A core part of the law making process is the debate on ‘general principles of a bill.’ Indeed, the House of Representatives and the Senate both adhere to conventional parliamentary procedures, just like most official gatherings.
There are however, rules guiding this process in parliament and this week’s episode of #MondayMeme highlights some of the Rules of Debate in the Nigerian Senate; the red chamber of the National Assembly.
Below are a few of them:
- A Senator is not allowed to read his speech except if he/she is moving a motion or presenting a Bill.
- He/She may however, read short extracts from books or paper in support of his argument, and may refresh his memory by reference to notes.
- A Senator is allowed to read his/her speech during debates on the Appropriation Bill.
- A Senator must confine his/her observations to the subjects under discussion and may not introduce matter irrelevant thereto.
- No Senator is allowed to make reference to any matter on which a Judicial decision is pending, in such a way as might in the opinion of the President of the Senate prejudice the interest of parties thereto.
- It shall be out of Order to attempt to reconsider any specific question upon which the Senate has come to a conclusion during the current Session except upon a substantive motion for rescission.
- A Senator desiring to speak shall raise his hand in his place and if called upon, shall rise and address his observations to the President of the Senate or the Chairman.
- If two or more Senators rise at the same time, the President of the Senate or Chairman shall call on the Senator who first catches his eyes.
- No Senator can speak more than once to the same question without leave of the Senate, unless he/she is the mover, proposer, or introducer of the matter pending.
- Under the latter, he/she shall be permitted to speak in reply, but not until those chosen to speak shall have spoken.
- It is out of Order to use offensive and intimidating language and no Senator is permitted to impute improper motives to any other Senator.
Did you learn anything new?
Monday Meme is a public service programme by OrderPaper Nigeria designed to break down the esoteric terminologies of the legislature and how the institution of parliament generally functions.