PARLIAMENT of CANADA
House of Commons Procedure and Practice
Edited by Robert Marleau and Camille Montpetit
2000 EditionMore information …
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3. Privileges and Immunities

[251] 
Marshall, p. 207; May, 22nd ed., p. 133.
[252] 
Marshall, p. 207; May, 22nd ed., pp. 133, 135-6.
[253] 
For a list of Commonwealth countries which had codified their privileges in statute as of 1966, see United Kingdom, House of Commons, Select Committee on Parliamentary Privilege, 1966-67, Report, pp. 184-5.
[254] 
Australia, Parliament, Parliamentary Privileges Act 1987. See also Odgers, 8th ed., pp. 27-8.
[255] 
For the text of the Senate resolutions, see Odgers, 8th ed., pp. 537-52. See also Harry Evans, “Parliamentary Privilege: Legislation and Resolutions in the Australian Parliament”, The Table, Vol. 56 (1988), pp. 21-2. This was done as a matter of necessity. The legislation was occasioned by two judgements of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, which severely restricted Parliament’s privilege of freedom of speech. As Evans noted, there has always been great reluctance on the part of Parliaments, which have inherited their privilege, practices and traditions from Britain, to legislate for parliamentary privilege. The basic reason for this reluctance is the danger of unduly restricting the powers and immunities of Houses of Parliament by tying them to precise legislative terms. It was thought better to rely on common law and the broad terms of the old statutes such as the Bill of Rights.
[256] 
Evans, p. 30.
[257] 
Evans, pp. 31-3.
[258] 
Sylvia Song, “The Reform of Parliamentary Privilege: Advantages and Dangers,” Legislative Studies, Vol. 12, No. 1 (Spring 1997), p. 39.
[259] 
Evans, p. 35.
[260] 
Song, p. 31.
[261] 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Select Committee on Parliamentary Privilege, 1966-67, Report, pp. v-vii, viii-xi, paras. 5-10, 16-24.
[262] 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Select Committee on Parliamentary Privilege, 1966-67, Report, p. xxxix, para. 146.
[263] 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Select Committee on Parliamentary Privilege, 1966-67, Report, p. xxvii, para. 87.
[264] 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Select Committee on Parliamentary Privilege, 1966-67, Report, pp. xlii-xliv, paras. 162-75.
[265] 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Select Committee on Parliamentary Privilege, 1966-67, Report, pp. xliv-xlvii, paras. 176-91.
[266] 
See “Summary of Principal Recommendations”, United Kingdom, House of Commons, Select Committee on Parliamentary Privilege, 1966-67, Report, pp. xlix-li, para. 205.
[267] 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Select Committee on Parliamentary Privilege, 1976-77, Third Report, pp. ix-x, paras. 16-8.
[268] 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Select Committee on Parliamentary Privilege, 1976-77, Third Report, p. xiv, para. 16.
[269] 
May, 22nd ed., p. 82.
[270] 
See “Summary of Recommendations”, United Kingdom, Joint Committee on Parliamentary Privilege, 1998-99, Report, pp. 1-7.
[271] 
See Maingot, 2nd ed., pp. 303-50.
[272] 
Barry L. Strayer, The Canadian Constitution and the Courts: The Function and Scope of Judicial Review, 3rd ed., Toronto: Butterworths, p. 224.
[273] 
Maingot, 2nd ed., p. 303.
[274] 
Parliament of Canada Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. P-1, s. 5.
[275] 
Maingot, 2nd ed., p. 306.
[276] 
Maingot, 2nd ed., p. 306.
[277] 
Maingot, 2nd ed., p. 307.
[278] 
Strayer, p. 224.
[279] 
Maingot, 2nd ed., pp. 122-3.
[280] 
Maingot, 2nd ed., p. 123: “The Criminal Code applies to the internal regulation of the Houses of Parliament, including the alleged criminal misuse of Members’ budgets”.
[281] 
Maingot, 2nd ed., pp. 234-5.
[282] 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Select Committee on Parliamentary Privilege, 1966-67, Report, p. 1.
[283] 
Maingot, 2nd ed., p. 155.
[284]
See above section entitled “Rights and Immunities of Individual Members”.
[285] 
Maingot, 2nd ed., p. 156.
[286] 
See Special Committee on Rights and Immunities of Members, First Report, presented to the House on July 12, 1976 (Journals, pp. 1421-3), for a summary of the case. See also Maingot, 2nd ed., p. 174. See also above section entitled, “Rights and Immunities of Individual Members”. In the United Kingdom, a Member may even be arrested in the House itself, and writs may be served on Members in the precinct of Westminster Palace provided, in both cases, that the House gives leave if it is a sitting day (May, 22nd ed., pp. 98, 100-1, 131n).
[287] 
May, 22nd ed., p. 98.
[288] 
Maingot, 2nd ed., pp. 164-5, 171-2.
[289] 
May, 22nd ed., pp. 100-2.
[290] 
Maingot, 2nd ed., p. 171.
[291] 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Select Committee on Parliamentary Privilege, 1966-67, Report, p. xvi, para. 47.
[292] 
Bourinot, 4th ed., p. 37.
[293] 
Standing Orders 157 and 158.
[294] 
This has been made clear by Speakers in rulings over the years. See, for example, Debates, May 15, 1970, p. 7007; May 25, 1970, p. 7255; May 21, 1981, pp. 9769-70; May 26, 1981, pp. 9920-1; May 27, 1981, pp. 9983-4; June 4, 1986, p. 13961.
[295] 
Journals, September 21, 1973, p. 567.
[296] 
Journals, September 21, 1973, p. 567.
[297] 
Debates, November 30, 1979, pp. 1890-2.
[298] 
Debates, November 30, 1979, p. 1891.
[299] 
Journals, December 14, 1989, p. 1011. See also James R. Robertson and Margaret Young, “Parliament and the Police: The Saga of Bill C-79,” Canadian Parliamentary Review, Vol. 14, No. 4 (Winter 1991-92), pp. 18-21.
[300] 
Journals, May 29, 1990, pp. 1775-6. See also Special Committee on the Review of the Parliament of Canada Act, Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence, March 11, 1990, Issue No. 7, pp. 5-9.


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