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The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1995

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Application for assistance: its consideration

92.—(1) An individual who is an actual or prospective party to proceedings to which this Part applies may apply to the Northern Ireland Commissioner for the Rights of Trade Union Members (in this Part referred to as “the Commissioner”) for assistance in relation to the proceedings, and the Commissioner shall, as soon as reasonably practicable after receiving the application, consider it and decide whether and to what extent to grant it.

(2) The matters to which the Commissioner may have regard in determining whether, and to what extent, to grant an application include—

(a)whether the case raises a question of principle,

(b)whether it is unreasonable, having regard to the complexity of the case, to expect the applicant to deal with it unaided, and

(c)whether, in the Commissioner’s opinion, the case involves a matter of substantial public interest.

(3) In the case of an application made by virtue of Article 91(1)(e), (f) or (j) (failure to maintain register of members or to comply with requirements as to election or political ballot), if—

(a)the Certification Officer has already made a declaration with respect to the subject-matter of the proceedings or prospective proceedings, and

(b)it appears to the Commissioner that the applicant would (if assisted) have a reasonable prospect of securing the making of an enforcement order in the proceedings, the Commissioner shall grant the application to the extent he considers necessary for securing that, so far as reasonably practicable, all the steps he considers appropriate (including, where appropriate, the holding of another ballot or election) are taken by the trade union for the purpose of remedying the declared failure and of ensuring that a failure of the same or a similar kind does not occur in future.

(4) The Commissioner shall not grant an application made by virtue of Article 91(2) (proceedings arising out of breach of rules) unless it appears to him—

(a)that the breach of rules in question affects, or may affect, members of the union other than the applicant, or

(b)that similar breaches of the rules have been or may be committed in relation to other members of the union.

(5) If the Commissioner decides not to provide assistance, he shall, as soon as reasonably practicable after making the decision, notify the applicant of his decision and, if he thinks fit, of the reasons for it.

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