STANDING ORDERS CHAPTER 23

WITNESSES

187 Attendance of member before the House

 

The House may order a member to take his or her place in the House in order to be examined.

188 Attendance of member before a select committee

 

(1)

If resolved by a select committee, the Chair will write to a member requesting the member to attend as a witness

 

(2)

If the member refuses to attend, the committee will not take any further action except to report the matter to the House.

189 Request for Council member or officer to attend

 

If the House or a select committee of the House (except one on a private bill) wishes to examine a member or officer of the Council, it must send a message to the Council asking leave for that member or officer to be examined on the matters stated in the message.

190 Summoning a witness

 

The House may summon a witness to be examined at the Bar of the House. The order of the House must be signed by the Clerk.

191 Witness in prison

 

If a witness is in prison, the House may order that the Speaker issues a warrant to the keeper of the prison to bring the witness in safe custody to be examined.

192 Select committee summons procedure

 

 

A select committee may summon witnesses by an order signed by the Chair. If a witness does not obey an order, that fact must be reported to the House, which may then order him or her to come before the House. However, that order may be discharged if the witness attends the committee before the time set for attending the House.

193 Failure or refusal to attend

 

If a witness fails or refuses to attend or give evidence pursuant to an order of the House or a select committee, the House may censure the witness or declare him or her guilty of contempt.

194 Oath

 

A witness before the House or a select committee may be required to take an oath when that is permitted by statute.[7]

195 Examination before the House

 

(1)

A witness before the House must be examined by:

 

 

(a)

the Speaker; or

 

 

(b)

a member who puts a question through the Speaker.

 

(2)

If the witness objects to a question or some other matter arises, the witness may be required to withdraw by the Speaker while the matter is discussed. Only the Speaker may examine a witness in custody.

196 Evidence of witnesses protected

 

A witness examined before the House or a select committee is entitled to the protection of the House in respect of anything he or she may say in evidence.

197 Officers not to give evidence without leave

 

No person employed or contracted to assist the House or a select committee will give evidence in respect of any proceedings of the House or a committee without leave of the House.

198 Council request for Assembly member or officer to attend

 

If the Council or one of its select committees wishes to examine a member or officer of the House, the House may:

 

(1)

Give leave for the member to attend if the member thinks fit.

 

(2)

Order an officer to attend.

199 Information regarding improper conduct of a member

 

If a committee receives information regarding improper conduct of a member of the House, the committee will report the matter to the House and not proceed any further on the issue.

200 Interference with witnesses and false evidence

 

(1)

A person is guilty of a serious offence if he or she 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 House or a select 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 House or any committee.

 

(2)

The House will punish such offence most severely and may declare an offender to be guilty of contempt.