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(i) (i) (i) (i) (i)

In modern politics and history, a PARLIAMENT is a legislative , elected body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: representing the electorate , making laws, and overseeing the government via hearings and inquiries.

Although some restrict the use of the word _parliament_ to parliamentary systems , it is also commonly used to describe the legislature in presidential systems (e.g. the French parliament ), even where it is not in the official name.

Historically, parliaments included various kinds of deliberative, consultative, and judicial assemblies, e.g. mediaeval parlements .

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology * 2 Origins

* 3 Proto-parliamentarian institutions

* 3.1 England

* 3.1.1 Early forms of assembly * 3.1.2 Magna Carta
Magna Carta
and the Model Parliament * 3.1.3 Parliament
Parliament
under Henry VIII
Henry VIII
and Edward VI * 3.1.4 The importance of the Commonwealth years * 3.1.5 Acts of Union

* 3.2 France * 3.3 Scotland
Scotland
* 3.4 Nordic and Germanic development * 3.5 Poland * 3.6 Ukraine
Ukraine

* 3.7 Russia
Russia

* 3.7.1 Novgorod and Pskov

* 3.8 Spain
Spain
* 3.9 The Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church

* 4 Development of modern parliaments

* 4.1 Parliaments of the United Kingdom * 4.2 Parliament
Parliament
of Sweden
Sweden

* 5 Parliamentary system

* 6 List of national parliaments

* 6.1 Parliaments of the European Union * 6.2 Others

* 7 List of subnational parliamentary governments

* 7.1 Australia
Australia
* 7.2 Belgium * 7.3 Canada * 7.4 Kingdom of Denmark
Denmark
* 7.5 Finland * 7.6 Germany
Germany
* 7.7 Malaysia * 7.8 Netherlands * 7.9 Norway * 7.10 Spain
Spain
* 7.11 Switzerland
Switzerland
* 7.12 United Kingdom

* 8 Other parliaments

* 8.1 Contemporary supranational parliaments * 8.2 Equivalent national legislatures * 8.3 Defunct

* 9 See also * 10 References * 11 External links

ETYMOLOGY

The term is derived from Anglo-Norman _parlement_, from the verb _parler_ 'talk'. The meaning evolved over time: originally any discussion, conversation, or negotiation (attested around 1100), through various kinds of deliberative or judicial groups, often summoned by the monarch. By 1400, it had come to mean in Britain specifically the British supreme legislature.

ORIGINS

The Federal Diet of Switzerland
Switzerland
was one of the longest-lived representative bodies in history (from the 13th century to 1848).

Various parliaments are claimed to be the oldest in the world, under varying definitions. However, they all historically trace their origins back to the Viking expansion
Viking expansion
originating from the Petty kingdoms of Norway as well as Denmark, replicating Viking government systems in the conquered territories, such as those represented by the Gulating near Bergen in western Norway.

* The Icelandic Althing . * The Faroese Løgting . * The Manx Tynwald .

PROTO-PARLIAMENTARIAN INSTITUTIONS

See also: History of Parliamentarism

Since ancient times, when societies were tribal, there were councils or a headman whose decisions were assessed by village elders. This is called tribalism . Some scholars suggest that in ancient Mesopotamia there was a primitive democratic government where the kings were assessed by council. The same has been said about ancient India, where some form of deliberative assemblies existed, and therefore there was some form of democracy . However, these claims are not accepted by most scholars, who see these forms of government as oligarchies .

Ancient Athens was the cradle of democracy . The Athenian assembly (ἐκκλησία, _ekklesia_) was the most important institution, and every citizen could take part in the discussions. However, Athenian democracy was not representative, but rather direct, and therefore the _ekklesia_ was different from the parliamentary system.

The Roman Republic
Roman Republic
had legislative assemblies , who had the final say regarding the election of magistrates, the enactment of new statutes , the carrying out of capital punishment, the declaration of war and peace, and the creation (or dissolution) of alliances. The Roman Senate
Senate
controlled money, administration, and the details of foreign policy.

Some Muslim scholars argue that the Islamic shura (a method of taking decisions in Islamic societies) is analogous to the parliament. However, others highlight what they consider fundamental differences between the shura system and the parliamentary system.

ENGLAND

Main article: Parliament of England
Parliament of England

Early Forms Of Assembly

England has long had a tradition of a body of men who would assist and advise the king on important matters. Under the Anglo-Saxon kings, there was an advisory council, the Witenagemot . The name derives from the Old English
Old English
ƿitena ȝemōt, or witena gemōt, for "meeting of wise men". The first recorded act of a witenagemot was the law code issued by King Æthelberht of Kent ca. 600, the earliest document which survives in sustained Old English
Old English
prose; however, the witan was certainly in existence long before this time. The Witan, along with the folkmoots (local assemblies), is an important ancestor of the modern English parliament.

As part of the Norman Conquest of England , the new king, William I , did away with the Witenagemot, replacing it with a Curia Regis ("King's Council"). Membership of the Curia was largely restricted to the tenants in chief, the few nobles who "rented" great estates directly from the king, along with ecclesiastics . William brought to England the feudal system of his native Normandy
Normandy
, and sought the advice of the curia regis before making laws. This is the original body from which the Parliament, the higher courts of law, and the Privy Council
Privy Council
and Cabinet descend. Of these, the legislature is formally the High Court of Parliament; judges sit in the Supreme Court of Judicature . Only the executive government is no longer conducted in a royal court.

