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Conduct and Decorum

Order and decorum are necessary for the Assemblée nationale to conduct its business and for its Members to exercise their constitutional privilege of freedom of speech.

Maintaining Decorum

A primary function of the President is to see that conditions conducive to the proper functioning of the Assemblée are maintained.

The Standing Orders of the National Assembly contain provisions on the conduct of the MNAs and the public. If the provisions are not complied with, there are a number of disciplinary measures available to the President, ranging from a call to order to expulsion from the Assemblée. If need be, the President may suspend or adjourn a sitting in order to restore order.

Conduct of MNAs

During a sitting of the Assemblée, MNAs must

  • observe the Standing Orders at all times
  • maintain decorum
  • refrain from infringing on another’s right to speak or hindering the Assemblée’s proceedings
  • take the seat assigned to them by the President, stay seated and keep silent unless called on to speak
  • never use language that is unbecoming or disrespectful of their colleagues or the Assemblée.

An MNA who uses language that is unbecoming or disrespectful is guilty of using unparliamentary language and is open to any disciplinary measure the President may impose. Words inadmissible in debate are listed in Standing Order 35 of the Standing Orders and other Rules of Procedure (PDF, 2.7 MB).

Finally, when MNAs are sitting in the House, they must observe certain parliamentary customs that require that they

  • avoid passing between the Mace and the President
  • avoid passing between an MNA who is speaking and the President
  • acknowledge the President with a slight bow every time they use the centre aisle.

More on the Mace and other parliamentary symbols


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