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Practice

Bicameralism or Unicameralism

A Case of the United Kingdom and Uganda

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3-4 2010
Keywords unicameralism, bicameralism, legislative system of Uganda, legislative system of the UK
Authors Esther Majambere
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of a unicameral legislative system and that of a bicameral legislative system. A unicameral legislature has one chamber whereas a bicameral legislature has two chambers as this article shows in detail.In any democratic state, Parliament is the only organ given power to make laws. Most Constitutions define legislation as the central function of parliament. This is supported by its very name ‘the Legislature’. The law making processes in a unicameral legislature are more less the same as those in a bicameral legislature as this article discusses. The only difference is that in a bicameral system the law has to be approved by both chambers. The article therefore explores whether the second chamber is necessary.Bicameralism seems to work best in countries that are larger or socially and ethnically diverse. It helps to resolve regional conflict. In some countries with a bicameral legislative system, the upper house is used as a way of reserving representation for certain societal groups and or to replace a further check on the power of the Lower House. The Parliament of UK is a bicameral legislature with the House of Lords (upper house) and the House of Commons (lower house). The House of Lords includes two different types of members- the Lord Spiritual (the senior bishops of the Church of England) and the Lords Temporal (members of the peerage upper ranks of the British nobility) elected by the population at large, but are appointed by the sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister. The House of Lords also performed a judicial role through the Law Lords prior to the opening of the Supreme Court. In theory, supreme legislative power is vested in the Queen-in-Parliament; in practice real power is vested in the House of Commons, as will be discussed in this article. Therefore how many chamber a parliament should have is a controversial question in constitutional law.


Esther Majambere
Esther Majambere is a Senior Legal Officer at the Uganda Law Reform Commission in Kampala, Uganda.
Practice

Legislatures in Modern States: The Role of Legislature in Ensuring Good Governance Is Inadequate

A Case Study of the United Kingdom and Sierra Leone

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3-4 2010
Keywords legislature, good governance, comparative analysis
Authors Kadija Kabba
AbstractAuthor's information

    This essay is about examining the role of legislature in ensuring good governance and how adequate or otherwise they are in ensuring good governance. To examine and establish the facts, a comparative analysis is made between the United Kingdom and Sierra Leone Legislatures.This article first and foremost tried to establish that, indeed legislatures all over the world have an important role in ensuring good governance, which is the bed-rock and an essential ingredient in any government intending to thrive in governance, achieve its goals of success and a well-ordered and sustainable society.This piece of work chose transparency and accountability, two vital components that make up the concept of good governance as criteria in making the comparative analysis between two independent countries with legislatures as an arm of the Government.In comparing and analyzing the two jurisdictions, it was further established that there are certain factors that may limit or enhance the achievement of good governance by these legislatures. Nevertheless, the irrefutable fact this article tried to illustrate is that Good Governance needs an effective Parliament.


Kadija Kabba
Kadija Kabba is a Legal Officer and Legislative Drafter at the Central Bank of Sierra Leone. She holds an LL.M from the Universitty of London, A MPhil from the University of Tromsee, Norway, a LL.B and BA Degrees from the University of Sierra Leone. She is also a qualified barrister and Socilitor of the High Court of Sierra Leone.
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