Separation of Powers
The principle of the separation of powers dates back many centuries, to political philosophers such as Hobbes and Montesquieu. The basic aim is to avoid dictatorship in a democracy by building checks and balances into a constitution, in order to avoid the executive or legislative branches accumulating too much power. The independence of a third branch, namely the judiciary, is also a key element of this constitutional balancing act.
This short animated video, made by the Hamburg-based German production company Explainity, traces the historical origins of the separation of powers concept, before outlining how it works in practice in modern democracies.