Westminster system

The British Houses of Parliament are situated within the Palace of Westminster, in London

The Westminster system or Westminster model is a type of parliamentary government that incorporates a series of procedures for operating a legislature. This concept was first developed in England.

Key aspects of the system include an executive branch made up of members of the legislature, and that is responsible to the legislature; the presence of parliamentary opposition parties; and a ceremonial head of state who is different from the head of government. The term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the current seat of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Westminster system is often contrasted with the presidential system that originated in the United States,[1] or with the semi-presidential system, based on the government of France.

The Westminster system is used, or was once used, in the national and subnational legislatures of most former colonies of the British Empire upon gaining self-government (two notable exceptions to this being the United States and Cyprus),[2][3] beginning with the first of the Canadian provinces in 1848 and the six Australian colonies between 1855 and 1890.[4][5][6] It is the form of government bequeathed to New Zealand,[4] and former British Hong Kong.[7][8] The State of Israel adopted a largely Westminster-inspired system of government upon declaring independence from the British Mandate of Palestine. However, some former colonies have since adopted either the presidential system (Nigeria for example) or a hybrid system (like South Africa) as their form of government.

  1. ^ "Varieties of public representation". Political Representation. Cambridge University Press. 2010. ISBN 978-0521128650.
  2. ^ Julian Go (2007). "A Globalizing Constitutionalism?, Views from the Postcolony, 1945-2000". In Arjomand, Saïd Amir (ed.). Constitutionalism and political reconstruction. Brill. pp. 92–94. ISBN 978-9004151741.
  3. ^ "How the Westminster Parliamentary System was exported around the World". University of Cambridge. 2 December 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  4. ^ a b Seidle, F. Leslie; Docherty, David C. (2003). Reforming parliamentary democracy. McGill-Queen's University Press. p. 3. ISBN 9780773525085.
  5. ^ Johnston, Douglas M.; Reisman, W. Michael (2008). The Historical Foundations of World Order. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 571. ISBN 978-9047423935.
  6. ^ Fieldhouse, David; Madden, Frederick (1990). Settler self-government, 1840-1900 : the development of representative and (1. publ. ed.). New York: Greenwood Press. p. xxi. ISBN 9780313273261.
  7. ^ Cooray, Anton (2019). "5: Customary Law, Unwritten Law, and General Principles of Law". Constitutional Law in Hong Kong. Kluwer Law International B.V. ISBN 9789403518213.
  8. ^ Yu, Gu (2015). "8: Conclusion". Hong Kong's Legislature under China's Sovereignty: 1998-2013. Hotei Publishing. p. 215. ISBN 9789004276284.

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