MPs may become more ‘human’ thanks to new bill on immunity

Abuses of MP immunity have been all too evident in the past, with many of them, for instance, driving completely ‘under the influence’ and endangering the lives of others. A new proposal submitted by PM Radicova could change this state of affairs, though.

Her constitutional proposal and draft amendment of the Penal Code, endorsed also by the other ruling parties today, 15 July, should restrict MP immunity against prosecution to cover only voting and statements made in parliament.

The limitations should also concern judges so that immunity will only apply to their judgments. The new proposal makes it possible for prosecution proceedings to be initiated against MPs also without approval from parliament, although it will still have the final say over locking up an MP, judge or the Prosecutor-General.

“The immunity of MPs and judges is a long-attested institution, which is supposed to guarantee the highest possible level of freedom of political discourse in Parliament, and the security of judges in their decision-making. This is the only legitimate goal that is assured by this institution,” reads Radicova’s proposal. She feels that MPs and judges shouldn’t be immune to criminal prosecution for activities that have nothing to do with their official activities, as it will ensure greater preservation of a civil society and stop abuses of power.

Should MPs put logic over their personal interests and approve the bill, the changes would take effect from 1 November this year. As this concerns a constitutional law, 90 MP votes are required, meaning at least 11 opposition MPs will have to support the change together with the 79 MP votes held by the Coalition.

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