Premier Rees and his inexperienced ministers are posturing in the news as if they are constitutional lawyers. They are trying to bully a NSW Greens MP from asking probing questions about whether a developer was involved in the infamous McGurk murder, or not as the case may be.
But that's not the law speaking, rather Premier Rees and the ALP Govt executive arrogance. In fact the Parliament in the manifestation of the Upper House Legislative Council does have judicial power of a sort. They can ask questions in parallel to a police investigation. Arguably the police as an arm of the executive of government may on ocassions not be the most objective agency to probe say a political murder.
How do we know NSW Parliament has judicial power parallel to the courts? Well we recall something of this curious nature in our 1980ies law degree from ANU Canberra.
But here is a quote saying as much from New South Wales Legislative Council Practice By Lynn Lovelock, John Evans (2008) by a quick google "parliament judicial power".
In New South Wales Legislative Council Practice - Google Books Result by Lynn Lovelock, John Evans - 2008 - Law - 706 pages at page 579
As a lawyer SAM's editor also understands there is a convention around ethical obligations that questions to a witness need to have a reasonable evidentiary basis. Otherwise questions descend into innuendo.
In this Parliamentary Inquiry the developer in the witness box admits that he has been blackmailed by the victim - that's a potential motive and evidentiary basis for the question whether he was involved in a murder of the blackmailer.
The developer should be made to answer on oath ... to parliament. And the police for that matter, and if it comes to that a court. Or not depending on the facts of the matter.