Speaker's Ruling - 6th June 2017 - Raising of Points of Order and Points of Privilege

In the National Assembly Tuesday 6th June 2017


The Chair has observed a disturbing trend whereby Hon. Members have developed a tendency of abusing Standing Orders pertaining to the raising of Points of Order and Points of Privilege in the House. The Chair wishes to clarify the procedure for raising Points of Order and Points of Privilege as follows:-

a)     A Point of Order may be raised by another Member without notice in terms of Standing Order Number 68(d)[1], to alert the Presiding Officer of a breach of the rules of the House by a Member on the floor or by any other Member in the Chamber. Thus, Points of Orders should relate to possible violations or breaches of provisions of Standing Orders of the House or practice of the House or abuse of the rules of the House. Points of  Order cannot be raised because a Member is not happy with another Member’s contribution. In fact, the majority of Points of Order in the Eighth Parliament have been in this category. A Member raising a Point of Order should simply direct the Presiding Officer to the point complained of by citing the Standing Order or practice being violated.

b)    A Point of Privilege is raised by a Member to raise a complaint of breach of privilege or contempt which requires the immediate attention of the House[2].  The Point of Privilege should thus clearly state the breach that should be addressed by the House.   Hon. Members should therefore be guided accordingly and not abuse the rules of the House.


[1]       Note by Veritas:   Standing Order 68(d) allows a motion relating to a question or point of order or a matter of privilege without 3 days’ prior notice having been given. 

[2]       Note by Veritas:   Standing Order 69 provides that a motion referred to in Standing Order 68(d) concerning a matter of privilege must take precedence over all other business.


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