Advices from the Clerk of the Senate

Advices from the Clerk of the Senate

Index to Advices from the Clerk of the Senate

No.

Clerk’s Advices

1

Petitions: Privilege (24 March 1988). Considers whether the circulation of petitions containing defamatory material is protected by parliamentary privilege. Published in 11th Report

2

Participation of members of Committee of Privileges in certain inquiries (18 January 1989). Considers instances under which members of Committee of Privileges should stand down from inquiries. Published in documents, vol. 3, with 18th Report

3

Submission of behalf of Mr Charles Perkins (6 March 1989)
Comments on whether otherwise lawful acts can constitute a contempt of the Senate. Published in documents, vol. 3, with 18th Report

4

Submission by Secretary, Department of Community Services and Health (29 January 1990). Comments on a submission concerning the circulation of submissions to parliamentary committees without committee authority. Published in part in 22nd Report

5

Standard of proof (29 January 1990). Considers what standard of proof the committee should adopt in finding contempt. Published in 35th Report

6

Reimbursement of legal costs (31 July 1989). Considers the reimbursement of legal costs of witnesses. Published in 35th Report

7

Reference concerning alleged harassment of witness (13 November 1990). Considers whether indirect interference with a witness can constitute contempt. Published in volume of clerk’s advices with 76th Report; relates to 30th Report

8

Contempt of Parliament – matters referred to the Committee on 12 November 1990 – submission by Mr M. Le Grand (28 February 1991). Considers whether lawful directions from a statutory authority to a parliamentary committee witness can constitute contempt. Published in volume of documents, with 36th Report

9

Submission - in camera evidence (8 March 1991). Considers Privileges Committee access to other committees’ documentation. Published in volume of documents, with 36th Report

10

Letter from Mr P. M. Le Grand (4 November 1991). Considers whether a summons to appear provides more protection to a witness than an invitation. Published in volume of documents, with 36th Report

11

Statement by Mr Faris (6 December 1991). Considers the perceived conflict between the secrecy provisions of the National Crime Authority Act and the powers of parliamentary committees. Published in volume of documents, with 36th Report

12

Alleged intimidation of witnesses - matter referred to the Committee on 2 April 1992 (10 April 1992). Considers the implications of an alleged threat of legal action in respect of a complaint to a professional body by persons who were subsequently witnesses to a Senate committee. Published in 37th Report

13

Effect of paragraph (10) of Privilege Resolution No. 2 (1 June 1992). Considers the conduct of Privileges Committee inquiries and, in particular, the scope of the requirement to notify persons affected by findings before presentation of report to the Senate. Published in volume of documents, with 36th Report

14

Subcommittees (29 March 1994). Considers whether the Committee of Privileges can or should establish a subcommittee to hear evidence and make findings. Published in volume of clerk’s advices with 76th Report

15

Parliamentary Privileges Amendment (Enforcement of Lawful Orders) Bill 1994 (20 and 27 June, 3 and 23 August 1994).
A submission to the committee’s inquiry into the Bill, which sought to enlist the power and authority of the judiciary to reassert legislative control over the executive; and comments on other submissions and on the evidence presented at the public hearing. Published in volume of documents with 49th Report

16

Matters referred to the committee on 23 August 1995
(30 August, 8 September 1995). Considers whether the immunity afforded by parliamentary privilege extends to the communication of information to senators and whether interference with such communications can constitute contempt. Published in volume of documents with 67th Report

17

Provision of information to senators: matters referred to the committee on 23 August 1995: Grassby case (21 March, 1 April 1996). Considers the implication of the judgment of Allen J of the Supreme Court of NSW in the Grassby case on the scope of legal immunity afforded by parliamentary privilege. Published in volume of documents with 67th Report

18

Alleged interference with potential witness (28 October 1997)
Considers the question of interference by ministers or superior officers with potential witnesses. Published in volume of documents with 73rd Report

19

Provision of information to a senator (6 November 1997)
Considers another case of provision of information to a senator, the purpose for which that information was provided, and the senator’s use of the material. Published in volume of documents with 72nd Report

20

Egan v Willis and Cahill: an assessment (25 November 1998) Reasonably necessary powers: parliamentary inquiries and Egan v Willis and Cahill (17 December 1998).
Reviews the implications for the Senate of the High Court judgment in the case of the NSW Treasurer who was suspended from the Legislative Council for his failure to produce certain documents.
Advice of 25 November 1998 published in volume of clerk’s advices with 76th Report

21

Execution of search warrants in senators’ offices
(22 January 1999). Considers the question of immunity of documents in senators’ offices and whether special procedures should be put in place in respect of search.

