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Saturday, 29 November 2014

Oireachtas: Salient Rulings of the Chair

Copy of a thread I started on Politics.ie Salient Rulings of the Chair

I came across a reference to a 'Salient Rulings of the Chair' No 246, which I hadn't really heard of, or taken notice of before and didn't know what 'Ruling 246' was, I asked the TD who used the reference and didn't get a quick reply so I had to ask a journalist to look it up for me, it turns out No 246 is "Remarks should be addressed through the Chair", straightforward but then Im not allowed to know that apparently.

The latest version of this handbook was printed in 2002 there was reference to it in the Oireachtas Online Library of documents which said it was downloadable, but the link to it was just a default link and all reference to it was removed when I asked about it, with the Oireachtas Service person saying it was an internal document and could not be published publically. Is this correct should the public not be able to understand what members of the Dail are reffering to when they cite these rulings? eg salient rulings of the chair" section:Dail debates via Kildarestreet.com.

I now understand that they are a collection of precedents from rulings made by the Chairs of the Dail and the Seanad. As opposed to the Standing Orders document.

Procedures in both Houses of the Oireachtas were to be governed by two main sources . This has remained the case since and are a) Standing Orders, which provide the procedural rulebook for members to follow, and b)Salient Rulings of the Chair, which is a handbook of precedents on which the Ceann Comhairle in the Dáil and the Cathaoirleach in the Seanad can refer to when making their rulings.
Muiris MacCarthaigh Constitutional Convention Briefing Note 1 Feb 2014

The most infamous Salient rulings is No. 428, the one about 'unparliamentary language' swearing, insults and the lists of such words, the most recent report on such was in relation to Paul Gogarty although the Word [he used] is not on Dail banned list Indepenent 12/12/2009. CPP Report on Parliamentary Standards 2009.

Rules I've found,

Read out at the start of every Committee meeting: I remind members that under the salient rules of the Chair, they should not comment on, criticise or make charges against a person outside the House or an official by name or in such a way as to make him or her identifiable. Kildarestreet.com
246. Remarks should be addressed through the Chair. Via Gavreilly
302. It is not for the Chair or the House to decide whether a Bill, a section of a Bill or an amendment is or is not in conflict with the Constitution
Dail record 2007
428. Members should show restraint in the House in their use of language Dail record 2007
431. 'political charges are in order but personal charges will not' CPP Report 2010
516. In relation to motions approving a draft Order, the Chair rules amendments inadmissible where there is no provision in the governing Act for such amendment. Dail Record 2005

Im collecting a list and other information here.

Anybody know any other of the Salient Rules and No's

Im not sure if Salient Rulings can also come from the Committee on Procedure and Privileges CPP Committee on Procedure and Privileges (Dáil), Houses of the Oireachtas that the chairs of the two houses
also chair.

There is archive of CPP Reports from 1924-1980, newer reports are more scattered around the Oireachtas website.

There might be elements from private CPP reports that can't be released but perhaps an index of the rules can be released?

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