Parliament
Overview
 
A parliament is a legislature
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system
Westminster System
The Westminster system is a democratic parliamentary system of government modelled after the politics of the United Kingdom. This term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the Parliament of the United Kingdom....

 modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler (to speak): a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which such a discussion took place. It acquired its modern meaning as it came to be used for the body of people (in an institutional sense) who would meet to discuss matters of state.
Legislatures called parliaments operate under a parliamentary system
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

 of government in which the executive is constitutionally answerable to the parliament.
Timeline

1077    The first Parliament of Friuli is created.

1581    The English Parliament outlaws Roman Catholicism.

1606    Gunpowder Plot: Guy Fawkes is executed for his plotting against Parliament and James I of England.

1679    King Charles II of England disbands Parliament.

1689    The English Parliament passes the Act of Toleration protecting Protestants. Roman Catholics are intentionally excluded.

1825    The British Parliament abolishes feudalism and the seigneurial system in British North America.

1856    The colonial Tasmanian Parliament passes the second piece of legislation (the Electoral Act of 1856) anywhere in the world providing for elections by way of a secret ballot.

1991    Apartheid: the South African Parliament repeals the Population Registration Act which required racial classification of all South Africans at birth.

1991    The German parliament decides to move the capital from Bonn back to Berlin.

1993    Russian President Boris Yeltsin suspends parliament and scraps the then-functioning constitution, thus triggering the Russian constitutional crisis of 1993.

Encyclopedia
A parliament is a legislature
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system
Westminster System
The Westminster system is a democratic parliamentary system of government modelled after the politics of the United Kingdom. This term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the Parliament of the United Kingdom....

 modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler (to speak): a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which such a discussion took place. It acquired its modern meaning as it came to be used for the body of people (in an institutional sense) who would meet to discuss matters of state.

Parliament government

Legislatures called parliaments operate under a parliamentary system
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

 of government in which the executive is constitutionally answerable to the parliament. This can be contrasted with a presidential system
Presidential system
A presidential system is a system of government where an executive branch exists and presides separately from the legislature, to which it is not responsible and which cannot, in normal circumstances, dismiss it....

, on the model of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

' congressional system
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

, which operate under a stricter separation of powers
Separation of powers
The separation of powers, often imprecisely used interchangeably with the trias politica principle, is a model for the governance of a state. The model was first developed in ancient Greece and came into widespread use by the Roman Republic as part of the unmodified Constitution of the Roman Republic...

 whereby the executive does not form part of, nor is appointed by, the parliamentary or legislative body.

Typically, congresses do not select or dismiss heads of governments
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

, and governments cannot request an early dissolution as may be the case for parliaments. Some states have a semi-presidential system
Semi-presidential system
The semi-presidential system is a system of government in which a president and a prime minister are both active participants in the day-to-day administration of the state...

 which combines a powerful president with an executive responsible to parliament.

Parliaments may consist of chambers
Chambers of parliament
Many parliaments or other legislatures consist of two chambers : an elected lower house, and an upper house or Senate which may be appointed or elected by a different mechanism from the lower house. This style of two houses is called bicameral...

 or houses, and are usually either bicameral
Bicameralism
In the government, bicameralism is the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers. Thus, a bicameral parliament or bicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of two chambers or houses....

 or unicameral
Unicameralism
In government, unicameralism is the practice of having one legislative or parliamentary chamber. Thus, a unicameral parliament or unicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of one chamber or house...

 although more complex models exist, or have existed (see Tricameralism
Tricameralism
Tricameralism is the practice of having three legislative or parliamentary chambers. It is contrasted to unicameralism and bicameralism, both of which are far more common....

).

A nation's prime minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

 ("P.M") is almost always the leader of the majority party in the lower house of parliament, but only holds his or her 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 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.

Proto-parliamentarian institutions

See History of Parliamentarism
History of Parliamentarism
The origins of the modern concept of prime ministerial government go back to the Kingdom of Great Britain and The Parliamentary System in Sweden 1721 - 1772 , that coincided with each other....



Since ancient times, when societies were tribal, there were councils or a headman whose decisions were assessed by village elders. This is called tribalism
Tribalism
The social structure of a tribe can vary greatly from case to case, but, due to the small size of tribes, it is always a relatively simple role structure, with few significant social distinctions between individuals....

. Some scholars suggest that in ancient Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

 there was a primitive democratic government where the kings were assessed by council. The same has been said about ancient India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, where some form of deliberative assemblies existed, and therefore there was some form of democracy
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

. However, these claims are not accepted by most scholars, who see these forms of government as oligarchies.

Ancient Athens was the cradle of democracy
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

. The Athenian assembly (ἐκκλησία ekklesia) was the most important institution, and every citizen could take part in the discussions. However, Athenian democracy
Athenian democracy
Athenian democracy developed in the Greek city-state of Athens, comprising the central city-state of Athens and the surrounding territory of Attica, around 508 BC. Athens is one of the first known democracies. Other Greek cities set up democracies, and even though most followed an Athenian model,...

 was not representative, but rather direct, and therefore the ekklesia was different from the parliamentary system.

The Roman republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

 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
Roman Senate
The Senate of the Roman Republic was a political institution in the ancient Roman Republic, however, it was not an elected body, but one whose members were appointed by the consuls, and later by the censors. After a magistrate served his term in office, it usually was followed with automatic...

 controlled money, administration, and the details of foreign policy.

Some Muslim scholars argue that the Islamic shura
Shura
Shura is an Arabic word for "consultation". The Quran and Muhammad encourage Muslims to decide their affairs in consultation with those who will be affected by that decision....

 (a method of taking decisions in Islamic societies) is analogous to the parliament. However, many other disagree, highlighting some fundamental differences between the shura system and the parliamentary system.

In Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon may refer to:* Anglo-Saxons, a group that invaded Britain** Old English, their language** Anglo-Saxon England, their history, one of various ships* White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, an ethnicity* Anglo-Saxon economy, modern macroeconomic term...

 England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, the Witenagamot was an important political institution. The name derives from the 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 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.

England

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
Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon may refer to:* Anglo-Saxons, a group that invaded Britain** Old English, their language** Anglo-Saxon England, their history, one of various ships* White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, an ethnicity* Anglo-Saxon economy, modern macroeconomic term...

 Kings, there was an advisory council, the Witenagemot
Witenagemot
The Witenagemot , also known as the Witan was a political institution in Anglo-Saxon England which operated from before the 7th century until the 11th century.The Witenagemot was an assembly of the ruling class whose primary function was to advise the king and whose membership was...

 ("meeting of wise men"). As part of the Norman Conquest of England
Norman conquest of England
The Norman conquest of England began on 28 September 1066 with the invasion of England by William, Duke of Normandy. William became known as William the Conqueror after his victory at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066, defeating King Harold II of England...

, the new King, William I
William I of England
William I , also known as William the Conqueror , was the first Norman King of England from Christmas 1066 until his death. He was also Duke of Normandy from 3 July 1035 until his death, under the name William II...

, did away with the Witenagemot, replacing it with a Curia Regis
Curia Regis
Curia regis is a Latin term meaning "royal council" or "king's court."- England :The Curia Regis, in the Kingdom of England, was a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics that advised the king of England on legislative matters...

 ("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 certain senior ecclesiastics.

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
Edward I of England
Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

. (Kaeuper, Richard W., War Justice and Public Order: England and France in the Later Middle Ages, Oxford U. Press, 1988.) Like previous kings, Edward called leading nobles and church leaders to discuss government matters, especially finance
Finance
"Finance" is often defined simply as the management of money or “funds” management Modern finance, however, is a family of business activity that includes the origination, marketing, and management of cash and money surrogates through a variety of capital accounts, instruments, and markets created...

. A meeting in 1295 became known as the Model Parliament
Model Parliament
The Model Parliament is the term, attributed to Frederic William Maitland, used for the 1295 Parliament of England of King Edward I. This assembly included members of the clergy and the aristocracy, as well as representatives from the various counties and boroughs. Each county returned two knights,...

