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Law Notes Public Law Notes

Parliamentary Procedure And Experience Notes

Updated Parliamentary Procedure And Experience Notes

Public Law Notes

Public Law

Approximately 55 pages

This course was taken with Professor Michelle Flaherty at the University of Ottawa. It is a mandatory first year course for J.D. students....

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Process of Passing Bills

1st reading: question put to the house and bill read for first time

2nd reading: debate in the house (3 types of amendments possible: reasoned to express opposition to second reading, referral to committee before principle of bill is approved, or 6 months hoist to delay reading)

Committee Stage: appropriation of bills made here before 3rd reading for study. Amendments can occur here but must be in keeping with what was agreed to at second reading. Appropriation bills are referred to committee of the whole.

Report Stage: notice of amendments brought forward. Motion to have amendments concurred in and question put to house without debate.

3rd reading: amendments may only be strictly relevant to bill and cannot detract its principle from second reading.

Repeat process in Senate.

Amendments to Standing Orders in 1994

  1. committee prepares and brings in a bill

  • Minister or Private member may bring a motion to instruct or appoint a committee to prepare a bill, but must give 48 hrs written notice (motion debated for 90 minutes)

  1. Committee prior to second reading

    • Minister wishing to send a government bill to committee may make a motion to have the bill sent to committee before second reading (after reading of the order of the day for the second reading) โ€“ opposition members usually notified

    • May be up to three hours on this motion (not amendable)

    • Scope of amendments brought to bill can be much wider

    • Bill sent back at report stage but can only be taken up three sitting days after bill is reported

    • What follows is a combined 2nd reading and report stage

    • House can amend at second reading here

Private bill: designed to exempt an individual or group of people from application of the law

  • Most originate in the Senate

  • Originate by means of a petition by the parties interested and presented in the House

Key Actors in Parliament (political parties, Speaker โ€“ as agent of the Crown, and the legislative committees)

  • There is a reason for why political parties exist through:

    • S. 49 of the CA 1867- Questions arising in the House of Commons shall be decided by a Majority of Voices other than that of the speaker and when the voices are equal, but not otherwise, the speaker shall have a vote)

    • Same with Senate

  • Note the different committees, their powers and functions in terms of summoning and those who do refuse to appear as being held in contempt

    • Legislative committees (narrow scope on studying bill but can propose amendments), standing committees, committees of the whole, special committees, joint committees, subcommittees

  • Note election of speaker by way of secret ballot; legal powers, tie breaking, candidacy, etc.

Guest Speaker: David Daubney, MP

  • Former JUST Cttee chair

  • Elected as MP under the PCs with Mulroney

  • Worked on Meech Lake Committee

Parliamentary Reform Committee Efforts under the Mulroney Government

This committee worked on reforms to keep committees independent without the governmentโ€™s direction. Mulroney provided for more free votes and a greater ability for PMB introduction.

Mulroney was difficult on Cabinet; he encouraged or accepted resignation when there was difficulty. Current government is less inclined to hold Ministers to same level of account

Major Reforms in Justice during...

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