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Northern Ireland Act 1998

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

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.

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