Legislative Council Standing Orders - Chapter 17



17.01  Attendance of a Member before the Council

(1)    If the Council or a Committee of the whole requires the attendance of a Member as a witness, he or she will be ordered to attend in his or her place.

(2)    A Member of the Council will be examined in his or her place.


17.02  Attendance of a Member before a Select Committee

(1)     If a Council committee requires the attendance of a Member as a witness, the Chair will in writing request him or her to attend.

(2)     If any Member of the Council refuses to give evidence as a witness to a Council committee when requested
to do so, the committee will report the matter to the Council.


17.03  Attendance of Assembly Member or officer

If the Council or a Council committee desires the attendance of a Member or officer of the Assembly as a witness, a Message will be sent to the Assembly requesting that leave be given to such Member or officer to attend to give evidence in relation to the matters stated in such Message.


17.04  Summoning a witness

Witnesses will be summoned in order to be examined at the Bar of the Council or a Council committee, by orders of the Council, signed by the Clerk.


 17.05  Witness in custody

If the Council requires the attendance of a witness who is in the custody of any person, such person may be ordered to bring the witness whenever as his or her attendance is required and the President may issue his or her warrant accordingly


17.06  Committee with power may summon witnesses

(1)     A Council committee may summon witnesses by its own order, signed by the Chair or Secretary of the committee.

(2)     If any witness does not attend pursuant to the order of a committee his or her absence will be reported, and the Council may order him or her to attend the Council. Such order may be discharged if the witness attends the committee before the time appointed for his or her attending the Council.


17.07  Neglect or refusal to attend

A witness not attending pursuant to an order of the Council or of a committee having power to summon witnesses, or pursuant to a warrant of the President, may be censured or declared guilty of contempt by the Council.


17.08  Examination before the Council

 (1)    A witness appearing before the Council will be examined by the President and no other Member will put any question otherwise than through the President.

 (2)    A witness in custody at the Bar will be examined by the President only.

 (3)    If any question is objected to, or other matter arise, the witness will withdraw from the Chamber while the same is under discussion.


17.09  Witnesses entitled to protection

All witnesses examined before the Council or any Council committee will be entitled to the protection of the Council in respect of anything that may be said by them in their evidence.


17.10  Evidence of proceedings not to be given elsewhere without leave

No Clerk or officer of the Council, or person employed to take minutes of evidence before the Council or before any committee thereof, may give evidence elsewhere in respect of any proceedings or examination had at the Bar or before any committee of the Council, without the Council’s special leave.


17.11  Interference with witnesses and false evidence

If it appears that any person has -

(a)   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, influenced another person in respect of any evidence given or to be given before the Council or a committee; or

(b)   been directly or indirectly endeavouring to deter or hinder any person from appearing or giving evidence; or

(c)   given any evidence which they know to be false or misleading in any case before the Council or any committee -

such person may be declared guilty of contempt.