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Chernukhina L.S. Parliamentary Committees: Types, Powers and Performance Order (Canadian experience)

Published in journal "Journal of Foreign Legislation and Comparative Law", 2015-3 , pages 422-427.

Resume: The article deals with the aspects organization and activities of the parliamentary committees in Canada. The author gives a classification of the committees in terms of the duration and their composition, analyzes legal framework, which is the basis for the functioning of parliamentary committees, conducts a comparative analysis of permanent and ad hoc committees and pointed out the importance of extending the privileges and immunities on the activities of parliamentarians in the work of the committees . The author recognizes the special importance of guaranteeing of these privileges for persons called in committee meetings as witnesses. The examples of judicial practice in cases involving issues of privileges and immunities are presented. On the basis of the analysis of court decisions, the author concludes that the immunities and privileges under consideration are a powerful and versatile tool as a guarantee of the protection of parliamentarians and invited to the meetings of committees persons (only twice in the history of the Parliament the application of judicial waiver of the privilege of freedom of speech were satisfied by the House of Commons). The author concludes that the procedural aspects of the committee activity dont depend on the type of Committee and set by the Rules of the House of Commons, decisions of the House, as well as by the internal rules of a committee. A detailed analysis of the cases consideration in the committees is given. Particular attention is paid to the provision of witness interviews and documentary information propose. The author concludes that the work of the committees is an effective mechanism for the dynamic consideration of issues within the competence of Parliament. The author believes that the experience of the procedural aspects of the Canadian parliamentary committees activity can be useful in the development of more effective activity mechanisms of Russian legislative bodies of both federal and regional level.

Keywords: Canada, the Parliamentary Committee, the House of Commons Standing Committee, a special committee, privilege, immunity, a witness.

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