 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, elected representatives of rural landowners and of townsmen. In 1307, Edward I
Edward I of England
Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

 agreed not to collect certain taxes without consent of the realm. He also enlarged the court system.

William of Normandy
William I of England
William I , also known as William the Conqueror , was the first Norman King of England from Christmas 1066 until his death. He was also Duke of Normandy from 3 July 1035 until his death, under the name William II...

 brought to England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 the feudal system of his native Normandy
Normandy
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

, and sought the advice of the curia regis
Curia Regis
Curia regis is a Latin term meaning "royal council" or "king's court."- England :The Curia Regis, in the Kingdom of England, was a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics that advised the king of England on legislative matters...

, before making laws. This body is the origin from which the Parliament, the higher courts of law, the Privy Council
Privy council
A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a privy council was originally a committee of the monarch's closest advisors to give confidential advice on...

 and Cabinet have sprung. Of these, the legislature is formally the High Court of Parliament; judges sit in the Supreme Court of Judicature
Supreme Court of Judicature
Supreme Court of Judicature may refer to:* Supreme Court of Judicature . Supreme Court of Barbados* Supreme Court of Judicature , Supreme Court of Guyana* Supreme Court of Judicature , the supreme court in Ireland from 1877 to 1920...

; and only the executive government is no longer conducted in a royal court.

The tenants-in-chief often struggled with their spiritual counterparts and with the King for power. In 1215, they secured from John
John of England
John , also known as John Lackland , was King of England from 6 April 1199 until his death...

 the Magna Carta
Magna Carta
Magna Carta is an English charter, originally issued in the year 1215 and reissued later in the 13th century in modified versions, which included the most direct challenges to the monarch's authority to date. The charter first passed into law in 1225...

, 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 sheriff
Sheriff
A sheriff is in principle a legal official with responsibility for a county. In practice, the specific combination of legal, political, and ceremonial duties of a sheriff varies greatly from country to country....

s 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
Magna Carta is an English charter, originally issued in the year 1215 and reissued later in the 13th century in modified versions, which included the most direct challenges to the monarch's authority to date. The charter first passed into law in 1225...

.

The English Parliament
Parliament of England
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066, William of Normandy introduced a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics before making laws...

s during the reign of King Henry III
Henry III of England
Henry III was the son and successor of John as King of England, reigning for 56 years from 1216 until his death. His contemporaries knew him as Henry of Winchester. He was the first child king in England since the reign of Æthelred the Unready...

 in the 13th century incorporated elected representation from shires and towns, and is considered the forerunner of the modern parliament.
In 1265, Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester
Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester
Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, 1st Earl of Chester , sometimes referred to as Simon V de Montfort to distinguish him from other Simon de Montforts, was an Anglo-Norman nobleman. He led the barons' rebellion against King Henry III of England during the Second Barons' War of 1263-4, and...

, who was in rebellion against Henry III
Henry III of England
Henry III was the son and successor of John as King of England, reigning for 56 years from 1216 until his death. His contemporaries knew him as Henry of Winchester. He was the first child king in England since the reign of Æthelred the Unready...

, summoned a parliament of his supporters without royal authorisation. The archbishop
Archbishop
An archbishop is a bishop of higher rank, but not of higher sacramental order above that of the three orders of deacon, priest , and bishop...

s, bishop
Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

s, abbot
Abbot
The word abbot, meaning father, is a title given to the head of a monastery in various traditions, including Christianity. The office may also be given as an honorary title to a clergyman who is not actually the head of a monastery...

s, earl
Earl
An earl is a member of the nobility. The title is Anglo-Saxon, akin to the Scandinavian form jarl, and meant "chieftain", particularly a chieftain set to rule a territory in a king's stead. In Scandinavia, it became obsolete in the Middle Ages and was replaced with duke...

s and baron
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...

s were summoned, as were two knight
Knight
A knight was a member of a class of lower nobility in the High Middle Ages.By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior....

s from each shire and two burgesses from each borough
Borough
A borough is an administrative division in various countries. In principle, the term borough designates a self-governing township although, in practice, official use of the term varies widely....

. Knights had been summoned to previous councils, but the representation of the boroughs was unprecedented. De Montfort's scheme of representation and election was formally adopted by Edward I
Edward I of England
Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

 in the so-called "Model Parliament
Model Parliament
The Model Parliament is the term, attributed to Frederic William Maitland, used for the 1295 Parliament of England of King Edward I. This assembly included members of the clergy and the aristocracy, as well as representatives from the various counties and boroughs. Each county returned two knights,...

" of 1295. At first, each estate
Estates of the realm
The Estates of the realm were the broad social orders of the hierarchically conceived society, recognized in the Middle Ages and Early Modern period in Christian Europe; they are sometimes distinguished as the three estates: the clergy, the nobility, and commoners, and are often referred to by...

 debated independently; by the reign of Edward III
Edward III of England
Edward III was King of England from 1327 until his death and is noted for his military success. Restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II, Edward III went on to transform the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe...

, however, Parliament had been separated into two Houses and was recognisably assuming its modern form.

Parliament under Henry VIII and Edward VI

The purpose and structure of parliament in Tudor England underwent a significant transformation under the reign of Henry VIII. Originally its methods were primarily medieval and the monarch still had inarguable dominion over the decisions. According to Elton, it was Cromwell who then initiated the beginnings of change within parliament.

The Reformation Acts
Acts of Supremacy
The first Act of Supremacy was a piece of legislation that granted King Henry VIII of England Royal Supremacy, which means that he was declared the supreme head of the Church of England. It is still the legal authority of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom...

 gave parliament unlimited power over the country, and authority over every matter, be it social, economic, political or even religious; it legalised the Reformation, officially and indisputably. The King had to rule through the council, not over it, and there had to be mutual agreement when creating or passing laws, changing religions or adjusting taxes. The monarch no longer had sole control over the country. For instance, during the later years of Mary
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...

, the parliament originally rejected Mary's intent to revive Catholicism in the realm, and even later, denied Elizabeth
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

 her request for marriage. If parliament had had this power before Cromwell, during Wolsey's reign as Secretary, the reformation might 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.

The effectiveness of parliament considerably increased after Cromwell's adjustments. It gave the country an unprecedented stability when dealing with dynastic complications, such as a minor king or the lack of a suitable heir. When an acceptable monarch was not available, the changes in government meant that the country could still run efficiently through the parliament, without having to succumb to civil war. Management and organisation was also improved and parliamentary procedure was documented, statutes printed. The fact that the monarch was suddenly dependent on another political body meant that decisions were more thoroughly considered and the rash whims of Henry VIII were trivialised and reduced. He could not establish supremacy by proclamation; he needed the parliament to enforce statute, to add felonies and treasons. One of the main liberties of parliament was its freedom of speech; Henry allowed anything to be spoken openly within parliament and the speakers were not allowed to be arrested, a fact which they exploited incessantly. Despite this fact however, parliament held very little objection to the desires of the monarch, and under Henry and Edward's
Edward I of England
Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

 reign it complied willingly to the majority of the Kings' decisions.

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 the lesser, but still essential, members."

The Parliament of England met until the Acts of Union
Acts of Union 1707
The Acts of Union were two Parliamentary Acts - the Union with Scotland Act passed in 1706 by the Parliament of England, and the Union with England Act passed in 1707 by the Parliament of Scotland - which put into effect the terms of the Treaty of Union that had been agreed on 22 July 1706,...

 merged the Parliament of Scotland
Parliament of Scotland
The Parliament of Scotland, officially the Estates of Parliament, was the legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland. The unicameral parliament of Scotland is first found on record during the early 13th century, with the first meeting for which a primary source survives at...

 and the Parliament of England, creating the new Parliament of Great Britain
Parliament of Great Britain
The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Acts of Union by both the Parliament of England and Parliament of Scotland...

 in 1707.

France

Originally, there was only the 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
Hundred Years' War
The Hundred Years' War was a series of separate wars waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Valois and the House of Plantagenet, also known as the House of Anjou, for the French throne, which had become vacant upon the extinction of the senior Capetian line of French kings...

, King Charles VII of France
Charles VII of France
Charles VII , called the Victorious or the Well-Served , was King of France from 1422 to his death, though he was initially opposed by Henry VI of England, whose Regent, the Duke of Bedford, ruled much of France including the capital, Paris...

 granted Languedoc
Languedoc
Languedoc is a former province of France, now continued in the modern-day régions of Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées in the south of France, and whose capital city was Toulouse, now in Midi-Pyrénées. It had an area of approximately 42,700 km² .-Geographical Extent:The traditional...

 its own parliament by establishing the Parliament of Toulouse
Toulouse
Toulouse is a city in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern FranceIt lies on the banks of the River Garonne, 590 km away from Paris and half-way between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea...

, the first parliament outside of Paris, whose jurisdiction extended over the most part of southern France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. From 1443 until the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 several other parliaments were created in some provinces of France (Grenoble
Grenoble
Grenoble is a city in southeastern France, at the foot of the French Alps where the river Drac joins the Isère. Located in the Rhône-Alpes region, Grenoble is the capital of the department of Isère...

, Bordeaux
Bordeaux
Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in the Gironde department in southwestern France.The Bordeaux-Arcachon-Libourne metropolitan area, has a population of 1,010,000 and constitutes the sixth-largest urban area in France. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture...

).

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
Absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy is a monarchical form of government in which the monarch exercises ultimate governing authority as head of state and head of government, his or her power not being limited by a constitution or by the law. An absolute monarch thus wields unrestricted political power over the...

, and parliaments were eventually overshadowed by the larger Estates General
French States-General
In France under the Old Regime, the States-General or Estates-General , was a legislative assembly of the different classes of French subjects. It had a separate assembly for each of the three estates, which were called and dismissed by the king...

, up until the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

, when the National Assembly became the lower house of France's bicameral legislature.

Scotland

From the 10th century the Kingdom of Alba
Kingdom of Alba
The name Kingdom of Alba pertains to the Kingdom of Scotland between the deaths of Donald II in 900, and of Alexander III in 1286 which then led indirectly to the Scottish Wars of Independence...

 was ruled by chiefs (toisechs) and subkings (mormaers) under the suzerainty
Suzerainty
Suzerainty occurs where a region or people is a tributary to a more powerful entity which controls its foreign affairs while allowing the tributary vassal state some limited domestic autonomy. The dominant entity in the suzerainty relationship, or the more powerful entity itself, is called a...

, real or nominal, of a High King
High king
A high king is a king who holds a position of seniority over a group of other kings, without the title of Emperor; compare King of Kings.Rulers who have been termed "high king" include:...

. Popular assemblies, as in Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, were involved in law-making, and sometimes in king-making, although the introduction of tanistry
Tanistry
Tanistry was a Gaelic system for passing on titles and lands. In this system the Tanist was the office of heir-apparent, or second-in-command, among the Gaelic patrilineal dynasties of Ireland, Scotland and Man, to succeed to the chieftainship or to the kingship.-Origins:The Tanist was chosen from...

—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
The Parliament of Scotland, officially the Estates of Parliament, was the legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland. The unicameral parliament of Scotland is first found on record during the early 13th century, with the first meeting for which a primary source survives at...

 evolved during the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 from the King's Council of Bishops and Earls. The unicameral parliament is first found on record, referred to as a colloquium
Colloquium
Colloquium can refer to:* the Parliament of Scotland, called a "colloquium" in Latin records.* any musical piece celebrating birth or distribution of good news, a hymn...

, in 1235 at Kirkliston
Kirkliston
Kirkliston is a village and civil parish within the City of Edinburgh in Scotland. It sits on the historic route between Edinburgh and Queensferry, the gateway to Fife and the north. Today, it is bypassed by the A90...

 (a village now in Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

).

By the early fourteenth century the attendance of knights and freeholder
Freeholder
A freeholder can refer to:* one who is in freehold* one who holds title to real property in Fee simple* an official of county government in the U.S. state of New Jersey...

s had become important, and from 1326 burgh
Burgh
A burgh was an autonomous corporate entity in Scotland and Northern England, usually a town. This type of administrative division existed from the 12th century, when King David I created the first royal burghs. Burgh status was broadly analogous to borough status, found in the rest of the United...

 commissioners attended. Consisting of the Three Estates; of clerics, lay tenants-in-chief
Tenant-in-chief
In medieval and early modern European society the term tenant-in-chief, sometimes vassal-in-chief, denoted the nobles who held their lands as tenants directly from king or territorial prince to whom they did homage, as opposed to holding them from another nobleman or senior member of the clergy....

 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 in the medieval period), but it also had a strong influence over justice
Justice
Justice is a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, or equity, along with the punishment of the breach of said ethics; justice is the act of being just and/or fair.-Concept of justice:...

, foreign policy
Foreign policy
A country's foreign policy, also called the foreign relations policy, consists of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve its goals within international relations milieu. The approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries...

, 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 — 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 or the auld Scots Parliament (Eng
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

: old), met until the Acts of Union
Acts of Union 1707
The Acts of Union were two Parliamentary Acts - the Union with Scotland Act passed in 1706 by the Parliament of England, and the Union with England Act passed in 1707 by the Parliament of Scotland - which put into effect the terms of the Treaty of Union that had been agreed on 22 July 1706,...

 merged the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England
Parliament of England
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066, William of Normandy introduced a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics before making laws...

, creating the new Parliament of Great Britain
Parliament of Great Britain
The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Acts of Union by both the Parliament of England and Parliament of Scotland...

 in 1707. After a referendum on devolution
Devolution
Devolution is the statutory granting of powers from the central government of a sovereign state to government at a subnational level, such as a regional, local, or state level. Devolution can be mainly financial, e.g. giving areas a budget which was formerly administered by central government...

 it was reconvened
Scottish Parliament
The Scottish Parliament is the devolved national, unicameral legislature of Scotland, located in the Holyrood area of the capital, Edinburgh. The Parliament, informally referred to as "Holyrood", is a democratically elected body comprising 129 members known as Members of the Scottish Parliament...

 on 1 July 1999.

Poland

According to the Chronicle
Chronicle
Generally a chronicle is a historical account of facts and events ranged in chronological order, as in a time line. Typically, equal weight is given for historically important events and local events, the purpose being the recording of events that occurred, seen from the perspective of the...

s of Gallus Anonymus
Gallus Anonymus
Gallus Anonymus is the name traditionally given to the anonymous author of Gesta principum Polonorum , composed in Latin about 1115....

, the first legendary Polish
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 ruler, Siemowit
Siemowit
Siemowit was, according to the chronicles of Gallus Anonymus, the son of Piast the Wheelwright and Rzepicha. He was considered one of the four legendary Piast princes, but is now considered as a ruler who existed as a historical person....

, who began the Piast Dynasty
Piast dynasty
The Piast dynasty was the first historical ruling dynasty of Poland. It began with the semi-legendary Piast Kołodziej . The first historical ruler was Duke Mieszko I . The Piasts' royal rule in Poland ended in 1370 with the death of king Casimir the Great...

, was chosen by a wiec
Veche
Veche was a popular assembly in medieval Slavic countries.In Novgorod, where the veche acquired the greatest prominence, the veche was broadly similar to the Norse thing or the Swiss Landsgemeinde.-Etymology:...

. The veche (Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

: вече, Polish
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

: wiec) was a popular assembly in medieval Slavic
Slavic peoples
The Slavic people are an Indo-European panethnicity living in Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, North Asia and Central Asia. The term Slavic represents a broad ethno-linguistic group of people, who speak languages belonging to the Slavic language family and share, to varying degrees, certain...

 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 Sejm is the lower house of the Polish parliament. The Sejm is made up of 460 deputies, or Poseł in Polish . It is elected by universal ballot and is presided over by a speaker called the Marshal of the Sejm ....

.

