Home Rule

Home rule is the power of a constituent part (administrative division) of a state to exercise such of the state's powers of governance within its own administrative area that have been deputed to it by the central government.

In the United Kingdom, it has traditionally referred to self-government, or devolution or Independence, of constituent nations (namely Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland), and at one point Ireland. In the United States and other countries organized as federations of states, the term usually refers to the process and mechanisms of self-government as exercised by municipalities, counties, or other units of local government at the level below that of a federal state (e.g., U.S. state, in which context see special legislation). It can also refer to the similar system under which Greenland and the Faroe Islands are associated with Denmark.

During the British Empire, there were vigorous demands for home rule by activists in India.

Home rule is not, however, comparable with federalism. Whereas states in a federal system of government (e.g., Canada, Federal Republic of Germany, Switzerland, Brazil and the United States of America) have a guaranteed constitutional existence, a devolved home rule system of government is created by ordinary legislation and can be reformed, or even abolished, by repeal or amendment of that ordinary legislation.

A state legislature may, for example, create home rule for a county or parish (or its townships), so that a county commission or board of supervisors may have jurisdiction over its unincorporated areas, including important issues like zoning. (Without this, a U.S. county is simply an extension of state government.) The legislature can also establish or eliminate municipal corporations, which have home rule within town or city limits through the city council. The state government could also abolish counties/townships, or their governments, according to the state constitution and state laws.

Read more about Home Rule:  Irish Home Rule, Indian Home Rule, Scottish Home Rule, Greenland Home Rule

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