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Devolution is the
statutory A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislature, legislative authority that governs the legal entities of a city, State (polity), state, or country by way of consent. Typically, statutes command or prohibit something, or declare Public p ...
delegation of powers from the
central government A central government is the government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthl ...
of a
sovereign state A sovereign state is a polity, political entity represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a permanent population, defined territory, one government ...
to govern at a subnational level, such as a regional or
local Local may refer to: Geography and transportation * Local (train), a train serving local traffic demand * Local, Missouri, a community in the United States * Local government, a form of public administration, usually the lowest tier of administrati ...
level. It is a form of administrative
decentralization Decentralization or decentralisation is the process by which the activities of an organization, particularly those regarding planning and decision making, are distributed or delegated away from a central, authoritative location or group. Conce ...

decentralization
. Devolved territories have the power to make
legislation Legislation is the process or product of enrolling, enacting, or promulgating Promulgation is the formal proclamation or the declaration that a new statute, statutory or administrative law is enacted after its final Enactment of a bill, appro ...
relevant to the area, thus granting them a higher level of
autonomy In developmental psychology Developmental psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions ...
. Devolution differs from
federalism Federalism is a mixed or compound mode of government that combines a general government (the central or "federal" government) with regional governments (provincial, state, cantonal, territorial or other sub-unit governments) in a single politic ...
in that the devolved powers of the subnational authority may be temporary and are reversible, ultimately residing with the central government. Thus, the state remains ''
de jure In law and government, ''de jure'' ( ; , "by law") describes practices that are legally recognized, regardless of whether the practice exists in reality. In contrast, ("in fact") describes situations that exist in reality, even if not legally ...
''
unitary Unitary may refer to: * Unitary construction, in automotive design a common term for unibody (unitary body/chassis) construction * Lethal Unitary Chemical Agents and Munitions (Unitary), as chemical weapons opposite of Binary * Unitarianism, in Chr ...
.
Legislation Legislation is the process or product of enrolling, enacting, or promulgating Promulgation is the formal proclamation or the declaration that a new statute, statutory or administrative law is enacted after its final Enactment of a bill, appro ...
creating devolved
parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of ...

parliament
s or assemblies can be
repeal A repeal (O.F. ''rapel'', modern ''rappel'', from ''rapeler'', ''rappeler'', revoke, ''re'' and ''appeler'', appeal) is the removal or reversal of a law. There are two basic types of repeal, a repeal with a re-enactment (or replacement) of the repe ...
ed or amended by central government in the same way as any statute. In
federal system Federalism is a mixed or compound mode of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government norm ...
s, by contrast, sub-unit government is guaranteed in the
constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...

constitution
, so the powers of the sub-units cannot be withdrawn unilaterally by the central government (i.e. not through the process of constitutional amendment). The sub-units therefore have a lower degree of protection under devolution than under
federalism Federalism is a mixed or compound mode of government that combines a general government (the central or "federal" government) with regional governments (provincial, state, cantonal, territorial or other sub-unit governments) in a single politic ...
.


Australia

Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
is a federation. It has six states and two territories with less power than states. The
Australian Capital Territory The Australian Capital Territory (ACT), known as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) until 1938, is a federal territory A federal territory is an area under the direct and usually exclusive jurisdiction of a federation's central or national ...
refused self-government in a 1978 referendum, but was given limited self-government by a
House of Assembly House of Assembly is a name given to the legislature A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who ...
from 1979, and a
Legislative Assembly Legislative assembly is the name given in some countries to either a legislature A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of ...

Legislative Assembly
with wider powers in 1988. The
Northern Territory The Northern Territory (NT; formally the Northern Territory of Australia) is an Australian territory in the central and central northern regions of Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, ...
of Australia refused
statehood A state is a polity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of institutionalized social relations, and have a capacity to mobilize resources. A polity ...
in a 1998 referendum. The rejection was a surprise to both the Australian and Northern Territory governments. Territory legislation can be disallowed by the Commonwealth Parliament in Canberra, with one notable example being the NT's short-lived
voluntary euthanasia Voluntary euthanasia is where a person's life is ended at their request in order to relieve them of suffering. Voluntary euthanasia (VE) and physician-assisted suicide (PAS) have been the focus of intense debate in recent years. Some forms of ...
legislation Legislation is the process or product of enrolling, enacting, or promulgating Promulgation is the formal proclamation or the declaration that a new statute, statutory or administrative law is enacted after its final Enactment of a bill, appro ...
.


