Search Legislation

Northern Ireland Act 1998

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

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.

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

You have chosen to open The Whole Act

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open The Whole Act as a PDF

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open the Whole Act

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open Schedules only

The Schedules you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made):The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources