Who is the Serjeant-at-Arms?
The Serjeant-at-Arms is an officer
of the House of Representatives.
What does the Serjeant-at-Arms
The Serjeant-at-Arms is always in the Chamber during sittings
of the House. He or she sits at the back of the Chamber,
next to the
main entrance. In the Chamber, the Serjeant-at-Arms
fulfils a ceremonial role and acts on the Speaker’s instructions
to keep order.
At the beginning of each sitting of the House, the
Serjeant-at-Arms enters the Chamber before the Speaker, carrying
Mace over his or her right shoulder and announces the
The Serjeant also records Members’ attendance
and carries messages to the Senate.
When asked by the
Speaker, the Serjeant may escort unruly Members out
of the Chamber. He or she is also responsible
order in the galleries overlooking the Chamber and
may take into custody
anyone who causes a disturbance.
The origins of the
office of Serjeant-at Arms
The office of Serjeant-at-Arms originates
in the UK Parliament. King Richard I (reigned 1157-1199) copied
the French tradition
of a royal bodyguard of armed men known as Serjeants.
Each of these
men carried a club-like weapon called a mace,
which was stamped with the Royal coat of arms. Their duties
traitors and others who committed crimes against