I assure you, Mr. Speaker, that I will be brief, and what I say may be obvious.
The issue in question was a question of whether the Speaker should be making decisions on the constitutionality or legality of proposed legislation before the Speaker. We cited numerous decisions of Speakers' previously, precedents that indicate that should not be the practice of the Speaker. Rulings should not go in that territory.
My friend said that he would cite some precedents but then produced absolutely no precedents whatsoever that contradict that. In fact, the argument that he made was that you, Mr. Speaker, should rely on the principle that you can make new rulings, that you can carve new law or write new law on how Parliament should work.
However, he then said that that should be done under the principles of natural justice that prevail in this Parliament. If we were to follow his route, there are two fundamental principles of natural justice that would be offended. The first of those is the fettering of the discretion of this Parliament. The member is suggesting that this Parliament is now free to legislate on issues because a previous Parliament has legislated on them and, therefore, we are prohibited from legislating the same questions or, if I may, changing the laws that were made in the past. That would be fettering the discretion of this Parliament in a way that totally would offend the principles of natural justice.
The second is that his approach would result in a delegation of the ability of this Parliament to make decisions to individuals outside of this Parliament, effectively giving them the power to legislate the law of this land rather than Parliament doing so. That kind of discretion would not be legal. It would offend the principles of natural justice.
For those reasons, even on the arguments that the member put forward to you, Mr. Speaker, for why you should carve new law, the fundamental basis for them is lacking and you should not do so.