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Legal Dictionary

legislator

Definition of legislator

Etymology

    From Latin l─"gisl─ütor.

Noun

legislator (plural legislators)

  1. Someone who creates or enacts laws, especially a member of a legislative body.

Synonyms

Further reading

A legislator (or lawmaker) is a person who writes and passes laws, especially someone who is a member of a legislature. Legislators are usually politicians and are often elected by the people. Legislatures may be supra-national (for example, the United Nations General Assembly), national (for example, the United States Congress), regional (for example, the National Assembly for Wales), or local (for example, local authorities).

The political theory of the separation of powers requires legislators to be different 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).

In continental European jurisprudence and legal discussion, "the legislator" (le l├ęgislateur) 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 supposed 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.

United States legislatures

  • United States Congress - Member of Congress (M.C.)
    • United States Senate - Senator
    • United States House of Representatives - Member of Congress (i.e. Congressman, Congresswoman or Representative)

- State legislatures

  • State legislature --
    • State Senate - State Senator or (colloquially) Senator
    • State House of Representatives - State Representative or (colloquially) Representative

United Kingdom legislatures

  • Parliament of the United Kingdom
    • House of Lords - Lord
    • House of Commons - Member of Parliament (MP)
  • Scottish Parliament - Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP)
  • National Assembly for Wales - Assembly Member/Aelod y Cynulliad (AM/AC)
  • Northern Ireland Legislative Assembly - Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA)

References:

  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.



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