What is Separation of Powers?

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What is Separation of Powers?
In its political interpretation, separation of powers refer to different branches of a particular government having independent powers of their own without one being more powerful than the other. This concept ensures that no particular branch of government will be able to abuse its power and use it over another branch. Since all powers of the branches of government are deemed equal, these branches will then be able to work independently and harmoniously.

In most cases, governments are divided into three main branches or departments. These are the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch. The executive branch serves as the overall administrator of a particular government. This branch’s basic role is to “execute” or implement the laws of the land as written by the legislative department and as interpreted by the judicial department. It is through this division and separation of powers that a particular government is protected by abuse from the executive department. If the legislative and judicial departments don’t have enough and equal powers, the executive department will have the chance to abuse its authority in power. This is one basic reason that the concept of separation of power is put in place by governments. The power separation serves as the “check and balance” for each department. Not all functions and powers are concentrated on one department and so there is less chance of power abuse.

In some governments, the concept of power separation is also used to define the boundaries of the state and the church. In most cases, countries give freedom to citizens in terms of their religious beliefs and practices, and that the government is not allowed to force or endorse people to a specific religion or practice. The power separation concept in this case is used to emphasize that the church and the state have separate roles in the society in general.

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