Sessional Order (551) - Citizens' Right of Reply (adopted 3 May 2011, V&P p. 36)
CITIZENS’ RIGHT OF REPLY
(Adopted 3 May 2011, Votes and Proceedings p. 36)
That, during the current Parliament, unless otherwise ordered, the following Citizens’ Right of Reply be adopted:
(1) That where a submission is made in writing by a person who has been referred to in the Legislative Assembly by name, or in such a way as to be readily identified:
(a) claiming that the person or corporation has been adversely affected in reputation or in respect of dealings or associations with others, or injured in occupation, trade, office or financial credit, or that the person’s privacy has been unreasonably invaded, by reason of that reference to the person or corporation; and
(b) requesting that the person be able to incorporate an appropriate response in Hansard,
and the Speaker is satisfied:
(c) that the subject of the submission is not so obviously trivial or the submission so frivolous, vexatious or offensive in character as to make it inappropriate that it be considered by the Standing Orders and Procedure Committee;
(d) the submission was received within 6 months after the relevant comments were made in the House unless the applicant can show exceptional circumstances to explain the delay; and
(e) that it is practicable for the Committee to consider the submission under this resolution, the Speaker shall refer the submission to that Committee.
(2) That the Committee may decide not to consider a submission referred to it under this resolution if the Committee considers that the subject of the submission is not sufficiently serious or the submission is frivolous, vexatious or offensive in character, and such a decision shall be reported to the Legislative Assembly.
(3) That if the Committee decides to consider a submission under this resolution, the Committee may confer with the person who made the submission and any member who referred in the Legislative Assembly to that person or corporation.
(4) That in considering a submission under this resolution, the Committee shall meet in private session.
(5) That the Committee shall not publish a submission referred to it under this resolution of its proceedings in relation to such a submission, but may present minutes of its proceedings and all or part of such submission to the Legislative Assembly.
(6) In considering a submission under this resolution and reporting to the Legislative Assembly the Committee shall not consider or judge the truth of any statements made in the Legislative Assembly or the submission.
(7) That in its report to the Legislative Assembly on a submission under this resolution, the Committee may make either of the following recommendations:
that no further action be taken by the Committee or the Legislative Assembly in relation to the submission; or
(b) that a response by the person who made the submission, in terms specified in the report and agreed to by the person or corporation and the Committee, be published by the Legislative Assembly or incorporated in Hansard, and shall not make any other recommendations.
(8) That a document presented to the Legislative Assembly under paragraph (5) or (7):
(a) in the case of a response by a person or corporation who made a submission, shall be succinct and strictly relevant to the questions in issue and shall not contain anything offensive in character; and
(b) shall not contain any matter the publication of which would have the effect of:
(i) unreasonably adversely affecting or injuring a person or corporation, or unreasonably invading a person’s privacy, in the manner referred to in paragraph (1); or
(ii) unreasonably adding to or aggravating any such adverse effect, injury or invasion of privacy suffered by a person.
(9) That a corporation making a submission under this resolution is required to make it under their common seal.
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