Canada

Although
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, Pacific and northward into the Arctic Oce ...

Canada
is a federal state, a large portion of its land mass in the north is under the legislative jurisdiction of the federal government (called territories, as opposed to provinces). This has been the case since 1870. In 1870 the ''Rupert’s Land and North-Western Territory Order'' effected the admission of
Rupert’s Land Rupert's Land (french: Terre de Rupert), or Prince Rupert's Land, was a territory in British North America British North America comprised the British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies ...
and the North-Western Territory to Canada, pursuant to section 146 of the ''Constitution Act, 1867'' and the ''Rupert’s Land Act, 1868''. The ''Manitoba Act, 1870'', which created
Manitoba Manitoba ( ) is a Provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada at the Centre of Canada, longitudinal centre of the country. It is Canada's Population of Canada by province and territory, fifth-most populous province, with a population o ...

Manitoba
out of part of Rupert’s Land, also designated the remainder of both the Northwest Territories (NWT), over which Parliament was to exercise full legislative authority under the ''Constitution Act, 1871''.
Yukon Yukon ( ; ; formerly called Yukon Territory and sometimes referred to as The Yukon) is the smallest and westernmost of Canada's three territories. It also is the least populated province or territory in Canada, with a population of 35,874 peo ...

Yukon
was carved from the Northwest Territories in 1898 but remained a territory. In 1905, the provinces of
Alberta ("Strong and free") , image_map = Alberta in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English , capital = Edmonton , largest_city = Calg ...

Alberta
and
Saskatchewan ("From Many Peoples Strength") , image_map = Saskatchewan in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English language, English , capital = Regina, S ...
were carved from the
Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories (commonly abbreviated as NT or NWT; french: Territoires du Nord-Ouest) is a federal territory A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subd ...

Northwest Territories
. Portions of
Rupert's Land Rupert's Land (french: Terre de Rupert), or Prince Rupert's Land, was a territory in British North America comprising the Hudson Bay drainage basin, a territory in which a commercial monopoly was operated by the Hudson's Bay Company for 200 ...
were added to the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, extending those provinces northward from their previous narrow band around the St. Lawrence and lower Great Lakes. The
District of Ungava The District of Ungava was a regional administrative district of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean, ...
was a regional administrative district of Canada's Northwest Territories from 1895 to 1912. The continental areas of said district were transferred by the
Parliament of Canada The Parliament of Canada (french: Parlement du Canada) is the Canadian federalism, federal legislature of Canada, seated at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, and is composed of three parts: the Monarch, the Senate of Canada, Senate, and the House of C ...

Parliament of Canada
with the adoption of the ''Quebec Boundary Extension Act, 1898'' and the ''Quebec Boundaries Extension Act, 1912''. The status of the interior of Labrador that was believed part of Ungava was settled in 1927 by the British Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, which ruled in favour of the
Dominion of Newfoundland The Dominion of Newfoundland was a country in eastern North America, today the modern Canadian province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivis ...
. The offshore islands to the west and north of Quebec remained part of the Northwest Territories until the creation of Nunavut in 1999. Since the 1970s, the federal government has been transferring its decision-making powers to territorial governments. This means greater local control and accountability by northerners for decisions central to the future of the territories. In 1999, the federal government created
Nunavut Nunavut ( iu, ᓄᓇᕗᑦ ; ) is the largest and northernmost provinces and territories of Canada, territory of Canada. It was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the ''Nunavut Act'' and the ''Nunavut ...
pursuant to a land claim agreement reached with Inuit, the indigenous people of Canada’s Eastern Arctic. Since that time, the federal government has slowly devolved legislative jurisdiction to the territories. Enabling the territories to become more self-sufficient and prosperous and to play a stronger role in the Canadian federation is considered a key component to development in Canada’s North. Among the three territories, devolution is most advanced in Yukon. On June 18, 2021, the
Labrador , nickname = "The Big Land" , etymology = , subdivision_type = Country , subdivision_name = Canada , subdivision_type1 = Provinces and territories of ...

