SO 2017-58 Parliamentary Inquiry Act 2017

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SO 2017-58 Parliamentary Inquiry Act 2017

Post by Nassau-Windsor on Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:10 pm

Parliamentary Inquiry Act 2017

An Act to regulate Parliamentary Inquiries.

WHEREAS it has been established by law that Our Parliament has the right to question and to receive information;

WHEREAS there have not been regulated any such means through which Parliament can and may receive such information, other than from Ministers through the Debate Hall of Parliament;

BELIEVING that there should be made regulations for Parliamentary Inquiries;

BE IT ENACTED by Us, by and with the advice and consent of Parliament, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-


Chapter I: General provisions
Article 1
Upon the request of any Member, Parliament shall vote on establishing and creating a Parliamentary Inquiry (hereafter: “inquiry”). The request must be made at the General Debate Topic for the respective Session at the Debate Hall of Parliament. The request shall remain there for twenty-four (24) hours during which time it may neither be amended nor be discussed. After this term, the request shall be voted upon in the Voting Chamber of Parliament. The term for voting shall be forty-eight (48) hours at least.

Article 2
In order for a request as outlined in Article 1 of this Act to pass, it must receive a simple majority among the voting Members in favour of it. The total number of Members voting shall only consist of those who explicitly vote in favour or against the request.

Article 3
The request as outlined in Article 1 of this Act must contain at least:
a) the Member(s) of proposing to establish the inquiry;
b) the number of Members that will serve on the Committee;
c) what the subject of the inquiry;
d) the reasons for the inquiry; and
e) what information should be gathered from the inquiry.

Chapter II: The formation of a Parliamentary Inquiry
Article 4
Immediately after a request as outlined in Article 1 of this Act has passed the Voting Chamber of Parliament, the Chair of Parliament shall command the Founder of Our Region to create a topic for the inquiry. The Founder shall do so as soon as possible.

Article 5
An inquiry shall be conducted by an especial Committee of Parliament. The Committee shall consist of three or five Members, the choice of which is to be expressed in the request. The Member who placed the request for the inquiry shall, by virtue thereof, be a Member of the Committee. The Committee will choose amongst themselves a Committee Speaker.

Article 6
The remainder of the Members of the Committee shall be appointed by the Chair of Parliament. The Committee shall contain representatives from at least two grouped parties in Parliament, or at least one grouped party and one individual Member of Parliament.

Article 7
If the inquiry has as its subject anything in particular of a certain Member or grouped party, the respective Member(s) may not be appointed Member(s) of the Committee.

Article 8
Neither the Committee nor its memberships can be prorogued or dissolved due to the end of a Parliamentary Session.

Article 9
If at any point a Member of the Committee resigns or ceased-to-exist within Our Region, the Chair shall appoint another Member to replace him, in due accordance with the provisions in this Act.

Chapter III: The execution of the Parliamentary Inquiry
Article 10
The Committee shall have the privileges given to it in this Act only for the duration of the Committee. Each Member of the Committee, whether joint by others or not, use these privileges in order to execute the inquiry.

Article 11
The Committee shall only make use of the privileges granted to her when deemed necessary for the proper functioning and execution of the inquiry.

Article 12
The Committee shall have the privilege to request and order that written documents are forwarded to her.

Article 13
The Committee shall have the privilege to request and order that a copy of any document is made available to her.

Article 14
The Committee shall have the privilege to hear, publicly or behind closed doors, witnesses or experts on the subject. The hearing shall be conducted by the full Committee, through its Speaker, only.

Article 15
A hearing as outlined in Article 14 of this Act shall be conducted under either oath or solemn affirmation. The person being heard shall devote to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Article 16
All persons or incumbents of an office or a position must to co-operate in every way they are possible with the Committee. The Committee may set rules for doing so. This provision does not apply to any person who has a duty of confidentially based on an Act of Parliament.

Article 17
All persons have the privilege of assistance of any sort, whether it be legal or otherwise, to support them with their duties to the Committee.

Article 18
No person whatsoever must provide information that would, in any way, harm the continuing or safety of Our Region, when he has the Founder’s permission not to provide that information.

Article 19
No Prime Minister or Cabinet Minister must provide information on the meetings of Cabinet and the discussion therein, as long as he remains in office.

Article 20
No person whatsoever is allowed to speak about inquiries that have taken place behind closed doors, or confidential documents provided to the Committee.

Article 21
Any person who does not co-operate fully, or who does so whereby he violates his oath or solemn affirmation, shall be ejected by the Founder, upon the order of the Committee. The Committee can only order the Founder to do so if it has reached this stance unanimously and with evidence. The ejection shall also include a banishment from Our Region for a term of three months at first instance, and a permanent banishment upon second instance.

