Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Bicameralism is a type of legislature that is divided into two separate assemblies, chambers, or houses, known as a bicameral legislature. Bicameralism is distinguished from unicameralism, in which all members deliberate and vote as a single group. As of 2022, roughly 40% of world's national legislatures are bicameral, while unicameralism represents 60% nationally,[1] and much more at the subnational level.

Often, the members of the two chambers are elected or selected by different methods, which vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. This can often lead to the two chambers having very different compositions of members.

primary legislation often requires a concurrent majority—the approval of a majority of members in each of the chambers of the legislature. When this is the case, the legislature may be called an example of perfect bicameralism. However, in many parliamentary and semi-presidential systems, the house to which the executive is responsible (e.g. House of Commons of UK and National Assembly of France) can overrule the other house (e.g. House of Lords of UK and Senate
of France) and may be regarded as an example of imperfect bicameralism. Some legislatures lie in between these two positions, with one house able to overrule the other only under certain circumstances.

History of bicameral legislatures

The British Parliament is often referred to as the "

Houses of Parliament

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 (unlike Britain) a smaller upper house.[3][4]

The Founding Fathers of the United States also favoured a bicameral legislature. The idea was to have the Senate be wealthier and wiser. Benjamin Rush saw this though, and noted that "this type of dominion is almost always connected with opulence". The Senate was created to be a stabilising force, not elected by mass electors, but selected by the State legislators. Senators would be more knowledgeable and more deliberate—a sort of republican nobility—and a counter to what James Madison saw as the "fickleness and passion" that could absorb the House.[5]

He noted further that "The use of the Senate is to consist in its proceeding with more coolness, with more system and with more wisdom, than the popular branch." Madison's argument led the Framers to grant the Senate prerogatives in foreign policy, an area where steadiness, discretion, and caution were deemed especially important.[5] State legislators chose the Senate, and senators had to possess significant property to be deemed worthy and sensible enough for the position. In 1913, the 17th Amendment passed, which mandated choosing Senators by popular vote rather than State legislatures.[5]

As part of the

Great Compromise
, the Founding Fathers invented a new rationale for bicameralism in which the Senate had an equal number of delegates per state, and the House had representatives by relative populations.

Rationale for bicameralism and criticism

A formidable sinister interest may always obtain the complete command of a dominant assembly by some chance and for a moment, and it is therefore of great use to have a second chamber of an opposite sort, differently composed, in which that interest in all likelihood will not rule.

— Walter Bagehot, "The English Constitution", in Norman St John-Stevas, ed., The Collected Works of Walter Bagehot, London, The Economist, vol. 5, pp. 273–274.

Federal states have often adopted it as an awkward compromise between existing power held equally by each state or territory and a more democratic proportional legislature.[6] For states considering a different constitutional arrangement that may shift power to new groupings, bicameralism could be demanded by currently hegemonic groups who would otherwise prevent any structural shift (e.g. military dictatorships, aristocracies).

The growing awareness of the complexity of the notion of representation and the multi-functional nature of modern legislatures may be affording incipient new rationales for second chambers, though these do generally remain contested institutions in ways that first chambers are not. An example of political controversy regarding a second chamber has been the debate over the powers of the

Senate of France.[7] Bicameral legislatures as a result have been trending down for some time with unicameral, proportional legislatures seen as more democratic and effective.[8]

The relationship between the two chambers varies: in some cases, they have equal power, while in others, one chamber (the directly elected lower house with proportional representation

checks and balances
" provided by the bicameral model, which they believe help prevent ill-considered legislation.

