The Ultimate Separation of Powers Quiz

jwblackwell avatar
By jwblackwell



9 Questions

What is the trias politica model?

Who first mentioned the idea of a 'mixed government' or hybrid government?

What is the purpose of a system of separated powers?

What is the principle of checks and balances?

Which country has a constitution based on fusion in the person of the Monarch?

What is the Commonwealth (Latimer House) Principles?

What is the vesting clause in Article II of the US Constitution?

How is judicial independence maintained in the United States?

What are the three supreme powers established in the Constitution of Costa Rica?


Separation of Powers: A Detailed Overview

  • Separation of powers refers to the division of a state's government into "branches", each with separate, independent powers and responsibilities.

  • The typical division into three branches of government, sometimes called the trias politica model, includes a legislature, an executive, and a judiciary.

  • The intention behind a system of separated powers is to prevent the concentration of power by providing for checks and balances.

  • The division of powers in parliamentary and semi-presidential systems can overlap between different branches, especially the executive and legislative.

  • The judiciary almost never overlaps with the other branches, whether powers in the jurisdiction are separated or fused.

  • The idea of a "mixed government" or hybrid government was first mentioned by Aristotle in his work Politics, where he drew upon many of the constitutional forms in the city-states of Ancient Greece.

  • The Kingdom of Israel and later Kingdom of Judea had a separation of powers consisting of the executive/military, legislative/judiciary, and clerical.

  • John Calvin favoured a system of government that divided political power between democracy and aristocracy (mixed government).

  • The term "tripartite system" is commonly ascribed to French Enlightenment political philosopher Baron de Montesquieu, although he did not use such a term but referred to "distribution" of powers.

  • The principle of checks and balances ensures that each of the branches of the state should have the power to limit or check the other two, creating a balance between the three separate powers of the state.

  • Constitutions with a high degree of separation of powers are found worldwide, with a few historical exceptions, such as the Directoire system of revolutionary France.

  • The federal judiciary strictly guards its independence from the other two branches in Australia, although government ministers are required to be members of parliament.Separation of Powers in Different Countries

  • The Supreme Court of Canada emphasizes the importance of the separation of powers in the Constitution of Canada.

  • The separation of powers is stricter between the judiciary, and the elected legislative and executive branches in Canada.

  • The Commonwealth (Latimer House) Principles have been adopted in Abuja, Nigeria, in 2003.

  • The Constitution of the Czech Republic establishes the traditional tripartite division of powers.

  • France has three branches of government: the executive, legislative, and judiciary.

  • Hong Kong, according to former Secretary for Security Regina Ip, never practiced separation of powers after the handover of Hong Kong back to China.

  • India follows a constitutional democracy that offers a clear separation of powers.

  • The Mexican Constitution establishes that the Supreme Power of the Federation is divided into three powers: the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judiciary.

  • The United Kingdom's constitution is based on fusion in the person of the Monarch, who has a formal role to play in the legislature, executive, and judiciary.

  • The United States Constitution limits the powers of the federal government through various means, including separating the three branches of the federal government that are divided by exercising different functions.

  • The judiciary has no power to strike down primary legislation in the United Kingdom.

  • The British legal systems are based on common law traditions that require a hierarchy of courts and binding precedent.The Principle of Separation of Powers in Different Governments

  • The US Constitution grants Congress only those "legislative powers herein granted" and lists permissible actions in Article I Section 8, while Section 9 lists actions prohibited for Congress.

  • The vesting clause in Article II places no limits on the Executive branch, stating that "The Executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America."

  • Judicial independence is maintained by appointments for life, voluntary retirement, a high threshold for dismissal by the Legislature, and a salary that cannot be diminished during their service.

  • Belgium is a federated state that has imposed the trias politica on different governmental levels.

  • Imperial China had three lords and nine ministers or courts.

  • The government of the Republic of China has five branches: executive, legislative, judicial, examination, and control.

  • The central government of the People's Republic of China is nominally divided among several state organs, but most practical political power is held by the Politburo Standing Committee dominated by the General Secretary.

  • The constitution of Costa Rica established the three supreme powers as the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, but also created two other autonomous state organs that have equivalent power, but not equivalent rank.

  • The European Union is a supranational polity, and there are seven institutions of the European Union.

  • The three branches in German government are further divided into six main bodies enshrined in the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany.

  • Hungary has four independent branches of power: parliament, government, court system, and the office of the public accuser.

  • Notable examples of states after Montesquieu that had more than three powers include the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Roman Republic, and the Carthaginian Republic.


Test your knowledge of the principle of separation of powers with our detailed overview quiz. Discover the origins of the trias politica model, the idea of mixed government, and the role of checks and balances. Explore the different governmental systems around the world, from Canada to China, and learn about their unique approaches to the separation of powers. With questions covering history, politics, and law, this quiz is perfect for anyone interested in understanding the importance and complexity of this fundamental democratic principle.

Make Your Own Quiz

Transform your notes into a shareable quiz, with AI.

Get started for free

More Quizzes Like This

Separation of Powers Quiz
5 questions
Judiciary Quiz
10 questions
Judiciary Quiz
LuminousCharoite avatar
US Government Three Branches Overview
10 questions
US Government Branches and Powers Quiz
30 questions