It is laid down in Article 9 of the Bill of Rights that freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament are not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament1. This was far from a new departure: the House of Commons had long laid claim to freedom from direct political interference by the Crown and from answerability at law in the courts for what was said in the House. The freedom of debates in the Lords from external interference or control had
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