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 16: Concluding chapter - Bicameralism as a normative choice in the tension between its reform and its passing

Giovanni Piccirilli

Abstract

Reforming bicameralism does not necessarily mean modifying the structure or the procedures of both the Houses. Elaborating on four national cases (Bosnia-Herzegovina, France, Poland and Slovenia), this chapter focuses on the issues arising in the attempt to modify only one of the two branches of a parliament. The claim is that the modification of the upper house implies a change in the fundamental structure of the form of state, the upper house being ‘the’ distinctive feature of a given bicameralism. Finally, as a normative choice, the chapter supports the idea of reforming bicameralism systems instead of shifting to unicameralism, as the former are more likely to provide for instruments of limitations on the tyranny of the majority within the political process.

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