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A legislative council is the name given to 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.

Contents

HistoryEdit

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 councilsEdit

ExtantEdit

NationalEdit

Country Body Type Established Notes
  Brunei Darussalam 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
  Macau Legislative Council Unicameral 1976
  Isle of Man Legislative Council Upper House
  Palestine Legislative Council Unicameral 1996
  Saint Helena Legislative Council Unicameral

Sub-nationalEdit

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

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
  Venezuela Zulia Legislative Council Unicameral 1864

DefunctEdit

NationalEdit

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
  British Virgin Islands Legislative Council Unicameral 2007
  Burma Legislative Council Unicameral 1897 1936
  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 1907 1963 Established under the British Settlements Act, 1843
  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
  Montserrat Legislative Council Unicameral 2011 Established under instructions to the governor
  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 1907 Established under the Foreign Jurisdiction Act, 1843
  Papua New Guinea Legislative Council Unicameral 1951 1963
  Portuguese Guinea Legislative Council Unicameral 1963 1972 Became the Legislative Assembly
  Portuguese West Africa Legislative Council Unicameral 1922 1972 Abolished between 1926 and 1955
  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
  Sierra Leone Legislative Council Unicameral Established under the British Settlements Act, 1843
  Solomon Islands Legislative Council Unicameral 1960 1970
  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 1925 1961 Established under the prerogative
  Tanganyika Legislative Council Unicameral Established under the Foreign Jurisdiction Act, 1843
  Turks and Caicos Islands Legislative Council Unicameral 2006
  Uganda Legislative Council Unicameral 1920 1962 Established under the Foreign Jurisdiction Act, 1843
  Upper Canada Legislative Council Upper House 1791 1841
  Zaire Legislative Council Unicameral 1972 1990

Sub-nationalEdit

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 Florida Territory Legislative Council Bicameral
  United States New Jersey Legislative Council Upper House 1776 1844
  United States South Carolina Legislative Council Upper House 1776 1778

United StatesEdit

In American English, the term "legislative council" has acquired a slightly 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 alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  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.