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Northern Ireland Act 1998

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Part IPreliminary

1Status of Northern Ireland

(1)It is hereby declared that Northern Ireland in its entirety remains part of the United Kingdom and shall not cease to be so without the consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland voting in a poll held for the purposes of this section in accordance with Schedule 1.

(2)But if the wish expressed by a majority in such a poll is that Northern Ireland should cease to be part of the United Kingdom and form part of a united Ireland, the Secretary of State shall lay before Parliament such proposals to give effect to that wish as may be agreed between Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom and the Government of Ireland.

2Previous enactments

The [1920 c. 67.] Government of Ireland Act 1920 is repealed; and this Act shall have effect notwithstanding any other previous enactment.

3Devolution order

(1)If it appears to the Secretary of State that sufficient progress has been made in implementing the Belfast Agreement, he shall lay before Parliament the draft of an Order in Council appointing a day for the commencement of Parts II and III (“the appointed day”).

(2)If the draft Order laid before Parliament under subsection (1) is approved by resolution of each House of Parliament, the Secretary of State shall submit it to Her Majesty in Council and Her Majesty in Council may make the Order.

4Transferred, excepted and reserved matters

(1)In this Act—

  • “excepted matter” means any matter falling within a description specified in Schedule 2;

  • “reserved matter” means any matter falling within a description specified in Schedule 3;

  • “transferred matter” means any matter which is not an excepted or reserved matter.

(2)If at any time after the appointed day it appears to the Secretary of State—

(a)that any reserved matter should become a transferred matter; or

(b)that any transferred matter should become a reserved matter,

he may, subject to subsection (3), lay before Parliament the draft of an Order in Council amending Schedule 3 so that the matter ceases to be or, as the case may be, becomes a reserved matter with effect from such date as may be specified in the Order.

(3)The Secretary of State shall not lay the draft of an Order before Parliament under subsection (2) unless the Assembly has passed with cross-community support a resolution praying that the matter concerned should cease to be or, as the case may be, should become a reserved matter.

(4)If the draft of an Order laid before Parliament under subsection (2) is approved by resolution of each House of Parliament, the Secretary of State shall submit it to Her Majesty in Council and Her Majesty in Council may make the Order.

(5)In this Act—

  • “the Assembly” means the New Northern Ireland Assembly, which after the appointed day shall be known as the Northern Ireland Assembly;

  • “cross-community support”, in relation to a vote on any matter, means—

    (a)

    the support of a majority of the members voting, a majority of the designated Nationalists voting and a majority of the designated Unionists voting; or

    (b)

    the support of 60 per cent of the members voting, 40 per cent of the designated Nationalists voting and 40 per cent of the designated Unionists voting;

  • “designated Nationalist” means a member designated as a Nationalist in accordance with standing orders of the Assembly and “designated Unionist” shall be construed accordingly.

Part IILegislative Powers

General

5Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly

(1)Subject to sections 6 to 8, the Assembly may make laws, to be known as Acts.

(2)A Bill shall become an Act when it has been passed by the Assembly and has received Royal Assent.

(3)A Bill receives Royal Assent at the beginning of the day on which Letters Patent under the Great Seal of Northern Ireland signed with Her Majesty’s own hand signifying Her Assent are notified to the Presiding Officer.

(4)The date of Royal Assent shall be written on the Act by the Presiding Officer, and shall form part of the Act.

(5)The validity of any proceedings leading to the enactment of an Act of the Assembly shall not be called into question in any legal proceedings.

(6)This section does not affect the power of the Parliament of the United Kingdom to make laws for Northern Ireland, but an Act of the Assembly may modify any provision made by or under an Act of Parliament in so far as it is part of the law of Northern Ireland.

6Legislative competence

(1)A provision of an Act is not law if it is outside the legislative competence of the Assembly.

(2)A provision is outside that competence if any of the following paragraphs apply—

(a)it would form part of the law of a country or territory other than Northern Ireland, or confer or remove functions exercisable otherwise than in or as regards Northern Ireland;

(b)it deals with an excepted matter and is not ancillary to other provisions (whether in the Act or previously enacted) dealing with reserved or transferred matters;

(c)it is incompatible with any of the Convention rights;

(d)it is incompatible with Community law;

(e)it discriminates against any person or class of person on the ground of religious belief or political opinion;

(f)it modifies an enactment in breach of section 7.

(3)For the purposes of this Act, a provision is ancillary to other provisions if it is a provision—

(a)which provides for the enforcement of those other provisions or is otherwise necessary or expedient for making those other provisions effective; or

(b)which is otherwise incidental to, or consequential on, those provisions;

and references in this Act to provisions previously enacted are references to provisions contained in, or in any instrument made under, other Northern Ireland legislation or an Act of Parliament.

(4)Her Majesty may by Order in Council specify functions which are to be treated, for such purposes of this Act as may be specified, as being, or as not being, functions which are exercisable in or as regards Northern Ireland.

(5)No recommendation shall be made to Her Majesty to make an Order in Council under subsection (4) unless a draft of the Order has been laid before and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.

7Entrenched enactments

(1)Subject to subsection (2), the following enactments shall not be modified by an Act of the Assembly or subordinate legislation made, confirmed or approved by a Minister or Northern Ireland department—

(a)the [1972 c. 68.] European Communities Act 1972;

(b)the [1988 c. 42.] Human Rights Act 1998; and

(c)section 43(1) to (6) and (8), section 67, sections 84 to 86, section 95(3) and (4) and section 98.

(2)Subsection (1) does not prevent an Act of the Assembly or subordinate legislation modifying section 3(3) or (4) or 11(1) of the European Communities Act 1972.

(3)In this Act “Minister”, unless the context otherwise requires, means the First Minister, the deputy First Minister or a Northern Ireland Minister.

8Consent of Secretary of State required in certain cases

The consent of the Secretary of State shall be required in relation to a Bill which contains—

(a)a provision which deals with an excepted matter and is ancillary to other provisions (whether in the Bill or previously enacted) dealing with reserved or transferred matters; or

(b)a provision which deals with a reserved matter.

Scrutiny and stages of Bills

9Scrutiny by Ministers

(1)A Minister in charge of a Bill shall, on or before introduction of it in the Assembly, make a statement to the effect that in his view the Bill would be within the legislative competence of the Assembly.

(2)The statement shall be in writing and shall be published in such manner as the Minister making the statement considers appropriate.

10Scrutiny by Presiding Officer

(1)Standing orders shall ensure that a Bill is not introduced in the Assembly if the Presiding Officer decides that any provision of it would not be within the legislative competence of the Assembly.

(2)Subject to subsection (3)—

(a)the Presiding Officer shall consider a Bill both on its introduction and before the Assembly enters on its final stage; and

(b)if he considers that the Bill contains—

(i)any provision which deals with an excepted matter and is ancillary to other provisions (whether in the Bill or previously enacted) dealing with reserved or transferred matters; or

(ii)any provision which deals with a reserved matter,

he shall refer it to the Secretary of State; and

(c)the Assembly shall not proceed with the Bill or, as the case may be, enter on its final stage unless—

(i)the Secretary of State’s consent to the consideration of the Bill by the Assembly is signified; or

(ii)the Assembly is informed that in his opinion the Bill does not contain any such provision as is mentioned in paragraph (b)(i) or (ii).

(3)Subsection (2)(b) and (c) shall not apply—

(a)where, in the opinion of the Presiding Officer, each provision of the Bill which deals with an excepted or reserved matter is ancillary to other provisions (whether in the Bill or previously enacted) dealing with transferred matters only; or

(b)on the introduction of a Bill, where the Bill has been endorsed with a statement that the Secretary of State has consented to the Assembly considering the Bill.

(4)In this section and section 14 “final stage”, in relation to a Bill, means the stage in the Assembly’s proceedings at which the Bill falls finally to be passed or rejected.

11Scrutiny by the Judicial Committee

(1)The Attorney General for Northern Ireland may refer the question of whether a provision of a Bill would be within the legislative competence of the Assembly to the Judicial Committee for decision.

(2)Subject to subsection (3), he may make a reference in relation to a provision of a Bill at any time during—

(a)the period of four weeks beginning with the passing of the Bill; and

(b)the period of four weeks beginning with any subsequent approval of the Bill in accordance with standing orders made by virtue of section 13(6).

(3)If he notifies the Presiding Officer that he does not intend to make a reference in relation to a provision of a Bill, he shall not make such a reference unless, after the notification, the Bill is approved as mentioned in subsection (2)(b).

(4)If the Judicial Committee decide that any provision of a Bill would be within the legislative competence of the Assembly, their decision shall be taken as applying also to that provision if contained in the Act when enacted.

12Reconsideration where reference made to ECJ

(1)This section applies where—

(a)a reference has been made under section 11 in relation to a provision of a Bill;

(b)a reference for a preliminary ruling has been made by the Judicial Committee in connection with that reference; and

(c)neither of the references has been decided or otherwise disposed of.

(2)If the Assembly resolves that it wishes to reconsider the Bill—

(a)the Presiding Officer shall notify the Attorney General for Northern Ireland and the Attorney General of that fact; and

(b)the Attorney General for Northern Ireland shall request the withdrawal of the reference under section 11.

(3)In this section “reference for a preliminary ruling” means a reference of a question to the European Court of Justice under—

(a)Article 177 of the Treaty establishing the European Community;

(b)Article 41 of the Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community; or

(c)Article 150 of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community.

13Stages of Bills

(1)Standing orders shall include provision—

(a)for general debate on a Bill with an opportunity for members to vote on its general principles;

(b)for the consideration of, and an opportunity for members to vote on, the details of a Bill; and

(c)for a final stage at which a Bill can be passed or rejected but not amended.

(2)Standing orders may, in relation to different types of Bill, modify provisions made in pursuance of subsection (1)(a) or (b).

(3)Standing orders—

(a)shall include provision for establishing such a committee as is mentioned in paragraph 11 of Strand One of the Belfast Agreement;

(b)may include provision for the details of a Bill to be considered by the committee in such circumstances as may be specified in the orders.

(4)Standing orders shall include provision—

(a)requiring the Presiding Officer to send a copy of each Bill, as soon as reasonably practicable after introduction, to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission; and

(b)enabling the Assembly to ask the Commission, where the Assembly thinks fit, to advise whether a Bill is compatible with human rights (including the Convention rights).

(5)Standing orders shall provide for an opportunity for the reconsideration of a Bill after its passing if (and only if)—

(a)the Judicial Committee decide that any provision of the Bill would not be within the legislative competence of the Assembly;

(b)a reference made in relation to a provision of the Bill under section 11 has been withdrawn following a request for withdrawal under section 12;

(c)a decision is made in relation to the Bill under section 14(4) or (5); or

(d)a motion under section 15(1) is passed by either House of Parliament.

(6)Standing orders shall, in particular, ensure that any Bill amended on reconsideration is subject to a final stage at which it can be approved or rejected but not amended.

(7)References in subsection (5) and other provisions of this Act to the passing of a Bill shall, in the case of a Bill which has been amended on reconsideration, be read as references to the approval of the Bill.

Royal Assent

14Submission by Secretary of State

(1)It shall be the Secretary of State who submits Bills for Royal Assent.

(2)The Secretary of State shall not submit a Bill for Royal Assent at any time when—

(a)the Attorney General for Northern Ireland is entitled to make a reference in relation to a provision of the Bill under section 11; or

(b)any such reference has been made but has not been decided or otherwise disposed of by the Judicial Committee.

(3)If—

(a)the Judicial Committee have decided that any provision of a Bill would not be within the legislative competence of the Assembly; or

(b)a reference made in relation to a provision of the Bill under section 11 has been withdrawn following a request for withdrawal under section 12,

the Secretary of State shall not submit the Bill in its unamended form for Royal Assent.

(4)The Secretary of State may, unless he consents to it, decide not to submit for Royal Assent a Bill containing a provision—

(a)which the Secretary of State considers deals with an excepted matter and is ancillary to other provisions (whether in the Bill or previously enacted) dealing with reserved or transferred matters; or

(b)which the Secretary of State considers deals with a reserved matter,

if the Bill has not been referred to him under subsection (2) of section 10 (whether by virtue of subsection (3)(a) of that section or otherwise) before the Assembly enters on its final stage.

(5)The Secretary of State may decide not to submit for Royal Assent a Bill which contains a provision which he considers—

(a)would be incompatible with any international obligations, with the interests of defence or national security or with the protection of public safety or public order; or

(b)would have an adverse effect on the operation of the single market in goods and services within the United Kingdom.

15Parliamentary control where consent given

(1)Subject to subsections (2) and (3), a Bill to which the Secretary of State has consented under this Part shall not be submitted by him for Royal Assent unless he has first laid it before Parliament and either—

(a)the period of 20 days beginning with the date on which it is laid has expired without notice having been given in either House of a motion that the Bill shall not be submitted for Royal Assent; or

(b)if notice of such a motion is given within that period, the motion has been rejected or withdrawn.

(2)Subsection (1) shall not apply to a Bill if the Secretary of State considers that it contains no provision which deals with an excepted or reserved matter except a provision which is ancillary to other provisions (whether in the Bill or previously enacted) dealing with transferred matters only.

(3)Subsection (1) shall not apply to a Bill if the Secretary of State considers that by reason of urgency it should be submitted for Royal Assent without first being laid before Parliament.

(4)Any Bill submitted by virtue of subsection (3) shall, if given Royal Assent, be laid before Parliament by the Secretary of State after Royal Assent, and if—

(a)within the period of 20 days beginning with the date on which it is laid notice is given in either House of a motion praying that the Act of the Assembly shall cease to have effect; and

(b)that motion is carried,

Her Majesty may by Order in Council repeal that Act with effect from such date as may be specified in the Order.

(5)An Order in Council under subsection (4) may make such consequential and transitional provisions and such savings in connection with the repeal as appear to Her Majesty to be necessary or expedient.

(6)Any notice of motion for the purposes of subsection (1) or (4) must be signed by not less than 20 members of the House in which it is given; and the period mentioned in that subsection shall be computed, in relation to each House, by reference only to days on which that House sits.

