Joint Committee on Parliamentary Privilege -  Report
Parliamentary Privilege

Here you can browse the report which was ordered by the House of Lords and the House of Commons to be printed 18 June 2013.


Terms of Reference

1 Introduction and background


Developments since 1999


2 General principles

The need for parliamentary privilege

"Exclusive cognisance" and the rule of law

The limits of exclusive cognisance: the "doctrine of necessity"

The role of the courts

The role of statute

"Comprehensive codification"


3 Penal powers of the Houses

The issue

Other jurisdictions

Options for the United Kingdom Parliament

Doing nothing

Legislation on penal jurisdiction

Parliamentary assertion of powers


Procedure in Committee

Exemptions from the power to summon

Complaints of contempt

Process in the House of Commons

Committee investigations of complaints of contempt


4 The appointment of lay members to Select Committees

The Committee on Standards

Implications of legislation


5 Judicial questioning of proceedings in Parliament


Judicial questioning of proceedings in Parliament

The effects of such questioning



6 Disapplication of Article 9

Criminal cases

Civil cases

Court injunctions

Tribunals of inquiry


7 Reporting and repetition of parliamentary proceedings


Proposals for change

The views of the Committee

"Effective repetition"

8 Miscellaneous issues

Applicability of legislation to Parliament


Privileges contained in House of Lords Standing Orders

Registers of Members' Interests

Members' correspondence

Briefings by officials

Jury service

Freedom from arrest

Witness summonses

Service of court documents within the precincts

Members' access to the precincts of Parliament

9 The way forward

Conclusions and recommendations

Annex 1: Developments in Privilege since 1999 77

Annex 2: Draft resolutions for the House of Commons 88

Annex 3: Draft House of Commons Standing Orders 90

Annex 4: Call for evidence 99

Appendix: Letter from Treasury Solicitor, 21 March 2002 100

Members and interests 101

Formal Minutes of the Joint Committee 102

List of oral evidence 111

List of written evidence 112

List of responses to the Government consultation on the Green Paper, Cm 8318 113

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© Parliamentary copyright 2013
Prepared 3 July 2013