A legislator (also known as a deputy or lawmaker) is a person who writes and passes laws, especially someone who is a member of a legislature. Legislators are often elected by the people of the state.[1] Legislatures may be supra-national (for example, the European Parliament), national (for example, the United States Congress), 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, for example, the executive is formed almost exclusively from legislators (members of Parliament) although the judiciary is mostly independent (until reforms in 2005, the Lord Chancellor uniquely was a legislator, a member of the executive - indeed, the Cabinet - and a judge, while until 2009 the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary were both judges and legislators as members of the House of Lords, though by convention they did not vote in the House until retirement).

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 his electoral district.

By countryEdit

This is an incomplete list of terms for a national legislator:

Country Title Legislature
  Algeria نواب ("Député") People's National Assembly
  Argentina Diputado Nacional Chamber of Deputies
Diputado provincial Several provincial Chambers of Deputies
  Belarus Дэпутат ("deputat") House of Representatives
  Belgium Provincial executive member: Gedeputeerde (nl) / Député (fr) / Deputierter (de) Deputation / Provincial College (provincial executive body)
In French, député is sometimes also used to denote a member of parliament. Chamber of Representatives or a regional parliament
  Bolivia Diputado (m.) / Diputada (f.) Chamber of Deputies
  Brazil Deputado estadual Legislative Assemblies
Deputado federal Chamber of Deputies
  Bulgaria Депутат(Deputat)l National Assembly (Bulgaria)
  Canada Senator[2] Sénateur Senate of Canada
Member of Parliament (M.P.)[3] / Député House of Commons of Canada
  Chile Diputado (m.) / Diputada (f.) Chamber of Deputies
  China Deputy (人大代表) National People's Congress
  Colombia Diputado (m.) / Diputada (f.) Departamental Assemblies
  Costa Rica Diputado (m.) / Diputada (f.) Asamblea Legislativa
  Denmark Folketingsmedlem Folketinget
  Dominican Republic Diputado (m.) / Diputada (f.) Chamber of Deputies of the Dominican Republic
  Ecuador Asambleísta (before 2007, diputado) Asamblea Nacional de la República del Ecuador
  El Salvador Diputado (m.) / Diputada (f.) Asamblea Legislativa
  France Député (m.) / Députée (f.) Assemblée nationale
Sénateur (m.) / Sénatrice (f.) Sénat
  Guatemala Diputado (m.) / Diputada (f.) Congreso de la República de Guatemala
  Guernsey People's Deputy States of Guernsey
  Haiti Député[4] Chamber of Deputies (Haiti)
  Honduras Diputado (m.) / Diputada (f.) National Congress of Honduras
  India Member of Parliament Lok Sabha
  Iran مجلس شورای اسلامی Islamic Consultative Assembly (Iran)
  Ireland Senators / Seanadóirí Seanad Éireann
Teachtaí Dála (T.D.) Dáil Éireann
  Italy Deputato Camera dei Deputati
  Jersey Deputy States of Jersey
  Kazakhstan Депутат ("deputat") Majilis
  Latvia Deputāts Saeima (Parliament)
  Lebanon Député/النواب (Nuwwab, or deputy) Parliament
  Luxembourg Deputéierten / Député Chambre des Députés/d'Chamber (Chamber of Deputies)
  Mexico Diputado (m.) / Diputada (f.) Camara de Diputados
  Netherlands Gedeputeerde Gedeputeerde Staten (European Netherlands)
Eilandgedeputeerde Bestuurscollege (Caribbean Netherlands)
  Nicaragua Diputado (m.) / Diputada (f.) Asamblea Nacional
  North Korea Deputy (대의원; taeŭiwŏn)[5][6] Supreme People's Assembly
  Panama Diputado (m.) / Diputada (f.) National Assembly
  Paraguay Diputado (m.) / Diputada (f.) Chamber of Deputies of Paraguay
  Portugal Deputado Assembly of the Republic
  Romania Deputat Camera Deputatilor
  Russia Депутат ("deputat") State Duma and regional legislative bodies
  Somalia Deputy Federal Parliament
  Spain Diputado (m.) / Diputada (f.) Congress of Deputies
  Thailand Senator (วุฒิสมาชิก; ส.ว.) Senate of Thailand
Member of the H.R. (สมาชิกสภาผู้แทนราษฎร; ส.ส.) House of Representatives of Thailand
  Ukraine People's Deputy of Ukraine (Депутат) Verkhovna Rada
  United Kingdom Lords Spiritual and Lords Temporal House of Lords
Member of Parliament (M.P.) House of Commons of the United Kingdom
  United States of America Senator United States Senate
Representative; Congressperson United States House of Representatives
  Uruguay Diputado (m.) / Diputada (f.) Chamber of Representatives
  Venezuela Diputado (m.) / Diputada (f.) National Assembly of Venezuela

Substitute legislatorEdit

Some legislatures provide each legislator with an official "substitute legislator" who deputises for the legislator in the legislature if he or she is unavailable. Venezuela, for example, provides for substitute legislators (diputado suplente) to be elected under Article 186 of its 1999 constitution.[7] Ecuador and Panama also have substitute legislators.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ Parliament of Canada: Senate: Senators.
  3. ^ Parliament of Canada: Guide to the Canadian House of Commons: The Role of a Member of Parliament.
  4. ^ "Chambre des députés - Le Parlement haitien". Le Parlement haitien.
  5. ^ "Socialist Constitution". Chapter IV, Section 1, Article 89. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  6. ^ 사회주의헌법 (in Korean). 제6장, 제1절, 제89조. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-04-17. Retrieved 2014-04-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit