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Democracy's Privileged FewLegislative Privilege and Democratic Norms in the British and American Constitutions$
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Josh Chafetz

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780300113259

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300113259.001.0001

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Freedom from Civil Arrest and Legal Process for Members of Parliament

Freedom from Civil Arrest and Legal Process for Members of Parliament

(p.111) 5 Freedom from Civil Arrest and Legal Process for Members of Parliament
Democracy's Privileged Few

Josh Chafetz

Yale University Press

This chapter considers the freedom from civil arrest historically guaranteed to Members of Parliament. In its earliest form, the privilege was a royal right and was enforced by officials of the Crown. However, as the Houses came into their own, the right took on a more distinctly Blackstonian hue. Here, the function of the privilege was to protect the Houses against all outsiders, and the Houses generally took enforcement into their own hands. The Millian transition was primarily effected by a series of eighteenth-century statutes that eliminated the privilege against civil process and restricted the arrest privilege to Members and parliamentary officers, removing it from Members' menial servants.

Keywords:   parliamentary privilege, Members of Parliament, civil arrest, civil process, parliamentary officers

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