Part IIIExecutive Authorities

Authorities

16First Minister and deputy First Minister

(1)Each Assembly shall, within a period of six weeks beginning with its first meeting, elect from among its members the First Minister and the deputy First Minister.

(2)Each candidate for either office must stand for election jointly with a candidate for the other office.

(3)Two candidates standing jointly shall not be elected to the two offices without the support of a majority of the members voting in the election, a majority of the designated Nationalists voting and a majority of the designated Unionists voting.

(4)The First Minister and the deputy First Minister—

(a)shall not take up office until each of them has affirmed the terms of the pledge of office; and

(b)subject to the provisions of this Part, shall hold office until the conclusion of the next election for First Minister and deputy First Minister.

(5)The holder of the office of First Minister or deputy First Minister may by notice in writing to the Presiding Officer designate a Northern Ireland Minister to exercise the functions of that office—

(a)during any absence or incapacity of the holder; or

(b)during any vacancy in that office arising otherwise than under subsection (7)(a);

but a person shall not have power to act by virtue of paragraph (a) for a continuous period exceeding 6 weeks.

(6)The First Minister or the deputy First Minister—

(a)may at any time resign by notice in writing to the Presiding Officer; and

(b)shall cease to hold office if he ceases to be a member of the Assembly otherwise than by virtue of a dissolution.

(7)If either the First Minister or the deputy First Minister ceases to hold office at any time, whether by resignation or otherwise, the other—

(a)shall also cease to hold office at that time; but

(b)may continue to exercise the functions of his office until the election required by subsection (8).

(8)Where the offices of the First Minister and the deputy First Minister become vacant at any time an election shall be held under this section to fill the vacancies within a period of six weeks beginning with that time.

(9)Standing orders may make provision with respect to the holding of elections under this section.

(10)In this Act “the pledge of office” means the pledge of office which, together with the code of conduct to which it refers, is set out in Annex A to Strand One of the Belfast Agreement (the text of which Annex is reproduced in Schedule 4).

17Ministerial offices

(1)The First Minister and the deputy First Minister acting jointly may at any time, and shall where subsection (2) applies, determine—

(a)the number of Ministerial offices to be held by Northern Ireland Ministers; and

(b)the functions to be exercisable by the holder of each such office.

(2)This subsection applies where provision is made by an Act of the Assembly for establishing a new Northern Ireland department or dissolving an existing one.

(3)In making a determination under subsection (1), the First Minister and the deputy First Minister shall ensure that the functions exercisable by those in charge of the different Northern Ireland departments existing at the date of the determination are exercisable by the holders of different Ministerial offices.

(4)The number of Ministerial offices shall not exceed 10 or such greater number as the Secretary of State may by order provide.

(5)A determination under subsection (1) shall not have effect unless it is approved by a resolution of the Assembly passed with cross-community support.

18Northern Ireland Ministers

(1)Where—

(a)an Assembly is elected under section 31 or 32;

(b)a determination under section 17(1) takes effect;

(c)a resolution which causes one or more Ministerial offices to become vacant is passed under section 30(2);

(d)the period of exclusion imposed by a resolution under section 30(2) comes to an end; or

(e)such other circumstances obtain as may be specified in standing orders,

all Northern Ireland Ministers shall cease to hold office and the Ministerial offices shall be filled by applying subsections (2) to (6) within a period so specified.

(2)The nominating officer of the political party for which the formula in subsection (5) gives the highest figure may select a Ministerial office and nominate a person to hold it who is a member of the party and of the Assembly.

(3)If—

(a)the nominating officer does not exercise the power conferred by subsection (2) within a period specified in standing orders; or

(b)the nominated person does not take up the selected Ministerial office within that period,

that power shall become exercisable by the nominating officer of the political party for which the formula in subsection (5) gives the next highest figure.

(4)Subsections (2) and (3) shall be applied as many times as may be necessary to secure that each of the Ministerial offices is filled.

(5)The formula is—

Formula - S divided by (1 plus M)

where—

S

=

the number of seats in the Assembly which were held by members of the party on the day on which the Assembly first met following its election;

M

=

the number of Ministerial offices (if any) which are held by members of the party.

(6)Where the figures given by the formula for two or more political parties are equal, each of those figures shall be recalculated with S being equal to the number of first preference votes cast for the party at the last general election of members of the Assembly.

(7)The holding of office as First Minister or deputy First Minister shall not prevent a person being nominated to hold a Ministerial office.

(8)A Northern Ireland Minister shall not take up office until he has affirmed the terms of the pledge of office.

(9)A Northern Ireland Minister shall cease to hold office if—

(a)he resigns by notice in writing to the First Minister and the deputy First Minister;

(b)he ceases to be a member of the Assembly otherwise than by virtue of a dissolution; or

(c)he is dismissed by the nominating officer who nominated him (or that officer’s successor) and the Presiding Officer is notified of his dismissal.

(10)Where a Ministerial office is vacant otherwise than by virtue of subsection (1), the nominating officer of the party on whose behalf the previous incumbent was nominated may nominate a person to hold the office who is a member of the party and of the Assembly.

(11)If—

(a)the nominating officer does not exercise the power conferred by subsection (10) within a period specified in standing orders; or

(b)the nominated person does not take up the office within that period,

the vacancy shall be filled by applying subsections (2) to (6) within a period specified in standing orders.

(12)Where—

(a)the Assembly has resolved under section 30(2) that a political party does not enjoy its confidence; and

(b)the party’s period of exclusion has not come to an end,

the party shall be disregarded for the purposes of any application of subsections (2) to (6).

(13)In this section “nominating officer”—

(a)in relation to a party registered under the [1998 c. 48.] Registration of Political Parties Act 1998, means the registered nominating officer or a member of the Assembly nominated by him for the purposes of this section;

(b)in relation to any other political party, means the person who appears to the Presiding Officer to be the leader of the party, or a member of the Assembly nominated by that person for the purposes of this section.

19Junior Ministers

(1)The First Minister and the deputy First Minister acting jointly may at any time determine—

(a)that a number of members of the Assembly specified in the determination shall be appointed as junior Ministers in accordance with such procedures for their appointment as are so specified; and

(b)that the functions exercisable by virtue of each junior Ministerial office shall be those specified in relation to that office in the determination.

(2)Procedures specified in a determination under this section may apply such formulae or other rules as the First Minister and the deputy First Minister consider appropriate.

(3)A determination under this section shall—

(a)make provision as to the circumstances in which a junior Minister shall cease to hold office, and for the filling of vacancies; and

(b)provide that a junior Minister shall not take up office until he has affirmed the terms of the pledge of office.

(4)A determination under this section shall not take effect until it has been approved by a resolution of the Assembly.

(5)Where a determination under this section takes effect—

(a)any junior Ministers previously appointed shall cease to hold office; and

(b)the procedures specified in the determination shall be applied within a period specified in standing orders.

20The Executive Committee

(1)There shall be an Executive Committee of each Assembly consisting of the First Minister, the deputy First Minister and the Northern Ireland Ministers.

(2)The First Minister and the deputy First Minister shall be chairmen of the Committee.

(3)The Committee shall have the functions set out in paragraphs 19 and 20 of Strand One of the Belfast Agreement.

21Northern Ireland departments

(1)Subject to subsection (2), the Northern Ireland departments existing on the appointed day shall be the Northern Ireland departments for the purposes of this Act.

(2)Provision may be made by Act of the Assembly for establishing new Northern Ireland departments or dissolving existing ones.

(3)If an Act of the Assembly which establishes a new Northern Ireland department provides for it to be in the charge of the First Minister and the deputy First Minister acting jointly—

(a)the department shall not be regarded as a Northern Ireland department for the purposes of subsection (2) or (3) of section 17; and

(b)the office held by those Ministers as the head of the department shall not be regarded as a Ministerial office for the purposes of subsection (4) of that section or section 18.

Functions

22Statutory functions

(1)An Act of the Assembly or other enactment may confer functions on a Minister (but not a junior Minister) or a Northern Ireland department by name.

(2)Functions conferred on a Northern Ireland department by an enactment passed or made before the appointed day shall, except as provided by an Act of the Assembly or other subsequent enactment, continue to be exercisable by that department.

23Prerogative and executive powers

(1)The executive power in Northern Ireland shall continue to be vested in Her Majesty.

(2)As respects transferred matters, the prerogative and other executive powers of Her Majesty in relation to Northern Ireland shall, subject to subsection (3), be exercisable on Her Majesty’s behalf by any Minister or Northern Ireland department.

(3)As respects the Northern Ireland Civil Service and the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland, the prerogative and other executive powers of Her Majesty in relation to Northern Ireland shall be exercisable on Her Majesty’s behalf by the First Minister and the deputy First Minister acting jointly.

(4)The First Minister and deputy First Minister acting jointly may by prerogative order under subsection (3) direct that such of the powers mentioned in that subsection as are specified in the order shall be exercisable on Her Majesty’s behalf by a Northern Ireland Minister or Northern Ireland department so specified.

24Community law, Convention rights etc

(1)A Minister or Northern Ireland department has no power to make, confirm or approve any subordinate legislation, or to do any act, so far as the legislation or act—

(a)is incompatible with any of the Convention rights;

(b)is incompatible with Community law;

(c)discriminates against a person or class of person on the ground of religious belief or political opinion;

(d)in the case of an act, aids or incites another person to discriminate against a person or class of person on that ground; or

(e)in the case of legislation, modifies an enactment in breach of section 7.

(2)Subsection (1)(c) and (d) does not apply in relation to any act which is unlawful by virtue of the [1976 c. 25.] Fair Employment (Northern Ireland) Act 1976, or would be unlawful but for some exception made by virtue of Part V of that Act.

25Excepted and reserved matters

(1)If any subordinate legislation made, confirmed or approved by a Minister or Northern Ireland department contains a provision dealing with an excepted or reserved matter, the Secretary of State may by order revoke the legislation.

(2)An order made under subsection (1) shall recite the reasons for revoking the legislation and may make provision having retrospective effect.

26International obligations

(1)If the Secretary of State considers that any action proposed to be taken by a Minister or Northern Ireland department would be incompatible with any international obligations, with the interests of defence or national security or with the protection of public safety or public order, he may by order direct that the proposed action shall not be taken.

(2)If the Secretary of State considers that any action capable of being taken by a Minister or Northern Ireland department is required for the purpose of giving effect to any international obligations, of safeguarding the interests of defence or national security or of protecting public safety or public order, he may by order direct that the action shall be taken.

(3)In subsections (1) and (2), “action” includes making, confirming or approving subordinate legislation and, in subsection (2), includes introducing a Bill in the Assembly.

(4)If any subordinate legislation made, confirmed or approved by a Minister or Northern Ireland department contains a provision which the Secretary of State considers—

(a)would be incompatible with any international obligations, with the interests of defence or national security or with the protection of public safety or public order; or

(b)would have an adverse effect on the operation of the single market in goods and services within the United Kingdom,

the Secretary of State may by order revoke the legislation.

(5)An order under this section shall recite the reasons for making the order and may make provision having retrospective effect.

27Quotas for purposes of international etc obligations

(1)A Minister of the Crown may make an order containing provision such as is specified in subsection (2) where—

(a)an international obligation or an obligation under Community law is an obligation to achieve a result defined by reference to a quantity (whether expressed as an amount, proportion or ratio or otherwise); and

(b)the quantity relates to the United Kingdom (or to an area including the United Kingdom or to an area consisting of a part of the United Kingdom which is or includes the whole or part of Northern Ireland).

(2)The provision referred to in subsection (1) is provision for the achievement by a Minister or Northern Ireland department (in the exercise of his or its functions) of so much of the result to be achieved under the international obligation or obligation under Community law as is specified in the order.

(3)The order may specify the time by which any part of the result to be achieved by the Minister or department is to be achieved.

(4)Where an order under subsection (1) is in force in relation to an international obligation or an obligation under Community law, the obligation shall have effect for the purposes of this Act as if it were an obligation to achieve so much of the result to be achieved under the obligation as is specified in the order by the time or times so specified.

(5)No order shall be made by a Minister of the Crown under subsection (1) unless he has consulted the Minister or department concerned.

28Agency arrangements between UK and NI departments

(1)Arrangements may be made between—

(a)any department of the Government of the United Kingdom or any public body, or holder of a public office, in the United Kingdom; and

(b)any Northern Ireland department,

for any functions of one of them to be discharged by, or by officers of, the other.

(2)No such arrangements shall affect the responsibility of the person on whose behalf any functions are discharged.

(3)In this section—

(a)references to a department of the Government of the United Kingdom include references to any Minister of the Crown; and

(b)references to a Northern Ireland department include references to a Minister.

Miscellaneous

29Statutory committees

(1)Standing orders shall make provision—

(a)for establishing committees of members of the Assembly (“statutory committees”) to advise and assist each Northern Ireland Minister in the formulation of policy with respect to matters within his responsibilities as a Minister;

(b)for enabling a committee to be so established either in relation to a single Northern Ireland Minister or in relation to more than one; and

(c)conferring on the committees the powers described in paragraph 9 of Strand One of the Belfast Agreement.

(2)Standing orders shall provide that—

(a)the nominating officer of the political party for which the formula in subsection (3) gives the highest figure may select a statutory committee and nominate as its chairman or deputy chairman a person who is a member of the party and of the Assembly;

(b)if the nominating officer does not exercise the power conferred by paragraph (a) within a period specified in standing orders, or the nominated person does not take up the selected office within that period, that power shall be exercisable instead by the nominating officer of the political party for which the formula in subsection (3) gives the next highest figure; and

(c)paragraphs (a) and (b) shall be applied as many times as may be necessary to secure that a chairman and deputy chairman are nominated for each of the statutory committees.

(3)The formula is—

formula - S divided by (1 plus C)

where—

S

=

the number of seats in the Assembly which were held by members of the party on the day on which the Assembly first met following its election;

C

=

the number of chairmen and deputy chairmen of statutory committees (if any) who are members of the party.

