What are the branches of the UK Government?


Political philosophers argue to avoid tyranny and politicians abusing their power, a separation of powers must be established between the branches of government. There are three branches of government: the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. In the UK the executive power does lie with the monarch, yet practically the executive is the Prime Minister and their Cabinet. The legislature is the Houses of Parliament that must legislate the bills that the executive proposes. The judiciary are the UK’s court system who govern the UK by carrying out the law and ensuring its populace stay accountable to the UK Government.

The three branches of government are each equally essential to governing the UK and ensuring its laws are created and upheld. Moreover, they must be kept separated so that power is not too concentrated in one body, in the UK to uphold this each branch holds checks and balances on each other.

Key Terms:

Cabinet – The UK Cabinet is the ruling body of the Government, it consists of the Prime Minister and the 21 most senior ministers.

Checks and balances – Mechanisms each branch of government uses to place limits on each other to reduce the possibility of tyranny.

Executive – In the UK, those who hold executive power discuss and decide upon the most important issues to the government are able to suggest new policies and bills.

Judiciary – A collective term for the courts and officials of the courts who interpret and apply the law to legal cases.

Legislature – Within a democracy the legislative body is an assembly of elected representatives who vote on possible bills and policies.

Prime Minister – The Prime Minister as the elected leader of the party that wins the General Election, becomes the leader of the Government.

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