The Privileges and Procedures Committee, which is responsible for how the Assembly runs, has lodged a proposition calling for the move, as they believe States business could be better time-managed to prevent sittings over-running.
Under the panel’s proposals speeches would generally be restricted in length to 15 minutes, with the presiding officer being able to allow longer speeches or apply a shorter time-frame, if necessary.
The restrictions would not apply to Members who have brought a proposition or those who are the subject of one.
The report accompanying the proposition says: ‘PPC believes that the Assembly should consider the introduction of time limits on speeches in the Assembly.
‘Time limits are common in other jurisdictions. They would help the Assembly manage business more effectively to fit within the three allotted days for each meeting, while enabling as many Members as possible to speak in debates.
‘There have been several States meetings over the last 18 months which have exceeded the three days set aside for Assembly business, which has led to inconvenient late sittings and sittings at short notice on Mondays or Fridays.’
It adds: ‘PPC’s proposal is that there should be a straightforward change to standing orders to introduce a presumption that Members do not speak for more than 15 minutes in debates, subject to discretion on the part of the presiding officers to permit longer speeches, or to reduce the time limit, in certain circumstances.
‘A time limit would not apply to the Member bringing a proposition, and nor should it apply to a Member directly affected by a proposition – for example, a Member who is the subject of a vote of no confidence.’
The proposition is due to be debated on 12 November.