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Does the British parliamentary mode respect the principle of the separation of the capacities?

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The United Kingdom is a state that comprises England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This association has been built gradually over the centuries with the core being the Kingdom of England. There is no Bill of Rights in United Kingdom or no universal principles. There is no constitution that is fully consolidated. The British system is built in layers without anyone ever challenging one of these strata. There is a progressive political regime that does not question the background. It is a regime that has been shaped over the centuries and some aspects date back to the early Middle Ages.

Democracy has been cast in a mold which was not planned at such an early phase. The principle of the separation of powers was, in essence, theorized by Locke and Montesquieu, but was so very different from what it is conceptualized today. Indeed, the Enlightenment philosophers do conceive that a simple adjustment between various balanced powers would divide the different functions of the state. Despite the absence of formal written constitution in the UK, this principle is well entrenched in British society.

In the seventeenth century in England, the institutions faced crises with two revolutions in 1641-1649 and 1688-1689. This is due to the fact that the parliament, which is slowly emerging, was opposed to the king who was trying to reassert absolutism. Faced with the refusal of Parliament to judge the king, Cromwell (who organized the armies) took power and established dictatorships, which indeed lead to the death sentence of Charles the first by the Rump Parliament (Rump Parliament).

Tags: Democracy, British society, Rump Parliament, Locke and Montesquieu

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