Lesson Note on Government SS1 Second Term

Government ENote SS1 Second Term – Edudelight.com

SECOND TERM

SUBJECT: GOVERNMENT  

CLASS: SS1

SCHEME OF WORK GOVERNMENT SS1 SECOND TERM

WEEKS   TOPICS

  1. TYPES AND CHARACTERISTICS OF GOVERNMENT: Presidential System of Government; Parliamentary System of Government.
  2. Nazism.
  3. Monarchy- Definition, Forms, Merits and Demerits, Features: Republican Government-Meaning, Features: Military Government- Features, Reasons for Military Intervention, Differences Between Republican and Monarchy.
  4. Constitution: Definition, Sources, Features, Types: Written, Unwritten, Rigid, Flexible, Unitary, Federal and Confederal with Merits and Demerits of Each Type.
  5. Structure and Organization of Government: Legislature; Meaning, Functions, Types, Merits and Demerits of Each Type, the Concept of Parliamentary Supremacy and Its Limitations; Bills- Meaning, Types, Procedure on How Bills Become Law.
  6. Executive- Meaning, Functions and Types

Judiciary- Meaning, Functions and Independence of the Judiciary

  1. Basic Principles of Government: Rule of Law; Definition, Principles, Limitations to Its Application, Factors that Ensure Its Operation.
  2. Separation of Powers- Meaning, Merits and Demerits, Its Operation in Presidential and Parliamentary systems of government; Checks and balances- meaning , merits and demerits.
  3. Representative Government- Definition, Features, Conditions for Its Establishment, Merits and Demerits; Political Participation- Meaning, Forms, Purposes, Factors Affecting Political Participation.
  4. Centralization- Meaning, Reasons for Its Adoption, Merits and Demerits; Decentralization- Merits, Types, Merits and Demerits.
  5. Delegated Legislation- Definition, Type’s Reasons for Delegated Legislation, Demerits, Control of Delegated Legislation.
  6. Revision
  7. Examination

WEEK ONE                                                                                                                  DATE………………

TOPIC: TYPES AND CHARACTERISTICS OF GOVERNMENT

CONTENT

i.Presidential System of Government.

ii.Parliamentary System of Government.

PRESIDENTIAL SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT

MEANING: This can be defined as one in which the head of state is also the head of government. All executive powers are vested in one individual called the executive president and the commander in-chief of the Armed Forces. Examples of countries that practice this system are; U.S.A, Nigeria and so on.

CHARACTERISTICS OF PRESIDENTIAL SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT

  1. The executive president is both the head of state and government.
  2. The president performs both ceremonial and executive functions.
  3. The executive president is popularly elected by the electorate.
  4. The president has the constitutional power to appoint members of his cabinet.
  5. The president has a fixed term of office.
  6. Cabinet members (ministers) are individually responsible to the president.
  7. There is strict separation of powers between the arms of government.
  8. The president can be removed from office through impeachment.
  9. The system does not recognize opposition.
  10. The constitution is supreme.

ADVANTAGES OF PRESIDENTIAL SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT

  1. The constitution is supreme.
  2. There is separation of powers which enhances effective performance.
  3. The cabinet members are individually responsible to the president therefore he can check their activities.
  4. The president is popularly elected and as such he is responsible to the electorate.
  5. The president cannot transform himself into a life president because he has a fixed term of office.
  6. It is democratic.
  7. Checks and balances are very effective in this system.

DISADVANTAGES OF PRESIDENTIAL SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT

  1. There is delay in decision making
  2. It is difficult to impeach the president because the process is rigorous.
  3. The president can misuse his power to veto a bill
  4. The president can remove ministers at will. There is no security of tenure.
  5. There is a lot of corrupt practices in this system because lobbying is allowed.
  6. It is very expensive to operate.

EVALUATION

  1. Define a presidential system of government.
  2. Give 5 features of a presidential system of government.

TOPIC: PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT

MEANING: This can be defined as one in which the head of state is different from the head of government. The head of state is the ceremonial president while the head of government is the Prime minister. Countries that practice this system are; Britain, Israel, Italy and Nigeria in the first republic.

CHARACTERISTICS OF PARLIAMENTARY GOVERNMENT

  1. The head of state is different from the head of government.
  2. The head of state is the ceremonial president.
  3. The head of government is the Prime Minister.
  4. The Prime Minister performs executive functions.
  5. There is fusion of powers. Members of parliament are also members of the executive.
  6. Collective responsibility: Members of the cabinet are collectively responsible to the parliament.
  7. Opposition is legally and constitutionally recognized.
  8. Vote of no confidence: The Prime Minister can be removed from office by the parliament through a vote of no confidence.
  9. The Prime Minister presides over cabinet meetings.
  10. The Prime Minister can only choose his ministers within its party.

ADVANTAGES OF PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT

  1. There is mutual understanding between the executive and the legislature.
  2. There is no delay in decision making.
  3. The system allows ministers to defend their policies in parliament since they are also members of the parliament.
  4. Absence of conflict: There is absence of conflict as a result of fusion of power.
  5. The ruling party is dedicated and efficient in the administration of the country.
  6. This system prevents arbitrary rule.
  7. The opposition party serves as watchdog to the government in power.

DISADVANTAGES OF PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT

  1. The Prime Minister is not popularly elected by the electorate.
  2. Weak government: Parliamentary system of government can lead to a coalition government which is a weak government.
  3. The poor performance of a minister can led to the break down of the government since ministers are collectively responsible for government decisions.
  4. The executive can be removed from office anytime the legislature passes a vote of no confidence in the executive.
  5. Restriction in ministerial appointment: People who are capable of serving the country as ministers will not have that opportunity if they are not members of the ruling party. 

EVALUATION

  1. Define parliamentary system of government.
  2. State 5 features of parliamentary system of government.

EVALUATION/REVISION QUESTIONS

  1. Highlight 5 advantages of presidential system of government
  2. Mention 5 functions of the cabinet in a parliamentary system of government..
  3. Give 5 merits of a parliamentary system of government.
  4. State 5 functions of the president in a presidential system of government. 

READING ASSIGNMENT:

TOPIC: Characteristics of Government

Essential Government by C.C. Dibie pages 35-44

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

  1. The head of government in a parliamentary system of government is called A. President B. Head of state C. Prime MinisterD. Governor
  2. A system of government in which the head of state is the same as the head of government is called A.presidentialismB. parliamentarianism C. FederalismD. Unitary
  3. Collective responsibility means A. cabinet members are answerable to the people

B. ministers must collectively defend government decisions C. cabinet members can collect loan from government D. Ministers are responsible to the people

  • The head of state in a parliamentary system of government performs —— functions

A. ceremonial B. executive C. legislativeD. judicial

  • All but one of the following countries practice parliamentary system of government

A. Britain B. Italy C. U.S.A.D.Isreal

THEORY

  1. Differentiate between presidential and parliamentary system of government.
  2. Explain the concept of ‘individual responsibility’ in a presidential system of government.

Government ENote SS1 Second Term – Edudelight.com

WEEK TWO                                                                                                                 DATE————

TOPIC: NAZISM

CONTENT

  • Meaning of Nazism
  • Characteristics of Nazism

MEANING OF NAZISM

Nazism can be defined as a system of government whereby the state has absolute control over the cultural, social, economic and political activities of the people, including their fundamental human rights being denied. Nazism is an ideology of the National Socialist Party (NAZI) of Adolf Hitler who ruled Germany from 1933-1945. It believed in the superiority of the German race rather than an individual.

CHARACTERISTICS/FEATURES OF NAZISM

  • Totalitarianism: Nazism is a brand of totalitarianism in which the state has absolute control over everything and the state is seen as having solutions to all problems facing the state.
  • One Party System: There is the existence of only one political party e.g. Nazist political party.Leaders of the political party are also leaders of government.
  • One Ideology: There is the existence of a single ideology, that is, Nazism.
  • Government controls the economy centrally.
  • Government owns and controls mass media.
  • Government owns and controls schools, including tertiary institutions.
  • Labour union/pressure groups are not tolerated or allowed.
  • The rule of law and fundamental human rights are not respected.
  • Powers and authority were concentrated on the leader and his will must become laws. This makes him dictatorial.

EVALUATION QUESTION

  • What is Nazism?
  • Mention five features of Nazism.

GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISION QUESTIONS

  1. Discuss the concept of totalitarianism.
  2. Discuss the following (i) government as an institution of the state (ii) government as an act of governing.
  3. State 5 functions of government.

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

  1. Which of the following concept is out of place? A. Fascism B.WelfarismC. Nazism D. Nazism
  2. Adolf Hitler ruled Germany from A. 1932-45 B. 1946-1945 C. 1933-1945D. 1940-1948
  3.  Nazism is the ideology of A. communist eastB. Germany C. socialist west D. Italy
  4. The following are the features of Nazism except A. two party system B. single ideology C. absence of pressure groupsD. there is one party system
  5. Who is regarded as the father of communism A. Karl Marx B. Adolf Hitler C. V.I. LeninD. Plato

THEORY

  1. Compare and contrast socialism and capitalism.
  2. Would it be correct to describe Nazism as a form of totalitarianism?

