Chapter 6; a. Standing Orders; b. Order Papers and the Tynwald Question Paper; c. Questions; i. Tabled oral questions; ii. Supplementary oral questions; iii. Tabled questions for written answer; iv. Written answers to oral questions not reached; d. Statements; e. Motions and Amendments; f. Secondary legislation and other items for approval; g. Rules of debate; h. Voting; i. General principles; ii. Procedure for public votes; iii. Procedure for secret ballots; iv. Voting by the branches in Tynwald Court; v. Higher majorities required for particular motions; vi. Casting votes; i. The Sub Judice Rule; j. Privilege; k. Quorum; l. Petitions and memorials; i. Petitions for redress of grievance; ii Public petitions; iii. Private Petitions; iv. Memorials; m. Records, broadcasting and visiting; i. Votes and proceedings; ii. The Official Report; iii. Broadcasting of Sittings; iv. Streaming of sittings; v. Social media; v.ii Admission of visitors on sitting and non-sitting days; vii. The Media

 

6.THE BUSINESS AND PROCEDURES OF THE THREE CHAMBERS

 

The main business of the House of Keys and Legislative Council sitting separately is the consideration of primary legislation. The main business of Tynwald Court is policy, finance and secondary legislation, although Tynwald Court also has a role in the enactment of primary legislation. [1] Questions are asked and answered in all three Chambers.

a. Standing Orders

Each Chamber has its own Standing Orders, a set of rules which sets out the procedures which much be followed. The Standing Orders may be obtained from the Tynwald Library or the Tynwald website.

Procedure in each Chamber is controlled by the presiding officer in accordance with the appropriate Standing Orders. In each case the presiding officer’s interpretation of the Standing Orders is authoritative.

Each Chamber has a Standing Orders Committee responsible for keeping the Standing Orders under review. Standing Orders can be amended by a resolution of the relevant Chamber, usually on a recommendation put forward by its Standing Orders Committee.

b. Order Papers and the Tynwald Question Paper

The business to be discussed in each Chamber is set out in an Order Paper. For the House of Keys and Legislative Council, Questions are included on the Order Paper. In Tynwald Court a separate Question Paper is produced in addition to the Order Paper. These papers are prepared in each case by the Clerk or Secretary and issued under the authority of the presiding officer.

The timings of submission of items for the Order Papers and Tynwald Question Paper, and the timings for the distribution of these papers, are governed by Standing Orders as set out in the following table:

 

Tynwald Court​

Legislative Council​

House of Keys​

Submission of items for Order paper​

at least fourteen clear days before the sitting [2]

In writing not less than five days before the sitting [3]

By 5.00 pm six working days before the sitting [4]

Submission of items for Question Paper​

at least seven clear days before the sitting [5]

n/a​

n/a​

Order Paper distributed to Members.​

So as to be received at least five clear days before the sitting [6]

In practice on Wed 13 days prior to the Tue sitting​

As early as conveniently may be before the date of the sitting [7]

In practice the Wed prior to the Tue sitting​

So as to be received at least three clear days before the sitting [8]

In practice the Wed prior to the Tue sitting​

Order Paper distributed to public​

12.00 on Thu 12 days prior to the Tue sitting​

12.00 on the Thu prior to the Tue sitting​

12.00 on the Thu prior to the Tue sitting​

Question Paper distributed to Members​

So as to be received at least three clear days before the sitting [9]

In practice the Wed prior to the Tue sitting​

n/a​

n/a​

Question Paper distributed to public​

12.00 on the Thu prior to the Tue sitting​

n/a​

n/a​

 

For the Budget sitting of Tynwald a separate Order Paper is prepared, known as 'Order Paper No 2'. This Order Paper and the associated papers are provided to Members and to the Clerk and Deputy Clerk of Tynwald at least five clear days before the sitting but are treated as strictly confidential until the presentation of the Budget. [10]

For the House of Keys and Legislative Council, the normal order of business is:

  • Questions for oral answer;

  • Questions for written answer;

  • Statements;

  • Bills.

In Tynwald Court the order of business is laid down in Standing Orders. [11] Most Order Papers include:

  • Laying of papers;

  • Questions;

  • Statements;

  • Financial motions;

  • Reports of Government Departments;

  • Reports of Tynwald Committees;

  • Other motions.

