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The Deregulation and Contracting Out (Northern Ireland) Order 1996


This is the original version (as it was originally made).


Miscellaneous deregulatory provisions

Horticultural produce: repeal of licensing provisions, etc.

3.—(1) The [1966 c. 15 (N.I.).] Horticulture Act (Northern Ireland) 1966 is amended as follows.

(2) The following provisions are omitted—

(a)sections 11 and 12 (licences required for processing horticultural produce);

(b)section 13 (regulations as to standards of quality, etc. of horticultural produce processed in Northern Ireland);

(c)section 14 (related offences);

(d)Part III (restrictions on sending certain horticultural produce out of Northern Ireland);

(e)sections 28 to 30 (ancillary provisions and exemptions);

(f)section 35(2)(b) and (c) (part of definition of “horticultural produce”);

(g)section 37 (repeals);

(h)the Schedule (provisions about licences).

(3) In section 33(3), for “Food and Drugs Act (Northern Ireland) 1958” substitute “Food Safety (Northern Ireland) Order 1991”.

(4) In section 35(2), for “24 to 30” substitute “24 to 27”.

(5) In section 36—

(a)in paragraph (a), for “Destructive Insects and Pests Acts (Northern Ireland) 1877 to 1934” substitute “Plant Health Act (Northern Ireland) 1967”.

(b)in paragraph (b), for “Food and Drugs Act (Northern Ireland) 1958” substitute “Food Safety (Northern Ireland) Order 1991”.

Repeal of Arts. 20(S), 22(10) of Weights and Measures (Northern Ireland) Order 1981

4.  Articles 20(5) and 22(10) of the [1981 NI 10.] Weights and Measures (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 (under which the gas in foam on beer or cider is to be disregarded for certain purposes) are omitted.

Repeal of Auctions (Local Control) Act (Northern Ireland) 1957

5.  The [1957 c. 4 (N.I.).] Auctions (Local Control) Act (Northern Ireland) 1957 is repealed.

Sunday Observance Act (Ireland) 1695: exclusion of sports, etc.

6.—(1) The [1695 c. 17 (Ir).] Sunday Observance Act (Ireland) 1695 does not apply to any person by reason of his taking part in, or doing anything in connection-with, any sport or recreation, or any similar activity.

(2) In section 3 of that Act (hurling, football and other sports prohibited on Sunday), omit from the beginning to “conviction shall be: and that”.

Totalisators on licensed trucks: deductions, etc.

7.  In Schedule 8 to the [1985 NI 11.] Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (Northern Ireland) Order 1985, in paragraph 3 (totalisator operators must post a notice on licensed tracks which must specify the percentage, not exceeding 17; per cent. or that specified by the Department of Health and Social Services by order, deducted by them from amounts staked using totalisators)—

(a)after “licensed track” insert “or, where bets may be made by means of the totalisator in more than one distinct area of the track, in each such area”;

(b)after “a notice” insert “in easily legible print”;

(c)after “specify” insert “prominently”; and

(d)from “not exceeding 17 f per cent.” to “by order” is omitted.

Taxi drivers — tests of competence, etc.

8.  In Article 79A(3)(b)(ii) of the [1981 NI 1.] Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 (taxi driver’s licence not to be granted unless the applicant passes such test of driving competence to drive a vehicle of the type for which the licence is required and meets such other requirements as may be prescribed), from “passes” to “required and” is omitted.

Enforcement procedures and appeals

Powers to improve enforcement procedures

9.—(1) If, with respect to any provision made by an enactment, a Department or Minister is of the opinion—

(a)that the effect of the provision is such as to impose, or authorise or require the imposition of, a restriction, requirement or condition affecting any person in the carrying on of any trade, business or profession or otherwise, and

(b)that, by exercising any one or more of the powers conferred by Schedule 1, it would be possible, without jeopardising my necessary protection, to improve (so far as fairness, transparency and consistency are concerned) the procedures for enforcing the restriction, requirement or condition,

the Department or Minister may, subject to paragraphs (2) to (8), by order exercise the power or powers accordingly.

(2) No order may be made under this Article in any case where the sole or main effect which the restriction, requirement or m condition may be expected to have on each person on whom it is imposed is an effect on him in his personal capacity, and not as a person carrying on a trade, business or profession.

(3) Where the relevant enactment—

(a)contains a power for the Department or Minister to make regulations or orders; and

(b)provides for that power to be exercisable so as to give effect, with or without modifications, to proposals submitted by some other person,

the Department or Minister must consult with that person before making an order under this Article.

(4) An order under this Article may do all or any of the following—

(a)make provision as to the consequences of any failure to comply with a provision made by the order;

(b)contain provisions (including provisions modifying enactments relating to the periods within which proceedings must be brought) which are consequential upon, or supplemental or incidental to, the provisions made by the order;

(c)contain such transitional provisions and savings as appear to the Department or Minister to be appropriate;

(d)make different provision for different areas.

(5) An order made by a Department under this Article is subject to negative resolution.

(6) An order made by a Minister under this Article is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament and section 5 of the [1946 c. 36.] Statutory Instruments Act 1946 shall apply accordingly.

(7) Nothing in any order made under this Article—

(a)precludes an enforcement officer from taking immediate enforcement action against any person, or from requiring any person to take immediate remedial action, in any case where it appears to the officer to be necessary to take such action or impose such a requirement; or

(b)requires such an officer to disclose any information the disclosure of which would be contrary to the public interest.

(8) In this Article and Schedule 1—

  • “enforcement action”—


    in relation to any restriction, requirement or condition, means any action taken with a view to or in connection with imposing any sanction (whether criminal or otherwise) for failure to observe or comply with it; and


    in relation to a restriction, requirement or condition relating to the grant or renewal of licences, includes any refusal to grant, renew or vary a licence, the imposition of any condition on the grant or renewal of a licence and any variation or revocation of a licence;

  • “enforcement officer” does not include the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland, but, subject to that, means any person who is authorised, whether by or under the relevant enactment or otherwise, to take enforcement action;

  • “licence” includes any authorisation (by whatever name called) to do anything which would otherwise be unlawful;

  • “the relevant enactment” means the enactment containing the provision by which the restriction, requirement or condition is imposed or, as the case may be, is authorised or required to be imposed;

  • “remedial action” means action taken by any person in order to avoid enforcement action being taken against him.

Model provisions with respect to appeals

10.—(1) The Department of Economic Development must by order prescribe model provisions with respect to appeals against enforcement action with a view to their being incorporated, if thought fit ,and with or without modifications, in enactments to which paragraph (2) applies.

(2) This paragraph applies to enactments which include provision the effect of which is to impose, or authorise or require the imposition of, a restriction, requirement or condition affecting any person in the carrying on of any trade, business or profession or otherwise.

(3) The Department of Economic Development must perform its duty under this Article in the manner which it considers is best calculated to secure—

(a)that appeals determined in accordance with the model provisions are determined without unnecessary delay; and

(b)that the costs incurred by the parties to appeals so determined are kept to the minimum.

(4) Model provisions prescribed by an order under this Article may provide for the appointment of persons to hear and determine appeals and confer powers on persons so appointed, including in particular—

(a)power to appoint experts and their own counsel or solicitor;

(b)power to require respondents to disclose documents and other material;

(c)power to summon witnesses;

(d)power to make interim orders, including orders staying enforcement action; and

(e)power to award costs to appellants and, in certain cases, against them.

(5) Model provisions so prescribed may also—

(a)confer a right for interested persons to make representations before enforcement action is taken;

(b)require the giving of reasons to such persons for any decision to take such action;

(c)require appellants to state their grounds of appeal and respondents to furnish statements by way of answer;

(d)enable appellants to amend their grounds of appeal before the hearing;

(e)require appeals to be determined on the merits rather than by way of review; and

(f)provide for further appeals to courts on points of law.

(6) An order made by the Department of Economic Development under this Article is subject to negative resolution.

(7) In this Article—

  • “enactment” includes an enactment (whenever passed) and an enactment contained in any instrument (whenever made);

  • “enforcement action” has the same meaning as in Article 9;

  • “interested person” means—


    the person against whom enforcement action may be or has been taken; and


    any other person in respect of whom either of the conditions mentioned in paragraph 5(1) of Schedule 1 is fulfilled.

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