The term "sejm" comes from an old Polish
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

 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
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 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 tax
Tax
To tax is to impose a financial charge or other levy upon a taxpayer by a state or the functional equivalent of a state such that failure to pay is punishable by law. Taxes are also imposed by many subnational entities...

es. The General Sejm (Polish Sejm Generalny or Sejm Walny), first convoked by the king John I Olbracht in 1493 near Piotrków
Piotrków Trybunalski
Piotrków Trybunalski is a city in central Poland with 80,738 inhabitants . It is situated in the Łódź Voivodeship , and previously was the capital of Piotrków Voivodeship...

, evolved from earlier regional and provincial meetings (sejmik
Sejmik
A sejmik was a regional assembly in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and earlier in the Kingdom of Poland. Sejmiks existed until the end of the Commonwealth in 1795 following the partitions of the Commonwealth...

s). It followed most closely the sejmik generally, which arose from the 1454 Nieszawa Statutes, granted to the szlachta
Szlachta
The szlachta was a legally privileged noble class with origins in the Kingdom of Poland. It gained considerable institutional privileges during the 1333-1370 reign of Casimir the Great. In 1413, following a series of tentative personal unions between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of...

 (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
Golden Liberty
Golden Liberty , sometimes referred to as Golden Freedoms, Nobles' Democracy or Nobles' Commonwealth refers to a unique aristocratic political system in the Kingdom of Poland and later, after the Union of Lublin , in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth...

 the Sejm's powers increased.

The Commonwealth's
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was a dualistic state of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch. It was the largest and one of the most populous countries of 16th- and 17th‑century Europe with some and a multi-ethnic population of 11 million at its peak in the early 17th century...

 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
Szlachta
The szlachta was a legally privileged noble class with origins in the Kingdom of Poland. It gained considerable institutional privileges during the 1333-1370 reign of Casimir the Great. In 1413, following a series of tentative personal unions between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of...

) 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
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was a dualistic state of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch. It was the largest and one of the most populous countries of 16th- and 17th‑century Europe with some and a multi-ethnic population of 11 million at its peak in the early 17th century...

 could participate in the Parliament and become the King's electors.

Nordic and Germanic development

A thing
Thing (assembly)
A thing was the governing assembly in Germanic and introduced into some Celtic societies, made up of the free people of the community and presided by lawspeakers, meeting in a place called a thingstead...

 or ting (Old Norse
Old Norse
Old Norse is a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during the Viking Age, until about 1300....

 and Icelandic
Icelandic language
Icelandic is a North Germanic language, the main language of Iceland. Its closest relative is Faroese.Icelandic is an Indo-European language belonging to the North Germanic or Nordic branch of the Germanic languages. Historically, it was the westernmost of the Indo-European languages prior to the...

: þing; other modern Scandinavian: ting, ding in Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

) was the governing assembly in Germanic societies, made up of the free men of the community and presided by lawspeaker
Lawspeaker
A lawspeaker is a unique Scandinavian legal office. It has its basis in a common Germanic oral tradition, where wise men were asked to recite the law, but it was only in Scandinavia that the function evolved into an office...

s. 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
Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been increasingly undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform...

 and former Danelaw
Danelaw
The Danelaw, as recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle , is a historical name given to the part of England in which the laws of the "Danes" held sway and dominated those of the Anglo-Saxons. It is contrasted with "West Saxon law" and "Mercian law". The term has been extended by modern historians to...

 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
Hundred (division)
A hundred is a geographic division formerly used in England, Wales, Denmark, South Australia, some parts of the United States, Germany , Sweden, Finland and Norway, which historically was used to divide a larger region into smaller administrative divisions...

 (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 and in Finland (which was part of Sweden until 1809), each with a House of Knights
House of Knights
House of Knights can refer to the following historical Nordic noble estate's assemblies:* Swedish House of Nobility* Finnish House of Nobility...

 for the nobility. In both these countries, the national parliaments are now called riksdag
Riksdag
The Riksdag is the national legislative assembly of Sweden. The riksdag is a unicameral assembly with 349 members , who are elected on a proportional basis to serve fixed terms of four years...

 (in Finland also eduskunta), a word used since the Middle Ages and equivalent of the German word Reichstag.

Russia

The name of the parliament of Russian Federation is the Federal Assembly of Russia
Federal Assembly of Russia
The Federal Assembly of Russia is the legislature of the Russian Federation, according to the Constitution of Russian Federation, 1993...

. The term for its lower house, Duma
Duma
A Duma is any of various representative assemblies in modern Russia and Russian history. The State Duma in the Russian Empire and Russian Federation corresponds to the lower house of the parliament. Simply it is a form of Russian governmental institution, that was formed during the reign of the...

 (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 prince
Grand Prince
The title grand prince or great prince ranked in honour below emperor and tsar and above a sovereign prince .Grand duke is the usual and established, though not literal, translation of these terms in English and Romance languages, which do not normally use separate words for a "prince" who reigns...

s and tsars of Muscovy. The Duma was discontinued by Peter the Great
Peter I of Russia
Peter the Great, Peter I or Pyotr Alexeyevich Romanov Dates indicated by the letters "O.S." are Old Style. All other dates in this article are New Style. ruled the Tsardom of Russia and later the Russian Empire from until his death, jointly ruling before 1696 with his half-brother, Ivan V...

, who transferred its functions to the Governing Senate
Governing Senate
The Governing Senate was a legislative, judicial, and executive body of Russian Monarchs, instituted by Peter the Great to replace the Boyar Duma and lasted until the very end of the Russian Empire. It was chaired by the Ober-Procurator...

 in 1711.

Novgorod and Pskov

The veche was the highest legislature and judicial authority in the republic of Novgorod
Novgorod Republic
The Novgorod Republic was a large medieval Russian state which stretched from the Baltic Sea to the Ural Mountains between the 12th and 15th centuries, centred on the city of Novgorod...

 until 1478. In its sister state, Pskov
Pskov Republic
Pskov, known at various times as the Principality of Pskov or the Pskov Republic , was a medieval state on the south shore of Lake Pskov. The capital city, also named Pskov, was located at the southern end of the Peipus–Pskov Lake system at the southeast corner of Ugandi, about southwest of...

, a separate veche operated until 1510.

Since the Novgorod revolution of 1137 ousted the ruling grand prince
Grand Prince
The title grand prince or great prince ranked in honour below emperor and tsar and above a sovereign prince .Grand duke is the usual and established, though not literal, translation of these terms in English and Romance languages, which do not normally use separate words for a "prince" who reigns...

, the veche became the supreme state authority. After the reforms of 1410, the veche was restructured on a model similar to that of Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

, becoming the Commons chamber of the parliament. Аn upper Senate
Senate
A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or chamber of a legislature or parliament. There have been many such bodies in history, since senate means the assembly of the eldest and wiser members of the society and ruling class...

-like Council of Lords was also created, with title membership for all former city magistrates. Some sources indicate that veche membership may have became 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
Bell (instrument)
A bell is a simple sound-making device. The bell is a percussion instrument and an idiophone. Its form is usually a hollow, cup-shaped object, which resonates upon being struck...

, 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
Yaroslav's Court
Yaroslav's Court was the princely compound in the city of Novgorod the Great. Today it is roughly the area around the Trade Mart, the Church of St. Nicholas, the Church of St. Procopius, and the Church of the Myrrh-bearing Women. The Trade Mart renovated and heavily modified in the sixteenth and...

. Separate assemblies could be held in the districts of Novgorod. In Pskov the veche assembled in the court of the Trinity cathedral.

Spain


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), Cortes
Cortes Generales
The Cortes Generales is the legislature of Spain. It is a bicameral parliament, composed of the Congress of Deputies and the Senate . The Cortes has power to enact any law and to amend the constitution...