Labrador
Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, ...
self-government
Nunatsiavut Nunatsiavut (; iu, italics=no, ᓄᓇᑦᓯᐊᕗᑦ) is an autonomous area The federal subject The federal subjects of Russia, also referred to as the subjects of the Russian Federation (russian: субъекты Российско ...

Nunatsiavut
stated that it had begun the process of seeking devolution of child protection services from the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Children, Seniors, and Social Development with the goal for negotiations to conclude within three years.


Northwest Territories

The
Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories (commonly abbreviated as NT or NWT; french: Territoires du Nord-Ouest) is a federal territory A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subd ...

Northwest Territories
(NWT) was governed from
Ottawa Ottawa (, ; Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or all) of these connections exist and are ...

Ottawa
from 1870 until the 1970s, except for the brief period between 1898 and 1905 when it was governed by an elected assembly. The
Carrothers Commission The Carrothers Commission, formally The Advisory Commission on the Development of Government in the Northwest Territories, was a commission set up by the government of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Pro ...
was established in April 1963 by the government of
Lester B. Pearson
Lester B. Pearson
to examine the development of government in the NWT. It conducted surveys of opinion in the NWT in 1965 and 1966 and reported in 1966. Major recommendations included that the seat of government should be located in the territory.
Yellowknife Yellowknife (; Dogrib language, Dogrib: ) is the capital, largest community, and only city in the Northwest Territories, Canada. It is on the northern shore of Great Slave Lake, about south of the Arctic Circle, on the west side of Yellowknife ...

Yellowknife
was selected as the territorial capital as a result. Transfer of many responsibilities from the federal government was recommended and carried out. This included responsibility for education, small business, public works, social services and local government. Since the report, the government of Northwest Territories has taken over responsibilities for several other programs and services including the delivery of health care, social services, education, administration of airports, and forestry management. The legislative jurisdiction of the territorial legislature is set out in section 16 of the ''Northwest Territories Act''. Now, the government of Canada is negotiating the transfer of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development's remaining provincial-type responsibilities in the NWT. These include the legislative powers, programs and responsibilities for land and resources associated with the department's Northern Affairs Program (NAP) with respect to: * Powers to develop, conserve, manage, and regulate of surface and subsurface natural resources in the NWT for mining and minerals (including oil and gas) administration, water management, land management and environmental management; * Powers to control and administer public land with the right to use, sell or otherwise dispose of such land; and * Powers to levy and collect resource royalties and other revenues from natural resources. The Government of the Northwest Territories, the Aboriginal Summit and the Government of Canada have each appointed a Chief Negotiator to work on devolution. A Framework Agreement was concluded in 2004. The target date for the completion of devolution talks for the NWT was March 2007. However, stumbling blocks associated with the transfer of current federal employees to the territorial government, and the unresolved issue of how much money the Northwest Territories will receive for its resources has delayed the conclusion of a devolution agreement for the NWT.


Nunavut

In 1966, the federal government established the Carruthers Commission to look at the issue of government in the north. After extensive study and consultation, the Commission concluded that division of the NWT was probably both advisable and inevitable. There was a recognition that Northerners wanted to run their own affairs and must be given the opportunity to do so. At the same time, however, it noted that governmental reform was required before this could happen. It recommended the establishment of a new system of representative government. As a result, in the late 1960s and 1970s, the federal government gradually created electoral constituencies and transferred many federally run programs to the territorial government. Northerners took on more and more responsibility for the day-to-day running of their own affairs. In 1982 a
plebiscite A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a direct Direct may refer to: Mathematics * Directed set In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number th ...
was held in the NWT asking the question, "Do you think the NWT should be divided?" Fifty-three percent of eligible voters participated in the plebiscite, with 56.4 percent of them voting "yes". Voter turnout and support for division was particularly strong in the Eastern Arctic. The Inuit population of the eastern section of the territory had become increasingly receptive of the idea of self-government. It was viewed as the best way to promote and protect their culture and traditions and address their unique regional concerns. Both the NWT Legislative Assembly and the federal government accepted the idea of dividing the territory. The idea was viewed as an important step towards enabling the
Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, ...
, and other residents of the Eastern Arctic, to take charge of their own destiny. There were some reservations, however. Before action could be taken, certain practical considerations had to be addressed. First of all, outstanding land claims had to be settled. Second, all parties had to agree on a new boundary. Finally, all parties had to agree on the division of powers between territorial, regional and local levels of government. The various governments and native groups worked closely together to realize these goals. The ''
Nunavut Land Claims AgreementThe Nunavut Land Claim Agreement (french: L'Accord sur les revendications territoriales du Nunavut) was signed on May 25, 1993, in Iqaluit, by representatives of the Tunngavik Federation of Nunavut (now Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated), the Governm ...
'' was ratified by the Inuit in November 1992, signed by the Prime Minister of Canada on May 25, 1993, and passed by the Canadian Parliament in June of the same year. It was the largest native land claim settlement in Canadian history. It gave the Inuit title over 350,000 square kilometres of land. It also gave the Inuit capital transfers from the federal government of over $1.1 billion over the next 14 years. This money will be held in trust with the interest to be used in a variety of different projects, including financing for regional businesses and scholarships for students. The Inuit also gained a share of resource royalties, hunting rights and a greater role in managing the land and protecting the environment. The land claims agreement also committed the Government of Canada to recommend to Parliament legislation to create a new territory in the eastern part of the Northwest Territories. While negotiations on a land claims settlement progressed, work was also taking place to determine potential jurisdictional boundaries for a new Eastern Territory. A proposal was presented to all NWT voters in a May 1992 plebiscite. Of those voting, 54 percent supported the proposed boundary. The Government of the Northwest Territories, the Tungavik Federation of Nunavut (the Inuit claims organization) and the federal government formally adopted the boundary for division in the Nunavut Political Accord. The final piece of the equation fit into place on June 10, 1993, when the ''Nunavut Act'' received Royal Assent. It officially established the territory of Nunavut and provided a legal framework for its government. It fixed April 1, 1999, as the day on which the new territory would come into existence. The government of
Nunavut Nunavut ( iu, ᓄᓇᕗᑦ ; ) is the largest and northernmost provinces and territories of Canada, territory of Canada. It was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the ''Nunavut Act'' and the ''Nunavut ...
is currently negotiating with the government of Canada on a devolution agreement.
Nunavut Tunngavik Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI; Inuktitut: Nunavut Tunngavik; Inuktitut syllabics, Syllabics: ᓄᓇᕗᑦ ᑐᙵᕕᒃ) is the legal representative of the Inuit of Nunavut for the purposes of native treaty rights and treaty negotiation. The p ...
, the organization of Inuit of Nunavut, is also a participant to negotiations to ensure that Inuit interests are represented. Devolution over natural resources to the government of
Nunavut Nunavut ( iu, ᓄᓇᕗᑦ ; ) is the largest and northernmost provinces and territories of Canada, territory of Canada. It was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the ''Nunavut Act'' and the ''Nunavut ...
moved forward with the appointment of a Ministerial Representative for Nunavut Devolution. The Representative has held meetings with interested parties including the Boards established under the
Nunavut Land Claims AgreementThe Nunavut Land Claim Agreement (french: L'Accord sur les revendications territoriales du Nunavut) was signed on May 25, 1993, in Iqaluit, by representatives of the Tunngavik Federation of Nunavut (now Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated), the Governm ...
(NLCA), territorial and federal government departments in order to determine if devolution will occur and if so the future mandate of devolution. The government of Nunavut and Nunavut Tunngavik have appointed negotiators.


Yukon

In 1896 prospectors discovered gold in
Yukon Yukon ( ; ; formerly called Yukon Territory and sometimes referred to as The Yukon) is the smallest and westernmost of Canada's three territories. It also is the least populated province or territory in Canada, with a population of 35,874 peo ...

