Chapter 8 - Conduct of proceedings

Recording of proceedings

The proceedings of the Senate are recorded in the Journals of the Senate, which are kept by the Clerk and published (SO 43). The Journals record the proceedings only, that is, matters considered by the Senate and action taken in relation to them; they do not record debate, which is recorded in the transcript known as Senate Debates or Hansard.

The Journals show all votes taken by division in the Senate and how senators present have voted. The Journals also record the attendance of senators; this is important because, under section 20 of the Constitution, the place of a senator becomes vacant if the senator is absent from the sittings of the Senate for two consecutive months without the Senate’s permission (see also Chapter 6, Senators, under Leave of absence).

Section 15AB of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 provides that the Journals of the Senate may be referred to by courts to assist in interpretation of statutory provisions in accordance with that section.

Further information on publication of proceedings is contained in Chapter 3.

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