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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 165 04 - Diskussion
Zuletzt bearbeitet: 2013-09-14 18:26:44 Graf Isolan
Fragment, Gesichtet, Griffith 2007, KomplettPlagiat, SMWFragment, Schutzlevel sysop, Wy

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Seite: 165, Zeilen: 4-23
Quelle: Griffith 2007
Seite(n): 55-56, Zeilen: 55:19-30 - 56:1-7
13.2 Waiver of Parliamentary Privilege

The case of Hamilton v Al Fayed507 arose out of the ‘cash for questions’ scandal of the 1990s. In January 1997, the defendant (Al Fayed) alleged on a TV program that the plaintiff, the MP Neil Hamilton, had sought and accepted cash from him for asking questions on his behalf in the House of Commons. Two parliamentary investigations and reports followed, one by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards which concluded that Hamilton had received cash payments from Al Fayed, the other by the Committee on Standards and Privileges, whose report was approved by the House of Commons in November 1997. In January 1998, Hamilton commenced proceedings against Al Fayed for defamation in respect to the allegations made by him on the TV program. In doing so, Hamilton waived his parliamentary privilege, pursuant to s 13 of the Defamation Act, as amended in 1996. This provision enables an MP (or any other participant in parliamentary proceedings) who considers he has been defamed to waive parliamentary privilege and bring proceedings for defamation even though such proceedings would otherwise amount to a breach of parliamentary privilege. On his side, Al Fayed sought to strike out Hamilton’s claim on the grounds that the hearing of the action: (a) would contravene Article 9’s prohibition against questioning ‘proceedings in Parliament’; and (b) would constitute a collateral attack on Parliament’s own investigation into the MP’s conduct.


507 [2001] 1 AC 395.

[Seite 55]

5.4.2 Waiver of privilege – s 13 of the Defamation Act (UK)

The case of Hamilton v Al Fayed198 arose out of the ‘cash for questions’ scandal of the 1990s. In January 1997, the defendant (Al Fayed) alleged on a TV program that the plaintiff, the MP Neil Hamilton, had sought and accepted cash from him for asking questions on his behalf in the House of Commons. Two parliamentary investigations and reports followed, one by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards which concluded that Hamilton had received cash payments from Al Fayed, the other by the Committee on Standards and Privileges, whose report was approved by the House of Commons in November 1997. In January 1998, Hamilton commenced proceedings against Al Fayed for defamation in respect to the allegations made by him on the TV program. In doing so, Hamilton waived his parliamentary privilege, pursuant to s 13 of the Defamation Act, as amended in 1996.199 This provision enables an MP (or any other participant in

[Seite 56]

parliamentary proceedings) who considers he has been defamed to waive parliamentary privilege and bring proceedings for defamation even though such proceedings would otherwise amount to a breach of parliamentary privilege. On his side, Al Fayed sought to strike out Hamilton’s claim on the grounds that the hearing of the action: (a) would contravene Article 9’s prohibition against questioning ‘proceedings in Parliament’; and (b) would constitute a collateral attack on Parliament’s own investigation into the MP’s conduct.


198 [2001] 1 AC 395.

199 For the background to s 13 see – Joint Committee on Parliamentary Privilege, n 2, p 23. For a commentary on s 13 and ‘waiver of privilege’ generally see – Campbell, Parliamentary [Privilege, n 147, Ch 8.]

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