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Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002

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Commencement Orders bringing legislation that affects this Act into force:

Appointment and removalE+W+S+N.I.

2 IntroductoryN.I.

(1)Sections 3 to 8 make provision about appointment to and removal from—

(a)the offices of Lord Chief Justice and Lord Justice of Appeal, and

(b)the offices listed in Schedule 1.

(2)The [F1Lord Chancellor] may by order amend Schedule 1 by—

(a)adding an office (other than the office of Lord Chief Justice or Lord Justice of Appeal),

(b)omitting an office, or

(c)altering the description of an office.

(3)No order under subsection (2) may be made without the agreement of the Lord Chief Justice.

(4)An order under subsection (2) may make appropriate consequential amendments in any enactment or instrument (whenever passed or made).

(5)In this Act—

  • listed judicial office” means an office listed in Schedule 1, and

  • protected judicial office” means the office of Lord Chief Justice, the office of Lord Justice of Appeal or a listed judicial office.

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Amendments (Textual)

3 Judicial Appointments CommissionN.I.

(1)There is to be a body corporate known as the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission.

(2)The Commission is to consist of—

(a)a chairman, and

(b)twelve other members appointed by the [F2Lord Chancellor].

(3)Schedule 2 makes further provision about the Commission.

(4)The Lord Chief Justice is to be the chairman of the Commission; but for any time during which—

(a)the office of Lord Chief Justice is vacant, or

(b)he is not available,

the senior Lord Justice of Appeal who is available is to act as the chairman (whether or not he is already a member).

(5)The following are to be appointed as the other members—

(a)five persons nominated by the Lord Chief Justice (referred to in this section and Schedule 2 as “judicial members”),

(b)a barrister nominated by the General Council of the Bar of Northern Ireland and a solicitor nominated by the Law Society of Northern Ireland (so referred to as “legal profession members”), and

(c)five persons who do not hold (and have never held) a protected judicial office and are not (and have never been) barristers or solicitors (so referred to as “lay members”);

and a reference in Schedule 2 to a non-judicial member is to a member who is either a legal profession member or a lay member.

(6)The judicial members are to be—

(a)a Lord Justice of Appeal,

(b)a judge of the High Court,

(c)a county court judge,

(d)a resident magistrate, and

(e)a lay magistrate.

(7)A person may not be appointed to be a lay member unless he has declared in writing his commitment to non-violence and exclusively peaceful and democratic means.

[F3(8)It is the duty of—

(a)the Lord Chancellor, and

(b)those responsible for making nominations under subsection (5)(a) and (b),

to make such arrangements in connection with the exercise of their functions under this section as will, so far as is practicable, secure that the membership of the Commission is reflective of the community in Northern Ireland.]

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Amendments (Textual)

Prospective

4 Appointment to most senior judicial officesE+W+S+N.I.

For section 12 of the Judicature (Northern Ireland) Act 1978 (c. 23) (appointment of Lord Chief Justice, Lords Justices of Appeal and judges of High Court) substitute—

12 Appointment of Lord Chief Justice and Lords Justices of Appeal

(1)Whenever the office of Lord Chief Justice is vacant, Her Majesty may, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, appoint a qualified person to that office by letters patent under the Great Seal of Northern Ireland.

(2)Her Majesty may from time to time, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, appoint a qualified person as a Lord Justice of Appeal by letters patent under the Great Seal of Northern Ireland (but subject to the limit on numbers for the time being imposed by section 3).

(3)The power of the Prime Minister to make recommendations under subsections (1) and (2) is exercisable only after consultation with—

(a)the First Minister and deputy First Minister; and

(b)the Lord Chief Justice or, if the office of Lord Chief Justice is vacant or he is not available, the senior Lord Justice of Appeal who is available.

(4)The Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission shall give to the First Minister and deputy First Minister advice as to the procedure which, whenever they are consulted by the Prime Minister under subsection (3)(a), they should adopt for formulating their response to him.

(5)After considering that advice, the First Minister and deputy First Minister acting jointly shall, with the approval of the Prime Minister, determine the procedure which, whenever they are consulted by the Prime Minister under subsection (3)(a), they are to adopt for formulating their response to him; and on each occasion on which they are so consulted, they shall adopt that procedure.

12A Appointment of judges of High Court

Her Majesty may from time to time, on the recommendation of the First Minister and deputy First Minister acting jointly, appoint a qualified person as a judge of the High Court by letters patent under the Great Seal of Northern Ireland (but subject to the limit on numbers for the time being imposed by section 2).

5 Appointment to listed judicial officesN.I.

(1)Schedule 3 transfers to the First Minister and deputy First Minister, acting jointly, the power to make appointments, or recommendations for appointment, to listed judicial offices and makes provision about associated functions.

