Montesquieu Institute: from science to society

Legislative power

The ideas of the French philosopher Montesquieu on the division of political power among a legislature, an executive, and a judiciary are known as the Trias Politica.

To prevent one branch from becoming supreme, protect the "opulent minority" from the majority, and to induce the branches to cooperate, government systems that employ a separation of powers need a way to balance each of the branches. Typically this was accomplished through a system of "checks and balances", the origin of which, like separation of powers itself, is specifically credited to Montesquieu. Checks and balances allow for a system based regulation that allows one branch to limit another, such as the power of Congress to alter the composition and jurisdiction of the federal courts.

In the Netherlands and many other European Countries we don't speak of a strict system of a separation of powers, but rather a division of power.

In the area of the legislative power the Montesquieu Institute pays attention to research, education and valorisation.