Second Stage

Part of Executive Committee Business – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 11:45 am on 3rd March 2009.

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Photo of Nigel Dodds Nigel Dodds Shadow Spokesperson (Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform), Without portfolio, Shadow Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Without Portfolio) 11:45 am, 3rd March 2009

I understand where the Member is coming from. However, the process and approach of absolute privilege, which is being put into permanent statutory form, is not new. It is long-standing in most Parliaments and legislatures everywhere. Therefore, the Member’s point is not new either. Obviously, individuals and companies, or whoever may be affected, will be concerned, but as Mr Weir said, normally reports are undertaken with the utmost seriousness and propriety. I think that there are procedures open to anyone, or any body, that is affected by the reports. The Member will know through his own research how that matter is dealt with elsewhere and how it has been dealt with here previously.