The Branches of Democracy: Separation of Powers, Freedom, Human Rights

Essay details

Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.

Conservative philosopher Roger Scruton states in an article for BBC that democracy is overrated, therefore equal freedom and protection of human rights should be given more attention than prior to democracy. Democracy can be described as the belief in equality among people and freedom of speech, or the structure of government based on this belief, where power is either controlled by elected members or more precisely by the people themselves.

Roger Scruton’s position on the issues presented in the article is clear, making a distinction between democracy, individual freedom and protection of rights, implying that these are “three separate things, not one”. Starting from this assumption it is suggested that democracy is overrated and starts to doubt the foreign policies of defending democracy elsewhere by stating “democracy is often a threat to human rights and not a way of protecting them.” During the article, Scruton also suggests that a better solution to this would be putting aside democracy and campaign for institutions such as judicial independence, freedom of speech, property rights and legitimate opposition. It can be agreed that these institutions hold a significant place in a democracy but they cannot be separated from it. Firstly these institutions cannot be promoted or secured in a system without democracy. (Council of Europe, 2019, p. 11) states that an independent judiciary system is essential to a functioning democracy. 

Essay due? We'll write it for you!

Any subject

Min. 3-hour delivery

Pay if satisfied

Get your price

Alongside the executive and legislative these three systems represents the essential branches of a government. Any democratic government is characterized by the separation of powers. Within a democratic political system, there are “checks and balances” which limits the power of each branch in order to prevent an eventual abuse of power. The separation of powers is important because firstly this ensures that different branches control each other, making them accountable for each other (representing “the checks”) and secondly separation of powers divides power between different branches of government aiming to ensure that no individual or a group of people in government holds all power (“balance”).  

Further in the article, Scruton associates an elected government as the equivalent of democracy. In essence, an electoral democracy requires a system of elections that is open, competitive and periodic allowing all citizens that count by reasonable standards to vote. To ensure the right in these three areas the system should establish a way of appointment or dismissal for the judiciary power, the agency that gives substance to rights, that allows them independence from the government. In the modern approach, it is widely accepted that except for a person’s low competence, emotions are a permanent element that can influence behavior or people’s political choices. (Damansio, 1994) Taking all into consideration there is no system of election that can operate properly without granting the majority that Scrouton approves. 

Get quality help now

Sir. Ken

Verified writer

Proficient in: Forms of Government, Federal Government

4.8 (192 reviews)
“This is an exceptional writer. Listened to instructions very well and produced paper before the deadline. ”

+75 relevant experts are online

More Essay Samples on Topic

banner clock
Clock is ticking and inspiration doesn't come?
We`ll do boring work for you. No plagiarism guarantee. Deadline from 3 hours.

We use cookies to offer you the best experience. By continuing, we’ll assume you agree with our Cookies policy.