Constitutional Reform of National Legislatures
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Constitutional Reform of National Legislatures

Bicameralism under Pressure

Edited by Richard Albert, Antonia Baraggia and Cristina Fasone

Despite the importance of second chambers to the success of constitutional democracies around the world, today many fundamental questions about bicameralism remain understudied and undertheorized. What makes bicameral reform so difficult? Why choose bicameralism over unicameralism? What are the constitutional values of bicameralism? This innovative book addresses these questions and many more from comparative, doctrinal, empirical, historical and theoretical perspectives.
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Chapter 3: Visible and invisible second chambers in unitary States: Territorializing national legislatures in Italy and the United Kingdom

Barbara Guastaferro


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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