In modern politics, and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: representing the electorate, making laws, and overseeing the government via hearings and inquiries. The term is similar to the idea of a senate, synod or congress and is commonly used in countries that are current or former monarchies. Some contexts restrict the use of the word parliament to parliamentary systems, although it is also used to describe the legislature in some presidential systems (e.g., the Parliament of Ghana), even where it is not in the official name.
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Historically, parliaments included various kinds of deliberative, consultative, and judicial assemblies, an example being the French medieval and early modern parlements.