History and purpose of the committee
The Committee was appointed on 24 May 2001 and consists of the President, the Chair of Committees, three other Members appointed by the House, and any Members co-opted by the Committee. The terms of reference provide that the President is the Chair, and the Chair of Committees is the Deputy Chair, of the Committee.
The Committee takes over the functions of the Standing Orders Committee of the Thirty-Fifth Parliament. Previous to the formation of this committee, issues of privilege were dealt with by select committees of privilege formed to look at matters as they arose.
The functions of the Committee are to review the law and custom of Parliament, the rules of procedure of the House and its committees, and make recommendations to the House to assist or improve these areas. Issues of privilege are also referred to the Committee.
The Leader of the House when moving this committee stated that “[T]he Procedure and Privileges Committee, unlike the Standing Orders Committee that it will replace, is given discrete terms of reference and a privilege jurisdiction, on the basis that the members of the committee will have or will acquire in time considerable expertise in parliamentary law, practice and procedure through the participation in their work on the committee and will therefore be well equipped to deal with matters relating to privilege.” (Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), Legislative Council, May 23 2001, p356).
In 1 December 2011, the Committee's terms of reference were modified as part of the modernised Standing Orders adopted by the House.