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Rules and orders.

50. Each House of the Parliament may make rules and orders159 with respect to—

  • (i.) The mode in which its powers, privileges, and immunities may be exercised and upheld:
  • (ii.) The order and conduct of its business and proceedings either separately or jointly with the other House.
UNITED STATES.—Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behaviour, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member.— Const., Art. I., sec. 5, sub-s. 2.

HISTORICAL NOTE.—In the clause as adopted at the Sydney Convention of 1891, and the Adelaide session of the Convention of 1897, the matters as to which rules and orders might be made were somewhat elaborately defined in six sub-clauses, the last of which was: “Generally for the conduct of all business and proceedings of the Senate and House of Representatives severally and collectively.” There was no sub-clause dealing with the exercise of powers, privileges, and immunities. At the Adelaide session, Sir Joseph Abbott called attention to the need of some power to protect the privileges of the Houses, and suggested that the power to make standing orders was too narrow. He moved to omit all the sub-sections, and insert words empowering each House to make such standing orders as it should think fit, and giving to such orders the force of law. This was objected to as being too wide, and Sir Joseph Abbott withdrew it. (Conv. Deb., Adel., pp 756–60.) At the Sydney session, on Mr. Isaacs' motion, the word “standing,” before “rules and orders,” was omitted. (Conv. Deb., Syd., 1897, p. 1035.) At the Melbourne session, before the first report, a new sub-clause was inserted: “The mode in which the powers, privileges, and immunities of the Senate and of the House of Representatives respectively may be exercised and upheld.” After the fourth report the five specific sub-clauses were omitted, and verbal amendments were made.

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