Criteria to be taken into account when determining matters relating to contempt

The Senate declares that it will take into account the following criteria when determining whether matters possibly involving contempt should be referred to the Committee of Privileges and whether a contempt has been committed, and requires the Committee of Privileges to take these criteria into account when inquiring into any matter referred to it:

  1. the principle that the Senate's power to adjudge and deal with contempts should be used only where it is necessary to provide reasonable protection for the Senate and its committees and for senators against improper acts tending substantially to obstruct them in the performance of their functions, and should not be used in respect of matters which appear to be of a trivial nature or unworthy of the attention of the Senate;
  2. the existence of any remedy other than that power for any act which may be held to be a contempt; and
  3. whether a person who committed any act which may be held to be a contempt:
    1. knowingly committed that act, or
    2. had any reasonable excuse for the commission of that act.