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This report does not look into specific allegations of hacking, some of which are currently under investigation by the prosecuting authorities or may become the subject of judicial review. Instead it considers whether hacking of MPs' mobile phones, if it has occurred, may be a contempt of Parliament. The committee has concluded that there could potentially be a contempt if the hacking can be shown to have interfered with the work of the House or to have impeded or obstructed an MP from taking part in such work, or where a series of acts of hacking can be shown that the hacking has interfered with the work of the House by creating a climate of insecurity for one or more MPs. It is proposed that the draft Privileges Bill should include a definition of what is meant by 'contempt of Parliament' and that the Bill should codify Parliament's powers to impose sanctions, including a power for the House of Commons to fine. The committee points out that hacking is an offence under the criminal law and that civil law remedies may be available to MPs, just as they are available to others. It suggests that MPs and the House should pursue legal remedies in preference to proceeding against hackers and that only in exceptional circumstances should a hacker who has been brought before a court of law be proceeded against subsequently for contempt. In the view of the committee, there should be no special provision made to provide MPs or Parliament with remedies through the courts that are not available to othersHacking of Membersa#39; Mobile Phones; Fourteenth Report of Session 2010-11; Report and Appendix, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee on Standards andanbsp;...

Author:Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee on Standards and Privileges
Publisher:The Stationery Office - 2011-03-31


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