Part 3 Communicating proceedings in Parliament

Subpart 1—Stays of court or tribunal proceedings in respect of specified communications

17 Communications of proceedings in Parliament, related documents, or specified copies

(1)

This section applies if civil or criminal proceedings in a court or tribunal are commenced against a person in respect of either or both of the following:

(a)

the communication, by the person or the person’s agent or employee, and under the House’s or a committee’s authority, of either or both of the following:

(i)

proceedings in Parliament:

(ii)

a document relating to proceedings in Parliament:

(b)

the communication, by the person or the person’s agent or employee, of a copy of a document (an authorised parliamentary communication)—

(i)

relating to proceedings in Parliament; and

(ii)

communicated under the House’s or a committee’s authority.

(2)

The Speaker may, on an application for the purpose made to the Speaker by or on behalf of the person, grant the person a certificate—

(a)

stating that the person, or the person’s agent or employee did (as the case may be) all or any of the following:

(i)

communicated, under the House’s or a committee’s authority, the proceedings in Parliament, the document relating to proceedings in Parliament, or both:

(ii)

communicated the authorised parliamentary communication; and

(b)

appending copies of each document relating to proceedings in Parliament or authorised parliamentary communication communicated, and stating that true copies of them were communicated; and

(c)

signed by the Speaker.

(3)

The person may, by doing both of the following, apply for a stay of the proceedings in the court or tribunal:

(a)

filing in, or lodging with, the court or tribunal (without fee) a notice of application for the purpose appending the certificate (and that may, but need not, include or append a draft order staying the proceedings); and

(b)

serving (or taking all reasonable steps to serve) copies on, or on counsel for, all other parties to the proceedings (including, without limitation, the plaintiff or prosecutor in the proceedings).

(4)

The court’s or tribunal’s registrar must, if satisfied (on any evidence the registrar requires) the person has applied for a stay of the proceedings in accordance with subsection (3), refer the file to the court’s or tribunal’s presiding judicial officer, who must immediately stay the proceedings (except claims or charges unrelated to communications the certificate covers).

(5)

The order staying the proceedings must (without fee) be sealed, dated, and served, and entered in the court’s or tribunal’s formal or permanent record, in accordance with its practice and procedure.

(6)

The stayed proceedings are required by this section to be taken to be finally determined.

(7)

This section does not prevent or restrict the plaintiff’s or prosecutor’s discontinuing or withdrawing the proceedings.

Compare: 1954 No 46 ss 18, 19; 1992 No 106 ss 2, 4, 5; Parliamentary Papers Act 1840 ss 1, 2 (UK)