Three countries: Lithuania, The United Kingdom and The United States of America have their own government and laws. There are some points which are the same in the government of all three countries, but there are some which are different. I will try to show the difference and similarities in the systems of governments and how did the countries divide the power to different institutions.
The Lithuanian state is an independent democratic republic. The foundations of the political and social syystem are enforced by the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, adopted on October 25, 1992, which also establishes the rights, freedoms and obligations of citizens. The United States of America is a constitutional republic, a system where the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law and citizens elect representatives to government. The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy with a bicameral parliament composed of the Houses of Commons and Lords. Formally, executive power is vested in the Crown in the person of thhe Sovereign, but in reality, central government is carried out in the name of the Crown by ministers of state.
State power in Lithuania is exercised by the Seimas (Parliament), the President of the Republic, the Government and the Court. In
Role of Presidents and Monarchs
The President of the Republic of Lithuania is the highest official of the state. The President is elected by citizens of the Republic of Lithuania for the term of 5 years on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot. The President of the Republic considers major political problems of foreign and home affairs, appoints and dismisses state officials provided by the Constitution and other laws, approves and publishes the laws adopted by thhe Seimas or returns them with remarks for reconsidering, performs other duties specified in the Constitution. Policy issues, signs international treaties, and appoints or recalls diplomatic representatives of the Republic of Lithuania in foreign countries and international organisations. The President appoints, upon approval of the Seimas, the Prime Minister, charges him or her to form the Government, and approves its composition, accepts resignation of the Prime Minister, appoints or dismisses individual ministers upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister and ot
The President of the United States of America (sometimes abbreviated to “POTUS”) is the head of state of the United States. Under the U.S. Constitution, the President is also the chief executive of the federal government and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.
Because of the superpower status of the United States, the American President is widely considered to be the most powerful person on the earth, and is usually one of the world’s best-known public figures. The United States was th
The 43rd and current President of the United States is George W. Bush. His first term was 2001–2005; his second term began in 2005 and will end in 2009.
Until the end of the 17th century, British monarchs were executive monarchs – that is, they had the right to make and pass legislation. Since the beginning of the 18th century, the monarch has become a constitutional monarch, which means that he or she is bound by rules and conventions and remains politically impartial. While acting constitutionally, the Sovereign retains an important political role as Head of State, formally appointing prime ministers, approving certain legislation and bestowing honors. The Queen also has important roles to play in other organisations, including the Armed Forces and the Church of England. The Queen is the United Kingdom’s Head of State. As well as carrying out significant constitutional functions, The Queen also acts as a focus for national unity, presiding at ceremonial occasions, visiting local communities and representing Britain around the world. The Queen is
Role of the Parliaments
The Seimas is the supreme body of state power of the Republic of Lithuania. It comprises 141 deputies elected for a period of 4 years. The Seimas have the power to adopt the Constitution and amend it, to adopt laws, to consider drafts on the programs produced by the Government and to approve it, to control the activities of the Government, to approve the budget of the Government, to establish the state institutions provided by the law, to appoint and to dismiss chairpersons of the state institutions, to settle other issues pertaining to state power.
The UK Parliament is one of the oldest representative assemblies in the world, having its origins in the mid-13th Century. The United Kingdom Parliament today comprises members from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The present two-chamber system began in the 14th Century in England: the House of Lords (the upper house) and the House of Commons (the lower house) sit separately and are constituted on entirely different principles. The legislative process involves both Houses of Parliament and the Monarch.
The main functions of Parliament are to:
make all UK law
provide, by voting for taxation, the means of carrying on the work of government
protect the public and safeguard the rights of individuals
scrutinise government policy and administration, including proposals for expenditure
examine european proposals before they become law
hear appeals in the House of Lords, the highest Court of Appeal in Britain
debate the major issues of the day.
Parliament has a maximum duration of five years.
The House of Lords is the second chamber of the U.K. Houses of Parliament. Members of the House of Lords (known as ‘peers’) consist of Lords Spiritual (senior bishops) and Lords Temporal (lay peers). Law Lords (senior judges) also sit as Lords Temporal. Members of the House of Lords are not elected.
Following the House of Lords Act 1999 there are only 92 peers who sit by virtue of hereditary peerage. The House of Commons is the centre of parliamentary power. It is directly responsible to the electorate, and from the 20th century the House of Lords has recognised the supremacy of the elected chamber. The House of Commons is traditionally regarded as the lower house, but it is the main parliamentary arena for political battle. A Government can only remain in office for as long as it has the support of a majority in the House of Commons. As with the House of Lords, the House of Commons debates new primary legislation as part of the process of making an Act of Parliament, but the Commons has primacy over the non-elected House of Lords.
