Pre-University (CIE) Comparative Government: Specimen Questions with Answers 36 - 37 of 53

Question number: 36

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Essay Question▾

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Discuss “Watch Dog” committees in reference of American Congress.

Explanation

  • Though it was not named as such yet the special committee appointed by the Congress under the Taft Hartley Act of 1947, to make a thorough study and investigation of the entire field of labour management agreement relations was labelled “Watch Dog” Committee. When Congress makes laws, dealing with rapidly changing situations and when such laws confer broad powers upon administrative officers, it often seeks, way of checking on the administration of these laws.

  • One of the techniques used in the establishment of “Watch Dog” Committees. The Congress appointed another such Committee, The Joint Committee on foreign economic cooperation to study and report the experience of the economic cooperation and administration in administering aid to Europe under the so called Marshall Plan.

  • The members of the Committee watched particularly the reaction of the communist countries to the Marshall Plan and the conduct of beneficiary Govt. in living up to their commitments to United States.

Question number: 37

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Critically examines Austin’s theory of Sovereignty.

Explanation

  • John Austin has given an elaborative exposition of the legal theory of sovereignty in his work Lectures on Jurisprudence, published in 1832. His theory of Sovereignty is conditioned by his concept of law. Law, according to Austin is a ‘command given by a superior to an inferior’. He defines “If a determinate human superior, not in the habit of obedience to a like superior, receives habitual obedience, from the bulk of a given society that determinate human superior is sovereign in that society, and that society (including the superior) is a society political and independent. ”

  • That the sovereign is a determinate person or body of persons. That such a determinate human superior must not himself obey any other higher authority. Austin’s analysis of sovereignty embraces the existence of the supreme power which is determinate, absolute illimitable, inalienable, indivisible all-comprehensive and permanent. It is subject to no limitation or command by any other superior.

  • But Austin’s theory of sovereignty has been criticized by various theorists. Sir Henry Maine, Clark Sidgwick are the foremost critic. The theory is criticized as it is against the concept of popular sovereignty. Austin’s theory of sovereignty is ignores the claim of public opinion and political sovereignty. Austin’s determinate human is superior to all.

  • But Sir Henry Maine believes that sovereignty does not lies in determinate human superior. According to him “vast masses of influences, which we may call for shortness moral, that perpetually shapes, limits or forbids the actual direction of the forces by its sovereign”.

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