Further business not contained in the Order Paper may only be considered with the approval of Tynwald, and would be included in a Supplementary Order Paper.

Not all papers laid before Tynwald Court are debated. Common examples of papers which are laid, but not debated, are reports of Government departments and certain types of secondary legislation.

Electronic versions of papers are made available to Members via Boardpad and to the public via the Tynwald website. [12] Hard copy papers can be provided to Members on request and to the public on payment of a subscription charge. Papers are also available at and from the Tynwald Library.

Documents are often supplied by Isle of Man Government Departments. Guidance to assist staff with this process is produced by the Chief Secretary’s Office.

c. Questions [13]

A Question may be addressed to any Member. Many Questions in Tynwald Court and the House of Keys are addressed to Ministers or Chairs of Statutory Boards. In the Legislative Council, where Ministers are scarce, Questions are normally addressed to 'a representative of...' the relevant Department.

In Tynwald Court and the House of Keys, Questions are governed by rules set out in Standing Orders. [14] These rules exclude a Question which, for instance:

  • repeats in substance a Question which has been answered within the past six months;

  • refers to a matter which is sub judice;

  • makes or implies a charge of a personal nature.

Further rules regarding Questions include:

  • the length of Questions and Answers: Oral Questions should generally not exceed 50 words, and responses should take no longer than 3 minutes;
  • the grouping of Questions: Members answering are encouraged to group their Answers to Questions if appropriate;
  • the rota for answering oral Questions: three Questions are allowed to each Member answering in rotation;
  • the delivery of oral Questions: Member are required to read their oral Questions out loud;[15]
  • the postponement of Answers: subject to the discretion of the Speaker, a Member answering may postpone his or her response in order to allow more time for the information to be collated.

Members table Questions by submitting them in writing to the relevant Clerk or other designated officer, specifying whether the Question is for oral or written answer. The Clerk examines tabled Questions to ensure that they conform to Standing Orders.

i. Tabled oral questions

Oral Questions are taken in Question Time, which normally begins shortly after the beginning of the sitting. They are taken in the order in which they appear on the Order Paper or Question Paper.

On being called to ask the Question by the presiding officer, the Member rises in his or her seat and reads out the Question as printed on the Order or Question Paper. Once the Question has been asked, the presiding officer will invite the Member to whom the Question was addressed to reply.

If the Member who is to ask the Question is absent from the Chamber when the Question is reached, the Question may be deferred, asked by another Member (with the original Member’s agreement), or answered in writing. Similar rules apply when the Member answering is absent from the Chamber.

ii. Supplementary oral questions

Supplementary questions may be asked by the Member who has tabled a Question or any other Member. Normally, the Member who has tabled the Question will be called first to ask a supplementary Question. Other Members need to catch the eye of the presiding officer to be invited to ask a supplementary Question. The number of supplementary Questions permitted following a tabled Question is at the discretion of the presiding officer. Supplementary Questions must relate to the original Question.

iii. Tabled Questions for written answer

Where a Question is tabled for written answer, the Answer is circulated to all Members and made available to the public by 1pm on the day of the sitting. The Written Answer appears as part of the Official Report (Hansard).

v. Written answers to oral questions not reached

Unless Standing Orders are suspended, oral Questions continue in the House of Keys for one hour and in Tynwald Court for two and a half hours. In Tynwald, where a Question is tabled for oral answer but is not reached, a Written Answer is provided; in the House of Keys, a Question may either receive a written Answer or be postponed to the following sitting, as the Member asking wishes. These may take up to 48 hours to be available on the Tynwald website and in the Tynwald Library.

d. Statements

Ministers or Committee Chairman may make statements concerning matters for which they bear a responsibility. In most cases Members may ask questions arising from the statement. However, no questions may be asked on a personal statement.[15]

e. Motions and Amendments [16]

A Motion is a proposal made by a Member that a Chamber:

  • do something;

  • order something to be done; or

  • express an opinion.

A Motion which is the same in substance as one which has already been resolved during the same session (i.e. parliamentary year) is out of order. [17]

In Tynwald Court it is out of order for a Motion to refer to a Bill which is being considered by either the House of Keys or the Legislative Council. [18]

Under the Treasury Act 1985, no Member may move any resolution seeking to increase public expenditure or reduce public income without the prior concurrence of the Treasury.

