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The concept of the public trust relates back to the origins of democratic government and its seminal idea that within the public lies the true power and future of a society; therefore, whatever ''trust'' the public places in its officials must be respected. One of the reasons that
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is regarded as a notorious
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is that it contributes to a culture of
political corruption Political corruption is the use of powers by government officials or their network contacts for illegitimate private gain. Forms of corruption Corruption is a form of dishonesty Dishonesty is to act without honesty. It is used to describe a ...
in which the public trust is eroded. Other issues related to political corruption or betrayal of public trust are
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, special
interest group Advocacy groups, also known as special interest groups, use various forms of advocacy Advocacy is an activity by an individual or group that aims to influence decisions within political, economic, and social institutions. Advocacy include ...
s and the public cartel.


United States

In the United States "Public Trust" is a term of art referring to any public property which belongs to the whole of the people. Initially it was used within the formation of the government to refer to politicians who achieve power by election. In the Constitution of the United States, United States Constitution, all members of Congress as well as the President of the United States, President, and Vice President of the United States, Vice President are elected Seat (legal entity)#Government, seats in the public trust. The first State constitution (United States), state constitution drafted in the United States was the Maryland Constitution of 1776, which expressed that all persons vested with the legislative and executive powers of government are trustees of the public.


Members of the Legislature

In Federalist No. 57, The Federalist Papers #57, Alexander Hamilton defended the concept of a House of Representatives within the new Constitution by referring to those elected representatives as holding a public trust, obtained through election, and held accountable to the people through term limits.


The Executive

In Federalist No. 70, The Federalist Papers #70 Alexander Hamilton addresses the Presidency in a discussion over having more than one executive, referring to the "magistry" being an elective office, as a public trust: George Washington opened his farewell address in 1796 inviting the people to elect a new executive to his "important trust:"


The Constitution

A Public Trust is the term used when referring to politician, elected officials in the United States Constitution, to differentiate them from Officer of the United States, civil officers. For example, the No Religious Test Clause#Text, No Religious Test clause of Article VI includes both civil officers (commissioned either by the President of the United States, President or the Constitution) and elected officials directly: Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father Thomas Jefferson is popularly cited for his statement in a letter to Alexander von Humboldt, Baron von Humboldt: Public trust is different from an ''office of trust'', which is an officer. The descriptive term ''public'' is referring to the General public, public ownership of the trust. In 1892 the United States Supreme Court found in Illinois Central Railroad Co. v. Illinois that states have public ownership of all submerged land in navigable waters, determining that states manage these lands in trust for the public and that no state legislature can abdicate its authority as the trustee of these resources. This added natural resources to the concept of public trust. Certain cultural resources were later also added as a public trust.


Use in the Philippines

In the Philippines, "betrayal of public trust" is one of the impeachable offenses. In ''Francisco, Jr. vs. Nagmamalasakit na mga Manananggol ng mga Manggagawang Pilipino, Inc.,'' the Supreme Court of the Philippines ruled that the definition of "betrayal of public trust" is "a non-justiciable political question which is beyond the scope of its judicial power" under the Constitution. It did not prescribe which branch of government has the power to define it, but implies that Congress, which handles impeachment cases, has the power to do so.


See also

*Public trust doctrine


References


External links

Social ethics Government Public sphere, Trust {{Government-stub