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Northern Ireland Act 1998

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

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.

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