Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament Act, 1996
Act 17 of 1996
- Published in Government Gazette no. 1382 on 13 August 1996
- Assented to on 26 July 1996
- Commenced on 13 August 1996
- [This is the version of this document from 13 August 1996 and includes any amendments published up to 6 October 2022.]
1. DefinitionsIn this Act, unless the context otherwise indicates -“Assembly” means the National Assembly referred to in Chapter 7 of the Namibian Constitution;“Chairperson” -(a)means the member elected under Article 73 of the Namibian Constitution to be the Chairperson of the Council; and(b)includes -(i)the member elected under that Article as Vice-Chairperson; or(ii)any other member of the Council referred to in that Article,when acting for the Chairperson;“committee” means any standing or select committee established by the Assembly or a committee contemplated in Article 74(2) of the Namibian Constitution, and includes the Committee of Privileges;“Committee of Privileges”, in relation to the Assembly, means the Committee of Privileges of the National Assembly established by section 7(1)(a) and, in relation to the Council means the Committee of Privileges of the National Council established by section 7(1)(b);“Council” means the National Council referred to in Article 68 of the Namibian Constitution;“enquiry” means an enquiry in terms of section 14;“House”, in relation to Parliament, means the Assembly or the Council;“journals” means the minutes of the proceedings of the House;“member” means a member of the House;“officer”, in relation to the Assembly, means any officer contemplated in Article 52(3) of the Namibian Constitution and, in relation to the Council means any person appointed to the staff of the Council, and include the Secretary and any member of the Namibian police as defined in section 1 of the Police Act. 1990 (Act 19 of 1990), who is on duty within the precincts of Parliament;[The verb “include” should be “includes” to be grammatically correct.]“Parliament” means the Assembly or the Council and includes any committee;“precincts of Parliament” means the Chamber in which the proceedings of the House are conducted, and include any galleries, lobbies, offices, or areas used principally in connection with the proceedings of Parliament and every part of the building in which the Chamber is situated and any forecourt, yard, garden, enclosure, or open space appurtenant thereto and used or provided for the purposes of the House;[The verb forms in this definition do not agree; the verbs should be either “means” and “includes”, or “mean” and include”.]“Secretary”, in relation to the Assembly, means the Secretary of the Assembly appointed or designated under Article 52(1) of the Namibian Constitution and, in relation to the means the person appointed to perform the functions of Secretary for the Council;“Speaker” -(a)means the member elected under Sub-Article (1) of Article 51 of the Namibian Constitution to be the Speaker of the Assembly; and(b)includes -(i)the member elected under that Sub-Article as Deputy-Speaker; or(ii)any other member of the Assembly referred to in Sub-Article (4) of that Article,when acting for the Speaker;“Standing Rules and Orders”, in relation to the Assembly, means the Standing Rules and Orders of the Assembly made by the Assembly under Article 59(1) of the Namibian Constitution and, in relation to the Council means the Standing Rules and Orders of the Council made by the Council under Article 74(2) of the Namibian Constitution; and“stranger”, in relation to Parliament, means any person other than a member or an officer.
Part I – PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES OF MEMBERS AND OFFICERS
1. Immunity from legal proceedingsNotwithstanding the provisions of any law, no member shall be liable to any civil or criminal proceedings, arrest, imprisonment, or damages by reason of -
3. Service of process issued by court of law
4. Members and officers exempted from certain obligations
5. Persons not liable for acts done under authority of ParliamentNo person shall be liable for damages or otherwise for anything done under the authority of Parliament.
6. Journals and minutes prima facie evidence of matters contained thereinIn any inquiry relating to, or affecting the privileges, immunities and powers of Parliament or of any member -
Part II – COMMITTEE OF PRIVILEGES
7. Committees of Privileges
8. Tenure of office of members of Committees of Privileges
9. Vice-chairperson and acting chairperson of Committee of Privileges
10. QuorumA quorum for any meeting of the Committee of Privileges shall be a majority of its members.
11. Standing Rules and Orders applicable to Committee of PrivilegesThe relevant Standing Rules and Orders shall be applicable to the Committee of Privileges to the extent as may be determined by the House concerned.
12. Powers and functions of Committee of PrivilegesThe Committee of Privileges -
13. Powers of House with regard to report by Committee of PrivilegesThe House -
Part III – ATTENDANCE BEFORE COMMITTEE
14. Power to order attendance of persons before Committee
16. Procedure at enquiries
17. Privileges of witnesses
18. Offences by or in connection with witnesses
19. Witness expensesAny person, other than a person who is in the full-time employment of the Public Service or a local or regional authority or a body or institution established by or under any law. who has been subpoenaed under section 15 shall be paid, if he or she does not reside within the vicinity of the place of attendance stated in the summons, such expenses and fees as are payable to witnesses in magistrate's court proceedings.
20. Giving evidence elsewhere of proceedings at enquiry
Part IV – MISCELLANEOUS
21. Powers of Parliament
22. Disclosure of interest
23. Printing or tendering in evidence matters purporting to have been printed under authority of Parliament, Speaker, or Chairperson
24. Other offences
25. PenaltiesAny person convicted of any offence under this Act shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding 20,000 Namibia dollars or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years, or to both such fine and imprisonment.
26. Prosecution under this Act only on authorization of Prosecutor-GeneralNo prosecution for an offence under this Act shall be instituted except with the written authorization of the Prosecutor-General.
27. Jurisdiction of magistrate's court in respect of penaltiesNotwithstanding anything to the contrary in any law contained, a magistrate's court shall have jurisdiction to impose any sentence provided for in section 25.
28. Short titleThis Act shall be called the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament Act, 1996.
History of this document
13 August 1996 this version
Published in Government Gazette number 1382
26 July 1996
Cited documents 1
Documents citing this one 4
- Katjivena v Prime Minister of Republic of Namibia (APPEAL 265 of 2014)  NAHCMD 146 (18 May 2016)
- Popular Democratic Movement v Chairperson of the Electoral Commission and Others; Electoral Commission of Namibia v Tjirare and Others (SA 59 of 2020; SA 65 of 2020)  NASC 18 (30 May 2022)
- S v Simataa (2) (CC 3 of 2014)  NAHCMD 104 (30 March 2017)
- Swartbooi and Another v Speaker of National Assembly (SA 38 of 2021)  NASC 33 (4 August 2021)