Can a mute person take the Oath of Allegiance?

James made this Freedom of Information request to Tŷ'r Cyffredin

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear House of Commons,

Does the House of Commons have a procedure where a person elected as an MP who is incapable of speech by way of disability can take the Oath of Allegiance and take their seat? For example, could a deaf person take the oath using sign language? Is it the case that only a person who is capable of speaking the oath out loud be an MP?

Yours faithfully,
James Harvey.

FOI Commons, Tŷ'r Cyffredin

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Harvey,

 

Thank you for your request for information dated 17 May 2015, received by
us on the 18 May 2015, which is copied below.

 

We will endeavour to respond to your request promptly but in any case
within 20 working days i.e. on or before 16 June 2015.

 

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Yours sincerely,

 

Sarah Price | IRIS Support Officer
Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) Service | House of
Commons

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2015 marks 10 years of the Freedom of Information Act.

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dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI Commons, Tŷ'r Cyffredin

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Harvey,

 

 

Freedom of Information request F15-218

 

Thank you for your request for information as copied below. You asked a
number of questions regarding procedure for taking the Oath of Allegiance
which we have sought to answer below.

 

1.   Does the House of Commons have a procedure where a person elected as
an MP who is incapable of speech by way of disability can take the Oath of
Allegiance and take their seat? For example, could a deaf person take the
oath using sign language?

And

2.   Is it the case that only a person who is capable of speaking the oath
out loud be an MP?

After Members have been elected, the House service contacts newly elected
Members from the Friday after the election and over the weekend. One of
the key questions asked is:

Do you require any adjustments or have any particular requirements for
your arrival at Parliament?—If yes, what are these?

This is intended to alert the House service to any adjustments that a new
Member might need. If a Member was deaf and informed the House service
that he or she communicated using sign language the House service would
contact a sign language translator for the purposes of swearing in. We
would imagine that, similar to court practice, the Clerk would administer
the Oath/Affirmation and communicate with the Member through the signer
and the Member would communicate with the Clerk through the signer.

 

Section 3 of the Parliamentary Oaths Act 1866 states that:

 

The oath hereby appointed shall in every Parliament be solemnly and
publicly made and subscribed by every member of the House of Peers at the
table in the middle of the said House before he takes his place in the
said House, and whilst a full House of Peers is there with their Speaker
in his place, and by every member of the House of Commons at the table in
the middle of the said House, and whilst a full House of Commons is there
duly sitting, with their Speaker in his chair, at such hours and according
to such regulations as each House may by its standing orders direct.

 

Taking the oath using sign language would appear to satisfy the
requirement of “solemnly and publicly” taking the Oath/making the
affirmation so far as the House authorities are concerned. In the unlikely
event of that being challenged in the courts, it would ultimately be a
matter for a court to decide on the exact interpretation of the words of
the statute.

 

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Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

Sarah Price | IRIS Support Officer
Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) Service | House of
Commons

[3]cid:image002.jpg@01D02B64.34D76640

2015 marks 10 years of the Freedom of Information Act.

Click [4]here for information about FOI in the House of Commons,

or to see what we publish.

 

 

 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir