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Access to Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 2003

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This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Members' interests

7.—(1) Before appointing a person to be a member of the Commission, the Lord Chancellor shall satisfy himself that that person will have no such financial or other interest as is likely to affect prejudicially the exercise or performance by him of his functions as a member of the Commission.

(2) The Lord Chancellor shall from time to time satisfy himself with respect to every member of the Commission that he has no such interest as is referred to in sub-paragraph (1).

(3) Any person whom the Lord Chancellor proposes to appoint as, and who has consented to be, a member of the Commission, and any member of the Commission shall (whenever requested by the Lord Chancellor to do so) supply him with such information as the Lord Chancellor considers necessary for the performance by the Lord Chancellor of his duties under this paragraph.

8.—(1) A member of the Commission who is in any way directly or indirectly interested in an individual contract entered into or proposed to be entered into, or an individual grant, loan or other payment made or proposed to be made, by the Commission shall disclose the nature of his interest at a meeting of the Commission; and—

(a)the disclosure shall be recorded in the minutes of the Commission, and

(b)the member shall not take any part in any deliberation or decision of the Commission with respect to that contract or grant, loan or other payment.

(2) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1), a general notice given at a meeting of the Commission by a member of the Commission to the effect—

(a)that he is a person with whom a contract may be entered into, or to whom a grant, loan or other payment may be made, by the Commission, or

(b)that he is a member of a specified body with which a contract may be entered into, or to which a grant, loan or other payment may be made, by the Commission,

shall be regarded as a sufficient disclosure of his interest in relation to any contract subsequently entered into with, or grant, loan or other payment made to, him or the body.

(3) A member of the Commission need not attend in person at a meeting of the Commission in order to make any disclosure which he is required to make under this paragraph if he takes reasonable steps to secure that the disclosure is made by a notice which is brought up and read out at the meeting.

Remuneration

9.—(1) The Commission may—

(a)pay to its members such remuneration, and

(b)make provision for the payment of such pensions, allowances or gratuities to or in respect of its members,

as the Lord Chancellor may determine.

(2) Where a person ceases to be a member of the Commission otherwise than on the expiry of his term of office, and it appears to the Lord Chancellor that there are special circumstances which make it right for that person to receive compensation, the Lord Chancellor may require the Commission to make that person a payment of such amount as the Lord Chancellor may determine.

Staff

10.—(1) The Commission shall appoint a person to be the chief executive of the Commission who shall be responsible to the Commission for the exercise of its functions.

(2) The Commission may appoint such other employees as it thinks fit.

(3) The Commission may only appoint a person to be—

(a)its chief executive, or

(b)the holder of any other employment of a description specified by the Lord Chancellor by direction given to the Commission,

after consultation with, and subject to the approval of, the Lord Chancellor.

(4) An appointment under this paragraph may be made on such terms and conditions as the Commission, with the approval of the Lord Chancellor, may determine.

11.—(1) The Commission shall make, in respect of such of its employees as, with the approval of the Lord Chancellor, it may determine, such arrangements for providing pensions, allowances or gratuities, including pensions, allowances or gratuities by way of compensation for loss of employment, as it may determine.

(2) Arrangements under sub-paragraph (1) may include the establishment and administration, by the Commission or otherwise, of one or more pension schemes.

(3) If an employee of the Commission—

(a)becomes a member of the Commission, and

(b)was by reference to his employment by the Commission a participant in a pension scheme established and administered by it for the benefit of its employees,

the Commission may determine that his service as a member shall be treated for the purposes of the scheme as service as an employee of the Commission whether or not any benefits are to be payable to or in respect of him by virtue of paragraph 9.

(4) Where the Commission exercises the power conferred by sub-paragraph (3), any discretion as to the benefits payable to or in respect of the member concerned which the scheme confers on the Commission shall be exercised only with the approval of the Lord Chancellor.

Funding of costs relating to administration etc.

12.—(1) The Lord Chancellor shall pay to the Commission such sums as he may determine as appropriate for—

(a)the exercise by the Commission of functions in relation to civil legal services other than the funding of services, and

(b)the administrative costs of the Commission.

(2) The Lord Chancellor may—

(a)determine the manner in which and times at which the sums mentioned in sub-paragraph (1) are to be paid to the Commission, and

(b)impose conditions on the payment of those sums.

Proceedings

13.—(1) Subject to anything in any instrument made under this Part, the Commission may regulate its own proceedings.

(2) Committees—

(a)may be appointed, and may be dissolved, by the Commission, and

(b)may include, or consist entirely of, persons who are not members of the Commission,

but the Lord Chancellor may by direction require the Commission to make such provision relating to committees as is specified in the direction.

(3) A committee shall act in accordance with such instructions as the Commission may from time to time give; and the Commission may provide for anything done by a committee to have effect as if it had been done by the Commission.

(4) The Commission may pay to the members of any committee such fees and allowances as the Lord Chancellor may determine.

(5) Where a committee is to consider an individual contract entered into or proposed to be entered into, or an individual grant, loan or other payment made or proposed to be made, by the Commission, any member of the committee who is in any way directly or indirectly interested in the contract or the grant, loan or other payment shall disclose the nature of his interest at a meeting of the committee; and—

(a)the disclosure shall be recorded in the minutes of the committee, and

(b)the member shall not take any part in any deliberation or decision of the committee with respect to that contract or grant, loan or other payment.

(6) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (5), a general notice given at a meeting of a committee by a member of the committee to the effect—

(a)that he is a person with whom a contract may be entered into, or to whom a grant, loan or other payment may be made, by the Commission, or

(b)that he is a member of a specified body with which a contract may be entered into, or to which a grant, loan or other payment may be made, by the Commission,

shall be regarded as a sufficient disclosure of his interest in relation to any contract subsequently entered into with, or grant, loan or other payment made to, him or the body.

(7) A member of a committee need not attend in person at a meeting of the committee in order to make any disclosure which he is required to make under this paragraph if he takes reasonable steps to secure that the disclosure is made by a notice which is brought up and read out at the meeting.

(8) The validity of any proceedings of the Commission or of any committee appointed by the Commission shall not be affected by any vacancy among its members or by any defect in the appointment of any member.

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