Antigua & Barbuda

Suspension of a sitting

A pause during the course of a sitting of the House. When the sitting is suspended, the Speaker/President of the Senate leaves the Chair and the Mace is placed in the lower position on the Table.

Distinguish: adjournment; recess.

Suspend a Member

The action of dismissing a Member from the services of the House and its committees for one or more days as a result of disorder. This action may be exercised by the Speaker/President of the Senate alone (one day), or as an order of the House (more than one day).

Compare: expel a Member; naming a Member.

Supplementary question

A question seeking clarification or further information following a Minister’s response to a question during the oral question period. The Speaker/President of the Senate has wide discretion in permitting the posing of supplementary questions.

Supplementary Estimates

An expenditure plan introduced to provide funds to the Government to meet new or increased costs. The Government may introduce as many sets of Supplementary Estimates in a given fiscal year as it deems necessary.

Superseding motion

A motion moved for the purpose of superseding or replacing the question before the House. It may be either a dilatory motion or a motion for the previous question.

Summons of Parliament

The convocation of a Parliament following a dissolution or prorogation. Parliament is summoned by a proclamation issued by the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister.

Summoning a witness

Ordering a witness to appear before one of its committees.

Substantive motion

An independent proposal which is complete in itself. Normally such motions require written notice before they can be moved in the House.

Compare: subsidiary motion.

Subsidiary motion

A motion which is procedural in nature, dependent on an order already made by the House. Motions for the second and third readings of bills are subsidiary motions.

Synonym: ancillary motion.

Compare: substantive motion.

Subordinate legislation

See: delegated legislation.


A committee of a committee, to which the latter may delegate its powers, except the power to report to the House. Not all committees are granted the power to establish subcommittees.


An amendment to an amendment. A subamendment must be relevant to the amendment it seeks to modify, rather than to the original question.

Sub judice convention

A convention whereby Members refrain from making reference to certain matters, particularly criminal cases, which are before the courts. It does not apply to bills.


Anyone who is not a Member of the House or an official of the House. Strangers are admitted to the galleries but may be expelled by the Speaker/President of the Senate if there is a disturbance.

Statutory instrument

A regulation, order, rule or other instrument issued by virtue of power conferred by an Act of Parliament. Statutory instruments are subject to review by the Statutory Instruments Committee of the Senate.

Compare: delegated legislation

Statements by Ministers

A Order Paper item during which a Minister may make a short factual announcement or statement of government policy.

Starred question

A question on the Order Paper for which an oral response is requested.

Standing Orders

The collection of the permanent written rules adopted by the House to govern its proceedings.

Standing order

An order adopted by the House to regulate its proceedings which remains in effect permanently. Standing orders may be altered or repealed only by a subsequent decision of the House.

Sponsor (of a bill)

The Member or Minister who presents a bill in the House.


The Member elected by the House of Representatives to preside over its proceedings. In particular, he or she is responsible for maintaining order and decorum. The Speaker also oversees the administration of the Parliament. In addition, the Speaker is the spokesman and representative of the House of Representatives in its relations with the Senate, the Governor-General and other bodies outside the House of Representatives.


A meeting of the House within a session. A sitting may last for only a matter of minutes or may extend for several hours.

Compare: session.

Sine die adjournment

An adjournment without the assigning of a day for the next meeting. Usually the adjournment before dissolution or prorogation.

Short title

The title of a proposed Act, used for purposes of citation. Short titles need not cover all of the provisions of a bill.

Compare: long title.

Shadow cabinet

The group of Members in the opposition party/parties, particularly the Official Opposition, chosen to act as party critics for each of the ministerial portfolios.


One of the fundamental time periods into which a Parliament is divided, usually consisting of a number of separate sittings. Sessions are commenced by the Governor-General’s proclamation and may be opened, ceremonially, by an address by His Excellency the Governor-General. They are ended by prorogation or dissolution of the Parliament.

Distinguish: sitting.

Senate bill

A bill, either public or private, which is first introduced in the Senate. After it has been passed by the Senate, A Senate bill is sent to the House of Representatives.

Section of an Act

Each separate numbered division of an Act. The clauses of a bill become sections once the bill is assented to.

Secret ballot

A secret vote.


A Member who formally supports a Private Member’s Motion in the House. The Member does not actually need to speak in order to support a motion but may simply indicate his or her consent. Government motions and motions in committee do not require seconders.

Second reading

The stage at which the principle and object of a bill is either accepted or rejected. Detailed consideration is not given to the clauses of the bill at this stage.


(1) The desk in the House of Representatives assigned to an MP. MPs are accorded seats in the House of Representatives not as individuals but in their capacity as representatives of their electoral districts.
(2) The electoral district which an MP represents.

Scope (of a bill)

The field of applicability of a bill as indicated by its text.


An appendix to a bill which contains matters of detail not suitable for inclusion in a clause. Schedules form part of a bill and are subject to amendment.