5       Protection of persons referred to in the Senate

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Parliamentary Privilege

(1) Where a person who has been referred to by name, or in such a way as to be readily identified, in the Senate, makes a submission in writing to the President:

(a) claiming that the person has been adversely affected in reputation or in respect of dealings or associations with others, or injured in occupation, trade, office or financial credit, or that the person’s privacy has been unreasonably invaded, by reason of that reference to the person; and

(b) requesting that the person be able to incorporate an appropriate response in the parliamentary record,

if the President is satisfied:

(c) that the subject of the submission is not so obviously trivial or the submission so frivolous, vexatious or offensive in character as to make it inappropriate that it be considered by the Committee of Privileges; and

(d) that it is practicable for the Committee of Privileges to consider the submission under this resolution,

the President shall refer the submission to that committee.

(2) The committee may decide not to consider a submission referred to it under this resolution if the committee considers that the subject of the submission is not sufficiently serious or the submission is frivolous, vexatious or offensive in character, and such a decision shall be reported to the Senate.

(3) If the committee decides to consider a submission under this resolution, the committee may confer with the person who made the submission and any senator who referred in the Senate to that person.

(4) In considering a submission under this resolution, the committee shall meet in private session.

(5) The committee shall not publish a submission referred to it under this resolution or its proceedings in relation to such a submission, but may present minutes of its proceedings and all or part of such submission to the Senate.

(6) In considering a submission under this resolution and reporting to the Senate the committee shall not consider or judge the truth of any statements made in the Senate or of the submission.

(7) In its report to the Senate on a submission under this resolution, the committee may make either of the following recommendations:

(a) that no further action be taken by the Senate or by the committee in relation to the submission; or

(b) that a response by the person who made the submission, in terms specified in the report and agreed to by the person and the committee, be published by the Senate or incorporated in Hansard,

and shall not make any other recommendations.

(8) A document presented to the Senate under paragraph (5) or (7):

(a) in the case of a response by a person who made a submission, shall be succinct and strictly relevant to the questions in issue and shall not contain anything offensive in character; and

(b) shall not contain any matter the publication of which would have the effect of:

(i) unreasonably adversely affecting or injuring a person, or unreasonably invading a person’s privacy, in the manner referred to in paragraph (1); or

(ii) unreasonably adding to or aggravating any such adverse effect, injury or invasion of privacy suffered by a person.

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