Parliament’s committees of inquiry are working bodies of parliament that work within the powers of parliament. The committee of inquiry is different from other working bodies because of its special powers, similar to those of courts in criminal procedures. Its functioning is governed by the Constitution, the Parliamentary Inquries Act and Rules of Procedure, the Criminal Procedure Act and Minor Offences Act are applied as appropriate. The inquiry is being held in the matters of public importance with an intent to determine facts that can be the basis for the parliament to make decisions about political accountability of the public function holders, about changing the law on a particular field and for other decisions within its constitutional powers. The process involves several stages. The inquiry committee has a range of powers for the evidentiary procedure, among which are: hearing of the person under investigation, hearing of the witness, ordering an expert, ordering a house or a personal search, seizure of items and ordering a viewing. The committee has to ask the court to take enforcement actions, if needed. There is also an important duty of the government, its bodies and public function holders, to hand over the documents needed by the committee and to attend hearings.
In terms of constitutional principles and human rights it is important for the inquiry to stay withing the limits determined by the principle of public importance and public interest, the separation of powers, the principle of constitutionality and legality and the principle of certainty of the parliament inquiry. In addition we cannot forget about the principle of efficiency (and preventing work obstruction), the public principle and respecting individual constitutional guarantees.