(4)Standing orders shall provide that, where the figures given by the formula for two or more political parties are equal, each of those figures shall be recalculated with S being equal to the number of first preference votes cast for the party at the last general election of members of the Assembly.

(5)Standing orders shall provide that—

(a)a Minister or junior Minister may not be the chairman or deputy chairman of a statutory committee; and

(b)in making a selection under the provision made by virtue of subsection (2)(a), a nominating officer shall prefer a committee in which he does not have a party interest to one in which he does.

(6)For the purposes of subsection (5) a nominating officer has a party interest in a committee if it is established to advise and assist a Northern Ireland Minister who is a member of his party.

(7)Standing orders shall provide that a chairman or deputy chairman shall cease to hold office if—

(a)he resigns by notice in writing to the Presiding Officer;

(b)he ceases to be a member of the Assembly; or

(c)he is dismissed by the nominating officer who nominated him (or that officer’s successor) and the Presiding Officer is notified of his dismissal.

(8)Standing orders shall provide that, where an office of chairman or deputy chairman is vacant, the nominating officer of the party on whose behalf the previous incumbent was nominated may nominate a person to hold the office who is a member of the party and of the Assembly.

(9)Standing orders shall provide that if—

(a)the nominating officer does not exercise the power conferred by subsection (8) within a period specified in standing orders; or

(b)the nominated person does not take up the selected office within that period,

the vacancy shall be filled by applying the provision made by virtue of subsections (2) to (5).

(10)In this section “nominating officer” has the same meaning as in section 18.

30Exclusion of Ministers from office

(1)If the Assembly resolves that a Minister or junior Minister no longer enjoys the confidence of the Assembly—

(a)because he is not committed to non-violence and exclusively peaceful and democratic means; or

(b)because of any failure of his to observe any other terms of the pledge of office,

he shall be excluded from holding office as a Minister or junior Minister for a period of twelve months beginning with the date of the resolution.

(2)If the Assembly resolves that a political party does not enjoy the confidence of the Assembly—

(a)because it is not committed to non-violence and exclusively peaceful and democratic means; or

(b)because it is not committed to such of its members as are or might become Ministers or junior Ministers observing the other terms of the pledge of office,

members of that party shall be excluded from holding office as Ministers or junior Ministers for a period of twelve months beginning with the date of the resolution.

(3)The Assembly may, before a period of exclusion comes to an end, resolve to extend it for twelve months beginning with the date of the resolution.

(4)A period of exclusion shall come to an end if the Assembly—

(a)is dissolved; or

(b)resolves to bring the exclusion to an end.

(5)A motion for a resolution under this section shall not be moved unless—

(a)it is supported by at least 30 members of the Assembly;

(b)it is moved by the First Minister and the deputy First Minister acting jointly; or

(c)it is moved by the Presiding Officer in pursuance of a notice under subsection (6).

(6)If the Secretary of State is of the opinion that the Assembly ought to consider—

(a)a resolution under subsection (1)(a) in relation to a Minister or junior Minister; or

(b)a resolution under subsection (2)(a) in relation to a political party,

he shall serve a notice on the Presiding Officer requiring him to move a motion for such a resolution.

(7)In forming an opinion under subsection (6), the Secretary of State shall in particular take into account whether the Minister or junior Minister or the political party—

(a)is committed to the use now and in the future of only democratic and peaceful means to achieve his or its objectives;

(b)has ceased to be involved in any acts of violence or of preparation for violence;

(c)is directing or promoting acts of violence by other persons;

(d)is co-operating fully with any Commission of the kind referred to in section 7 of the [1997 c. 7.] Northern Ireland Arms Decommissioning Act 1997 in implementing the Decommissioning section of the Belfast Agreement.

(8)A resolution under this section shall not be passed without cross-community support.

Part IVThe Northern Ireland Assembly

Elections etc

31Dates of elections and dissolutions

(1)Subject to subsection (2), the date of the poll for the election of each Assembly shall be the first Thursday in May in the fourth calendar year following that in which its predecessor was elected; and the predecessor shall be dissolved at the beginning of the minimum period which ends with that date.

(2)The date of the poll for the election of the Assembly next following the Assembly elected under section 2 of the [1998 c. 12.] Northern Ireland (Elections) Act 1998 shall be 1st May 2003; and the Assembly elected under that section shall be dissolved at the beginning of the minimum period which ends with that date.

(3)The Secretary of State may at any time by order direct that the date of the poll for the election of the next Assembly shall, instead of being that specified in subsection (1) or (2), be a date specified in the order being a date falling not more than two months before or after the date specified in that subsection.

(4)An Assembly elected under this section or section 32 shall meet within the period of eight days beginning with the day of the poll at which it is elected.

(5)For the purposes of subsection (4), a Saturday, a Sunday, Christmas Day, Good Friday and any day which is a bank holiday in Northern Ireland shall be disregarded.

(6)In this section “minimum period” means a period determined in accordance with an order of the Secretary of State.

32Extraordinary elections

(1)If the Assembly passes a resolution that it should be dissolved the Secretary of State shall propose a date for the poll for the election of the next Assembly.

(2)A resolution under subsection (1) shall not be passed without the support of a number of members of the Assembly which equals or exceeds two thirds of the total number of seats in the Assembly.

(3)If the period mentioned in section 16(1) or (8) ends without a First Minister and a deputy First Minister having been elected, the Secretary of State shall propose a date for the poll for the election of the next Assembly.

(4)If the Secretary of State proposes a date under subsection (1) or (3), Her Majesty may by Order in Council—

(a)direct that the date of the poll for the election of the next Assembly shall, instead of being determined in accordance with section 31, be the date proposed; and

(b)provide for the Assembly to be dissolved on a date specified in the Order.

33Constituencies and numbers of members

(1)The members of the Assembly shall be returned for the parliamentary constituencies in Northern Ireland.

(2)Each constituency shall return six members.

(3)An Order in Council under the [1986 c. 56.] Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 changing a parliamentary constituency in Northern Ireland shall have effect for the purposes of this Act in relation to—

(a)the first election under section 31 or 32 which takes place after the Order comes into force; and

(b)later elections under that section and by-elections.

34Elections and franchise

(1)This section applies to elections of members of the Assembly, including by-elections.

(2)Each vote in the poll at an election shall be a single transferable vote.

(3)A single transferable vote is a vote—

(a)capable of being given so as to indicate the voter’s order of preference for the candidates for election as members for the constituency; and

(b)capable of being transferred to the next choice when the vote is not needed to give a prior choice the necessary quota of votes or when a prior choice is eliminated from the list of candidates because of a deficiency in the number of votes given for him.

(4)The Secretary of State may by order make provision about elections or any matter relating to them.

(5)In particular, an order under subsection (4) may make—

(a)provision as to the persons entitled to vote at an election and the registration of such persons;

(b)provision for securing that no person stands as a candidate for more than one constituency at a general election;

(c)provision for determining the date of the poll at a by-election;

(d)provision about deposits.

(6)An order under subsection (4) may apply (with or without modifications) any provision of, or made under, any enactment.

35Vacancies

(1)The Secretary of State may by order make provision for the filling of vacancies occurring in the Assembly’s membership.

(2)Such provision may be made by reference to by-elections or substitutes or such other method of filling vacancies as the Secretary of State thinks fit.

(3)If a seat becomes vacant, the Presiding Officer shall as soon as reasonably practicable inform the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland.

(4)The validity of any proceedings of the Assembly is not affected by any vacancy in its membership.

(5)An order under subsection (1) may apply (with or without modifications) any provision of, or made under, any enactment.

Disqualification

36Disqualification

(1)The [1975 c. 25.] Northern Ireland Assembly Disqualification Act 1975 shall have effect as if any reference to the Assembly established under section 1 of the [1973 c. 17.] Northern Ireland Assembly Act 1973 were a reference to the Assembly.

(2)No recommendation shall be made to Her Majesty to make an Order in Council under section 3(1) of the Northern Ireland Assembly Disqualification Act 1975 (power to amend Schedule 1) without the consent of the Secretary of State.

(3)A person who is Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant or Lieutenant for a county or county borough in Northern Ireland is disqualified for membership of the Assembly for a constituency comprising the whole or part of the county or county borough.

(4)A person is disqualified for membership of the Assembly if he is disqualified for membership of the House of Commons otherwise than under the [1975 c. 24.] House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975.

(5)A person is not disqualified for membership of the Assembly by virtue of subsection (1) by reason only that he is a member of the Seanad Eireann (Senate of Ireland).

(6)A person is not disqualified for membership of the Assembly by virtue of subsection (4) by reason only that—

(a)he is a peer (other than a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary); or

(b)he is ordained or is a minister of any religious denomination.

(7)A person is not disqualified for membership of the Assembly by virtue of subsection (4) by reason only that he is disqualified under section 3 of the Act of Settlement (certain persons born out of the Kingdom) if he is a citizen of the European Union.

37Effect of disqualification and provision for relief

(1)Subject to any order made by the Assembly under this section—

(a)if any person disqualified by virtue of section 36 is returned as a member of the Assembly, his return shall be void; and

(b)if any person being a member of the Assembly becomes disqualified by virtue of that section, his seat shall be vacated.

(2)If, in a case which falls or is alleged to fall within subsection (1) otherwise than by virtue of section 36(4), it appears to the Assembly—

(a)that the grounds of disqualification or alleged disqualification which subsisted or arose at the material time have been removed; and

(b)that it is otherwise proper so to do,

the Assembly may by order direct that any such disqualification incurred on those grounds at that time shall be disregarded for the purposes of this section.

(3)No order under subsection (2) shall affect the proceedings on any election petition or any determination of an election court.

(4)Subsection (1)(b) has effect subject to section 141 of the [1983 c. 20.] Mental Health Act 1983 (mental illness) and section 427 of the [1986 c. 45.] Insolvency Act 1986 (bankruptcy etc); and where, in consequence of either of those sections, the seat of a disqualified member of the Assembly has not been vacated—

(a)he shall not participate in any proceedings of the Assembly; and

(b)any of his other rights and privileges as a member of the Assembly may be withdrawn by a resolution of the Assembly.

(5)The validity of any proceedings of the Assembly is not affected by the disqualification of any person from being a member of the Assembly or from being a member for the constituency for which he purports to sit.

38Disqualification: judicial proceedings

(1)Any person who claims that a person purporting to be a member of the Assembly—

(a)is disqualified; or

(b)was disqualified when, or at any time since, he was returned,

may apply to the High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland for a declaration to that effect.

(2)On an application—

(a)the person in respect of whom the application is made shall be the respondent;

(b)the applicant shall give such security for costs, not exceeding £5,000, as the court may direct; and

(c)the decision of the court shall be final.

(3)A declaration made in accordance with this section shall be certified in writing to the Secretary of State by the court.

(4)No such declaration shall be made in respect of a person on any grounds if an order has been made by the Assembly under subsection (2) of section 37 directing that any disqualification incurred by him on those grounds shall be disregarded for the purposes of that section.

(5)No declaration shall be made in respect of any person on grounds which subsisted when he was elected if an election petition is pending or has been tried in which his disqualification on those grounds is or was in issue.

(6)The Secretary of State may by order substitute for the amount specified in subsection (2)(b) such other amount as may be specified in the order.

Presiding Officer and Commission

39Presiding Officer

(1)Each Assembly shall as its first business elect from among its members a Presiding Officer and deputies.

(2)A person elected Presiding Officer or deputy shall hold office until the conclusion of the next election for Presiding Officer under subsection (1) unless—

(a)he previously resigns;

(b)he ceases to be a member of the Assembly otherwise than by virtue of a dissolution; or

(c)the Assembly elects from among its members a person to hold office as Presiding Officer or deputy in his place.

(3)If the Presiding Officer or a deputy ceases to hold office (otherwise than under subsection (2)(c)) before the Assembly is dissolved, the Assembly shall elect another from among its members to fill his place.

(4)The Presiding Officer’s functions may be exercised by a deputy if the office of Presiding Officer is vacant or the Presiding Officer is for any reason unable to act.

(5)The Presiding Officer may (subject to standing orders) authorise a deputy to exercise functions on his behalf.

(6)Standing orders may include provision as to the participation (including voting) of the Presiding Officer and deputies in the proceedings of the Assembly.

(7)A person shall not be elected under subsections (1) to (3) without cross-community support.

40Commission

(1)There shall be a body corporate, to be known as the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission (“the Commission”), to perform—

(a)the functions conferred on the Commission by virtue of any enactment; and

(b)any functions conferred on the Commission by resolution of the Assembly.

(2)The members of the Commission shall be—

(a)the Presiding Officer; and

(b)the prescribed number of members of the Assembly appointed in accordance with standing orders.

(3)In subsection (2) “the prescribed number” means 5 or such other number as may be prescribed by standing orders.

(4)The Commission shall provide the Assembly, or ensure that the Assembly is provided, with the property, staff and services required for the Assembly’s purposes.

(5)The Assembly may give special or general directions to the Commission for the purpose of or in connection with the exercise of the Commission’s functions.

(6)Proceedings by or against the Assembly (other than proceedings on the Crown side of the Queen’s Bench Division) shall be instituted by or against the Commission on behalf of the Assembly.

(7)Any property or liabilities acquired or incurred in relation to matters within the general responsibility of the Commission to which (apart from this subsection) the Assembly would be entitled or subject shall be treated for all purposes as property or liabilities of the Commission.

(8)Any expenses of the Commission shall be defrayed out of money appropriated by Act of the Assembly.

(9)Any sums received by the Commission shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund of Northern Ireland, subject to any provision made by Act of the Assembly for the disposal of or accounting for such sums.

(10)Schedule 5 (which makes further provision about the Commission) shall have effect.

Proceedings etc.

41Standing orders

(1)The proceedings of the Assembly shall be regulated by standing orders.

(2)Standing orders shall not be made, amended or repealed without cross-community support.

(3)Schedule 6 (which makes provision as to how certain matters are to be dealt with by standing orders) shall have effect.

