Parliament is that arm of government responsible for making laws of the land. It is a body of elective representatives collectively mandated to make, amend and repeal laws. Traditionally all Westminster model legislatures – parliaments/national assemblies have the following functions, viz:
- Law making (legislative function)
- Scrutiny and oversight function
An international association which provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information and for the sharing of knowledge and experience through person-to-person contact. The main activities of these associations include exchange programmes, conferences and seminars on various subjects.
A calendar, which presents a fixed timetable of sittings and adjournments for a given year in accordance with the provisions of the Standing Orders.
A programme involving the making of official visits by foreign parliamentarians under the auspices of the Speakers of the affected parliaments.
The rights and immunities enjoyed by a Member, necessary for the carrying out of parliamentary duties. They include: freedom of speech in the Assembly and its committees; freedom from arrest in civil cases; exemption from jury duty and appearance as a witness; and, in general, freedom from obstruction and intimidation particular during sittings.
The rules by which the Assembly conducts its business, based on statutes, the Standing Orders, authoritative procedural works, precedents and tradition. Decisions by the Speaker on points of order and questions of privilege are based on these rules.