READING ASSIGNMENT

TOPIC: MONARCHY

Comprehensive Government Pages 40-42

Essential Government Pages 47-51

Government ENote SS1 Second Term – Edudelight.com

WEEK THREE                                                                                                      DATE——————–

TOPIC: MONARCHY

CONTENT

  • Definition and Forms of Monarchy.
  • Merits and Demerits of Monarchy.
  • Features of Monarchy.
  • Republican Government: Meaning and Functions.
  • Military Government: Features, Reasons for Military Intervention, Differences between Republicanism and Monarchy.

MEANING OF MONARCHY

Monarchy may be defined as a system of government in which a king or a queen is the head of state and the government. In some countries, the monarch is the sole ruler and has absolute authority. This means that the power of the monarch is unlimited

FORMS OF MONARCHY

  • Constitutional Monarch: This is the type of monarchy whereby the monarch has limited power and authority, which he or she derives from the constitution. In this system of monarchy, the monarch is only a ceremonial head of state. Examples of constitutional monarchies are; Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait, Britain.
  • Absolute Monarch: This is the type of monarchy whereby the monarch has absolute or unlimited powers. The monarch does not derive his powers from the constitution but rules by divine right. Examples of absolute monarchies are; Tsar Nicholas 11 of Russia, king Khaled of Saudi Arabia and so on.

MERITS OF MONARCHY

  • Unity and Orderliness: Monarchy brings about unity and orderliness in the political system since power is vested in a single ruler.
  • Emergency: It can easily adapt to emergency situations as the monarch need not consult anyone before making decisions.
  • Harmonization:  it helps to harmonize different interests and prevent social strife.
  • The monarch is an historical and spiritual figure as the custodian of the customs and traditions of the people.
  • National loyalty is encouraged because obedience to the monarch is seen as obedience to God.
  • The king or queen may serve as the protector of the people.

DEMERITS OF MONARCHY

  • Monarchy does not accept the principles of popular sovereignty.
  • A monarch could be despotic to keep the people weak, so that they may be unable to resist him.
  • The divine right of the monarch makes their subjects passive participants in the political system.
  • Most public officials in a monarch are not elected.
  • Competent citizens, who are not from the royal family, may be left out of government.

CHARACTERISTICS OF MONARCHY

  • Ownership of Government: The authority and powers of the state rest on the king.
  • Hereditary: Ascension to leadership position is by birth.
  • Checks and Balances: In some forms of monarch, constitutional monarchy, the ruler is under check by the constitution.
  • There is no separation of powers, as the executive, legislature and in some cases even judicial powers are all concentrated in the reigning monarch.
  • No constitutional limitation: in some forms of monarchy, absolute monarchy, the ruler has no constitutional limitations.
  • Despotic ruler: A monarch could be despotic and not ready to change.
  • Countries using the monarchical system of government are characterized by religious homogeneity.
  • Emergency: Monarchy could be adopted to make for emergencies.

EVALUATION QUESTION

  • What is Monarchy?
  • List 5 features of Monarchy.

CONTENT: REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT

MEANING: A Republican system of government can be defined as one in which there is an elected head of state called a president, elected by the people for a fixed term of office. A sovereign state is referred to as a republic if the country has no traditional ruler as a head of state. Government is constituted strictly by election and there is freedom of the judiciary.

FEATURES OF REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT

  • The head of state known as the president is elected by the people.
  • A republican must be politically independent.
  • Members of the legislature in a republic are directly elected by the people.
  • Elections are usually periodic. In some political system, it is held every four or five years.
  • The constitution is supreme under the Republican system of government; both the rulers and the followers must abide by its provision.
  • All citizens have equal opportunity to vote or to be voted for in an election.
  • It is usually characterized by a multi-party democratic system.
  • The political leaders must be responsive and accountable to the people they are representing.

EVALUATION QUESTION

  • What is a republican government?
  • List 5 features of a republican government.

CONTENT:THE MILITARY IN GOVERNMENT

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

Military rule is not peculiar to Nigeria; it is a continental phenomenon in Africa. The first military coup in Africa took place in Egypt in 1962 when Colonel Gamel Abdel Nasser swept king Farouk off the seat of power. Since then till the present day, military coup has become a ritual and turnover rate of putsch on the continent of Africa.

Nearly all West Africa countries have experienced military intervention at one time or the other. The first military coup in West Africa took place in Togo on January 13, 1963 in which President Silvanus Olympio was assassinated, followed by Benin Republic, Nov 1963, the Central Africa Republic, Burkina Faso and Lilana 1966.Nigeria was not left out of this continental phenomenon. On January 15, 1966 a broadcast was made by late Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeagwu, a leader of a group of Majors that planned and executed the coup. The coup was very bloody, occasioning the killing of prominent politicians including the Prime Minister Sir Abubakar, TafawaBalewa , the Sardauna of Sokoto and the premier of Northern region, Sir Ahmadu Bello, the premier of Western region chief S.L. Akintola, the federal finance Minister OkotieEboh, as well as some senior Army officers of the Northern and Western region. The January 1966 coup was later hijacked by the Army leader Major General J.U. AguiyiIronsi, who assumed leadership of Nigeria. The history of military rule in Nigeria can be divided into two phases with each having four regimes or four head of state. The first phase was from 1966-1979; second phase from 1983 October to May 1999.

FEATURES OF MILITARY RULE

  • The suspension of the constitution.
  • Dictatorial form of government.
  • A highly centralized system of government.
  • Absence of all forms of opposition.
  • Absence of elections.
  • The use of coercion in the implementation of policies.
  • Inclusion of civilians in the administration.
  • The use of decrees.
  • Absence of the rule of law.

REASONS FOR MILITARY INTERVENTION IN POLITICS

  • Weak political leadership.
  • Bitterness and hatred among politicians.
  • Inability to conduct acceptable census in 1962-1963.
  • Regional/ethnic discrimination and expression of fear of domination by minorities.
  • Breakdown of law and order.
  • Politicization of the military
  • Corruption among politicians.
  • Personal ambition. Some soldiers are too ambitious to occupy political power.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN REPUBLICANISM AND MONARCHY

  • In a republican state, the head of state is the president, while in a monarchy the king, queen or emperor is the head of state. 
  • In a republican state the president is elected by the people, while in a monarchy, ascension to throne is hereditary.
  • While in a republican state, the president stays in office for a fixed term, in a monarchy the monarch does not have a fixed term.
  • In a republican government, the elected representatives are responsible and accountable to the people, while in a monarchy, representatives are not accountable to the people.
  • There are limitations to the exercise of powers in a republican government, while in a monarchy, limitations to the exercise of powers in constitutional monarch not in absolute monarch.
  • In a republican state, people abide by the provisions of the constitution, while in a monarchy (absolute monarch), powers of the head of state are supreme.
  • A republican government is democratic and there is respect for the rule of law, but a monarchy is undemocratic and there is no respect for the rule of law.
  • There are periodic elections in a republican government, while in a monarchy, succession to some political office is through appointments.

EVALUATION QUESTION

  • State 5 features of military rule.
  • Differentiate between a republican and monarchical government.

GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISION QUESTIONS

  1. A. What is Power?  B. State the forms of power.
  2. Highlight five reasons why military intervene in politics
  3. Differentiate between power and authority.
  4. Explain the following terms; (i) Constitutional Monarch (ii) Absolute Monarch

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

  1. Military rule in West Africa started in A. Nigeria B. Ghana  C. EgyptD. Cameroon
  2. Nigeria became a republic in A. 1964 B. 1963 C. 1965 D. 1967
  3. All but one of the following are features of a republic A. absence of election B. the constitution is supreme C. the president is elected popularlyD. there is fixed term of office
  4. The first military head of state in Nigeria is A.Yakubu Gowon B.AguiyiIronsiC.Murtala Mohammed D.OlusegunObasanjo
  5. The first military intervention in Africa took place inA. Nigeria B. Togo C. Egypt D. Ghana

THEORY

  1. Discuss 6 reasons for military intervention in politics.
  2. Mention 6 characteristics of a republican government.

READING ASSIGNMENT

TOPIC:  CONSTITUTIONS

Comprehensive Government Pages 54.

Essential Government Pages 52.

Government ENote SS1 Second Term – Edudelight.com

WEEK FOUR                                                                                                    DATE——————-

TOPIC: CONSTITUTION

CONTENT:

  • Definition, Sources and Features of Constitution

Definition: A constitution may be defined as a whole body of fundamental laws, customs, conventions, principles, rules and regulations according to which a particular government of a country or an organization is governed. The constitution therefore specifies the work and functions of a government or organization, the functions of its officials, the rights and duties of its citizens or members.

SOURCES OF CONSTITUTION

The following are the sources of any given constitution.

