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|Legislatures by country|
|Part of the Politics series|
A legislator is a person who writes and passes laws, especially someone who is a member of a legislature. Legislators are often elected by the people, but they can be appointed, or hereditary. Legislatures may be supra-national (for example, the European Parliament), national (for example, the United States Congress), sub-national, such as US states, Canadian provinces or German Länder, or local (for example, local authorities).
The political theory of the separation of powers requires legislators to be independent individuals from the members of the executive and the judiciary. Certain political systems adhere to this principle, others do not. In the United Kingdom and other countries using the Westminster system, for example, the executive is formed almost exclusively from legislators (members of the parliament), and the executive Cabinet itself has delegated legislative power.
In continental European jurisprudence and legal discussion, "the legislator" (le législateur) is the abstract entity that has produced the laws. When there is room for interpretation, the intent of the legislator will be questioned, and the court is directed to rule in the direction it judges to best fit the legislative intent, which can be difficult in the case of conflicting laws or constitutional provisions.
The local term for a legislator is usually a derivation of the local term for the relevant legislature. Typical examples include
- Parliament: member of parliament
- Assembly: member of the assembly
- Legislature: member of the legislature
- Congress: member of congress
- Senate: senator
- House of Representatives: representative
- The generic term "deputy" may also be used, deriving from the concept that the legislator is "deputising" for the electorate of their electoral district.
This is an incomplete list of terms for a national legislator:
Some legislatures provide each legislator with an official "substitute legislator" who deputises for the legislator in the legislature if the elected representative is unavailable. Venezuela, for example, provides for substitute legislators (diputado suplente) to be elected under Article 186 of its 1999 constitution. Ecuador, Panama, and the U.S. state of Idaho also have substitute legislators.
- Little, T.H.; Ogle, D.B. (2006). The Legislative Branch of State Government: People, Process, and Politics. ABC-CLIO's about state government. ABC-CLIO. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-85109-761-6. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
- Senators. Parliament of Canada.
- "Guide to the Canadian House of Commons: The Role of a Member of Parliament. Parliament of Canada.
- "Chambre des députés". Le Parlement haitien. Archived from the original on Aug 31, 2018.
- "Socialist Constitution". Chapter IV, Section 1, Article 89. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
- 사회주의헌법 (in Korean). 제6장, 제1절, 제89조. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
- "Asamblea Nacional Constituyente". Tribunal Supremo de Justicia. Archived from the original on 2014-04-17. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
- Russell, Betsy (16 March 2014). "Idaho's substitute law unique". Spokesman Review. Retrieved 16 October 2022.