Communication between houses

Formal communication between houses is by various methods, including:[9]

Sending messages
Formal notices, such as of resolutions or the passing of bills, usually done in writing, via the clerk and speaker of each house.
of bills or amendment to bills requiring agreement from the other house.
Joint session
a plenary session of both houses at the same time and place.
Joint committees
which may be formed by committees of each house agreeing to join, or by joint resolution of each house. The United States Congress has conference committees to resolve discrepancies between House and Senate versions of a bill, similar to "Conferences" in Westminster parliaments.
Conferences of the Houses of the English (later British) Parliament met in the Painted Chamber of the Palace of Westminster.[10] Historically there were two distinct types: "ordinary" and "free". The British Parliament last held an ordinary conference in 1860—its elaborate procedure yielding to the simpler sending of messages. A free conference resolves a dispute through "managers" meeting less formally in private. The last free conference at Westminster was in 1836 on an amendment to the Municipal Corporations Act 1835;[11] the previous one had been in 1740—with not much more success than ordinary conferences, the free type yielded to the greater transparency of messages.[12] In the Parliament of Australia there have been two formal conferences, in 1930 and 1931, but many informal conferences.[9][13] As of 2007 the "Conference of Managers" remains the usual procedure for dispute resolution in the Parliament of South Australia.[14] In the Parliament of New South Wales in 2011, the Legislative Assembly requested a free conference with the Legislative Council over a bill on graffiti; after a year the Council refused, describing the mechanism as archaic and inappropriate.[13] The two houses of the Parliament of Canada have also used conferences, but not since 1947 (although they retain the option).

Examples of bicameralism at the national level


Federal Senate

Some countries, such as Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Switzerland, and the United States, link their bicameral systems to their federal political structure.

In the United States, Australia, Mexico, Brazil and Nepal for example, each state or province is given the same number of seats in one of the houses of the legislature, despite variance between the populations of the states or provinces.


The federal bicameral Parliament of Canada, which contains a House of Commons and a Senate

Canada's elected lower house, the

Independent Advisory Board
as of 2016.

The Government (i.e. executive) is responsible to and must maintain the confidence of the elected House of Commons. Although the two chambers formally have many of the same powers, this accountability clearly makes the Commons dominant—determining which party is in power, approving its proposed budget and (largely) the laws enacted. The Senate primarily acts as a chamber of revision: it almost never rejects bills passed by the Commons but does regularly amend them; such amendments respect each bill's purpose, so they are usually acceptable to the Commons. Occasionally, the two houses cannot come to an agreement on an amendment, which results in rare instances of a key Government bill failing.[citation needed] The Senate's power to investigate issues of concern to Canada can raise their profile (sometimes sharply) on voters' political agendas.


The federal bicameral Parliament of Australia, which contains a House of Representatives and a Senate

The bicameral Parliament of Australia consists of two Houses: the lower house is called the House of Representatives and the upper house is named the Senate. As of 31 August 2017,[15] the lower house has 151 members, each elected from single-member constituencies, known as electoral divisions (commonly referred to as "electorates" or "seats") using full-preference instant-runoff voting. This tends to lead to the chamber being dominated by two major groups, the Liberal/National Coalition and the Labor Party. The government of the day must achieve the confidence of this House to gain and hold power.

The upper house, the Senate, is also popularly elected, under the

Australian states (regardless of population) and 2 from each of the 2 autonomous internal territories (the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory
). This makes the total number 76, i.e. 6×12 + 2×2.

Unlike upper houses in most Westminster parliamentary systems, the Australian Senate is vested with significant power, including the capacity to block legislation initiated by the government in the House of Representatives, making it a distinctive hybrid of British Westminster bicameralism and US-style bicameralism. As a result of proportional representation, the chamber features a multitude of parties vying for power. The governing party or coalition, which must maintain the confidence of the lower house, rarely has a majority in the Senate and usually needs to negotiate with other parties and Independents to get legislation passed.[16]


In German, Indian, and Pakistani systems, the upper houses (the

Bundesrat, the various Länder have between three and six votes; thus, while the less populated states have a lower weight, they still have a stronger voting power than would be the case in a system based proportionately on population, as the most populous Land currently has about 27 times the population of the least populous
. The Indian upper house does not have the states represented equally, but on the basis of their population.

There is also bicameralism in countries that are not federations, but have upper houses with representation on a territorial basis. For example, in South Africa, the National Council of Provinces (and before 1997, the Senate) has its members chosen by each province's legislature.

In Spain, the

Autonomous Communities
to reform it into a strictly territorial chamber.