Yukon
. There ensued what is often considered the world's greatest
gold rush A gold rush or gold fever is a discovery of gold Gold is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, ...
, which saw the population of Yukon grow rapidly. Indeed, by 1898, Dawson grew into the largest Canadian city west of
Winnipeg Winnipeg () is the capital and largest city of the province of Manitoba Manitoba ( ) is a at the of the country. It is Canada's , with a population of 1,278,365 as of 2016. The easternmost of the three , Manitoba covers of widely varied ...

Winnipeg
, with a population of 40,000. In response, the Canadian government officially established the Yukon Territory in 1898. The
North-West Mounted Police The North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) was a Canadian armed police force, established in 1873, to maintain order in the new Canadian North-West Territories following the 1870 transfer of Rupert’s Land and North-Western Territory to Canada fr ...
were sent in to ensure Canadian jurisdiction and the ''Yukon Act'' provided for a commissioner to administer the territory. The 1898 statute granted the Commissioner in Council "the same powers to make ordinances... as are possessed by the Lieutenant Governor of the North-west Territories, acting by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly thereof". In 1908 amendments to the ''Yukon Act'' transformed the Council into an elected body. Over time the territorial government exercised expanded functions. Relevant developments include the following: * By the mid-1960s, schools, public works, welfare, and various other matters of a local nature had come under territorial administration. * Increased authority of elected Council members over the ensuing period contributed to significant changes in the Yukon Commissioner's role. In 1979, instructions from the
Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Minister may refer to: * Minister (Christianity)Image:LutheranClergy.JPG, upA Lutheran minister wearing a Geneva gown and Bands (neckwear), bands. In many churches, ministers wear distinctive clothing, called vestments, when presiding over service ...
(Minister) directed the Commissioner to allow elected members and the Executive Council to make important policy decisions, specifying that his/her actions should normally be based on the advice and taken with the consent of the elected Executive Council. * As in the Northwest Territories, federal responsibilities were transferred to the Yukon government in the 1980s. In 1988 the Minister and the Yukon Government Leader signed a
Memorandum of Understanding A memorandum of understanding (MoU) is a type of agreement between two (bilateral Bilateral may refer to any concept including two sides, in particular: *Bilateria, bilateral animals *Bilateralism, the political and cultural relations between ...
committing the parties to smooth the progress of devolution of remaining province-like responsibilities to the Yukon Government. Responsibilities transferred since then include fisheries, mine safety, intra-territorial roads, hospitals and community-health care, oil-and-gas and, most recently, natural resources. * Discussion to transfer land- and resource-management responsibilities to the
Yukon Government {{Infobox legislature , name = Legislature of Yukon , legislature = 34th Yukon Legislative Assembly , house_type = Unicameral , houses = Yukon Territorial Council, Territorial Council (1898-1978)
Yuko ...
began in 1996, followed by a formal federal devolution proposal to the Yukon Government in January 1997. In September 1998 a Devolution Protocol Accord to guide devolution negotiations was signed. On August 28, 2001 a final draft of the Devolution Transfer Agreement was completed for consideration. The Yukon Devolution transfer Agreement was concluded on October 29, 2001, with the Government of Canada enabling the transfer of remaining province-like responsibilities for land, water and resource management to the Government of Yukon on April 1, 2003.


Mexico


The Federal District

All constituent
states of Mexico The states of Mexico are first-level administrative territorial entities of the country of Mexico, which officially is named United Mexican States Mexico ( es, México ; Nahuan languages: ), officially the United Mexican States (; EUM ), ...
are fully autonomous and comprise a federation. The Federal District, originally integrated by
Mexico City Mexico City ( es, link=no, Ciudad de México, ; abbreviated as CDMX; nah, Āltepētl Mēxihco) is the capital city, capital and largest city of Mexico, as well as the List of North American cities by population, most populous city in North Americ ...

