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This article examines the effect that shielding elected representatives from criminal law might have in those countries that are undergoing democratization. Parliamentary immunity helps to compensate for any shortfall in the human rights enjoyed by ordinary citizens and provides elected representatives with the protection necessary to rectify that shortfall. However, the immunity may also protect subversive advocacy, rights violations and political corruption. Turkey provides an illuminating case study of those challenges to parliamentary immunity. Drawing on the Turkish experience it is argued that methods other than exposing parliamentarians to criminal prosecution should be used to tackle those problems.