Chapter IV: Dissolution of a Parliamentary Inquiry
Article 22
When the inquiry has finished, the Committee shall write a public report to Parliament. The report shall include the minutes of proceedings of the Committee.

Article 23
Confidential documents provided to the Committee shall be mentioned briefly in the report. The actual text of the document shall not be published, and shall continue to confidential.

Article 24
The Committee shall be dissolved the moment they make public their report at the Debate Hall of Parliament. The report shall remain there, visible for each Member of Our Region.

Chapter V: Final provisions
Article 25
This Act, once in effect, may only be changed with a majority of at least two-thirds of the voting Members of Parliament.

Article 26
This Act may be cited as “[The] Parliamentary Inquiry Act 2017”.

Tuesday the 25th day of July, 2017
The Rt. Hon. Nassau-Windsor MP LSM, President of the Union

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Re: SO 2017-58 Parliamentary Inquiry Act 2017

Post by Libertarian Democracy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:07 pm

A few notes:

Article 1: I agree that it should not be able to be amended, but what is your reasoning for barring discussion?  Perhaps such discussion could leave to the Request for Inquiry being withdrawn.  Perhaps a debate would change some Senators' initial opinions on the matter.  There is little precedent, if any, for this Parliament to encourage acting on initial opinions and without any discussion or debate.  I think we should conduct a Request for Inquiry in a manner similar to a Parliamentary Motion.

Article 5: You mean a Parliamentary Commission.  Commissions and Committees are very different things.  See SO#2017-11 ("On Parliamentary Commissions and Committees").  Also, Commissions can only be created by a Parliamentary Motion.  So, who would submit the motion?  What if the motion is voted down?  This could be done much more efficiently if the Request for Inquiry is a Motion, and we could, as the adage goes, kill two birds with one stone.

Article 19: I propose that this be worded differently so that a Minister is not compelled to discuss such meetings, but may choose to.  What if we decided to make a Parliamentary Inquiry into the efficiency of Role Play moderation?  How could Parliament ever legislate solutions if the Ministers are barred from testifying on their own proceedings?

Article 21: Please, I beg of thee, I spent so many hours writing the Judicial Act, please use it! " ___ is hereby a Criminal offense and is classified as a ____, and shall be punished by ___".

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Re: SO 2017-58 Parliamentary Inquiry Act 2017

Post by Abdoa on Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:30 am

I agree with all of LibDem's points, and a couple few other remarks:

Article 1: you mean Members of Parliament (member can also just mean any citizen)? Ordinary citizens are not allowed to post in the Debate Topic if they haven't been called upon to do so.

Article 2: though this again would be simplified if the request for an inquiry was just a motion of parliament, the majority bar outlined there is unconstitutional.

Article 4: The Chair can already do this by precedent - I have always created all of the topics in the Parliament section (except in the Drafting Table) while I have been Chair, so I don't see the need to get the Founder to do this; it's just another extra layer of requests that we frankly don't need more of.

Article 5: "The Committee shall consist of three or five Members, the choice of which is to be expressed in the request." this can be interpreted as contradicting Article 6, meaning that the request can choose which MPs are members of the Commission. Maybe this: "The Commission shall consist of either three or five members; the exact number must be included in the Motion to Request a Parliamentary Inquiry."

Article 6: Parliamentary Groups don't exist yet, as Parliament is still officially non-partisan once it is elected. I however am compiling a complete rewrite of the Procedure Orders which will probably create Parliamentary Groups, but since that wouldn't come into force for over a month anyways, this requirement is, at least in its current wording, completely meaningless.

Article 9: "ceased-to-exist within Our Region" I know this is supposed to mean that if the nation leaves the region, it counts as if they CTE, but its kind of confusing from a logistical point of view, so could you just list leaving the region as part of list explicitly please?

Article 15: I know this is probably an excessively pointless request on my part, but could you use "commit" or "affirm" instead of "devote"? It's because in French the word has a religous meaning, and since this bill is written in a pseudo-ye olde uk parliament formal legalistic language, which owes a lot historically in its origin to Old French, I kind of get the wrong impression of it. Frankly, could we just omit the oath part, and just have people affirm, leaving religion out of it completely?

Article 21: I know Judicial Act is over ten pages long, but that's precisely the reason that not properly classifying a crime is annoying, because it contradicts the provisions of the Judicial Act and creates a confusion that might invalidate the actions taken by law enforcement under this article.

Article 24: Why not just have the full report be published in the Lobby? I mean that's the only use for the Lobby I can think of, as the only other law that references it says that Parliamentary Journals must be published there.

Article 25: Again, completely useless and unconstitutional, as amending laws takes 2/3rds of the total number of MPs anyways.

Other remarks: would you mind terribly referring to the Commission/Committee as "it" not "her", as that is the current correct pronoun in this instance?

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