Most historians date the emergence of a parliament with some degree of power to which the throne had to defer no later than the rule of Edward I . Like previous kings, Edward called leading nobles and church leaders to discuss government matters, especially finance . A meeting in 1295 became known as the Model Parliament because it set the pattern for later Parliaments. The significant difference between the Model Parliament and the earlier Curia Regis was the addition of the Commons; that is, the inclusion of elected representatives of rural landowners and of townsmen. In 1307, Edward I agreed not to collect certain taxes without the consent of the realm. He also enlarged the court system.

Magna Carta
Magna Carta
And The Model Parliament

A 1215 edition of the Magna Carta, as featured on display at the British Library.

The tenants-in-chief often struggled with their spiritual counterparts and with the king for power. In 1215, they secured from John the Magna Carta
Magna Carta
, which established that the king may not levy or collect any taxes (except the feudal taxes to which they were hitherto accustomed), save with the consent of a council. It was also established that the most important tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics be summoned to the council by personal writs from the sovereign, and that all others be summoned to the council by general writs from the sheriffs of their counties. Modern government has its origins in the Curia Regis; parliament descends from the Great Council later known as the _parliamentum_ established by Magna Carta
Magna Carta
.

During the reign of King Henry III , 13th-Century English Parliaments incorporated elected representatives from shires and towns. These parliaments are, as such, considered forerunners of the modern parliament.

In 1265, Simon de Montfort , then in rebellion against Henry III , summoned a parliament of his supporters without royal authorization. The archbishops , bishops , abbots , earls , and barons were summoned, as were two knights from each shire and two burgesses from each borough . Knights had been summoned to previous councils, but it was unprecedented for the boroughs to receive any representation. Come 1295, Edward I later adopted de Montfort's ideas for representation and election in the so-called " Model Parliament ". At first, each estate debated independently; by the reign of Edward III , however, Parliament
Parliament
recognisably assumed its modern form, with authorities dividing the legislative body into two separate chambers.

Parliament
Parliament
Under Henry VIII
Henry VIII
And Edward VI

The purpose and structure of Parliament
Parliament
in Tudor England underwent a significant transformation under the reign of Henry VIII
Henry VIII
. Originally its methods were primarily medieval, and the monarch still possessed a form of inarguable dominion over its decisions. According to Elton, it was Thomas Cromwell , 1st Earl
Earl
of Essex, then chief minister to Henry VIII, who initiated still other changes within parliament.

The Reformation Acts supplied Parliament
Parliament
with unlimited power over the country. This included authority over virtually every matter, whether social, economic, political, or religious; it legalised the Reformation, officially and indisputably. The king had to rule through the council, not over it, and all sides needed to reach a mutual agreement when creating or passing laws, adjusting or implementing taxes, or changing religious doctrines. This was significant: the monarch no longer had sole control over the country. For instance, during the later years of Mary , Parliament
Parliament
exercised its authority in originally rejecting Mary's bid to revive Catholicism in the realm. Later on, the legislative body even denied Elizabeth her request to marry. If Parliament
Parliament
had possessed this power before Cromwell, such as when Wolsey served as secretary, the Reformation may never have happened, as the king would have had to gain the consent of all parliament members before so drastically changing the country's religious laws and fundamental identity.

The power of Parliament
Parliament
increased considerably after Cromwell's adjustments. It also provided the country with unprecedented stability. More stability, in turn, helped assure more effective management, organisation, and efficiency. Parliament
Parliament
printed statutes and devised a more coherent parliamentary procedure .

The rise of Parliament
Parliament
proved especially important in the sense that it limited the repercussions of dynastic complications that had so often plunged England into civil war. Parliament
Parliament
still ran the country even in the absence of suitable heirs to throne, and its legitimacy as a decision-making body reduced the royal prerogatives of kings like Henry VIII
Henry VIII
and the importance of their whims. For example, Henry VIII could not simply establish supremacy by proclamation; he required Parliament
Parliament
to enforce statutes and add felonies and treasons. An important liberty for Parliament
Parliament
was its freedom of speech; Henry allowed anything to be spoken openly within Parliament
Parliament
and speakers could not face arrest — a fact which they exploited incessantly. Nevertheless, Parliament
Parliament
in Henry VIII's time offered up very little objection to the monarch's desires. Under his and Edward 's reign, the legislative body complied willingly with the majority of the kings' decisions.

Much of this compliance stemmed from how the English viewed and traditionally understood authority. As Williams described it, "King and parliament were not separate entities, but a single body, of which the monarch was the senior partner and the Lords and the Commons
Commons
the lesser, but still essential, members.".

The Importance Of The Commonwealth Years

The statue of Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
, as it stands outside the House of Commons
Commons
at the Palace of Westminster.

Although its role in government expanded significantly during the reigns of Henry VIII
Henry VIII
and Edward VI, the Parliament of England
Parliament of England
saw some of its most important gains in the 17th century. A series of conflicts between the Crown and Parliament
Parliament
culminated in the execution of King Charles I in 1649. Afterward, England became a commonwealth , with Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
, its lord protector, the de facto ruler. Frustrated with its decisions, Cromwell purged and suspended Parliament
Parliament
on several occasions.

A controversial figure accused of despotism, war crimes, and even genocide, Cromwell is nonetheless regarded as essential to the growth of Parliament
Parliament
in England. The years of his Commonwealth. coupled with the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 and the subsequent Glorious Revolution of 1688 , helped reinforce and strengthen Parliament
Parliament
as an institution separate from the Crown. The BBC even went so far as to dub Cromwell the "father of British democracy".