An Amendment is a special type of Motion which proposes an alteration to a substantive Motion. It must be relevant to the motion to which it refers. It is permissible, by way of amendment, to leave out all the words of a motion except the initial word 'That' and substitute other words relevant to the Motion.

In Tynwald Court and the Legislative Council, no notice is required of an amendment, but a Member wishing to move an amendment should submit it to the relevant Clerk in writing and signed. This should be in sufficient time to enable it to be checked for compliance with the Standing Orders, and reproduced in hard copy for circulation to Members at the appropriate time. The Member proposing to move an Amendment may determine the time at which he or she would wish copies of the Amendment to be circulated.

In the House of Keys, Amendments to Bills must be tabled six days in advance of the sitting. [19]

When a Motion or Amendment has been moved and seconded it cannot be withdrawn without leave. It is in order for any Member to speak to the Motion or move an Amendment to it.

f. Secondary legislation and other items for approval

Secondary legislation is made under powers conferred by primary legislation on Ministers and others. Items of secondary legislation are known as Statutory Documents (SDs). An individual SD may also be described as an Order, a set of Rules or a set of Regulations.

In each case, the primary legislation setting out the power to make the SD will also set out any Tynwald procedure which is to be applied.

Unless a statute provides otherwise, there is no power to amend secondary legislation where this comes before Tynwald Court. Members can only vote for or against the motion.

Certain documents made by Ministers or the Council of Ministers are put before Tynwald for approval even though they are not made under a power in primary legislation. These are normally numbered as Government Circulars (GC) or Government Documents (GD).

g. Rules of debate

During a debate Members may only speak when called upon by the presiding officer. Members may indicate that they wish to speak by rising or by catching the eye of the presiding officer. In Tynwald Court Members rise to speak. In the Legislative Council Members remain seated when speaking. In all three Chambers all remarks must be addressed to the chair ('Madam/Mr President' or 'Madam/Mr Speaker').

Members are called to speak in the following order:

  • the proposer of the motion;

  • the seconder of the motion;

  • other Members;

  • the proposer to reply to the debate.

In Tynwald Court no Member may speak more than once except that a right of reply is given to the proposer of the motion, or to a Member who has proposed an adjournment. [20] The seconder of a substantive motion may, when seconding, reserve his or her remarks. This means that he or she delays any substantive contribution to a later stage in the debate. However, a Member moving an Amendment or procedural Motion may not reserve his or her remarks. [21]

Similar rules apply in the House of Keys except that a right of reply is also given to a Member who has moved an Amendment. [22]

In the Legislative Council Members may speak more than once on any matter. [23]

In Tynwald Court and the House of Keys there are a number of further rules of debate designed to ensure courteous and orderly conduct of proceedings. [24]

h. Voting [25]

i. General principles

The general principle is that when a vote arises in any of the three Chambers, every Member present is required to vote either for or against the motion. The exceptions are that:

  • in the House of Keys, the Speaker may abstain; [26]

  • in Tynwald Court and the Legislative Council, HM Attorney-General cannot vote. [27]

ii. Procedure for public votes

Most debates are determined by a public vote. At the end of any debate the presiding officer puts the motion to the Chamber. In some circumstances a bell may be rung in other areas of the Legislative Buildings to alert Members who may have temporarily left the chamber that a vote is to occur.

Most decisions are made using an oral vote. The presiding officer asks Members to indicate verbally whether they are in favour of the Motion ('those in favour say aye') or against the Motion ('those against say no'), allowing a pause each time for Members to respond. The presiding officer then gives an opinion on the response, stating either that 'the ayes have it' or 'the noes have it'. If the presiding officer states this opinion twice without being interrupted, the voting procedure is concluded.

If any voting Member disagrees with the presiding officer’s opinion and wishes the matter put to a recorded vote, he or she may request a division by calling 'Divide'. This must be done before the presiding officer states his or her opinion for the second time.

If a division is successfully called, the Members vote:

  • in Tynwald Court, using the electronic voting system;

  • in the House of Keys, using the electronic voting system; and

  • in the Legislative Council, by means of a called vote.

The presiding officer announces the result of the division. Where the electronic voting system is used, a Member may ask the Clerk to read aloud the names of the Members voting for or against. Members may also request an email or printout of the results. The complete results of all divisions are also be included in the Official Report of the debate.

iii. Procedure for secret ballots

Certain procedures require a secret ballot. These include:

  • in Tynwald Court, the election of the President;

  • in Tynwald Court, the election of Members to Committees;

  • in the House of Keys, the election of Members of the Legislative Council;

  • in the House of Keys, the election of Members to Committees.

