Second chambers - even those which are otherwise weak - are often given particular responsibility for protecting the constitution. This responsibility flows naturally from both of the original models of second chambers - as either conservative or federal houses.! This contribution discusses the constitutional and human rights roles of second chambers in seven Western democracies. The chambers selected are intended to represent a spectrum of different models, and a range from effective to ineffective upper houses. The countries considered are Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Spain.