Parliamentary Privileges Act, 1967
Act 126 of 1967
- Assented to on 25 August 1967
- Commenced on 25 August 1967
- [This is the version of this document at 1 December 1998.]
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Parliamentary Privileges Act, 1967.
2. InterpretationIn this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—"Clerk" means the person appointed as clerk of the Senate or the House of Assembly or both, as the case may be, or acting as such on the authority of the Speaker of the Senate or the House of Assembly, as the case may be;"committee" means any standing, sessional, special or select committee of the Senate or House of Assembly or a committee of both Houses sitting jointly or a joint committee of both Houses;"House" means the Senate or the House of Assembly;"journals" means—(1)the minutes of proceedings of the Senate; or(2)the votes and proceedings of the House of Assembly; or(3)the minutes of proceedings of both Houses sitting jointly;"member" means a member either of the Senate or of the House of Assembly;"officer of Parliament" means the Clerk or Clerk-Assistant of the Senate, the Clerk or Clerk-Assistant of the House of Assembly, the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, the Sergeant-at-Arms, and such other officers or persons as may be appointed from time to time to the staff of either House;"Parliament" means the Senate and the House of Assembly: sitting jointly or either House sitting separately or a committee;"precincts of Parliament" means the chamber and offices of either or both Houses and any galleries and places provided for the use and accommodation of members of the public and representatives of the press, and includes, while a House is sitting, and subject to any directions of the Speaker, the entire building in which the chamber of that House is situated, and any forecourt, yard, garden, enclosure or open space adjoining or appertaining to such building and used or provided for the purposes of the House;"Speaker" means the member for the time being presiding over the Senate or the House of Assembly or over a joint sitting of both Houses, as the case may be, and shall include a Deputy Speaker and an Acting Speaker of either House;"Standing Orders" means the Standing Orders of either House or of both Houses.
3. Freedom of speech and debateThere shall be freedom of speech and debate or proceedings in Parliament and such freedom shall not be liable to be impeached or questioned in any court or place outside Parliament.
4. Powers and jurisdiction of Senate and House of AssemblyFor the purpose of this Act the Senate and the House of Assembly sitting jointly or separately shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, possess such powers and jurisdiction as may be necessary for enquiring into, judging and pronouncing upon the commission of any act, matter or thing herein declared to be a contravention of this Act.
5. Rights and privileges of Senate and House of Assembly sitting as a courtThe Senate and the House of Assembly, sitting jointly or separately as a court, shall subject to the provisions of this Act have all such rights and privileges of a court of law as may be necessary for the purpose of summarily enquiring into and punishing any act, matter or thing herein declared to be contravention of this Act.
6. Stay of process in respect of matters of privilegeAt any stage of any civil or criminal proceedings instituted for or on account or in respect of any matter of privilege, upon production to the court or judge by the defendant or accused, of a certificate by the Speaker, or, in his absence or other incapacity, by the Clerk stating that the matter in question is one which concerns the privilege of Parliament, that court or judge shall immediately stay such proceedings, which shall thereupon be deemed to be finally determined.
7. Attendance of members and officers before Senate or House of AssemblyNo member or officer of Parliament shall in pursuance of any request—
8. Members and officers exempted from certain obligations
9. Members not liable to proceedings in certain casesNo member shall be liable to any civil or criminal proceedings, arrest, imprisonment or damages by reason of any matter or thing which he may have brought by petition, Bill, resolution, motion or otherwise or may have said before or in Parliament.
10. Persons not liable for acts done under authority of ParliamentNo person shall be liable in damages or otherwise for any act done under the authority of Parliament and within its legal powers, or under any warrant issued by virtue of those powers.
11. Parliament empowered to punish for contempt
12. Member not to vote upon any matter in which he has a direct pecuniary interest
13. Issue of warrants for arrest and imprisonmentFor the purpose of any punishment for any of the contempts of Parliament named in this Act the Speaker may upon a resolution of Parliament issue a warrant under his hand for the arrest and imprisonment of any person sentenced to imprisonment or who fails to pay a fine or undergo a punishment to which he has been sentenced.
14. Form of warrant
15. Arrest without warrantAny person creating or joining in any disturbance in Parliament during its actual sitting may be arrested without warrant on the verbal order of the Speaker and may be kept in the custody of an officer of Parliament, designated by the Speaker, until a warrant can be issued for his imprisonment.
16. Execution of warrants and verbal ordersEvery sheriff and his deputies and their officers and all police officers, officers of Parliament and other persons shall assist in the arrest and detention of any person in pursuance of any such verbal order as is referred to in section 15 and shall aid and assist in the execution of any warrant issued in terms of section 13 or 33 and where any such warrant directs that the person mentioned therein shall be imprisoned in any gaol or other place, the person in charge thereof shall on production to him of such warrant receive such person into his custody in the said gaol or other place and there imprison him according to the tenor of the warrant.
17. Breaking open of doors and searching of premises in execution of warrantsAny person charged with or assisting in the execution of any warrant under the hand of the Speaker may in daytime break open any door or search any premises in which the person for whose arrest such warrant was issued may be or may reasonably be suspected of being concealed.