The European Union maintains a somewhat close to bicameral legislative system consisting of the European Parliament, which is elected in elections on the basis of universal suffrage, and the Council of the European Union, which consists of one representative for each government of member countries, who are competent for a relevant field of legislation. Though the European Union has a highly unusual character in terms of legislature, one could say that the closest point of equivalency lies within bicameral legislatures.[18] The European Union is considered neither a country nor a state, but it enjoys the power to address national Governments in many areas.

Aristocratic and post-aristocratic

In a few countries, bicameralism involves the juxtaposition of democratic and aristocratic elements.

House of Lords of the United Kingdom

The best known example is the British

Houses of Parliament. If not passed within two sessions, the House of Commons
can override the Lords' delay by invoking the Parliament Act. Certain legislation, however, must be approved by both Houses without being forced by the Commons under the Parliament Act. These include any bill that would extend the time length of a Parliament, private bills, bills sent to the House of Lords less than one month before the end of a session, and bills that originated in the House of Lords.

Life Peers are appointed either by recommendation of the Appointment Commission (the independent body that vets non-partisan peers, typically from academia, business or culture) or by Dissolution Honours, which take place at the end of every Parliamentary term when leaving MPs may be offered a seat to keep their institutional memory. It is traditional to offer a peerage to every outgoing Speaker of the House of Commons.[19]

Further reform of the Lords has been proposed; however, no proposed reforms have been able to achieve public consensus or government support. Members of the House of Lords all have an aristocratic title, or are from the

Lords Spiritual (the Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York, the Bishop of London, the Bishop of Durham, the Bishop of Winchester and the next 21 longest-serving Bishops). It is usual that retiring Archbishops, and certain other Bishops, are appointed to the Crossbenches
and given a life peerage.

Until 2009, 12

Lords of Appeal in Ordinary sat in the House as the highest court in the land; they subsequently became justices of the newly created Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
. As of 16 February 2021, 803 people sit in the House of Lords, with 92 Hereditary Peers, 26 Lords Spiritual and 685 Life Peers. Membership is not fixed and decreases only on the death, retirement or resignation of a peer.

Japan's former House of Peers

Another example of aristocratic bicameralism was the Japanese House of Peers, abolished after World War II and replaced with the present House of Councillors.

Unitary states

National Assembly, meets at the Palais Bourbon

Many unitary states like Italy, France, the Netherlands, the Philippines, the Czech Republic, the Republic of Ireland and Romania have bicameral systems. In countries such as these, the upper house generally focuses on scrutinizing and possibly vetoing the decisions of the lower house.

Italian Parliament

On the other hand, in

Chamber of Deputies (considered the lower house). The main difference among the two chambers is the way the two chambers are composed: the deputies, in fact, are elected on a nationwide basis, whilst the members of the Senate are elected on a regional basis: this may lead to different majorities among the two chambers because, for example, a party may be the first nationally but second or third in some regions. Considering that in the Italian Republic the Government needs to win confidence votes in both the chambers, it may happen that a Government has a strong majority (usually) in the Chamber of Deputies and a weak one (or no majority at all) in the Senate. This has led sometimes to legislative deadlocks, and has caused instability in the Italian Government.[20][21][22]

Indirectly elected Upper Houses (France, Ireland, Netherlands)

In some of these countries, the upper house is indirectly elected. Members of France's

is chosen by members of provincial assemblies (who, in turn, are directly elected).

Semi-bicameral (Hong Kong, Northern Ireland; earlier in Norway, the Netherlands)



Another similar situation are cross-community votes in Northern Ireland when the petition of concern procedure is invoked.

semi-bicameral legislature with two chambers, or departments, within the same elected body, the Storting. These were called the Odelsting and were abolished after the general election of 2009. According to Morten Søberg, there was a related system in the 1798 constitution of the Batavian Republic.[23]

Examples of bicameralism in subnational entities

In some countries with federal systems, individual states (like those of the

Canadian provinces
all abolished upper houses).


unicameral systems in 1990 and 2001 respectively.[24] Santiago del Estero
changed to a bicameral legislature in 1884, but changed back to a unicameral system in 1903.