  • Past experiences: The historical, social, economic, geographical and historical experiences of a country serve as a major source of its constitution.
  • Acts of Parliament: These are bills passed into law in the parliament. They also form parts of the constitution.
  • Decrees: These are laws made by military government in many countries.
  • Judicial precedence: These are previous and important judgments made or passed in higher courts like Supreme Court.
  • Customs and Norms: These are practices and observances that are not written down as part of the constitution but are accepted as part of the way the government functions.
  • Conventions: These are precepts or rules and guides for behaviour that are not written down with which the people show their disapproval when violated.
  • Constitutional Conferences: Such constitutional conference that were held in London and West Africa before granting independence to Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra-Leone and the Gambia.
  • International Laws: These are laws that are made by international organizations like UNO International Civil Aviation Convention. All serves as sources of constitution.
  • History of the People: Historical documents such as treaties, the Magna Carta 1215, Bill of Rights 1689 in Britain serve as the sources of their constitution.
  • Intellectual Works: Works of intellectuals such as Locke, Marx, Hobbes, Dicey and others are used for drafting of constitution.

EVALUATION QUESTION

  • Define constitution
  • Mention 6 sources of constitution.

FEATURES OF CONSTITUTION

  • The Preamble: The constitution has a preamble or an introduction which states the ideological stand of the constitution.
  • The Political Structure: It states the structure of government, whether unitary or federal and at the same time defines the division of powers among the component units of the state.
  • The constitution names the organs of government and specifies their functions and relations to one another.
  • It maintains political stability by specifying the mode of changing the government peacefully.
  • It stipulates the rights and duties of citizens.
  • It protects the rights and liberties of individuals in a country.
  • The constitution states how long a government can stay in office.
  • The constitution states the process by which it can be amended.
  • A constitution prevents leaders from becoming too powerful and dictatorial.
  • A constitution serves as a symbol of nationhood and sovereignty.

EVALUATION QUESTION

  • Mention 5 features of constitution.

GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISION QUESTIONS

  1. Explain the following terms; (i) Acts of parliament (ii) Preamble (iii) Judicial precedents
  2. List and explain the sources of a constitution.
  3. Highlight 5 features of a constitution.
  4. List and explain 5 features of government.
  5. Give 5 reasons why we study government.

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

  1. A constitution can best be described as A. a general book of laws B. the fundamental laws to guide the government of a state C. the compiled laws of a stateD. principles of the society
  2. A constitution must have A. a frame B.a preamble C. lessons to learn D. conclusion
  3. All are the sources of a constitution except A. historical documents B. intellectual works C. sources of income D. customs and traditions
  4. A constitution specifies the A. religious belief of the people B. state of mind C. modus operandi D. movement of people
  5. The essence of the constitution is to A. safeguard the rights and freedom of the citizens B. suppress the views of the minority groups C. encourage military intervention in politics D.encourage dictatorship

THEORY

  1. Explain the sources of a constitution
  2. Mention the characteristics of a constitution.

READING ASSIGNMENT

TOPIC: Types of constitution

Comprehensive Government pages 55-60.

Essential Government pages 53-60.

Government ENote SS1 Second Term – Edudelight.com

WEEK FOUR                                                                                                    DATE——————–

TOPIC: TYPES OF CONSTITUTION

CONTENT

Written, Unwritten, Rigid, Flexible, Unitary, Federal and Confederal Constitution with Merits and Demerits of Each Type

A written constitution: This refers to a constitution that is written down. The whole body of fundamental laws, customs, conventions, principles, rules and regulations according to which a particular government of a country is governed, are written and codified in a single documented. Examples of countries with a written constitution are Nigeria, USA, India, France, Canada, Sierra Leone, Gambia etc.

FEATURES OF WRITTEN CONSTITUTION

  • It is written down in a single document
  • A written constitution has a preamble.
  • It stipulates the method and conditions of its amendment and change.
  • A written constitution looks very simple because it can be obtained in a single document.
  • It spells out the fundamental human rights and duties of a citizen of a country.
  • A written constitution is usually rigid.

ADVANTAGES

  • A written constitution can be obtained and consulted as a single document
  • It has easy reference in case of dispute
  • Both lawyers and laymen can get hold of it and read it in order to know their duties and rights.
  • A written constitution removes ambiguity normally experienced with unwritten constitution.
  • It can be amended or changed at any appropriate time.
  • Minority interests are protected in the constitution.
  • It ensures stability, defining the powers of government and specifying how they can be exercised and thus reducing areas of conflict.

DISADVANTAGES

  • Most written constitutions are rigid and therefore they create problems of amendments.
  • It may lead to constant disaffection if it does not favour some sections of the country.
  • Unless a written constitution is frequently amended, it will not meet both the present and the future needs.
  • Written constitution does not fit all types of government like unitary system of government.
  • The judiciary may become too powerful because of its power to interpret constitution.
  • It is time consuming to amend.
  • It amendment process may be expensive.

UNWRITTEN CONSTITUTION

An unwritten constitution refers to when the whole body of fundamental laws, customs, conventions, rules, and regulations according to which a particular government of a country operates are not written down or codified in a single document.

Examples of countries with unwritten constitution are Britain and New Zealand. Some part of unwritten constitution may be written down while some may not.

ADVANTAGES

  • Unwritten constitution has a high degree of flexibility which can easily adapt to a country’s changing socio-political and economic situation.
  • An unwritten constitution makes for easy and quick decisions.
  • It does not pose problems for amendment.
  • Its non-rigidity makes for a high degree of compromise between the organs of government.
  • It meets both the present and future needs of a country.
  • The constitution can easily be interpreted because of its flexibility.
  • It is suitable in times of emergency.

DISADVANTAGES

  • It is prone to abuse by the government and individuals since the laws are not codified in one document.
  • Unwritten constitution can encourage dictatorship.
  • It does not create room for individuals to know their duties and rights.
  • It encourages violation of citizen’s rights.
  • It does not suit a federal system of government.
  • It does no encourage stability especially in big countries.

EVALUATION QUESTION

  • Define written constitution
  • Mention 5 advantages of a written constitution
  • Mention 5 demerits of unwritten constitution.

RIGID CONSTITUTION

A rigid constitution may be defined as that constitution which cannot be amended or changed so easily because of its special stringent and cumbersome procedure of amendment. Rigid constitutions are normally written constitutions but not all written constitutions are rigid. Not all sections of a rigid constitution are difficult to amend.

Examples of countries with a rigid constitution are USA, Australia, France, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Gambia etc.

ADVANTAGES OF RIGID CONSTITUTION

  • A rigid constitution is difficult to amend or change and this prevents hasty actions.
  • It prevents dictatorial leaders from amending the constitution to serve their dictatorial interest.
  • It protects the interest of the minority groups.
  • It ensures political stability in a country because no section can amend the constitution to its favour.
  • It removes constitutional ambiguity.
  • It allays fears of ethnic domination by the majority groups in a multi ethnic nation like Nigeria.

DISADVANTAGES

  • Its amendment or change is stringent and cumbersome.
  • Its inflexibility makes it difficult to take quick actions in times of emergency.
  • It creates room for revolution or civil war which brings about its violent change or amendment.
  • It will be very expensive, energy and time consuming in conducting referendum for the changing or amending.
  • The amendment of rigid constitution may lead to slow economic growth and development.

FLEXIBLE CONSTITUTION

A flexible constitution may be defined as the constitution which can be amended or changed so easily without stringent and cumbersome procedures. It requires simple majority for a flexible constitution to be amended. Some flexible constitutions are written, while others are unwritten. Britain, Italy New Zealand, Ghana are good examples of countries that have flexible constitution.

ADVANTAGES OF FLEXIBLE CONSTITUTION

  • A flexible constitution is easy to amend.
  • It is flexible and allows for quick action to be taken in time of emergency.
  • It does not encourage revolution or civil wars since its flexibility does not make for violent change or amendment.
  • Its amendment is not expensive, time or energy consuming.
  • Old constitutional rules can be easily replaced with new ones.

DISADVANTAGES

  • A flexible constitution can be amended in a hasty and thoughtless manner because it is easy to amend.
  • It encourages dictatorship because; leaders with dictatorial tendencies can easily amend it to suit their dictatorial whims and caprices.
  • It does not ensure political stability because one section of the country can easily amend it to its favour.
  • A flexible constitution is enveloped by constitutional ambiguities
  • It does not allay fears of ethnic domination by the majority ethnic groups in a multi- ethnic nation.

EVALUATION QUESTION

  • What is a rigid constitution?
  • Mention 4 merits of a rigid constitution.
  • Mention 4 merits of a flexible constitution.

FEDERAL CONSTITUTION

CONTENT

A federal constitution refers to the one in which governmental powers that exists in the country are shared between a central government that represents whole country and government of component states so that each government is legally and constitutionally independent. A country that adopts this type of constitution is known as a federal system of government. Examples of countries with federal constitution are USA, Nigeria, Federal Republic of Germany, Brazil, Switzerland, Australia, India etc.

FEATURES OF A FEDERAL CONSTITUTION

  • Division of governmental powers among the central government and the component states
  • It guarantees the supremacy of the constitution.
  • The different governments derive their powers from the constitution.
  • It is always rigid
  • It has judicial interpretation and review.
  • It allows bicameral legislature to operate
  • There is supremacy of the central government
  • Duplication of the organs of government exists.

