Essay On Parliamentary Privilege

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The origin of parliamentary privilege is indistinguishably linked with the history and evolution of the parliamentary institution in England. Broadly, the context of modern day parliamentary privilege refers to the parliament’s stand against executive interference in their working and their struggle over jurisdiction of privata lex. The executive branch of the government diverged from the houses of parliament which lead to difficulty in establishing a place for itself in the framework of the legal system. Consequently, parliamentary privileges are necessary to protect themselves from the inference and power of the monarch and the house of lords in the era. Since the Middle Ages, the House of Commons has been asserting its right to freedom of speech and expression in the face of royal interference from the monarch. It was only by the latter half of the fifteenth century that the houses of parliament seemed to enjoy the undefined right to freedom of speech and expression. It was, however, a matter of tradition rather than by virtue of a parliamentary privilege. During the sixteenth century, the right was well established and…show more content…
Thus, an indirect affect of Clause 9 of the Bill of Rights was to hinder the ability of a member to sue for defamation in order to let non-members justify the statements made against the member of parliament. Clause 9 of the Bill of Rights would otherwise prevent the justification for statements that keep a check on the actions in a public forum. The aforementioned safeguard for non-members was waived momentarily in English history and turned out to be wholly unsatisfactory. In light of the above, the Nicholl Committee’s recommendation in 1999 stated that the provision be repealed and in return, each house shall have power to waive privileges in court proceedings, subject to the safeguards to maintain protection of the Bill of Rights for
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