Privilege, precedent, and self-regulation
in The Irish Parliament, 1613–89
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The two constituent parts of parliament were generally self-regulating in their behaviour. With the exception of statute law that did stipulate certain ways for parliament to behave, the Commons and the Lords organised the way they undertook their business and how their members should conduct themselves. This meant that parliamentary privilege for the member and the liberties of each house were jealously guarded. These were certain rights to avoid arrest, to be free from civil actions, and also for the house to dominate certain areas, for example appellate oversight of other courts or finance. The author convincingly asserts that while privilege could well be the domain of the petty and self-interested, its fundamental purpose was to preserve the individual roles and promote their smooth running.

The Irish Parliament, 1613–89

The evolution of colonial institution


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