Legislative council

A legislative council is the legislature, or one of the legislative chambers, of a nation, colony, or subnational division such as a province or state; or, in the United States, a council within a legislature which supervises nonpartisan legislative support staff. A member of a legislative council is commonly referred to as an MLC.

History

In the British Empire, the authority under which legislative councils have been constituted has varied: some under the prerogative, others by act of parliament, and some by commission and royal instructions.[1] Many are or were the upper house in a bicameral legislature and many had members who were appointed, not elected.

List of legislative councils

Extant

National

Country Body Type Established Notes
 Brunei DarussalamLegislative CouncilUnicameral1959Suspended in 1984, reconvened in 2004
 Hong KongLegislative CouncilUnicameral1843Established under the British Hong Kong era; Provisional Legislative Council 1997–98
 Isle of ManLegislative CouncilUpper House
 PalestineLegislative CouncilUnicameral1996
 Saint HelenaLegislative CouncilUnicameral

Sub-national

In India, the Vidhan Parishad is another name for the Legislative Council in those states with bicameral legislatures.

Country Region Body Type Established Notes
 AustraliaNew South WalesLegislative CouncilUpper House1824Unicameral until 1856
 AustraliaSouth AustraliaLegislative CouncilUpper House1840Unicameral until 1857
 AustraliaTasmaniaLegislative CouncilUpper House1825Unicameral until 1856
 AustraliaVictoriaLegislative CouncilUpper House1851Unicameral until 1856
 AustraliaWestern AustraliaLegislative CouncilUpper House1832Unicameral until 1890
 IndiaAndhra PradeshLegislative CouncilUpper House1958Abolished between 1985 and 2007
 IndiaBiharLegislative CouncilUpper House1912Unicameral until 1919
 IndiaJammu and KashmirLegislative CouncilUpper House1957
 IndiaKarnatakaLegislative CouncilUpper House1956
 IndiaMaharashtraLegislative CouncilUpper House1960
 IndiaTelanganaLegislative CouncilUpper House2014
 IndiaUttar PradeshLegislative CouncilUpper House1935
 VenezuelaZuliaLegislative CouncilUnicameral1864

Defunct

National

Country Body Type Established Disestablished Notes
 Antigua and BarbudaLegislative CouncilUnicameralEstablished under instructions to the governor
 BahamasLegislative CouncilUnicameralEstablished under instructions to the governor
 BarbadosLegislative CouncilUnicameralEstablished under instructions to the governor
 Bechuanaland ProtectorateLegislative CouncilUnicameral19611965
 BermudaLegislative CouncilUnicameralEstablished under instructions to the governor
 British ColumbiaLegislative CouncilUnicameral18671871
 British GuianaLegislative CouncilUnicameral19281961Established by an act of parliament; abolished between 1953 and 1954.
 British HondurasLegislative CouncilUnicameralEstablished under instructions to the governor
 British Virgin IslandsLegislative CouncilUnicameral2007
 BurmaLegislative CouncilUnicameral18971936
 CeylonLegislative CouncilUnicameral18331931Established under the prerogative
 CyprusLegislative CouncilUnicameralEstablished under the prerogative
 DominicaLegislative CouncilUnicameralEstablished by an act of parliament
 Falkland IslandsLegislative CouncilUnicameral18452009Established under the British Settlements Act, 1843
 FijiLegislative CouncilUnicameralEstablished under the prerogative
 GambiaLegislative CouncilUnicameralEstablished under the British Settlements Act, 1843
 GibraltarLegislative CouncilUnicameral19501969
 Gold CoastLegislative CouncilUnicameralEstablished under the British Settlements Act, 1843
 IndiaImperial Legislative CouncilBicameral18611947Unicameral until 1920
 JamaicaLegislative Council
 KenyaLegislative CouncilUnicameral19071963Established under the British Settlements Act, 1843
Lower CanadaLegislative CouncilUpper House17911841
 MalayaFederal Legislative CouncilUnicameral19481957
 MaltaLegislative CouncilUnicameralEstablished under the prerogative
 Mandatory PalestineLegislative CouncilUnicameral19221923
 MauritiusLegislative CouncilUnicameralEstablished under the prerogative
 MontserratLegislative CouncilUnicameral2011Established under instructions to the governor
 NewfoundlandLegislative CouncilUpper House18331934
 New ZealandLegislative CouncilUpper House18411950Unicameral until 1853
 NigeriaLegislative CouncilUnicameralEstablished under the prerogative
 Northern RhodesiaLegislative CouncilUnicameralEstablished under the Foreign Jurisdiction Act, 1843
 NyasalandLegislative CouncilUnicameral1907Established under the Foreign Jurisdiction Act, 1843
Papua New GuineaLegislative CouncilUnicameral19511963
Portuguese GuineaLegislative CouncilUnicameral19631972Became the Legislative Assembly
Portuguese West AfricaLegislative CouncilUnicameral19221972Abolished between 1926 and 1955
Province of CanadaLegislative CouncilUpper House18411867
 St Kitts-Nevis-AnguillaLegislative CouncilUnicameralEstablished under instructions to the governor
 St LuciaLegislative CouncilUnicameralEstablished under the prerogative
 St VincentLegislative CouncilUnicameralEstablished by an act of parliament
 SeychellesLegislative CouncilUnicameralEstablished under the prerogative
Sierra LeoneLegislative CouncilUnicameralEstablished under the British Settlements Act, 1843
 Solomon IslandsLegislative CouncilUnicameral19601970
 Southern RhodesiaLegislative CouncilUnicameral18981923Established under the prerogative
 Straits SettlementsLegislative CouncilUnicameral1866Established by an act of parliament
 SingaporeLegislative CouncilUnicameral19461953
 Trinidad and TobagoLegislative CouncilUnicameral19251961Established under the prerogative
 TanganyikaLegislative CouncilUnicameralEstablished under the Foreign Jurisdiction Act, 1843
 Turks and Caicos IslandsLegislative CouncilUnicameral2006
 UgandaLegislative CouncilUnicameral19201962Established under the Foreign Jurisdiction Act, 1843
Upper CanadaLegislative CouncilUpper House17911841
 ZaireLegislative CouncilUnicameral19721990