REASONS FOR THE ADOPTION OF A FEDERAL CONSTITUTION

  • It is useful in a multi ethnic nation
  • It is used to take care of linguistic differences
  • It is used to form a federation in order to unite different groups.
  • It is used to form a common central government that will guarantee a strong security.
  • It is adopted to maintain political stability
  • It is adopted in order to take care of large population
  • The vast geographical area of a country necessitates the adoption of a federal constitution.
  • The need for economic stability makes the adoption of a federal constitution to be necessary.
  • Fear of domination of minority groups by the majority groups makes the adoption of a federal constitution to be imperative.
  • Fear of external aggression makes federal constitution necessary
  • It is adopted to take care of religious differences of the people
  • It takes care of the racial and cultural differences of the people.

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  • What is a federal constitution?
  • Mention7 reasons for the adoption of a federal constitution.

ADVANTAGES OF A FEDERAL CONSTITUTION

  • It unites people of different political ,social and geographical areas together
  • It maintains the independence of the judiciary.
  • It prevents monopoly of power in a country
  • It protects the interest of the minority groups.
  • It guarantees strong security in a country.
  • It makes room for wider representation of the people.
  • It allays fear of external aggression
  • It prevents ethnic domination of the minority by the majority groups.
  • It maintains political stability among diverse ethnic groups.
  • It encourages healthy competition
  • It leads to the creation of employment opportunities
  • It leads to checks and balances thereby preventing tyrannical use of powers.

DISADVANTAGES OF A FEDERAL CONSTITUTION

  • It emphasizes the differences among the different ethnic groups in a country
  • It creates a weak central government.
  • Duplication of powers leads to increase in expenditure.
  • It increases sectional consciousness.
  • Political rivalry leads to political instability.
  • It increases secession.
  • It leads to inflation of population census figures.
  • It often leads to election rigging.
  • It creates problem in the share of national cake.

UNITARY CONSTITUTION

CONTENT

A unitary constitution refers to one that concentrates authority in a single central government. It does not share governmental powers with any other subordinate government. Examples of counties with unitary constitution are Britain, Belgium, Zealand, Sweden, Sierra Leone, Gambia, etc.

ADVANTAGES OF UNITARY CONSTITUTION

  • It is flexible and therefore easy to amend
  • Its flexibility allows for quick decision and action to be taken.
  • It adapts easily to the changing conditions in a country.
  • It is less expensive to operate.
  • It creates room for internal stability.
  • It fosters national unity.
  • It instills the spirit of nationalism in the citizenry.
  • It prevents waste of both human and material resources as a result of non-duplication of government
  • Its non-division of powers and authority makes the central government stronger.

DISADVANTAGES OF UNITARY CONSTITUTION

  • It narrows the scope of political participation.
  • There is little or no room for local autonomy on customary issues.
  • It can lead to the emergence of a dictator.
  • It may not tolerate interest groups.
  • The fundamental human rights of the citizens may not be guaranteed.
  • The constitution can be easily amended for selfish reasons.
  • It can lead to abuse of political power.
  • Domination by a group may engender tendency for secession.

EVALUATION QUESTION

  • Define unitary constitution
  • List 5 merits of unitary constitution

CONFEDERAL CONSTITUTION

CONTENT

A Confederal constitution can be defined as one in which almost major powers and functions of government are reserved exclusively for the components states apart from the common currency, defense and foreign affairs in which the central government may hold power. Examples of confederacy are Switzerland, Senegal, and Gambia before 1982.

ADVANTAGES OF CONFEDERAL CONSTITUTION

  • There is mutual benefit among member states in different areas of interest.
  • No member state was forced to become a member of the union since they can secede at any time.
  • Citizens have to obey only one government, that is, that of their own state.
  • There is unity of states as independent states, big and small, rich and poor are brought together for a common purpose.
  • All the member states which make up the confederation are equal. No state can claim superiority over others.
  • The component states have full control over their internal affairs.


DISADVANTAGES OF CONFEDERAL CONSTITUTION

  • Confederacies bring about political instability.
  • There is no effective central authority because a sovereign power cannot be located in a confederation.
  • There is no spirit of nationalism in a confederation.
  • The right of members to secede can destabilize and break the union.
  • Confederation is a loose union of sovereign states.
  • Policies discussed may not be effectively implemented in their respective countries.

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  1. What is confederal constitution?
  2. Mention 5 disadvantages of confederal constitution.                            

GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISION QUESTION

  1. Why do some countries adopt written constitutions?
  2. Outline the major features of the constitution of a state.
  3. What are the basic features of a flexible constitution?
  4. Distinguish between constitution and constitutionalism.
  5. List and explain the sources of Authority.                                              

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

  1. Unwritten constitution means that the constitution isA. not contained in any single document  B. not written downC. based on only conventionsD. codified in a single document
  2. One of the following is a feature of a federal constitution A. it is flexible B. it is less expensive to operate C. it unites people of different political and social origin together D. it is suitable for a small country
  3. A constitution that concentrate power in a single authority is termed A. federal 

B. unitary C.confederalD. presidential

  • A flexible constitution encourages (a ) Democracy B. Dictatorship  C. unity and peace

D. None of the above

  • Which of the following countries has a written constitution?  A.Britain B. New Zealand C. USA

THEORY

  1. State the types of constitution that you know.
  2. Mention the features of a written constitution.

READING ASSIGNMENT

TOPIC: Types of constitution

Comprehensive Government pages 55-60.

Essential Government pages 53-60.

Government ENote SS1 Second Term – Edudelight.com

WEEK FIVE                                                                                               DATE———————–

TOPIC: STRUCTURE AND ORGANISATION OF GOVERNMENT

CONTENT

  • Legislature: Meaning, Functions, Types, Merits and Demerits of Each Type, The Concept of Parliamentary Supremacy and Its Limitations.
  • Bills- Meaning, Types, Procedure on How Bills Become Law.

MEANING OF LEGISLATURE

Legislature can be defined as an organ of government responsible for the making of laws which not only give backings to government policies but also guide interaction between government and the governed. The legislature is often referred to as parliament, national assembly and in some countries it may be called congress as in the USA. Legislature is made up of elected legislators like members of the house of representative, senate and house of Assembly.

FUNCTIONS OF THE LEGISLATURE

  • LAW MAKING: The primary function of the legislature is to make laws for the good governance of the country.
  • Approval of the Policy of the Executive Organ: Some important policies proposed by the executive e.g. treaties and declaration of war require legislative approval.
  • Control of Public Funds and Expenditure: The finances of the country are under the legislative control. Government’s spending and taxation are scrutinized and endorsed by the legislature.
  • Power of Impeachment: It has power to impeach the head of state if he commits very serious offence.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation of Government Activities: It checks the activities of government agencies and parastatals. The legislature can order inquiry into activities of any public organization or call any official to appear before it for questioning.
  • Constitutional Amendment: Any amendment to the constitution requires legislative action.
  • Education; the legislature educates the members of the public through debate on issues before it.
  • Judicial Functions: In some countries notably Britain, the legislature performs legislative functions. The British house of lords is the highest court for some cases.

TYPES OF LEGISLATURE

There are two types of legislature, these are;

  1. Bi-cameral legislature.
  2. Uni-cameral legislature

BI-CAMERAL LEGISLATURE

Definition; A bi-cameral legislature is defined as one in which there are two chamber legislature. There is the upper house and the lower house. In some countries such as Nigeria and the United State of America membership of the upper house and lower house is by election. Other countries that adopts bi-cameral legislature are; Australia, Mexico, Belgium, Brazil, India, Germany, Canada, Malaysia and Pakistan.

ADVANTEGES OF BICAMERAL LEGISLATURE

  • Law making: For a bill to become law, it must pass through the two legislative houses. This ensures that bills are exhaustively discussed before they are passed into law.
  • Checks and Balances: The existence of bi-cameralism provides checks against legislative excesses of a single house. If a legislative house tends towards arbitrariness, it can be called to order by the second house.
  • Mature and Experienced Personnel: Bi-cameralism creates room for more politically and administratively experienced people to be utilized in the art of law making.
  • Despotism of a Single Chamber: The second chamber checks the excesses and guards against the tyranny of a one chamber
  • Equitable Distribution of Seats: In a federal state where composition of the upper house is based on equal representation of components units, it tends to give members a feeling of equality.
  • More Democratic: Most modern states embrace bi-cameral legislature because it is more democratic.
  • Excesses of the Executive; Bi-cameral legislature can check the excesses of the executive especially in the areas of violating the provision of the constitution.
  • Proper Scrutiny: Bills are properly debated in bi-cameralism thereby, making it possible for better laws to be made in the country.

DISADVANTAGES OF BI-CAMERAL LEGISLATURE

  • More Expensive to Run: A lot of fund is needed to maintain two legislative chambers involved in bi-cameral legislature and other things that go with them.
  • Delay in Passing of Bills: Bi-cameralism causes serious delay in the process of law making unlike unicameralism.
  • Rivalry: It leads to unnecessary rivalry as to which of the houses is superior to the other.
  • Time of Emergencies; the delay in the passage of bills is not suitable in time of emergencies where actions are quickly taken.
  • Dumping Ground: The second chamber may be used as a dumping ground for political rejects at the polls if its membership is by nomination or appointment.
  • It could be undemocratic: Membership of upper legislative house in some countries such as Britain is not based on election. This is undemocratic.
  • Waste of Resources: Duplication of functions could result to waste of resources both human and financial.

