Ce que nous avons appris de l’affaire Bérenger v/s Sir Ramesh Jeewoolall…

by | Apr 12, 2021 | Edito

““What is said or done within the walls of Parliament cannot be inquired into in a court of law .”
“ The jurisdiction of the Houses over their own members, their right to impose discipline within their walls, is absolute and exclusive . . .”.
“So far as the courts are concerned, they will not allow any challenge to be made to what is said or done within the walls of Parliament in performance of its legislative functions and protection of its established privileges”
“In India…the Courts have no jurisdiction to issue a writ, direction or order relating to a matter in respect of what is done in the House or which affects the internal affairs of the House”.
Le Parlement est souverain dans la conduite de ses affaires en vertu de la section 48 de la Constitution 48 et le National Assembly (Privileges, Immunities and Powers) Act. C’est le Speaker qui a le pouvoir de prendre les sanctions et d’appliquer les mesures disciplinaires. Arvind Boolell a annoncé son intention de contester sa récente suspension devant la Cour Suprême. Ce n’est pas une première. Voilà que la question de séparation de pouvoir refait surface. Il y a eu le jugement du 18 novembre 1999 du Full Bench de la Cour Suprême composée du Chef Juge d’alors Ariranga Pillay, du SPJ Bernard Sik Yuen et du juge Keshoe Parsad Mataden. Ivan Collendavelloo, Senior Counsel et l’avoué Anwar Moollan avait représenté le leader de l’Opposition. Tandis que le Speaker d’alors, Feu Sir Ramesh Jeewoolall était défendu par Me Guy Ollivry Queen’s Counsel, assisté de l’avocate Yanilla Moonshiram et de l’avoué Balmick Gokulsing. Mes Asraf Caunhye, Parliamentary Counsel et Me Maneesh Gobin du Parquet étaient également engagé dans cette affaire.
Dans le jugement final qui vint renverser une décision intérimaire du juge Paul Lam Shang Leen a l’effet que les procédure pour suspendre Paul Bérenger n’ont pas été suivis, le full bench de la Cour Suprême établit clairement la ligne de démarcation et de séparation de pouvoirs entre le judiciaire et l’exécutif.
Le jugement fait état de plusieurs jurisprudences dont certaines remontent dans la nuit des temps jusqu’en 1688 et l’article 9 du Bill of Rights qui est reproduit dans le Part III. 1 of the Latimer House Guidelines for the Commonwealth. La Cour Supreme observe: “The title of Part III is “Preserving the Independence of Parliamentarians” and article 9 reads as follows – “That the Freedom of Speech and Debates or Proceedings in Parlyement ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parlyement”.
Puis le jugement évoque l’affaire “Bradlaugh v Gosset (1884) 12 QBD 271, Lord Coleridge stated at p. 275 – 277: “What is said or done within the walls of Parliament cannot be inquired into in a court of law . . . The jurisdiction of the Houses over their own members, their right to impose discipline within their walls, is absolute and exclusive . . .”.
Plus loin on peut lire : “Lord Browne-Wilkinson referred to article 9 in Prebble v Television New Zealand Ltd. (1995) 1 A.C 321 at p. 332 – “In addition to article 9 itself, there is a long line of authority which supports a wider principle, of which article 9 is merely one manifestation, viz. that the Courts and Parliament are both astute to recognise their respective constitutional roles. So far as the courts are concerned they will not allow any challenge to be made to what is said or done within the walls of Parliament in performance of its legislative functions and protection of its established privileges” (the emphasis is ours).
Un jugement de J Woods est aussi évoqué: “Standing orders are the rules made for the regulation and control of the business and meetings of the assembly. They are made by and on the authority of the assembly itself. Accordingly, where questions arise as to whether standing orders have been complied with or not the assembly will decide. Simply put, if the majority of the assembly is not satisfied that this procedure was followed or that vote was taken properly, then the majority will ensure that its determination will prevail. That is the solution always available to the assembly. The majority rules. If a majority considers that a vote was not properly taken, not properly counted or points of order not addressed, then a simple motion backed by the majority of the assembly will see that its will under standing orders is complied with”
“If the court was empowered or took upon itself to investigate the manner in which the purely internal proceedings of Parliament or an assembly were conducted there would be no end to the role of the court. It would be asked to intervene in every disputed vote taken in any Parliament or Assembly. This would be clearly in conflict with the basic concept of the role 11 and function of a democratic Parliament and the separation of powers”.
En Inde, les cours de justice n’ont aucune juridiction sur les travaux parlementaires
In India also, it would appear from the Practice and Procedure of Parliament (Lok Sabah, Secretariat, 4th edition) that “the Courts have no jurisdiction to issue a writ, direction or order relating to a matter in respect of what is done in the House or which affects the internal affairs of the House”.
Les raisons pourquoi la justice refuse de s’ingérer dans le affaires parlementaires
Cela est expliqué dans le cas de la suspension d’un senateur de Jersey qui n’a pas voulu optempérer aux directives
Finally, in Syvret, already quoted, a sitting senator of Jersey who had been suspended and subsequently censured by the States for refusing to comply with directives of the Deputy Bailiff and the Bailiff (the defendants) to withdraw comments which had been held to impute improper motives to another member, in breach of the Standing Orders of the States, applied for a judicial review of the rulings claiming that they had been made ultra vires, contrary to natural justice and in bad faith.
The action of the senator was struck out by the Royal Court on the ground that the internal proceedings of a Legislative Assembly were not justiciable in the Courts. The learned Judge (M. Beloff QC, Commissioner), after an exhaustive analysis of the relevant authorities, stated as follows –
“In my judgment, once the nature of the sanction imposed by a legislative assembly or its officers appears to be one within its arsenal, the matter becomes immune from further judicial scrutiny. As the pervasive case law illustrates, the sun never sets on the principle relied on by the defendants. It is not for the court to consider whether such standing orders were properly interpreted or applied . . .
The main reasons (relevant to this case) for judicial abstention from reviewing the internal proceedings of the legislature, firmly rooted as they are, in constitutional principle and legal history, appear to me to be these: (1) The legislature is the key organ of democratic government. It ought, accordingly, to enjoy absolute independence from outside interference or control, the better to perform its functions and to enjoy continued respect.
(2) In particular, appeals to the courts as to whether particular behaviour of a member did or did not merit particular sanction would impair the proper functioning of the chamber by enmeshing it in legal proceedings.
(3) The judicial and legislative organs of government both ought to and ought to be seen to enjoy independence of each other if they are to command confidence.
(4) Judicial abstention from the interference in parliamentary proceedings is the best guarantee of parliamentary abstention from interference in the judicial process.
(5) A legislature can provide its own remedies for injustice effected against a member by its officer or itself.
(6) Ultimately an aggrieved member has the right to appeal to the electorate .
De ce fait la Cour Suprême mauricienne avait rejeté la plainte de Paul Bérenger contre le Speaker d’alors avec dépens.

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