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Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament
7th parliamentary term - December 2009
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TITLE I : MEMBERS, PARLIAMENT BODIES AND POLITICAL GROUPS
CHAPTER 1 : MEMBERS OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

Rule 7 : Procedures on immunity

1.   The committee responsible shall consider without delay and in the order in which they have been submitted requests for the waiver of immunity or requests for the defence of immunity and privileges.

2.   The committee shall make a proposal for a decision which simply recommends the adoption or rejection of the request for the waiver of immunity or for the defence of immunity and privileges.

3.   The committee may ask the authority concerned to provide any information or explanation which the committee deems necessary in order for it to form an opinion on whether immunity should be waived or defended. The Member concerned shall be given an opportunity to be heard, may present any documents or other written evidence deemed by that Member to be relevant and may be represented by another Member.

4.   Where the request seeks the waiver of immunity on several counts, each of these may be the subject of a separate decision. The committee's report may, exceptionally, propose that the waiver of immunity should apply solely to prosecution proceedings and that, until a final sentence is passed, the Member should be immune from any form of detention or remand or any other measure which prevents that Member from performing the duties proper to the mandate.

5.   Where Members are required to appear as witnesses or expert witnesses, there is no need to request a waiver of immunity, provided

-   that they will not be obliged to appear on a date or at a time which prevents them from performing, or makes it difficult for them to perform, their parliamentary duties, or that they will be able to provide a statement in writing or in any other form which does not make it difficult for them to fulfil their parliamentary duties;

-   that they are not obliged to testify concerning information obtained confidentially in the exercise of their mandate which they do not see fit to disclose.

6.   In cases concerning the defence of immunity or privileges, the committee shall state whether the circumstances constitute an administrative or other restriction imposed on the free movement of Members travelling to or from the place of meeting of Parliament or an opinion expressed or a vote cast in the performance of the mandate or fall within aspects of Article 10 of the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities which are not a matter of national law, and shall make a proposal to invite the authority concerned to draw the necessary conclusions.

7.   The committee may offer a reasoned opinion as to the competence of the authority in question and the admissibility of the request, but shall not, under any circumstances, pronounce on the guilt or otherwise of the Member nor on whether or not the opinions or acts attributed to him or her justify prosecution, even if, in considering the request, it acquires detailed knowledge of the facts of the case.

8.   The committee's report shall be placed at the head of the agenda of the first sitting following the day on which it was tabled. No amendments may be tabled to the proposal(s) for a decision.

Discussion shall be confined to the reasons for and against each proposal to waive or uphold immunity, or to defend immunity or a privilege.

Without prejudice to Rule 151, the Member whose privileges or immunities are under consideration shall not speak in the debate.

The proposal(s) for a decision contained in the report shall be put to the vote at the first voting time following the debate.

After Parliament has considered the matter, a separate vote shall be taken on each of the proposals contained in the report. If a proposal is rejected, the contrary decision shall be deemed adopted.

9.   The President shall immediately communicate Parliament's decision to the Member concerned and to the competent authority of the Member State concerned, with a request that the President be informed of any developments in the relevant proceedings and of any judicial rulings made as a consequence. When the President receives this information, he shall transmit it to Parliament in the way he considers most appropriate, if necessary after consulting the committee responsible.

10.   When the President makes use of the powers conferred on him by Rule 6(4), the committee responsible shall take cognisance of the President's initiative at its next meeting. Where the committee deems it necessary it may prepare a report for submission to Parliament.

11.   The committee shall treat these matters and handle any documents received with the utmost confidentiality.

12.   The committee, after consulting the Member States, may draw up an indicative list of the authorities of the Member States which are competent to present a request for the waiver of a Member's immunity.

13.   Any inquiry as to the scope of Members' privileges or immunities made by a competent authority shall be dealt with in accordance with the above rules.

Last updated: 30 November 2009Legal notice