legislative branch

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The legislature (late antique Latin legis latio 'decision of the law', from Latin lex , law 'and ferre , carry', of which the PPP latum 'carried'; also legislative power ) is in state theory alongside the executive (executive power) and judiciary ( Jurisprudence ) one of the three - independent of each other in the case of a separation of powers - powers. The legislature is responsible for advising and passing laws ( legislation ) in terms of content and form as well as for controlling the executive and judiciary, although in Austria it only controls the executive and the judiciary remains independent. In a representative democracy , the parliaments form the legislature. In states with elements of direct democracy , the people also act as legislators in individual cases ( people's legislation ).


In Germany the legislature is exercised as follows:

Legislation is bound by the constitutional order .

According to the prevailing opinion, there is no legislative power at the level of the districts and municipalities, since the municipalities as a whole are merely self-governing bodies within the state executive from a constitutional point of view. According to this view, municipal councils are not parliaments; the self-governing organs of the municipality are merely administrative organs which lack legislative powers. In addition to the lack of a judiciary, an essential indication of this is the state statutory requirement of a municipal code instead of a self-chosen constitution . The members of the organs also do not enjoy the constitutionally guaranteed protection of immunity and indemnity for members of parliament . The decisions of these bodies can also - under strict conditions - be revoked or replaced by the local authority .

The advocates of the contrary argue as follows:

Article 28, Paragraph 1, Sentence 2 of the Basic Law states that “in the states, districts and municipalities [...] the people [must] have a representation that has emerged from general, direct, free, equal and secret elections”. In this regulation not only the districts and municipalities are named on the same level as the federal states, but it is also said that the people there must have a “representative” who must be elected according to general electoral principles. The same provision, from which it emerges that the states are not permitted under state law to regulate the elections for the state parliaments other than general, direct, free, equal and secret, also determines the electoral rules for the representative bodies in the municipalities. It is not understandable why the municipal councils should then have a different, namely no legislative, competence than the state parliaments, which nobody denies the legislative function. The existence of the municipal ordinances as a binding set of rules is also not admitted as counter-evidence, since the Basic Law would also make specifications for the states for their state constitutions. The density of regulations in the municipal ordinances is higher, but this is traditionally determined. Above all, however, there are also constitutions at the municipal level, namely in the form of the main statute, which every municipality in every federal state must give itself in order to regulate its basic order. Finally, the existence of the municipal supervision is not a reason for exclusion; Sun is also for the countries in 28 Art. para. 3 GG as well as in Art. 37 GG - provided oversight by the federal government - limited.


The legislature at the federal level in Switzerland is the Federal Assembly , consisting of the National Council and the Council of States . At the cantonal level, the cantonal parliament (called Cantonal Council, Grand Council or District Administrator depending on the canton) forms the legislature. The legislative power at community level is the community assembly or the community parliament (depending on the community also called residents' council, [large] community council, [large] city council or general council).


In Austria, the National Council and the Federal Council form the legislature at the federal level. At the state level, the legislative power is the state parliament .

United States

As a federal state , the USA exercises its legislative power at the national level through the Congress ( i.e. the parliament of the USA) and at the sub-national level through the parliaments of the individual states (→  State Legislature ).
The procedure for passing federal laws (which Congress (together with the US President ) is responsible
for passing ) is enshrined in the US Constitution ; the procedure for laws that fall under the jurisdiction of a state is governed by its respective constitution.

Both the Congress and the state parliaments (except that of Nebraska ) have two chambers each .

United Kingdom

The legislature of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is exercised through Parliament , which formally consists of three parts: Crown , House of Lords and House of Commons .


In France, the National Assembly forms the legislature together with the Senate . Both chambers have equal rights. In the event of disagreement, however, the National Assembly can override the Senate. This has the right to veto constitutional changes.

European Union

Supranational legislative functions in the European Union are exercised by the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament . In doing so, however, the European Commission has a key competence through its right of initiative, although the Commission is usually assigned to the executive branch.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Legislative  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Legislators  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations