one for every ordinary court ), the Procuratore Generale (every Court of Appeal), the Procuratore Distrettuale Antimafia, the Procuratore Generale (Court of Cassation) and the Procura Nazionale Antimafia. Mexico

Main article: Attorney General (Mexico)
In Mexico the Procuraduría General de la República is an institution belonging to the federal executive branch that is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of federal crimes. Netherlands

In the Netherlands, there are two types of attorneys-general, that are only historically related. The first type of attorney-general ("advocaat-generaal" in Dutch) is the public prosecutor in criminal cases at appellate courts. The second type of attorney-general is an independent advisor to the Supreme Court. These people give an opinion on cases (called "conclusies") in any field of law (not just criminal law), supported by a scientific staff. The Supreme Court may either follow or reject the opinion of the attorney-general (which is published together with the eventual decision). In a way, an attorney-general acts as yet another judge, but in the Dutch system that does not allow dissenting opinions to be published, it is the only way to reflect different perceptions on a case. Dutch attorneys-general do not normally advise the government.[citation needed] Russia

Main article: Prosecutor General of Russia
Main article: Public Attorney's Office of the Republic of Serbia In Serbia is called Public Attorney of the Republic of Serbia. It's the person who represents the state's authorities in the courts and administrative bodies, and advises the government in civil law matters. Crimes and offences are prosecuted by Public Prosecutor. Soviet Union

Main article: Procurator General of the USSR
In Spain is called Fiscalía General or Ministerio Fiscal
Government performance auditing focuses on improving how governments provide programs and services. While there is no one universally agreed upon definition, there are key definitions which capture the scope of government performance auditing. According to Government Auditing Standards, "Performance audits are defined as audits that provide findings or conclusions based on an evaluation of sufficient, appropriate evidence against criteria." Additionally, the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions defines performance auditing as "an independent examination of the efficiency and effectiveness of government undertakings, programs or organizations, with due regard to economy, and the aim of leading to improvements. Government performance auditing was developed in the late 1960s and shepherded by the United States Government Accountability Office, (the chief audit arm of the US federal government). Government performance auditing has since spread to most state governments and many closely managed local governments. Internationally, government performance auditing has flourished under the leardership of the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI). Other municipalities like Austin [1], Atlanta, Seattle, San Diego [2], Portland, San Jose and others have an Office of the City Auditor within their structure. The goal of the office is to ensure government accountability and to improve economy, effectiveness and efficiency of government operations. The independence is achieved by the reporting structure where the City Auditor is reporting directly to elected council members and not City management. The examples of the work done would be: benchmarking to the other cities with the similar programs, comparing to the best practices entities or guidelines, assessing performance measures of the unit within the entity, checking the reliability of the IT systems of the municipalities, assessing the economic impact of programs or events, etc. In Canada the Auditor General of Canada has strongly advocated a similar approach to improve government at all levels. This complements other efforts in that country such as the FCM InfraGuide for best practice exchange of all routine municipal infrastructure management problems. Contents [hide]

1 Auditing Standards
2 Government Audit Organizations
3 International definition
4 See also
5 References
6 External links
Auditing Standards

Government audit organizations generally utilize established standards to conduct performance audits. In the United States, audit organizations use either Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards, known as the Yellow Book, or the Institute of Internal Auditors's International Professional Practices Framework, known as the Red Book. The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) promolgates the Yellow Book. The GAO issued the current edition in December 2011, which is referred to as the 2011 Standards [3]. For performance audits, provisions of the 2011 Standards guide any performance audit starting after December 15, 2011. The effective date for financial audits and attestation engagements is for periods ending on or after December 15, 2012. Government Audit Organizations

The Association of Local Governments [4] represents the central professional organization for local government audit organizations in the United States and Canada. ALGA was formed in 1989 and has since enjoyed a growing membership. There are more than 300 organizational members and more than 2,000 individual members of ALGA. Our membership represents a wide diversity of local government audit organizations, ranging from one-person audit shops to others with more than 75 professionals. The International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions(INTOSAI) operates as an umbrella organisation for the external government audit community. For more than 50 years it has provided an institutionalised framework for supreme audit institutions to promote development and transfer of knowledge, improve government auditing worldwide and enhance professional capacities, standing and influence of member SAIs in their respective countries. In keeping with INTOSAI's motto, 'Experientia mutua omnibus prodest', the exchange of experience among INTOSAI members and the findings and insights which result, are a guarantee that government auditing continuously progresses with new developments. INTOSAI is an autonomous, independent and non-political organisation. It is a non-governmental organisation with special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. INTOSAI was founded in 1953 at the initiative of Emilio Fernandez Camus, then President of the SAI of Cuba. At that time, 34 SAIs met for the 1st INTOSAI Congress in Cuba. At present INTOSAI has 190 Full Members and 4 Associated Members. International definition

