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 12: The Sénat Français of the Fifth Republic: The permanent paradox

Priscilla Jensel Monge

Abstract

In light of the criticisms facing the Sénat français, the issue of the renovation of bicameralism looks like a well-worn subject in French constitutionalism. It is not an issue peculiar to France. However, a specific study is necessary to analyse and understand the criticisms directed at the Sénat of the Fifth Republic and related to its original sin. Going against these criticisms, however, the study intends to demonstrate that the Sénat plays an essential role in the distinctive institutional configuration of the Fifth Republic and that a profound reform of this institution appears to be neither possible nor even desirable.

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