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A set of rights granted to members of a legislative body to help them do their work.

The most common privilege members of parliaments enjoy is a special freedom of speech. In Britain, Canada, and Australia, among other countries, MPs are immune to prosecution for sedition and cannot be sued for slander or libel for anything they say in parliamentary debate. The theory is that elected representatives in a democracy have to be allowed to speak their minds, no matter what, in pursuit of the greater good.

MPs who are accused of personal wrongdoing by other representatives in parliament often challenge their accusers to repeat the allegations "outside the House" -- the implied threat being that if they do, the accused party will sue the accuser's pants off. This rarely happens.

The same logic is often applied to exempt elected officials from laws they pass that govern the behaviour of other citizens -- they often claim that things like human rights codes don't apply to them, so they can hire or dismiss anyone they want from their personal offices, for whatever reason.

Furthermore, the House of Commons (in Australia, the House of Representatives) is deemed to have first right to an MP's time, so he or she cannot be compelled to appear in court, for any reason, while Parliament is in session. This privilege can be revoked by the Speaker if the MP is charged with a serious crime; it can also be extended to non-representatives who are summoned to testify before a parliamentary committee.

Representatives also have the right to have complaints about themselves dealt with by the speaker of the house, rather than by an outside authority. This doesn't come up much, except in the usual cases of minor slights and general unmannerliness among MPs themselves.

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