Federalism serves to share authority between different entities and to create orders of government [1]. Every federal state must abide by the principle of non-subordination of the orders of government in their areas of jurisdiction by virtue of the division of powers in the country's constitution.

A country that espouses federalism must also ensure representation of constituent units within federal institutions so that they can participate in decisions concerning the federation as a whole. The existence of an independent tribunal is also required in order to uphold the spirit of federalism.

[1] This section borrows its definition of federalism from Linda Cardinal, « Fédéralisme et langue. L’incidence du fédéralisme d’ouverture sur les régimes linguistiques canadien et québécois ». In Michel Seymour and Guy Laforest (eds.), Le fédéralisme multinational. Un modèle viable?, Bruxelles, P.I.E. Peter Lang, 2011, p. 249-250.