When the Australian states were founded as British colonies in the 19th century, they each had a bicameral Parliament. The lower house was traditionally elected based on the one-vote-one-value principle, with universal male suffrage, later expanded to women, whereas the upper house was either appointed on the advice of the government or elected, with a strong bias towards country voters and landowners. After Federation, these became the state Parliaments. In Queensland, the appointed upper house was abolished in 1922, while in New South Wales there were similar attempts at abolition, before the upper house was reformed in the 1970s to provide for direct election.[25]

Beginning in the 1970s, Australian states began to reform their upper houses to introduce proportional representation in line with the Federal Senate. The first was the South Australian Legislative Council in 1973, which initially used a party list system (replaced with STV in 1982),[26] followed by the Single Transferable Vote being introduced for the New South Wales Legislative Council in 1978,[27] the Western Australian Legislative Council in 1987[28] and the Victorian Legislative Council in 2003.[29]

Nowadays, the upper house both federally and in most states is elected using

upper house.[30]

Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Legislature of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of the two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is a bicameral legislative body. The House of Representatives has 98 delegates, elected for four-year terms by proportional representation. The House of Peoples has 58 members, 17 delegates from among each of the constituent peoples of the Federation, and 7 delegates from among the other peoples.[31] Republika Srpska, the other entity, has a unicameral parliament, known as the National Assembly,[32] but there is also a Council of Peoples who is de facto the other legislative house.[33]


Only 6 of the 36 states or Union Territories of India have bicameral legislatures,

Legislative Council
(Vidhan Parishad) or Vidhana Parishat, one-third of whose members are elected every two years. Members of the Legislative Council are elected in various ways:

From 1956 to 1958 the Andhra Pradesh Legislature was unicameral. In 1958, when the State Legislative Council was formed, it became bicameral until 1 June 1985 when it was abolished. This continued until March 2007 when the State Legislative Council was reestablished and elections were held for its seats. In

state legislatures.[citation needed

United States

During the 1930s, the Legislature of the State of Nebraska was reduced from

conference committee
" process would be eliminated.

A conference committee is appointed when the two chambers cannot agree on the same wording of a proposal, and consists of a small number of legislators from each chamber. This tends to place much power in the hands of only a small number of legislators. Whatever legislation, if any, the conference committee finalizes is presented in an unamendable "take-it-or-leave-it" manner by both chambers.

During his term as governor of the State of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura proposed converting the Minnesotan legislature to a single chamber with proportional representation, as a reform that he felt would solve many legislative difficulties and impinge upon legislative corruption. In his book on political issues, Do I Stand Alone?, Ventura argued that bicameral legislatures for provincial and local areas were excessive and unnecessary, and discussed unicameralism as a reform that could address many legislative and budgetary problems for states.


The German federal state of

was abolished by a referendum amending the state's constitution. The other 15 states have used a unicameral system since their founding.

In the Soviet Union, regional and local Soviets were unicameral. After the adoption of the 1993 Russian Constitution, bicameralism was introduced in some regions. Bicameral regional legislatures are still technically allowed by federal law but this clause is dormant now. The last region to switch from bicameralism to unicameralism was Sverdlovsk Oblast in 2012.


Arab political reform

A 2005 report[35] on democratic reform in the Arab world by the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations co-sponsored by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright urged Arab states to adopt bicameralism, with upper chambers appointed on a 'specialized basis'. The Council claimed that this would protect against the 'Tyranny of the majority', expressing concerns that without a system of checks and balances extremists would use the single chamber parliaments to restrict the rights of minority groups.

In 2002, Bahrain adopted a bicameral system with an elected lower chamber and an appointed upper house. This led to a boycott of parliamentary elections that year by the Al Wefaq party, who said that the government would use the upper house to veto their plans. Many secular critics of bicameralism were won around to its benefits in 2005, after many MPs in the lower house voted for the introduction of so-called morality police.


A referendum on introducing a unicameral Parliament instead of the current bicameral Parliament was held in Romania on 22 November 2009. The turnout rate was 50.95%, with 77.78% of "Yes" votes for a unicameral Parliament.[36] This referendum had a consultative role, thus requiring a parliamentary initiative and another referendum to ratify the new proposed changes.

