Legislature . Period during which the legislative bodies of a region or a country meet. The term also refers to the time in which legislators exercise their functions as established by the Constitution . It can be said that a legislature is the duration of the mandate of a Congress or a Parliament. Thus, it begins with the establishment of a certain assembly or legislative chamber (whose members are chosen by the population through elections) and ends when said assembly is dissolved according to the corresponding constitutional term.


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  • 1 Legislative Branch or Legislature
    • 1 Laws enacted
    • 2 Its function in the constitutionalism of classical power
    • 3 Cameras
    • 4 Legislative size
    • 5 Legislative work in Cuba
  • 2 Source

Legislative Branch or Legislature

The Legislative Power or Legislature is a deliberative assembly that has the exclusive authority to create laws for a political entity such as a country or city, in addition to administering the state budget . Legislatures are an important part of most governments; In the model of separation of powers, it is contrasted with the executive and judicial branches of the State and at the same time it is responsible for controlling its actions in accordance with the constitutional provisions.

Laws enacted

Laws enacted by legislatures are known as legislation. Legislatures observe and direct government actions and generally have exclusive authority to modify the budget or budgets involved in the process.

The members of a legislature are called legislators. In a representative democracy, legislators are popularly elected directly, in other regimes proportional elections are used, and appointment by the executive is also used, particularly for bicameral legislatures that have an upper house.

Montesquieu proposed, in his book The Spirit of Laws, that it was necessary for the functions of the State to be divided and separated between different powers (legislative, executive and judicial), so that through the arrangements of the characteristics the power would control itself, in order to to avoid tyranny.

Its role in the constitutionalism of classical power

During the Middle Ages, a system was created that consisted of convening the political classes or “estates” or “Estates General” (as they were called in France), to consult them on the creation of new taxes or the increase of existing ones, that had to be consented to by the taxpayers or their constituents.

The Magna Carta (sanctioned by King John I in London on June 15, 1215) is one of the antecedents of modern political regimes in which the power of the monarch or president is limited or limited by a council, senate, congress , parliament or assembly. What the Magna Carta asks for is a limitation of power on the part of the Normans. The British Parliament was a consequence of the Magna Carta of 1215 and for a long time had no other mission than to limit the power of the Crown and to monitor its actions.


A legislature can debate and vote on bills as a single unit, or it can be made up of multiple separate assemblies, called by various names, including legislative chambers, debate chambers, and houses, which debate and vote separately and have different powers. A legislature that operates as a single unit is unicameral, one divided into two chambers is bicameral, one divided into three chambers is tricameral, and one divided into four chambers is four-chamber.

Legislative Parliament building in Córdoba, Argentina

  • Unicameral Legislature: The Legislature of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, for example, is the legislative branch of the Argentine capital. It is a unicameral body made up of sixty legislators, who are in office for four years. Every two years, on the other hand, the Legislature is renewed by halves.
  • Bicameral legislatures: In bicameral legislatures, one chamber is generally considered the upper house, while the other is considered the lower house. The two types are not rigidly different, but members of upper houses tend to be indirectly elected or appointed rather than directly elected, they tend to be appointed by administrative divisions rather than population, and they tend to have longer terms than those who are elected. members of the lower house. In some systems, particularly in parliamentary systems, the upper house has less power and tends to have a more advisory role, but in others, particularly in presidential systems, the upper house has equal or greater power. In federations, the upper house typically represents the component states of the federation. This is a case with the United States Senate. The upper house can contain delegates from state governments – such as in the European Union and Germany and, before 1913, in the United States – or be elected according to a formula that gives equal representation to states with larger populations. small, as has been the case in Australia and the United States since 1913.
  • Tricametral Legislatures: Tricametral legislatures are rare; the Massachusetts Governor’s Council still exists, but the most recent national example existed in the later years of white minority rule in South Africa. Tetracameral legislatures no longer exist, but were previously used in Scandinavia.

Legislative size

Legislatures vary widely in their size. Among the national legislatures, the National People’s Congress of China is the largest with 2,987 members, while the Pontifical Commission for the Vatican City State is the smallest with 7. None is democratically elected, with the National People’s Congress being indirectly elected, just as the National People’s Congress has little independent power.

Legislative size is a trade-off between speed and representation; the smaller the legislature, the faster it can operate, but the larger the legislature, the better it can represent the political diversity of its constituents. Comparative analysis of national legislatures has found that the size of a country’s lower house tends to correspond to the cube root of its population; that is, the size of the lower house tends to increase along with the population, but much more slowly.


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