[F4(1A)The Lord Chancellor must make an appointment, or a recommendation for an appointment, to fill any vacancy in a listed judicial office.

(1B)Subsection (1A) does not apply to a vacancy while the Lord Chief Justice agrees that it may remain unfilled.]

(2)Only a person selected by the Commission may be appointed, or recommended for appointment, to a listed judicial office.

(3)The [F5Lord Chancellor] may at any time by notice require the Commission to select a person to be appointed, or recommended for appointment, to a listed judicial office.

(4)When the Commission is so required, it must—

(a)inform the [F6Lord Chancellor] of the person selected to be appointed, or recommended for appointment, to the office, and

(b)make a report to [F7the Lord Chancellor] on its process of selection, indicating the basis of its decision to select that person.

(5)If the [F8Lord Chancellor does] not (within a reasonable time after receiving the report under subsection (4)(b)) appoint or recommend for appointment the person selected by the Commission, [F9he] must by notice require the Commission to reconsider its decision; and the notice must include a statement of [F10his] reasons for requiring it to do so.

(6)If the Commission is required to reconsider its decision, it must—

(a)after doing so, either re-affirm its selection or select a different person to be appointed, or recommended for appointment, to the office,

(b)inform the [F11Lord Chancellor] of the outcome of its reconsideration, and

(c)make a report to [F12the Lord Chancellor] indicating the basis of the decision made by it after its reconsideration.

(7)The [F13Lord Chancellor] must, on being informed by the Commission of the outcome of the reconsideration of its decision, appoint, or recommend for appointment, the person selected by the Commission after the reconsideration.

[F14(8)The selection of a person to be appointed, or recommended for appointment, to a listed judicial office (whether initially or after reconsideration) must be made solely on the basis of merit.

(9)Subject to that, the Commission must at all times engage in a programme of action which complies with subsection (10).

(10)A programme of action complies with this subsection if—

(a)it is designed to secure, so far as it is reasonably practicable to do so, that appointments to listed judicial offices are such that those holding such offices are reflective of the community in Northern Ireland;

(b)it requires the Commission, so far as it is reasonably practicable to do so, to secure that a range of persons reflective of the community in Northern Ireland is available for consideration by the Commission whenever it is required to select a person to be appointed, or recommended for appointment, to a listed judicial office; and

(c)it is for the time being approved by the Commission for the purposes of this section.]

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Amendments (Textual)

Commencement Information

I1S. 5 partly in force; s. 5 not in force at Royal Assent see s. 87; s. 5(2)-(9) in force for certain purposes at 15.6.2005 and 10.12.2005 by S.R. 2005/281, art. 3, Sch. 2

[F155ADisclosure of information to the CommissionE+W+S+N.I.

(1)Information which is held by or on behalf of a permitted person (whether obtained before or after this section comes into force) may be disclosed to the Commission or a committee of the Commission for the purposes of selection under section 5.

(2)A disclosure under this section is not to be taken to breach any restriction on the disclosure of information (however imposed).

(3)But nothing in this section authorises the making of a disclosure—

(a)which contravenes the Data Protection Act 1998, or

(b)which is prohibited by Part 1 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

(4)This section does not affect a power to disclose which exists apart from this section.

(5)The following are permitted persons—

(a)a chief officer of police of a police force in England and Wales;

(b)a chief constable of a police force in Scotland;

(c)the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland;

(d)the Director General of the National Criminal Intelligence Service;

(e)the Director General of the National Crime Squad;

(f)the Commissioners of Inland Revenue;

(g)the Commissioners of Customs and Excise.

(6)The Lord Chancellor may by order designate as permitted persons other persons who exercise functions which he considers are of a public nature (including a body or person discharging regulatory functions in relation to any description of activities).

(7)Information must not be disclosed under this section on behalf of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue or on behalf of the Commissioners of Customs and Excise unless the Commissioners concerned authorise the disclosure.

(8)The power to authorise a disclosure under subsection (7) may be delegated (either generally or for a specific purpose)—

(a)in the case of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue, to an officer of the Board of Inland Revenue,

(b)in the case of the Commissioners of Customs and Excise, to a customs officer.

(9)For the purposes of this section a customs officer is a person commissioned by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise under section 6(3) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F15S. 5A inserted (15.6.2005 for certain purposes and otherwise prosp.) by Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (c. 4), ss. 123(2), 148; S.I. 2005/1431, art. 2

Prospective

6 Removal from most senior judicial officesE+W+S+N.I.

After section 12A of the Judicature (Northern Ireland) Act 1978 (c. 23) (inserted by section 4 of this Act) insert—

12B Tenure of office

(1)The Lord Chief Justice, Lords Justices of Appeal and judges of the High Court hold office during good behaviour (subject to section 26 of, and Schedule 7 to, the Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act 1993 (c. 8)).

