Virtual Kollage: The limitations of the powers of the Legislature

Posted by / Monday, 21 November 2016 / No comments

The limitations of the powers of the Legislature



LIMITATIONS OF THE POWERS OF THE LEGISLATURE
Limitations by the constitutions
The constitutions itself limits the powers of the legislature. The legislature of a state cannot act outside or beyond the powers that have been granted by the constitution.  The 1992 constitution of Ghana cannot, for example, state that Parliament cannot pass a law that imposes a one-party system of government on the state.

Power of Judicial Review
The power of Judicial Review refers to that concession given to the judiciary to review laws or aspect of the law and say exactly what the law is saying. Since the judiciary has the power to say what the law is, it served as a limitation to the powers of the legislature.  

Influence of the Executive
Most legislatures now wait for bills that are proposed by the executive before they discuss and pass them into law. These bills are extensively discussed by the executive and fine tuned before their introduction in Parliament. Apart from this, if the executive does not append his signature to the bill, it cannot become a law. This limits the powers of the legislature.

Lack of time
The work of the modern legislature has become so enormous that there is hardly enough time to adequately discuss issues that are brought before it for deliberation. Consequent to this problem of lack of time is the fact that the bills are sometimes not properly scrutinized before they are passed into law. The danger is that, the legislature may pass a bad law.

Party whips
The duty of the party whip is make sure they whip members on their side of the political divide into line. The party whip can direct members of his party to vote in a certain direction on a national issue. This means that Members of Parliament are not free to vote using their own conscience and the interest of their constituents.

Influence of Pressure Groups
Pressure groups exist to influence laws favour of their members.  Various pressure groups use various methods, including lobbying and demonstrations, to put pressure on the legislature to pass laws that inure to the benefit of their members. In 1995, pressure groups put pressure on the legislature to alter the threshold of VAT charge. 

SAMPLE QUESTIONS
1. In which six ways can the powers of the legislature be limited? 

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