Fynwell Senate is a Legislative Branch of Fynwell government. It is comprised of three chambers. All legislation must pass through the three chambers in order to be ratified as a law.
House of Lords
House of Lords is an upper chamber of the senate, composed of 30 Lord Senators from the Fynwell Founding Families. Their titles are hereditary. There was originally 40 seats in the Hourse of Lords but ten noble houses died out and no new ones were added. House of Lords meets in The Landsmeet gardens.
House of Commons
House of Commons is the middle chamber of the senate composed of 47 Senators democratically elected from each district every 10 years. Districts have varying number of Senators allotted to them based on population, historical significance and other factors. House of Commons meets in The Forum.
Small Council is the lowest chamber of the senate and it's function is to safeguard the interests of various religious an special interest groups.
In it's original form, Small Council was a group of dozen priests and guild representatives who served advisory role in the Senate but had no power of it's own. As the power of the guilds and wealthy merchants grew, the advisory board became more and more prominent until it became a new chamber.
At present, the Small Council is composed of three independent committees which review and vote on legislation that pertains to their domain:
- The Committee of Religious Affairs - reviews legislation to make sure it does not violate any sacred laws, or divine decrees. It is composed of Vicars, who are appointed religious representatives from all the major organized religions that have temples in the city.
- The Commerce Committee - reviews legislation to make sure it won't have impact on commerce, and safeguards the interests of the guilds. It's members (Commerce Councillors) are appointed guild representatives, as well as members of prominent merchant clans that conduct business in the city.
- The Peoples' Committee - reviews legislation to make sure it does not discriminate against any race of people in the city. It's members known as Representatives are chosen in general election and serve a term of three years.
The Small Council meets in The Chapterhouse. The committees debate and vote independently in separate chambers (North Chamber for religion, West Chamber for Commerce and East Chamber for People's) but gather in the central chamber to announce their votes. Both Religious and People's chambers require unanimous decision, whereas the Commerce only needs two thirds quorum.
Passing the laws through the Small Council is usually considered to be a formality, and the committees often rubber stamp legislation without much debate. It is however not uncommon for laws to get bogged down in the council when one of the Committees refuses to budge, or proposes major re-writes.