Acts Of Union

The Parliament of England
Parliament of England
met until it merged with the Parliament
Parliament
of Scotland
Scotland
under the Acts of Union . This union created the new Parliament of Great Britain in 1707.

FRANCE

Main article: French States-General

Originally, there was only the Parliament
Parliament
of Paris, born out of the Curia Regis in 1307, and located inside the medieval royal palace, now the Paris Hall of Justice . The jurisdiction of the _Parliament_ of Paris covered the entire kingdom. In the thirteenth century, judicial functions were added. In 1443, following the turmoil of the Hundred Years\' War , King Charles VII of France granted Languedoc
Languedoc
its own _parliament_ by establishing the _Parliament_ of Toulouse
Toulouse
, the first _parliament_ outside of Paris, whose jurisdiction extended over the most part of southern France. From 1443 until the French Revolution several other _parliaments_ were created in some provinces of France ( Grenoble
Grenoble
, Bordeaux ).

All the _parliaments_ could issue regulatory decrees for the application of royal edicts or of customary practices; they could also refuse to register laws that they judged contrary to fundamental law or simply as being untimely. Parliamentary power in France was suppressed more so than in England as a result of absolutism , and parliaments were eventually overshadowed by the larger Estates General , up until the French Revolution , when the National Assembly became the lower house of France's bicameral legislature.

SCOTLAND

Main article: Parliament of Scotland
Parliament of Scotland
The debating chamber of the reconvened Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament
from the public gallery.

From the 10th century the Kingdom of Alba was ruled by chiefs (_toisechs _) and subkings (_mormaers _) under the suzerainty , real or nominal, of a High King . Popular assemblies, as in Ireland, were involved in law-making, and sometimes in king-making, although the introduction of tanistry —naming a successor in the lifetime of a king—made the second less than common. These early assemblies cannot be considered "parliaments" in the later sense of the word, and were entirely separate from the later, Norman-influenced, institution.

The Parliament of Scotland
Parliament of Scotland
evolved during the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
from the King's Council of Bishops and Earls. The unicameral parliament is first found on record, referred to as a _colloquium _, in 1235 at Kirkliston (a village now in Edinburgh
Edinburgh
).

By the early fourteenth century the attendance of knights and freeholders had become important, and from 1326 burgh commissioners attended. Consisting of the Three Estates; of clerics , lay tenants-in-chief and burgh commissioners sitting in a single chamber, the Scottish parliament acquired significant powers over particular issues. Most obviously it was needed for consent for taxation (although taxation was only raised irregularly in Scotland
Scotland
in the medieval period), but it also had a strong influence over justice , foreign policy , war, and all manner of other legislation, whether political, ecclesiastical, social or economic. Parliamentary business was also carried out by "sister" institutions, before c. 1500 by General Council and thereafter by the Convention of Estates . These could carry out much business also dealt with by Parliament
Parliament
– taxation, legislation and policy-making – but lacked the ultimate authority of a full parliament.

The parliament, which is also referred to as the Estates of Scotland, the Three Estates, the Scots Parliament
Parliament
or the auld Scots Parliament (Eng : _old_), met until the Acts of Union merged the Parliament
Parliament
of Scotland
Scotland
and the Parliament of England
Parliament of England
, creating the new Parliament of Great Britain in 1707.

Following the Scottish devolution referendum, 1997 , and the passing of the Scotland Act 1998 by the Parliament of the United Kingdom , the Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament
was reconvened on 1 July 1999, although with much more limited powers than its 18th-century predecessor. The parliament has sat since 2004 at its newly constructed Scottish Parliament Building in Edinburgh, situated at the foot of the Royal Mile
Royal Mile
, next to the royal palace of Holyroodhouse
Holyroodhouse
.

NORDIC AND GERMANIC DEVELOPMENT

Iceland's parliament House, at Austurvöllur in Reykjavík , built in 1880–1881. Home of one of the oldest still-acting parliaments in the world.

A _thing _ or _ting_ ( Old Norse and Icelandic : _þing_; other modern Scandinavian : _ting_, _ding_ in Dutch ) was the governing assembly in Germanic societies, made up of the free men of the community and presided by lawspeakers . Today the term lives on in the official names of national legislatures, political and judicial institutions in the North-Germanic countries. In the Yorkshire
Yorkshire
and former Danelaw areas of England, which were subject to much Norse invasion and settlement, the wapentake was another name for the same institution.

The thing was the assembly of the free men of a country, province or a hundred _(hundare/härad/herred)_. There were consequently, hierarchies of things, so that the local things were represented at the thing for a larger area, for a province or land. At the thing, disputes were solved and political decisions were made. The place for the thing was often also the place for public religious rites and for commerce.

The thing met at regular intervals, legislated, elected chieftains and kings , and judged according to the law, which was memorised and recited by the "law speaker " (the judge).

Later national diets with chambers for different estates developed, e.g. in Sweden
Sweden
and in Finland (which was part of Sweden
Sweden
until 1809), each with a House of Knights for the nobility. In both these countries, the national parliaments are now called riksdag (in Finland also _eduskunta_), a word used since the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
and equivalent of the German word Reichstag .

POLAND

Chamber of the Sejm
Sejm
showing the hemicycle seating pattern.