Ivory Coast

A referendum on a new constitution was held on 30 October 2016. The constitution draft would create a bicameral Parliament instead of the current unicameral. The Senate is expected to represent the interests of territorial collectivities and Ivoirians living abroad. Two thirds of the Senate is to be elected at the same time as the general election. The remaining one third is appointed by the president elect.[37]




Country Bicameral body Notes
Upper house Lower house
National Congress
Of the twenty-three provincial legislatures, eight (
Autonomous City of Buenos Aires
are unicameral.
Senate Chamber of Deputies
 Australia Parliament All of the state parliaments except Queensland's are also bicameral. The legislatures of the NT and the ACT are unicameral.
Senate House of Representatives
 Austria Parliament All of the
have unicameral parliaments.
(Federal Council)
Nationalrat (National Council)
 Belgium Federal Parliament All of the
community and regional
parliaments are unicameral.
Chamber of Representatives
 Bosnia and Herzegovina Parliamentary Assembly The Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is also bicameral, while the National Assembly of Republika Srpska is unicameral.
House of Peoples House of Representatives
 Brazil National Congress All of the 26 state legislatures and the Federal District legislature are unicameral.
Chamber of Deputies
 Canada Parliament All of the provincial and territorial legislatures are unicameral.
Senate House of Commons
 Ethiopia Federal Parliamentary Assembly Regional Councils are unicameral. Assemblypersons of the Regional Councils are elected directly.
House of Federation House of Peoples' Representatives
 Germany N/A In Germany, the chambers form two distinct constitutional bodies not framed by a comprehensive institution. German jurisprudence doesn't recognise the Bundesrat as a parliament chamber, because it consists of members of the state governments. Although it must always be heard in the legislative process, it only has to give consent to bills in certain defined areas. All of the federal states (Länder) today have unicameral Landtage.
(Federal Council)
Bundestag (Federal Diet)
 India Parliament Six of the
State Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) respectively. The remaining twenty-two states and the union territories of Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir and Puducherry
have unicameral legislatures.
Rajya Sabha (Council of States) Lok Sabha (House of the People)
 Malaysia Parliament All the 13 State Legislative Assemblies are unicameral.
Dewan Negara (Senate) Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives)
All the 31 State Congresses and the Congress of Mexico City are unicameral.
Chamber of Deputies
All of the provincial assemblies are unicameral.[38]
Rastriya Sabha (National Assembly) Pratinidhi Sabha (House of Representatives)
 Nigeria National Assembly
Senate House of Representatives
 Pakistan Parliament All of the provincial assemblies are unicameral.
Senate National Assembly
 Russia Federal Assembly All the regional legislatures are now unicameral while bicameralism in regions is technically allowed by the Federation.
Federation Council
State Duma
 Somalia Parliament
House of The People
Federal Assembly
All of the cantons have unicameral parliaments.
Council of States
National Council
 United States Congress All of the state legislatures, except
Nebraska, are also bicameral. The Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico is bicameral. The Council of the District of Columbia
is unicameral.
Senate House of Representatives