18. Order to attend before Parliament or a committeeParliament or any committee which is duly authorized by an order of Parliament to require the attendance of persons or the production of documents or papers may, subject to section 7, order any person to attend before Parliament or such committee and to produce any paper, book, record or document in his possession or under his control.
19. Summonsing of witnesses
20. Power to issue warrant to compel attendance of witness
21. Examination of witnessesParliament may require that any fact, matter or thing relating to the subject of enquiry before Parliament be verified or otherwise ascertained by the oral examination of any witness, and may cause any such witness to be examined upon oath which the Speaker or a person specially designated by the Speaker or, in the case of a committee, the chairman of such committee, as the case may be, for that purpose may administer:Provided that a person who is in terms of any provision of this Act required to make and subscribe an oath may in lieu of such oath make and subscribe a solemn affirmation in corresponding form.
22. Refusal to answer questions or to produce documentsIf any person ordered to attend or to produce any paper, book, record or document before Parliament refuses to answer any question that may be put to him or to produce any such paper, book, record or document, on the ground that it is of a private nature and does not affect the subject of enquiry, the Speaker or in the case of a committee, the chairman of such committee, as the case may be, may report such refusal with the reasons therefor, and Parliament may thereupon excuse such person from answering that question or producing that paper, book, record or document or order that he be required to answer that question or produce that paper, book, record or document.
23. Giving of false answers to questionsAny person who, after being duly cautioned as to his liability to punishment under this section, whether or not he has been sworn or has made a solemn affirmation, wilfully and corruptly gives before Parliament a false answer to any question which is material to the subject of enquiry and which may be put to him in the course of an examination, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction by any court of competent jurisdiction to the penalties prescribed by law for perjury.
24. Privileged evidence
25. Stay of proceedings for anything done by witness and disclosed by his evidence
26. Giving of evidence elsewhere of proceedings before Parliament or a committee
27. Certain persons prohibited from receiving compensation for promotion of or opposition to proceedings in Parliament
28. Admissibility as evidence of Journals printing by order of Parliament
29. Penalty for printing or tendering in evidence matter falsely purporting to have been printed under Parliamentary authorityAny person who prints or causes to be printed as purporting to have been printed by the Government Printer or by order or under the authority of Parliament or the Speaker, a copy of any law in force or a copy of any report, paper, minute or minutes of proceedings of Parliament that have not been so printed, or who tenders in evidence any such copy as purporting to have been so printed, knowing that it was not so printed, shall be guilty of an offence and liable upon conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years.
30. Protection as regards Parliamentary publicationsA defendant or an accused in civil or in criminal proceedings instituted for or on account or in respect of the publication by him or his servant, by order or under the authority of Parliament, of any report, paper, minute or minutes of proceedings, may, on giving to the plaintiff or the prosecutor, as the case may be, twenty-four hours’ written notice of his intention to do so, bring before the court in which such civil or criminal proceedings are being held, a certificate under the hand of the Speaker or Clerk stating that the report, paper, minute or minutes of proceedings in respect of which such proceedings have been instituted, were published by such person or his servant by order or under the authority of Parliament, together with an affidavit verifying such certificate, and such court shall thereupon immediately stay civil or criminal proceedings, which, together with every process issued therein, shall thereupon be deemed to be finally determined.
31. Protection as regards the publishing of extracts from Parliamentary publicationsIf in any civil or criminal proceedings instituted for publishing any extract from or abstract of any report, paper, minute or minutes of proceedings referred to in section 30, the court is satisfied that such extract or abstract was published bona fide and without malice, judgment or verdict, as the case may be, shall be entered for the defendant or accused.
32. Imprisonment for contravention of Act
33. Prosecution before courts of law for contraventions of Act and recovery of penalties
34. Exemption from the requirement of obtaining liquor and trading licencesThe provisions of the Trading Licences Act (No. 27 of 1939) and the Liquor Licences Act, (No. 30 of 1964) shall not apply to the sale of meals, refreshments, cigarettes, tobacco, matches, or liquor in the lounge, dining room and other refreshment rooms at the Houses of Parliament, if sold under the authority of either House of Parliament or any committee thereof.[Added by A7/1970]
35. Privilege of Parliament and of the members and officers thereofSave as is otherwise expressly provided by this Act, the Senate and House of Assembly or either of them and the members thereof respectively shall hold, enjoy and exercise such and the like privileges, immunities, and powers as at the date of commencement hereof are held, enjoyed and exercised by the Commons House of Parliament of the United Kingdom and by the members thereof and also such privileges, immunities, and powers as are from time to time defined by any law but not exceeding those which at the commencement of such law are enjoyed and exercised by the Commons House aforesaid and by the members thereof respectively whether such privileges, immunities or powers were so held, possessed or enjoyed by custom, statute or otherwise:Provided always that no such privileges, immunities, or powers shall at any time exceed those at the same time held and exercised by the Commons House of the said Parliament and by the members thereof.
36. Privileges and powers to be part of lawThe privileges, immunities and powers of Parliament, a member and an officer of Parliament, respectively, shall be part of the law of Swaziland, and it shall not be necessary to plead them, but they shall be judicially noticed in all the courts of Swaziland.
History of this document
25 August 1967