What Type Of Government Does Colombia Have?

The senate building in Bogota, Colombia.
The senate building in Bogota, Colombia.

Government Of Colombia

Colombia is located in South America and is known as the first independent constitutional government of the continent. Additionally, this country is home to two of the oldest political parties in South America: the Liberal Party (founded in 1848) and the Conservative Party (founded in 1849). Today, the government of Colombia is considered a republic, which means that members of the government are elected or appointed by the general public. To ensure a complete separation of powers, the government of Colombia is divided into 3 branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. This article takes a closer look at each one.

Executive Branch Of The Government Of Colombia

The executive branch of Colombia is made up of the President, Vice President, Council of Ministers, and Administrative Departments. The President is elected by the general population to serve a 4-year term and in 2010, the Constitutional Court decided on a 2 term limit. The person in this position is responsible for appointing and removing Ministers to the Cabinet. The President may also sign acts, but only with a recommendation from the Ministers, who would then be responsible for administering the act.

The President also works with the governors of each Department (similar to a Province) within the country to ensure proper administration of the government. These governors are also elected by the general population and once in office, they appoint a Department level Cabinet.

Legislative Branch Of The Government Of Colombia

The legislative branch of government in Colombia is responsible for enacting laws and policies. This is carried out by the bicameral Congress, which is made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The 102 Senate members and the 166 Representatives are elected by the general population to serve a 4-year term. Congress has the power to make amendments to the Constitution and to hold the executive branch accountable for carrying out public law correctly.

Members of Congress meet twice a year, from July 20th to December 16th and from March 16th to June 20th. Additionally, Senators and Representatives are assigned to 1 of 7 of the current, permanent Commissions. They then work together to address specific issues, depending on the Commission assigned. These issues range from finance to foreign policy and from social security to agriculture.

Judicial Branch Of The Government Of Colombia

The responsibility of the judicial branch of government is to make sure all citizens have justice under the law and to provide courts through which to resolve the conflict. Colombia has 1 jurisdiction and 4 High Courts to oversee legal interpretation. The High Courts of this country include the Council of State, the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, and the Superior Court of Judicature. The following types of cases are seen in these courts: penal, disciplinary, administrative, constitutional, ordinary, military, and peace. Indigenous issues are addressed by special indigenous jurisdictions.

The Lower Courts are divided among various judicial districts. Each district has a Superior Tribunal that is administered by 3 judges, appointed by the Supreme Court. These courts oversee the Civil Municipal courts within their particular district. Other courts within the judicial branch include Regional Circuit Courts, Administrative Tribunals, and 1 Superior Military Tribunal.


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