|15th Legislature of the French Fifth Republic|
|Houses|| Senate |
|Seats||Senate: 348 |
National Assembly: 577
Senate political groups
National Assembly political groups
|First-past-the-post voting (577 seats, two-round system)|
Senate last election
|27 September 2020|
National Assembly last election
|11 and 18 June 2017|
Senate next election
|By September 2023|
National Assembly next election
|By June 2022|
|Aile du Midi, Château de Versailles|
The French Parliament (French : Parlement français) is the bicameral legislature of the French Republic, consisting of the Senate (Sénat) and the National Assembly (Assemblée nationale). Each assembly conducts legislative sessions at separate locations in Paris: the Senate meets in the Palais du Luxembourg and the National Assembly convenes at Palais Bourbon .
Each house has its own regulations and rules of procedure. However, occasionally they may meet as a single house known as the Congress of the French Parliament (Congrès du Parlement français), convened at the Palace of Versailles, to revise and amend the Constitution of France.
The French Parliament, as a legislative body, should not be confused with the various parlements of the Ancien Régime in France, which were courts of justice and tribunals with certain political functions varying from province to province and as to whether the local law was written and Roman, or customary common law.
The word "Parliament", in the modern meaning of the term, appeared in France in the 19th century, at the time of the constitutional monarchy of 1830–1848. It is never mentioned in any constitutional text until the Constitution of the 4th Republic in 1948. Before that time, reference was made to "les Chambres" or to each assembly, whatever its name, but never to a generic term as in Britain. Its form – unicameral, bicameral, or multicameral – and its functions have varied throughout the different political regimes and according to the various French constitutions:
|Date||Constitution||Upper chamber||Lower chamber||Other chamber||Joint sitting||Single chamber|
|1791||French Constitution of 1791||Assemblée Nationale|
|1793||French Constitution of 1793||Corps législatif|
|1795–1799||Constitution of the Year III||Conseil des Anciens||Conseil des Cinq-Cents|
|1799–1802||Constitution of the Year VIII||Sénat conservateur||Corps législatif||Tribunat|
|1802–1804||Constitution of the Year X||Sénat conservateur||Corps législatif||Tribunat|
|1804–1814||Constitution of the Year XII||Sénat conservateur||Corps législatif||Tribunat|
|1814–1815||Charter of 1814||Chamber of Peers||Chambre des députés des départements|
|1815||Additional Act to the Constitutions of the Empire||Chamber of Peers||Chamber of Representatives|
|1830–1848||Charter of 1830||Chamber of Peers||Chamber of Deputies|
|1848–1852||French Constitution of 1848||Assemblée Nationale|
|1852–1870||French Constitution of 1852||Sénat||Corps législatif|
|1875–1940||French Constitutional Laws of 1875||Sénat||Chamber of Deputies||Assemblée Nationale|
|1940–1944||French Constitutional Law of 1940|
|1944–1946||Provisional Government of the French Republic||Assemblée Nationale|
|1946–1958||French Constitution of 1946||Conseil de la République||Assemblée Nationale||Parliament|
|since 1958||French Constitution of 1958||Sénat||Assemblée Nationale||Parlement réuni en Congrès|
The current Parliament is composed of two chambers: the upper Senate (French : le Sénat) and the lower National Assembly, which have 349 and 577 members respectively.
Deputies, who sit in the National Assembly, are elected by first past the post voting in two rounds for a term of five years, notwithstanding a dissolution of the Assembly. Each constituency has around 100,000 residents, though some variance of size exists between rural and urban constituencies. For example, the Val-d'Oise constituency has 188,000 electors, while Lozère has just 34,000.
Senators are elected by indirect universal suffrage by the grands électeurs, who consist of deputies, regional councillors, departmental councillors and representatives of municipal councillors. The latter constitute 95% of the electoral body.
Normally, the parliament meets for a single nine-month session each year but under special circumstances the President of France can call an additional session. Parliamentary power was limited after the establishment of the Fourth Republic; however, the National Assembly can still cause a government to fall if an absolute majority of the legislators votes for a motion of no confidence. As a result, the government usually consists of members from the political party that dominates the Assembly and must be supported by a majority there to prevent a vote of no-confidence.