 – was held in the Kingdom of León
Kingdom of León
The Kingdom of León was an independent kingdom situated in the northwest region of the Iberian Peninsula. It was founded in AD 910 when the Christian princes of Asturias along the northern coast of the peninsula shifted their capital from Oviedo to the city of León...

 in 1188. 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: Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

 in 1218, the Kingdom of Castile
Kingdom of Castile
Kingdom of Castile was one of the medieval kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula. It emerged as a political autonomous entity in the 9th century. It was called County of Castile and was held in vassalage from the Kingdom of León. Its name comes from the host of castles constructed in the region...

 in 1250, Kingdom of Aragon
Kingdom of Aragon
The Kingdom of Aragon was a medieval and early modern kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula, corresponding to the modern-day autonomous community of Aragon, in Spain...

 in 1274, Kingdom of Valencia
Kingdom of Valencia
The Kingdom of Valencia , located in the eastern shore of the Iberian Peninsula, was one of the component realms of the Crown of Aragon. When the Crown of Aragon merged by dynastic union with the Crown of Castile to form the Kingdom of Spain, the Kingdom of Valencia became a component realm of the...

 in 1283 and Kingdom of Navarre
Kingdom of Navarre
The Kingdom of Navarre , originally the Kingdom of Pamplona, was a European kingdom which occupied lands on either side of the Pyrenees alongside the Atlantic Ocean....

 in 1300.

After the union of the Kingdoms of Leon and Castile under the Crown of Castile
Crown of Castile
The Crown of Castile was a medieval and modern state in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then King Ferdinand III of Castile to the vacant Leonese throne...

, 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
Habsburg Spain
Habsburg Spain refers to the history of Spain over the 16th and 17th centuries , when Spain was ruled by the major branch of the Habsburg dynasty...

 Emperor Charles V
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

 in 1521. The Cortes maintained some power, however, though it became more of a consultative entity. However, by the time of King Philip II
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

, 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
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

 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
The War of the Spanish Succession was fought among several European powers, including a divided Spain, over the possible unification of the Kingdoms of Spain and France under one Bourbon monarch. As France and Spain were among the most powerful states of Europe, such a unification would have...

 and the arrival of another royal house – the Bourbons
House of Bourbon
The House of Bourbon is a European royal house, a branch of the Capetian dynasty . Bourbon kings first ruled Navarre and France in the 16th century. By the 18th century, members of the Bourbon dynasty also held thrones in Spain, Naples, Sicily, and Parma...

 – in 1714 with Philip V
Philip V of Spain
Philip V was King of Spain from 15 November 1700 to 15 January 1724, when he abdicated in favor of his son Louis, and from 6 September 1724, when he assumed the throne again upon his son's death, to his death.Before his reign, Philip occupied an exalted place in the royal family of France as a...

, their Cortes were suppressed (as were those of Aragon
Aragon
Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

 and Valencia in 1707, Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

 and Balearic islands
Balearic Islands
The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of Spain in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.The four largest islands are: Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. The archipelago forms an autonomous community and a province of Spain with Palma as the capital...

 in 1714).

The Roman Catholic Church

"Conciliarism
Conciliarism
Conciliarism, or the conciliar movement, was a reform movement in the 14th, 15th and 16th century Roman Catholic Church which held that final authority in spiritual matters resided with the Roman Church as a corporation of Christians, embodied by a general church council, not with the pope...

" or the "conciliar movement", was a reform movement in the 14th and 15th century Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 which held that final authority in spiritual matters resided with the Roman Church as corporation of Christians, embodied by a general church council
Ecumenical council
An ecumenical council is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice....

, not with the pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

. 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.

Parliaments of the United Kingdom

The British Parliament is often referred to as the Mother of Parliaments (in fact a misquotation of John Bright
John Bright
John Bright , Quaker, was a British Radical and Liberal statesman, associated with Richard Cobden in the formation of the Anti-Corn Law League. He was one of the greatest orators of his generation, and a strong critic of British foreign policy...

, who remarked in 1865 that "England is the Mother of Parliaments") because the British Parliament
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

 has been the model for most other parliamentary systems, and its Act
Act of Parliament
An Act of Parliament is a statute enacted as primary legislation by a national or sub-national parliament. In the Republic of Ireland the term Act of the Oireachtas is used, and in the United States the term Act of Congress is used.In Commonwealth countries, the term is used both in a narrow...

s 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
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 have similarly organised parliaments with a largely ceremonial head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 who formally opens and closes parliament, a large elected lower house and a smaller, upper house.

The Parliament of Great Britain
Parliament of Great Britain
The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Acts of Union by both the Parliament of England and Parliament of Scotland...

 was formed in 1707 by the Acts of Union
Acts of Union 1707
The Acts of Union were two Parliamentary Acts - the Union with Scotland Act passed in 1706 by the Parliament of England, and the Union with England Act passed in 1707 by the Parliament of Scotland - which put into effect the terms of the Treaty of Union that had been agreed on 22 July 1706,...

 that replaced the former parliaments of England and Scotland
Parliament of Scotland
The Parliament of Scotland, officially the Estates of Parliament, was the legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland. The unicameral parliament of Scotland is first found on record during the early 13th century, with the first meeting for which a primary source survives at...

. A further union in 1801 united the Parliament of Great Britain and the Parliament of Ireland
Parliament of Ireland
The Parliament of Ireland was a legislature that existed in Dublin from 1297 until 1800. In its early mediaeval period during the Lordship of Ireland it consisted of either two or three chambers: the House of Commons, elected by a very restricted suffrage, the House of Lords in which the lords...

 into a Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

.

In the United Kingdom, Parliament consists of the House of Commons
British House of Commons
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also comprises the Sovereign and the House of Lords . Both Commons and Lords meet in the Palace of Westminster. The Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 650 members , who are known as Members...

, the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

, and the Monarch
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

. The House of Commons is composed of 650 members who are directly elected by British and Northern Irish citizens to represent single-member constituencies. The leader of a Party that wins more than half the seats or less than half but can count on support of smaller parties to achieve enough support to pass law is invited by the Queen to form a government. Legally the Queen is the head of government and no business in Parliament can be taken without her authority. The House of Lords is a body of long-serving, unelected members: 92 of whom inherit their titles (and of whom 90 are elected internally by members of the House to lifetime seats), 26 bishops while they remain in office, and 588 of whom have been appointed to lifetime seats.

Legislation can originate from either the Lords or the Commons. It is voted on in several distinct stages, called readings
Reading (legislature)
A reading of a bill is a debate on the bill held before the general body of a legislature, as opposed to before a committee or other group. In the Westminster system, there are usually several readings of a bill among the stages it passes through before becoming law as an Act of Parliament...

, 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
Royal Assent
The granting of royal assent refers to the method by which any constitutional monarch formally approves and promulgates an act of his or her nation's parliament, thus making it a law...

 is granted and the bill becomes law as an Act of Parliament
Act of Parliament
An Act of Parliament is a statute enacted as primary legislation by a national or sub-national parliament. In the Republic of Ireland the term Act of the Oireachtas is used, and in the United States the term Act of Congress is used.In Commonwealth countries, the term is used both in a narrow...

.

The 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
The Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 are two Acts of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which form part of the constitution of the United Kingdom. Section 2 of the Parliament Act 1949 provides that that Act and the Parliament Act 1911 are to be construed as one.The Parliament Act 1911 The...

. 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
Speaker of the British House of Commons
The Speaker of the House of Commons is the presiding officer of the House of Commons, the United Kingdom's lower chamber of Parliament. The current Speaker is John Bercow, who was elected on 22 June 2009, following the resignation of Michael Martin...

 as a money bill
Money bill
In the Westminster system , a money bill or supply bill is a bill that solely concerns taxation or government spending , as opposed to changes in public law.- Conventions :...

 (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 the Lords can only block it for a maximum of one session of Parliament. The exceptions to this rule are things like bills to prolong the life of a Parliament beyond five years.

In addition to functioning as the second chamber of Parliament, the House of Lords was also the final court of appeal
Appeal
An appeal is a petition for review of a case that has been decided by a court of law. The petition is made to a higher court for the purpose of overturning the lower court's decision....

 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
Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is the supreme court in all matters under English law, Northern Ireland law and Scottish civil law. It is the court of last resort and highest appellate court in the United Kingdom; however the High Court of Justiciary remains the supreme court for criminal...

 opened and acquired the former jurisdiction of the House of Lords.

Since 1998, there has been a Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament
The Scottish Parliament is the devolved national, unicameral legislature of Scotland, located in the Holyrood area of the capital, Edinburgh. The Parliament, informally referred to as "Holyrood", is a democratically elected body comprising 129 members known as Members of the Scottish Parliament...

 in Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

, which is a national, unicameral legislature
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

 for Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

. However, the 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).

List of parliaments

Contemporary national parliaments

List is not exhaustive


Parliaments of the European Union

  • European Parliament
    European Parliament
    The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

  • Parliament of Austria
    Parliament of Austria
    In the Parliament of Austria is vested the legislative power of the Republic of Austria. The institution consists of two chambers,* the National Council and* the Federal Council ....

  • Belgian Federal Parliament
    Belgian Federal Parliament
    The Belgian Federal Parliament is a bicameral parliament. It consists of the Chamber of Representatives and the Senate . It sits in the Palace of the Nation .- Chamber of Representatives :...

  • National Assembly of Bulgaria
    National Assembly of Bulgaria
    The National Assembly of Bulgaria is the unicameral parliament and body of the legislative of the Republic of Bulgaria.The National Assembly of Bulgaria was established in 1879 with the Constitution of Bulgaria.-Ordinary National Assembly:...

  • House of Representatives of Cyprus
    House of Representatives of Cyprus
    The House of Representatives is the parliament of Cyprus. It has 59 members elected for a five year term, 56 members by proportional representation and 3 observer members representing the Maronite, Latin and Armenian minorities...

  • Parliament of the Czech Republic
    Parliament of the Czech Republic
    The Parliament of the Czech Republic is the legislative body of the Czech Republic, based in Prague. It consists of two chambers, both elected in direct elections:* the Lower House: Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic...

  • Parliament of Denmark
  • Parliament of Estonia
    Riigikogu
    The Riigikogu is the unicameral parliament of Estonia. All important state-related questions pass through the Riigikogu...

  • Parliament of Finland
    Parliament of Finland
    The Eduskunta , is the parliament of Finland. The unicameral parliament has 200 members and meets in the Parliament House in Helsinki. The latest election to the parliament took place on April 17, 2011.- Constitution :...

  • Parliament of France
    Parliament of France
    The French Parliament is the bicameral legislature of the French Republic, consisting of the Senate and the National Assembly . Each assembly conducts legislative sessions at a separate location in Paris: the Palais du Luxembourg for the Senate, the Palais Bourbon for the National Assembly.Each...

     (Parlement)
  • Parliament of Germany – The Bundestag
    Bundestag
    The Bundestag is a federal legislative body in Germany. In practice Germany is governed by a bicameral legislature, of which the Bundestag serves as the lower house and the Bundesrat the upper house. The Bundestag is established by the German Basic Law of 1949, as the successor to the earlier...

  • Hellenic Parliament
    Hellenic Parliament
    The Hellenic Parliament , also the Parliament of the Hellenes, is the Parliament of Greece, located in the Parliament House , overlooking Syntagma Square in Athens, Greece....

     (Greece
    Greece
    Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

    )
  • Parliament of Hungary
    National Assembly of Hungary
    The National Assembly or Diet is the parliament of Hungary. The unicameral body consists of 386 members elected to 4-year terms. Election of members is based on a complex system involving both area and list election; parties must win at least 5% of the popular vote in order to enter list members...

     (Országgyűlés)
  • Parliament of Ireland – the Oireachtas
    Oireachtas
    The Oireachtas , sometimes referred to as Oireachtas Éireann, is the "national parliament" or legislature of Ireland. The Oireachtas consists of:*The President of Ireland*The two Houses of the Oireachtas :**Dáil Éireann...

  • Parliament of Italy
    Parliament of Italy
    The Parliament of Italy is the national parliament of Italy. It is a bicameral legislature with 945 elected members . The Chamber of Deputies, with 630 members is the lower house. The Senate of the Republic is the upper house and has 315 members .Since 2005, a party list electoral law is being...

     (Parlamento Italiano)
  • Parliament of Latvia
    Saeima
    Saeima is the parliament of the Republic of Latvia. It is a unicameral parliament consisting of 100 members who are elected by proportional representation, with seats allocated to political parties which gain at least 5% of the popular vote. Elections are scheduled to be held once every four years,...

  • Parliament of Lithuania
    Seimas
    The Seimas is the unicameral Lithuanian parliament. It has 141 members that are elected for a four-year term. About half of the members of this legislative body are elected in individual constituencies , and the other half are elected by nationwide vote according to proportional representation...

  • Parliament of Luxembourg
    Chamber of Deputies of Luxembourg
    The Chamber of Deputies , abbreviated to the Chamber, is the unicameral national legislature of Luxembourg. 'Krautmaart' is sometimes used as a metonym for the Chamber, after the square on which the Hôtel de la Chambre is located....

  • Parliament of Malta
    House of Representatives of Malta
    The House of Representatives is the unicameral legislature of Malta and a component of the Parliament of Malta.The House is composed of an odd number of members elected for a five year term...

  • Parliament of the Netherlands
  • National Assembly of the Republic of Poland
  • Assembleia da República (Portugal)
  • Parliament of Romania
    Parliament of Romania
    The Parliament of Romania is made up of two chambers:*The Chamber of Deputies*The SenatePrior to the modifications of the Constitution in 2003, the two houses had identical attributes. A text of a law had to be approved by both houses...

     (consisting of the Chamber of Deputies
    Chamber of Deputies of Romania
    The Chamber of Deputies is the lower house in Romania's bicameral parliament. It has 315 seats, to which deputies are elected by direct popular vote on a proportional representation basis to serve four-year terms...

     and the Senate
    Senate of Romania
    The Senate of Romania is the upper house in the bicameral Parliament of Romania. It has 137 seats , to which members are elected by direct popular vote, using Mixed member proportional representation in 42 electoral districts , to serve four-year terms.-Former location:After the Romanian...

    )
  • National Council of the Slovak Republic
    National Council of the Slovak Republic
    The National Council of the Slovak Republic , abbreviated to NR SR, is the national parliament of Slovakia. It is unicameral, and consists of 150 MPs, who are elected by universal suffrage under proportional representation every four years....

  • Slovenian Parliament
    Slovenian Parliament
    The Slovenian Parliament is the informal designation of the general representative body of the Slovenian nation and the legislative body of the Republic of Slovenia....

  • Cortes Generales of Spain
    Cortes Generales
    The Cortes Generales is the legislature of Spain. It is a bicameral parliament, composed of the Congress of Deputies and the Senate . The Cortes has power to enact any law and to amend the constitution...

  • Parliament of Sweden
    Parliament of Sweden
    The Riksdag is the national legislative assembly of Sweden. The riksdag is a unicameral assembly with 349 members , who are elected on a proportional basis to serve fixed terms of four years...

  • Parliament of the United Kingdom
    Parliament of the United Kingdom
    The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...


Others

  • Parliament of Albania
  • Croatian Parliament
  • Parliament of Australia
    Parliament of Australia
    The Parliament of Australia, also known as the Commonwealth Parliament or Federal Parliament, is the legislative branch of the government of Australia. It is bicameral, largely modelled in the Westminster tradition, but with some influences from the United States Congress...

  • The federal (Commonwealth) government of Australia has a bicameral parliament, and each of Australia's six states
    States and territories of Australia
    The Commonwealth of Australia is a union of six states and various territories. The Australian mainland is made up of five states and three territories, with the sixth state of Tasmania being made up of islands. In addition there are six island territories, known as external territories, and a...

     has a bicameral parliament except for Queensland
    Queensland
    Queensland is a state of Australia, occupying the north-eastern section of the mainland continent. It is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean...

    , which has a unicameral parliament.
  • Parliament of Bangladesh – Jatiyo Sangshad
    Jatiyo Sangshad
    Jatiya Sangsad or National Assembly is the national parliament of Bangladesh. The current parliament of Bangladesh contains 345 seats including 45 women reserved seats distributed on elected party position in the parliament, the occupants of which are called Members of Parliament or MPs...

  • Parliament of Barbados
    Parliament of Barbados
    The Parliament of Barbados is the national legislature of Barbados. It is accorded legislative supremacy by Chapter V of the Constitution of Barbados. The Parliament is bicameral in composition and is formally made up of: HM Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Barbados The Parliament of Barbados is the...