(2)Her Majesty may on an address presented to Her Majesty by both Houses of Parliament remove a person from office as Lord Chief Justice, a Lord Justice of Appeal or a judge of the High Court.

(3)A motion for the presentation of an address to Her Majesty for the removal of a person from any of those offices may be made—

(a)to the House of Commons only by the Prime Minister; and

(b)to the House of Lords only by the Lord Chancellor.

(4)Neither the Prime Minister nor the Lord Chancellor may make a motion for the presentation of such an address unless—

(a)they have been advised to do so by the First Minister and deputy First Minister acting jointly; or

(b)they have consulted the First Minister and deputy First Minister about doing so.

(5)Neither the Prime Minister nor the Lord Chancellor may make a motion for the presentation of such an address unless a tribunal convened under section 8 of the Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002 has reported to the First Minister and deputy First Minister recommending that the person be removed from the office on the ground of misbehaviour.

(6)If such a tribunal has so recommended, the First Minister and deputy First Minister shall send a copy of the report of the tribunal to the Prime Minister and the Lord Chancellor, together with any comments they wish to make about the report.

(7)The Prime Minister shall lay a copy of the report and any advice, response to consultation or comments of the First Minister and deputy First Minister before the House of Commons before making a motion for the presentation of an address in that House; and the Lord Chancellor shall lay a copy of them before the House of Lords before making such a motion in that House.

(8)If the Prime Minister and Lord Chancellor are considering the making of motions for the presentation of an address to Her Majesty in relation to the Lord Chief Justice, the Prime Minister may suspend him from office; and if they are considering the making of such motions in relation to a Lord Justice of Appeal or a judge of the High Court the Prime Minister may suspend him from office with the agreement of the Lord Chief Justice.

(9)If a person is suspended from an office under subsection (8), he may not perform any of the functions of the office (but his other rights as holder of the office are unaffected).

(10)Nothing in subsections (1) to (9) applies to a judge of the High Court appointed after the coming into force of section 7 of the Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002 (as to the removal and suspension of whom see that section).

Prospective

7 Removal from listed judicial officesN.I.

(1)A person holding a listed judicial office may be removed from office (and suspended from office pending a decision whether to remove him) but only in accordance with this section.

(2)The power to remove or suspend him is exercisable by the [F16Lord Chief Justice ], acting jointly.

(3)He may only be removed if a tribunal convened under section 8 has reported to the [F17Lord Chief Justice ] recommending that he be removed on the ground of misbehaviour or inability to perform the functions of the office.

(4)He may only be suspended if the tribunal, at any time when it is considering whether to recommend his removal, has recommended to [F18the Lord Chief Justice ] that he be suspended.

(5)[F19He may not be removed or suspended [F20except after consultation with ] the Lord Chief Justice.]

(6)If he is suspended he may not perform any of the functions of the office until the decision whether to remove him has been taken (but his other rights as holder of the office are unaffected).

[F21(6A)If the Lord Chief Justice does not remove or suspend a person (“P”) in accordance with a recommendation as mentioned in subsection (3) or (4), the Lord Chief Justice must notify the following of the Lord Chief Justice's reasons for not removing or suspending P—

(a)P;

(b)the tribunal;

(c)if the tribunal was convened by the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Ombudsman, the Ombudsman.]

(7)Nothing in subsections (1) to [F22(6A) ] applies to a judge of the High Court appointed before the coming into force of this section (as to the removal and suspension of whom see [F23section 12C ] of the Judicature (Northern Ireland) Act 1978 (c. 23) [F24(inserted by section 6 of this Act) ]).

(8)But, subject to that, those subsections apply whatever the date of a person’s appointment.

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Amendments (Textual)

F24Words in s. 7(7) omitted (prosp.) by virtue of Northern Ireland Act 2009 (c. 3), ss. 2, 5, Sch. 3 para. 6(7)(c)

Prospective

8 Tribunals for considering removalN.I.

(1)A tribunal to consider the removal of the Lord Chief Justice may be convened by the First Minister and deputy First Minister, acting jointly.

(2)A tribunal to consider the removal of the holder of any other protected judicial office may be convened—

(a)by the First Minister and deputy First Minister, acting jointly, after consulting the Lord Chief Justice, or

(b)by the Lord Chief Justice, after consulting the First Minister and deputy First Minister.

(3)A tribunal to consider the removal of the Lord Chief Justice or a Lord Justice of Appeal may not be convened unless the Prime Minister has been consulted.

