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Inherent Executive Power: A Comparative Perspective

Jenny S. Martinez
The Yale Law Journal
Vol. 115, No. 9, The Most Dangerous Branch? Mayors, Governors, Presidents, and the Rule of Law: A Symposium on Executive Power (2006), pp. 2480-2511
DOI: 10.2307/20455703
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20455703
Page Count: 32
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Inherent Executive Power: A Comparative Perspective
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Abstract

In light of recent debates regarding the scope and basis of inherent executive power, particularly with regard to foreign affairs and national security, this Essay examines different conceptions of executive power in five modern democracies. The Essay's study of British and German parliamentary systems, the semi-presidential French system, and the presidential Mexican and South Korean systems suggests that executive power is highly contingent and shaped by political context. The Essay identifies the common features of all these governmental structures, including the fluid line between executive and legislative power, and emphasizes that all of these nations have recognized the importance of placing limits on executive power, including in the spheres of foreign affairs and national security. These comparative examples thus provide a counterweight to recent arguments that executive power inherently requires unchecked authority in these spheres.

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