Parliamentary privilege :Written statement - HLWS1017

WS
Lord Speaker
Made on: 29 October 2018
Made by: Lord Fowler (The Lord Speaker)
Lords

Parliamentary privilege

I would like to make a short statement about parliamentary privilege in the light of representations I have received. A robust and healthy democracy such as ours rests upon a number of common and shared features. Two of the most important are the freedom for members of the legislature to speak freely, without repercussion and respect by the legislature for the independence of the courts and the rule of law. As we know, this is not the case everywhere in the world. The relationship between these two should not be one of conflict but one of mutual respect. As parliamentarians we should be keen to respect the proper business of the courts, just as we expect the courts to respect the authority of Parliament. In particular, we should be careful that in exercising our undoubted right to free speech in Parliament we do not set ourselves in conflict with the courts or seek to supplant them.

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