Home > Politics > Reasons Democratic Governments Need Separation of Powers

Reasons Democratic Governments Need Separation of Powers


Separation of powers is the term that describes the independence of each of the branches of a democratic government. This was first practiced in ancient Greece and it later spread to the Roman Republic and became part of its constitution. Also known as trias politica, separation of powers commonly refer to the independence of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the government.

* With separation of powers, the rule of law is properly enforced.

With each branch of government focusing on its duty to create laws, execute the laws and facilitate the judicial process to implement the penalties for the violations of the country or state laws. Without separation of powers, each of the three divisions of the government will not be able to focus on its specific participation in the maintenance of peace and order in the country.

* Through the separation of powers, there is check and balance in the government.

Since each division of the government takes part in upholding the law, it is possible to catch any loophole in the process that was overlooked by the other divisions. This gives the government a form of self-regulation in case there are things that are being challenged regarding the creation or implementation of the laws. Having an independent judicial system also permits the citizens to present their side regarding the violations that are filed against them. This also allows the judicial branch to study specific laws and the decisions of this branch can be used to further strengthen or clarify the laws created by the legislative branch.

* Separation of powers prevents the concentration of power in a single person or entity.

A democratic country would like to prevent tyranny from taking place. The possibility of tyranny can occur when too much power is given to a person or a division of the government. With the power of the law divided among the three branches of the government, the chance that a person will easily get full control of the government is diminished. This is one of the most important benefits of distributing the legislative, executive and judicial powers to different branches in the government.

Because of the value of having independent divisions of the government, many societies will not permit changes in their government that will reduce the independence of each of the branches. It is interesting to note though, that while there are countries that elect their executive officers from the members of the legislative body, once the leaders have been elected, they create a space between the two branches in order to limit each other.

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