Country Bicameral body Notes
Upper house Lower house
 Algeria Parliament
Council of the Nation People's National Assembly
 Antigua and Barbuda Parliament
House of Representatives
 Bahamas Parliament
Senate House of Assembly
 Bahrain National Assembly
Consultative Council
Council of Representatives
 Barbados Parliament
Senate House of Assembly
 Belarus National Assembly
House of Representatives
 Belize National Assembly
House of Representatives
 Bhutan Parliament
National Council National Assembly
 Bolivia Plurinational Legislative Assembly
Senate Chamber of Deputies
 Burundi Parliament
National Assembly
 Cambodia Parliament
National Assembly
 Cameroon Parliament
National Assembly
 Central African Republic Parliament
National Assembly
 Chile National Congress
Senate Chamber of Deputies
 Colombia Congress
Senate Chamber of Representatives
 Czech Republic Parliament
Chamber of Deputies
 DR Congo Parliament
National Assembly
 Congo Parliament
National Assembly
 Dominican Republic Congress
Senate Chamber of Deputies
 Equatorial Guinea Parliament
Senate National Assembly
 Eswatini Parliament
Senate House of Assembly
 France Parliament in the Fifth French Republic All
Regional Councils
are unicameral. The regional councillors are elected directly.
Senate National Assembly
 Gabon Parliament
National Assembly
 Grenada Parliament
Senate House of Representatives
Senate Chamber of Deputies
 Indonesia People's Consultative Assembly All of the provinces have unicameral parliaments.
Regional Representative Council People's Representative Council
 Ireland Oireachtas A 2013 proposal to abolish the Seanad was defeated at referendum.
Seanad Éireann (Senate of Ireland) Dáil Éireann (Assembly of Ireland)
 Italy Parliament Both houses possess the same powers. The executive is responsible to both houses. All of the regional councils are unicameral.
Senate of the Republic
Chamber of Deputies
 Ivory Coast Parliament
Senate National Assembly
 Jamaica Parliament
Senate House of Representatives
 Japan National Diet
House of Councillors
House of Representatives
 Jordan Parliament
Senate House of Representatives
 Kazakhstan Parliament
(Assembly of People)
 Kenya Parliament
National Assembly
 Lesotho Parliament
Senate National Assembly
 Liberia Legislature
Senate House of Representatives
 Madagascar Parliament
National Assembly
 Morocco Parliament
House of Councillors House of Representatives
Pyidaungsu Hluttaw
(Assembly of the Union)
All the 14 State and Region Hluttaw (Assemblies) are unicameral.
Amyotha Hluttaw
(House of Nationalities)
Pyithu Hluttaw
(House of Representatives)
 Namibia Parliament
National Council
National Assembly
 Netherlands States General
Eerste Kamer
Tweede Kamer
Majlis al-Dawla
(Council of State)
Majlis al-Shura
(Consultative Assembly)
 Palau National Congress
Senate House of Delegates
 Paraguay Congress
Senate Chamber of Deputies
 Philippines Congress The Bangsamoro Parliament of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and all Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Council), Sangguniang Panlungsod (City Council), and Sangguiniang Bayan (Municipal Council) are unicameral.
Senate House of Representatives
National Assembly
All of the voivodeship sejmiks are unicameral.
Sejm (Diet
 Romania Parliament
Chamber of Deputies
 Rwanda Parliament
Senate Chamber of Deputies
 Saint Lucia Parliament
Senate House of Assembly
 Slovenia Parliament In 2008, the Constitutional Court of Slovenia recognized the Slovenian Parliament as incompletely bicameral.
National Council National Assembly
 Somaliland Parliament Each house has 82 members. The constitution of Somaliland does not clarify how members of the elders house are elected. But the members of the house of representative are elected once every five years.
House of Elders House of Representatives
 South Africa Parliament All of the provincial legislatures are unicameral.
National Council of Provinces National Assembly
 Spain Cortes Generales A fixed number of 208 members of the Senate are elected by citizens, a variable number (currently 57) are appointed by the
absolute majority affirmative vote. Moreover, each Spanish autonomous region has its own unicameral regional parliament
, with wide-ranging legislative powers on their own.
Congress of Deputies
 Tajikistan Supreme Assembly
National Assembly Assembly of Representatives
National Assembly
Senate House of Representatives
 Trinidad and Tobago Parliament The Tobago House of Assembly in the island of Tobago is unicameral.
House of Representatives
 Turkmenistan National Council
People's Council Assembly
 United Kingdom Parliament Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have devolved unicameral legislatures, each with a varying range of powers.
House of Lords
House of Commons
 Uruguay General Assembly
Senate Chamber of Representatives
 Uzbekistan Oliy Majlis
Senate Legislative Chamber
 Yemen Parliament
Shura Council House of Representatives
 Zimbabwe Parliament
Senate National Assembly of Zimbabwe