42Petitions of concern

(1)If 30 members petition the Assembly expressing their concern about a matter which is to be voted on by the Assembly, the vote on that matter shall require cross-community support.

(2)Standing orders shall make provision with respect to the procedure to be followed in petitioning the Assembly under this section, including provision with respect to the period of notice required.

(3)Standing orders shall provide that the matter to which a petition under this section relates may be referred, in accordance with paragraphs 11 and 13 of Strand One of the Belfast Agreement, to the committee established under section 13(3)(a).

43Members' interests

(1)Standing orders shall include provision for a register of interests of members of the Assembly, and for—

(a)registrable interests (as defined in standing orders) to be registered in it; and

(b)the register to be published and made available for public inspection.

(2)Standing orders shall include provision requiring that any member of the Assembly who has—

(a)a financial interest (as defined in standing orders) in any matter; or

(b)any other interest, or an interest of any other kind, specified in standing orders in any matter,

declares that interest before taking part in any proceedings of the Assembly relating to that matter.

(3)Standing orders made in pursuance of subsection (1) or (2) may include provision for preventing or restricting the participation in proceedings of the Assembly of a member with a registrable interest, or an interest mentioned in subsection (2), in a matter to which the proceedings relate.

(4)Standing orders shall include provision prohibiting a member of the Assembly from—

(a)advocating or initiating any cause or matter on behalf of any person, by any means specified in standing orders, in consideration of any payment or benefit in kind of a description so specified; or

(b)urging, in consideration of any such payment or benefit in kind, any other member of the Assembly to advocate or initiate any cause or matter on behalf of any person by any such means.

(5)Standing orders may include provision—

(a)for excluding from proceedings of the Assembly any member who fails to comply with, or contravenes, any provision made in pursuance of subsections (1) to (4); and

(b)for withdrawing his rights and privileges as a member for the period of his exclusion.

(6)Any member of the Assembly who—

(a)takes part in any proceedings of the Assembly without having complied with, or in contravention of, any provision made in pursuance of subsections (1) to (3); or

(b)contravenes any provision made in pursuance of subsection (4),

is guilty of an offence.

(7)A person guilty of an offence under subsection (6) is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

(8)Proceedings for an offence under subsection (6) shall not be taken without the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland.

44Power to call for witnesses and documents

(1)The Assembly may require any person—

(a)to attend its proceedings for the purpose of giving evidence; or

(b)to produce documents in his custody or under his control,

relating to any of the matters mentioned in subsection (2).

(2)Those matters are—

(a)transferred matters concerning Northern Ireland;

(b)other matters in relation to which statutory functions are exercisable by Ministers or the Northern Ireland departments.

(3)The power in subsection (1) is exercisable in relation to a person outside Northern Ireland only in connection with the discharge by him of functions relating to matters within subsection (2).

(4)That power is not exercisable in relation to a person who is or has been a Minister of the Crown, or a person who is or has been in Crown employment within the meaning of Article 236 of the [S.I. 1996/1919 (N.I.16).] Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996, in connection with the discharge of any functions prior to the appointed day.

(5)That power is not exercisable in relation to—

(a)a person discharging functions of any body whose functions relate to excepted matters, in connection with the discharge by him of those functions;

(b)a person discharging functions of any body whose functions relate to reserved matters, in connection with the discharge by him of those functions;

(c)a judge of any court or a member of any tribunal which exercises the judicial power of the State.

(6)That power may be exercised by a committee of the Assembly only if the committee is expressly authorised to do so by standing orders.

(7)The Presiding Officer shall give the person in question notice in writing specifying—

(a)the time and place at which the person is to attend and the particular matters relating to which he is required to give evidence; or

(b)the documents, or types of documents, which he is to produce, the date by which he is to produce them and the particular matters to which they are to relate.

(8)Such notice shall be given—

(a)in the case of an individual, by sending it, by registered post or the recorded delivery service, addressed to him at his usual or last known address or, where he has given an address for service, at that address;

(b)in any other case, by sending it, by registered post or the recorded delivery service, addressed to the person at the person’s registered or principal office.

(9)A person is not obliged under this section to answer any question or produce any document which he would be entitled to refuse to answer or produce in proceedings in a court in Northern Ireland.

(10)In this section “statutory functions” means functions conferred by virtue of any enactment.

45Witnesses and documents: offences

(1)Subject to subsection (9) of section 44, any person to whom a notice under subsection (7) of that section has been given who—

(a)refuses or fails to attend proceedings as required by the notice;

(b)refuses or fails, when attending proceedings as required by the notice, to answer any question relating to the matters specified in the notice;

(c)deliberately alters, suppresses, conceals or destroys any document which he is required to produce by the notice; or

(d)refuses or fails to produce any such document,

is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months.

(2)It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (1)(a), (b) or (d) to prove that he had a reasonable excuse for the refusal or failure.

(3)Where an offence under this section which has been committed by a body corporate is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of—

(a)a director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate; or

(b)any person who was purporting to act in any such capacity,

he, as well as the body corporate, is guilty of that offence and liable to be proceeded against accordingly.

(4)Proceedings for an offence under this section shall not be taken without the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland.

(5)For the purposes of section 44 and this section, a person shall be taken to comply with a requirement to produce a document if he produces a copy of, or an extract of the relevant part of, the document.

46Witnesses: oaths

(1)The Presiding Officer or such other person as may be authorised by standing orders may—

(a)administer an oath to any person giving evidence in proceedings of the Assembly; and

(b)require him to take the oath.

(2)Any person who refuses to take an oath when required to do so under subsection (1)(b) is guilty of an offence.

(3)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months.

Remuneration and pensions

47Remuneration of members

(1)The Assembly shall pay to members of the Assembly such salaries as the Assembly may from time to time determine.

(2)The Assembly may pay to members of the Assembly such allowances as the Assembly may from time to time determine.

(3)A determination under this section may provide—

(a)for higher salaries to be payable to members of the Assembly—

(i)holding office as a Minister or junior Minister;

(ii)holding office as Presiding Officer or deputy;

(iii)holding office as a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission; or

(iv)holding an office specified in standing orders; and

(b)for different salaries to be payable to members of the Assembly holding different such offices.

(4)A determination under this section shall provide that, if a salary is payable to a member of the Assembly as a member of either House of Parliament or of the European Parliament, his salary as a member of the Assembly shall be reduced—

(a)to a proportion of what it would otherwise be or to a particular amount; or

(b)by the amount of the other salary payable to him, by a proportion of that amount or by some other amount.

(5)A determination under this section may provide for different allowances for different cases.

(6)A determination under this section may provide for salaries or allowances to change from time to time by reference to other amounts or specified formulas.

(7)The Assembly may not delegate the function of making a determination under this section.

(8)Standing orders must include provision for the publication of every determination under this section.

(9)For the purposes of this section—

(a)a person’s membership of the Assembly begins on the day on which he takes his seat in accordance with standing orders; and

(b)a person’s holding of such an office as is mentioned in subsection (3)(a) begins on the day on which he takes up office.

(10)For the purposes of this section, a person who is a member of the Assembly immediately before the Assembly is dissolved shall be treated—

(a)if he continues to hold such an office as is mentioned in subsection (3)(a)(i) to (iii), as if he were a member of the Assembly until the end of the day on which he ceases to hold the office; and

(b)if he does not fall within paragraph (a) but is nominated as a candidate at the subsequent general election, as if he were a member of the Assembly until the end of the day of the poll for that election.

(11)Any expenditure incurred by the Assembly under this section shall be defrayed out of money appropriated by Act of the Assembly.

48Pensions of members

(1)The Assembly may make provision for the payment of pensions, gratuities or allowances to, or in respect of, any person who—

(a)has ceased to be a member of the Assembly; or

(b)has ceased to hold such an office as is mentioned in section 47(3)(a) but continues to be a member of the Assembly.

(2)Such provision may, in particular, include provision for—

(a)contributions or payments towards provision for such pensions, gratuities or allowances;

(b)the establishment and administration (whether by the Commission or otherwise) of one or more pension schemes.

(3)In this section—

  • “the Commission” means the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission;

  • “provision” includes provision—

    (a)

    by an Act of the Assembly; or

    (b)

    by a resolution of the Assembly conferring functions on the Commission.

(4)Any expenditure incurred by the Assembly under this section shall be defrayed out of money appropriated by Act of the Assembly.

Miscellaneous

49Letters Patent etc

(1)Her Majesty may by Order in Council make provision as to—

(a)the form and manner of preparation; and

(b)the publication,

of Letters Patent signed with Her Majesty’s own hand signifying Her Assent to a Bill passed by the Assembly.

(2)If the First Minister and the deputy First Minister acting jointly so direct, impressions with the same device as the Great Seal of Northern Ireland shall be taken in such manner, of such size and on such material as is specified in the direction.

(3)Each such impression—

(a)shall be known as a Wafer Great Seal of Northern Ireland; and

(b)shall be kept in accordance with directions of the First Minister and the deputy First Minister acting jointly.

(4)If a Wafer Great Seal of Northern Ireland has been applied to Letters Patent mentioned in subsection (1), the document has the same validity as if it had passed under the Great Seal of Northern Ireland.

50Privilege

(1)For the purposes of the law of defamation, absolute privilege shall attach to—

(a)the making of a statement in proceedings of the Assembly; and

(b)the publication of a statement under the Assembly’s authority.

(2)A person is not guilty of contempt of court under the strict liability rule as the publisher of any matter—

(a)in the course of proceedings of the Assembly which relate to a Bill or subordinate legislation; or

(b)to the extent that it consists of a fair and accurate report of such proceedings which is made in good faith.

(3)In this section—

  • “statement” has the same meaning as in the [1996 c. 31.] Defamation Act 1996;

  • “the strict liability rule” has the same meaning as in the [1981 c. 49.] Contempt of Court Act 1981.

51Resignation of members

A member of the Assembly may at any time resign his seat by notice in writing to the Presiding Officer.

Part VNSMC, BIC, BIIC etc.

52North-South Ministerial Council and British-Irish Council

(1)The First Minister and the deputy First Minister acting jointly shall make such nominations of Ministers and junior Ministers (including where appropriate alternative nominations) as they consider necessary to ensure—

(a)such cross-community participation in the North-South Ministerial Council as is required by the Belfast Agreement; and

(b)such cross-community participation in the British-Irish Council as is so required.

(2)It shall be a Ministerial responsibility of a Minister or junior Minister nominated under subsection (1)(a) or (b) to participate in the Council concerned in such meetings or activities as are specified in the nomination.

(3)Without prejudice to the operation of section 24, such a Minister or junior Minister shall act in accordance with any decisions of the Assembly or the Executive Committee which are relevant to his participation in the Council concerned.

(4)A Minister may in writing authorise a Minister or junior Minister who has been nominated under subsection (1)(a) or (b) to enter into agreements or arrangements in respect of matters for which he is responsible.

(5)The First Minister and the deputy First Minister acting jointly shall, as far in advance of each meeting of either Council as is reasonably practicable, give to the Executive Committee and to the Assembly the following information in relation to the meeting—

(a)the date;

(b)the agenda; and

(c)nominations made under subsection (1) for the purposes of the meeting.

(6)A Minister or junior Minister who participates in a meeting of either Council by reason of a nomination under this section shall, as soon as reasonably practicable after the meeting, make a report—

(a)to the Executive Committee; and

(b)to the Assembly.

(7)A report under subsection (6)(b) shall be made orally unless standing orders authorise it to be made in writing.

(8)The Northern Ireland contributions towards the expenses of the Councils shall be defrayed as expenses of the Department of Finance and Personnel.

(9)In this section “participate” shall be construed—

(a)in relation to the North-South Ministerial Council, in accordance with paragraphs 5 and 6 of Strand Two of the Belfast Agreement;

(b)in relation to the British-Irish Council, in accordance with the first paragraph 5 of Strand Three of that Agreement.

53Agreements etc. by persons participating in Councils

(1)This section applies to any agreement or arrangement entered into by a Minister or junior Minister participating, by reason of a nomination under section 52, in a meeting of the North-South Ministerial Council or the British-Irish Council.

(2)Provision may be made by Act of the Assembly for giving effect to any agreement or arrangement to which this section applies, including provision—

(a)for transferring to any body designated by or constituted under the agreement or arrangement any functions which would otherwise be exercisable by any Minister or Northern Ireland department;

(b)for transferring to a Minister or Northern Ireland department any functions which would otherwise be exercisable by any authority outside Northern Ireland.

(3)Subsection (2) has effect notwithstanding anything in subsection (2)(a) of section 6; but it does not affect—

(a)the operation of subsection (2)(b) to (f) of that section; or

(b)the operation of section 8 or 15 in relation to the enactment of any Act of the Assembly.

(4)No agreement or arrangement to which this section applies entered into for the establishment after the appointed day of an implementation body shall come into operation without the approval of the Assembly.

(5)In subsection (4) “implementation body” means a body for implementing, on the basis mentioned in paragraph 11 of Strand Two of the Belfast Agreement, policies agreed in the North-South Ministerial Council.

54British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference

(1)This section applies where excepted or reserved matters relating to Northern Ireland are to be discussed at a meeting of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference.

(2)The First Minister and the deputy First Minister acting jointly shall ensure that there is such cross-community attendance by Ministers and junior Ministers at the meeting as is required by the Belfast Agreement.

55Implementation bodies

(1)The Secretary of State may make an order about any body—

(a)which he considers to be an implementation body; and

(b)which is, or is to be, established on or before the appointed day.

(2)An order under this section may make any such provision as may be made (after the appointed day) by Act of the Assembly and may in particular—

(a)confer on the body the legal capacities of a body corporate;

(b)confer on the body any function which the Secretary of State considers necessary or expedient for the purpose for which it is, or is to be, established;

(c)confer on a Northern Ireland department power to make grants to the body out of money appropriated by Act of the Assembly;

(d)make provision as to the accounting and audit arrangements which are to apply in relation to the body; and

(e)make consequential or supplementary provisions, including provisions amending or repealing any Northern Ireland legislation, or any instrument made under such legislation.

