902. Summons of members and officers as witnesses in the courts.

The service of a subpoena on members within the precincts of Parliament while the House is sitting is a contempt of Parliament1. In 1999 the Joint Committee on Parliamentary Privilege recommended that personal service of court documents on members within the precincts of Parliament should remain a contempt, but service by post should not be a contempt2.

The privilege of exemption of a member of the House of Commons from attendance as a witness has been asserted by that House on the ground of the paramount right of Parliament to the attendance and service of its members. The Speaker has

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