The Structure And Organization Of Government (Meaning And Definition)

Table Of Contents

  • Definition
  • The Legislature
  • Functions And Importance Of The Legislature
  • The Executive
  • Functions And Important Of The Executive
  • The Judiciary
  • Function And Importance Of The Judiciary


Definition: We may define the organs of government as the structural divisions of the power of government into different segments. An organ therefore is a structure of general functions of a government as discussed previously on this blog.

In modern times, In view of the numerous functions a governments Is meant to perform and like in large establishment, functions of government are divided into three segments or branches. It is these segments or branches that we call organs or arms are the  legislature, the executive and judiciary with different but  complementary functions. Their main functions are, law making for the executive and law adjudication or interpretation for the judiciary. We shall therefore analyze these organs one after the other in details.

1. The Legislature
The legislature is the organ or arm of government that is assigned the function of law making. The legislature is given different names in different countries like National or state Assembly as in Nigeria, Parliament as in Britain, congress as in United state, etc. The legislature can be one or two houses depending on the country.

Functions And Importance Of The Legislature

1. House Of Representative Of The People: The legislature acts are the house of these elected to speak for and represent the people of a country.

2. Law Making: Making Of laws that direct and guide the affairs of the nation and guarantee peace and progress of a country is one of the main functions o Legislature.

3. Amendment of the constitution: It is also duty of the legislature to amend constitution.

4. Control Of The Executive: To avoid misrule, the legislature is empowered to Check and control the activities of the executive organ of the government .

5. Approval of Appointments: Another important function of the legislature is to approve the appointments made by the president or prime minister of the country.

6. Control of public Expenditure: The legislative organ of government controls and approves the proposed financial expenditure minister of the executive arm.

7.  Platform for Expression of public opinion: Members of the public express their public opinion in the legislature through their elected representatives who enjoy what is known as parliamentary immunity which protects them from legal action.

8. Ratification Of International Treaties: It is also the duty of the parliament to approve treaties entered into by the president or prime minister which other countries.

9. Probe Function: The legislature in its job of checking the activities of other organs of government has the power of setting up panels to investigate the activities of any department of the government.

10. Medium Of Enlightenment And Education: The legislature enlightens and educates people of a country through debates by its members.

11. Dissolution Of The Parliament: The legislature has the power of dissolution of the Parliament when it deems it necessary or at its expiration.

12. Removal Of The President: The legislature has the power of impeaching the president of a country when he is no more abiding by the tents of the constitution which he swore to abide and protect.

13. Removal Of Judges: Any judge like chief justice of a country who fails to perform his judicial functions can be removed or recommended for removal by the legislative arm.

14. Judicial Functions: The legislature in some countries serves as the highest judicial authority or the last court of appeal i.e the house of lords in Britain.

15. Training Of Future Leaders: Through the various activities of the legislature, it serves as an avenue for the legislature, it serves as an avenue for the training of a country’s future leaders.

2. The Executive

The executive is the organ of government responsible for the implementation, execution or enforcement of law, policies and directives made and given by the legislative arm of the government laws are not made and carried out by the same organ, different organs are therefore responsible for making, execution and interpretation o laws in a country. The executive therefore sees to it that laws made in a country are obeyed. It also submits to the legislature any changes it dreams necessary to be made in laws of the land, carries out administrative duties, renders service to the people of the  country, etc.

Members of the executive include , the president/prime minister, Governors, ministers,commissioners and other officials and civil servants. The relationship between the executive and the legislature and how the head of the executive emerges are discussed in chapter in chapter 4 under the presidential and discussed in chapter 4 under the presidential and parliamentary systems of government.

Function And Importance Of The Executive

1. Execution of law: It is executive arm that executes or implements the laws made in the legislature by Making sure that they are obeyed.

2. Giving Assent To Bills: The Head of the executive arm sign or gives assent to bills before they can become  laws.

3. Military Functions: The head of the executive performs crucial military functions as the commander -in- chief of the armed forces.

4. Maintenance Of Law And Order: The executive uses the police to maintain law and order in a country through the enforcement of law a d order.

5. Provision Of Welfare Service: It is the executive that performs the main functions of the government which is provision of welfare service to the citizens.

6.  Maintenance Of  External Relations: The Executive maintains external relations, signs treaties, etc, with other countries especially friendly ones.

7. Initiation Of Bills To The Legislature: The executive sometimes initiates and submits bills to the legislature to pass into law for good governance is the country.

8. Formulation Of Policies: The executive  formulates policies that guide in particular and the country as a whole.

9. Making Of Budgets: It is the execution that prepares the total proposed financial expenditure and revenue of the government in every new financial year.

10. Pardoning Of Convicts: The executive through the power granted to it by the constitution performs crucial judicial function of pardoning and reprieving convicted offenders in a country.

11. Information Dissemination: The executive keeps the public informed about the activities and policies of the government thereby bridging the communication gap between the government and the governed.

12. Dissolution Of The Parliament: In a country like Britain the execution performs the function of ordering the dissolution of the Parliament.

3. The Judiciary

The judiciary is the third organ of government responsible for interpretation and application of the laws when they are broken or violated. It also adjudicates in disputes between the executive and the legislature and between government and the citizens and organizations or among citizens or organizations. The judiciary acts as the watchdog of the law by making sure that laws made are obeyed and those who refuse to obey the laws are severely punished. The judiciary is made up of different courts like the supreme court, appeal courts, high courts, magistrate courts, customary courts, administrative courts and tribunals.

Functions And Importance Of The Judiciary

1. Interpretation Of Laws: This is the primary function of the judiciary in a country.

2. Dispute Adjudication: The judiciary adjudicates in disputes between the executive and the legislature and between government and citizens or organizations, etc.

3. Punishment Of Law Breakers: As the watchdog of the law, the judiciary makes sure that laws made are obeyed and the those who refuse to obey the laws are severely punished.

4. Guardian Of The Constitution: The judiciary guards and protects the constitution of the land from flagrant violation by anybody no matter how highly placed.

5. Determination Of Election Petitions: The judiciary performs the function of hearing and determining election petitions in order to ascertain true winners.

6. Protection Of Citizen’s Right And Liberty: It is as result of this function performed by the judiciary that has made it to be described as the last hope and defender of the oppressed.

7. It Gives Advice To The President: The judiciary advises the president of a country on judicial matter like the prerogative of mercy or the power to pardon criminals and political detainees, etc.

8. Law Making Function: The judiciary gives useful suggesions on constitutional preparation and amendment and the passing and singing of bills by the legislature and the executive arms of the government.

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