Chapter 20 - Relations with the judiciary

Advice on misbehaviour

If it is for the two Houses to determine whether particular conduct amounts to misbehaviour, the question arises whether it is proper for the Houses to ask some other body to advise them on that question.

The Houses have assumed that such a course is open to them. Each of the two Senate committees appointed in 1984 and the statutory Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry appointed in 1986 to inquire into the conduct of a High Court justice were asked to advise whether particular conduct constituted misbehaviour, as well as finding facts.

It would appear to be legitimate for the Houses to seek advice in this way, provided that they do not delegate the actual determination of the question of whether misbehaviour has occurred.

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