Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament Bill Tabled

Parliament

A bill proposing that the arrest and removal of a person creating a disturbance on the parliamentary precinct, as ordered by a presiding officer, does not apply to a member has been tabled in parliament.

The Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Amendment Bill was drawn up by the Ad Hoc Committee on the Review of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act.

The committee bill aims to:

•    amend the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act, 2003, so as to amend a definition;
•    provide that the arrest and removal, on the order of a presiding officer, of a person who creates or takes part in any disturbance on the precincts is not applicable to a member;
•    provide that a provincial legislature may choose to either appoint a standing committee or establish an ad hoc committee to deal with disciplinary action against members of a provincial legislature for contempt of that provincial legislature;
•    provide that the Speaker of a provincial legislature exercises control and authority over the precincts on behalf of that provincial legislature;
•    clarify vague sections in the Act;
•    effect technical and grammatical corrections; and
•    provide for matters connected therewith.

The bill flows from a Constitutional Court decision, in Democratic Alliance v Speaker of the National Assembly and Others [2016] ZACC 8, that declared section 11 of the principal act to be invalid in that it applied to members.

Sabinet Cape Town Office

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