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( November 2017)
upper house is one of two of a chambers (or one of three chambers of a bicameral legislature ), the other chamber being the tricameral legislature . lower house The house formally designated as the upper house is usually smaller and often has more restricted power than the lower house. Examples of upper houses in countries include the  , Brazil's Australian Senate , the Senado Federal , France's Canadian Senate , Germany's Sénat , India's Bundesrat , Ireland's Rajya Sabha , Malaysia's Seanad , Myanmar's Dewan Negara , the Netherlands' Amyotha Hluttaw , Pakistan's Eerste Kamer , Russia's Senate of Pakistan , Switzerland's Federation Council , United Kingdom's Council of States and the House of Lords . United States Senate
A legislature composed of only one house (and which therefore has neither an upper house nor a lower house) is described as
Possible specific characteristics
An upper house is usually different from the lower house in at least one of the following respects (though they vary among jurisdictions):
, it often has much less power than the lower house. Therefore, in certain countries the Upper House
parliamentary system votes on only limited legislative matters, such as constitutional amendments,
cannot initiate most kinds of legislation, especially those pertaining to supply/money,
cannot vote a against the government (or such an act is much less common), while the lower house always can. motion of no confidence In a
presidential system It may have equal or nearly equal power with the lower house.
It may have specific powers not granted to the lower house. For example:
It may give
to some executive decisions (e.g. appointments of cabinet ministers, judges or ambassadors). advice and consent It may have the sole power to try (but not necessarily initiate)
cases against officials of the impeachment or even executive branch, following enabling resolutions passed by the lower house. judicial It may have the sole power to ratify treaties. In a :
semi-presidential system It may have less power than the lower house
in semi-presidential , the France can decide to legislate a normal law without the Government 's agreement (Article 45 of the constitution), but Sénat It may have equal power to the lower house regarding the constitution or the territorial collectivities.
It may not vote a
against the government, but it may investigate State cases. motion of no confidence It may make proposals of laws to the lower house.
In some countries, its members are not popularly elected; membership may be indirect, hereditary, ex officio or by appointment.
Its members may be elected with a different voting system than that used to elect the lower house (for example, upper houses in Australia and its states are usually elected by
, whereas lower houses are usually not). proportional representation Less populated states, provinces, or
may be better represented in the upper house than in the lower house; representation is not always intended to be proportional to population. administrative divisions Members' terms may be longer than in the lower house and may be for life.
Members may be elected in portions, for staggered terms, rather than all at one time.
In some countries, the upper house cannot be dissolved at all, or can be dissolved only in more limited circumstances than the lower house.
It typically has fewer members or
than the lower house (though notably not in the seats ). United Kingdom parliament It has usually a higher than the lower house. age of candidacy