The electronic voting system can be used both in Tynwald Court and in the House of Keys for the election of Members to Committees. However, for the other elections mentioned above a paper ballot is used. Tellers are appointed who, together with the Clerk or Secretary, count the voting slips. The result is handed to the presiding officer and announced.

iv. Voting by the Branches in Tynwald Court

In Tynwald Court the Branches vote simultaneously but their votes are counted separately. In most circumstances, the Branches must be in agreement to a Motion to be carried.

In certain circumstances, however, which are laid down in primary legislation and/or Standing Orders, Tynwald votes as one body. These circumstances include:

  • the election of the President of Tynwald; [28]

  • the election of the Chief Minister; [29]

  • a combined vote called for by the mover of a motion which has been carried in the Keys but defeated in the Council. [30] Such a vote must take place at a subsequent sitting.

v.  Higher majorities required for particular motions

In most circumstances a motion is carried if a simple majority of Members present and voting is in favour. However, there are some exceptions:

  • in Tynwald Court, a combined vote may be called for by the mover of a motion which has been carried in the Keys but defeated in the Council. When such a vote is held at a subsequent sitting it requires 17 votes. [31]

  • in the House of Keys, a motion to elect a person to the Legislative Council requires 13 votes. [32]

  • in the House of Keys, a motion that a Bill not passed by the Legislative Council is to be laid before Tynwald for signature requires 17 votes. [33]

  • in the House of Keys, a motion for the withdrawal of a Bill after first reading, or for the third reading of a Bill, requires 13 votes. [34]

vi. Casting votes

In Tynwald Court, when the Branches vote separately:

  • if there is an equality of votes in the Keys the motion is lost; [35]

  • if there is an equality of votes in the Council the President has a casting vote but only exercises it to ensure that the vote of the Council is the same as that of the Keys. [36]

In Tynwald Court, when Tynwald votes as one body (other than by ballot), the President has a casting vote. [37]

In the House of Keys the Speaker has a casting vote. [38]

In the Legislative Council the President has a casting vote. [39]

Other than the provisions described above relating to a separate vote in Tynwald Court, Standing Orders are silent on how a casting vote is to be exercised. It is often used either to preserve the status quo or to maintain the possibility of continued debate.

i. The Sub Judice Rule

The legislature has a right and duty to consider any public matter. However, in the case of a matter awaiting or under adjudication in Manx legal proceedings, there is a restriction to avoid parliamentary proceedings becoming an alternative forum to the Courts of Justice or any Tribunal, and to ensure that the parliamentary proceedings do not interfere with the operation of those bodies. This restriction is referred to as the sub judice rule.

In Tynwald Court the wording of the sub judice rule was revised in November 2009 when the following definition was adopted:

Sub judice includes any civil case in which papers for the commencement of proceedings have been filed in the office of any court or tribunal, whether or not they have been served on or communicated to the other party or any criminal case where a person has been charged or summoned to appear at court. A case will remain sub judice until it is discontinued, or judgment has been or verdict and sentence have been delivered and until the time for appealing has expired; it will continue to be sub judice after papers for the commencement of any appeal have been lodged until judgment or discontinuance.

The same definition was adopted in the Legislative Council in April 2010 and in the House of Keys in March 2011.

j. Privilege

Although Tynwald and its Branches have inherent privileges, some of these have been codified in statute. The main provisions are:

  • the Privileges of Tynwald (Publications) Act 1973, which provides for a stay of any civil or criminal proceedings commenced in respect of the publication of any report, paper, resolution or proceedings of Tynwald or either Branch or a Committee; and

  • the Tynwald Proceedings Act 1984, which provides that anyone giving evidence to Tynwald or its Branches or Committees has the same right or privilege as before the High Court; and that an answer to a question put by Tynwald or its Branches or Committees is not admissible in court.

k. Quorum

Business cannot continue in any Chamber if a quorum of Members is not present and if attention has been called to this. [40]

In the House of Keys a quorum is thirteen Members. [41]

The quorum provisions in Tynwald Court and the Legislative Council are designed to accommodate the fact that when Members retire from the Council, at the end of their five-year terms, the resultant vacancies must last at least at least six weeks and may last longer.

