Domestic policy

Domestic policy is the branch of politics that deals with the internal administration of the state and includes such areas as public administration, health and transportation, education, control of the police and armed forces, etc.

In a democracy, it follows the principle of separation of powers, which divides state responsibilities into the hands of three distinct authorities: legislative, executive, and judicial. Each authority exercises its power through institutions represented by individuals, groups of people, or organizations. Although this type of separation of powers is extremely common in the world today, it is not necessarily the only form that exists, as there are countries in which there are fewer or more authorities among which power is divided.

The key point of this system lies in the autonomy that each authority has with respect to the others, so that no authority has the right to exercise the power of the others, and no authority is more or less important than the others. In this way, each authority is constantly balanced by the others. However, depending on the form of government (e.g., parliamentary republic, presidential republic), one political authority may have more or less power than the others; however, this does not mean that the slightly more powerful authority has the right to overpower and ignore the others: the principle of balance and autonomy is always present and inescapable.

  • Legislature: it is the branch of government that has the authority to deliberate (legislate) and/or amend laws. It is usually represented by different institutions that vary from country to country; the most common legislative bodies are the Parliament, the Congress, the National Assembly, the Legislative Council or Assembly, the National or Supreme Council, the House of Representatives. Members of legislative bodies may be elected by popular vote or may be appointed by certain authorities or institutions having the right to do so; the number of members is determined by law. Usually, legislative bodies can be divided into chambers (or houses) with different roles, which vary from debate to deliberation. If a legislative body has one chamber that performs all roles, it is called unicameral. If it has two, it is called bicameral, and so on.
  • Executive: It is the branch of government that executes and applies the laws passed by the legislature and ensures that they are respected. It is usually represented by the institution of the government, which in turn is divided into different departments, such as the president (or presidents), their ministers and other public bodies. Its functions include the direction of the police and armed forces, the direction of public services and public administration, and occasionally, in very strict limits and specific situations, even legislation. The members of the government are elected by popular vote or nominated by certain authorities or institutions that have the right to do so. The head of state is represented by the president. In certain cases, the head of state is also the head of government, but not always: in fact, there are some countries where the two roles are played by two different people. Each minister follows the guidelines set by the cabinet and is the head of a ministry, which oversees the respective department of interest.
  • Judiciary: This is the branch of government that adjudicates people, groups of people, or private and public entities suspected of breaking the law, usually represented by a system of courts and other legal institutions. These institutions are composed of lawyers, magistrates and judges, who must meet certain requirements in order to enter the profession. The role of the judiciary is to interpret the law and make the final decision on the guilt or innocence of a suspect. The interpretation of the law can be based on either jurisprudence or case law, or a mixture of both. Each country determines the parameters of interpretation based on its own laws.
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