Did the FNM know that FRED SMITH would have lost this case and thus protected him? If They Can’t Protect PARLIAMENT How in Da Hell Dey ga protect the COUNTRY?!
Parliamentary privilege allows MPs to conduct the “proceedings of Parliament”, knowing that whatever is done in these “proceedings” is protected from being “impeached” by any court or outside body. If an MP writes something in a Select Committee report, or publishes a Parliamentary paper, or says something in Parliamentary speech, he cannot be sued or prosecuted for any of that. He enjoys legal immunity over these matters, as established in the 1689 Bill of Rights.
So this means an MP cannot be sued for libel over what he writes in Parliamentary papers, but then what’s this got to do with an MP suing another person for defamation instead? Well, imagine a hypothetical scenario where an elected MP is accused by a journalist of advocating for torturing suspected terrorists in Parliamentary debates. The MP, feeling insulted, decides to sue the journalist for libel. The journalist wishes to mount a defence of truth, since for a statement to be defamatory it must also be untrue. However, the journalist needs to cite Parliament’s Hansard records as evidence that his statement about the MP is indeed accurate.