In the Legislative Council sitting alone, a quorum is normally five voting Members. Provision exists for it to be reduced in exceptional circumstances to four Members but this has not been used. The President and HM Attorney-General do not count towards the quorum. [42]

In Tynwald Court both Branches must be quorate for business to continue. The quorum of the Keys in Tynwald Court is thirteen. The quorum of the Legislative Council in Tynwald Court is a majority of serving Members who are entitled to vote. When there are no vacancies in the Council there are nine voting Members and the quorum is therefore five. At a March sitting of Tynwald Court immediately following a retirement of four Members of the Legislative Council, the number of serving Members falls to five and the quorum is therefore three. [43] As the vacancies are filled, the number of serving Members increases, and with it the quorum.

l. Petitions and Memorials

i. Petitions for Redress of Grievance

The Petitions for Redress (of Grievance) continues an ancient right of petition to the King or Lord, now Tynwald, to investigate a matter of concern to an individual that other avenues for redress e.g. the Courts, have been unable to resolve.

Petitions for Redress are handed to the Clerk of Tynwald at the foot of Tynwald Hill and then presented to the Lord of Mann or, more often, her representative the Lieutenant-Governor during the annual sitting of Tynwald Court at St. John’s on Tynwald Day. [44]

A Petition for Redress lies 'on the table' for five years after being presented, during which time it may be picked up by any Member of Tynwald. [45] A Member picking up a Petition for Redress can table a motion relating to the Petition for debate in Tynwald Court. The motion is often that a Select Committee be formed to investigate. The report of such a Select Committee may contain recommendations to address the issue highlighted by the Petition. It should be noted, however, that neither such a Committee, nor Tynwald Court, can directly take action on the original case or set of circumstances, nor can it provide compensation. The effect of the procedure is to highlight situations within the purview of Tynwald in which either there are no legislative or administrative provisions in place, or existing legislation or administration is inadequate.

The Clerk of Tynwald's Office issues Guidance for Potential Petition, which contains procedural and practical guidance to potential petitioners, including an outline of the recommended format for petitions. [46] After each Tynwald Day, the Standing Orders Committee of Tynwald reports on the Petitions for Redress presented in that year, stating whether or not each Petition is in order. A list of Petitions presented in the previous four years and their current status is also included.[47]

ii. Public Petitions

Formal procedures for the presentation of Public Petitions exist in all three Chambers.

A Public Petition is a document produced by one or more petitioners and presented by a Member. [48] In Tynwald Court when a Public Petition has been laid it may be debated. [49] In the House of Keys and the Legislative Council, petitions are read rather than debated. [50]

iii. Private Petitions

Formal procedures for the presentation of Private Petitions exist in all three Chambers. [51]

A Private Petition is a document presented by a public authority, corporate body, private association, or individual in relation to:

  • in Tynwald Court, local or private matters as to which the approval, ratification or sanction of Tynwald is required, or as to which a resolution of Tynwald is substituted for an Act; and

  • in the House of Keys and the Legislative Council, a private Bill.

The procedures allow for the petition to be presented by the petitioner or his or her representative; and also for other interested parties to be heard.

This procedure has been used once in Tynwald Court since the 2011 General Election. In July 2014 Tynwald Court heard a Private Petition on behalf of the Churchwardens of the Parish of Arbory and Castletown relating to a compulsory land purchase. [52]

iv. Memorials [53]

Formal procedures for the presentation of Memorials exist in all three Chambers. [54]

A Memorial is a document presented by a person who claims an interest distinct from the interests of the general public which is adversely affected by:

  • in Tynwald, a motion on the Order Paper;

  • in the House of Keys, a Bill for second reading;

  • in the Legislative Council, a Bill at any stage.

In summary, the procedures provide that:

  • the Memorial is submitted to the Clerk in advance;

  • the presiding officer makes a determination whether the memorialist is entitled to be heard;

  • the Chamber as a whole decides whether to hear the memorialist;

  • the memorialist is heard, and answers questions;

  • the business then continues with the motion or Bill concerned.

m. Records, Broadcasting and Visiting

i. Votes and Proceedings

Votes and Proceedings are the official record made by the Clerk or Secretary of papers laid and decisions made at sittings in each of the three Chambers.