Mexico City
and other municipalities, was created in 1824 to be the capital of the federation. As such, it was governed directly by the central or federal government and the
president of Mexico The president of Mexico ( es, link=no, Presidente de México), officially the president of the United Mexican States ( es, link=no, Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos), is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is t ...
appointed its governor or executive regent. Even though the municipalities within the Federal District were autonomous, their powers were limited. In 1928, these municipalities were abolished and transformed into non-autonomous ''
delegaciones
delegaciones
'' or boroughs and a "Central Department", later renamed as Mexico City. In 1970 this department was split into four new ''delegaciones'', and Mexico City was constitutionally defined to be synonymous and coterminous with the entire Federal District. (As such, the boroughs of the Federal District are boroughs of Mexico City). In the 1980s, the citizens of the Federal District, being the most populated federal entity in Mexico, began to demand home rule: a devolution of autonomy in order to directly elect their head of government and to set up a Legislative Assembly. In 1987, an Assembly of Representatives was created, by constitutional decree, whose members were elected by popular vote. The devolution of the executive power was not granted until 1997 when the first
head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the executive Executive may refer to: Role, title, or function * Executive (government), branch of government that has authority and responsibility for the administrat ...
was elected by popular vote. Finally, in 2000, power was devolved to the ''delegaciones'', though limited: residents can now elect their own "heads of borough government" (''jefes delegacionales'', in Spanish), but the ''delegaciones'' do not have regulatory powers and are not constituted by a board of trustees, like the
municipalities of the constituent states
municipalities of the constituent states
. The autonomy, or home rule, of the Federal District, was granted by the federal government, which in principle has the right to remove it. The president of Mexico still holds the final word in some decisions (e.g. he must approve some posts), and the
Congress of the Union The Congress of the Union ( es, Congreso de la Unión), formally known as the General Congress of the United Mexican States (''Congreso General de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos''), is the legislature of the federal government of Mexico consist ...
reviews the budget of the Federal District and sets the limit to its debt. Some left-wing groups and political parties have advocated, since the 1980s, for a full devolution of powers by transforming the Federal District into the thirty-second constituent state of the Federation (with the proposed name of "State of the Valley of Mexico", to be distinguished from the
state of México The State of Mexico ( es, Estado de México; ), officially only Mexico ( es, México), is one of the administrative divisions of Mexico, 32 federal entities of the United Mexican States. Commonly known as Edomex (from ) to distinguish it from the ...
; another proposed name is "State of the Anahuac").


Indigenous peoples

In a recent amendment to the
Constitution of Mexico The Constitution of Mexico, formally the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States ( es, Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos), is the current constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental princip ...
, the country was defined as a "pluricultural nation" founded upon the "
indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when referred to relating to specific countries), or autochthonous peoples, are culturally distinct e ...
". They are granted "free-determination" to choose the social, economic, cultural and political organization for which they are to elect representatives democratically in whatever manner they see fit, traditionally or otherwise, as long as women have the same opportunities to participate in their social and political life. There are, however, no prescribed limits to their territories, and they are still under the jurisdiction of the municipalities and states in which they are located; the indigenous peoples can elect representatives before the municipal councils. In practice, they are allowed to have an autonomous form of self-government, but they are still subject to the rights and responsibilities set forth by the federal constitution and the constitution of the states in which they are located.


France

In the late 1980s a process of
decentralisation Decentralization or decentralisation is the process by which the activities of an organization, particularly those regarding planning and decision making, are distributed or delegated away from a central, authoritative location or group. Concep ...

decentralisation
was undertaken by the
French government The Government of the French Republic (french: Gouvernement de la République française ) exercises executive power ''Executive Power'' is Vince Flynn's fifth novel, and the fourth to feature Mitch Rapp, an American agent that works for t ...
. Initially regions were created and elected regional assemblies set up. Together with the departmental councils these bodies have responsibility for infrastructure spending and maintenance (schools and highways) and certain social spending. They collect revenues through property taxes and various other taxes. In addition a large part of spending is provided by direct grants to such authorities. There also are groups calling for devolution or full independence for
Occitania Occitania ( oc, Occitània, , or ) is the historical region in Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe where Occitan language, Occitan was historically the main language spoken, and where it is sometimes still used, for the most part as ...

