Vanuatu Consolidated Legislation - 1988
Commencement: 4 July 1977
LAWS OF THE REPUBLIC OF VANUATU
REVISED EDITION 1988
MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT (POWERS AND PRIVILEGES)
JR 2 of 1977
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
2. Freedom of speech
3. Freedom from arrest
4. Exercise of process
7. Privilege of witnesses
8. Restriction of evidence as to certain matters
9. Offences relating to admission to precincts of Parliament
11. Publishing evidence taken by committee
12. Fabricating documents and false evidence
14. Power of arrest
MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT (POWERS AND PRIVILEGES)
To define the powers and privileges of the members of Parliament.
1. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires -
"officer of Parliament" means the Clerk of Parliament and any persons appointed to assist him and shall also include any police officer on duty within the chamber of Parliament or the precincts of Parliament;
"precincts of Parliament" means the chamber in which Parliament shall sit when in session and such other places or premises as may be used by Parliament or any committee or committees thereof and shall include the accommodation provided in order that members of the public may view the proceedings of Parliament.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH
FREEDOM FROM ARREST
3. No member of Parliament shall be liable to arrest -
(a) for any civil debt whilst going to, attending at or returning from a sitting of Parliament or any committee thereof;
(b) within the precincts of Parliament when Parliament or a committee thereof is sitting, for any criminal offence,
without the consent of the Speaker.
EXERCISE OF PROCESS
ENFORCEMENT OF THE SUSPENSION OF A MEMBER
ADMISSION OF THE PUBLIC
(2) The Speaker may in the event that there is not adequate seating accommodation available or otherwise in pursuance of the Standing Orders of Parliament order any member of the public to withdraw from the precincts of Parliament, and if any such member of the public fails or refuses to withdraw from the precincts of Parliament he may be forcibly removed therefrom by any officer of Parliament or any police officer acting on the instructions of the Speaker.
PRIVILEGE OF WITNESSES
RESTRICTION OF EVIDENCE AS TO CERTAIN MATTERS
OFFENCES RELATING TO ADMISSION TO PRECINCTS OF PARLIAMENT
9. Any member of the public who -
(a) enters or attempts to enter the precincts of Parliament in contravention of the Standing Orders of Parliament; or
(b) refuses to withdraw from the precincts of Parliament when lawfully ordered to do so,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding VT10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 months, or to both such fine and imprisonment.
ASSAULTING ETC., MEMBERS OR OFFICERS, CREATING DISTURBANCES
10. Any person who -
(a) assaults, molests or obstructs any member of Parliament coming to, being within, or going from the precincts of Parliament; or
(b) assaults, interferes with, resists or obstructs any officer of Parliament while in the execution of his duty; or
(c) threatens or assaults a member or an officer of Parliament in any place on account of his exercise of his duties; or
(d) creates or joins in any disturbance which interrupts or is likely to interrupt the proceedings of Parliament or any committee thereof while Parliament or such committee is sitting,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding VT20,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.
PUBLISHING EVIDENCE TAKEN BY COMMITTEE
FABRICATING DOCUMENTS AND FALSE EVIDENCE
12. Any person who -
(a) presents to Parliament or a committee thereof or an officer of Parliament, any false, untrue, fabricated or falsified document, knowing the same to be false, untrue, fabricated or falsified, with intent to deceive Parliament or such committee; or
(b) knowingly gives false evidence whether on oath or not as a witness before Parliament or a committee thereof,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding VT80,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.
OFFER OR ACCEPTANCE OF BRIBES
(b) any member who accepts or agrees to accept or obtains or attempts to obtain for himself or for any other person any bribe, fee, compensation, reward or benefit of any kind whatever for -
(i) speaking, voting or acting as such member in proceedings of Parliament or a committee thereof; or
(ii) refraining from so speaking, voting or acting; or
(iii) absenting himself from proceedings of Parliament or a committee thereof; or
(iv) having so spoken, voted, acted, refrained or absented himself; or
(c) any member who brings forward, promotes or advocates in Parliament for or in consideration of any pecuniary fee or reward, any proceeding or measure in which he may have acted or been concerned,
shall be guilty of an offence punishable by a fine not exceeding VT150,000 or to imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or to both such fine and imprisonment.
POWER OF ARREST
(a) any person who commits an offence against section 9 or 10; or
(b) any person within the precincts of Parliament whom he reasonably suspects of having committed, or being about to commit, an offence contrary to either of the said sections.
(2) In such a case the Speaker may require the Clerk of Parliament to prepare a report of such offence for presentation to the Public Prosecutor.