The executive is the branch of government
in and holding responsibility
for the governance
of a state
. The executive executes and enforces law
In political system
s based on the principle of separation of powers
is distributed among several branches (executive, legislative
)—an attempt to prevent the concentration of power in the hands of a single group of people. In such a system, the executive does not pass laws (the role of the legislature) or interpret them (the role of the judiciary). Instead, the executive enforces the law as written by the legislature and interpreted by the judiciary. The executive can be the source of certain types of law, such as a decree
or executive order
. Executive bureaucracies are commonly the source of regulation
systems, the executive is responsible
to the elected legislature, i.e. must maintain the confidence of the legislature (or one part of it, if bicameral). The legislature can, in certain circumstances (varying by state), express its lack of confidence in the executive, which causes either a change in governing party or group of parties or a general election. Parliamentary systems have a head of government (who leads the executive, often called ministers
) normally distinct from the head of state (who continues through governmental and electoral changes). In the Westminster type of parliamentary system
, the principle of separation of powers is not as entrenched as in some others. Members of the executive (ministers
), are also members of the legislature, and hence play an important part in both the writing and enforcing of law.
In this context, the executive consists of a leader(s) of an office or multiple offices. Specifically, the top leadership roles of the executive branch may include:
*head of state
– often the supreme leader
, the president
, the chief public representative and living symbol of national unity.
**head of government
– often the prime minister
, overseeing the administration
of all affairs of state.
– overseeing the armed forces
, determining military policy, and managing external safety.
– overseeing the police forces
, enforcing the law, and managing internal control.
– overseeing the diplomatic service
, determining foreign policy
and managing foreign relations
– overseeing the treasury, determining fiscal policy
and managing national budget
– overseeing criminal prosecutions, corrections, enforcement of court orders.
Presidents and ministers
In a presidential system
, the leader of the executive is both the ''head of state'' and ''head of government''.
In a parliamentary system
, a cabinet minister
responsible to the legislature
is the head of government, while the head of state is usually a largely ceremonial monarch or president.
* Legal reform
* Rule according to higher law
Category: Separation of powers
Category: Public law