Norway and Cyprus Governmental Institutions – GOVT 210

Comparing two Democratic Foreign Nations with Differing Governmental Institutions – GOVT 210

Choose two democratic foreign nations with differing governmental institutions and answer the following questions.

  1. How is each nation’s legislature, executive, and high court/judicial system structured (presidential vs. parliamentary executive, bicameral vs. unicameral legislature, adversarial vs. inquisitorial judicial system, etc.)?  How does each institution function?
  2. How is power divided within or between each institution?  What kinds of powers does each institution have within the nation’s governmental structure?
  3. How are the members of each institution elected and/or appointed?  How much influence does public opinion/vote have on each institution?

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Norway and Cyprus Differing Governmental Institutions

Nation’s Legislature, Executive, and High Court/Judicial System Structure

The two selected nations include Norway and Cyprus. Norway is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy. Norway’s governance power is divided between the judicial branch, the executive branch, and the legislative branch. Norway has a unicameral storting or parliament; single house or chamber, with a total of 169 seats. Members of parliament are directly elected by the public in multi-seat constituencies via proportional representation vote. The Norway judicial system structure is based on the adversarial system (Eeacea.ec.europe.eu, 2019). The court and the prosecuting authority highly separated. Court fails to act apart from the application of the individual permitted to prosecute and end to act when the withdrawal of the said application happens. The judicial however does not follow strict adversary as done by countries following the common law. Norway has some inquisitorial system elements left especially with the judges’ duty to clarify the case facts (Legco.gov.hk, 2014).

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Cyprus is a democratic republic that works under the presidential executive system, with the president as the head of the state and the government. The country legislative adapts the unicameral parliamentary system just like Norway.  Similar to Norway, Cyprus judicial adapts an adversarial legal system. The president is the head of the government and the state that exercises executive power. Some of the main presidential executive duties include setting up a cabinet to assist in running the government, appoint Supreme Court judges, sign bills and propose some bills with the help of his ministers. The work of the legislative is to create laws, vote for executive suggested bills, and to keep the government on the check. The Supreme Court has the responsibility of interpreting the law and resolving legal cases demonstrated a conflict of the law (Fas.org, 2014).

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Division of Power

Norway is a constitutional monarchy containing a parliamentary democratic governance system. The government is head by the prime minister while the state is head by the king. The government has three main branches that include the judicially, the legislative, and the executive branches. The executive branch in Norway contains the King whose executive power is exercised always by the State Council that comprises of the prime minister and ministers (Legco.gov.hk, 2014). The state council is responsible for submitting government bills and budget proposals to the legislature for approval and enacting them into law through signing. Other responsibilities include dismiss and appoint high office, ratify international treaties, and pardon criminals. The legislative branch in Norway contains Stortinget that contains two essential functions that include national budget approval and enacting legislation. The legislative branch also votes on proposals and bills brought forth by the executive branch. The legislative branch can also query the ruling government and call for an impeachment vote (Eeacea.ec.europe.eu, 2019). The Judicial branch in Norway contains special and ordinary courts. The ordinary court includes district court, courts of appeal, and the Supreme Court. Special courts supplement ordinary courts. The country Supreme Court is responsible for making jurisdictions over areas of law in dispute.

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            The executive authority in Cyprus is exercised by the Cyprus president who is elected by the majority vote. The president is the head of the government and chief of state. The president practices the executive authority via the council of ministers containing eleven members that are appointed by him. The ministers’ council is responsible for republic governance, supervision, and coordination of the public services, allocation and supervision of the country fortune, and to process bills and budget before they are presented in the parliament. The president contains the right of the last veto on ministers council decisions and decisions or laws of the parliament regarding security, defense, or foreign affairs (Fas.org, 2014). The Cyprus legislative authority is practiced by the House of Representatives. The judicial is an independent branch of the government that helps in handling criminal and civil cases. It comprises of the supreme constitutional court, admiralty court, an administrative court, a court containing exclusive jurisdiction to offer prerogative writs, and an appellate court. The Supreme Court also plays the main role of law interpretation and the formation of constitutional law (Pittas, 2014). The legislative body has the main role in making the law, reviewing executive proposed bills, and putting the government on the check. It also reviews the budget proposed by the council of ministers and approve it where necessary or makes amendments. The Cyprus and Norway legislative, executive, and judicial branches seem to perform a similar function and to exercise similar powers (Clgf.org.UK, 2018).

Members of Each Institution Elected and/or Appointed

‘The members of the legislative branch in Norway are elected by the public every four years after the past election. The leader of the party with the highest number of representatives is given a chance to appoint the prime minister. The ministers are appointed by the prime minister and the king. Judges in Norway are appointed by the King-in-Council. Public opinion holds the main power in the election of the prime minister and the legislatures. However, the rest experience little influence from the public. The king is a monarchy and hence owns this position through linage hereditary (Legco.gov.hk, 2014). In Cyprus, the president and members of the legislature are directly elected by the public for a maximum of two terms, each containing five years. Judges are appointed by the president and are expected to work in their position until retirement, unless under exceptional conditions (Clgf.org.UK, 2018).

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