[Linux-aus] Final petition draft...

Andrew Donnellan ajdlinux at gmail.com
Sat Jun 10 18:10:03 UTC 2006

Anything tabled in Parliament is immune from all criminal and civil proceedings.


 There are two aspects of the immunity. First, there is the immunity
from civil or criminal action and examination in legal proceedings of
members of the Houses and of witnesses and others taking part in
proceedings in Parliament. This immunity is usually known as the right
of freedom of speech in Parliament. Secondly, there is the immunity of
parliamentary proceedings as such from impeachment or question in the

This immunity is in essence a safeguard of the separation of powers:
it prevents the other two branches of government, the executive and
the judiciary, calling into question or inquiring into the proceedings
of the legislature (cf US v Johnson 1966 383 US 169; Hamilton v Al
Fayed 1999 3 All ER 317).

Members of the Houses and other participants in proceedings in
Parliament, such as witnesses giving evidence before committees, are
immune from all impeachment or question in the courts for their
contributions to proceedings in Parliament. As those contributions
consist mainly of speaking in debate in the Houses and speaking in
committee proceedings, this immunity has the significant effect that
members and witnesses cannot be prosecuted or sued for anything they
say in those forums. Thus the common designation of the immunity as
freedom of speech. It has long been regarded as absolutely essential
if the Houses of the Parliament are to be able to debate and to
inquire utterly fearlessly for the public good. The immunity has a
wider scope, however, and a question of interpretation of that wider
scope led to the statutory declaration and codification of the
immunity which is outlined below.

On 6/10/06, Glen Turner <glen.turner at aarnet.edu.au> wrote:
> Hugh Blemings wrote:
> > Given iPod and iTunes are Apple's trademarks, might we be better served
> > to phrase generically ? Perhaps:
> I'd use whatever language is most effective.  Presented
> petitions are protected by parliamentary privilege.
> For more information on this, and petitioning procedure
> in general see
>   <http://wopared.parl.net/senate/pubs/odgers/chap1809.htm>
> Cheers,
> Glen
> _______________________________________________
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> linux-aus at lists.linux.org.au
> http://lists.linux.org.au/listinfo/linux-aus

Andrew Donnellan
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