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Limitations On The Powers Of The Legislature / National Assembly
The major function of the legislature as one of the organs of government is law making. It is also the centre of discussions about policies, programmes and ideas and the place where important decisions are made.
The legislature is often referred to as the Parliament, National Assembly and in some countries it may be called the Congress as in the USA and in other countries, the Chamber of Deputies.
Countries with one legislative body are said to have unicameral legislature, whereas, those with two legislative bodies have bicameral legislature. For example in U.S.A. and Nigeria there are two Houses namely; House of Senate and House of Representatives. In Britain, the two Houses are called House of Lords and House of Commons.
What are the limitations of the General Assembly?
There are several limitations on the power of the leglslature.
Development of Political Parties
The development of modern political parties has curbed the powers and independence of the legislature. Modern parties are highly disciplined organizations and party members including legislators, are required to obey party rules and regulations. They are required to support governments formed by the party.
Expansion of Executive Powers
The increasing scope and complexity of executive power in the twenty-first century has invariably led to the decline of assemblies. The chief executives are so powerful today that they even sometimes influence the appointment of leaders of legislatures.
In a presidential system, the Supreme Court can declare as unconstitutional any law made by the legislature if it is inconsistent with the constitution.
Public opinion may act as a check on the activities of the legislature.
Non-performing legislators may be recalled by the people in his constituency. They may also not be re-elected at the end of their term.