Public can lodge complaints on unethical conduct of MPs

Under proposed new Parliamentary committee

By Saman Indrajith


A proposed new parliamentary committee will give members of the public an opportunity to lodge complaints on the unethical conduct of MPs, breach of provisions outlined in the Code of Conduct of MPs and concealing any information regarding their assets

Such complaints have to be countersigned by an MP and forwarded to the Committee on Ethics and Privileges proposed to be set up under the new Standing Orders, according to the final draft of the Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament tabled in Parliament by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya.

Tabling the draft, Speaker Jayasuriya said that it has been prepared with the intention of elevating the conduct of MPs to international standards.


MPs are barred from assaulting, harassing or intimidating another person, according to the draft Code of Conduct, which says that "MPs shall act in a manner that is respectful of their fellow MPs and citizens, including parliamentary staff with dignity and courtesy, without diminishing the dignity of the Parliamentary institution".

MPs shall disclose sufficient information regarding their business relationships and financial interests including information about close family members. This would enhance public trust in MPs, according to the draft Code.

It says: "Where it has been found that a Member has indulged in unethical behaviour or that there is other misconduct or that the Member has contravened the Code, the committee may recommend the imposition of one or more of the following sanctions (a) censure (b) reprimand (c) suspension from the House for a specific period not exceeding the limits set by the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act and (d) any other sanction the Supreme Court may prescribe on a matter that has been referred to the Supreme Court by Parliament under the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act."

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