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The Family Law (Northern Ireland) Order 1993

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Commencement Orders yet to be applied to the The Family Law (Northern Ireland) Order 1993

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Commencement Orders

This section lists the commencement orders yet to be applied to the whole Order. These effects are included in this view as they may be (but won’t necessarily be) relevant to the specific provision that you are viewing. Where applicable the commencement orders are listed under two headings, firstly those that bring some part of the Order you are viewing into force and secondly, those that bring into force legislation that affects some part of the legislation you are viewing. If you are viewing a prospective version or there is a prospective version available there may be commencement orders listed here that are relevant to the provision you are viewing.

Commencement Orders bringing legislation that affects this Order into force:

MiscellaneousN.I.

Family proceedings rulesN.I.

12.—(1) There shall be a committee known as the Northern Ireland Family Proceedings Rules Committee ( “the Committee”)[F1 which may make rules of court in accordance with Article 12A] for the purposes of family proceedings.

(2) Schedule 2 shall have effect with respect to the Committee.

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (1),[F2 family proceedings rules]

(a)may, for the purposes mentioned in paragraph (1), make, in relation to both the High Court and county courts, any provision of a kind which could be made by rules of court as defined by section 21(4) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954F3 and, in relation to county courts, any provision of a kind which could be made by county court rules (and accordingly in any statutory provision empowering the making of rules of court as so defined, any reference to the [F4Court of Judicature] or the High Court shall, for the purposes of this Article, include a reference to a county court);

(b)without prejudice to sub-paragraph (a), may provide that a decree pronounced by an officer of a class designated by the rules shall have the same effect as a decree pronounced by a county court judge;

(c)may apply, with or without modifications, any rules of court (as so defined) and any county court rules;

(d)may modify or exclude the application of any such rules or of any provision of the County Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1980F5;

(e)without prejudice to sub-paragraph (a), may make with respect to proceedings in a county court any provision regarding the Official Solicitor or any solicitor of the [F6Court of Judicature] which could be made by rules of court with respect to proceedings in the High Court;

(f)may provide for the enforcement of orders made in a county court as if they were orders of the High Court, and for that purpose apply any statutory provision, with or without modification;

(g)may provide that the sums payable under Article 13(1) of the Legal Aid, Advice and Assistance (Northern Ireland) Order 1981F7 to a solicitor or counsel acting in a matrimonial cause within the meaning of Article 48 of the Matrimonial Causes (Northern Ireland) Order 1978F8[F9 or a civil partnership cause within the meaning of section 190(3) of the Civil Partnership Act 2004] which is treated for the purposes of that Article 48[F9 that section 190(3)] as undefended shall, at his election, be either—

(i)such fixed amount specified in the rules as may be applicable under the rules; or

(ii)an amount ascertained on taxation or assessment of costs as provided by Schedule 2 to the Order of 1981;

and may provide for modifying that Schedule in relation to any proceedings which for the purposes of that Article 48[F9 that section 190(3)] are at any stage treated as pending in a divorce county court[F9 or civil partnership proceedings county court];

(h)which relate to the costs of proceedings, may—

(i)amend or repeal any statutory provision relating to the practice and procedure of the [F10Court of Judicature] or county courts so far as may be necessary in consequence of provision made by the rules; and

(ii)notwithstanding anything in the Legal Aid, Advice and Assistance (Northern Ireland) Order 1981F11, make different provision according to whether each or any of the parties is entitled to legal aid under Part II of that Order in connection with the proceedings.

[F12(4) Family proceedings rules shall be subject to negative resolution.]

(5) In this Article[F13 and Article 12A]

  • “family business” means business of any description in the High Court assigned to the Family Division and to no other Division by rules of court except business—

    (a)

    in connection with the grant and revocation of probate and letters of administration of estates of deceased persons;

    (b)

    under Part VIII of the Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order 1986F14 and the Enduring Powers of Attorney (Northern Ireland) Order 1987F15;

  • “family proceedings” means proceedings which are family business and any corresponding proceedings in a county court.

  • [F16family proceedings rules” means rules of court made under this Article.]

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[F17Making of family proceedings rulesN.I.

12A(1) After making family proceedings rules the Committee must submit them to the Lord Chancellor.

(2) The Lord Chancellor may allow or disallow family proceedings rules submitted to him.

(3) Family proceedings rules have effect only if allowed by the Lord Chancellor.

(4) If the Lord Chancellor disallows family proceedings rules, the Lord Chancellor must give the Committee written reasons why he has disallowed them.

(5) Paragraph (6) applies if the Lord Chancellor gives the Committee written notice that he thinks it is expedient for family proceedings rules to include provision that would achieve a purpose specified in the notice.

(6) The Committee must make such family proceedings rules as it considers necessary to achieve the specified purpose.

(7) Those rules must be—

(a)made within a reasonable period after the Lord Chancellor gives notice under paragraph (5);

(b)made in accordance with this Article.]

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Transfer of certain functions to the Lord ChancellorN.I.

13.—(1) The functions which immediately before the transfer date are excercisable by the Secretary of State under the provisions specified in Schedule 3 (which confer miscellaneous functions) are hereby transferred to the Lord Chancellor.

(2) In the provisions specified in Schedule 3 for “Secretary of State” wherever it occurs, there shall be substituted “Lord Chancellor”.

(3) In the construction and for the purposes of any statutory provision, judgment, decree, order, award, deed, contract, regulation, byelaw, certificate or other document passed or made before the transfer date, any reference to, or which is to be construed as a reference to, the Secretary of State shall, so far only as may be necessary for the purposes of this Article, be construed as a reference to the Lord Chancellor.

(4) The transfer of functions by this Article shall not affect any order, regulation, rule, appointment, direction, instruction, approval, requirement or authorisation made or given or other thing done by the Secretary of State before the transfer date, but any such matter shall, if in force immediately before that date, continue in force to the like extent and subject to the like provisions as if it had been duly made, given or done by the Lord Chancellor.

(5) Anything commenced before the transfer date by or under the authority of the Secretary of State may, so far as it relates to any function transferred by this Article, be carried on or completed by or under the authority of the Lord Chancellor.

(6) Where, at the transfer date, any legal proceeding is pending to which the Secretary of State is a party and the proceeding relates to any of the functions transferred by this Article, the Lord Chancellor shall be substituted in the proceeding for the Secretary of State, and the proceeding shall not abate by reason of the substitution.

(7) In this Article “the transfer date” means the date on which this Article comes into operation.

Art. 14 rep. by 1998 NI 6

Oral testimony in divorceN.I.

15.  In Article 3(4) of the Matrimonial Causes (Northern Ireland) Order 1978F18 (oral testimony not required in certain divorce cases) for “in any” there shall be substituted—

(a)in any case where the petitioner alleges two years' separation and the respondent consents to a decree being granted; or

(b)in any case where the petitioner alleges five years' separation; or

(c)in any other .

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Article 16—Amendments and Repeals

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