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Here are Top Countries of the World That Practice A Bicameral Legislature.. African countries dominate

A bicameral legislature or bicameralism is simply refers to a particular body of government that consists of two legislative houses or chambers, much like the US Congress or British Parliament. In the case of the British, their Parliament is made up of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Likewise, the United States Congress is made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Unicameralism is what you have in the absence of a bicameral legislature. In it, all of the members deliberate and vote as a single group. There are, however, some countries which have three or more separate assemblies, chambers or houses.

By 2015, only a little less than half of the world’s national legislatures were bicameral. In this type of legislature, the members of the two chambers are often elected or selected using different methods, which vary from country to country. With this election process, the two chambers can often have a very different composition of members.

The enactment of primary legislation in a country often requires a concurrent majority which is, basically, the approval of a majority of members in each of the chambers of the legislature. When the majority of members of each chamber approve a legislation, the legislature may be called an example of perfect bicameralism.

bicameral legislature

In many Westminster system parliaments, however, the house to which the executive is responsible can overrule the other house and may be regarded as an example of imperfect bicameralism. Some legislatures lie in between these two positions, with one house only able to overrule the other under certain circumstances.

Walter Bagehot gave one of the most famous rationales for practicing bicameral legislature. In his words;

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

Basically, it helps to have two assemblies governing the interests of a State because the two are less likely to be swept along in any negative plans that could ultimately hurt the state than one would be.


Here are all the countries that currently practice bicameral legislature and the bodies they have;

CountryBicameral body
AfghanistanMasharano JirgaWolesi Jirga
AlgeriaCouncil of the NationPeople’s National Assembly
Antigua and BarbudaSenateHouse of Representatives
ArgentinaSenateChamber of Deputies
AustraliaSenateHouse of Representatives
BahamasSenateHouse of Assembly
BahrainConsultative CouncilCouncil of Representatives
BarbadosSenateHouse of Assembly
BelarusCouncilHouse of Representatives
BelgiumSenateChamber of Representatives
BelizeSenateHouse of Representatives
BhutanNational CouncilNational Assembly
BoliviaSenateChamber of Deputies
BrazilSenateChamber of Deputies
BurundiSenateNational Assembly
CambodiaSenateNational Assembly
CanadaSenateHouse of Commons
CameroonSenateNational Assembly
Central African RepublicSenateNational Assembly
ChileSenateChamber of Deputies
ColombiaSenateChamber of Representatives
Czech RepublicSenateChamber of Deputies
DR CongoSenateNational Assembly
CongoSenateNational Assembly
Equatorial GuineaSenateNational Assembly
EthiopiaHouse of FederationHouse of Peoples’ Representatives
FranceSenateNational Assembly
GabonSenateNational Assembly
GrenadaSenateHouse of Representatives
HaitiSenateChamber of Deputies
IndiaRajya SabhaLok Sabha
IndonesiaRegional Representative CouncilPeople’s Representative Council
IrelandSeanad ÉireannDáil Éireann
ItalySenate of the RepublicChamber of Deputies
Ivory CoastSenateNational Assembly
JamaicaSenateHouse of Representatives
JapanHouse of CouncillorsHouse of Representatives
JordanSenateHouse of Representatives
KenyaSenateNational Assembly
LesothoSenateNational Assembly
LiberiaSenateHouse of Representatives
MadagascarSenateNational Assembly
MalaysiaDewan NegaraDewan Rakyat
MexicoSenateChamber of Deputies
MyanmarAmyotha HluttawPyithu Hluttaw
NepalPratinidhi SabhaRashtriya Sabha
NetherlandsEerste KamerTweede Kamer
NigeriaSenateHouse of Representatives
OmanMajlis al-DawlaMajlis al-Shura
PakistanSenateNational Assembly
PalauSenateHouse of Delegates
PhilippinesSenateHouse of Representatives
RomaniaSenateChamber of Deputies
Russian FederationFederation CouncilState Duma
Saint LuciaSenateHouse of Assembly
South AfricaNational Council of ProvincesNational Assembly
SpainSenateCongress of Deputies
SwitzerlandCouncil of StatesNational Council
United KingdomHouse of LordsHouse of Commons
United StatesSenateHouse of Representatives
Trinidad and TobagoSenateHouse of Representatives
UruguaySenateChamber of Representatives
UzbekistanSenateLegislative Chamber
ZimbabweSenateHouse of Assembly

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