According to the _Chronicles _ of Gallus Anonymus
Gallus Anonymus
, the first legendary Polish ruler, Siemowit , who began the Piast Dynasty , was chosen by a _wiec _. The _veche_ (Russian : вече, Polish : _wiec_) was a popular assembly in medieval Slavic countries, and in late medieval period, a parliament. The idea of the _wiec_ led in 1182 to the development of the Polish parliament, the _ Sejm
Sejm
_.

The term "sejm" comes from an old Polish expression denoting a meeting of the populace. The power of early sejms grew between 1146–1295, when the power of individual rulers waned and various councils and wiece grew stronger. The history of the national Sejm dates back to 1182. Since the 14th century irregular sejms (described in various Latin
Latin
sources as _contentio generalis, conventio magna, conventio solemna, parlamentum, parlamentum generale, dieta_ or Polish _sejm walny_) have been called by Polish kings. From 1374, the king had to receive sejm permission to raise taxes . The General Sejm (Polish _ Sejm
Sejm
Generalny_ or _ Sejm
Sejm
Walny_), first convoked by the king John I Olbracht in 1493 near Piotrków , evolved from earlier regional and provincial meetings (_sejmiks _). It followed most closely the _sejmik generally_, which arose from the 1454 Nieszawa Statutes
Statutes
, granted to the szlachta (nobles) by King Casimir IV the Jagiellonian . From 1493 forward, indirect elections were repeated every two years. With the development of the unique Polish Golden Liberty the Sejm's powers increased.

The Commonwealth\'s general parliament consisted of three estates: the King of Poland (who also acted as the Grand Duke of Lithuania, Russia/Ruthenia, Prussia, Mazovia, etc.), the Senat (consisting of Ministers, Palatines, Castellans and Bishops) and the Chamber of Envoys—circa 170 nobles (szlachta ) acting on behalf of their Lands and sent by Land Parliaments. Also representatives of selected cities but without any voting powers. Since 1573 at a royal election all peers of the Commonwealth could participate in the Parliament
Parliament
and become the King's electors.

UKRAINE

A Zaporizhian Sich Rada

Cossack Rada was the legislative body of a military republic of the Ukrainian Cossacks that grew rapidly in the 15th century from serfs fleeing the more controlled parts of the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth. The republic did not regard social origin/nobility and accepted all people who declared to be Orthodox Christians
Orthodox Christians
.

Originally established at the Zaporizhian Sich , the rada (council) was an institution of Cossack administration in Ukraine
Ukraine
from the 16th to the 18th century. With the establishment of the Hetman state in 1648, it was officially known as the General Military Council until 1750.

RUSSIA

State Duma of the Federal Assembly of Russia

The zemsky sobor (Russian: зе́мский собо́р) was the first Russian parliament of the feudal Estates type, in the 16th and 17th centuries. The term roughly means assembly of the land.

It could be summoned either by tsar, or patriarch, or the Boyar Duma. Three categories of population, comparable to the Estates-General of France but with the numbering of the first two Estates reversed, participated in the assembly:

Nobility and high bureaucracy, including the Boyar Duma

The Holy Sobor of high Orthodox clergy

Representatives of merchants and townspeople (third estate)

The name of the parliament of nowadays Russian Federation is the Federal Assembly of Russia . The term for its lower house, State Duma (which is better known than the Federal Assembly itself, and is often mistaken for the entirety of the parliament) comes from the Russian word _думать_ (_dumat_), "to think". The BOYAR DUMA was an advisory council to the grand princes and tsars of Muscovy
Muscovy
. The Duma was discontinued by Peter the Great , who transferred its functions to the Governing Senate
Governing Senate
in 1711.

Novgorod And Pskov

The _veche_ was the highest legislature and judicial authority in the republic of Novgorod until 1478. In its sister state, Pskov , a separate veche operated until 1510.

Since the Novgorod revolution of 1137 ousted the ruling grand prince , the veche became the supreme state authority. After the reforms of 1410, the veche was restructured on a model similar to that of Venice , becoming the Commons
Commons
chamber of the parliament. Аn upper Senate -like Council of Lords was also created, with title membership for all former city magistrates. Some sources indicate that veche membership may have become full-time, and parliament deputies were now called _vechniks_. It is recounted that the Novgorod assembly could be summoned by anyone who rung the veche bell , although it is more likely that the common procedure was more complex. This bell was a symbol of republican sovereignty and independence. The whole population of the city—boyars, merchants, and common citizens—then gathered at Yaroslav\'s Court . Separate assemblies could be held in the districts of Novgorod. In Pskov the veche assembled in the court of the Trinity cathedral.

SPAIN

Congreso de los Diputados
Congreso de los Diputados
, lower house of the Spanish Parliament. Main article: Cortes Generales

Although there are documented councils held in 873, 1020, 1050 and 1063, there was no representation of commoners. What is considered to be the first Spanish parliament (with the presence of commoners), the Cortes of León , was held in the Kingdom of León in 1188. After coming to power, King Alfonso IX , facing an attack by his two neighbors, Castile and Portugal
Portugal
, decided to summon the "Royal Curia". This was a medieval organisation composed of aristocrats and bishops but because of the seriousness of the situation and the need to maximise political support, Alfonso IX took the decision to also call the representatives of the urban middle class from the most important cities of the kingdom to the assembly. León's Cortes dealt with matters like the right to private property , the inviolability of domicile, the right to appeal to justice opposite the King and the obligation of the King to consult the Cortes before entering a war. Prelates, nobles and commoners met separately in the three estates of the Cortes. In this meeting new laws were approved to protect commoners against the arbitrarities of nobles, prelates and the king. This important set of laws is known as the _Carta Magna Leonesa_.

