This introductory chapter sets out the book's purpose, which is to shed light on the British and American constitutions. The focus is on legislative privilege—those special rights that individual Members or Houses of the legislature possess in order to facilitate their legislative duties. The chapter then discusses the two basic paradigms of the role of parliamentary privilege in the British Constitution: the Blackstonian and the Millian paradigms; the American conception of the function of privilege; and the methodologies used in the present study. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
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