The original motion from the Order Paper is included together with any amendment moved. The record shows whether a motion was approved; if amended how so; or lost. The Votes and Proceedings provide an accurate and easily found statement of the decision reached without having to piece together the wording from lengthy debates in the Official Report.

The votes cast by individual Members are recorded in the Votes and Proceedings of the Legislative Council but not of the other two Chambers.

The Votes and Proceedings are available on the Tynwald website.

ii. The Official Report

The Official Report, colloquially known in many Commonwealth parliaments after its historical predecessor in the Westminster Parliament as Hansard, has existed since the early days of Manx newspapers, from the 1860s. Reports of proceedings provided useful copy to fill editions, though reporting was not always in extenso. The Isle of Man (Weekly) Times reporters were more expert at recording proceedings in shorthand, and their reports were gathered together and published in one volume from 1888. These were subsequently issued each year, covering the parliamentary session from October.

Tape recording of Tynwald was introduced in the 1960s using in-house parliamentary staff, and the use of the Weekly Times was dropped in the 1980s. This ensured the transcripts could now be produced ‘essentially verbatim’. The tapes were sent to a team of home workers for transcription, before in-house staff carried out the editorial process, checking the text against the audio to ensure the text was accurately presented. Finally the Reports were passed for printed publication.

Since October 1997, the Official Reports have been available on the Tynwald website and are searchable within each day’s proceedings, though there is a general search facility as well. All transcripts are now published first as the rapidly available Rolling Hansards and completed Early Publications, found in ‘Early Publications’ on the Tynwald website; they are finally replaced on the website in fully formatted form, in ‘Hansards’.

The Hansard format has evolved over time, as staff endeavour to improve their services to Members and the public. In 2001-02, priority was given to separate documents for Questions in Tynwald and the House of Keys to speed up their availability. Page numbering and a contents page were introduced to all the Reports, along with a more heavily punctuated style to make them more user-friendly. As technology was updated and working became more efficient, thereby enabling faster production, the Questions were subsequently subsumed back into the main Proceedings. The Early Publications on the website began in 2007-08, providing Hansard more quickly than ever; the Rolling Hansard began in 2009-10; since then, single column format with line numbering has also been adopted for the final Proceedings, after positive feedback from some Members on its usefulness.

The published volumes up to 1985-86 each have prepared indices (up to 1932 Reports of Government and Tynwald and the Branches were also included, becoming a separate series 1933-1965); the Tynwald Library has a database of items, questions and motions. A print edition of Hansard is still produced mainly for archive purposes; the Library can provide a photocopy or downloaded copy of any question, motion, or sitting since 1888.

In April 2008, a unique voice recognition (VR) system was trialled in Tynwald, to produce text directly from Members even as they spoke. The trials were successful and resulted in much faster availability of transcripts together with significant cost savings, as all work could be done in house beginning minutes after the start of the live Tuesday sittings. Turnaround times for the published Hansard were cut from weeks and months to days, sometimes even hours.
 
By October 2010, the VR system had been rolled out for use in all three chambers, whereupon the Legislative Council chamber took on a second function as a venue for recorded public oral evidence hearings of committees, in order to make full use of VR.
 

The Tynwald system is unique in that voice profiles – ‘harvested’ at the start of the parliamentary Session from each Tynwald Member reading aloud for five minutes – enable the computer to convert spoken words to written text automatically, via a single audio channel, directly as Members speak.

The text is then available to the Hansard editorial team within minutes of it being spoken. It requires thorough checking/correction against the original audio recording, to ensure accuracy of reporting. Headings, questions, motions, amendments, ballots and voting results are inserted; audible interjections are reported where possible; careful punctuation, paragraphing and correct grammar are applied and some direct repetition is removed; other heavier editing does not take place. The team’s aim is to produce an ‘essentially verbatim’ record, as accurately as possible, while also being a valuable, user-friendly tool to Members and the public.

The efficiency of the Tynwald system has attracted attention from other parliaments. Since 2012 the Tynwald Hansard team has also been producing transcripts for Guernsey, Gibralter, Alderney and Sark, as well as the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Tynwald Members can directly help the team’s efficiency by being ‘Hansard aware’ – i.e. being aware that the chambers are effectively live recording studios. The VR system transcribes clear, measured speech extremely well; it does not work with mumbling or gabbling. The sensitive microphones are permanently live, and will pick up coughs, sneezes, private whispering and conversations, rustling papers, etc, often at the expense of obliterating a speaker’s words. Speaking notes or written statements are of great help to the Editors for the checking process – these can be provided to any Hansard team member, preferably by email.

iii. Broadcasting of sittings.

