Bicameralism under Pressure
Edited by Richard Albert, Antonia Baraggia and Cristina Fasone
Chapter 3: Visible and invisible second chambers in unitary States: Territorializing national legislatures in Italy and the United Kingdom
The chapter explores in comparative perspective two recent and significant reforms of national legislatures: on the one hand, the 2014 Italian constitutional reform (rejected by the 2016 referendum) requiring the Senate to represent ‘territorial institutions’ (and no longer ‘the Nation’) as it occurs in fully-fledged federal states’ second chambers; on the other hand, the 2015 House of Commons reform on ‘English Votes for English Laws’, requiring legislation at the UK level affecting England (and Wales) to be enacted only with the consent of Members of Parliament for constituencies in England (and Wales). Since both the reforms ‘territorialise’ one of the Houses of Parliament, the chapter analyses the possible rationale and constitutional significance of territorial representation for unitary, rather than federal states, emphasising the theoretical difficulties in embedding territorial representation in unitary states, where the trustee model of political representation and the dogma of unitary sovereignty are still dominant.
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