Following this event, new Cortes would appear in the other different territories that would make up Spain: Principality of Catalonia in 1218, the Kingdom of Castile
Kingdom of Castile
in 1250, Kingdom of Aragon in 1274, Kingdom of Valencia in 1283 and Kingdom of Navarre in 1300.

After the union of the Kingdoms of Leon and Castile under the Crown of Castile , their Cortes were united as well in 1258. The Castilian Cortes had representatives from Burgos, Toledo, León, Seville, Córdoba, Murcia, Jaén, Zamora, Segovia, Ávila, Salamanca, Cuenca, Toro, Valladolid, Soria, Madrid, Guadalajara and Granada (after 1492). The Cortes' assent was required to pass new taxes, and could also advise the king on other matters. The comunero rebels intended a stronger role for the Cortes, but were defeated by the forces of Habsburg Emperor Charles V in 1521. The Cortes maintained some power, however, though it became more of a consultative entity. However, by the time of King Philip II , Charles's son, the Castilian Cortes had come under functionally complete royal control, with its delegates dependent on the Crown for their income.

The Cortes of the Crown of Aragon
Crown of Aragon
kingdoms retained their power to control the king's spending with regard to the finances of those kingdoms. But after the War of the Spanish Succession
War of the Spanish Succession
and the victory of another royal house – the Bourbons – and King Philip V , their Cortes were suppressed (those of Aragon
Aragon
and Valencia in 1707, and those of Catalonia
Catalonia
and the Balearic islands in 1714).

Claims that Spain
Spain
was united under the Catholic Monarchs
Catholic Monarchs
in the late 15th century are belied by these facts; moreover, the very first Cortes representing the whole of Spain
Spain
(and the Spanish empire of the day) did not assemble until 1812, in Cadiz
Cadiz
, where it operated as a government in exile for, ironically, at that time most of the rest of Spain
Spain
was in the hands of Napoleon
Napoleon
's army.

THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

Main article: Conciliarism
Conciliarism

" Conciliarism
Conciliarism
" or the "conciliar movement ", was a reform movement in the 14th and 15th century Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
which held that final authority in spiritual matters resided with the Roman Church as corporation of Christians, embodied by a general church council , not with the pope . In effect, the movement sought – ultimately, in vain – to create an All-Catholic Parliament. Its struggle with the Papacy had many points in common with the struggle of parliaments in specific countries against the authority of Kings and other secular rulers.

DEVELOPMENT OF MODERN PARLIAMENTS

The development of the modern concept of parliamentary government dates back to the Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
(1707–1800) and the parliamentary system in Sweden
Sweden
during the Age of Liberty (1718–1772).

PARLIAMENTS OF THE UNITED KINGDOM

Main articles: Parliament of Great Britain and Parliament
Parliament
of the United Kingdom See also: Parliament in the Making The British Houses of Parliament
Parliament
, London
London
.

The British Parliament
Parliament
is often referred to as the _Mother of Parliaments _ (in fact a misquotation of John Bright , who remarked in 1865 that "England is the Mother of Parliaments") because the British Parliament
Parliament
has been the model for most other parliamentary systems, and its Acts have created many other parliaments. Many nations with parliaments have to some degree emulated the British "three-tier" model. Most countries in Europe and the Commonwealth have similarly organised parliaments with a largely ceremonial head of state who formally opens and closes parliament, a large elected lower house and a smaller, upper house.

The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 by the Acts of Union that replaced the former parliaments of England and Scotland
Scotland
. A further union in 1801 united the Parliament of Great Britain and the Parliament of Ireland into a Parliament of the United Kingdom .

In the United Kingdom, Parliament
Parliament
consists of the House of Commons
Commons
, the House of Lords
House of Lords
, and the Monarch
Monarch
. The House of Commons
Commons
is composed of 650 (soon to be 600) members who are directly elected by British citizens to represent single-member constituencies. The leader of a Party that wins more than half the seats, or less than half but is able to gain the support of smaller parties to achieve a majority in the house is invited by the Monarch
Monarch
to form a government. The House of Lords is a body of long-serving, unelected members: Lords Temporal - 92 of whom inherit their titles (and of whom 90 are elected internally by members of the House to lifetime seats), 588 of whom have been appointed to lifetime seats, and Lords Spiritual - 26 bishops, who are part of the house while they remain in office.

Legislation
Legislation
can originate from either the Lords or the Commons. It is voted on in several distinct stages, called readings , in each house. First reading is merely a formality. Second reading is where the bill as a whole is considered. Third reading is detailed consideration of clauses of the bill.

In addition to the three readings a bill also goes through a committee stage where it is considered in great detail. Once the bill has been passed by one house it goes to the other and essentially repeats the process. If after the two sets of readings there are disagreements between the versions that the two houses passed it is returned to the first house for consideration of the amendments made by the second. If it passes through the amendment stage Royal Assent is granted and the bill becomes law as an Act of Parliament .

The House of Lords
House of Lords
is the less powerful of the two houses as a result of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949
Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949
. These Acts removed the veto power of the Lords over a great deal of legislation. If a bill is certified by the Speaker of the House of Commons
Commons
as a money bill (i.e. acts raising taxes and similar) then the Lords can only block it for a month. If an ordinary bill originates in the Commons
Commons
the Lords can only block it for a maximum of one session of Parliament
Parliament
. The exceptions to this rule are things like bills to prolong the life of a Parliament
Parliament
beyond five years.