(3)In this section “implementation body” means a body for implementing, on the basis mentioned in paragraph 11 of Strand Two of the Belfast Agreement, policies agreed in the North-South Ministerial Council.

56Civic Forum

(1)The First Minister and the deputy First Minister acting jointly shall make arrangements for obtaining from the Forum its views on social, economic and cultural matters.

(2)The arrangements so made shall not take effect until after they have been approved by the Assembly.

(3)The expenses of the Forum shall be defrayed as expenses of the Department of Finance and Personnel.

(4)In this section “the Forum” means the consultative Civic Forum established in pursuance of paragraph 34 of Strand One of the Belfast Agreement by the First Minister and the deputy First Minister acting jointly.

Part VIFinancial Provisions

Consolidated Fund

57Consolidated Fund of Northern Ireland

(1)The Consolidated Fund of Northern Ireland shall continue to exist.

(2)Sums forming part of the Fund—

(a)shall be appropriated to the public service of Northern Ireland by Act of the Assembly; and

(b)shall not be applied for any purpose for which they are not appropriated.

(3)Subsection (2) is subject to section 59 and to any provision which charges sums on the Fund and is made—

(a)by or under an Act of Parliament; or

(b)by an Act of the Assembly or other Northern Ireland legislation.

58Payments into the Fund

The Secretary of State shall from time to time make payments into the Consolidated Fund of Northern Ireland out of money provided by Parliament of such amounts as he may determine.

59Payments out of Fund without appropriation Act

(1)If an Act is not passed at least three working days before the end of a financial year (“year 1”) authorising the issue out of the Consolidated Fund of Northern Ireland of sums for the service of the next financial year (“year 2”)—

(a)the authorised officer of the Department of Finance and Personnel may, subject to any Act subsequently passed, authorise the issue of sums out of that Fund for the service of year 2; and

(b)the sums so issued shall be appropriated for such services and purposes as the officer may direct.

(2)The aggregate of the sums issued under subsection (1) for the service of year 2 shall not exceed 75 per cent of the total amount appropriated by Act for the service of year 1.

(3)If an Act is not passed before the end of July in any financial year authorising the issue out of the Consolidated Fund of Northern Ireland of sums for the service of the year—

(a)the authorised officer of the Department of Finance and Personnel may, subject to any Act subsequently passed, authorise the issue of sums out of that Fund for the service of the year; and

(b)the sums so issued shall be appropriated for such services and purposes as the officer may direct.

(4)The aggregate of the sums issued under subsection (3), and (where applicable) the sums issued under subsection (1), for the service of any financial year shall not exceed 95 per cent of the total amount appropriated by Act for the service of the preceding financial year.

(5)In this section—

  • “Act” means an Act of the Assembly or, in relation to any time before the appointed day, an Order in Council under Schedule 1 to the [1974 c. 28.] Northern Ireland Act 1974;

  • “authorised officer”, in relation to the Department of Finance and Personnel, means the Permanent Secretary or such other officer as may be nominated by him for the purpose.

60Financial control, accounts and audit

(1)In so far as such provision has not been made, an Act of the Assembly or other Northern Ireland legislation shall make provision—

(a)for proper accounts to be prepared by the Northern Ireland departments, and by other persons to whom sums are paid directly out of the Consolidated Fund of Northern Ireland, of their expenditure and receipts;

(b)for the Department of Finance and Personnel to prepare an account of payments into and out of the Fund;

(c)for the Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland to exercise, or ensure the exercise by other persons of, the functions mentioned in subsection (2);

(d)for access by persons exercising those functions to such documents as they may reasonably require;

(e)for members of the Northern Ireland Civil Service designated for the purpose to be answerable to the Assembly in respect of the expenditure and receipts of each of the Northern Ireland departments; and

(f)for the publication of accounts prepared in pursuance of paragraphs (a) and (b), and of reports on such accounts, and for the laying of such accounts and reports before the Assembly.

(2)The functions referred to in subsection (1)(c) are—

(a)issuing credits for the payment of sums out of the Fund;

(b)examining accounts prepared in pursuance of subsection (1)(a) and (b) (which includes determining whether sums paid out of the Fund have been paid out and applied in accordance with section 57), and certifying and reporting on them;

(c)carrying out examinations into the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which the Northern Ireland departments have used their resources in discharging their functions; and

(d)carrying out examinations into the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which other persons determined under Northern Ireland legislation to whom sums are paid directly out of the Fund have used those sums in discharging their functions.

(3)Standing orders shall make provision for establishing a committee of members of the Assembly to consider accounts, and reports on accounts, laid before the Assembly in pursuance of this section or any other enactment.

(4)Persons (other than the Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland) charged with the exercise of any function under subsection (2) or other like function conferred by Northern Ireland legislation shall not, in the exercise of that or any ancillary function, be subject to the direction or control of any Minister or Northern Ireland department or of the Assembly.

(5)Subsection (2)(b) does not apply to accounts prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland.

Advances

61Advances by Secretary of State

(1)The Secretary of State may advance to the Department of Finance and Personnel sums required for the purpose of—

(a)meeting a temporary excess of sums to be paid out of the Consolidated Fund of Northern Ireland over sums paid into the Fund; or

(b)providing a working balance in the Fund.

(2)The Treasury may issue to the Secretary of State out of the National Loans Fund any sum which he requires for the making of an advance under this section.

(3)The aggregate at any time outstanding in respect of the principal of sums advanced under this section shall not exceed £250 million.

(4)Sums advanced under this section shall be repaid to the Secretary of State at such times and by such methods, and interest on them shall be paid to him at such rates and at such times, as the Treasury may determine.

(5)Sums received by the Secretary of State under subsection (4) shall be paid into the National Loans Fund.

(6)Amounts required for the repayment of, or the payment of interest on, sums advanced under this section shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund of Northern Ireland.

(7)The Secretary of State may by order, with the consent of the Treasury, substitute for the amount specified in subsection (3) such increased amount as may be specified in the order.

62Accounts

(1)The Secretary of State shall, for each financial year—

(a)prepare, in such form and manner as the Treasury may direct, an account of sums paid and received by him under section 61; and

(b)send the account to the Comptroller and Auditor General not later than the end of November in the following financial year.

(2)The Comptroller and Auditor General shall—

(a)examine, certify and report on the account; and

(b)lay copies of it and his report before each House of Parliament.

Miscellaneous

63Financial acts of the Assembly

(1)The Assembly may not pass a vote, resolution or Act to which this subsection applies except in pursuance of a recommendation which—

(a)is made by the Minister of Finance and Personnel; and

(b)is signified to the Assembly by him or on his behalf.

(2)Subsection (1) applies to a vote, resolution or Act which—

(a)imposes or increases a charge on the Consolidated Fund of Northern Ireland;

(b)appropriates a sum out of that Fund or increases a sum to be appropriated;

(c)releases or compounds a debt owed to the Crown; or

(d)imposes or increases a tax.

(3)Standing orders shall provide that a vote, resolution or Act which—

(a)appropriates a sum out of the Consolidated Fund of Northern Ireland or increases a sum to be appropriated; or

(b)imposes or increases a tax,

shall not be passed without cross-community support.

64Draft budgets

(1)The Minister of Finance and Personnel shall, before the beginning of each financial year, lay before the Assembly a draft budget, that is to say, a programme of expenditure proposals for that year which has been agreed by the Executive Committee in accordance with paragraph 20 of Strand One of the Belfast Agreement.

(2)The Assembly may, with cross-community support, approve a draft budget laid before them with or without modification.

65Audit

(1)The Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland shall be appointed by Her Majesty on the nomination of the Assembly.

(2)A recommendation shall not be made to Her Majesty for the removal from office of the Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland unless—

(a)the Assembly so resolves; and

(b)the resolution is passed with the support of a number of members of the Assembly which equals or exceeds two thirds of the total number of seats in the Assembly.

(3)The Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland shall not, in the exercise of any of his functions, be subject to the direction or control of any Minister or Northern Ireland department or of the Assembly; but this subsection does not apply in relation to any function conferred on him of preparing accounts.

(4)The accounts of the Consolidated Fund of Northern Ireland shall be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland in accordance with the [1921 c. 2 (N.I.).] Exchequer and Audit Act Northern Ireland) 1921.

(5)Subsection (4) is subject to any provision of an Act of the Assembly or other Northern Ireland legislation.

(6)The Assembly shall not have power under Article 4(1) of the [S.I. 1987/460 (N.I.5).] Audit (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 to pass at any time a resolution which reduces the salary payable to a person holding the office of Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland at that time.

66Expenses of Northern Ireland Audit Office

(1)Standing orders shall make provision for establishing a committee of members of the Assembly to exercise, in place of the Department of Finance and Personnel, the functions conferred on that Department by Article 6(2) of the Audit (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 (expenses of Northern Ireland Audit Office).

(2)No more than one member of the committee established under subsection (3) of section 60 may be a member of the committee established under this section.

(3)The committee established under this section shall, in discharging its functions, have regard to the advice of the committee established under that subsection and of the Department of Finance and Personnel.

67Provision of information to Treasury

(1)The Treasury may require the Northern Ireland Ministers and departments to provide, within such period as the Treasury may specify, such information, in such form and prepared in such manner, as the Treasury may specify.

(2)If the information is not in their possession or under their control, their duty under subsection (1) is to take all reasonable steps to comply with the requirement.

Part VIIHuman Rights and Equal Opportunities

Human rights

68The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission

(1)There shall be a body corporate to be known as the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.

(2)The Commission shall consist of a Chief Commissioner and other Commissioners appointed by the Secretary of State.

(3)In making appointments under this section, the Secretary of State shall as far as practicable secure that the Commissioners, as a group, are representative of the community in Northern Ireland.

(4)Schedule 7 (which makes supplementary provision about the Commission) shall have effect.

69The Commission’s functions

(1)The Commission shall keep under review the adequacy and effectiveness in Northern Ireland of law and practice relating to the protection of human rights.

(2)The Commission shall, before the end of the period of two years beginning with the commencement of this section, make to the Secretary of State such recommendations as it thinks fit for improving—

(a)its effectiveness;

(b)the adequacy and effectiveness of the functions conferred on it by this Part; and

(c)the adequacy and effectiveness of the provisions of this Part relating to it.

(3)The Commission shall advise the Secretary of State and the Executive Committee of the Assembly of legislative and other measures which ought to be taken to protect human rights—

(a)as soon as reasonably practicable after receipt of a general or specific request for advice; and

(b)on such other occasions as the Commission thinks appropriate.

(4)The Commission shall advise the Assembly whether a Bill is compatible with human rights—

(a)as soon as reasonably practicable after receipt of a request for advice; and

(b)on such other occasions as the Commission thinks appropriate.

(5)The Commission may—

(a)give assistance to individuals in accordance with section 70; and

(b)bring proceedings involving law or practice relating to the protection of human rights.

(6)The Commission shall promote understanding and awareness of the importance of human rights in Northern Ireland; and for this purpose it may undertake, commission or provide financial or other assistance for—

(a)research; and

(b)educational activities.

(7)The Secretary of State shall request the Commission to provide advice of the kind referred to in paragraph 4 of the Human Rights section of the Belfast Agreement.

(8)For the purpose of exercising its functions under this section the Commission may conduct such investigations as it considers necessary or expedient.

(9)The Commission may decide to publish its advice and the outcome of its research and investigations.

(10)The Commission shall do all that it can to ensure the establishment of the committee referred to in paragraph 10 of that section of that Agreement.

(11)In this section—

(a)a reference to the Assembly includes a reference to a committee of the Assembly;

(b)“human rights” includes the Convention rights.

70Assistance by Commission

(1)This section applies to—

(a)proceedings involving law or practice relating to the protection of human rights which a person in Northern Ireland has commenced, or wishes to commence; or

(b)proceedings in the course of which such a person relies, or wishes to rely, on such law or practice.

(2)Where the person applies to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission for assistance in relation to proceedings to which this section applies, the Commission may grant the application on any of the following grounds—

(a)that the case raises a question of principle;

(b)that it would be unreasonable to expect the person to deal with the case without assistance because of its complexity, or because of the person’s position in relation to another person involved, or for some other reason;

(c)that there are other special circumstances which make it appropriate for the Commission to provide assistance.

(3)Where the Commission grants an application under subsection (2) it may—

(a)provide, or arrange for the provision of, legal advice;

(b)arrange for the provision of legal representation;

(c)provide any other assistance which it thinks appropriate.

(4)Arrangements made by the Commission for the provision of assistance to a person may include provision for recovery of expenses from the person in certain circumstances.

71Restrictions on application of rights

(1)Nothing in section 6(2)(c), 24(1)(a) or 69(5)(b) shall enable a person—

(a)to bring any proceedings in a court or tribunal on the ground that any legislation or act is incompatible with the Convention rights; or

(b)to rely on any of the Convention rights in any such proceedings,

unless he would be a victim for the purposes of article 34 of the Convention if proceedings in respect of the legislation or act were brought in the European Court of Human Rights.

(2)Subsection (1) does not apply to the Attorney General, the Attorney General for Northern Ireland, the Advocate General for Scotland or the Lord Advocate.

(3)Section 6(2)(c)—

(a)does not apply to a provision of an Act of the Assembly if the passing of the Act is, by virtue of subsection (2) of section 6 of the [1998 c. 42.] Human Rights Act 1998, not unlawful under subsection (1) of that section; and

(b)does not enable a court or tribunal to award in respect of the passing of an Act of the Assembly any damages which it could not award on finding the passing of the Act unlawful under that subsection.

(4)Section 24(1)(a)—

(a)does not apply to an act which, by virtue of subsection (2) of section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998, is not unlawful under subsection (1) of that section; and

(b)does not enable a court or tribunal to award in respect of an act any damages which it could not award on finding the act unlawful under that subsection.

(5)In this section “the Convention” has the same meaning as in the Human Rights Act 1998.

72Standing Advisory Commission on Human Rights: dissolution

(1)The Standing Advisory Commission on Human Rights is hereby dissolved.

(2)The Secretary of State may by order make such supplemental, incidental or consequential provision as appears to him to be appropriate as a result of subsection (1).

(3)In particular, an order may include provision—

(a)amending an enactment;

(b)for the transfer of rights and liabilities;

(c)for payments into the Consolidated Fund or to a specified person.

Equality of opportunity

73The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland

(1)There shall be a body corporate to be known as the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.

(2)The Commission shall consist of not less than 14 nor more than 20 Commissioners appointed by the Secretary of State.

(3)The Secretary of State shall appoint—

(a)one Commissioner as Chief Commissioner; and

(b)at least one Commissioner as Deputy Chief Commissioner.

(4)In making appointments under this section, the Secretary of State shall as far as practicable secure that the Commissioners, as a group, are representative of the community in Northern Ireland.

(5)Schedule 8 (which makes supplementary provision about the Commission) shall have effect.

74The Commission’s principal functions

(1)The functions exercisable by the bodies listed in subsection (2) shall instead be exercisable by the Equality Commission; and the bodies listed are hereby dissolved.

(2)Those bodies are—

(a)the Fair Employment Commission for Northern Ireland;

(b)the Equal Opportunities Commission for Northern Ireland;

(c)the Commission for Racial Equality for Northern Ireland;

(d)the Northern Ireland Disability Council.

(3)In exercising its functions the Equality Commission shall—

(a)aim to secure an appropriate division of resources between the functions previously exercisable by each of the bodies listed in subsection (2); and

(b)have regard to advice offered by a consultative council.

(4)In subsection (3) “consultative council” means a group of persons selected by the Commission to advise in relation to the functions previously exercisable by one of the bodies listed in subsection (2) or in relation to the Commission’s functions under Schedule 9.

(5)The Secretary of State may by order make such supplemental, incidental or consequential provision as appears to him to be appropriate as a result of subsections (1) and (2).

(6)In particular, an order may include provision—

(a)amending an enactment;

(b)for the transfer of rights and liabilities;

(c)for payments into the Consolidated Fund or to a specified person.

75Statutory duty on public authorities

(1)A public authority shall in carrying out its functions relating to Northern Ireland have due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity—

(a)between persons of different religious belief, political opinion, racial group, age, marital status or sexual orientation;

(b)between men and women generally;

(c)between persons with a disability and persons without; and

(d)between persons with dependants and persons without.

(2)Without prejudice to its obligations under subsection (1), a public authority shall in carrying out its functions relating to Northern Ireland have regard to the desirability of promoting good relations between persons of different religious belief, political opinion or racial group.

(3)In this section “public authority” means—

(a)any department, corporation or body listed in Schedule 2 to the [1967 c. 13.] Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967 (departments, corporations and bodies subject to investigation) and designated for the purposes of this section by order made by the Secretary of State;

(b)any body (other than the Equality Commission) listed in Schedule 2 to the [S.I. 1996/1297 (N.I.7).] Commissioner for Complaints (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (bodies subject to investigation);

(c)any department or other authority listed in Schedule 2 to the [S.I. 1996/1298 (N.I.8).] Ombudsman (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (departments and other authorities subject to investigation);

(d)any other person designated for the purposes of this section by order made by the Secretary of State.

(4)Schedule 9 (which makes provision for the enforcement of the duties under this section) shall have effect.

(5)In this section—

  • “disability” has the same meaning as in the [1995 c. 50.] Disability Discrimination Act 1995; and

  • “racial group” has the same meaning as in the [S.I. 1997/869 (N.I.6).] Race Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1997.

76Discrimination by public authorities

(1)It shall be unlawful for a public authority carrying out functions relating to Northern Ireland to discriminate, or to aid or incite another person to discriminate, against a person or class of person on the ground of religious belief or political opinion.

(2)An act which contravenes this section is actionable in Northern Ireland at the instance of any person adversely affected by it; and the court may—

(a)grant damages;

(b)subject to subsection (3), grant an injunction restraining the defendant from committing, causing or permitting further contraventions of this section.

(3)Without prejudice to any other power to grant an injunction, a court may grant an injunction under subsection (2) only if satisfied that the defendant—

(a)contravened this section on the occasion complained of and on more than one previous occasion; and

(b)is likely to contravene this section again unless restrained by an injunction.

(4)This section does not apply in relation to any act or omission which is unlawful by virtue of the [1976 c. 25.] Fair Employment (Northern Ireland) Act 1976, or would be unlawful but for some exception made by virtue of Part V of that Act.

(5)Subsection (1) applies to the making, confirmation or approval of subordinate legislation only if—

(a)the legislation contains a provision which discriminates against a person or class of person on the ground of religious belief or political opinion; and

(b)the provision extends only to the whole or any part of Northern Ireland.

(6)Where it is alleged that subsection (1) applies to the making, confirmation or approval of subordinate legislation, subsection (2) shall not apply but the contravention may be relied upon in legal proceedings relating to the validity of the subordinate legislation.

(7)The following are public authorities for the purposes of this section—

(a)a Minister of the Crown;

(b)any department, corporation or body listed in Schedule 2 to the [1967 c. 13.] Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967 (departments, corporations and bodies subject to investigation);

(c)any body listed in Schedule 2 to the [S.I. 1996/1297 (N.I.7).] Commissioner for Complaints (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (bodies subject to investigation);

(d)any authority (other than a Northern Ireland department) listed in Schedule 2 to the [S.I. 1996/1298 (N.I.8).] Ombudsman (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (departments and other authorities subject to investigation);

(e)the Police Authority for Northern Ireland, the Royal Ulster Constabulary and the Royal Ulster Constabulary Reserve;

(f)the Probation Board for Northern Ireland; and

(g)the Post Office.

77Unlawful oaths etc

(1)Subject to subsections (2) and (3), an authority or body to which this section applies may not require a person to take an oath or make a declaration as a condition of—

(a)being appointed to the authority or body;

(b)acting as a member of the authority or body; or

(c)serving with or being employed by the authority or body.

(2)Subsection (1) shall not prevent a person being required to take an oath, or make a declaration, which is expressly required or authorised by the law in force immediately before this section comes into force.

(3)Subsection (1) shall not prevent a person being required to make a declaration—

(a)of acceptance of office;

(b)that he is qualified to act, serve or be employed in a capacity; or

(c)that he is not disqualified from acting, serving or being employed in a capacity.

(4)This section applies to—

(a)the Assembly;

(b)the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission;

(c)any body listed in Schedule 2 to the Commissioner for Complaints (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (bodies subject to investigation);

(d)any authority (other than a Northern Ireland department) listed in Schedule 2 to the [S.I. 1996/1298 (N.I.8).] Ombudsman (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (departments and other authorities subject to investigation); and

(e)the Probation Board for Northern Ireland.

(5)Subsections (1) to (3) apply with the necessary modifications to a Minister and a Northern Ireland department.

(6)An act which contravenes this section is actionable in Northern Ireland at the instance of any person adversely affected by it; and the court may—

(a)grant damages;

(b)subject to subsection (7), grant an injunction restraining the defendant from committing, causing or permitting further contraventions of this section.

(7)Without prejudice to any other power to grant an injunction, a court may grant an injunction under subsection (6) only if satisfied that the defendant—

(a)contravened this section on the occasion complained of and on more than one previous occasion; and

(b)is likely to contravene this section again unless restrained by an injunction.

(8)In this section a reference to a declaration includes a reference to any kind of undertaking or affirmation, by whatever name.

78Removal of restrictions on investigation into maladministration

(1)The provisions mentioned in subsection (2) (which preclude an investigation when the person aggrieved has or had a remedy by way of proceedings in a court of law) shall not apply to an investigation of a complaint alleging maladministration involving—

(a)discrimination, or aiding or inciting any person to discriminate, on the ground of religious belief or political opinion; or

(b)a requirement in contravention of section 77 to take an oath or make a declaration (within the meaning of that section).

(2)The provisions are—

(a)section 5(2)(b) of the [1967 c. 13.] Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967;

(b)Article 9(3)(b) of the [S.I. 1996/1297 (N.I.7).] Commissioner for Complaints (Northern Ireland) Order 1996; and

(c)Article 10(3)(b) of the Ombudsman (Northern Ireland) Order 1996.

Part VIIIMiscellaneous

Judicial scrutiny

79Devolution issues

Schedule 10 (which makes provision in relation to devolution issues) shall have effect.

80Legislative power to remedy ultra vires acts

(1)The Secretary of State may by order make such provision as he considers necessary or expedient in consequence of—

(a)any provision of an Act of the Assembly which is not, or may not be, within the legislative competence of the Assembly; or

(b)any purported exercise by a Minister or Northern Ireland department of his or its functions which is not, or may not be, a valid exercise of those functions.

(2)An order under this section may—

(a)make provision having retrospective effect;

(b)make consequential or supplementary provision, including provision amending or repealing any Northern Ireland legislation, or any instrument made under such legislation;

(c)make transitional or saving provision.

81Powers of courts or tribunals to vary retrospective decisions

(1)This section applies where any court or tribunal decides that—

(a)any provision of an Act of the Assembly is not within the legislative competence of the Assembly; or

(b)a Minister or Northern Ireland department does not have the power to make, confirm or approve a provision of subordinate legislation that he or it has purported to make, confirm or approve.

(2)The court or tribunal may make an order—

(a)removing or limiting any retrospective effect of the decision; or

(b)suspending the effect of the decision for any period and on any conditions to allow the defect to be corrected.

(3)In deciding whether to make an order under this section, the court or tribunal shall (among other things) have regard to the extent to which persons who are not parties to the proceedings would otherwise be adversely affected.

(4)Where a court or tribunal is considering whether to make an order under this section, it shall order notice of that fact to be given to—

(a)the Attorney General for Northern Ireland; and

(b)where the decision mentioned in subsection (1) relates to a devolution issue (within the meaning of Schedule 10), the appropriate authority,

unless the person to whom the notice would be given is a party to the proceedings.

(5)A person to whom notice is given under subsection (4) or, where such notice is given to the First Minister and the deputy First Minister, those Ministers acting jointly may take part as a party in the proceedings so far as they relate to the making of the order.

(6)Paragraphs 37 and 38 of Schedule 10 apply with necessary modifications for the purposes of subsections (4) and (5) as they apply for the purposes of that Schedule.

(7)In this section “the appropriate authority” means—

(a)in relation to proceedings in Northern Ireland, the First Minister and the deputy First Minister;

(b)in relation to proceedings in England and Wales, the Attorney General;

(c)in relation to proceedings in Scotland, the Lord Advocate and the Advocate General for Scotland.

82The Judicial Committee

(1)Any decision of the Judicial Committee in proceedings under this Act shall be stated in open court and shall be binding in all legal proceedings (other than proceedings before the Committee).

(2)No member of the Judicial Committee shall sit and act as a member of the Committee in proceedings under this Act unless he holds or has held—

(a)the office of a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary; or

(b)high judicial office as defined in section 25 of the [1876 c. 59.] Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876 (ignoring for this purpose section 5 of the [1887 c. 70.] Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1887).

(3)Her Majesty may by Order in Council—

(a)confer on the Judicial Committee in relation to proceedings under this Act such powers as Her Majesty considers necessary or expedient;

(b)apply the [1833 c. 41.] Judicial Committee Act 1833 in relation to proceedings under this Act with exceptions or modifications;

(c)make rules for regulating the procedure in relation to proceedings under this Act before the Judicial Committee.

(4)A statutory instrument containing an Order in Council under subsection (3)(a) or (b) shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(5)In this section “proceedings under this Act” means proceedings on a question referred to the Judicial Committee under section 11 or proceedings under Schedule 10.

83Interpretation of Acts of the Assembly etc

(1)This section applies where—

(a)any provision of an Act of the Assembly, or of a Bill for such an Act, could be read either—

(i)in such a way as to be within the legislative competence of the Assembly; or

(ii)in such a way as to be outside that competence; or

(b)any provision of subordinate legislation made, confirmed or approved, or purporting to be made, confirmed or approved, by a Northern Ireland authority could be read either—

(i)in such a way as not to be invalid by reason of section 24 or, as the case may be, section 76; or

(ii)in such a way as to be invalid by reason of that section.

(2)The provision shall be read in the way which makes it within that competence or, as the case may be, does not make it invalid by reason of that section, and shall have effect accordingly.

(3)In this section “Northern Ireland authority” means a Minister, a Northern Ireland department or a public authority (within the meaning of section 76) carrying out functions relating to Northern Ireland.

Power to make provision by Order in Council

84Provision with respect to certain matters relating to Northern Ireland

(1)Her Majesty may by Order in Council make provision with respect to elections (but not the franchise) and boundaries in respect of district councils in Northern Ireland.

(2)Her Majesty may by Order in Council make such amendments of the law of any part of the United Kingdom as appear to Her Majesty to be necessary or expedient in consequence of any provision made by or under—

(a)Northern Ireland legislation; or

(b)any Act of Parliament passed before this Act in so far as the provision is part of the law of Northern Ireland.

(3)An Order in Council under subsection (1) or (2) may contain such consequential and supplemental provisions as appear to Her Majesty to be necessary or expedient.

(4)No recommendation shall be made to Her Majesty to make an Order in Council under this section unless a draft of the Order has been laid before and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.

85Provision dealing with certain reserved matters

(1)Her Majesty may by Order in Council make provision dealing with any matter falling within a description specified in any of paragraphs 9 to 17 of Schedule 3 (a “relevant matter”), including—

(a)provision having retrospective effect;

(b)provision for the delegation of functions;

(c)provision amending or repealing any provision made by or under any Act of Parliament or Northern Ireland legislation.

(2)An Order in Council under this section may—

(a)make provision ancillary to provisions (whether in the Order or previously enacted) which deal with any relevant matter;

(b)make such consequential, incidental, supplemental, or transitional provision as appears to Her Majesty to be necessary or expedient.

(3)No recommendation shall be made to Her Majesty to make an Order in Council under this section unless a draft of the Order has been laid before and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.