(4)A tribunal to consider the removal of the Lord Chief Justice, a Lord Justice of Appeal or a judge of the High Court is to consist of—

(a)a person who [F25holds high judicial office, within the meaning of Part 3 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005] and does not hold (and has never held) the office of Lord Chief Justice, Lord Justice of Appeal or judge of the High Court,

(b)a person who is, or has been, a judge of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales or the Inner House of the Court of Session, and

(c)a person who does not hold (and has never held) a protected judicial office and is not (and has never been) a barrister or solicitor.

(5)A tribunal to consider the removal of the holder of any other protected judicial office is to consist of—

(a)a person who holds, or has held, the office of Lord Chief Justice or Lord Justice of Appeal,

(b)a person who holds the office of judge of the High Court, and

(c)a person who does not hold (and has never held) a protected judicial office and is not (and has never been) a barrister or solicitor.

(6)The chairman of a tribunal is the person mentioned in paragraph (a) of subsection (4) or (5).

(7)The selection of the persons to be the members of a tribunal under paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (4) is to be made by the Lord Chancellor.

(8)The selection of the persons to be the members of a tribunal under paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (5) is to be made by the Lord Chief Justice.

(9)The selection of the person who is to be the member of a tribunal under paragraph (c) of subsection (4) or (5) is to be made by the First Minister and deputy First Minister, acting jointly.

(10)The procedure of a tribunal is to be determined by the Lord Chief Justice except where—

(a)the office of Lord Chief Justice is vacant,

(b)he is not available, or

(c)the tribunal is to consider his removal from office;

and in such a case its procedure is to be determined by its chairman.

(11)The First Minister and deputy First Minister, acting jointly, may pay to a member of a tribunal any such allowances or fees as they may determine.

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Amendments (Textual)

X19 Lay magistratesN.I.

(1)The Lord Chancellor must, for each county court division, appoint persons to be lay magistrates for the division.

(2)A person may not be appointed to be a lay magistrate unless—

(a)he has completed a course of training [F26approved by the Lord Chief Justice after consultation with the Lord Chancellor, or]

(b)he has given an undertaking in writing to attend such a course of training.

(3)It is a condition of the appointment of a person under subsection (2)(b) that he will complete such a course of training within the period of one year beginning with the date of his appointment or [F27such longer period as the Lord Chief Justice may, after consulting the Lord Chancellor, allow.]

(4)The Lord Chancellor may [F28, after consultation with the Lord Chief Justice,] by order make further provision about eligibility for appointment to be a lay magistrate.

(5)The provision which may be made by an order under subsection (4) includes (in particular) provision that a person may not be appointed to be a lay magistrate—

(a)if he does not reside or work in, or within a prescribed distance of, the county court division to which the appointment relates,

(b)if he, or a person related to or otherwise connected with him in a prescribed manner, holds an office of a prescribed description, has an occupation of a prescribed description or has been selected as a candidate for election to a prescribed body,

(c)if a bankruptcy order has been made against him, or his estate has been sequestrated, or he has made a composition or arrangement with, or granted a trust deed for, his creditors, or

(d)if he has been convicted of a prescribed offence,

unless [F29, after consultation with the Lord Chief Justice,]the Lord Chancellor otherwise determines in the case of a particular person.

(6)Prescribed” means prescribed in the order.

(7)No act by a person appointed to be a lay magistrate is invalidated by reason only that he is not a lay magistrate because he was not eligible to be appointed.

(8)A lay magistrate ceases to hold office on the day on which he attains the age of 70.

(9)No act by a person who has been a lay magistrate is invalidated by reason only that he has ceased to hold office under subsection (8).

(10)F30. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(11)The Lord Chancellor must pay to lay magistrates any such allowances as he may determine.

(12)The Lord Chief Justice, Lords Justices of Appeal, judges of the High Court and county court judges may exercise any function of a lay magistrate (in relation to any matter arising within any county court division).

F31(13). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(14)County court division” means a division specified under Article 3(1) of the County Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1980 (S.I. 1980/397 (N.I. 3)).

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Editorial Information

X1The omission of the cross-heading before s. 9 on 25.9.2006 gives rise to a change in the structure of this legislation on legislation.gov.uk which breaks the continuity of historical versions of s. 9.

Amendments (Textual)

Commencement Information

I2S. 9 wholly in force at 1.4.2005: s. 9 not in force at Royal Assent see s. 87: s. 9(4)(5)(6)(14) in force at 15.10.2002 by S.R 2002/319, art. 2, Sch.; s. 9(1)-(3)(7)-(11)(13) in force at 1.9.2004 by S.R. 2004/301, art. 2; s. 9(12) in force at 1.4.2005 by S.R. 2005/109, art. 2, Sch.

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