The President of the House of Representatives of Cyprus, H.E. Yiannakis Omirou, MP, (right) speaking with the President of the European Council, Mr Herman Van Rompuy.
process to start its long-awaited return to parliamentary government, so a prominent Fijian political science professor, Dr Steven Ratuva, writes in this issue about the ethnic and socio-political conflicts which Fiji has to resolve if this latest military government is to be its last. The principal support for every
Parliament is its chief administrator, whether he or she carries the title of Clerk, Secretary-General or Secretary. Dr Vivek Agnihotri, who has just retired after five years as the Secretary-General of India’s upper House, the Rajya Sabha, describes
the duties required of the occupant of this extremely demanding position. His account is followed by a retrospective look at the Indian Parliament by a Joint Secretary in the Rajya Sabha administration, Shri S.N. Sahu. As Parliament celebrates its
60th anniversary this year, Shri Sahu’s examination demonstrates how India’s Parliament began at the forefront of the subcontinent’s politics and why it remains as the focus for so much of its intense political debate today.
Keeping track of political debate
is vital in every Parliament where it is important to know what Members are saying, or have said. Bermuda’s Parliament has been hampered by a lack of a Hansard of the proceedings of either of its Chambers; but that has begun to be remedied. Ms Shernette Wolffe, Clerk of the Parliament, reports on the introduction of a Hansard in the House of Assembly as new software helps Parliament to keep a better record. Finally, Ms Polly Higbee,
Ms Claudia Geiringer and Ms Elizabeth McLeay, academic researchers supported by the New
Zealand Centre for Public Law and the Rule of Law Committee of the New Zealand Law Society, examine the use of urgency measures in New Zealand’s Parliament to determine whether this sometimes necessary tool can be used more effectively. Urgent responses are required to deal with urgent situations; but the researchers examined whether the use of urgency measures was distracting attention away from the issues involved and whether public support for the parliamentary process was being eroded by possible excessive use.