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date: 25 April 2024

p. 1978. Parliamentary Privilegelocked

p. 1978. Parliamentary Privilegelocked

  • Ian LovelandIan LovelandProfessor of Public Law, City, University of London

Abstract

This chapter, which examines the so-called parliamentary privileges of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, begins by discussing Article 9 of the Bill of Rights 1689. It then explores over three hundred years of the history of parliamentary privilege in five general areas: (i) the houses’ power to regulate their own composition through the admission, retention, and expulsion of their members; (ii) the publication of details of house business; (iii) the admissibility before the courts of such published material; (iv) the concept of ‘contempt of the house’; and (v) the regulation of MPs’ ethical standards. The chapter also analyses several seminal cases in which the courts have adjudicated on both the nature and extent of parliamentary privilege and considers how case law in relation to this area of the constitution balances the sometimes competing concepts of the sovereignty of Parliament, the rule of law, and the separation of powers.

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