  • Parliament of Canada
    Parliament of Canada
    The Parliament of Canada is the federal legislative branch of Canada, seated at Parliament Hill in the national capital, Ottawa. Formally, the body consists of the Canadian monarch—represented by her governor general—the Senate, and the House of Commons, each element having its own officers and...

  • The federal government of Canada has a bicameral parliament, and each of Canada's 10 provinces has a unicameral parliament.
  • Parliament of the Faroe Islands (Løgtingið)
  • Legislative Yuan
    Legislative Yuan
    The Legislative Yuan is the unicameral legislature of the Republic of China .The Legislative Yuan is one of the five branches of government stipulated by the Constitution of the Republic of China, which follows Sun Yat-sen's Three Principles of the People...

     of the Republic of China (Taiwan)
  • Parliament of the Fiji Islands
  • Parliament of Iceland
    Althing
    The Alþingi, anglicised variously as Althing or Althingi, is the national parliament of Iceland. The Althingi is the oldest parliamentary institution in the world still extant...

     (The Icelandic Althing and the Manx Tynwald share the claim of the oldest parliaments in the world.)
  • Parliament of India
    Parliament of India
    The Parliament of India is the supreme legislative body in India. Founded in 1919, the Parliament alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all political bodies in India. The Parliament of India comprises the President and the two Houses, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha...

     consisting of Lok Sabha
    Lok Sabha
    The Lok Sabha or House of the People is the lower house of the Parliament of India. Members of the Lok Sabha are elected by direct election under universal adult suffrage. As of 2009, there have been fifteen Lok Sabhas elected by the people of India...

     and Rajya Sabha
    Rajya Sabha
    The Rajya Sabha or Council of States is the upper house of the Parliament of India. Rajya means "state," and Sabha means "assembly hall" in Sanskrit. Membership is limited to 250 members, 12 of whom are chosen by the President of India for their expertise in specific fields of art, literature,...

  • Parliament of Iran
  • Council of Representatives of Iraq
  • National Diet of Japan
  • Parliament of Lebanon
    Parliament of Lebanon
    The Parliament of Lebanon is the national parliament of Lebanon. There are 128 members elected to a four-year terms in multi-member constituencies, apportioned among Lebanon's diverse Christian and Muslim denominations. Lebanon has universal adult suffrage...

  • Parliament of the Isle of Man – Tynwald
    Tynwald
    The Tynwald , or more formally, the High Court of Tynwald is the legislature of the Isle of Man. It is claimed to be the oldest continuous parliamentary body in the world, consisting of the directly elected House of Keys and the indirectly chosen Legislative Council.The Houses sit jointly, for...

     (Manx: Tinvaal) (The Icelandic Althing and the Manx Tynwald share the claim of the oldest parliaments in the world.)
  • Parliament of Israel – The Knesset
    Knesset
    The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.-Role in Israeli Government :The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister , approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government...

  • Parliament of Malaysia
    Parliament of Malaysia
    The Parliament of Malaysia is the national legislature of Malaysia, based on the Westminster system. The bicameral parliament consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The King as the Head of State is the third component of Parliament....

  • Parliament of Montenegro
    Parliament of Montenegro
    The Parliament of Montenegro is the unicameral legislature of Montenegro. The Parliament currently has 81 members, each elected for a four-year term. The current Speaker of the Parliament is Ranko Krivokapić, while the deputy speakers are Željko Šturanović and Rifat Rastoder...

  • Parliament of Morocco
    Parliament of Morocco
    The Parliament of Morocco is located in Rabat, the capital of Morocco.- Composition :Since 1996, the national legislature has become bicameral and has therefore two parliamentary chambers:...

  • Parliament of Nauru
    Parliament of Nauru
    The Parliament of Nauru has 18 members, elected for a three year term in multi-seat constituencies. The President of Nauru is elected by the members of the Parliament.The members of the Parliament of Nauru are elected by a positional voting system....

  • Parliament of New Zealand
    Parliament of New Zealand
    The Parliament of New Zealand consists of the Queen of New Zealand and the New Zealand House of Representatives and, until 1951, the New Zealand Legislative Council. The House of Representatives is often referred to as "Parliament".The House of Representatives usually consists of 120 Members of...

  • Parliament of Norway (Storting)
  • Parliament of Pakistan
    Majlis-e-Shoora
    The Parliament of Pakistan, officially termed the Majlis-e-Shoora ; is the federal and supreme legislative body of Pakistan. It is a bicameral federal legislature that consists of the Senate and the National Assembly, the upper and lower houses, respectively...

  • National Assembly of Serbia
    National Assembly of Serbia
    The National Assembly of Serbia is the unicameral parliament of Serbia. It is composed of 250 proportionally elected deputies elected in general elections by secret ballot, on 4 years term. The National Assembly elects the President of the National Assembly who presides over the sessions...

     (Narodna Skupština)
  • National Assembly of Thailand
    National Assembly of Thailand
    The National Assembly of Thailand or the Parliament of Thailand is the legislative branch of the government of Thailand. The National Assembly of Thailand is a bicameral body, consisting of two chambers: the upper house, , and the lower house,...

  • National Assembly of Wales
  • National People's Congress
    National People's Congress
    The National People's Congress , abbreviated NPC , is the highest state body and the only legislative house in the People's Republic of China. The National People's Congress is held in the Great Hall of the People, Beijing, capital of the People's Republic of China; with 2,987 members, it is the...

  • Legislative Council of Hong Kong
    Legislative Council of Hong Kong
    The Legislative Council is the unicameral legislature of Hong Kong.-History:The Legislative Council of Hong Kong was set up in 1843 as a colonial legislature under British rule...

  • Parliament of Singapore
    Parliament of Singapore
    The Parliament of the Republic of Singapore and the President jointly make up the legislature of Singapore. Parliament is unicameral and is made up of Members of Parliament who are elected, as well as Non-constituency Members of Parliament and Nominated Members of Parliament who are appointed...

  • Parliament of South Africa
    Parliament of South Africa
    The Parliament of South Africa is South Africa's legislature and under the country's current Constitution is composed of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces....

  • Spanish Cortes
  • Parliament of Sri Lanka
    Parliament of Sri Lanka
    The Parliament of Sri Lanka is the 225-member unicameral legislature of Sri Lanka. The members of Parliament are elected by proportional representation for six-year terms, with universal suffrage. Parliament reserves the power to make all laws...

  • Federal Assembly of Switzerland (Bundesversammlung, Assemblée fédérale, Assemblea federale)
  • Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago
    Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago
    The Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago is the legislative branch of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. The Parliament is bicameral. It consists of the elected House of Representatives, which has 43 members elected for a five year term in single-seat constituencies, and the Senate which has 31...

  • Parliament of Nepal
    Parliament of Nepal
    The Parliament of Nepal was dissolved by King Gyanendra in 2002, on the grounds that it was incapable of handling the Maoist rebels. The country's five main political parties have staged protests against the king, arguing that he must either call fresh elections or reinstate the elected legislature...

     (recently reorganised)
  • Scottish Parliament
    Scottish Parliament
    The Scottish Parliament is the devolved national, unicameral legislature of Scotland, located in the Holyrood area of the capital, Edinburgh. The Parliament, informally referred to as "Holyrood", is a democratically elected body comprising 129 members known as Members of the Scottish Parliament...

  • Sapmi Parliament
    Sámi politics
    Sámi politics refers to politics that concern the indigenous Sámi people in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. In a more narrow sense, it has come to indicate the government of Sámi affairs by Sámi political institutions...

  • Parliament of the Central Tibetan Administration
    Parliament of the Central Tibetan Administration
    The Parliament of the Central Tibetan Administration, also known as the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, is the unicameral legislative organ of the Central Tibetan Administration. Established and based in India, it was founded in 1960, and was most recently elected to a 14th 5-year term from 2006-2011...

    8*
  • Parliament of Ukraine
    Verkhovna Rada
    The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is Ukraine's parliament. The Verkhovna Rada is a unicameral parliament composed of 450 deputies, which is presided over by a chairman...