 Denmark Rigsdagen Under the 1849 constitution Rigsdagen was created, with two houses, an upper and a lower house. However, after the 1953 referendum, both Rigsdagen and the Landsting was abolished, making the Folketing the sole chamber of the parliament.
Landsting (Upper house
Folketing (Lower house)
 Greece Parliament of the Hellenes The
Kingdom of Greece
at 1935.
Gerousia (Senate) Vouli (Chamber of Deputies)
 Iceland Parliament Once the Icelandic Parliament was restored by royal decree in 1844, it originally operated unicamerally from 1845 to 1874 when it became principally bicameral with an additional third chamber, known as Unified Parliament. However, the third chamber consisted of the union of the other two and deliberated as a single body, which makes some scholars classify it as only a bicameral system. However, the third chamber did have its own speaker distinct from the speakers for the other two chambers. The Icelandic Parliament followed the legislatures of Denmark and Sweden and became unicameral once more in 1991.
Upper Chamber Lower Chamber
 Korea, South
National Assembly
Under the first constitution (
second republic (1960–61), the National Assembly became practically bicameral, but it was overturned by the May 16 coup
. The National Assembly has been unicameral since its reopen in 1963.
House of Commons
 New Zealand Parliament Until 1950, the New Zealand Parliament was bicameral. It became unicameral in 1951, following the abolition of the Legislative Council, leaving the House of Representatives as the sole parliamentary chamber.
Legislative Council
House of Representatives
 Peru Congress The
1992 autocoup. Later, under the newer 1993 constitution, the bicameral system was replaced by the unicameral Congress of the Republic
Senate Chamber of Deputies
 Portugal Cortes During the period of Constitutional Monarchy, the Portuguese Parliament was bicameral. The lower house was the Chamber of Deputies and the upper house was the Chamber of Peers (except during the 1838–1842 period, where a Senate existed instead). With the replacement of the Monarchy by the Republic in 1910, the Parliament continued to be bicameral with a Chamber of Deputies and a Senate existing until 1926.
Chamber of Peers Chamber of Deputies
 Soviet Union Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union The Congress of People's Deputies superseded the Supreme Soviet. The Soviet of the Republics briefly succeeded the Soviet of Nationalities in late 1991.
Soviet of Nationalities Soviet of the Union
 Sweden Riksdagen Until 1970, the Swedish Riksdag was bicameral. It became unicameral in 1971, but retained the name Riksdag.
Första kammaren (Upper house) Andra kammaren (Lower house)
 Yugoslavia Federal Assembly Between 1974 and 1992.
Chamber of Republics Federal Chamber
It was established with the
1980 coup d'état in Turkey
Senate of the Republic National Assembly
 Venezuela Congress Under the
National Assembly of Venezuela
Senate Chamber of Deputies
 Fiji Parliament Original bicameral system suspended by 2006 coup. 2013 Constitution of Fiji abolished it and replaced it with a single chamber Parliament.
Senate House of Representatives
Under the 2017 Referendum, the bicameral system was replaced by the unicameral system.
Senate National Assembly
 Iran Parliament Between 1950 and 1979
Senate National Assembly
 Croatia Parliament Between 1990 and 2001
Chamber of Counties Chamber of Representatives
 Republic of Vietnam National Assembly Between 1966 and 1975
Senate House of Representatives
 Czechoslovakia National Assembly Between 1920 and 1939
Senate Chamber of Deputies
Federal Assembly Under the Constitutional Act on the Czechoslovak Federation, the Federal Assembly replaced the unicameral National Assembly in 1969. Its two constituent republics, the Czech (Socialist) Republic and the Slovak (Socialist) Republic, had unicameral legislatures (Czech National Council and Slovak National Council). When Czechoslovakia was dissolved at the start of 1993, the Federal Assembly was disbanded. The Czech Republic established their upper house, the Senate, in December 1992.
Chamber of Nations Chamber of People

See also


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  2. .
  3. .
  4. ^ "How the Westminster Parliamentary System was exported around the World". University of Cambridge. 2 December 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  5. ^ a b c "The Constitutional Background – House of Representatives archives". Archived from the original on 30 July 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  6. ^ .
  7. ^ (in French), Sénat, le triomphe de l'anomalie
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  9. ^ a b "Chapter 21: Relations with the House of Representatives". Odgers' Australian Senate Practice (14th ed.). Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  10. ISSN 0264-2824
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Further reading

External links