In addition to functioning as the second chamber of Parliament, the House of Lords
House of Lords
was also the final court of appeal for much of the law of the United Kingdom—a combination of judicial and legislative function that recalls its origin in the Curia Regis. This changed in October 2009 when the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom opened and acquired the former jurisdiction of the House of Lords.

Since 1999, there has been a Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament
in Edinburgh
Edinburgh
, which is a national, unicameral legislature for Scotland
Scotland
. However, the Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament
does not have complete power over Scottish Politics, as it only holds the powers which were devolved to it by Westminster in 1997. It cannot legislate on defence issues, currency, or national taxation (e.g. VAT, or Income Tax). Although this might change because of the outcome of the independence referendum . Additionally, the Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament
can be dissolved at any given time by the British Parliament
Parliament
without the consent of the devolved government. This applies to all devolved governments within the United Kingdom, a limit on the sovereignty of the devolved governments.

PARLIAMENT OF SWEDEN

Main article: Age of Liberty

In Sweden
Sweden
, the half-century period of parliamentary government beginning with Charles XII
Charles XII
's death in 1718 and ending with Gustav III 's self-coup in 1772 is known as the Age of Liberty . During this period, civil rights were expanded and power shifted from the monarch to parliament.

While suffrage did not become universal, the taxed peasantry was represented in Parliament, although with little influence and commoners without taxed property had no suffrage at all.

PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM

Nations with bicameral legislatures. Nations with unicameral legislatures. No legislature.

Many parliaments are part of a parliamentary system of government, in which the executive is constitutionally answerable to the parliament. Some restrict the use of the word _parliament_ to parliamentary systems, while others use the word for any elected legislative body. Parliaments usually consist of _chambers _ or _houses_, and are usually either bicameral or unicameral although more complex models exist, or have existed (_see Tricameralism )._

In some parliamentary systems, the prime minister (PM) is a member of parliament (Britain ), whereas in others not (Netherlands ). They are commonly the leader of the majority party in the lower house of parliament, but only hold the office as long as the "confidence of the house" is maintained. If members of the lower house lose faith in the leader for whatever reason, they can call a vote of no confidence and force the PM to resign.

This can be particularly dangerous to a government when the distribution of seats among different parties is relatively even, in which case a new election is often called shortly thereafter. However, in case of general discontent with the head of government, his replacement can be made very smoothly without all the complications that it represents in the case of a presidential system.

The parliamentary system can be contrasted with a presidential system , such as the American congressional system , which operates under a stricter separation of powers , whereby the executive does not form part of, nor is it appointed by, the parliamentary or legislative body. In such a system, congresses do not select or dismiss heads of governments , and governments cannot request an early dissolution as may be the case for parliaments. Some states, such as Taiwan
Taiwan
(Republic of China), have a semi-presidential system which falls between parliamentary and congressional systems, combining a powerful head of state (president) with a head of government, the prime minister, who is responsible to parliament.

LIST OF NATIONAL PARLIAMENTS

See also: List of legislatures by country The centre block of the Parliament of Canada Building in Ottawa
Ottawa
The Hungarian Parliament
Parliament
Building in Budapest
Budapest
Austrian Parliament
Parliament
Building in Vienna
Vienna
House of the National Assembly of Serbia in Belgrade Parliament of Bangladesh in Dhaka
Dhaka
The National Diet Building in Tokyo
Tokyo
Parliament
Parliament
House of Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Pakistan
Assembly of Deputies , The Parliament
Parliament
Building of Lebanon Parliament
Parliament
House , seen from Rajpath in New Delhi
New Delhi
Parliament
Parliament
House , Canberra
Canberra
, Australia
Australia

PARLIAMENTS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

* European Parliament
European Parliament
* Parliament of Austria (consisting of the National Council and the Federal Council ) * Belgian Federal Parliament (consisting of the Chamber of Representatives and the Senate
Senate
) * National Assembly of Bulgaria * Croatian Parliament
Croatian Parliament
* House of Representatives ( Cyprus
Cyprus
) * Parliament of the Czech Republic (consisting of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate
Senate
) * Folketing
Folketing
( Denmark
Denmark
) * Riigikogu ( Estonia
Estonia
) * Parliament of Finland * Parliament of France (consisting of the National Assembly and the Senate
Senate
) * Bundestag
Bundestag
( Germany
Germany
) * Hellenic Parliament
Hellenic Parliament
( Greece
Greece
) * National Assembly ( Hungary
Hungary
) * Oireachtas ( Ireland
Ireland
) (consisting of the President of Ireland
Ireland
, Dáil Éireann
Dáil Éireann
(Lower House) and Seanad Éireann (Senate)) * Parliament of Italy (consisting of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate
Senate
) * Saeima
Saeima
( Latvia
Latvia
) * Seimas ( Lithuania
Lithuania
) * Chamber of Deputies ( Luxembourg
Luxembourg
) * House of Representatives ( Malta
Malta
) * States General of the Netherlands (consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate
Senate
) * National Assembly of the Republic of Poland (consisting of the Sejm
Sejm
and the Senate
Senate
) * Assembly of the Republic ( Portugal
Portugal
) * Parliament of Romania (consisting of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate
Senate
) * National Council ( Slovakia
Slovakia
) * Parliament of Slovenia (consisting of the National Assembly and the National Council ) * Cortes Generales ( Spain
Spain
) (consisting of the Congress
Congress
of Deputies and the Senate
Senate
) * Riksdag
Riksdag
( Sweden
Sweden
) * Parliament of the United Kingdom (consisting of the Queen , the House of Commons
Commons
and the House of Lords
House of Lords
)

OTHERS

* Parliament of Albania

* Parliament
Parliament
of Australia
Australia
(consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate
Senate
)

* The federal government of the Commonwealth of Australia
Australia
has a bicameral PARLIAMENT and each of Australia\'s six states has a bicameral PARLIAMENT except for Queensland
Queensland
, which has a unicameral parliament.

