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Law and the Media, 4th Edition by Estelle Overs, Tom Cassels, Tom Crone

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16 Parliamentary Proceedings and Elections

Tom Cassels and Rebecca Handler

16.1 Introduction

Members of Parliament and the proceedings of Parliament are cloaked with certain traditional rights and privileges that are aimed at safeguarding the freedom and independence of the individuals involved and the dignity of the institution. Foremost among these privileges are:

■  Complete freedom of speech or ‘absolute privilege’, which protects debates and official proceedings in the House of Commons and the House of Lords

■  The power of each House to regulate its own procedures, including the power to punish members and outsiders for breach of privilege known as ‘contempt of Parliament’.

The freedom of members of Parliament to speak on any matter without ...

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