Westminster system

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The Westminster system is a form of representative government that originated in the United Kingdom. Its distinguishing characteristics are:

  • the collective and individual responsibility of the executive to an elected legislature, from which they are drawn;[1]
  • a ceremonial head of state whose functions are distinct from those of the head of government;
  • a judiciary that is independent of the executive and the legislature.

It is so named because the premises of the United Kingdom Parliament are in London's Palace of Westminster.

  1. WT Stanbury: "Accountability to Citizens in the Westminster Model of Government", Fraser Institute 2003