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Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

6Removal from most senior judicial offices

This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

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

12BTenure 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).

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