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Northern Ireland Act 1998

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

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.

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