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Separation of Powers

Politics and Law (Year 12) - Essential Information

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Separation of Powers in Australia

This video simply outlines and illustrates the workings of the Separation of Powers in Australia. It further provides information as to the history of implementing the doctrine of Separation of Powers in Australia.


Separation of Powers, or formally referred to as the Doctrine of Separation of Powers, refers to the nature in which power is divided among three branches that have the ability to check and balance another, given power through a written constitution.

This is evident in australia as there is the Executive branch - the PM, Cabinet and the GG; the Legislative branch - the House of Reps (HoR) and the Senate; and the Judicial branch - consisting of the courts and officials of the court. Their respective powers are divided in the constitution where chapter 1 is the Legislative branch, chapter 2 is the executive branch & chapter 3 is the judicial branch.

Does Separation of Powers Exist in Australia?

Despite having separate Constitutional chapters outlining the respective powers of each of the branches, Australia does not have a complete separation of powers. This is due to the aspect of Responsible Government resulting in some of the roles of the Parliament, the Executive and the Judiciary overlapping. This is evident wherein the Prime Minister and ministers are part of the Executive and the Parliament, hence having dual power to both come up with legislation as well as voting for that legislation.

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