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Sep 30, 2016

Godwin Hulse Saved From Being Thrown Out of Debate – But Should He Have Been?

Eamon Courtenay

But, before the Rocke motion could even be heard and debated, there was an intervention by Lead Opposition Senator Eamon Courtenay, asking Minister of Immigration and his opposite number in the Government, Godwin Hulse, to recuse himself from the debate. There followed some debate on whether the motion was brought with sufficient notice, while Courtenay argued that the Standing Orders allowed for no notice on matters affecting privilege, Senate Vice-President and Acting President in the temporary absence of Lee Mark Chang, Senator Dr. Carla Barnett, was not convinced and asked that the motion be deferred to the next sitting of the Senate. Here is Courtenay’s introduction and what he said to the press afterward.

 

Eamon Courtenay, Lead P.U.P. Senator

“Madam President, not only is the minister in the senate, whose ministry is going to be investigated, the honourable senator’s name has been mentioned in the report. Beyond that, Madam President, we have the situation where the motion that is about to be debated, contemplates the calling as witnesses, as persons who have been named in that report. So we have a spectre of a senator sitting in the senate, participating in a motion that seeks to investigate his ministry; that seeks to investigate a report that names him.  I think Senator Hulse acted contrary to the constitution; so it is more than disappointment—I think it was unconstitutional of him to participate in the proceedings today.”

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