The Prime Minister and other government Ministers are appointed by the President, who is under no constitutional or other mandatory obligation to make governmental appointments from the ranks of the majority party in parliament. This is a safe-guard that was introduced by the founder of the Fifth Republic, Charles de Gaulle, to attempt to prevent the disarray and horse-trading seen in the parliamentary regimes of the Third and Fourth Republics; however, in practice the prime minister and other ministers usually do belong to the majority party. A notable exception to this custom occurred during Nicolas Sarkozy's premiership when he appointed socialist ministers and Secretary of State-level junior ministers to his government. The rare periods during which the president is not from the same political party as the prime minister are usually known as cohabitation. The Cabinet of Ministers is led by the President rather than the Prime Minister.
The government (or, when it sits in session every Wednesday, the cabinet) exerts considerable influence on the agenda of Parliament. The government also can link its term to a legislative text which it proposes, and unless a motion of censure is introduced within 24 hours of the proposal and passed within 48 hours of introduction – thus full procedures last at most 72 hours – the text is considered adopted without a vote. However, this procedure was limited by a 2008 constitutional amendment. Legislative initiative rests with the National Assembly.
Legislators enjoy parliamentary immunity.Both assemblies have committees that write reports on a variety of topics. If necessary, they can establish parliamentary commissions of inquiry with broad investigative power. However, this is almost never exercised because the majority can reject a proposition by the opposition to create an investigatory commission. Also, such a commission may only be created if it does not interfere with a judicial investigation, meaning that in order to cancel its creation, one just needs to press charges on the topic concerned by the investigatory commission. Since 2008, the opposition may impose the creation of an investigative commission once a year, even against the wishes of the majority. However, they still cannot lead investigations if there is a judicial case in process already (or that starts after the commission is formed).
Bicameralism is a type of legislature, one divided into two separate assemblies, chambers, or houses, known as a bicameral legislature. Bicameralism is distinguished from unicameralism, in which all members deliberate and vote as a single group. As of 2015, about 40% of world's national legislatures are bicameral, and about 60% are unicameral.
The National Assembly is the lower house of the bicameral French Parliament under the Fifth Republic, the upper house being the Senate. The National Assembly's legislators are known as députés.
Tricameralism is the practice of having three legislative or parliamentary chambers. It is contrasted with unicameralism and bicameralism, each of which is far more common.
The current Constitution of France was adopted on 4 October 1958. It is typically called the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, and it replaced the Constitution of the Fourth Republic of 1946 with the exception of the preamble per a Constitutional Council decision in July 1971. The current Constitution regards the separation of church and state, democracy, social welfare, and indivisibility as core principles of the French state.
The National Assembly of Quebec is the legislative body of the province of Quebec in Canada. Legislators are called MNAs. The Queen in Right of Quebec, represented by the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec and the National Assembly compose the Legislature of Quebec, which operates in a fashion similar to those of other Westminster-style parliamentary systems. The assembly has 125 members elected first past the post from single-member districts.
The dissolution of a legislative assembly is the mandatory simultaneous resignation of all of its members, in anticipation that a successive legislative assembly will reconvene later with possibly different members. In a democracy, the new assembly is chosen by a general election. Dissolution is distinct on the one hand from abolition of the assembly, and on the other hand from its adjournment or prorogation, or the ending of a legislative session, any of which begins a period of inactivity after which it is anticipated that the same members will reassemble. For example, the "second session of the fifth parliament" could be followed by the "third session of the fifth parliament" after a prorogation, but the "first session of the sixth parliament" after a dissolution.
The Parliament of Pakistan is the federal and supreme legislative body of Pakistan. It is a bicameral federal legislature that consists of the Senate as the upper house and the National Assembly as the lower house. According to the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the President of Pakistan is also a component of the Parliament. The National Assembly is elected for a five-year term on the basis of adult franchise and one-man one-vote. The tenure of a Member of the National Assembly is for the duration of the house, or sooner, in case the Member dies or resigns. The tenure of the National Assembly also comes to an end if dissolved on the advice of the Prime Minister or by the president in his discretion under the Constitution.