(4)No draft may be laid under subsection (3) unless—

(a)the Secretary of State has laid before Parliament a document which contains a draft of the proposed Order;

(b)the Secretary of State has referred the document to the Assembly for its consideration; and

(c)the period of 60 days beginning with the day on which the document was laid before Parliament has ended.

(5)The Assembly may report to the Secretary of State the views expressed in the Assembly on the proposed Order and shall do so if the Secretary of State so requests.

(6)The draft laid under subsection (3) must be accompanied—

(a)if representations have been made during the period mentioned in subsection (4), by a statement containing a summary of the representations;

(b)if a report has been made to the Secretary of State under subsection (5) during that period, by a copy of the report; and

(c)if, as a result of any representations or report so made, the proposed Order has been changed, by a statement containing details of the changes.

(7)Subsection (3) does not apply to an Order in Council which declares that it has been made to appear to Her Majesty that by reason of urgency the Order requires to be made without a draft having been approved as mentioned in that subsection.

(8)Where an Order in Council contains a declaration such as is mentioned in subsection (7)—

(a)the Order shall be laid before Parliament after being made; and

(b)if at the end of the period of 40 days after the date on which the Order is made it has not been approved by resolution of each House, it shall then cease to have effect (but without prejudice to anything previously done under it or to the making of a new Order).

(9)In reckoning the periods mentioned in subsections (4) and (8), no account shall be taken of any time during which Parliament is dissolved or prorogued or during which both Houses are adjourned for more than four days.

(10)References to Acts of the Assembly in any enactment or instrument shall, so far as the context permits, be deemed to include references to Orders in Council under this section.

(11)Orders in Council under this section may be omitted from any annual edition of statutory instruments made by virtue of section 8 of the [1946 c. 36.] Statutory Instruments Act 1946.

(12)In this section “representations” means representations about a proposed Order in Council under this section made to the Secretary of State and includes—

(a)any relevant resolution of either House of Parliament or of the Assembly; and

(b)any relevant report or resolution of any committee of either House of Parliament or of the Assembly.

86Provision for purposes consequential on Act etc

(1)Her Majesty may by Order in Council make such provision, including provision amending the law of any part of the United Kingdom, as appears to Her Majesty to be necessary or expedient in consequence of, or for giving full effect to, this Act or any Order under section 4 or 6.

(2)Orders under subsection (1) may make provision for transferring to a United Kingdom authority, with effect from any date specified in the Order—

(a)any functions which immediately before that date are exercisable by a Northern Ireland authority and appear to Her Majesty to be concerned with a matter which is an excepted or reserved matter (whether by virtue of an Order under section 4 or otherwise);

(b)any functions which immediately before that date are exercisable by a Northern Ireland authority and appear to Her Majesty not to be exercisable in or as regards Northern Ireland by virtue of an Order under section 6.

(3)Orders under subsection (1) may make provision for transferring to a Northern Ireland authority, with effect from any date specified in the Order—

(a)any functions which immediately before that date are exercisable by a United Kingdom authority and appear to Her Majesty to be concerned with a matter which is a transferred matter (whether by virtue of an Order under section 4 or otherwise);

(b)any functions which immediately before that date are exercisable by a United Kingdom authority and appear to Her Majesty to be exercisable in or as regards Northern Ireland by virtue of an Order under section 6.

(4)An Order under subsection (1) may make provision, to such extent as may appear to Her Majesty to be necessary or expedient in consequence of, or for giving full effect to, this Act or any Order under section 4 or 6—

(a)for transferring or apportioning any property, rights or liabilities;

(b)for substituting any authority for any other authority in any charter, contract or other document or in any legal proceedings;

(c)for any other transitional or consequential matter.

(5)Where such provision as is mentioned in subsection (3)(b) has been made by Order in Council under subsection (1), Her Majesty may, if it appears to Her necessary or expedient to do so, by Order in Council—

(a)provide that the functions transferred to the Northern Ireland authority shall be exercisable by a United Kingdom authority, either alone or concurrently with the Northern Ireland authority; and

(b)make such provision as is mentioned in subsection (4)(a) to (c).

(6)No recommendation shall be made to Her Majesty to make an Order under this section unless a draft of it has been laid before and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.

(7)In this section “Northern Ireland authority” means—

(a)a Minister or a Northern Ireland department;

(b)the Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland; or

(c)any other public body or holder of public office in Northern Ireland.

(8)In this section “United Kingdom authority” means—

(a)the Privy Council;

(b)any Minister of the Crown;

(c)the Defence Council;

(d)the Commissioners of Inland Revenue;

(e)the Commissioners of Customs and Excise;

(f)the Comptroller and Auditor General; or

(g)any other public body or holder of public office in the United Kingdom.

Social security, child support and pensions

87Consultation and co-ordination

(1)The Secretary of State and the Northern Ireland Minister having responsibility for social security (“the Northern Ireland Minister”) shall from time to time consult one another with a view to securing that, to the extent agreed between them, the legislation to which this section applies provides single systems of social security, child support and pensions for the United Kingdom.

(2)Without prejudice to section 28, the Secretary of State with the consent of the Treasury, and the Northern Ireland Minister with the consent of the Department of Finance and Personnel, may make—

(a)arrangements for co-ordinating the operation of the legislation to which this section applies with a view to securing that, to the extent allowed for in the arrangements, it provides single systems of social security, child support and pensions for the United Kingdom; and

(b)reciprocal arrangements for co-ordinating the operation of so much of the legislation as operates differently in relation to Great Britain and in relation to Northern Ireland.

(3)Such arrangements as are mentioned in subsection (2)(a) or (b) may include provision for making any necessary financial adjustments, other than adjustments between the National Insurance Fund and the Northern Ireland National Insurance Fund.

(4)The Secretary of State may make regulations for giving effect to arrangements under subsection (2); and any such regulations may for the purposes of the arrangements provide—

(a)for adapting legislation (including subordinate legislation) for the time being in force in Great Britain;

(b)without prejudice to paragraph (a) above, for securing that acts, omissions and events having any effect for the purposes of the enactments in force in Northern Ireland have a corresponding effect in relation to Great Britain (but not so as to confer any double benefit); and

(c)for determining, in cases where rights accrue both in relation to Great Britain and in relation to Northern Ireland, which of those rights shall be available to the person concerned.

(5)The Northern Ireland department having responsibility for social security may make regulations for giving effect to arrangements under subsection (2); and any such regulations may for the purposes of the arrangements provide—

(a)for adapting legislation (including subordinate legislation) for the time being in force in Northern Ireland;

(b)without prejudice to paragraph (a) above, for securing that acts, omissions and events having any effect for the purposes of the enactments in force in Great Britain have a corresponding effect in relation to Northern Ireland (but not so as to confer any double benefit); and

(c)for determining, in cases where rights accrue both in relation to Northern Ireland and in relation to Great Britain, which of those rights shall be available to the person concerned.

(6)This section applies to—

(a)the [1992 c. 4.] Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 and the [1992 c. 7.] Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992;

(b)the [1992 c. 5.] Social Security Administration Act 1992 and the [1992 c. 8.] Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992;

(c)the [1991 c. 48.] Child Support Act 1991 and the [S.I. 1991/2628 (N.I.23).] Child Support (Northern Ireland) Order 1991;

(d)the [1975 c. 60.] Social Security Pensions Act 1975 and the [S.I. 1975/1503 (N.I.16).] Social Security Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1975;

(e)the [1989 c. 24.] Social Security Act 1989 and the [S.I. 1989/1342 (N.I.13).] Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1989;

(f)the [1993 c. 14.] Disability (Grants) Act 1993;

(g)the [1993 c. 48.] Pension Schemes Act 1993 and the [1993 c. 49.] Pensions Schemes (Northern Ireland) Act 1993;

(h)the [1994 c. 18.] Social Security (Incapacity for Work) Act 1994 and the [S.I. 1994/1898 (N.I.12).] Social Security (Incapacity for Work) (Northern Ireland) Order 1994;

(i)the [1995 c. 18.] Jobseekers Act 1995 and the [S.I. 1995/2705 (N.I.15).] Jobseekers (Northern Ireland) Order 1995;

(j)the [1995 c. 26.] Pensions Act 1995 and the [S.I. 1995/3213 (N.I.22).] Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1995;

(k)the [1995 c. 34.] Child Support Act 1995 and the [S.I. 1995/2702 (N.I.13).] Child Support (Northern Ireland) Order 1995;

(l)the [1997 c. 27.] Social Security (Recovery of Benefits) Act 1997 and the [S.I. 1997/1183 (N.I.12)] Social Security (Recovery of Benefits) (Northern Ireland) Order 1997;

(m)the [1998 c. 14.] Social Security Act 1998 and the [S.I. 1998/1506 (N.I.10).] Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1998.

(7)Her Majesty may by Order in Council make any modifications of subsection (6) which She considers necessary or expedient.

(8)The following provisions (which are superseded by this section and section 88) shall cease to have effect—

(a)sections 177 and 178 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 (co-ordination and reciprocity with Northern Ireland);

(b)sections 153 and 154 of the Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 (co-ordination and reciprocity with Great Britain);

(c)section 56(2) to (4) of the Child Support Act 1991 (co-ordination with Northern Ireland);

(d)Article 49(2) and (3) of the Child Support (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 (co-ordination with Great Britain);

(e)section 29(2) to (4) of the Child Support Act 1995 (co-ordination with Northern Ireland);

(f)Article 20 of the Child Support (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 (co-ordination with Great Britain).

(9)Section 189 of the [1992 c. 5.] Social Security Administration Act 1992 (regulations and orders: general) shall apply in relation to the power conferred by subsection (4) as it applied in relation to the power conferred by section 177(4) of that Act.

(10)The power conferred by subsection (5) shall be construed as if it had been conferred by an Act of the Assembly; and section 165 of the [1992 c. 8.] Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 (regulations and orders: general) shall apply in relation to that power as it applied in relation to the power conferred by section 153(3) of that Act.

(11)A statutory instrument containing an Order in Council under subsection (7) shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

88The Joint Authority

(1)The Joint Authority continued in being by section 177(2) of the Social Security Administration Act 1992—

(a)shall consist of the Secretary of State, the Northern Ireland Minister having responsibility for social security and the Chancellor of the Exchequer; and

(b)shall continue in being by the name of the Social Security, Child Support and Pensions Joint Authority for the purposes of the legislation to which section 87 applies.

(2)The responsibility of the Joint Authority shall include that of giving effect to arrangements under section 87(2), with power to discharge such functions as may be provided under the arrangements.

(3)The Joint Authority shall also have power to make any necessary financial adjustments, including adjustments between the National Insurance Fund and the Northern Ireland National Insurance Fund.

(4)The Joint Authority shall continue—

(a)to be a body corporate; and

(b)to have an official seal which shall be officially and judicially noticed;

and the seal of the Authority may be authenticated by any member of, or the secretary to, the Authority, or by any person authorised by the Authority to act on behalf of the secretary.

(5)Any member of the Joint Authority shall be entitled, subject to and in accordance with any rules laid down by the Authority, to appoint a deputy to act for him at meetings of the Authority.

(6)The [1868 c. 37.] Documentary Evidence Act 1868 shall apply to the Joint Authority as if the Authority were included in the first column of the Schedule to that Act and—

(a)as if any member or the secretary, or any person authorised to act on behalf of the secretary, of the Authority were mentioned in the second column of that Schedule; and

(b)as if the regulations referred to in that Act included any document issued by the Authority.

89Industrial Injuries Advisory Council

(1)For subsection (1) of section 149 of the Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 (Social Security Advisory Committee) substitute—

(1)The Department may from time to time—

(a)refer to the Social Security Advisory Committee for consideration and advice such questions relating to the operation of any of the relevant enactments as the Department thinks fit (including questions as to the advisability of amending any of them);

(b)refer to the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council for consideration and advice such questions as the Department thinks fit relating to industrial injuries benefit or its administration.

(2)After subsection (2) of that section insert—

(2A)Subject—

(a)to subsection (3) below; and

(b)to section 150 below,

where the Department proposes to make regulations relating only to industrial injuries benefit or its administration, it shall refer the proposals, in the form of draft regulations or otherwise, to the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council for consideration and advice.

(3)At the end of subsection (3) of that section insert “; and subsection (2A) above does not apply to the regulations specified in Schedule 5A to this Act”.

(4)After that subsection insert—

(3A)The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council may also give advice to the Department on any other matter relating to industrial injuries benefit or its administration.

(5)In subsections (1), (2) and (5) of section 150 of that Act (cases in which consultation not required), after “the Committee”, in each place, insert “or the Council”.

(6)In subsection (3) of that section—

(a)after “the Committee”, in the first place, insert “or the Council”; and

(b)after “the Committee has made its report” insert “or, as the case may be, the Council has given its advice”.

(7)In subsection (6) of that section, after the definition of “the Committee” insert—

“the Council” means the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council;.

(8)After Schedule 5 to that Act insert—

SCHEDULE 5ARegulations not requiring prior submission to Industrial Injuries Advisory Council

1Regulations under section 120(1)(b) of the Contributions and Benefits Act.

2Regulations which state that they contain only provisions in consequence of an order under section 129 or 132 above.

3Regulations made within a period of 6 months from the passing of any Act passed after this Act and directed to be construed as one with this Act, where—

(a)the regulations state that they contain only regulations to make provision consequential on the passing of the Act; and

(b)the Act does not exclude this paragraph in respect of the regulations;

and in this paragraph “Act” includes an Act of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

4Regulations which state that they contain only regulations making with respect to industrial injuries benefit or its administration the same or substantially the same provision as has been, or is to be, made with respect to other benefit as defined in section 121(1) of the Contributions and Benefits Act or its administration.

5Regulations which state that the only provision with respect to industrial injuries benefit or its administration that is made by the regulations is the same or substantially the same as provision made by the instrument with respect to other benefit as defined in section 121(1) of the Contributions and Benefits Act or its administration.

6Regulations made for the purpose only of consolidating other regulations revoked by them.

7Regulations making only provision corresponding to provision contained in regulations made by the Secretary of State or the Lord Chancellor in relation to Great Britain.

