CHAPTER 296
PARLIAMENTARY IMMUNITIES, POWERS AND PRIVILEGES ACT

[PRINCIPAL LEGISLATION]

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

   Section

Title

PART I
PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

   1.   Short title.

   2.   Interpretation.

PART II
PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES OF THE ASSEMBLY AND ITS OFFICERS

   3.   Freedom of speech and debate.

   4.   Freedom of members to hold meetings in constituencies.

   5.   Immunity from legal proceedings.

   6.   Freedom from arrest for civil debt.

   7.   Entry to Assembly.

   8.   Order of withdrawal from Assembly.

   9.   Evidence of proceedings in Assembly or Committee not to be given without leave.

   10.   Members to be furnished with information.

   11.   Exercise of civil process.

   12.   Jurisdiction and procedure in relation to breaches, contempts, etc.

PART III
EVIDENCE

   13.   Power to order attendance of witnesses.

   14.   Attendant to be notified by summons.

   15.   Power to issue warrant to compel attendance.

   16.   Witness may be examined on oath.

   17.   Objection to answer questions or to produce papers.

   18.   Privileges of witnesses.

   19.   Evidence of proceedings in Assembly or Committee not to be given without leave.

   20.   Certificate issued to witness making full disclosure to be a bar to civil or criminal proceedings.

   21.   False evidence.

   22.   Interference with witnesses.

   23.   False documents.

   24.   Contempt.

   25.   Questions relating to evidence and production of documents before the Assembly or a Committee to be determined in accordance with usage of Parliament.

PART IV
OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

   26.   Proceedings to be deemed judicial proceedings for certain purposes of Penal Code.

   27.   Offences relating to admittance to the Assembly.

   28.   Corrupt or improper practices.

   29.   Other offences against members and officers.

   30.   Disobedience.

   31.   Other offences.

   32.   Acceptance of bribes by members.

   33.   Protection of persons responsible for publications authorised by the Assembly.

   34.   Publication of proceedings without malice.

   35.   Powers of Speaker and officers not subject to jurisdiction of courts.

   36.   Powers of officers.

   37.   Powers of arrest.

   38.   Sanctions for prosecutions.

   39.   Journals printed by order of the Assembly to be admitted as evidence.

   40.   Powers to be supplementary to powers under the Constitution.

   41.   Absence of the Speaker.

   42.   [Repeal of R.L. Cap 359.]

CHAPTER 296
THE PARLIAMENTARY IMMUNITIES, POWERS AND PRIVILEGES ACT

An Act to declare and define the immunities, powers and privileges of Parliament and of the members and committees of the National Assembly and to provide for related matters.

[1st December, 1988]
[G.N. No. 413 of 1988]

Act No. 3 of 1988

PART I
PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS (ss 1-2)

1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Parliamentary Immunities, Powers and Privileges Act.

2.   Interpretation

   In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires–

   "Assembly" means the National Assembly;

   "Clerk" means the Clerk of the Assembly and includes any person acting as such on the authority of the Speaker;

   "Committee" means a Standing Committee of the Assembly established in accordance with section 89 of the Constitution and includes any committee selected to exercise the powers of the Assembly;

   "journals" means the minutes of the Assembly or the official record of the votes or proceedings of the Assembly *;

   "member" means any member of the Assembly and in any case where the Speaker is not a member of the Assembly, the Speaker;

   "officer of the Assembly" means the Clerk or any other officer or person acting within the precincts of the Assembly under the orders of the Speaker and includes any police officer on duty within the precincts of the Assembly;

   "police officer" has the same meaning as in the Police Force and Auxiliary Service Act *;

   "precinct of the Assembly" means the chamber in which the Assembly sits in session for the transaction of business, together with the offices, rooms, lobbies, galleries, courtyards, gardens and other places provided for the use or accommodation of members, officers or strangers, and any passages connecting such places and any other places immediately contiguous thereto as may from time to time be declared by the Speaker as being within the precincts of the Assembly;

   "Standing Orders" means the Standing Orders of the Assembly made in accordance with the provisions of Article 89 of the Constitution *;

   "Speaker" means the Speaker of the Assembly and includes a Deputy Speaker and any other member elected, in accordance with Article 93 of the Constitution, by the Assembly to act as such;

   "stranger" means any person other than a member or an officer of the Assembly but does not include the Speaker where such Speaker is not a member.

PART II
PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES OF THE ASSEMBLY AND ITS OFFICERS (ss 3-12)

3.   Freedom of speech and debate

   There shall be freedom of speech and debate in the Assembly and such freedom of speech and debate shall not be liable to be questioned in any court or place outside the Assembly.

4.   Freedom of members to hold meetings in constituencies

   (1) Subject to this Act and to any statutory or other provisions regulating the convening and organisation of such meetings, a member shall be free to hold public meetings in his constituency and all responsible authorities shall facilitate them in a manner as convenient to the member as is possible under the circumstances.

   (2) Any person who causes obstruction at such public meetings commits an offence and is liable to be proceeded against by the relevant authority in accordance with law.

5.   Immunity from legal proceedings

   No civil or criminal proceedings may be instituted against any member for words spoken before, or written in a report to the Assembly or a committee, or by reason of any matter or thing brought by him therein by petition, bill, or motion or otherwise or for words spoken or act done in bona fide pursuance of a decision or proceeding of the Assembly or a committee.

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