Chapter 2 - Parliamentary Privilege: immunities and powers of the Senate

Freedom of speech in state parliaments

In 1985 the Senate Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs examined an opinion of the Commonwealth Solicitor-General which suggested that a valid Commonwealth statute, by express provision, could override the privilege of freedom of speech in state parliaments. The committee rejected this opinion, and expressed the view that freedom of speech in state parliaments is an essential part of a state constitution and cannot be overridden by a Commonwealth law (Report on Commonwealth Law Making Power and the Privilege of Freedom of Speech in State Parliaments, PP 235/1985).

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