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A legislator, or lawmaker, is a person who writes and passes laws, especially someone who is a member of a legislature. Legislators are often elected by the people, but they can be appointed, or hereditary. Legislatures may be supra-national (for example, the European Parliament), national (for example, the Japanese Diet), sub-national, such as provinces, or local (for example, local governments).



The political theory of the separation of powers requires legislators to be independent individuals from the members of the executive and the judiciary. Certain political systems adhere to this principle, others do not. In the United Kingdom and other countries using the Westminster system, for example, the executive is formed almost exclusively from legislators (members of the parliament), and the executive Cabinet itself has delegated legislative power.

In continental European jurisprudence and legal discussion, "the legislator" (le législateur) is the abstract entity that has produced the laws. When there is room for interpretation, the intent of the legislator will be questioned, and the court is directed to rule in the direction it judges to best fit the legislative intent, which can be difficult in the case of conflicting laws or constitutional provisions.


The local term for a legislator is usually a derivation of the local term for the relevant legislature. Typical examples include

By country

This is an incomplete list of terms for a national legislator:

Flag of Algeria.svg  Algeria نواب (Député) People's National Assembly
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Diputado Nacional Chamber of Deputies
Senador Senate
Diputado provincialSeveral provincial Chambers of Deputies
Flag of Belarus.svg  Belarus Дэпутат (deputat) House of Representatives
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium Provincial executive member: Gedeputeerde (Dutch) / Député (French) / Deputierter (German)Deputation / Provincial College (provincial executive body)
In French, député is sometimes also used to denote a member of parliament. Chamber of Representatives or a regional parliament
Bandera de Bolivia (Estado).svg  Bolivia Diputado/Diputada Chamber of Deputies
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil Deputado estadual/distrital Legislative Assemblies
Deputado federal Chamber of Deputies
Senador Federal Senate
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria Депутат (Deputat) National Assembly
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada Senator, [1] Sénateur Senate of Canada
Member of Parliament (MP) [2] / Député House of Commons of Canada
Flag of Chile.svg  Chile Diputado/Diputada Chamber of Deputies
Senador/Senadora Senate
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China Deputy (人大代表) National People's Congress
Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia Diputado/Diputada Departamental Assemblies
Flag of Costa Rica.svg  Costa Rica Diputado/Diputada Legislative Assembly
Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark Folketingsmedlem Folketinget
Flag of the Dominican Republic.svg  Dominican Republic Diputado/Diputada Chamber of Deputies of the Dominican Republic
Flag of Ecuador.svg  Ecuador Asambleísta (before 2007, diputado) National Assembly
Flag of El Salvador.svg  El Salvador Diputado/Diputada Legislative Assembly
Flag of France.svg  France Député/Députée National Assembly
Sénateur/Sénatrice Senate
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Gesetzgeber Bundestag
Flag of Guatemala.svg  Guatemala Diputado/Diputada Congress of the Republic
Flag of Guernsey.svg  Guernsey People's Deputy States of Guernsey
Flag of Haiti.svg  Haiti Député [3] Chamber of Deputies
Flag of Honduras.svg  Honduras Diputado/Diputada National Congress
Flag of India.svg  India Member of Parliament Lok Sabha
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran مجلس شورای اسلامی Islamic Consultative Assembly
Flag of Ireland.svg  Ireland Senators / Seanadóirí Seanad Éireann
Teachta Dála (TD) Dáil Éireann
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Deputato Chamber of Deputies
Flag of Jersey.svg  Jersey Deputy States Assembly
Flag of Kazakhstan.svg  Kazakhstan Депутат (deputat) Mäjilis
Flag of Latvia.svg  Latvia Deputāts Saeima
Flag of Lebanon.svg  Lebanon Député/النواب (Nuwwab, or deputy) Parliament
Flag of Luxembourg.svg  Luxembourg Deputéierten / Député Chamber of Deputies
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico Diputado/Diputada Chamber of Deputies
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands Gedeputeerde Provincial executive (European Netherlands)
Eilandgedeputeerde Bestuurscollege (Caribbean Netherlands)
Flag of Nicaragua.svg  Nicaragua Diputado/Diputada National Assembly
Flag of North Korea.svg  North Korea Deputy (대의원;taeŭiwŏn) [4] [5] Supreme People's Assembly
Flag of Panama.svg  Panama Diputado/Diputada National Assembly
Flag of Paraguay.svg  Paraguay Diputado/Diputada Chamber of Deputies
Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal Deputado Assembly of the Republic
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania Deputat Chamber of Deputies
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia Депутат (deputat) State Duma and regional legislative bodies
Flag of Somalia.svg  Somalia Deputy Federal Parliament
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Diputado/Diputada Congress of Deputies
Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand Senator (วุฒิสมาชิก; ส.ว.) Senate
Member of the H.R. (สมาชิกสภาผู้แทนราษฎร; ส.ส.) House of Representatives
Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine People's Deputy of Ukraine (Депутат) Verkhovna Rada
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom Lords Spiritual and Lords Temporal House of Lords
Member of Parliament (MP) House of Commons
Flag of the United States.svg  United States of America Senator Senate
Representative; Congressperson House of Representatives
Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay Diputado/Diputada Chamber of Representatives
Flag of Venezuela.svg  Venezuela Diputado/Diputada National Assembly
Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam Đại biểu Quốc hội National Assembly

Substitute legislator

Some legislatures provide each legislator with an official "substitute legislator" who deputises for the legislator in the legislature if the elected representative is unavailable. Venezuela, for example, provides for substitute legislators (diputado suplente) to be elected under Article 186 of its 1999 constitution. [6] Ecuador, Panama, and the U.S. state of Idaho also have substitute legislators. [7]

See also

Related Research Articles

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  2. "Guide to the Canadian House of Commons: The Role of a Member of Parliament. Parliament of Canada.
  3. "Chambre des députés". Le Parlement haitien. Archived from the original on Aug 31, 2018.
  4. "Socialist Constitution". Chapter IV, Section 1, Article 89. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  5. 사회주의헌법 (in Korean). 제6장, 제1절, 제89조. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  6. "Asamblea Nacional Constituyente". Tribunal Supremo de Justicia. Archived from the original on 2014-04-17. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  7. Russell, Betsy (16 March 2014). "Idaho's substitute law unique". Spokesman Review. Retrieved 16 October 2022.