CONSTITUTIONAL LAWPART 2: THE LEGISLATURE2.2 THE POWERS, PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES OF PARLIAMENT – INTERNAL PROCEDURES1. IntroductionSections 57 and 70 of the Constitution provide that the National Assembly and theNational Council of Provinces may determine and control their own internalarrangements, proceedings and procedures. These sections also provide that bothhouses may make rules and orders concerning their business, with due regard torepresentative and participatory democracy, accountability, transparency and publicinvolvement.The manner in which the National Assembly and the National Council of Provincesmay exercise these powers is restricted by the fact that the internal procedures andthe rules and orders adopted by the both houses must be consistent with theConstitution and, in particular, with section 58 and section 71 of the Constitutionwhich provide that members of Parliament have freedom of speech in Parliament.The fact that the internal procedures and rules and orders adopted by the NationalAssembly and the National Council of Provinces must be consistent with theConstitution means, the Supreme Court of Appeal explained in Speaker of theNational Assembly v De Lille1998 (3) SA 430 (C), that these procedures may bescrutinized by the courts in order to determine whether they are in fact consistentwith the Constitution. Read Speaker of the National Assembly v De Lilleand Currie and De Waal The NewConstitutional and Administrative Lawat 143-146. Now answer the followingquestions:(a)What were the facts of the case?(b)What did the court decide?(c)How did the court arrive at its decision?(d)Is parliament still the ‘master of its own procedure”?2. Committees2.1 IntroductionCommittees play a crucial role in most modern Parliaments. This is because much ofthe work of a modern Parliament is carried out by its committees. It is not surprising,therefore, that sections 57(2) and 70(2) of the Constitution explicitly provide that therules and orders of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provincesmust make provision for the establishment, composition, powers, functions,procedures and duration of committees.1
Apart from providing for the establishment, composition, powers, functions,procedures and duration of committees, sections 57(2) and 70(2) of the Constitutionstate that the rules and orders of the National Assembly and National Council ofProvinces must also provide for the participation in the committees of the minorityparties represented in both houses, in a manner consistent with democracy. 2.2 Committees of the National AssemblyThe rules and orders of the National Assembly provide for a number of differentcommittees. These different committees may be divided into two categories, namelyad hoc committees and standing committees.
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