Home > 4.1.1 Lower house > BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA - Amicus Curiae Brief for the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the Mode of Election of Delegates to the House of Peoples of the Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
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Paragraph 49

It is not inherently undemocratic to have a second chamber that is not proportionally representative of the population. In particular, bicameralism is often practised in federal states to equally represent the sub-national authorities at a national level; where this is the purpose of the second chamber, it is entirely appropriate that the members are selected by those sub-national authorities. A corollary of representing a sub-national authority in this manner is the, seemingly, disproportionate representation of the different populations. IDEA International comments that where a second chamber exists to represent sub-national authorities, there tends to be an assumption this will generally involve disproportionate representation of the population: “190. The structures of these vary widely, but in general the most common use of second chambers is in federal systems to represent the constituent units of the federation. For example, the states in the USA and Australia, the Länder in Germany and the provinces in South Africa are all separately represented in an upper house. Typically, this involves a weighting in favour of the smaller states or provinces, as there tends to be an assumption of equality of representation between them. In addition, many second chambers feature staggered elections: half the chamber is elected every three years in Australia and Japan; one-third of the chamber is elected every second year in the USA and India, and so on.”