38.58The House resolved in 1688 that ‘it is the undoubted right of this House that all witnesses summoned to attend this House, or any committee appointed by it, have the privilege of this House in coming, staying and returning’.1 Parties who arrest2 witnesses or other persons summoned to attend either House or any committee of either House while going to, attending, or returning from, such House or committee may be punished for contempt.3


  1. 1. CJ (1688–93) 45.
  2. 2. Or, historically, procured the arrest on civil process.
  3. 3. CJ (1640–42) 454, 457; ibid (1697–99) 364, 367, 368, 386; and see LJ (1691–96) 529.