  • Republic of Zimbabwe || Parliament

Contemporary supranational parliaments

List is not exhaustive
  • Pan-African Parliament
    Pan-African Parliament
    The Pan-African Parliament , also known as the African Parliament, is the legislative body of the African Union and held its inaugural session in March 2004. The PAP exercises oversight, and has advisory and consultative powers, lasting for the first five years...

  • Central American Parliament
    Central American Parliament
    The Central American Parliament , also known as PARLACEN is a political institution devoted to the integration of the Central American countries. Its headquarters are in Guatemala City....

  • Latin American Parliament
    Latin American Parliament
    The Latin American Parliament , is a regional, permanent organization composed by the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. It is a consultative assembly similar to the early European Parliament...

  • European Parliament
    European Parliament
    The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...


Equivalent national legislatures

  • Majlis
    Majlis
    ' , is an Arabic term meaning "a place of sitting", used in the context of "council", to describe various types of special gatherings among common interest groups be it administrative, social or religious in countries with linguistic or cultural connections to Islamic countries...

    , e.g. in Iran
    Iran
    Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

  • in Afghanistan
    Afghanistan
    Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

    : Wolesi Jirga (elected, legislative lower house) and Meshrano Jirga (mainly advisory, indirect representation); in special cases, e.g. as constituent assembly, a Loya Jirga
    Loya jirga
    A loya jirga is a type of jirga regarded as "grand assembly," a phrase in the Pashto language meaning "grand council." A loya jirga is a mass meeting usually prepared for major events such as choosing a new king, adopting a constitution, or discussing important national political or emergency...

  • in Indonesia: People's Consultative Assembly
    People's Consultative Assembly
    The People's Consultative Assembly is the legislative branch in Indonesia's political system. It is composed of the members of the People's Representative Council and the Regional Representative Council. Before 2004, and the amendments to the 1945 Constitution, the MPR was the highest governing...

    , consists of People's Representative Council
    People's Representative Council
    The People's Representative Council , sometimes referred to as the House of Representatives, is one of two elected national legislative assemblies in Indonesia....

     (elected, legislative lower house) and Regional Representative Council (elected, legislative upper house with limited powers)

Defunct

  • National Assembly of the Republic of China
    National Assembly of the Republic of China
    The National Assembly of the Republic of China refers to several parliamentary bodies that existed in the Republic of China. The National Assembly was originally founded in 1913 as the first legislature in Chinese history, but was disbanded less than a year later as President Yuan Shikai assumed...

     (1913–2005)
  • Parliament of Ireland
    Parliament of Ireland
    The Parliament of Ireland was a legislature that existed in Dublin from 1297 until 1800. In its early mediaeval period during the Lordship of Ireland it consisted of either two or three chambers: the House of Commons, elected by a very restricted suffrage, the House of Lords in which the lords...

     (1297–1801)
  • Parliament of Southern Ireland
    Parliament of Southern Ireland
    The Parliament of Southern Ireland was a home rule legislature set up by the British Government during the Irish War of Independence under the Fourth Home Rule Bill...

     (1921–1922)
  • Parliament of Northern Ireland
    Parliament of Northern Ireland
    The Parliament of Northern Ireland was the home rule legislature of Northern Ireland, created under the Government of Ireland Act 1920, which sat from 7 June 1921 to 30 March 1972, when it was suspended...

     (1921–1973)
  • People's Parliament
    People's Parliament
    The People's Seimas was a puppet legislature organized in order to legitimate the occupation and annexation of Lithuania by the Soviet Union. After the Soviet ultimatum in June 1940, a new pro-Soviet government was formed, known as the People's Government. The new government dismissed the Fourth...

     (1940s)
  • Silesian Parliament
    Silesian Parliament
    Silesian Parliament or Silesian Sejm was the governing body of the Silesian Voivodeship , an autonomous voivodeship of the Second Polish Republic between 1920 and 1945. It was elected in democratic elections and had certain influence over the usage of taxes collected in Silesia...

     (1922–1945)

Belgium

In the federal (bicameral) kingdom of Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, there is a curious asymmetrical constellation serving as directly elected legislatures for three "territorial" regions—Flanders
Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

 (Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

), Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

 (bilingual, certain peculiarities of competence, also the only region not comprising any of the 10 provinces) and Wallonia (French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

)—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 ("Flemish Parliament
    Flemish Parliament
    The Flemish Parliament constitutes the legislative power in Flanders, for matters which fall within the competence of Flanders, both as a geographic region and a cultural community of Belgium The Flemish Parliament (Dutch: , and formerly called Flemish Council or Vlaamse Raad) constitutes the...

    "; 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 (in all matters of regional competence, its decisions have no effect in Brussels)
  • Parliament of the French Community
  • parliament of the German Community
    Parliament of the German-speaking Community
    The Parliament of the German-speaking Community is the legislative assembly of the German-speaking Community of Belgium based in Eupen.The most important tasks of the Parliament of the German-speaking Community include the election and the supervision of the Government of the German-speaking...

  • parliament of the Walloon region
    Walloon Parliament
    The Walloon Parliament , formerly the Walloon Regional Council , is the Parliament of the Walloon Region, commonly called Wallonia, one of the self-governing Regions of Belgium with Flanders and the Brussels-Capital Region...

  • parliament of the Brussels 'capital' region
    Brussels Parliament
    The Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region , is the governing body of the Brussels-Capital Region, one of the three regions of Belgium...

    ;
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
Flemish Community Commission
The Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie is the local representative of the Flemish authorities in the Brussels-Capital Region, one of the three regions of Belgium...

 and a Francophone one
French Community Commission
The Commission communautaire française is the local representative of the French-speaking authorities in the Brussels-Capital Region, one of the three regions of Belgium....

, 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.

United Kingdom

  • Parliament of the United Kingdom
    Parliament of the United Kingdom
    The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

  • Northern Ireland Assembly
    Northern Ireland Assembly
    The Northern Ireland Assembly is the devolved legislature of Northern Ireland. It has power to legislate in a wide range of areas that are not explicitly reserved to the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and to appoint the Northern Ireland Executive...

  • Scottish Parliament
    Scottish Parliament
    The Scottish Parliament is the devolved national, unicameral legislature of Scotland, located in the Holyrood area of the capital, Edinburgh. The Parliament, informally referred to as "Holyrood", is a democratically elected body comprising 129 members known as Members of the Scottish Parliament...

  • Welsh Assembly

See also

  • Congress
    Congress
    A congress is a formal meeting of the representatives of different nations, constituent states, independent organizations , or groups....

  • Delegated legislation
    Delegated legislation
    In the United Kingdom, delegated legislation is legislation or law that is passed otherwise than in an Act of Parliament . Instead, an enabling Act confers a power to make delegated legislation on a Government Minister or another person or body...

  • Global democracy
    Global democracy
    Global democracy may lie in the scope of:* Cosmopolitan democracy, a project of normative political theory which explores the application of norms and values of democracy at different levels, from global to local...

  • Government
    Government
    Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

  • History of democracy
    History of democracy
    The history of democracy traces back to Athens to its re-emergence and rise from the 17th century to the present day. According to one definition, democracy is a political system in which all the members of the society have an equal share of formal political power...

  • Inter-Parliamentary Union
  • Legislation
    Legislation
    Legislation is law which has been promulgated by a legislature or other governing body, or the process of making it...

  • Parliamentary procedure
    Parliamentary procedure
    Parliamentary procedure is the body of rules, ethics, and customs governing meetings and other operations of clubs, organizations, legislative bodies, and other deliberative assemblies...

  • Parliamentary records
    Parliamentary records
    -Oldest:The oldest recorded parliament still in existence is the Althing, the ruling legislative body of Iceland. It was founded in 930 and originally consisted of 39 local chieftains. Abolished in 1800 it was restored by Denmark in 1843....

  • Witan
  • Parliament of the World's Religions
    Parliament of the World's Religions
    There have been several meetings referred to as a Parliament of the World’s Religions, most notably the World's Parliament of Religions of 1893, the first attempt to create a global dialogue of faiths. The event was celebrated by another conference on its centenary in 1993...


External links

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