UNICAMERALLEGISLATURE

Unicameral legislature refers to a situation in a country where there is only one legislative house or body that makes laws. This is the type of legislature in operation at the state level in Nigeria. All the 36 states in Nigeria have a legislative chamber each. Examples of countries with unicameral legislature are Ghana, Sierra-Leone, Gambia, Kenya, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Burkina Faso, Bulgaria, and Benin Republic and so on.

ADVANTAGES OF UNICAMERAL LEGISLATURE

  • Quick Passage of Bills: Since bills have to be considered by only one legislative house, the time that would have been needed to consider the same bill in a second house as obtains in bicameral legislature is saved.
  • It is economical: Less public funds are required to run a unicameral legislature as the money that would have been used to settle salaries/allowances of members of the second chamber is saved.
  • It does not allow filibusters to carry out their nefarious activities as they do when there are two chamber legislatures.
  • Ideal for Small countries; A unicameral legislature is ideal for small countries with homogeneous social and economic organization.
  • Dumping Ground: In some cases, a unicameral legislature does not provide a dumping ground for political deadwoods.

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  • Define legislature
  • Mention the types of legislature you know.

THE CONCEPT OF PARLIAMENTARY SUPREMACY

CONTENT

Supremacy of parliament can be described as the exclusive right of parliament to make and unmake laws without external control.

LIMITATIONS TO PARLIAMENTARY SUPREMACY

  • Constitutional Limitation; the role of the parliament is defined in a constitution
  • Judicial Review: The Supreme Court has the power to review acts of the legislature and declare them unconstitutional or null and void if they go contrary to the provision of the constitution.
  • Laws or Rules: These are laws and rules made by international organizations of which a country is a member e.g. U.N.O., A.U., ECOWAS, OPEC and so on.
  • Activities of Interest Groups: Some of the activities of political parties and pressure groups from within and outside the country can restrict parliamentary supremacy.
  • The Resources of the State: The supremacy of parliament can be restricted if the country is dependent on other countries militarily, economically, technologically etc.
  • Public Opinion/Mass Media: public opinion and the influence of mass media can bring about limitation to the supremacy of parliament.
  • Complexity of Government: The complex nature of modern government had made it imperative for power and functions to be delegated to subordinate bodies, thereby limiting the supremacy of parliament.

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  • What is parliamentary supremacy?
  • Mention 5 limitations to parliamentary supremacy.

MEANING OF BILLS

A bill may be defined as a proposed law to be discussed in the parliament in order for it to become law. A bill therefore metamorphoses into a law. For a bill passed in the parliament to become a law, the president or head of state has to give his assent i.e. sign the bill.

TYPES OF BILLS

  • Public Bill: This is a bill that deals with the matter or problems that affect the whole or a section of the country. This type of bill comes from the executive arm to the legislature.
  • Money Bill: This bill deals with how government raises and spends money. A money bill can therefore be in form of a budget that deals with total estimate revenue and expenditure of government
  • Private Member’s Bill: This is a bill introduced into the parliament by a member of such house or parliament.

PROCEDURE ON HOW BILLS BECOME LAW

  • First Reading: This is the first stage of the bill. This is when the draft of a bill is presented to the clerk of the house by a minister or a member of the parliament depending on the type of bill.
  • Second Reading: This is the stage in which the person presenting the bill to the house will explain to the house the purpose of the bill. Members of the parliament will then debate or argue for or against the bill whether it should be read a second time. It will be put into vote and if majority of the members of house vote for the bill, it will move to the next stage and if not, that will be the end of the bill.
  • Committee Stage: At this stage, if the principles of the bill are accepted by the house at the second reading, it is referred to one or other of the committees for detailed discussion, amendment and report.
  • The Report: At this stage, all the findings of the various standing committees are reported to the house or the bill placed before the house after all the amendments have been made.
  • Third Reading: At this final stage, a thorough look would be taken on the bill in order to correct certain errors connected with the drafting or amendment. A final vote is also taken on the bill at this stage.
  • The Upper House: If the bill is passed, it is sent to the upper house where it passes through similar stages. It first started with the lower house. Any further amendment suggested by the upper house will require both houses jointly setting up a committee to iron things out.
  • Assent: The bill will now be taken to the president for his assent after the bill has passed all the five stages in both houses of representatives and senate. The bill will automatically become a law after being signed by the president.

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  • What is a bill?
  • How can a bill become a law in the parliament?

GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISION QUESTIONS

  1. Discuss the various types of legislation.
  2. Discuss the functions of a modern day legislature.
  3. List and explain the types of bills.
  4. Discuss the limitations to parliamentary supremacy.
  5. A. Define Communalism B. State 5 features of Communalism

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

  1. The highest legislative body in Nigeria is called A. National Assembly B. House of Assembly C. ParliamentD. Congress
  2. Unicameralism  means A. two chambers B. one chamber C. three chambersD. four chambers
  3. At the state level, Nigeria operates—- legislature A. unicameral B. bicameral C. multilateralD.zero cameral
  4. After which stage will a bill be said to have reached the committee stage  A. committee report B. first reading  C. second readingD. fourth reading
  5. A bill passes through —– stages before becoming a law A. 4 B. 5 C. 6D. 7

THEORY

  1. Explain the meaning and importance of the legislature as an organ of government.
  2. List and explain the types of bills you know.

READING ASSIGNMENT

TOPIC:             Executive and Judiciary

Comprehensive Government Pages 44-47

Essential Government Pages 61-63,67-69.

WEEK SIX

TOPIC: STRUCTURE AND ORGANISATION OF GOVERNMENT

CONTENT

  1. The Executive; Meaning, Functions and Types.
  2. The Judiciary; Meaning, Functions, Independence of the Judiciary.

MEANING OF EXECUTIVE

This is the organ of government that is responsible for implementing government policies and is responsible for the day-to- day administration of the country. The executive arm of government is the same with administration or cabinet, the president or prime minister of a country, governors of states, ministers, the civil service, the armed forces, the police, etc, belong to the executive arm of government.

FUNCTIONS OF EXECUTIVE

  • Implementation of Laws: The executive implements the laws made by the legislature. This is the primary function of the executive.
  • Appointment of Top Officials: Ministers ambassadors, high commissioners and other important officials are appointed by the president with legislative endorsement.
  • Giving Assent to Bill: Bills passed by the legislature require the assent of the president to become law.
  • Preparation of Budget: The executive prepares the annual budget of the government which is presented to the parliament for approval.
  • Maintenance of Law and Order: The law enforcement agent, the police are responsible for these functions.
  • Provision of social amenities like good roads, schools, and electricity.
  • Recommending Policy: The executive sends bills to parliament proposing ideas on government programmes and policies.
  • Declaration of Wars: It can declare war, maintain peace and fight back foreign invasion.
  • Defense of the country against external aggression.

TYPES OF EXECUTIVE

  • Single Executive/Presidential Executive: This is a system whereby all executive powers of government are vested in the president. The president is the head of state, head of government and the commander-in chief of the armed forces. Examples of countries that practice this system include USA, Nigeria, Brazil, Chile, Tanzania, etc.
  • Dual Executive/Parliamentary Executive: This is a system whereby one person is the head of state, while another person is the head of government. The head of state may be a monarch or ceremonial president, while the head of government is usually the prime minister. Countries that practice this system include Belgium, Italy, Sweden and Nigeria in the first republic.
  • Collegiate Executive: It is a system in which a number of people form a council which rotates the chairmanship of the council and leadership of government in turns among its members. It was used during Olympio’srulership in Togo.

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  • Mention five functions of the executive as an organ of government.
  • List and briefly explain the types of executive.

CONTENT: THE JUDICIARY

MEANING:

The judiciary as the third organ of government is responsible for the interpretation of the laws of the state and applies the existing law to individual cases. It refers to the system of courts and judges in a country. The Nigeria court system is headed by the Supreme Court which is the final court. The next is the court of appeal. Besides, we have the High court and Sharia as well as Magistrate Courts. The customary courts handle customary cases.

FUNCTIONS OF THE JUDICIARY

  • Interpretation of law: The court interprets the laws of the state and applies the existing law to individual cases.
  • Judicial Review: This is the responsibility of the judiciary to determine the constitutionality or otherwise of legislative enactments and executive decisions.
  • Settlement of Disputes: the judiciary exercises power in settling disputes between different individuals or groups, individual and political institutions, and different political institutions.
  • Punishment of Offenders: The courts have the power to punish those that have offended the laws of the land.
  • Contribution to Law Making: In the process of interpreting the law and the exercise of the power of judicial review, the judiciary contributes to law making.
  • Protection of Individual Rights: The judiciary is often described as the last hope of the common man. When the rights of citizens are infringed upon, they seek redress in the court of law.
  • Prevention of Wrongful act: It serves as a watch dog on other organs of government. Legislative and executive excesses are redressed by the judiciary when brought before it.

INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY

Independence of the judiciary refers to the ability of the courts to discharge their duties without undue external influence from other organs of government. The judiciary can only perform their role as an impartial arbiter and protector of individual rights, if it is independent of other organ of government.

Ways of Guaranteeing the Independence of the Judiciary

  • Appointment of Iudges by Independent Body: If the judges are appointed by the chief executive, he may appoint those who will be loyal to him.
  • Tenure of Office: Judges should be allowed to hold office for a specified period of time
  • Promotion of Judges: Promotion of judges should be made by independent body and placed beyond the realm of politics.
  • Immunity of Judges: Judges should be free from criminal and civil prosecution in the performance of their duties.
  • Political Neutrality: Judges should not be allowed to take part in partisan politics.
  • Remuneration: To prevent the executive from using payment of salaries and allowances to exert influence on judges, their remuneration should be paid from a consolidated fund.
  • Extra Security: Security should be provided for the judges in and outside the courts so that they will not be intimidated.

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  • What do you understand by independence of the judiciary?
  • Mention five ways by which the independence of the judiciary can be guaranteed.

GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISION QUESTIONS

  1. What is the relevance of the executive organ in government?
  2. What are the problems faced by the judiciary in the performance of its function?
  3. Explain the procedure for constitutional amendment.
  4. Highlight 5 features of socialism.
  5. A. Define Capitalism B. State 5 differences between Capitalism and Socialism.

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

  1. The judicial organ of government is the body which A. implements the law B. interprets the law C. make the lawD. enforces the law
  2. The independence of the judiciary can be enhanced in all the following cases except where A. the salaries of judges are drawn from a consolidated fund B. judges are granted special immunity  C. the president is also the chief judgeD. there is adequate security for judges
  3. Impeachment as an instrument of check on the executive is useful mainly in a A. Cabinet system B. Unitary system C. Presidential system D. federal
  4. The head of the judiciary in Nigeria was A. the Chief Justice B. the Chief Judge C. Minister of JusticeD. Attorney General
  5. The Appellate court in Nigeria is called——- A. Supreme court B. Appeal court C. High court D. Magistrate court

THEORY

  1. What is the relevance of the executive organ in government?
  2. State 6 functions of the judiciary as an organ of government.

READING ASSIGNMENT

TOPIC: SOME BASIC PRINCIPLES OF GOVERNMENT: Essential Government Pages 70-72

WEEK SEVEN                                                                                                  DATE———————-

TOPIC: THE RULE OF LAW

CONTENT

  1. Definition and Principles.
  2. Limitations to Its Application and Factors that Ensures Its Operation.

DEFINITION OF THE RULE OF LAW

The rule of law may be defined as the absolute supremacy or predominance of the law over everybody, both the rich and the poor, rulers and the ruled and all decisions taken in a country. According to Professor A.V. Dicey, those entrusted with the administration of the country should rule or exercise their authority in accordance with the established laws of the land and such established laws should be regarded as supreme.

THE MAIN PRINCIPLES OF THE RULE OF LAW

Professor A.V. Dicey propounded the following three tenants or features of the rule of law

  • Equality Before the Law: In Dicey’s view, all men are equal before the law of the land. No man is above the law.
  • Impartiality: This principle assumes the notion of legality which means due process of law in dealing with offenders.
  • The Rights of the Individuals: This principle states that citizens of a country should enjoy certain basic inalienable rights and liberties under the law, violation of which they have the right to seek redress in the law court.

OTHER PRINCIPLES ARE

  • Law and order should be maintained in the society.
  • To avoid break down of law and order and a violation of laws and for these laws to be enforced, certain agencies must be set up.
  • There should be no government influence or censorship of the press.
  • There must be legal limitations of the action of the government.
  • Laws should not be made to have retrospective effects or be back-dated.
  • Those found guilty of offences by courts of law should be given the opportunity to appeal against the judgment in higher courts.
  • Punishment meant for an offender must agree with the offence he committed as laid down by the law.

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  1. What is the rule of law?
  2. State the three main principles of the rule of law.

FACTORS THAT LIMIT THE APPLICATION OF THE RULE OF LAW

  • The state of emergency: Citizens of a country may be denied some of their fundamental human rights when a state of emergency or curfew is declared in a country.
  • The type of government adopted in a country: For instance military rule and one party system of government can limit the rights of citizens.
  • Partial judiciary or independence of the judiciary is also a limitation to the rule of law.
  • Special or Administrative tribunal s who adopts special system of trial different from that of the ordinary courts at times do not allow citizens to know their rights and fight for it.
  • Poverty, illiteracy and ignorance can make men not to know their rights and fight for it.
  • Diplomatic Immunity: Governors or presidents cannot be tried while in office. Ambassadors cannot be sued and prosecuted in the country where they are serving rather they can be repatriated.
  • Parliamentary Immunity: Members of the parliament are free from prosecution
  • Police brutality: In most societies, the fear of police is the beginning of wisdom. Most police brutalize citizens during arrest and as such deny them their rights.
  • Obnoxious laws: In some countries there are some laws which are seeks to limit the rights of citizens. These laws are usually harsh.

FACTORS THAT CAN ENSURE THE SUCCESSFUL OPERATION OF THE RULE OF LAW

  • There should be public trial of an accused person not secret trial.
  • The press must be free not gagged.
  • Democratic political system in a country facilitates the rule of law.
  • The judiciary must be independent and impartial.
  • Citizens should be granted the right to appeal against any judgment they feel they do not like.
  • There should be no delay justice as this in turn will lead to justice denied.
  • Accused person should have access to lawyers to defend them and such lawyers should have access to all relevant documents or files and information concerning their clients.
  • Adequate information should be made available about the existence of different laws especially newly enacted laws. That is to say, every law must be publicized, as ignorance of the law is not an excuse.
  • To avoid tyranny, the principle of separation of power s and checks and balances should be adopted in government.
  • There must be a constitution that will embody the laws of the land and spell out the rights and obligations of the citizens.
  • A sovereign parliament will also aid successful operation of the rule of law.
  • Citizens should be made to have basic education which will warrant them to know their rights when such rights are infringed upon they can seek redress in court of law.
  • There should be an atmosphere of peace and order in a country because the rule of law is undermined in a period of war.

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  • Mention 5 factors that limit the application of the rule of law.
  • Mention 5 that can ensure the successful operation of the rule of law.

GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISION QUESTIONS

  1. Why should a country uphold the rule of law?
  2. What factors hinder the full adherence to the principles of the rule of law?
  3. Explain the main principles of the rule of law.
  4. A. Define Fascism B. Give 4 Features of fascism.
  5. Highlight 5 features of Totalitarianism.

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

  1. The limitation on the right to life can be found  A. in the government  B. in the executive  C. in the case of a convicted person for murderD. in the church
  2. Delayed justice can lead to A. honesty B. education C. denied justiceD. peace and unity
  3. One of the modern principles of government found in the traditional political system of the Yorubas is that of A. checks and balances  B. the rule of law  C. Bicameralism

D. unicameral

  • A sovereign parliament can also aid successful operation of A. checks and balances

B. the rule of law C. judicial independenceD. separation of powers

  • The rule of law was propounded by  A. AV. Dicey  B. Karl Max C. AristotleD. Plato

THEORY

  1. Explain the term the judiciary must be independent.
  2. Discuss the factors that can ensure the successful operation of the rule of law.

READING ASSINGMENT

TOPIC: Separation of Powers: Comprehensive Government Pages 69-72

Essential Government Pages 75-77

WEEK EIGHT                                                                                                   DATE———————

TOPIC: THE THEORY OF SEPARATION OF POWER

CONTENT

  • Meaning, Merits and Demerit.
  • Its Operation in Presidential and Parliamentary System of Government.
  • Checks and Balances: Meaning, Merits and Demerits.

MEANING OF SEPARATION OF POWER

Separation of power can be defined as the division of governmental political powers that exists in any given state into the three organs of government. What this theory is saying is that all the amount of governmental political powers that exist in a given state should not be vested in one person or one organ of government. The theory goes further to state that if these powers are divided into the three organs of government i.e. the legislature, executive and the judiciary, that the chances of dictatorship or tyranny will be reduced.

It was a French political thinker and jurist Baron de Montesquieu who developed and popularized the principle of separation of powers in his book entitled Espirit Des Lois which means The Spirit of Laws published in 1748. Political scientist like John Locke, Jefferson Rousseau, Jean Bodin, Plato and Aristotle had earlier expressed their views on the principle of separation of powers.

ADVANTAGES OF SEPARATION OF POWERS

  • Separation of powers guarantees and maintains the right, liberty and freedom of the citizens.
  • Powers are separated among the organs of government in order to avoid chaos, violence, dictatorship tyranny and oppression in a country.
  • Separation of powers leads to division of labour and specialization in the art of governance.
  • Another advantage of separation of powers is that it results in one organ of government checking the activities of other organs. This process in government is known as check and balances.
  • Separation of powers without unnecessary interference makes it easy for smooth running of government.
  • Separation of powers maintains law and order which ensure rapid progress and economic and political development.
  • It brings about efficiency and orderliness in the administration of a country.
  • Separation of powers prevents excesses and recklessness on the part of the organs of government.
  • The principle of separation of powers ensures stable political system in a country.

