Thursday, July 01, 2010


Legislature is a body of persons, usually elective, empowered to make, change, or repeal all laws of a country or state. (Zulueta, 1999.) The legislature determines and prescribes the general rules that govern the relations of the people among themselves or between them and the government and its agencies. Moreover, this body also defines the rights and duties of citizens, imposes taxes, appropriates funds, defines crimes and prescribes their punishment, creates and abolishes government offices and determines their jurisdiction and function through their written enactments called laws.

Types of Legislature
There are several types of legislative bodies established by different countries:
  • unicameral
  • bicameral
  • multi-cameral.
Unicameral is the practice where there is only one legislative chamber. Because there is only one legislative chamber, proponents of this system believe that this system offers simple and fast action in deliberating legislative measures. This is also more economical to maintain as there are fewer institutions to support and maintain. The most populous (China) and the least populous (Vatican City) states in the world practice the unicameral system of government.

Bicameralism is the practice where there are two legislative bodies.  Advocates of the bicameralism claim that this system is less susceptible to bribery and control of big interests because the members of another chamber can check the other chamber. Hasty and ill-considered legislation past by the first chamber can be therefore be checked, modified or rejected by the other chamber. The United States and the Philippines operate under this system.

Multicameralism is the practice where there are more than two chambers. In 1983, the apartheid government of South Africa provided for a tricameral legislature perceived to be race-based. They were the House of Assembly - reserved for the whites; the House of Representatives - reserved for the colored or mixed race; and the House of Delegates - reserved for the Asians. That tricameral legislature was controversial and was not particularly strong.

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