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Chapter 5 Standing And Select Committees: 24 Scrutiny Of Bills



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CHAPTER 5

STANDING AND SELECT COMMITTEES

Standing committees

24 Scrutiny of Bills

(1) (a) At the commencement of each Parliament, a Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills shall be appointed to report, in respect of the clauses of bills introduced into the Senate, and in respect of Acts of the Parliament, whether such bills or Acts, by express words or otherwise:

(i) trespass unduly on personal rights and liberties;

(ii) make rights, liberties or obligations unduly dependent upon insufficiently defined administrative powers;

(iii) make rights, liberties or obligations unduly dependent upon non-reviewable decisions;

(iv) inappropriately delegate legislative powers; or

(v) insufficiently subject the exercise of legislative power to parliamentary scrutiny.

(b) The committee, for the purpose of reporting upon the clauses of a bill when the bill has been introduced into the Senate, may consider any proposed law or other document or information available to it, notwithstanding that such proposed law, document or information has not been presented to the Senate.

(2) (a) The committee shall consist of 6 senators, 3 being members of the government party nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, and 3 being senators who are not members of the government party, nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate or by any minority groups or independent senators.

(b) The nominations of the opposition or any minority groups or independent senators shall be determined by agreement between the opposition and any minority groups or independent senators, and, in the absence of agreement duly notified to the President, the question of the representation on the committee shall be determined by the Senate.

(3) The committee may appoint sub-committees consisting of 3 or more of its members, and refer to any such sub-committee any matters which the committee is empowered to consider.

 

(4) The committee shall elect as chairman a member appointed to the committee on the nomination of the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.

(5) The chairman may from time to time appoint a member of the committee to be deputy chairman, and the member so appointed shall act as chairman of the committee when there is no chairman or the chairman is not present at a meeting of the committee.

(6) When votes on a question before the committee are equally divided, the chairman, or the deputy chairman when acting as chairman, shall have a casting vote.

(7) The committee and any sub-committee shall have power to send for persons and documents, to move from place to place, and to meet in private session and notwithstanding any prorogation of the Parliament or dissolution of the House of Representatives.

(8) The committee may appoint with the approval of the President counsel to advise the committee.

(9) The committee may report from time to time its proceedings and evidence and any recommendations, and shall make regular reports of the progress of the proceedings of the committee.

(amended 24 August 1994)