INTOSAI - International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions has published[1] the following definition of Performance Audit: Performance auditing is an independent examination of the efficiency and effectiveness of government undertakings, programs or organizations, with due regard to economy, and the aim of leading to improvements. 6)

Checks and Balances

The system of checks and balances is an important part of the Constitution. With checks and balances, each of the three branches of government can limit the powers of the others. This way, no one branch becomes too powerful. Each branch “checks” the power of the other branches to make sure that the power is balanced between them. How does this system of checks and balances work?

The process of how laws are made (see the following page) is a good example of checks and balances in action. First, the legislative branch introduces and votes on a bill. The bill then goes to the executive branch, where the President decides whether he thinks the bill is good for the country. If so, he signs the bill, and it becomes a law.

If the President does not believe the bill is good for the country, he does not sign it. This is called a veto. But the legislative branch gets another chance. With enough votes, the legislative branch can override the executive branch's veto, and the bill becomes a law.

Once a law is in place, the people of the country can test it through the court system, which is under the control of the judicial branch. If someone believes a law is unfair, a lawsuit can be filed. Lawyers then make arguments for and against the case, and a judge decides which side has presented the most convincing arguments. The side that loses can choose to appeal to a higher court, and may eventually reach the highest court of all, the Supreme Court.

If the legislative branch does not agree with the way in which the judicial branch has interpreted the law, they can introduce a new piece of legislation, and the process starts all over again. Checks and Balances

Checks and Balances, the constitutional controls whereby separate branches of government have limiting powers over each other so that no branch will become supreme. Perhaps the best-known system of checks and balances operates in the U.S. government under provisions of the federal Constitution.

Most national, state, and local governments have at least the mechanics of a system of checks and balances. Even dictatorial governments, otherwise scorning restraints on powers, provide internal checks to ensure proper performance by governmental agencies and to fix responsibility.

Theory of Checks and Balances. The concept of constitutional checks arose as an outgrowth of the classical theory of separation of powers, by which the legislative, executive, and judicial powers of government were held properly to be vested in three different units. The purpose of this, and of the later development of checks and balances, was to ensure that governmental power would not be used in an abusive manner. However, in its original form the concept involved social classes rather than government departments.

Classical political philosophers from Aristotle onward favored a "mixed" government combining the elements of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy. The English theorist James Harrington in his Oceana (1656) derived a theory akin to separation of powers from the old idea of mixed government. Later, John Locke, in his second treatise, Of Civil Government (1690), urged that the best way to avoid a perverted government was to provide constitutionally for separation of the legislative and executive powers. Montesquieu, in his Spirit of the Laws (1748), added the third power of the judiciary to this concept, and the modern expression of separation of powers came into being. The mechanics of checks and balances were refined by the founders of the American republic.

Provisions in the U.S. Government. The framers of the U.S. Constitution were strongly influenced by the advantages of separation of powers and of checks and balances. These theories had been in practice in the governments of the American colonies, and they underlie the fundamental laws of the United States.

The Constitution distinctly separates the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. The federal system adds to the checking because power is divided constitutionally between the central government and the states. Further, the constitutional provisions for direct election of members of both houses of Congress and virtually direct election of the president puts two branches of the government under check of the electorate. However, procedural requirements in the Constitution ensure that even measures popular with the voters cannot be adopted without presumably adequate consideration.

The operation of checks and balances in the federal government is spelled out in the Constitution. The two houses of Congress legislate separately, and this legislation is subject to presidential veto; however, Congress, by a two-thirds vote of each house, can override a presidential veto. The judicial branch, in determining cases, may declare legislation unconstitutional, but the judiciary itself is subject to executive and legislative checking through the appointment of judges and the passage of legislation governing organization, procedure, and jurisdiction of the courts. There also is a possibility of amendment of the Constitution to reverse judicial determinations. Other constitutional checks are the possible legislative removal of the president and of judges by impeachment as well as approval by the Senate of treaties and major presidential appointments.

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