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Northern Ireland Act 1998

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Commencement Orders

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Commencement Orders bringing legislation that affects this Act into force:

[F111(1)Where any of the conditions in paragraphs (b) to (e) of section 18(1) is satisfied—E+W+S+N.I.

(a)the relevant Minister and the relevant junior Minister shall (if holding office at the time) cease to hold office; and

(b)the relevant Ministerial office and the relevant junior Ministerial office shall be filled by applying sub-paragraphs (3) to (6) within a period specified in standing orders.

(2)The relevant Ministerial office and the relevant junior Ministerial office shall be filled by applying sub-paragraphs (3) to (6)—

(a)before section 18(2) to (6) is applied in relation to the other Ministerial offices; and

(b)before the procedures specified in any determination under section 19 are applied in relation to the other junior Ministerial offices.

(3)The First Minister and the deputy First Minister acting jointly shall nominate—

(a)a member of the Assembly to hold the relevant Ministerial office; and

(b)a member of the Assembly to hold the relevant junior Ministerial office.

(3A)But a member of the Assembly who is a member of a political party may not be nominated unless the nominating officer of the party consents to his nomination within a period specified in standing orders.

(4)The nomination shall not take effect unless it is approved by a resolution of the Assembly passed with the support of—

(a)a majority of the members voting on the motion for the resolution;

(b)a majority of the designated Nationalists voting; and

(c)a majority of the designated Unionists voting.

(5)If—

(a)the nomination does not take effect within a period specified in standing orders; or

(b)the nominated persons do not take up the offices for which they have been nominated within that period,

a further nomination of two members of the Assembly shall be made under sub-paragraph (3).

(6)Sub-paragraphs (3) to (5) shall be applied as many times as may be necessary to secure that the relevant Ministerial office and the relevant junior Ministerial office are filled.

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

(a)the relevant Ministerial office; or

(b)the relevant junior Ministerial office.

(8)The relevant Minister and the relevant junior Minister—

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

(b)must take up office at the same time as each other.

(9)The relevant Minister or the relevant junior 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 First Minister and the deputy First Minister acting jointly and the Presiding Officer is notified of his dismissal; or

(d)where consent to his nomination was required under sub-paragraph (3A), he is dismissed by the nominating officer who consented (or that officer's successor) and the Presiding Officer is notified of his dismissal.

(10)Sub-paragraph (11) applies if the relevant Minister or the relevant junior Minister ceases to hold office at any time, otherwise than—

(a)by virtue of sub-paragraph (1); or

(b)by virtue of the rotation of the persons holding those offices in accordance with provision referred to in paragraph 8(1)(b)(ii).

(11)Where this sub-paragraph applies—

(a)the other shall also cease to hold office at that time; and

(b)the relevant Ministerial office and the relevant junior Ministerial office shall be filled by applying sub-paragraphs (3) to (6) within a period specified in standing orders.

(11A)If, as a result of the relevant Minister (“the former Minister”) and the relevant junior Minister (“the former junior Minister”) ceasing to hold office and the relevant Ministerial office and the relevant junior Ministerial office being filled by virtue of sub-paragraph (11)(b),—

(a)the total number of Ministerial offices or junior Ministerial offices held by members of a political party increases; or

(b)the total number of Ministerial offices or junior Ministerial offices held by members of a political party decreases,

all other Northern Ireland Ministers shall cease to hold office and those Ministerial offices shall be filled by applying section 18(2) to (6) within a period specified in standing orders.

(11B)But sub-paragraph (11A) shall not apply if—

(a)the former Minister or the former junior Minister ceased to hold office by virtue of being dismissed by a nominating officer under sub-paragraph (9)(d); and

(b)before the relevant Ministerial office and the relevant junior Ministerial office were filled, either of the conditions in sub-paragraph (11C) was satisfied in relation to each member of the Assembly who was a member of the political party of the nominating officer concerned.

(11C)The conditions are that—

(a)the First Minister and the deputy First Minister sought to nominate the member under sub-paragraph (3) for the appropriate office, but consent to his nomination was not given in accordance with sub-paragraph (3A); or

(b)the member was nominated under sub-paragraph (3) for the appropriate office and the nomination took effect within the period specified in standing orders by virtue of sub-paragraph (5)(a), but the member did not take up the office within that period.

(11D)In sub-paragraph (11C) “the appropriate office” means—

(a)in relation to a person who was a member of the political party of the nominating officer who dismissed the former Minister, the relevant Ministerial office;

(b)in relation to a person who was a member of the political party of the nominating officer who dismissed the former junior Minister, the relevant junior Ministerial office.

(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 under that provision has not come to an end,

no member of that party may be nominated under sub-paragraph (3).

(13)Where—

(a)the Secretary of State has given a direction under section 30A(5) in respect of a political party; and

(b)the party's period of exclusion under that provision has not come to an end,

no member of that party may be nominated under sub-paragraph (3).

(14)In this paragraph, a reference to a period of exclusion under any provision is, in the case of a period of exclusion under that provision which has been extended, a reference to that period as extended.

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

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