Threat to parliamentary privilege
Threat to parliamentary immunity (the right to restrict disclosure of information, particularly at the committee stage) may be caused by journalistic irresponsibility, corruption, espionage or undue political pressure. It usually takes the form of a leakage of official secrets, particularly to the press, but may also be incorporated in restrictive legislation. Effective sanctions against a threat, although provided for by the law, may be difficult to enforce procedurally. Threat to parliamentary immunity may cause ineffective government or provide fuel for power politics. The opening up of parliamentary debates to the mass media may negate parliamentary representation and induce greater party control over individuals, causing effective decision-making to retreat further into the realms of bureaucracy. Leakage of official secrets may cause political unrest and instability.