Constitutional law – Unitary as well as federal systems?

Composite State Of China Under one Country, Multiple Systems

Several countries have had to step back because the decentralisation process was too rapid and strong. This was the case, for example, in Central and East European countries, as well as in many developing countries. Some decentralisation laws have never been implemented, or only partially because the agenda was too ambitious and unrealistic. Semi-autonomous entities remain under the indirect control of the central government and their delegated tasks may be withdrawn in a unilateral manner. Federal countries may not be the most decentralised (“centralised federalism”) and some unitary states may be more decentralised than federal ones. The statistical data for Israel are supplied by and under the responsibility of the relevant Israeli authorities.

In a unitary government, the central government is the supreme, while in a federal government the national and state governments are independent. In 1996, the Tenth Circuit, relying on Cherry Cotton Mills, held in Turner v. SBA , 84 F.3d 1294 (10th Cir. 1996) that the Small Business Administration and the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service were a single creditor for purposes of §553. The circuit court could find no reason that the unitary creditor doctrine should not apply with respect to set-offs in a bankruptcy case. In 1996, the Second Circuit in Aetna Casualty & Surety Co. v. LTV Steel Co. Inc. (In re Chateaugay Corp.), 94 F.3d 772 (2nd Cir. 1996) adopted the unitary government creditor approach when it, in essence, rejected the reasoning set forth in In re Ionosphere Clubs Inc.,164 B.R.

The sub-national governments in federal states share powers as equal actors with the central government through a written constitution which both parties have to consent to for amendments to be done. However, this limits the control that the central government can have over its smaller units. Some of the other unitary states include Italy, Japan, People’s Republic of China, Philippines, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Algeria, Denmark, Kazakhstan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Morocco, Uganda, Haiti, Guatemala, Iceland, and Kenya among many others. A unitary state refers to a country that has one supreme authority which rules over all other delegations.

Because there is no accountability, the person in charge can abuse their power, which will hurt not just the country, but each one of its citizens. Looking back at history and even what is going on in some places around the world today, giving one person absolute power leads to problems. Because a unitary system is run under one governing body, citizens’ loyalties are not torn between the state and national government.

This system is based on the concentration of the executive power in the hands of one party, cabinet dominance, a majoritarian and disproportional system of elections, a unitary and centralized government, constitutional flexibility and the state’s control over the central bank. In the energy sector, Nigeria continues to suffer the effects of its flawed federalism. Although the constitution allows both the state and the federal governments to legislate on this sector, it restricts states from making laws that clash with federal legislation. The upshot is that the federal government maintains an effective monopoly with regard to the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity, relegating the states to legislate on areas not covered by the national grid. The result is a dependence on an antiquated, expensive central grid system and insufficient electric generation capacity, sapping the economy of much-needed growth. Another victim of Nigeria’s problematic federal system is the security sector, especially in the area of policing, where the federal government has exclusive powers.

In many countries, a significant share of public spending takes place at lower levels of government, but this information on its own paints an incomplete picture of what subnational governments can actually do, autonomously, to affect the lives of those living in their territory. This does not preclude the existence of subnational governments, also elected directly by the population and with some political and administrative autonomy. But subnational governments exercise only the powers that the central government chooses to delegate or devolve. Unitary states are thus more or less decentralised, depending on the extent of subnational powers, responsibilities and resources, and the degree of autonomy they have over these different elements. In a unitary state, subnational units can be created and abolished and their powers may be broadened and narrowed by the central government.

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