Senate lawyers to ask court to remove upper chamber from Duffy laws

The Senate wants an Ottawa judge to remove it from a multimillion-dollar lawsuit filed by Sen. Mike Duffy, arguing that the upper chamber is protected by parliamentary privilege.

Duffy is seeking more than $7.8 million in damages from the Senate and the RCMP in the wake of the high-profile investigation and suspension surrounding his expense claims, which culminated in a dramatic trial that found him not guilty on 31 charges in April 2016.

The portion of the lawsuit against the Senate hinges on Duffy’s arguments that senators acted unconstitutionally and violated his charter rights when they decided to suspend him without pay in 2013.

Senate lawyers plan to file a motion by the end of the week in an Ontario court to have the upper chamber removed from Duffy’s lawsuit.

The Senate says the decision to suspend Duffy is protected by parliamentary privilege, a centuries-old right designed to shield legislators in the course of doing their jobs.

The motion will be heard in late June.

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