Find the word definition

separation of powers

n. A theoretical model for governance, common in democratic states, which features the division of sovereign power into at least three (but sometimes up to six) organs of state in order to forestall tyranny, by preventing the acquisition of a monopoly of power by a monarch or oligarchy; also, such an arrangement.

Separation of powers

The separation of powers, often imprecisely and metonymically used interchangeably with the trias politica principle, is a model for the governance of a state (or who controls the state). The model was first developed in ancient Greece. Under this model, the state is divided into branches, each with separate and independent powers and areas of responsibility so that the powers of one branch are not in conflict with the powers associated with the other branches. The typical division of branches is into a legislature, an executive, and a judiciary. It can be contrasted with the fusion of powers in a parliamentary system where the executive and legislature (and sometimes parts of the judiciary) are unified.

Separation of powers, therefore, refers to the division of responsibilities into distinct branches to limit any one branch from exercising the core functions of another. The intent is to prevent the concentration of power and provide for checks and balances.

Separation of powers (disambiguation)

The separation of powers is a model for the governance of a state.

Separation of powers may also refer to:

  • Separation of Power, 2001 novel by Vince Flynn
  • "Separation of Powers" (The West Wing), episode 95 of The West Wing

Usage examples of "separation of powers".

Here, too, the Sisterhood operated with careful separation of powers.

Firm in his belief in the separation of powers, he saw it as a question for the legislature in which he, as President, had no business and he would stay far from it.

To give it to the legislature, as we do, is a violation of the principle of the separation of powers.