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Group DRAFT law No. 36/X LEGAL REGIME of PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRIES (amending Law No. 5/93, of 1 March) the explanatory memorandum to the legal regime of the committees of inquiry must be changed as a condition to preserve the ability of Parliament to scrutinize the actions of Governments. This ability-and responsibility-is one of the constitutional attributes most valued in our legal and political order. However, successive and serious incidents over several legislatures have shown the exhaustion of the model that assigns each government majority control of the actions of the Commission that was set up to check precisely if the Government, in given area of your action proceeded correctly. In the past, Government efforts prevented majorities or even the completion of reports. In the previous Parliament, a Commission of inquiry that emerged from a potestativo law was emptied of your investigatory capacity, in that it was prevented from proceeding to hearings considered indispensable by its proponents, even the President of the Commission to act individually to your extinction in an illegal act of abuse of power that was unauthorized by the then President of the Assembly of the Republic , which clarified that the commissions cannot extinguish by themselves. Regardless of the specific assessment of the circumstances of each of these cases of conflict committees of inquiry, it is important to regulate your operation, so as to make them immune to such abuse, guaranteeing in this way the your transparency, and your continuation of your function. This Bill responds to these criteria, by modifying the current system of committees of inquiry and the characteristics of the Portuguese constitutional system, guaranteeing private rights and responsibilities to members and Parliament on this matter. It turns out, for a study of comparative legislation, that other parliaments adopt less comprehensive of procedures that have been followed in Portugal. In Belgium, a Senator or member has the right to submit a draft resolution on the establishment of an inquiry, which is appreciated in the plenary. In Spain, the Government can take the initiative to propose a Commission of inquiry, as well as the Bureau of the Congress of Deputies, two groups or one-fifth of the members of the Board. In France, it is also the House of Parliament which decides on the setting up of a Commission which may be proposed by any party. In Italy, if one fifth of Senators endorses the proposal for a Commission of inquiry, this should be subject to discussion and the vote within five days thereafter. Thus, points out that the law enforcement potestativo a Committee of inquiry is a standard responds to the concern of the constitutionalists Portuguese in order to extend the right of opposition to the establishment of effective instruments of verification of acts of Government or other intervention social matters of great sensitivity. The same is true in Germany where, at the request of one quarter of the members, becomes mandatory the Constitution of the Commission, which is in general very restricted, having 5 to 7 members, being the public their work in principle. But the preservation of this ability to inquire the Government or political acts requires the institutionalization of warranties that extend the right potestativo of the Constitution of the Commission up to responsibility in determining procedures that are compatible and consistent with the objectives set for the investigation. In this sense, follow this Bill some of the principles that inform the operation of commissions of inquiry in the United States. Also proposes to streamline the functioning of the commissions, stating that the same shall be composed of one Member for each Parliamentary Group.
Thus, and in accordance with constitutional and applicable rules, members of the Left block, present the following draft law: Article 1 subject-matter the law sets rules for the creation, functioning and deliberations of any commissions formed in the Assembly of the Republic for conducting parliamentary investigations.
Article 2 Amends Act No. 5/93, of March 1 articles 3, 4, 6, 17 and 21 of law No. 5/93, from March 1, shall be replaced by the following: "article 3 (...) 1-draft or draft resolutions aimed at conducting an inquiry shall state the your subject and its foundations, under penalty of rejection injunction by the President, as well as, if this is the understanding of their authors, the preliminary list of the personalities calling for the provision of evidence and of any diligence to be carried out, without prejudice to further decisions to be taken by the Commission. 2- (...)
Article 4 (...) 1-(...). 2-the above request, directed to the President of the Assembly of the Republic, must indicate your subject matter and fundamentals, as well as, if this is the understanding of their authors, the preliminary list of the personalities calling for the provision of evidence and of any diligence to be carried out, without prejudice to further decisions to be taken by the Commission. 3 – (…). 4-Delete. 5 – until the 8th day after the publication of the application in the journal of the Assembly of the Republic, the President of the Assembly of the Republic, heard the Conference of the representatives of the Parliamentary Groups, will schedule a debate on the subject of the investigation, requested by the applicants since the Constitution of the Commission or by a group.
Article 6 (composition and functioning of the Commission) 1-the Commission shall be composed of one Member for each Parliamentary Group. 2 – the President of the Assembly of the Republic to give ownership to the members of the Commission and heard the Conference of the representatives of the Parliamentary Groups, determine the duration of the investigation provided for in article 2 (b)) and (a)) of the same provision, when the relevant resolution does not have, and allow your extension to the time limit referred to in article 11 3 – Previous paragraph 2. 4-Each Party shall indicate to the President of the Assembly of the Republic, until the eighth day after the publication of the resolution or the Daily requirement of the Assembly of the Republic the respective Member who will integrate the Commission. 5-the Commission begins its work immediately after the ownership conferred by the President of the Assembly of the Republic, as soon as indicated more than half of the members that compose it.
Article 17 (...) 1-(...). 2-people testifying before the Commission of Inquiry identifies and oath in accordance with the applicable standards. 3-(former paragraph 2). 4-(former paragraph 3). 5-(former paragraph 4).
Article 21 (...) 1-(...). 2 – (...). 3 – (...). 4 – (...). 5-the report referred to in article 20A will be published in the journal of the Assembly of the Republic and will be submitted for consideration in the agenda of the Assembly of the Republic, at the same time and in the same terms of the debate on the report approved by the Commission and discussed even though it appears that the Commission has acted by majority vote not to approve this report. 6-(former paragraph 5). 7-(former paragraph 6). 8-(former paragraph 7). "
Article 3 Amendments to law No. 5/93, of March 1 Are added to articles 19A and 20A to law No. 5/93, March 1, in the following terms: article 19-the instrutório of the investigation Process 1-the instrutório of the investigation process includes: a) the hearing of testimonies of people and the pursuit of diligence whose listing is made explicit in the draft resolution or in the requirements referred to in articles 3 and 4; b) hearing of other persons and to pursue other endeavors that are discussed by the plenary of the Commission; c) consideration of documents or other information considered relevant by the Commission. 2-the Committee discusses the results of the efforts made and take decisions which it considers relevant.
20-the reopening of the instrutório of the investigation process 1-members who vote losers in assessing the Commission's report have the right to reopen the instrutório process, in accordance with paragraphs 3 and following. 2-If the Commission of Inquiry Act do not report; any of its members have the right to reopen the instrutório process, in accordance with the following paragraphs. 3-The Members referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this article have the right to request the President of the Assembly of the Republic the reopening of the instrutório process, supporting the application. 4-Verified the condition of members of the Committee of inquiry of the applicants, the President determine the term of the new process instrutório, not exceeding the deadline originally set for the work of the inquiry, maintaining the original composition of the Commission. 5-Members who take the responsibility of re-opening the investigation determine the list of testimonials and necessary steps, which are held before the plenary of the Commission and with the participation of all its members. 6-it is the responsibility of the Members referred to in the preceding paragraphs, exhausted the steps and statements, to present its findings in the form of report. 7-the reopening of the instrutório process in accordance with the preceding paragraphs is unrepeatable in the course of an investigation.
Article 4 entry into force the law shall enter into force on the day after your publication in Diário da República.
Assembly of the Republic, 13 April 2005 Members of the left-wing Block
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