Within parliamentary procedure, a
distinction is made between those procedures the House may alter alone, and
those it may not. Procedural provisions contained in the Constitution Act
and in various statutes cannot be modified by the House acting independently. A
change to the constitutional provisions affecting any part of the House must be
made in accordance with the amending formulae contained in the Constitution
and requires, at a minimum, the passage of an act of Parliament. Similarly,
only Parliament may enact or amend a statutory provision which affects House
procedure. Therefore, where the written Constitution applies in relation to the
House, it takes priority over statutory provisions applicable to the House.
Statutory provisions, in turn, may not be set aside in favour of rules or
orders made by the House alone. However, since the House has the exclusive
jurisdiction to determine whether and how a statute applies to its proceedings,
there may be extraordinary situations when the House determines that a
statutory provision ought not to apply.
The same reasoning applies to the Standing Orders and sessional and special
orders, which necessarily override practices and precedents, always provided
that such orders must be interpreted not in isolation but in the context of
their past application. Where there are no express rules or orders, the House
turns to its own jurisprudence, as interpreted by the Speaker, who examines the
Journals and Debates of the House to determine which rulings of
past Speakers and which practices and precedents should be applied. In
situations not provided for by the practices and precedents of the House, the
Standing Orders permit the Speaker to have recourse to the practices and
precedents of other jurisdictions, both in and outside Canada, so far as they may be applicable.
 R.S. 1985, Appendix II, No. 44, Part V.
 Bradlaugh v. Gossett,  12 QBD 271.
 Standing Order 1.