DISADVANTAGES OF SEPARATION OF POWERS

  • It is argued that separation of powers into three arms of government tends to lower the quality of decision and policies made by these organs.
  • Strict application of the principles of separation of powers slows down the smooth running of government.
  • Separation of powers without interferences from other organs may make these organs to be inefficient.
  • The institution of checks and balances that apply with the separation of powers can lead to political instability in the country.
  • The application of the principle of checks and balances may lead to unhealthy rivalry among the organs of government.
  • Existence of powerful organs of government: A complete separation of powers may make each organ of government very powerful and dangerous to individual liberty.
  • Isolationist tendency: Co-operation between organs of government may become difficult when so much emphasis is laid on separation.

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  • Define separation of powers
  • Mention 5 merits of separation of power

SEPARATION OF POWERS IN THE CABINET/PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT

  • There is fusion of powers rather than separation of powers between the executive and the legislature in the parliamentary system.
  • Ministers in this system belong to both the executive and legislative organs of government.
  • The executive organ of government tends to have full control of the legislative organ and even the judiciary.
  • The head of the judicial organ in Britain that practices the cabinet system is also a member of other two organs i.e. the executive and the legislative.
  • The executive is collectively responsible to the parliament for its actions.
  • The parliament can dismiss the entire executive also known as cabinet with a vote of no confidence.
  • Almost all bills initiated by the executive are passed into the legislature because its members are also parliamentarian and they are the ones who pass the laws.
  • The legislature has the power to present an address to the crown for the removal of judges. This is a check on the power of judges.
  • The house of Lords is also the final court of appeal for the U.K.-Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

SEPARATION OF POWERS IN THE PRESIDENTIAL SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT

  • There is no fusion between the executive and the legislature in the presidential system of government.
  • Ministers do not belong to both organs-any legislator appointed a minister must resign as a member of the legislature in which he was selected.
  • The legislature and the judiciary are not controlled by the executive.
  • The parliament cannot be dissolved by the president unless its tenure is complete.
  • The president can only be removed through impeachment, if found guilty of a serious offence by the parliament.
  • There is individual’s responsibility of the cabinet members (ministers)
  • The upper house of the legislature, the senate does not act as the highest court of appeal.
  • The president is elected not appointed from the parliament and therefore not controlled by the parliament.
  • Not all bills initiated by the executive are passed in the parliament as it happens in the cabinet system.

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  • Mention 5 demerits of separation of powers
  • Mention 5 ways by which powers are separated in the presidential system of government.

THE DOCTRINE OF CHECKS AND BALANCES

The theory of checks and balances advocates the use of one organ of government to check the activities of the other organs. This is where the powers of one organ are used to check the powers of other organs. These constitutional acts of checks and balances have to check abuse of office, constitutional violation and naked use of powers by different organs of government.

The doctrine of checks and balances does not advocate fusion of the three organs of government in the performance of their constitutional functions. All it is saying is that in-as-much as these organs will be mutually independent; they should act as watchdog of each other to avoid misuse of power and to reconcile these organs. The doctrine of checks and balances applies to both parliamentary and presidential system of government.

MERITS OF THE PRINCIPLES OF CHECKS AND BALANCES

  • Checks and balances prevent excessive use of power by any of the organs.
  • It brings about orderliness and efficiency among the organs of government.
  • Checks and balances help to prevent the possible emergence of a dictatorial government.
  • The application of checks and balances leads to strict compliance with the provision of the constitution.
  • The application of the principles of checks and balances makes government officials cautious and meticulous in carrying out their official functions.
  • The application of the principles of checks and balances guarantees fundamental human right and freedom of the citizens.
  • The application of the principles of checks and balances ensures that the use of public authority and organs of government are brought under popular control.

DEMERITS OF THE PRINCIPLES OF CHECKS AND BALANCES

  • Interference: There are some traces of evidence of one organ interfering in the affairs or functions of the others, for example legislative approval of some key appointments made by the executive.
  • Powers of the president: through the exercise of prerogative of mercy by the president, the president interferes with the functions of the judiciary which is detrimental to the theory of separation of powers.
  • Impeachment: The constitutional power of impeachment of the president granted the legislature, makes the executive arm of the government dependent and subordinate to the legislature.
  • Power of veto: The power to veto acts of parliament granted to the president makes the president who is the head of the executive to be part of the law making body- the legislature and this acts as a violation of the theory of separation of powers.
  • The president’s power to declare war against another country can be incapacitated by the legislature .refusal of 2/3 majority required by the president.

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  • What is check and balance?
  • Mention 5 merits of checks and balances

GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISION QUESTIONS

  1. Why is separation of powers necessary in a modern state?
  2. Explain separation of powers in a parliamentary system of government
  3. Explain the doctrine of checks and balances
  4. State five demerits of checks and balances.
  5. A. Define State B. List and explain the characteristics of a State.

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

  1. The principle of separation of powers implies that the three organs of government work A. independently but co-operatively B. separately C. together in the interest of the nationD. in peace
  2. The principle of checks and balances is necessary because it A. leaves each organ of government independent of the judiciary B. makes the three organs hate one another C. prevents government from becoming dictatorialD. makes the organs of government to be at logger head.
  3. There is no separation of powers in a cabinet system of government because  A.members of the executive are also members of the judiciary  B. the prime minister and his cabinet ministers are also members of parliament C. the president is also a member of parliamentD.the prime minister is the head of state.
  4. In which system of government are ceremonial and executive powers usually fused A. Parliamentary B. Unitary C. FederalD.confederal
  5. Separation of power guarantees and maintains A. love and joy B. the rights liberty and freedom of the citizens C. violenceD. political instability

THEORY

  1. Give a concise definition of separation of power.
  2. What are the arguments against separation of power?

READING ASSIGNMENT

TOPIC: Representative government: Comprehensive Government pages 48-50

Essential Government Pages 78-80

WEEK NINE                                                                                                          DATE——————

TOPIC:   REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT

CONTENT

  1. Definition and features
  2. Conditions for its establishment
  3. Merits and demerits

DEFINITION OF REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT

Representative government can be defined as a government of elected representative of the people. It is also referred to as indirect democracy. It exists when certain people are duly elected by popular votes to perform the functions of government on behalf of the people.

FEATURES OF REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT

  • Existence of free and fair election.
  • Elections must be conducted on regular basis at specified period.
  • Representative government is anchored on the rule of law.
  • Protection of individual liberty.
  • Independent electoral commission.
  • An independent judiciary.
  • Existence of choice of candidates.
  • Freedom of the press.
  • Responsiveness to public opinion.
  • Universal adult suffrage.

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  • Define representative government.
  • Mention 5 features of representative government.

CONDITIONS FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT

  • Adherence to the provision of the constitution and respect for the rule of law.
  • Adoption of written constitution.
  • The practice of multi-party system.
  • Universal adult suffrage.
  • Independent and impartial judiciary.
  • Fundamental human rights should be entrenched in the constitution.
  • Respect for people’s opinion.

MERITS OF REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT

  • It ensures participation in governance by the people.
  • It makes for accountability on the part of political office holders.
  • The system is simple to operate.
  • The government in place is legitimate and legally constituted.
  • The government is set up through the normal electoral process.
  • The administration is based on respect for the rule of law and obedience to the provision of the constitution by the elected political leaders.
  • There is choice of leaders.

DEMERITS OF REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT

  • There is no true independence of the judiciary.
  • Rigging of elections..
  • Problem of illiteracy.
  • The representative may not adequately represent their people or community due to some selfish interest.
  • Corrupt practices among politicians..
  • It is too expensive to run.
  • Duplication of functions..
  • General belief of the people, that politics is a dirty game.

EVALUATION QUESTION

  • What are the conditions necessary for representative government?
  • Mention 5 demerits of representative government

POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

MEANING

Political participation can be defined as the process whereby individuals get themselves involved in the political activities and in the decision making of their country.

FORMS OF POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

  • Voting in elections.
  • Holding of public offices.
  • Contesting election.
  • Supporting political parties.
  • Belonging to political party.
  • Supporting candidates for elective posts.
  • Protest and demonstration.
  • Partial political participation.
  • Observatory political participation.

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  • What is political participation?
  • Mention 6 forms of political participation

THE PURPOSES OF POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

  • People participate in politics in order to contribute their quota in the decision making process of the country
  • Failure of past government
  • To correct the ills of the society
  • Avenue for money making
  • For respect and prestige purpose
  • As occupation
  • Management of the nation’s resources

FACTORS AFFECTING POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

  • Lack of trust in the government.
  • Fear of intimidation.
  • Apathy or lack of interest.
  • Ignorance or illiteracy.
  • Frequent removal of elected government.
  • Problem of poverty.

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  • Why do people participate in politics?
  • What makes people to lose interest in politics?

GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISION QUESTIONS

  1. What are the factors necessary for the existence of a representative government?
  2. Highlight 4 factors affecting political participation.
  3. Mention 5 ways through which people participate in politics.
  4. State 4 advantages of representative government.
  5. A. Define Nation B. State 5 features of a nation.

