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 8: The shadow of bicameralism in a unicameral state: Dispersed functional bicameralism in Bulgaria?

Mihail Vatsov and Polina Vakleva

Abstract

By drawing on the Bulgarian constitutional case, the chapter proposes the notion of ‘functional bicameralism’. The chapter illustrates this idea with reference to the Bulgarian legislature, a formally unicameral parliament where other institutions have historically served the functions and values of bicameralism. After reviewing the attempts (and failures) that have been historically carried out to introduce a formal bicameral system in the country, the authors assess whether and to what extent institutions like the President, the Constitutional Court and the Grand National Assembly could actually be viewed as second chambers ‘lookalikes’.

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