6       Matters constituting contempts

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Parliamentary Privilege

Without derogating from its power to determine that particular acts constitute contempts, the Senate declares, as a matter of general guidance, that breaches of the following prohibitions, and attempts or conspiracies to do the prohibited acts, may be treated by the Senate as contempts.

Interference with the Senate

(1) A person shall not improperly interfere with the free exercise by the Senate or a committee of its authority, or with the free performance by a senator of the senator’s duties as a senator.

Improper influence of senators

(2) A person shall not, by fraud, intimidation, force or threat of any kind, by the offer or promise of any inducement or benefit of any kind, or by other improper means, influence a senator in the senator’s conduct as a senator or induce a senator to be absent from the Senate or a committee.

Senators seeking benefits etc.

(3) A senator shall not ask for, receive or obtain, any property or benefit for the senator, or another person, on any understanding that the senator will be influenced in the discharge of the senator’s duties, or enter into any contract, understanding or arrangement having the effect, or which may have the effect, of controlling or limiting the senator’s independence or freedom of action as a senator, or pursuant to which the senator is in any way to act as the representative of any outside body in the discharge of the senator’s duties.

Molestation of senators

(4) A person shall not inflict any punishment, penalty or injury upon, or deprive of any benefit, a senator on account of the senator’s conduct as a senator.

Disturbance of the Senate

(5) A person shall not wilfully disturb the Senate or a committee while it is meeting, or wilfully engage in any disorderly conduct in the precincts of the Senate or a committee tending to disturb its proceedings.

Service of writs etc.

(6) A person shall not serve or execute any criminal or civil process in the precincts of the Senate on a day on which the Senate meets except with the consent of the Senate or of a person authorised by the Senate to give such consent.

False reports of proceedings

(7) A person shall not wilfully publish any false or misleading report of the proceedings of the Senate or of a committee.

Disobedience of orders

(8) A person shall not, without reasonable excuse, disobey a lawful order of the Senate or of a committee.

Obstruction of orders

(9) A person shall not interfere with or obstruct another person who is carrying out a lawful order of the Senate or of a committee.

Interference with witnesses

(10) A person shall not, by fraud, intimidation, force or threat of any kind, by the offer or promise of any inducement or benefit of any kind, or by other improper means, influence another person in respect of any evidence given or to be given before the Senate or a committee, or induce another person to refrain from giving such evidence.

Molestation of witnesses

(11) A person shall not inflict any penalty or injury upon, or deprive of any benefit, another person on account of any evidence given or to be given before the Senate or a committee.

Offences by witnesses etc.

(12) A witness before the Senate or a committee shall not:

(a) without reasonable excuse, refuse to make an oath or affirmation or give some similar undertaking to tell the truth when required to do so;

(b) without reasonable excuse, refuse to answer any relevant question put to the witness when required to do so; or

(c) give any evidence which the witness knows to be false or misleading in a material particular, or which the witness does not believe on reasonable grounds to be true or substantially true in every material particular.

(13) A person shall not, without reasonable excuse:

(a) refuse or fail to attend before the Senate or a committee when ordered to do so; or

(b) refuse or fail to produce documents, or to allow the inspection of documents, in accordance with an order of the Senate or of a committee.

(14) A person shall not wilfully avoid service of an order of the Senate or of a committee.

(15) A person shall not destroy, damage, forge or falsify any document required to be produced by the Senate or by a committee.

Unauthorised disclosure of evidence etc.

(16) A person shall not, without the authority of the Senate or a committee, publish or disclose:

(a) a document that has been prepared for the purpose of submission, and submitted, to the Senate or a committee and has been directed by the Senate or a committee to be treated as evidence taken in private session or as a document confidential to the Senate or the committee;

(b) any oral evidence taken by the Senate or a committee in private session, or a report of any such oral evidence; or

(c) any proceedings in private session of the Senate or a committee or any report of such proceedings,

unless the Senate or a committee has published, or authorised the publication of, that document, that oral evidence or a report of those proceedings.

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