(9)In section 192(5) of the [1992 c. 5.] Social Security Administration Act 1992, after the entry relating to section 170 (with Schedule 5) insert— section 171 (with Schedule 6);

Discrimination: certificates by Secretary of State

90Effect of certificates

(1)This section applies where in any proceedings—

(a)a person claims that an act discriminated against him in contravention of section 24 or 76; and

(b)the person against whom the claim is made proposes to rely on a certificate purporting to be signed by or on behalf of the Secretary of State and certifying—

(i)that an act specified in the certificate was done for the purpose of safeguarding national security or protecting public safety or public order; and

(ii)that the doing of the act was justified by that purpose.

(2)The claimant may, in accordance with rules made by the Lord Chancellor, appeal against the certificate to the Tribunal, that is to say, the tribunal established under section 91.

(3)If on an appeal under subsection (2) the Tribunal determines—

(a)that the act specified in the certificate was done for the certified purpose; and

(b)that the doing of the act was justified by that purpose,

the Tribunal shall uphold the certificate; in any other case, the Tribunal shall quash the certificate.

(4)If—

(a)the claimant does not appeal against the certificate; or

(b)the certificate is upheld on appeal,

the certificate shall be conclusive evidence of the matters certified by it.

(5)In this section “act” does not include the making, confirmation or approval of a provision of subordinate legislation.

91The Tribunal

(1)There shall be a tribunal in relation to which Schedule 11 shall have effect.

(2)The Lord Chancellor may make rules—

(a)for regulating the exercise of rights of appeal to the Tribunal;

(b)for prescribing the practice and procedure to be followed on or in connection with appeals to the Tribunal, including the mode and burden of proof and admissibility of evidence on such appeals; and

(c)for other matters preliminary or incidental to or arising out of such appeals.

(3)Rules under this section may provide that—

(a)a party to any proceedings before the Tribunal on an appeal; and

(b)where the Secretary of State is not party to any such proceedings, the Secretary of State,

has the right to be legally represented in the proceedings, subject to any power conferred on the Tribunal by such rules.

(4)Rules under this section may, in particular—

(a)make provision enabling proceedings before the Tribunal to take place without a party being given full particulars of the reasons for the issue of the certificate which is the subject of the appeal;

(b)make provision enabling the Tribunal to hold proceedings in the absence of any person, including a party and any legal representative appointed by a party;

(c)make provision about the functions in proceedings before the Tribunal of persons appointed under subsection (7); and

(d)make provision enabling the Tribunal to give a party a summary of any evidence taken in his absence.

(5)Rules under this section may also include provision—

(a)enabling any functions of the Tribunal which relate to matters preliminary or incidental to an appeal to be performed by a single member of the Tribunal; or

(b)conferring on the Tribunal such ancillary powers as the Lord Chancellor thinks necessary for the purposes of the exercise of its functions.

(6)In making rules under this section, the Lord Chancellor shall have regard, in particular, to—

(a)the need to secure that certificates which are the subject of appeals are properly reviewed; and

(b)the need to secure that information is not disclosed contrary to the public interest.

(7)The Attorney General for Northern Ireland may appoint a person to represent the interests of a party to proceedings before the Tribunal in any proceedings from which he and any legal representative of his are excluded.

(8)A person appointed under subsection (7)—

(a)shall be a member of the Bar of Northern Ireland;

(b)shall not be responsible to the party whose interests he represents.

(9)In this section and section 92 “party”, in relation to proceedings on appeal, means the appellant or the person proposing to rely on the certificate which is the subject of the appeal.

92Appeals from the Tribunal

(1)Where the Tribunal has determined an appeal under section 90—

(a)any party to the appeal; or

(b)where the Secretary of State was not a party to the appeal, the Secretary of State,

may bring a further appeal to the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland on any question of law material to the Tribunal’s determination.

(2)An appeal under this section may be brought only with the leave of the Tribunal or, if such leave is refused, with the leave of the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland.

(3)The Lord Chancellor may make rules regulating, and prescribing the procedure to be followed on, applications to the Tribunal for leave to appeal under this section.

(4)Rules under this section may include provision enabling an application for leave to appeal to be heard by a single member of the Tribunal.

Miscellaneous

93Parliament Buildings etc

(1)Subject to subsection (2), property in relation to which section 31(4) of the [1973 c. 36.] Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973 had effect (property held in trust for Parliament of Northern Ireland etc.) shall on and after the commencement of this section be applied for the purposes of the Assembly or such other purposes as the Department of the Environment (“the Department”) may determine.

(2)The Secretary of State may require the Department to make available to him in any premises comprised in the property mentioned in subsection (1) (other than the Parliament Buildings at Stormont) such accommodation and facilities as he may specify.

(3)The Secretary of State shall in consideration of the use of any such accommodation and facilities make to the Department such payments out of money provided by Parliament as he and the Department may agree.

(4)In so far as any of the property mentioned in subsection (1) was not immediately before the commencement of this section vested in the Department it shall vest in the Department at that commencement; and subsections (1) and (2) shall have effect notwithstanding anything in any deed or other instrument relating to the property to which those subsections apply.

94Land purchase annuities etc

(1)Subject to subsection (2), land purchase annuities shall be collected by the Department of Agriculture and paid into the Consolidated Fund of Northern Ireland.

(2)A land purchase annuity may be extinguished by, or redeemed with the agreement of, the Department of Agriculture.

(3)The Irish Land Purchase Fund shall be wound up and the money standing to its credit shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund of the United Kingdom.

(4)In this section “land purchase annuities” means annuities for the repayment of advances made under any enactment relating to land purchase in Northern Ireland.

Part IXSupplemental

95Savings for existing laws

(1)Except so far as otherwise provided by or under this Act, nothing in this Act shall affect the operation in or in relation to Northern Ireland of any law in force on the appointed day or passed or made before that day, including in particular Orders in Council made under—

(a)section 69 of the [1920 c. 67.] Government of Ireland Act 1920;

(b)section 1(3) of the [1972 c. 22.] Northern Ireland (Temporary Provisions) Act 1972;

(c)section 38 or 39 of the [1973 c. 36.] Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973; or

(d)Schedule 1 to the [1974 c. 28.] Northern Ireland Act 1974.

(2)The laws continued by section 61 of the [1920 c. 67.] Government of Ireland Act 1920 shall continue to have effect to the extent provided for by that section (but with any modification necessary for adapting them to this Act).

(3)No law made by the Assembly shall have effect so as to prejudice or diminish the rights or privileges of any pensioned officer of a local authority under the provisions of the Local Government (Ireland) Acts 1898 to 1919.

(4)No provision of this Act shall—

(a)affect the operation before the coming into force of that provision of any Northern Ireland legislation; or

(b)render unlawful anything required or authorised to be done by any Act of Parliament, whenever passed.

(5)Schedule 12 (which provides for the construction of certain references in existing laws) shall have effect, but subject to any provision made by or under this Act or by any Act of the Assembly.

96Orders and regulations

(1)An order under section 17(4), 25, 26, 27, 31(3) or (6), 38(6), 72(2) or 74(5) shall be made by statutory instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(2)An order under section 34(4), 35(1), 55, 75(3)(a) or (d) or 80 or Schedule 1—

(a)shall be made by statutory instrument; and

(b)shall not be made unless a draft has been laid before and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.

(3)Regulations under section 87(4) shall be made by statutory instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of the House of Commons.

(4)An order under section 61(7)—

(a)shall be made by statutory instrument; and

(b)shall not be made unless a draft has been laid before and approved by resolution of the House of Commons.

(5)Regulations under section 87(5) shall be subject to negative resolution (within the meaning given by section 41(6) of the [1954 c. 33 (N.I.).] Interpretation Act Northern Ireland) 1954).

(6)Rules under section 91 or 92—

(a)shall be made by statutory instrument; and

(b)shall not be made unless a draft has been laid before and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.

97Financial provision

Any expenditure of the Secretary of State in consequence of this Act shall be paid out of money provided by Parliament.

98Interpretation

(1)In this Act—

  • “the appointed day” has the meaning given by section 3(1);

  • “the Assembly” has the meaning given by section 4(5);

  • “the Belfast Agreement” means the agreement reached at multi-party talks on Northern Ireland set out in Command Paper 3883;

  • “Community law” means—

    (a)

    all rights, powers, liabilities, obligations and restrictions created or arising by or under the Community Treaties; and

    (b)

    all remedies and procedures provided for by or under those Treaties;

  • “the Convention rights” has the same meaning as in the [1998 c. 42.] Human Rights Act 1998;

  • “cross-community support” has the meaning given by section 4(5);

  • “designated Nationalist” and “designated Unionist” have the meanings given by section 4(5);

  • “document” includes anything in which information is recorded in any form;

  • “enactment” includes any provision of this Act and any provision of, or of any instrument made under, Northern Ireland legislation;

  • “excepted matter” has the meaning given by section 4(1);

  • “financial year”, unless the context otherwise requires, means a year ending with 31st March;

  • “functions” includes powers and duties, and “confer”, in relation to functions, includes impose;

  • “international obligations” means any international obligations of the United Kingdom other than obligations to observe and implement Community law or the Convention rights;

  • “Judicial Committee” means the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council;

  • “Minister”, unless the context otherwise requires, has the meaning given by section 7(3);

  • “Minister of the Crown” includes the Treasury;

  • “modify”, in relation to an enactment, includes amend or repeal;

  • “Northern Ireland” includes so much of the internal waters and territorial sea of the United Kingdom as are adjacent to Northern Ireland;

  • “Northern Ireland legislation” means—

    (a)

    Acts of the Parliament of Ireland;

    (b)

    Acts of the Parliament of Northern Ireland;

    (c)

    Orders in Council under section 1(3) of the [1972 c. 22.] Northern Ireland (Temporary Provisions) Act 1972;

    (d)

    Measures of the Northern Ireland Assembly established under section 1 of the [1973 c. 17.] Northern Ireland Assembly Act 1973;

    (e)

    Orders in Council under Schedule 1 to the [1974 c. 28.] Northern Ireland Act 1974;

    (f)

    Acts of the Assembly; and

    (g)

    Orders in Council under section 85;

  • “the Northern Ireland zone” means the sea within British fishery limits which is adjacent to Northern Ireland;

  • “the pledge of office” has the meaning given by section 16(10);

  • “political opinion” and “religious belief” shall be construed in accordance with section 57(2) and (3) of the [1976 c. 25.] Fair Employment (Northern Ireland) Act 1976;

  • “proceedings”, in relation to the Assembly, includes proceedings of any committee;

  • “property” includes rights and interests of any description;

  • “reserved matter” has the meaning given by section 4(1);

  • “subordinate legislation” has the same meaning as in the [1978 c. 30.] Interpretation Act 1978 and also includes an instrument made under Northern Ireland legislation;

  • “transferred matter” has the meaning given by section 4(1).

(2)For the purposes of this Act, a provision of any enactment, Bill or subordinate legislation deals with the matter, or each of the matters, which it affects otherwise than incidentally.

(3)For the purposes of this Act, a provision of any Act or Bill which modifies a provision of—

(a)the [S.I. 1977/2151 (N.I.22).] Agricultural Wages (Regulation) (Northern Ireland) Order 1977;

(b)the [S.I. 1996/1919 (N.I.16).] Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996; or

(c)the [S.I. 1996/1921 (N.I.18).] Industrial Tribunals (Northern Ireland) Order 1996,

which is amended or applied by or under the [1998 c. 39.] National Minimum Wage Act 1998 shall not be treated as dealing with a matter falling within the subject-matter of that Act if the modification affects the national minimum wage and other employment matters in the same way.

(4)For the purposes of this Act, a provision of an Act of the Assembly or of subordinate legislation discriminates against any person or class of persons if it treats that person or that class less favourably in any circumstances than other persons are treated in those circumstances by the law for the time being in force in Northern Ireland.

(5)For those purposes a person discriminates against another person or a class of persons if he treats that other person or that class less favourably in any circumstances than he treats or would treat other persons in those circumstances.

(6)No provision of an Act of the Assembly or of subordinate legislation, and no making, confirmation or approval of a provision of subordinate legislation, shall be treated for the purposes of this Act as discriminating if the provision has the effect of safeguarding national security or protecting public safety or public order.

(7)No other act done by any person shall be treated for the purposes of this Act as discriminating if—

(a)the act is done for the purpose of safeguarding national security or protecting public safety or public order; and

(b)the doing of the act is justified by that purpose.

(8)Her Majesty may by Order in Council determine, or make provision for determining, for such purposes of this Act as may be specified, any boundary between—

(a)the waters or parts of the sea which are to be treated as adjacent to Northern Ireland; and

(b)those which are not,

and may make different determinations or provisions for different purposes.

(9)No recommendation shall be made to Her Majesty to make an Order in Council under subsection (8) unless a draft of the Order has been laid before and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.

99Minor and consequential amendments

The enactments mentioned in Schedule 13 shall have effect subject to the amendments there specified, being minor amendments and amendments consequential on the provisions of this Act.

100Transitional provisions, savings and repeals

(1)The transitional provisions and savings contained in Schedule 14 shall have effect; but nothing in this subsection shall be taken as prejudicing the operation of sections 16 and 17 of the [1978 c. 30.] Interpretation Act 1978 (which relate to the effect of repeals).

(2)The enactments specified in Schedule 15, which include some that are spent, are hereby repealed to the extent specified in the third column of that Schedule.

101Short title and commencement

(1)This Act may be cited as the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

(2)The following provisions shall come into force on the day on which this Act is passed—

(a)sections 3, 55, 86, 93, 96 and 98;

(b)paragraph 20 of Schedule 13 and section 99 so far as relating to that paragraph;

(c)in Schedule 15, the repeal of section 31(4) to (6) of the [1973 c. 36.] Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973 and section 100(2) so far as relating to that repeal; and

(d)this section.

(3)The remaining provisions of this Act (except Parts II and III) shall come into force on such day as the Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument appoint; and different days may be appointed for different purposes.

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