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Research on Parliamentary Privilege Concurrently Discuss Chinese National People's Congressional Privilege

von Weizhong Yi

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[1.] Wy/Fragment 111 01 - Diskussion
Zuletzt bearbeitet: 2013-09-14 20:18:15 WiseWoman
BauernOpfer, Fragment, Gesichtet, Griffith 2007, SMWFragment, Schutzlevel sysop, Wy

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Graf Isolan
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Untersuchte Arbeit:
Seite: 111, Zeilen: 1ff (komplett)
Quelle: Griffith 2007
Seite(n): 64-65, 66, Zeilen: 64:21-30 - 65:1-9; 66:16-21
[Whether a Member of Parliament may be liable in defamation if the member makes a defamatory statement in the House of Representatives – a statement which is protected by absolute privilege under article 9 of the Bill of Rights 1688 –] and later affirms the statement (but without repeating it) on an occasion which is not protected by privilege.335

Affirmation or ‘effective repetition’ has been found to amount to no more than a Member confirming that they ‘stand by’ what they said in Parliament or, as in Buchanan v Jennings, that they “do not resile” from what they said in the House. The facts of the case were that, in December 1997 the MP, Jennings, alleged abuse of expenditure and an illicit relationship on the part of officials involved in the sponsorship of a sporting tour. He was subsequently interviewed by a journalist who then published an article recording that Jennings withdrew some of his financial allegations, and reported him as saying that he ‘did not resile’ from his claim about the illicit relationship between the officials and the sponsors. The affirmation or ‘effective repetition’ was admitted that the evidence and damages were awarded against Jennings in both the New Zealand High Court and the Court of Appeal. From there it went to the Privy Council, which upheld the earlier rulings. There was no doubt that what Jennings said in the House was protected by absolute privilege. However, that privilege did not extend to cover his republication of that statement by reference outside the House.336

But Buchanan v. Jennings has proved a controversial decision. In May 2005 the Privileges Committee of the New Zealand House of Representatives published its report on the case in which it recommended that the Legislature Act 1908 is amended to provide that no person may incur criminal or civil liability for making any statement that affirms, adopts or endorses words written or spoken in [proceedings in Parliament where the statement would not, but for the proceedings in Parliament, give rise to criminal or civil liability.337]


335 [2005] 1 AC 115.

336 Gareth Griffith, Parliamentary Privilege: Major Developments and Current Issues, http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/publications.nsf/0/18DBE18C7D65CDF0CA2572D100091751/$File/ParliamentaryPrivelige07.pdf.

[337 Privileges Committee, Final Report on the question of privilege referred 21 July 1998 concerning Buchanan v Jennings, 1.17G, May 2005, p.9; For a commentary see – A Geddis, Parliamentary privilege: quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Public Law,Winter, 2005.]

[Seite 64]
whether a Member of Parliament may be liable in defamation if the member makes a defamatory statement in the House of Representatives – a statement which is protected by absolute privilege under article 9 of the Bill of Rights 1688 – and later affirms the statement (but without repeating it) on an occasion which is not protected by privilege.235

Affirmation or ‘effective repetition’ has been found to amount to no more than a Member confirming that they ‘stand by’236 what they said in Parliament or, as in Buchanan v Jennings, that they ‘do not resile’ from what they said in the House. The facts of the case were that, in December 1997 the MP, Jennings, alleged abuse of expenditure and an illicit relationship on the part of officials involved in the sponsorship of a sporting tour. He was

[Seite 65]

subsequently interviewed by a journalist who then published an article recording that Jennings withdrew some of his financial allegations, and reported him as saying that he ‘did not resile’ from his claim about the illicit relationship between the officials and the sponsors. The affirmation or ‘effective repetition’ was admitted into evidence and damages were awarded against Jennings in both the New Zealand High Court and the Court of Appeal. From there it went to the Privy Council, which upheld the earlier rulings. There was no doubt that what Jennings said in the House was protected by absolute privilege. However, that privilege did not extend to cover his republication of that statement by reference outside the House.

[Seite 66]

Buchanan v Jennings has proved a controversial decision. In May 2005 the Privileges Committee of the New Zealand House of Representatives published its report on the case in which it recommended that the Legislature Act 1908 be amended to provide that no person may incur criminal or civil liability for making any statement that affirms, adopts or endorses words written or spoken in proceedings in Parliament where the statement would not, but for the proceedings in Parliament, give rise to criminal or civil liability.243


235 [2005] 1 AC 115 at para 1.

236 Beitzel v Crabb [1992] 2 VR 121. The plaintiff was able to base his proceedings on a radio interview in which the defendant member of Parliament refused to apologise to the plaintiff for what he had earlier said in the Victorian Parliament and said that he stood by what he has said there.

243 Privileges Committee, Final Report on the question of privilege referred 21 July 1998 concerning Buchanan v Jennings, 1.17G, May 2005, p 9. For a commentary see – A Geddis, ‘Parliamentary privilege: quis custodiet ipsos custodes? [Winter 2005] Public Law 696.

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(Graf Isolan), WiseWoman


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