* Jatiya Sangsad ( Bangladesh
Bangladesh
) * Parliament of Barbados

* Parliament of Canada (consisting of the Queen , an Upper House styled the Senate
Senate
, and the House of Commons
Commons
)

* The federal government of Canada has a bicameral PARLIAMENT, and each of Canada\'s 10 provinces has a unicameral PARLIAMENT.

* National People\'s Congress
Congress
of the People\'s Republic of China

* Legislative Council of Hong Kong

* Løgtingið ( Faroe Islands ) * Parliament of Fiji * Parliament of Ghana * Parliament
Parliament
of Iceland * Parliament of India
Parliament of India
(consisting of the Lok Sabha
Lok Sabha
and the Rajya Sabha ) * Council of Representatives of Iraq * National Diet of Japan (consisting of the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors ) * Parliament of Lebanon * Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia * Parliament
Parliament
of the Isle of Man – Tynwald * Knesset
Knesset
( Israel
Israel
) * Parliament of Malaysia * Parliament of Montenegro
Parliament of Montenegro
* Parliament of Morocco
Parliament of Morocco
* Parliament of Nauru * Parliament of Nepal (recently reorganised) * Parliament of New Zealand * Parliament of Norway (_Storting_) * Majlis-e-Shoora , Pakistan
Pakistan
* National Assembly of Serbia * Parliament of Singapore * Parliament of South Africa * Parliament of Sri Lanka * National Assembly of Thailand * Parliament of the Central Tibetan Administration * Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago * Grand National Assembly of Turkey * Verkhovna Rada
Verkhovna Rada
of Ukraine * Parliament of Zimbabwe

LIST OF SUBNATIONAL PARLIAMENTARY GOVERNMENTS

AUSTRALIA

Main article: Parliaments of the Australian states and territories

Australia's States and territories:

* Parliament of New South Wales
Parliament of New South Wales
* Parliament of Victoria * Parliament
Parliament
of Queensland
Queensland
* Parliament
Parliament
of Western Australia
Australia
* Parliament
Parliament
of South Australia
Australia
* Parliament of Tasmania * Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly * Parliament of the Northern Territory

BELGIUM

In the federal (bicameral) kingdom of Belgium, there is a curious asymmetrical constellation serving as directly elected legislatures for three "territorial" _regions_— Flanders
Flanders
(Dutch ), Brussels (bilingual, certain peculiarities of competence, also the only region not comprising any of the 10 provinces) and Wallonia (French)—and three cultural _communities_—Flemish (Dutch, competent in Flanders and for the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of Brussels), Francophone (French, for Wallonia and for Francophones in Brussels) and German (for speakers of that language in a few designated municipalities in the east of the Walloon Region, living alongside Francophones but under two different regimes)

* Vlaams Parliament
Parliament
(" Flemish Parliament "; originally styled Vlaamse Raad "Flemish Council") served both the Flemish Community (whose same it uses) and, in application of a Belgian constitutional option, of the region of Flanders
Flanders
(in all matters of regional competence, its decisions have no effect in Brussels) * Parliament
Parliament
of the French Community * parliament of the German Community * parliament of the Walloon region * parliament of the Brussels
Brussels
\'capital\' region ;

within the capital's regional assembly however, there also exist two so-called _Community Commissions_ (fixed numbers, not an automatic repartition of the regional assembly), a Dutch-speaking one and a Francophone one , for various matters split up by linguistic community but under Brussels' regional competence, and even 'joint community commissions' consisting of both for certain institutions that could be split up but are not.

CANADA

Main article: Legislative assemblies of Canadian provinces and territories

Canada's provinces and territories:

* Legislature
Legislature
of Ontario * Quebec Legislature
Legislature
* General Assembly of Nova Scotia * New Brunswick Legislature
Legislature
* Manitoba Legislature
Legislature
* Parliament of British Columbia * General Assembly of Prince Edward Island * Saskatchewan Legislature
Legislature
* Alberta Legislature
Legislature
* General Assembly of Newfoundland and Labrador * Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories * Yukon Legislative Assembly * Legislative Assembly of Nunavut

KINGDOM OF DENMARK

* Inatsisartut * Løgting

FINLAND

* Parliament of Åland

GERMANY

* State legislatures of Germany
Germany

MALAYSIA

Main article: State legislative assemblies of Malaysia

NETHERLANDS

* States-Provincial

NORWAY

Main article: Subnational parliamentary system in Norway

SPAIN

Main article: List of Spanish regional legislatures

SWITZERLAND

Main article: List of cantonal legislatures of Switzerland
Switzerland

UNITED KINGDOM

* Northern Ireland
Ireland
Assembly * Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament
* Welsh Assembly

OTHER PARLIAMENTS

CONTEMPORARY SUPRANATIONAL PARLIAMENTS

Main articles: International parliament and Inter-parliamentary institution _List is not exhaustive_

* Pan-African Parliament * Central American Parliament * Latin
Latin
American Parliament
Parliament
* European Parliament
European Parliament

