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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

By country

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 legislator

Some legislatures provide each legislator with an official "substitute legislator" who deputises for the legislator in the legislature if the elected representative is unavailable. Venezuela, for example, provides for substitute legislators (diputado suplente) to be elected under Article 186 of its 1999 constitution.[7] Ecuador, Panama, and the U.S. state of Idaho also have substitute legislators.[8]

See also


  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)
  8. ^ Russell, Betsy (16 March 2014). "Idaho's substitute law unique". Spokesman Review. Retrieved 16 October 2022.