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

  1. One of the following is a feature of a representative government A. free and fair elections B. representation of the poor only C. rule of interest groups D. periodic election
  2. A representative government can be established through A. military coup B. a general election C. an impositionD. riot
  3. The following are the reasons for lack of interest in politics except A. ignorance

B. poverty C. good governanceD. election violence

  • All the following are forms of political participation except A. voting in election B. rioting C. contesting electionD. supporting a political party
  • Lack of interest in politics is called A. political apathy B. political phobia C. political hatredD. political culture

THOERY

  1. What are the factors necessary for representative government?
  2. What conditions are necessary for the existence of a representative government?

READING ASSIGNMENT

TOPIC: CENRALIZATION AND DECENTRALIZATION

Comprehensive Government; Pages 52-53

Essential Government; Pages 81-83

WEEK TEN                                                                                                      DATE———————

TOPIC: CENTRALIZATION

CONTENT

MEANING

  1. Reasons for its adoptions
  2. Merits and demerits

CENTRALIZATION

MEANING

The term centralization refers to a system of government administration in which power is concentrated in a single central authority. In such a centralized system of government, there is no constitutional provision for the sharing of governmental powers between the single central authority and any other body but powers can be delegated to subordinate bodies. The highest degree of centralization is achieved in unitary states. In such a unitary state there is only one legislature, one executive and one judiciary. Local authorities that exist in centralized states are created by the central authority that delegate powers to them.

Unitary states like Britain, Italy, and France etc. are examples of centralization of governmental administration.

REASONS FOR THE ADOPTION OF CENTRALIZATION

  • The size of the country.
  • Absence of tribal differences.
  • Lack of fear of domination
  • Common language and culture.
  • Lack of marked economic inequalities.
  • Absence of minority groups and strong loyalty to the central government.
  • The constitution of a centralized state is flexible.
  • There is no conflict of authority.

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  • What is centralization?
  • Give 5 reasons for its adoption.

MERITS OF CENTRALIZATION

  • Strong and stable government.
  • Reduction in cost.
  • Quicker decision making.
  • Promotion of national unity.
  • Uniformity in the level of development.
  • Centralization also removes frictions.
  • It prevents waste of resources.

DEMERITS OF CENTRALIZATION

  • It keeps the people far away from government.
  • Encouragement of dictatorship.
  • The central government is overburdened.
  • It also prevents local autonomy.
  • Centralization kills local initiatives.
  • It does not suit large territories.
  • It also leads to domination of minority groups.

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  • What are the arguments for centralization?
  • State 5 demerits of centralization.

DECENTRALIZATION

MEANING

Decentralization refers to a system of governmental administration whereby powers are not concentrated in a single central authority but shared among component regional and local units. Powers allocated to different authorities are clearly specified in a written constitution. Decentralization exists in a federal structure. Federal states such as USA, Nigeria, and Federal Republic of Germany etc. are examples of decentralization of government administration.

TYPES OF DECENTALIZATION

There are two types of decentralization and they are;

Devolution

Deconcentration

DEVOLUTION: This is a system of administration, where the central government may decide to set up or create subordinate levels of government in different parts of the country. This type of administration applies to unitary government in which the country may be split into units for administrative convenience. Britain, South Africa and Northern Ireland are good examples.

DECONCENTRATION: This refers to a system of administration in which powers are shared in such a way that the component states are not directly subordinate to the central authority. France is a good example.

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  1. What is decentralization?
  2. Mention the types of decentralization.

MERITS OF DECENTRALIZATION

  • Quick development.
  • It brings government nearer to the people.
  • Absence of a dictatorship.
  • The fears of minority are removed from the domination by the majority.
  • Political unity is achieved.
  • It encourages wider consultation.
  • It reduces the work load of central government.
  • It increases efficiency of government.

DEMERITS OF DECENTRALIZATION

  • The system is too expensive to run.
  • There is delay in decision making.
  • There is no uniform development.
  • The centre is weak because of the autonomy of the units.
  • Functions in government are duplicated.
  • The system breeds sectionalism in the country.

EVALUATION QUESTION

  • List the merits of decentralization.
  • What are the arguments against decentralization?

GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISION QUESTIONS

  1. Mention and explain the types of decentralization.
  2. What are the criticisms to centralization?
  3. What are the arguments for decentralization?
  4. A. Define Political culture B. Enumerate 5 factors that determine political culture.

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

  • The delegation of administrative powers to the local units with central supervision and control is called  A.deconcentrationB. concentration of powers C. devolutionD. deregulation
  • Centralization  is associated with A. federalism B. unitary government C. monarchyD. presidential
  • Examples of countries with decentralized  system is A. Italy B. USA C. BritainD. Canada
  • One of the following is a form of decentralization A. devolution B. centralization C. unitary governmentD.confederal government
  • The following are merits of decentralization  except A. it prevents dictatorship  B. suitable for large society C. it saves costD. it promotes unity in diversity

THEORY

  1. What is decentralization?
  2. Explain the term, devolution of power.

READING ASSIGNMENT

TOPIC: Delegated legislature: Comprehensive Government Pages 66-68

Essential Government Pages 83-85

WEEK ELEVEN                                                                                                            DATE———————

TOPIC: DELEGATED LEGISLATURE

CONTENT

  1. Definition and Types.
  2. Reasons for Delegated Legislature.
  3. Demerits and Control of Delegated Legislature.

DEFINITIONOF DELEGATED LEGISLATURE

Delegated legislature may be defined as laws, rules and regulations made by other bodies or persons other than the legislature but sanctioned by the legislature.

TYPES OF DELEGATED LEGISLATURE

  • ORDER- IN- COUNCIL: These are powers delegated to the British king or queen to issue orders in certain matters which have the force of law.
  • BYE-LAWS: These are rules and regulations made by local government authorities or local councils, public corporations and other similar bodies for smooth running of their responsibilities.
  • PROVISIONAL ORDERS: These are regulations and statutory orders made by non-legislative government agencies other than local government authorities and ministers.
  • MINISTERIAL ORDERS AND REGULATIONS: These are laws, rules and regulations which emanate from minister. In the exercise of their delegated powers to make laws, ministers have wide discretionary powers but such must be exercised in accordance with the relevant laws.
  • SPECIAL PROCEDURE ORDERS: These orders are also known as statutory order and they are similar to provisional orders. Like provisional orders, they confer special powers upon local authorities or bodies made by ministers as authorized by parliamentary acts.
  • WARRANTS: This refers to search warrants by senior police officers to suspected persons and bench warrants by high court judges for a person to appear before the court.

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  • What is delegated legislature?
  • What is order in council?

REASONS FOR DELEGATED LEGISLATION

  • To reduce the workload of parliament.
  • To facilitate the law-making process.
  • Due to the technical nature of some legislation that makes it possible for the legislature to pass them.
  • It is used to avoid rigidity.
  • It is used in emergency period.
  • It is used to make adjustments to meet unforeseen and contingent matters in a country.

MERITS OF DELEGATED LEGISLATION

  • It saves time.
  • It is suitable for emergency.
  • It gives room for flexibility.
  • It allows for experimentation.
  • It conforms to local needs.
  • It easy to understand.
  • It helps to bring government nearer the people.

DEMERITS OF DELEGATED LEGISLATION

  • It reduces the supremacy of the parliament.
  • It is prone to abuse.
  • It is against the principle of separation of powers.
  • It makes judicial review difficult.
  • It encourages dictatorship.
  • It concentrates too much power on the executives.
  • It is a violation of rule of law.
  • Violation of fundamental human rights.
  • It is undemocratic.

CONTROL OF DELEGATED LEGISLATION

  • Parliamentary Control: The parliament that delegates part of its constitutional powers to other bodies adopts some measures to check misuse of powers.
  • Committee on statutory instrument.
  • Judicial or legal or court control.
  • Ministerial control.
  • Ministerial accountability.
  • Financial control.
  • Press criticism.

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  • Explain argument for delegated legislation
  • How can delegate legislation be controlled?

GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISION QUESTION

  1. Explain the following terms (i) Order-in-Council (ii) Provisional Order (iii) Bye- Laws (iv) Warrants
  2. Why do people criticize delegated legislature?
  3. Highlight 5 reasons for delegated legislation.
  4. A. Define Political socialization B. List and explain the agents of political socialization.

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

  1. The power delegated to the king or queen is called  A. order-in- council  B. bye-laws

C. proclamationD. provisional order

  • Laws made by local government is called A. warrants B. special procedure  C. edicts

D. none of the above

  • The executive is collectively responsible to the ——–for its actions A. parliament

B. judiciary C. civil serviceD. people

  • Special Procedure Order is also known as  A. bye-laws B. statutory Order C. order-in-councilD. edicts
  • The delegation of administrative powers to the local units with central supervision and control is called A. devolution B. centralization C.deconcentration D. commercialization

THEORY

  1. Of what use is delegated legislation to modern government.
  2. Explain the following: a. order- in-council B. bye-laws C. provisional order

WEEK TWELVE

REVISION

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