EQUIVALENT NATIONAL LEGISLATURES

* Majlis
Majlis
, e.g. in Iran * in Afghanistan: Wolesi Jirga (elected, legislative lower house) and Meshrano Jirga (mainly advisory, indirect representation); in special cases, e.g. as constituent assembly, a Loya Jirga * in Indonesia: People\'s Consultative Assembly , consists of People\'s Representative Council (elected, legislative lower house) and Regional Representative Council (elected, legislative upper house with limited powers)

DEFUNCT

* Parliament
Parliament
of Southern Ireland
Ireland
(1921–1922) * People\'s Parliament
Parliament
(1940s) * Silesian Parliament (1922–1945) * Parliament
Parliament
of Northern Ireland
Ireland
(1921–1973) * Batasang Pambansâ (1978-1986) * National Assembly of the Republic of China (1913–2005)

SEE ALSO

* Congress
Congress
* Delegated legislation * Democratic mundialization * Government
Government
* History of democracy * Inter-Parliamentary Union * Legislation
Legislation
* Parliamentary procedure * Parliamentary records * Parliament
Parliament
of the World\'s Religions * List of current presidents of assembly

REFERENCES

* ^ _ Oxford English Dictionary _, Third Edition, 2005, _s.v._ * ^ "Hurstwic: Viking-age Laws and Legal Procedures". * ^ "The Faroese Parliament" (PDF). * ^ Political System Encyclopædia Britannica Online * ^ Jacobsen, T. (July 1943). "Primitive Democracy
Democracy
in Ancient Mesopotamia". Journal of Near Eastern Studies 2 (3): 159–172. * ^ Robinson, E. W. (1997). The First Democracies: Early Popular Government
Government
Outside Athens. Franz Steiner Verlag. ISBN 3-515-06951-8 . * ^ Bailkey, N. (July 1967). "Early Mesopotamian Constitutional Development". American History Review 72 (4): 1211–1236. http://www.jstor.org/pss/1847791. * ^ Larsen, J.A.O. (Jan. 1973). "Demokratia". Classical Philology 68 (1): 45–46. * ^ de Sainte, C.G.E.M. (2006). The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-1442-3 . https://books.google.com/books?id=LkYIAAAAIAAJ. * ^ Bongard-Levin, G.M. (1986). A complex study of Ancient India. South Asia Books. ISBN 81-202-0141-8 . * ^ Sharma, J.P. (1968). Aspects of Political Ideas and Institutions in Ancient India. Motilal Banarsidass Publ.. https://books.google.com/books?id=sQKNAAAAMAAJ. * ^ John Dunn:_Democracy: A History_, p.24 * ^ Abbott, Frank Frost (1901). A History and Description of Roman Political Institutions. Elibron Classics. ISBN 0-543-92749-0 . * ^ Byrd, Robert (1995). The Senate
Senate
of the Roman Republic. US Government
Government
Printing Office Senate
Senate
Document 103–23. * ^ "The Shura Principle in Islam - by Sadek Sulaiman". _alhewar.com_. * ^ _The System of Islam, (Nidham ul Islam)_ by Taqiuddin an-Nabhani, Al-Khilafa Publications, 1423 AH – 2002 CE, p.61 * ^ _The System of Islam_, by Taqiuddin an-Nabhani, p.39 * ^ "Ijtihad » Shura and Democracy". _ijtihad.org_. * ^ Liebermann, Felix, The National Assembly in the Anglo-Saxon Period (Halle, 1913; repr. New York, 1961). * ^ " Anglo-Saxon origins". _UK Parliament_. * ^ Kaeuper, Richard W. (1988). _War Justice
Justice
and Public Order: England and France in the Later Middle Ages_. Oxford University Press.

* ^ "Birth of the English Parliament: The first Parliaments". Parliament.uk. Retrieved 13 May 2010. * ^ "Was Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
the father of British democracy?". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 5 Nov 2015. * ^ Michael Burger: The Shaping of Western Civilization: From Antiquity To the Enlightenment. Page: 190 * ^ Susana Galera: Judicial Review: A Comparative Analysis Inside the European Legal System. Page: 21 * ^ Gaines Post: Studies in Medieval
Medieval
Legal Thought: Public Law And the State, 1100-1322 Page 62 * ^ Spain
Spain
(February 2012). "International Memory of the World Register - The Decreta of León of 1188 - The oldest documentary manifestation of the European parliamentary system" (PDF). Retrieved 21 May 2016. * ^ Catedrático de la Universidad Estatal de León López González, Hermenegildo; Catedrático de la Universidad Internacional en Moscú Raytarovskiy, V.V. "The Leones parliament of 1188: The first parliament of the western world (The Magna Carta
Magna Carta
of Alfonso IX)" (PDF). Retrieved 21 May 2016. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link ) * ^ Haliczer, Stephen (1981). _The Comuneros of Castile: The Forging of a Revolution, 1475–1521_. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. p. 227. ISBN 0-299-08500-7 . * ^ Seidle, F. Leslie; Docherty, David C. (2003). _Reforming parliamentary democracy_. McGill-Queen's University Press. p. 3. ISBN 9780773525085 . * ^ Julian Go (2007). "A Globalizing Constitutionalism?, Views from the Postcolony, 1945-2000". In Arjomand, Saïd Amir. _Constitutionalism and political reconstruction_. Brill. pp. 92–94. ISBN 9004151745 . * ^ "How the Westminster Parliamentary System was exported around the World". University of Cambridge. 2 December 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013.

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