Legislative council

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A Legislative Council is the name given to the legislature, or one of the chambers of the legislature of many nations and colonies.

A member of a legislative council is commonly referred to as an MLC.

History[edit]

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]

List of Legislative Councils[edit]

Extant[edit]

National[edit]

Country Body Type Established Notes
 Brunei Legislative Council Unicameral 1959 Suspended in 1984, reconvened in 2004
 Hong Kong Legislative Council Unicameral 1843 Established under the prerogative; Provisional Legislative Council 1997–98
 Isle of Man Legislative Council Upper House
 Montserrat Legislative Council Unicameral Established under instructions to the governor
 Palestine Legislative Council Unicameral 1996
 Saint Helena Legislative Council Unicameral

Sub-national[edit]

Country Region Body Type Established Notes
 Australia New South Wales Legislative Council Upper House 1824 Unicameral until 1856
 Australia South Australia Legislative Council Upper House 1840 Unicameral until 1857
 Australia Tasmania Legislative Council Upper House 1825 Unicameral until 1856
 Australia Victoria Legislative Council Upper House 1851 Unicameral until 1856
 Australia Western Australia Legislative Council Upper House 1832 Unicameral until 1890
 India Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council Upper House 1958 Abolished between 1985 and 2007
 India Bihar Legislative Council Upper House 1912 Unicameral until 1919
 India Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council Upper House 1957
 India Karnataka Legislative Council Upper House 1907
 India Maharashtra Legislative Council Upper House
 India Telangana Legislative Council Upper House 2014
 India Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council Upper House 1935

Defunct[edit]

National[edit]

Country Body Type Established Disestablished Notes
 Antigua and Barbuda Legislative Council Unicameral Established under instructions to the governor
 Bahamas Legislative Council Unicameral Established under instructions to the governor
 Barbados Legislative Council Unicameral Established under instructions to the governor
 Bechuanaland Protectorate Legislative Council Unicameral 1961 1965
 Bermuda Legislative Council Unicameral Established under instructions to the governor
 British Columbia Legislative Council Unicameral 1867 1871
 British Guiana Legislative Council Unicameral 1928 1961 Established by an act of parliament; abolished between 1953 and 1954.
 British Honduras Legislative Council Unicameral Established under instructions to the governor
 Ceylon Legislative Council Unicameral 1833 1931 Established under the prerogative
 Cyprus Legislative Council Unicameral Established under the prerogative
 Dominica Legislative Council Unicameral Established by an act of parliament
 Falkland Islands Legislative Council Unicameral 1845 2009 Established under the British Settlements Act, 1843
 Fiji Legislative Council Unicameral Established under the prerogative
 Gambia Legislative Council Unicameral Established under the British Settlements Act, 1843
 Gibraltar Legislative Council Unicameral 1950 1969
 Gold Coast Legislative Council Unicameral Established under the British Settlements Act, 1843
 India Imperial Legislative Council Bicameral 1861 1947 Unicameral until 1920
 Jamaica Legislative Council
 Kenya Legislative Council Unicameral Established under the British Settlements Act, 1843
United Kingdom Lower Canada Legislative Council Upper House 1791 1841
 Malaya Federal Legislative Council Unicameral 1948 1957
 Malta Legislative Council Unicameral Established under the prerogative
 Mandatory Palestine Legislative Council Unicameral 1922 1923
 Mauritius Legislative Council Unicameral Established under the prerogative
 Newfoundland Legislative Council Upper House 1833 1934
 New Zealand Legislative Council Upper House 1841 1950 Unicameral until 1853
 Nigeria Legislative Council Unicameral Established under the prerogative
 Northern Rhodesia Legislative Council Unicameral Established under the Foreign Jurisdiction Act, 1843
 Nyasaland Legislative Council Unicameral Established under the Foreign Jurisdiction Act, 1843
Portugal Portuguese Guinea Legislative Council Unicameral 1963 1972 Became the Legislative Assembly
Portugal Portuguese West Africa Legislative Council Unicameral 1922 1972 Abolished between 1926 and 1955
United Kingdom Province of Canada Legislative Council Upper House 1841 1867
 St Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla Legislative Council Unicameral Established under instructions to the governor
 St Lucia Legislative Council Unicameral Established under the prerogative
 St Vincent Legislative Council Unicameral Established by an act of parliament
 Seychelles Legislative Council Unicameral Established under the prerogative
Flag of Sierra Leone 1916-1961.gif Sierra Leone Legislative Council Unicameral Established under the British Settlements Act, 1843
 Southern Rhodesia Legislative Council Unicameral 1898 1923 Established under the prerogative
 Straits Settlements Legislative Council Unicameral 1866 Established by an act of parliament
 Singapore Legislative Council Unicameral 1946 1953
 Trinidad and Tobago Legislative Council Unicameral Established under the prerogative
 Tanganyika Legislative Council Unicameral Established under the Foreign Jurisdiction Act, 1843
 Uganda Legislative Council Unicameral 1920 1962 Established under the Foreign Jurisdiction Act, 1843
United Kingdom Upper Canada Legislative Council Upper House 1791 1841
 Zaire Legislative Council Unicameral 1972 1990

Sub-national[edit]

Country Region Body Type Established Disestablished Notes
 Australia Queensland Legislative Council Upper House 1860 1922
 Canada Manitoba Legislative Council Upper House 1870 1876
 Canada New Brunswick Legislative Council Upper House 1785 1891
 Canada Nova Scotia Legislative Council Upper House 1838 1928
 Canada Prince Edward Island Legislative Council Upper House 1773 1893
 Canada Quebec Legislative Council Upper House 1867 1968
 India Bombay Legislative Council Upper House 1861 1960 Unicameral until 1935
 India Cochin Legislative Council Unicameral 1925 1949
 India Tamil Nadu Legislative Council Upper House 1861 1986 Unicameral until 1937
 India West Bengal Legislative Council Upper House 1969
 United States Delaware Legislative Council Upper House 1776 1792
 United States New Jersey Legislative Council Upper House 1776 1844
 United States South Carolina Legislative Council Upper House 1776 1778

Nonpartisan legislative support agency[edit]

In American English, the term "legislative council" has developed a radically different meaning since the 1930s. Today, 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. Today, legislative councils actually operating under that name exist in the states of Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin. Several states prefer to 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[edit]

References[edit]

  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. ^ a b c 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 August 25, 2014.