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A legislative chamber or house is a
deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is the body of ethics, Procedural law, rules, and Norm (sociology), customs governing meetings and other opera ...
within a
legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. They are often contrasted with the Executive (government), executive and Judiciary, ...
which generally meets and votes separately from the legislature's other chambers. Legislatures are usually
unicameral In government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, Executive ...
, consisting of only one chamber, or
bicameral Bicameralism is the practice of having a legislature divided into two separate Deliberative assembly, assemblies, chambers, or houses, known as a bicameral legislature. Bicameralism is distinguished from unicameralism, in which all members deli ...
, consisting of two, but there are rare examples of tricameral and tetracameral legislatures. The
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, commonly referred to as SFR Yugoslavia or simply Yugoslavia, was a Socialist state, socialist country in Southeast Europe, Southeast and Central Europe that existed from its foundation in the after ...
is the only country documented as having a
pentacameral In contrast to unicameralism, and bicameralism, multicameralism is the condition in which a legislature is divided into more than two deliberative assemblies, which are commonly called "chambers" or "houses". This usually includes tricameralism ...
(later
hexacameral In contrast to unicameralism, and bicameralism, multicameralism is the condition in which a legislature is divided into more than two deliberative assemblies, which are commonly called "chambers" or "houses". This usually includes tricameralism ...
) legislature.


Bicameralism

In a ''bicameral'' legislature, the two bodies are often referred to as an ''upper'' and a ''lower'' house, where the latter is often regarded as more particularly the representatives of the people. The lower house is almost always the originator of
legislation Legislation is law which has been promulgation, promulgated (or "enactment of a bill, enacted") by a legislature or other Government, governing body or the process of making it. Before an item of legislation becomes law it may be known as a bill (p ...
, and the upper house is the body that offers the "second look" and decides whether to
veto A veto (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repu ...
or approve the
bill Bill(s) may refer to: Common meanings * Banknote A banknote (often known as a bill (in the US and Canada), paper money, or simply a note) is a type of negotiable instrument, negotiable promissory note, made by a bank or other licensed author ...
s. In the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shortha ...

United Kingdom
legislation can be originated in either house, but the lower house can ultimately prevail if the two houses repeatedly disagree. In most countries the lower house also has sole or predominant control over matters to do with
finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial markets and how they operate within the financial system. It is concerned with the creation and management of money and investments. Savers and investors have money available which could ...

finance
and
taxation A tax is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed on a taxpayer (an individual or legal entity) by a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State ...
. A parliament's lower house is usually composed of at least 100
members Member may refer to: * Military jury, referred to as "Members" in military jargon * Element (mathematics), an object that belongs to a mathematical set * In object-oriented programming, a member of a class ** Field (computer science), entries in a ...
, in countries with populations of over 3 million. The number of seats rarely exceeds 400, even in very large countries. Among the countries with large lower houses are France, where the
National Assembly In politics, a national assembly is either a unicameral In government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative defin ...
has 577 members, and Japan, where the
House of Representatives House of Representatives is the name of legislative bodies in many countries and sub-national entitles. In many countries, the House of Representatives is the lower house A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the ...
has 475 members. The upper house of a parliament customarily has anywhere from 20 to 200 seats, but almost always significantly fewer than the lower house. In the United Kingdom however, the lower house (the
House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house of the bicameral parliaments of the United Kingdom and Canada. In the UK and Canada, the Commons holds much more legislative power than the nominally upper house of parliament. The lead ...
) has 650 members, but the upper house (the
House of Lords The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is by appointment, heredity or official function. Like the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster ...

House of Lords
) currently has slightly more members than the lower house, and at one time (before the exclusion of most of the
hereditary peer The hereditary peers form part of the peerage in the United Kingdom. As of 2021 there are 810 hereditary peers: 30 dukes (including six royal dukes), 34 marquesses, 191 earls, List of viscounts in the peerages of Britain and Ireland, 112 visco ...
s) had considerably more.


Merging of chambers

Until 1953, the
Rigsdag Rigsdagen ({{IPA-da, ˈʁisˌtɛˀn̩) was the name of the national legislature of Denmark from 1849 to 1953. ''Rigsdagen'' was Denmark's first parliament, and it was incorporated in the Constitution of 1849. It was a bicameral legislature, consi ...
in
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe. It is the most populous and politically central Constituent state, constituent of the Danish Realm, Kingdom of Denmark, da, Kongeriget Danmark, a constitution ...
was divided into two houses, the "
Folketing The Folketing ( da, Folketinget, ; lit. ''the people's Thing (assembly), thing'', ''people's assembly''), also known as the Parliament of Denmark or the Danish Parliament in English, is the unicameral List of legislatures by country, national leg ...
" and " Landsting", but has since become a
unicameral In government, unicameralism (Latin , "one" and , "chamber") is the practice of having a single legislative or legislative chamber, parliamentary chamber. Thus, a ''unicameral parliament'' or ''unicameral legislature'' is a legislature which con ...
legislature. The same goes with
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe.The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's for ...

Sweden
, and its "
Riksdag The Riksdag (, ; also sv, riksdagen or ''Sveriges riksdag'' ) is the national legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, count ...

Riksdag
" until 1971. The
Norwegian parliament Storting ( no, Stortinget , "the great assembly") is the supreme legislature of Norway, established in 1814 by the Constitution of Norway. It is located in Oslo. The Unicameralism, unicameral parliament has 169 members, and is elected every four ...

Norwegian parliament
(''Storting'') was officially divided in two chambers 1814–2009, but functioned as a single chamber in practice, a situation called Qualified unicameralism.


Floor and committee

The ''
floor A floor is the bottom surface of a room or vehicle. Floors vary from wikt:hovel, simple dirt in a cave to many-layered surfaces made with modern technology. Floors may be stone, wood, bamboo, metal or any other material that can support the exp ...
'' is the name for the full assembly, and a ''
committee A committee or commission is a body of one or more persons subordinate to an assembly. A committee is not itself considered to be a form of assembly. Usually, the assembly sends matters into a committee as a way to explore them more fully than wo ...

committee
'' is a small deliberative assembly that is usually subordinate to the floor. In the United Kingdom, either chamber may opt to take some business such as detailed consideration of a
Bill Bill(s) may refer to: Common meanings * Banknote A banknote (often known as a bill (in the US and Canada), paper money, or simply a note) is a type of negotiable instrument, negotiable promissory note, made by a bank or other licensed author ...
on the Floor of the House instead of in Committee.


Security

The building that houses the Chambers of a Parliament is usually equipped with an internal police and in some, the public force is not allowed access without authorisation.In
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a Northern Italy, continental part, delimited by the Alps, a Italian Peninsula, peninsula and List of islands of Italy, se ...

Italy
the judge could raise conflict of powers against the House asking the Constitutional Court - in accordance with decision no. 120/2014 - for access to the Palace to perform his duties:


References


See also

*
Delegated legislation In parliamentary systems and presidential systems of government, primary legislation and secondary legislation, the latter also called delegated legislation or subordinate legislation, are two forms of law, created respectively by the legislature ...
*
Inter-Parliamentary Union The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU; french: Union Interparlementaire, UIP) is an international organization of national parliaments. Its primary purpose is to promote democratic governance, accountability Accountability, in terms of ethics Ethic ...
*
Witenagemot 300px, Anglo-Saxon king with his witan. Biblical scene in the Illustrated Old English Hexateuch (11th century), portraying Pharaoh in court session, after passing judgment on his chief baker and chief cupbearer. The Witenaġemot (; ang, witena ...
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