Search Legislation

Commission For Victims And Survivors Act (Northern Ireland)2008

Commission For Victims And Survivors Act (Northern Ireland)2008

2008 CHAPTER 6

Introduction

1.These Explanatory Notes relate to the Commission for Victims and Survivors (Northern Ireland) Act 2008 which received Royal Assent on 23 May 2008.They have been prepared by the Department of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister in order to assist the reader in understanding the Act. They do not form part of the Act and have not been endorsed by the Assembly.

2.The Notes need to be read in conjunction with the Act. They are not, and are not meant to be, a comprehensive description of the Act. So where a section or part of a section or Schedule does not seem to require an explanation or comment, none is given.

Background and Policy Objectives

3.The Victims and Survivors (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 made provision for a Commissioner for Victims and Survivors for Northern Ireland, to be appointed by the First Minister and deputy First Minister, acting jointly.

4.Following a public appointments process, the First Minister and deputy First Minister on 28 January 2008, announced to the Assembly the appointment of four Commissioners Designate for Victims and Survivors, in effect a Commission. The establishment of the Commission requires amendment of the Victims and Survivors (Northern Ireland) Order 2006.

5.The Commission for Victims and Survivors (Northern Ireland) Act 2008 replaces the Commissioner for Victims and Survivors with a Commission.

Consultation

6.The Act simply replaces the Commissioner for Victims and Survivors with a Commission following the announcement by the First and deputy First Minister of the appointment of four Commissioners Designate. It was not considered necessary, therefore, to carry out further consultation.

Options Considered

7.There was no other option but to introduce an Act amending the Victims and Survivors (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 to establish a Commission on foot of the decision of the First Minister and deputy First Minister to appoint four Commissioners Designate.

Overview

8.The Act contains two sections, the first of which amends Article 4(1) to (3) of the Victims and Survivors (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 and replaces the Schedule to that Order

Commentary on Sections

(Comments are not given where the wording is self-explanatory.)

Section 1 contains a number of amendments to the Victims and Survivors (Northern Ireland) Order 2006. The effect is that references in the Order to a Commissioner are replaced with references to a Commission. Paragraph 3(1) of Schedule 1 to the Act provides that the Commission shall consist of such members as are appointed by the First Minister and deputy First Minister. Para 5(2) provides that if it appears to the Commission that a person it proposes to appoint as an employee has at any time been convicted of a criminal offence, the Commission can only make the appointment with the approval of the First Minister and deputy First Minister. Paragraph 9 (6) of Schedule 1 to the Act provides that the First Minister and deputy First Minister shall keep the working arrangements of the Commission under review and may designate a member as Chief Commissioner should that be deemed necessary for the efficient and effective working of the Commission in the future.

Hansard Reports

9.The following table sets out the dates of the Hansard reports for each stage of the Act’s passage through the Assembly.

STAGEDATE
Introduction to the Assembly and debate on the accelerated passage motion31 March 2008
Second stage1 April 2008
Consideration stage6 May 2008
Further consideration stage12 May 2008
Final stage13 May 2008
Royal Assent23 May 2008

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

Close

Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enactedversion that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources