Chapter 4 Outline answers to essay questions

Essay answer 1

This two part question breaks down as follows:

Introduction - definition of terms

In this part of your answer you should say that 'separation of powers' is based on the division of government into functions and organs. You should then identify them and the corresponding organs.

You should then answer the question in the following order.

The legislative function and organs of government

In this part of your answer you need to focus on the law-making function of the British Parliament in conjunction with the 'devolved' legislatures of Wales and Scotland. The relationship with the EU is also relevant.

The executive function and organs of government

Here you should look at the overall structure of central and local government in the United Kingdom.

The judicial function and organs of government

You should explain the role of the judiciary and the courts in this part of your answer.

What is meant by the separation of powers

The starting point is Montesquieu's work but you need to explain what it means today in practical terms. You also need to discuss the cases and relevant judgments where separation of powers was accepted and explained.

Essay answer 2

This question calls for a detailed analysis of the relationship between the functions and organs of government in the UK.

The answer should be broken down as follows

Relevant definitions

In this part of your answer you should briefly define 'separation of powers' and the functions and organs of government.

Relevant case law

You should spend some time discussing judicial comment on the relationship between the functions and organs of government especially where the judges are considering their constitutional position. See:
Duport Steel v Sirs
M v Home Office
Ex p Fire Brigades Union
and other relevant cases.

The legislature and the executive

Consider whether:
the same persons or bodies form part of both the legislature and the executive;
the legislature control the executive or the executive control the legislature;
the legislature and the executive exercise each other's functions.

The executive and the judiciary

Consider whether:
the same persons or bodies form part of both the executive and the judiciary;
the executive control the judiciary or the judiciary control the executive;
the judiciary and the executive exercise each other's functions.

The judiciary and the legislature

Consider whether:
the same persons or bodies form part of both the judiciary and the legislature;
the judiciary control the legislature or the legislature control the judiciary;
the judiciary and the legislature exercise each other's functions.