Three Arms of Government and Their Functions: Government may be defined as a state institution concerned primarily with governance and the general well-being of the people under its jurisdiction. Without a structure and organs, government cannot function properly. The majority of sovereign states adopt a structure in which the government is organized into distinct branches and levels.
This article provides a concise overview of the many branches of government, their functions, and how they operate in practice. The government is composed of three (3) arms: the Legislature, the Executive, and the Judiciary. The Constitution specifies the powers, functions, and general procedures that various arms of government must follow. These arms carry out a variety of functions with the goal of ensuring that governance is carried out in the most beneficial manner possible for the people.
Government’s Three Arms
1. The Legislature: This is the branch of government that is largely responsible for the state’s legislative process. The Legislature ensures that laws are enacted and examined on a regular basis to guarantee that the state is administered in a manner that promotes law and order. Additionally, the Legislature guarantees that laws that require adjustments and revisions to bring them into compliance with current circumstances are evaluated on a regular basis. Additionally, the legislature is in charge of the states’ finances.
They ensure that the state budget is passed on time and that sufficient funds are available to finance it. Generally, the legislature is responsible for overseeing and checking the other branches of government. This may entail voting on and approving key nominations to other arms of government, as well as conducting periodic reviews of the operations of the other arms.
A state’s legislature may be unicameral or bicameral. A unicameral legislature is one in which there is only one house. There are no layers in this system of government. A bicameral legislature, on the other hand, is one that is divided into two tiers or levels: the Senate and the House of Representatives. Members of the legislature are typically elected by residents following the delineation of the state into several constituencies.
The Legislature’s Functions
a. Legislation: This is the Legislature’s major function. It ensures that laws are passed on time and with proper regard for the Constitution’s provisions on the legislative process.
b. Law Amendments and Revisions: Laws are enacted to regulate the conduct of citizens within the state. However, because people are continually evolving, the law must likewise change in order to be effective. The Legislature ensures this by modifying and revising laws as needed.
c. Checks on other branches of government: Additionally, the legislature checks on other branches of government. This is to ensure that the other branches of government operate in conformity with guiding laws and regulations and in the public interest.
Thus, the Legislature performs functions such as voting on the executive arm’s budget, examining ministerial appointments made by the executive arm, and reviewing judicial nominations made by the Judiciary, among others.
d. Deliberative Functions: As the government’s law-making body, the legislature has the authority to deliberate on any topic or law before it becomes law in the country. Consider that before a measure is voted into law in Nigeria, the legislature must discuss extensively on the bill’s implications.
This function is critical because when issues are not fully debated prior to implementation, citizens suffer more.
2. The Executive:
This branch of government is largely concerned with state management. It guarantees that the legislature’s legislation are appropriately implemented by its members. The executive branch is headed by the state’s President. It consists of the Police, the Armed Forces, and various ministries and parastatals. Due to the function it plays in governance, this arm possesses the most authority inside the government.
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Typically, electorates elect the head of this branch. When the head assumes power, he or she appoints officials to various ministries and parastatals and forms a cabinet. The President is the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. This branch of government also performs ceremonial tasks in representing the state.
The Executive Arm’s Functions
a. Law Implementation: If a state’s laws are to be effective, they must be implemented. This is a function of the executive. It guarantees that laws are followed and that social order is maintained.
b. Diplomatic Relations: No country is an island unto itself. This requires the establishment of cordial relations between sovereign states. These partnerships prove beneficial in trade, politics, and other areas of mutual interest for these states. The administration is responsible for establishing and maintaining positive connections between the State and other autonomous states. This is a critical function.
c. Controls over other branches of government: The executive also exercises control over other branches of government. Legislation enacted by the legislature does not become law until it is signed into law by the head of the executive branch; similarly, the President has the authority to nominate some judges. All of these mechanisms serve to ensure that the executive checks the other branches of government.
d. Appointments: In addition to enforcing the legislature’s rules and programs, the executive branch of government has the authority to select ministers for the various sectors of the country. In Nigeria, anybody appointed by the executive (i.e., the president or governor) must first receive approval from the legislative.
e. Treaty-making: It appears that the executive branch of government is also responsible for the country’s treaties. The executive plays a critical role in enacting international treaties into domestic legislation.
3. The Judiciary:
This branch of government is primarily concerned with the interpretation of state legislation. After laws are passed, they may not be fully understood, and when disagreements emerge over these laws, the Judiciary branch of government ensures the law’s interpretation and resolution. The Chief Justice leads this arm, which is assisted by other judicial authorities who serve as justices or judges in their respective roles.
This branch of government is charged with the responsibility of safeguarding the Grundnorm-Constitution. It ensures that its terms are followed precisely. The Judiciary is composed of various courts with varying jurisdictions and hierarchies, ranging from the Supreme Court through the Court of Appeal and High Courts.
The Judiciary arm of government performs the following functions:
a. Meaning of Laws: When the necessity arises, this arm of government guarantees that the laws passed by the Legislature are given their proper interpretation and are completely implemented. This arm does not perform this duty at will, but only when compelled to do so by disputants.
b. Dispute Resolution: Disputes are an inherent element of human life. As a result, conflicts are inevitably going to develop in commercial partnerships, home connections, and even professional relationships. When disagreements emerge, the judiciary is the branch of government responsible for resolving them amicably.
c. Checks on the other branch of government: To ensure that no branch of government is given excessive and unchecked power, the Constitution establishes checks and balances for the various branches of government. The judiciary is not excluded. It has the authority to assess the legislative and executive branches’ actions through judicial review and, at the conclusion of the review, pronounce the actions legitimate or void.
In conclusion, we have discussed in detail the three branches of government and their respective functions. I hope this essay was beneficial to you. If you have any further questions or comments about the three arms of government, please send them to me in the comment area. I will gladly put you through your paces.