A bicameral parliament in the context of forming constitutional democracy

Keywords: parliament, two-house parliament, bicameralism, constitutional democracy, law


The article analyzes peculiarities of formation of a two-house parliament in the conditions of constitutional democracy. It has been established that parliamentarism, which theoretical origins date back into the doctrines about folk and national sovereignty, is logically connected with the establishment of principles of the supremacy of law and democracy in society and the state, with the implementation of effective mechanisms to guarantee constitutional human rights, as well as with the formation of such institutions that would ensure the most complete and comprehensive conduction of its functions and meeting the needs of society.

Ukrainian parliamentarism has long-standing historical roots. Modern legal scholars consider that there are a few precursors of national parliamentarism. These are Viche democracy and feudal congresses in Kyievan Rus, Cossack councils and Cossack democracy in general, the activities of the Central Rada and even to some extent the “parliamentarism” of the Soviet era. However, the establishment and development of full-fledged national parliamentarism became possible only after Ukraine’s independence in 1991.

It has been summarized that nowadays, comprehensive outspread of the theory and practice of bicameralism should be recognized as one of the most distinctive tendencies of genesis of modern constitutionalism. In the last decades, many countries around the world, regardless their state form of government, have intensified processes of transition to a bicameral structure of a parliament. Even if in the early 70’s of XX century two-house parliaments functioned in 45 countries in the world, in 2008 their number reached 70. Yet, another ten more countries are preparing to switch to the bicameral structure of their parliaments.

Currently, two-house parliaments have ceased to be a tribute of historical traditions of constitutionalism or some “anomaly” of the state legal development of countries, which are united by one legal system. Bicameralism has become a daily political and legal phenomenon for a large number of population of our planet. These are the most economically developed countries of the world that have chosen such a system of parliamentarism at present. Therefore, out of fifteen countries that have the highest indicators of the gross domestic product in the world, only two, that is China and South Korea, have one-house national legislative bodies. It has been recapitulated that the European Union and its member states are gradually asserting bicameralism both in the constitutional theory and in practice. Particularly, two-house parliaments are successfully functioning in such unitary member states of the European Union as Austria, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Poland, Slovenia, Romania, France, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and others.


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How to Cite
Irkliienko, A. (2020). A bicameral parliament in the context of forming constitutional democracy. Law Review of Kyiv University of Law, (1), 136-139. https://doi.org/10.36695/2219-5521.1.2020.26
Constitutional law. Municipal law