22

Parliamentary privilege: Hamilton v Al Fayed (14 April 1999).
Makes observations about the UK Court of Appeal judgments in respect of a defamation action brought by Mr Hamilton, following an adverse finding against him by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. Published in volume of clerk’s advices with 76th Report

23

Egan v Chadwick and others (16 June 1999). Considers the judgment of the NSW Court of Appeal on the question whether the NSW Legislative Council had the power to order the production of documents; attaches a further paper on advice 20 above

24

Rann v Olsen and Rowley v Armstrong(18 April 2000).
Observations on the Supreme Court of SA judgment on the defamation case brought by Mr Rann against Mr Olsen; and on the Supreme Court of Queensland judgment on the defamation case brought by Mr Rowley against Mr Armstrong, which included an opinion that the provision of information to a senator was not protected by parliamentary privilege

25

Parliamentary Privilege – Rowley v Armstrong – judgment of Jones J (17 May 2000). Extended comment on the conclusion of Jones J in the Armstrong case that an informant’s communication to a senator was not a ‘proceeding in Parliament’ and hence the provisions of the Parliamentary Privileges Act did not apply
Published in 92nd Report

26

Provision of information to senators - actions by Mr Rowley
(7 August 2000). Considers possible steps the Senate could take if Mr Rowley’s actions came to trial - legislation, or appointment of counsel to act as amicus curiae. Published in 94th Report

27

Evidence from House members of Joint Committee
(23 August 2000). Considers the matters to be taken into consideration when determining whether to hear evidence from House of Representative members of joint committees

28

McGlade v HREOC and Lightfoot (20 October 2000). Considers a judgment on a complaint about statements by a senator, brought before the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission under the Racial Discrimination Act

29

Execution of search warrants in senators’ offices (16 May 2001).
Discusses developments relating to search warrants and, in particular, the guidelines for the handling of documents for which privilege is claimed

30

Parliamentary Privilege: matters incidental to proceedings: NTEIU v the Commonwealth (16 May 2001). Considers a case in the Federal Court in which a union sought the production of various documents, including draft responses to estimates questions; the judge, who raised the matter of parliamentary privilege, accepted advice subsequently proffered by the Australian Government Solicitor, after consultation with the President of the Senate, that the documents were ‘proceedings in Parliament’ and therefore ineligible to be questioned in legal proceedings

31

Matter of privilege raised by Senator Tambling
(15 August 2001). Considers precedents of extra-parliamentary bodies purporting to direct senators how to vote or penalising them for non-compliance
Published in volume of documents, with 103rd Report

32

Proposed engagement of counsel (12 April 2002). Considers the merits of a proposal to engage counsel to represent the Senate in proceedings involving parliamentary privilege affecting the Senate or senators
Published in 102nd Report

33

Parliamentary Privilege—documents protected from compulsory production—further US judgment (18 September 2002)
Published in the 125th Report

34

Parliamentary Privilege—execution of search warrants—draft guidelines (17 December 2003)
Published in the 125th Report

35

United Kingdom Corruption Bill and Answers to questions on notice: privilege of publication (8 August 2003)
Published in the 125th Report

36

Parliamentary Privilege—execution of search warrants—draft guidelines (14 July 2004) (Letter to Senator the Hon. Paul Calvert, President of the Senate)
Published in the 125th Report

37

Reference to parliamentary proceedings in defamation suits—court decisions (26 July 2004)
Published in the 125th Report

38

Draft National Defamation Law (18 August 2004)
Published in the 125th Report

39

Draft National Defamation Law(2) (10 November 2004)
Published in the 125th Report

40

Recent Privilege Cases (6 August 2007) and update (12 February 2008)—Legal proceedings involving Senate-related documents— together with a paper, "Parliamentary Privilege and search warrants: Will the US Supreme Court legislate for Australia?"
Authorised by the committee for publication on 13 March 2008

41

Recent Privilege Cases (8 October 2008)—Committee on the Judiciary v Miers (the "fired" prosecutors case)—Habib v Commonwealth—Search warrants: members' documents
Authorised by the committee for publication on 5 February 2009

42

Recent Privilege Cases (3 February 2009)—Search warrants: members' documents—Committee on the Judiciary v Miers (the “fired” prosecutors case)
Authorised by the committee for publication on 5 February 2009

43 Parliamentary Privilege - use of parliamentary proceedings against members - overseas cases (10 August 2009) Authorised by the committee for publication on 13 August 2009
44

Potential Conflicts of Interest (20 October 2010)
Authorised by the committee for publication on 3 March 2011

45

Update on overseas and domestic developments (7 February 2011) Authorised by the committee for publication on 3 March 2011

46

Application of parliamentary privilege to Australian Audit Office (12 April 2011)
Authorised by the committee for publication on 12 May 2011

47

Consideration of submissions by committee (19 May 2011)
Authorised by the committee for publication on 16 June 2011

48 A recent case - application of the Parliamentary Privileges Act (13 September 2011)
Authorised by the committee for publication on 15 September 2011
49 Update: Attorney-General v Leigh [2011] NZSC 106 (28 October 2011)
Authorised by the committee for publication on 3 November 2011
50 Recent publications: Green Paper on Parliamentary Privilege and Select Committees and Coercive Powers - Clarity or Confusion? (26 June 2012)
Authorised by the committee for publication on 28 June 2012

Index to Advices from Senior Counsel

No.

Senior Counsel's Advices

1

Advice from Mr Bret Walker SC

2

Advice from Mr T Simos QC

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About this committee

The Senate Standing Committee of Privileges inquires into and reports upon matters of privilege referred to it by the Senate.

Committee Secretariat contact:

Committee Secretary
Senate Standing Committee of Privileges
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 62773360
Fax: +61 2 62773199
priv.sen@aph.gov.au