Occitania
, the
Basque Country Image:Euskal Herriaren terminologia.png, Map showing the geographical and political divisions of the Basque Country Basque Country may refer to: *Basque Country (autonomous community) (''Euskal Autonomia Erkidegoa'' in Basque; ''Comunidad Autónoma ...
,
Corsica Corsica (, Upper , Southern , ; french: link=no, Corse ; lij, link=no, Còrsega) is an island in the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north ...

Corsica
,
Alsace Alsace (, also ; Low Alemannic German Low Alemannic German (german: Niederalemannisch) is a branch of Alemannic German Alemannic, or rarely Alemannish (''Alemannisch'', ), is a group of High German dialects. The name derives from the ancie ...

Alsace
, and
Brittany Brittany (; french: link=no, Bretagne ; br, Breizh, or ; Gallo: ''Bertaèyn'' ) is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while being connected to ...
.


Spain

The
Spanish Constitution The Spanish Constitution (Spanish language, Spanish, Asturleonese language, Asturleonese, and gl, Constitución Española; eu, Espainiako Konstituzioa; ca, Constitució Espanyola; oc, Constitucion espanhòla) is the Democracy, democratic la ...
of 1978 granted
autonomy In developmental psychology Developmental psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions ...
to the ''nationalities'' and regions of which the
Kingdom of Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...
is composed. (See also ''
autonomous communities In Spain, an autonomous community ( es, comunidad autónoma) is a first-level political divisions of Spain, political and administrative division, created in accordance with the Spanish Constitution of 1978, Spanish constitution of 1978, with the ...

autonomous communities
and
cities of Spain File:Vue Panoramique de Grenade.JPG, upGranada This is a list of lists of the municipalities of Spain. The municipalities list links are listed below, by autonomous community of Spain, autonomous community and province ...
'') Under the "system of autonomies" ( es, Estado de las Autonomías), Spain has been quoted to be "remarkable for the extent of the powers peacefully devolved over the past 30 years" and "an extraordinarily decentralised country", with the central government accounting for just 18% of public spending; the regional governments 38%, the local councils 13% and the social-security system the rest. In 2010 the Constitutional Court had ruled that non-binding referendums could be held and subsequently several municipalities held such referendums. On December 12, 2013 the
Catalan Government The ''Generalitat de Catalunya'' (; in Aranese: ''Generalitat de Catalonha''; in Spanish: ''Generalidad de Cataluña''), or Government of Catalonia, is the institutional system by which Catalonia Catalonia (; ca, Catalunya ; Aranese, Arane ...
announced that a
referendum A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a direct Direct may refer to: Mathematics * Directed set In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number th ...
would be held on self-determination. The central government of Spain considers that a binding referendum is unconstitutional and cannot be held. On October 1, 2017 the regional government held a referendum despite having been declared illegal by the Spanish courts. Subsequently, several leaders were arrested and imprisoned on charges of "sedition" and "rebellion". The regional president fled to Brussels, but has so far escaped extradition as those offenses are not part of Belgian law or the European Arrest Warrant. On December 21, 2017 fresh elections were held in which pro-independence parties held a slim majority and a broad coalition of constitutionalist parties expressed disappointment and concern for the future.


United Kingdom

In the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
, devolved government was created for
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...

Northern Ireland
in 1921 by the
Government of Ireland Act 1920 The Government of Ireland Act 1920 (10 & 11 Geo. 5 c. 67) was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer ...
, for
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It ...

Wales
and
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
in September 1997 following simple majority
referenda A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a Direct democracy, direct and Universal suffrage, universal vote in which an entire Constituency, electorate is invited to vote on a particular proposal and can have nationwide or El ...

referenda
, and in
London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowerc ...

London
in May 1998. Between 1998 and 1999, the
Scottish Parliament The Scottish Parliament ( gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba ; Scots language, Scots: ''Scots Pairlament'') is the Devolution in the United Kingdom, devolved, Unicameralism, unicameral legislature of Scotland. Located in the Holyrood, Edinburgh, Holyro ...

Scottish Parliament
,
National Assembly for Wales The Senedd (; ), officially known as the Welsh Parliament in English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early med ...

