Skip to main content

Parliamentary Prvilege Act 1770 and "proceedings in parliament"

Section 342 says:

Ashby v. White, 40 and Reg. v. Paty, 41 and to the difference between the views as expressed in the first edition of Blackstone's Commentaries in 1765, which were not unfavourable to the House of Commons, and those in the fifth edition, which was published a year after the Parliamentary Privilege Act: see 1st ed., vol. 1, p. 159; 5th ed., vol. 1, p. 165.]

The Attorney-General has referred to four cases in which one would have anticipated this privilege, if it was thought to exist against proceedings, being raised, and there are others, mainly of libel of a criminal nature, which may be relevant: Rex v. Lord Abingdon 42; Rex v. Creevey. 43 Stockdale v. Hansard 44is the most important decision for the purposes of the present case, the importance of it being in its decision that the lex parliamenti is part of the law of the land and it is for the courts alone to decide what it is. [Goffin v. Donnelly 45 was also referred to.]

In paragraph 8 of the Report of the Committee of Privileges in the present case it is stated that: "No one today would question the claim that the system of questions by members to Ministers and the answers given by Ministers are 'proceedings in Parliament,' even though the question be written down outside Parliament and sent by post to the House of Commons." That statement is inaccurate and I certainly question it. The Report of the Select Committee on the Official Secrets Act in 1938, with which the House of Commons agreed, and which in part is set out in the Report of the Committee of Privileges in the present case, stated in paragraph 3 that: "The article in the Bill of Rights is not necessarily an exhaustive definition of the cognate privileges. But even assuming that it is, the privilege is not confined to words spoken in debate or to spoken words, but extends to all proceedings in Parliament. While the term proceedings in Parliament' has never been construed by the courts, it covers both the asking of a question and the giving written notice of such question, and includes everything said or done by a member in the exercise of his functions as a member in a committee of either House, as well as everything said or done in either House in the transaction of parliamentary business." The submission is that that is not really supported by any legal authority. "Proceedings in Parliament" mean proceedings which take place either in the Chamber or committees.

This is the main legal authority in defining what are proceedings in parliament. It tends to endorse my arguments that the courts can require ministers to answer questions.


Popular posts from this blog

Statement re false allegations from Esther Baker

Statement by John Hemming
I am pleased that the Police have now made it clear that there has been a concerted effort to promote false criminal allegations against me and that the allegations had no substance whatsoever.
I would like to thank Emily Cox, my children, Ayaz Iqbal (my Solicitor), my local lib dem team and many others who supported me through this dreadful experience. There are many worse things that happen to people, but this was a really bad experience.
It is bad enough to have false allegations made about yourself to the police, but to have a concerted campaign involving your political opponents and many others in public creates an environment in which it is reasonable to be concerned about ill founded vigilante attacks on your family and yourself. Luckily there was a more substantial lobby to the contrary as well, which included many people who were themselves real survivors of abuse, which has helped.
I am normally someone who helps other people fight injustice. …

Homelessness vs Selling Books

Candidates in elections tend to find themselves very busy with lots of things to do.  It is, therefore, necessary to prioritise things to ensure that the important things are dealt with.

To me the issue of homelessness and rough sleeping is an important issue.  Therefore, when Birmingham's Faith Leaders group contacted me to ask me what I would propose and whether I would work with them to make things better I was pleased to respond with my views and indicate that I would work with them after the election.

The Faith Leaders Group (Bishops and other religious leaders in Birmingham) have now sent out their report.

Sadly, according to their report,  I was the only candidate for Yardley to respond.  The group in their report said:

"Particularly disappointing was the lack of response from some of those candidates seeking re-election as MP for their respective constituencies."
It is worth looking at the priorities of my opponent.
Interestingly today she has decided to be at th…

R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

I have only just found this one which I think is accurately reported below (but if it is not please give me an accurate report).


R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

November 9 1923

Editor’s comments in bold.

Here, the magistrates’ clerk retired with the bench when they were considering a charge of dangerous driving. The clerk belonged to a firm of solicitors acting in civil proceedings for the other party to the accident. It was entirely irrelevant that there had been no evidence of actual influence brought to bear on the magistrates, and the conviction was duly quashed.

It is clear that the deputy clerk was a member of the firm of solicitors engaged in the conduct of proceedings for damages against the applicant in respect of the same collision as that which gave rise to the charge that the justices were considering. It is said, and, no doubt, truly, that when that gentleman retired in the usual way with the justices, taking with him the…