A more recent version of these Separation Of Powers notes – written by Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students – is available here.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our GDL Constitutional and Administrative Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
Con & Ad: Separation of Powers Introduction
- Crux: not much formal SOP in UK, but how much practical adherence to theory?
- Prima facie: lack of formal SOP in UK constitution - esp. between executive + legislature. no formal SOP: uncodif ied constitution, due to historical development (cf. France, USA); overlaps (e.g. Queen: head of all 3 branches).
[Ld Hailsham]: 'elective dictatorship' - legislature effectively controlled by executive.
[Barendt]: 'no effective SOP between legislature + executive in the system of checks + balances.'.
[De Smith & Brazier]: 'no writer of repute would claim that SOP is a central feature of the modern British Constitution' (BUT: formalistic view).
[Prof Hood Phillips]: 'constitutional myth'.
- BUT: in practice, some adherence - esp. effective separation of judiciary from other 2 branches. practical SOP:
1. statutes + conventions.
2. judicial independence. strengthened by recent developments:
1. growth of judicial review (esp. after GCHQ).
2. evolution of substantive rule of law.
3. HRA 1998.
4. A & Others (2004)
Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our GDL Constitutional and Administrative Law Notes.