Chapter 4: Theoretical underpinnings of separation of powers
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Abstract: This chapter examines how constitutional theory informs constitutional arrangements that provide for separation of powers, with a view to better understanding the significance of constitutional theory for comparative constitutional law. Separation of powers is a useful vehicle for the purpose. As a principle, it is recognized and applied in constitutional systems across the world, as a consequence of processes of migration, which continue. In practice, it is given effect through a variety of institutional forms, partly reflecting variations in purpose. With particular reference to the United States, France, and the United Kingdom, the chapter shows how theory underpins institutional differences, which in turn generates new lines of theoretical inquiry. To this extent, the chapter therefore shows that constitutional theory may be relevant for the purposes of constitutional comparison and that theories, like other constitutional phenomena, may vary between jurisdictions and over time.

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