The right of (legislative) initiative is the constitutionally defined power to propose a new law (bill) in a legislature.
The Italian Parliament is the national parliament of the Italian Republic. It is the representative body of Italian citizens and is the successor to the Parliament of the Kingdom of Italy (1861–1943), the transitional National Council (1943–1945) and the Constituent Assembly (1946–1948). It is a bicameral legislature with 945 elected members and a small number of unelected members. The Italian Parliament is composed of the Chamber of Deputies and Senate of the Republic. The two Houses are independent from one another and never meet jointly except under circumstances specified by the Constitution. Following a referendum on 21 September 2020, the number of MPs in the Parliament will be reduced from 630 to 400 in the Chamber of Deputies and from 315 to 200 in the Senate starting with the next legislature.
The unicameral National Assembly is Niger's legislative body. The National Assembly may propose laws and is required to approve all legislation.
The Haitian Parliament is the bicameral legislature of the Republic of Haiti, consisting of the upper house as the Senate (Sénat) and the lower house as the Chamber of Deputies. Both assemblies conduct legislative sessions at the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.
The Congress of the French Parliament is the name given to the body created when both houses of the present-day French Parliament—the National Assembly and the Senate—meet at the Palace of Versailles to vote on revisions to the Constitution or to listen to an address by the President of the French Republic.
Article 49 of the French Constitution is an article of the French Constitution, the fundamental law of the French Fifth Republic. It sets out the political responsibility of the government towards the parliament. It is part of Title V: "On relations between the parliament and the government". It structures the political responsibility of the current administration of the executive branch towards the French legislative branch. This section of the French constitution outlines how the legislative system tries to maintain the stability of the executive branch by providing the branch with alternatives outside the parliament. This was included in the constitution so as to counter the faults of the Fourth republic, such as successive rapid government takeovers, by providing the government with the ability to pass bills without the approbation of the parliament. A provision made possible through the subsection 3 of the article.
The National Assembly of Thailand is the bicameral legislative branch of the government of Thailand. It convenes in the Sappaya-Sapasathan, Dusit District, Bangkok.
The current Constitution of Madagascar was, according to the national electoral commission, endorsed by a majority of voters in the constitutional referendum held on 14 November 2010. The new constitution launched the Fourth Republic of Madagascar and was widely seen as an attempt to consolidate and legitimise the rule of Andry Rajoelina and his High Transitional Authority government which was installed after a military-backed coup d'état against President Marc Ravalomanana at the beginning of the ongoing national political crisis. One substantive change from the constitution of the Third Republic was to lower the minimum age for presidential candidates from 40 to 35. This made Rajoelina, aged 36 at the time, eligible to stand in presidential elections.
The Constitutional law on the Modernisation of the Institutions of the Fifth Republic was enacted into French constitutional law by the Parliament of France in July 2008, to reform state institutions.
The politics of France take place with the framework of a semi-presidential system determined by the French Constitution of the French Fifth Republic. The nation declares itself to be an "indivisible, secular, democratic, and social Republic". The constitution provides for a separation of powers and proclaims France's "attachment to the Rights of Man and the principles of national sovereignty as defined by the Declaration of 1789."
In France, the French constitution of 4 October 1958 was revised many times in its early years. Changes in this fundamental law have become more frequent since the 1990s. This has had two major causes: the desire to modernize public institutions on one hand, and adapting to the European Union and to international law on the other.
Semi-parliamentary system can refer to either a prime-ministerial system, in which voters simultaneously vote for both members of legislature and the prime minister, or to a system of government in which the legislature is split into two parts that are both directly elected – one that has the power to remove the members of the executive by a vote of no confidence and another that does not. The former was first proposed by Maurice Duverger, who used it to refer to Israel from 1996-2001. The second was identified by German academic Steffen Ganghof.