In Tynwald Court all proceedings are broadcast in full by Manx Radio on the 1368MW frequency. In the House of Keys, Question Time only is broadcast. No proceedings of the Legislative Council are broadcast.

Tynwald Day has been broadcast on the radio since 1930, [55] then by BBC Radio and now Manx Radio, and has been streamed worldwide via the BBC website since 2009. Coverage is also fed back to large screens in St. John’s during proceedings so everyone attending can see the whole ceremony.

The live feed is not provided to other media on the Island.

iv. Streaming of sittings

Since 2014, all proceedings in Tynwald Court, the House of Keys, and the Legislative Council, as well as public oral evidence sessions of Committees, have been livestreamed via an audio webcast on the Tynwald website. The recorded audio is made available soon after the sitting.

v. Social media

Tynwald has two Twitter feeds. @tynwaldlive, introduced in 2016, provides live updates during sittings. @tynwaldinfo, which was introduced in 2010, used to provide this function but now focusses on Tynwald news and information.

vi. Admission of visitors on sitting and non-sitting days

Sittings of Tynwald and the Branches are open to the public. Anyone may watch a sitting from the public galleries located in each chamber which are accessed via the public entrance on Prospect Hill.

The dates of sitting days are published on the Tynwald Website. The times are as follows:

  • Tynwald Court - 3rd Tuesday of each month from 10.30 - 13.00 and 14.30 to no later than 20.00, including a 30 min break around 17.00. Please note that timings are approximate and the sitting may continue into Wed and Thu.
  • House of Keys - Tuesday (except 3rd in each month) 10.00 - 13.00 and 14.30 - 17.30 or earlier if the business is concluded.
  • Legislative Council - Tuesday (except 3rd in each month) 10.30 - 13.00 and 14.30 - 17.30 or earlier if the business is concluded.

Order Papers for the sitting(s) in progress are available to the public from the Messengers in the entrance lobby. The public may come and go freely during sittings provided there is no disturbance caused and any rules of conduct  which have been issued are followed. [56]

There are regular tours of the chambers each week (excluding public holidays) on Monday at 2.00pm and Friday at 10.00am. It is not usually necessary to book but if you wish to reserve a place you may do so by calling the Tynwald Library on (01624) 685520 or emailing library@tynwald.org.im. There is no charge for tours and they usually take no more than an hour and a half.

It is also possible to pre-book tours at other times, including evenings and weekends. To request this please call or email the Tynwald Library giving an indication of the requested date, time and number in your party and we will contact you to confirm.

Please be aware that due to the age of the building, some parts of the tour are accessible only via stairs. Mobility impaired visitors can be accommodated via a different route but prior notice would be appreciated.

vii. The Media

Admission to the Press Gallery in each chamber is controlled by the Seneschal and Messengers. Any media representative who has not previously attended a sitting should contact the Seneschal, at the Clerk of Tynwald’s Office on (01624) 685500, before the sitting in order to gain access to the press gallery.

Media representatives wishing to film or photograph the chambers should seek permission by applying in the first instance to the Clerk of Tynwald.

For security reasons media representatives attending the Tynwald Day Ceremony must be accredited to gain access in and around the Chapel, Hill and Processional Way. The Tynwald Administration Office should be contacted well in advance on (01624) 685500.

 


 

[1] See chapter 7. Making Legislation

[2] Standing Orders of Tynwald, 1, 2.4(1)

[3] Standing Orders of the Legislative Council, 2.1(2)

[4] Standing Orders of the House of Keys, 2.2

[5] Standing Orders of Tynwald, 2.4(3)

[6] Standing Orders of Tynwald, 1, 2.3(1)

[7] Standing Orders of the Legislative Council, 2.1(1)

[8] Standing Orders of the House of Keys, 2.1(5)

[9] Standing Orders of Tynwald, 1, 2.3(3)

[10] Standing Orders of Tynwald, 2.3(2)

[11] Standing Orders of Tynwald, 1, 2.3(4)

[12] http://www.tynwald.org.im/business/opqp/Pages/opqp.aspx 

[13] Standing Orders of Tynwald, 3; Standing Orders of the Legislative Council, 3.6; Standing Orders of the House of Keys, 3.3-3.10

[14] Standing Orders of Tynwald, 3.3-3.4; Standing Orders of the House of Keys, 3.3-3.4.5

[15] Standing Orders of Tynwald, 3.5(5); cf Standing Orders of the House of Keys, 3.24(7)

[16] Standing Orders of Tynwald, 4; Standing Orders of the Legislative Council, 3.6-3.7; Standing Orders of the House of Keys, 3.11-3.17

[17] Standing Orders of Tynwald, 3.11(1); Standing Orders of the House of Keys, 3.11(1)

[18] Standing Orders of Tynwald, 3.11(3)

[19] Standing Orders of the House of Keys, 2.2

[20] Standing Orders of Tynwald, 3.26

[21] Standing Orders of Tynwald, 3.24, Standing Orders of the House of Keys, 3.26

[22] Standing Orders of the House of Keys, 3.28

[23] Standing Orders of the Legislative Council, 3.10(3)

[24] Standing Orders of Tynwald, 3.23 and 3.30–3.34; Standing Orders of the House of Keys, 3.24 and 3.32–3.34

[25] Standing Orders of Tynwald, 3.18 and 5.3-5.4; Standing Orders of the Legislative Council, 3.8; Standing Orders of the House of Keys, 3.18 and 6.2-6.3

[26] Standing Orders of the House of Keys, 3.18(1)

[27] Isle of Man Constitution Act 1971

[28] Constitution Act 1990, section 2; Standing Orders of Tynwald 9.1

[29] Council of Ministers Act 1990, section 2; Standing Orders of Tynwald 3.17A

[30] Isle of Man Constitution Act 1961; Standing Orders of Tynwald 3.19

[31] Isle of Man Constitution Act 1961; Standing Orders of Tynwald, 3.19

[32] Isle of Man Constitution (Elections to Council) Act 1971, s 2(2); Standing Orders of the House of Keys, 8.2

[33] Constitution Act 2006; Standing Orders of the House of Keys, 4.18-4.20

[34] Standing Orders of the House of Keys, 4.5(2) and 4.11(2)

[35] Standing Orders of Tynwald, 3.18(10)

[36] Constitution Act 1990, section 6; Standing Orders of Tynwald, 3.18(11)

[37] Constitution Act 1990, section 6

[38] Isle of Man Constitution Act 1961; Standing Orders of the House of Keys 3.18(8)

[39] Constitution Act 1990, section 6

[40] Standing Orders of Tynwald, 2.10; Standing Orders of the House of Keys, 2.6

[41] Standing Orders of the House of Keys, 11.6.1

[42] Standing Orders of Tynwald, 11.4 

[43] Standing Orders of the Legislative Council, 3.5(1)-(3)

[44] See chapter 2c. Tynwald at St.John’s

[45] Standing Orders of Tynwald, 6.12

[46] http://www.tynwald.org.im/about/tynday/Documents/PetitionsGuide.pdf

[47] http://www.tynwald.org.im/business/petitions/Pages/Previous-Petitions.aspx   

[48] Standing Orders of Tynwald, 6.1-6.4; Standing Orders of the House of Keys, 7.2–7.6; Standing Orders of the Legislative Council, 5.1

[49] Standing Orders of Tynwald, 6.2(3)

[50] Standing Orders of the House of Keys 7.4; Standing Orders of the Legislative Council, 5.1

[51] Standing Orders of Tynwald, 7.1–7.7; Standing Orders of the House of Keys, 7.7–7.10; Standing Orders of the Legislative Council, 5.2

[52] Debates of the Legislature, T131, 2092-2100 

[53] Standing Orders of Tynwald, VI & VII, 1; Standing Orders of the Legislative Council, V; Standing Orders of the House of Keys VII

[54] Standing Orders of Tynwald, 8.2–8.4; Standing Orders of the House of Keys, 4.31–4.33 and 7.1; Standing Orders of the Legislative Council, 5.3–5.5

[55] Isle of Man Examiner; 4th July 1930 p.2, 11th July 1930 p.4

[56] For Tynwald: http://www.tynwald.org.im/visitor/watch/Documents/TCROC.pdf; for the House of Keys: http://www.tynwald.org.im/visitor/watch/Documents/HKROC.pdf