National Assembly for Wales
(now known as the
Senedd The Senedd (; ), officially known as the Welsh Parliament in English language, English and () in Welsh language, Welsh, is the Devolution in the United Kingdom, devolved, unicameral legislature of Wales. A democratically elected body, it makes ...

Senedd
),
Northern Ireland Assembly The Northern Ireland Assembly ( ga, Tionól Thuaisceart Éireann; Ulster Scots: ''Norlin Airlan Assemblie'') often referred to by the metonym Metonymy () is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase ...
and
London Assembly The London Assembly is a 25-member elected body, part of the Greater London Authority The Greater London Authority (GLA), colloquially known by the metonym "City Hall", is the Devolution in the United Kingdom, devolved Regions of England, r ...
were established by law. The
Campaign for an English Parliament The Campaign for an English Parliament (CEP) is a pressure group which seeks the establishment of a devolved English parliament. The CEP is the main organisation associated with an English Parliament. It was formed as a non-denominational lobbyi ...
, which supports
English devolution In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some pref ...
(i.e. the establishment of a separate English parliament or assembly) was formed in 1998. A referendum was held in Scotland on 18 September 2014 which asked citizens whether Scotland should be an independent country. By a margin of approximately 55 percent to 45 percent, people living in Scotland rejected the proposal. The leaders of the three largest British political parties pledged on 16 September 2014 a new devolution settlement for Scotland in the event of a No vote, promising to deliver "faster, safer and better change", and as a result of this vote and promises made during the referendum campaign, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced plans to devolve additional powers to the Scottish government, the nature of which would be determined by the
Smith Commission The Smith Commission was announced by Prime Minister David Cameron David William Donald Cameron (born 9 October 1966) is a British politician, businessman, lobbyist In politics, lobbying, persuasion, or interest representation is th ...
. These powers were subsequently transferred in the
Scotland Act 2016 The Scotland Act 2016 (c. 11) is an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Cro ...
. Following the outcome of the
Brexit Brexit (; a portmanteau of "British exit") was the Withdrawal from the European Union, withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom) at 23:00 31 January 2020 Green ...
vote on 23 June 2016, calls for further devolution have been raised, including differential membership of the
European single market The European Single Market, Internal Market or Common Market is a single market A single market is a type of trade bloc A trade bloc is a type of trade pact, intergovernmental agreement, often part of a regional intergovernmental organiza ...

European single market
for the devolved areas of the United Kingdom.


United States

In the United States only the federal government and state governments are sovereign. Legal relationships with
Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United States * Indigenous peoples in Canada, the indigenous p ...
tribes and their government structures are the jurisdiction of the federal government. Territories are under the direct jurisdiction of Congress. Territorial governments are thus devolved by acts of Congress. Political subdivisions of a state, such as a county or municipality, are a type of devolved government and are defined by individual state constitutions and laws.


District of Columbia

In the United States, the
District of Columbia ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk within the National Mall The National Mall is a Landscape architecture, landscape ...

District of Columbia
offers an illustration of devolved government. The District is separate from any state, and has its own elected government. In many ways, on a day-to-day basis, it operates much like another state, with its own laws, court system, Department of Motor Vehicles, public university, and so on. However, the governments of the 50 states reserved a broad range of powers in the
U.S. Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the Supremacy Clause, supreme law of the United States, United States of America. This founding document, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government. Its first t ...
, and most of their laws cannot be voided by any act of U.S. federal government. The District of Columbia, by contrast, is constitutionally under the sole control of the
United States Congress The United States Congress is the legislature of the federal government of the United States. It is Bicameralism, bicameral, comprising a lower body, the United States House of Representatives, House of Representatives, and an upper body, t ...

United States Congress
, which created the current District government by statute. Any law passed by the District legislature can be nullified by congressional action, and indeed the District government could be significantly altered or eliminated entirely by a simple majority vote in Congress.


List of unitary states with devolution


See also

* * * * * * * * * * * *


Notes


External links


Economic and Social Research Council Devolution and Constitutional Change research programmehttp://www.bbc.co.uk An Article from the BBC describing the transfer of powers from the UK Parliament to the Welsh Assembly
{{Autonomous types of first-tier administration Federalism