Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? is a Latin phrase, commonly translated as "Who watches the watchers?", attributed to the Roman poet and satirist Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenalis, 55-127 CE).


Modern liberal democracies try to solve this problem by the principle of the separation of powers. No single group has ultimate power; the executive, legislative, or judicial arms of government all have separate and distinct realms, with interests that often compete and conflict, providing a complex network of checks and balances that prevent power being monopolised by any single group.