Sub-national

Country Region Body Type Established Disestablished Notes
 AustraliaQueenslandLegislative CouncilUpper House18601922
 CanadaManitobaLegislative CouncilUpper House18701876
 CanadaNew BrunswickLegislative CouncilUpper House17851891
 CanadaNova ScotiaLegislative CouncilUpper House18381928
 CanadaPrince Edward IslandLegislative CouncilUpper House17731893
 CanadaQuebecLegislative CouncilUpper House18671968
 IndiaAssamLegislative CouncilUpper House19351969
 IndiaBombayLegislative CouncilUpper House18611960Unicameral until 1935
 IndiaCochinLegislative CouncilUnicameral19251949
 IndiaMadhya PradeshLegislative CouncilUpper House19561969
 IndiaPunjabLegislative CouncilUpper House19561969
 IndiaTamil NaduLegislative CouncilUpper House19561986
 IndiaWest BengalLegislative CouncilUpper House19351969
 United StatesDelawareLegislative CouncilUpper House17761792
 United StatesFlorida TerritoryLegislative CouncilBicameral
 United StatesNew Jersey Legislative CouncilUpper House17761844
 United StatesSouth CarolinaLegislative CouncilUpper House17761778

United States

In American English, the term "legislative council" has acquired a slightly different meaning since the 1930s. It refers to a joint committee with members from both houses of the state legislature, which supervises a staff of attorneys, accountants, and researchers charged with providing strictly nonpartisan support services to the legislature or to particular committees.[2] The concept of the legislative council was first developed in Kansas and was implemented by the Kansas Legislature in 1933.[2] Eventually, a majority of U.S. states adopted legislative councils, but under a variety of names.[2] Kansas still uses a legislative council, although it was converted into the Kansas Legislative Coordinating Council in 1971. Legislative councils operating under that name exist in the states of Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin. Several states use the term "commission" for the same thing, including New Jersey and Nevada.

A few states, like California, have a "legislative counsel", not "council", who is appointed by a vote of the entire legislature and is thus responsible to the body as a whole rather than a "council" within it.

See also

References

  1. Wright, Martin. Appendix 9 in The Development of the Legislative Council 1606–1945, in the series "Studies in Colonial Legislatures" edited by Margery Perham of the Institute of Colonial Studies, Oxford, England (Faber & Faber, 1946).
  2. Teaford, Jon C. (2002). The Rise of the States: Evolution of American State Government. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 153–157. ISBN 9780801868894. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
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