The United States Congress is the biennial meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government. It is bicameral, comprising the House of Representatives and the Senate, and all of its members are elected directly by the people. The House of Representatives has 435 members, each representing a congressional district and serving a two-year term. House seats are apportioned among the states by population. Each state has two Senators, regardless of population. There are 100 senators, serving six-year terms.
The United States Constitution vests all legislative powers of the federal government in the Congress. The powers of Congress are limited to those enumerated in the Constitution, plus those powers “necessary and proper” for carrying out its responsibilities. All other powers are reserved to the states and the people. Congress’s most important powers include regulating interstate and foreign commerce, levying taxes, organizing the federal courts, maintaining the military, and declaring war. This power is exercised through Acts of Congress.
The Senate and House of Representatives are co-equal houses. However, there are some special powers granted to one chamber only. The Senate’s advice and consent is required for presidential appointments to high-level executive and judicial positions, and for the ratification of treaties. Bills for raising revenue may only originate in the House of Representatives, however the Senate must agree to, and may block, all “revenue bills”.
Role of the Government
The Government of the Republic of Lithuania is composed of the Prime Minister and Ministers. The Prime Minister is appointed or dismissed by the President of the Republic with the approval of the Seimas. Ministers are appointed and dismissed by the President of the Republic upon the recommendation of the Prime minister.
Within the limits of its competence the Government Controls affairs of the country, guards inviolability of the territory of the Republic, ensures state and civilian security, carries out laws, resolutions of the Seimas on the enforcement of laws and decrees of the President of the Republic as well, enters into diplomatic relation and maintains them with foreign countries and international organizations, performs the duties specified in the Constitution and other laws.
The Government is headed by Algirdas Mykolas Brazauskas.
The Government of the United Kingdom contains a number of Ministries, known in the United Kingdom as Government Departments. Ministerial Departments are led politically by a Government Minister, and cover matters that require direct political oversight. For most Departments, the Government Minister in question is known as a Secretary of State and is a member of the Cabinet. He or she is generally supported by a team of junior Ministers. The administrative management of the Department is led by a senior civil servant known as a Permanent Secretary.
Subordinate to these Ministerial Departments are executive agencies. An Executive Agency is a non-departmental public body that has a degree of autonomy to perform an operational function. They usually report to one or more specific Government Departments, which will set the funding and strategic policy for the Agency.
Non-ministerial departments generally cover matters for which direct political oversight is judged unnecessary or inappropriate.
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the head of government and so exercises many of the executive functions nominally vested in the Sovereign, who is head of state. According to custom, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet (which he or she heads) are responsible for their actions to Parliament, of which they are members by (modern) convention. The current Prime Minister is Tony Blair (of the Labour Party), who has been in office since 1997.
Role of the Supreme Courts. Judicial Branch.
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States, with powers of judicial review as decided in Marbury v. Madison (1803).
Each U.S. state has a state supreme court, though some do not actually use the term “supreme court.” In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts the “Supreme Judicial Court” is the highest court, as well as the oldest appellate court of continuous operation in the Western hemisphere.
There are three Supreme Court systems in the United Kingdom, one each for England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Gibraltar also has a Supreme Court, but as an overseas territory, it is legally not part of the United Kingdom.
The Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania provides that courts shall have the exclusive right to administer justice. While administering justice, judges and courts shall be independent. While investigating cases, judges shall obey only the law. They may not apply laws that contradict the Constitution. The Supreme Court of Lithuania is the only court of cassation instance for reviewing effective judgements, decisions, rulings and orders of the courts of general jurisdiction. It develops a uniform court practice in the interpretation and application of laws and other legal acts.
As we see, the governments of Lithuania, The UK and The USA are quite different. They all are based on the Constitutions, but the system of governing the country is different. In the USA the Supreme Court is one of the main institutions, but in the UK and Lithuania the Governments are responsible for interpreting laws. In Lithuania and the USA Heads of the states are presidents and in The UK – the monarch with the help of Prime Minister. The UK has the oldest traditions in parliament, but the USA was the first country where the president became the Head of the State. In comparison with these two countries, Lithuania is quite a young one, and the government of the country does not have such great traditions.