Publication of evidence before it is reported to the House
38.41Evidence given to a committee may not be published before it has been reported to the House and received an order for publication. Three exceptions are below:
- To reflect the introduction of broadcasting of select committee public evidence sessions, Standing Order No 136 provides that the House will not entertain any complaint of contempt or breach of privilege in respect of publication of such evidence.1
- Under Standing Order No 135, all select committees having power to send for persons, papers and records have power to authorise the publication by the witnesses concerned or otherwise of evidence submitted by them. Under the same Standing Order, the Speaker has the power to authorise such publication in the case of any select committee which is no longer in existence.
- Standing Order No. 137 makes provision for evidence and reports from committees in a recess to be deemed to have been reported in advance of the next sitting of the House.
For the procedure in cases of premature disclosure of evidence, see para 38.56.