12 Sep 2008

Lawyers critical of privileges committee

2:38 pm on 12 September 2008

A group of lawyers says parliament's privileges committee is not seen as active enough in disciplining members of parliament.

A paper from an Auckland District Law Society committee says the privileges committee either does not provide, or is not perceived as providing, an effective check on the behaviour of MPs.

Auckland District Law Society spokesperson Dr Noel Cox says the committee is seen as being powerful, but in practice is reluctant to exercise those powers.

He says it needs to take a more proactive role in being seen to discipline members or parliament.

Dr Cox says failure to do that exposes the committee to being perceived as toothless.