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Courts Act 2003

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

103Official Solicitor of Northern Ireland

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(1)In Schedule 3 to the 1978 Act (statutory offices) the entry relating to the Official Solicitor ceases to have effect.

(2)Amend section 75 of the 1978 Act (Official Solicitor) as follows.

(3)For subsection (1) substitute—

(1)The Lord Chancellor, after consultation with the Lord Chief Justice, may appoint as Official Solicitor to the Supreme Court a person who is—

(a)a solicitor of the Supreme Court of at least 7 years' standing, or

(b)a member of the Bar of Northern Ireland of at least 7 years' standing.

(4)After subsection (5) insert—

(6)The Official Solicitor shall hold and vacate office in accordance with the terms of his appointment (which may include provision about retirement, dismissal or resignation).

(7)The Lord Chancellor may pay to the Official Solicitor such remuneration and allowances as the Lord Chancellor may determine with the consent of the Treasury.

(8)Service as the Official Solicitor is employment in the civil service of the State for the purposes of section 1 of the Superannuation Act 1972 (Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme).

(9)While the office of Official Solicitor is vacant or the Official Solicitor is unable or unwilling to act, the Lord Chancellor may, after consultation with the Lord Chief Justice, appoint a person as temporary Official Solicitor; and the temporary Official Solicitor—

(a)may be appointed only if qualified for appointment as Official Solicitor,

(b)shall have all the powers and duties of the Official Solicitor, and

(c)may be paid remuneration and allowances by the Lord Chancellor with the consent of the Treasury.

(5)In section 68 of the 1978 Act (Supreme Court: departments)—

(a)in subsection (2)(b) for “statutory officer” substitute “officer”, and

(b)for subsection (4) substitute—

(4)The officer supervising a department shall discharge his functions in accordance with directions given by the Lord Chancellor.

(6)In section 73 of the 1978 Act (restrictions on practice) subsection (2) (and the words “Subject to subsection (2),”) cease to have effect.

(7)In section 76 of the 1978 Act (property) paragraph (c) (which referred to the Official Solicitor and which ceased to have effect by virtue of the Supreme Court (Departments and Officers) (Northern Ireland) Order 1982 (S.R. 1982/ 300)) shall again have effect.

(8)Nothing in this section has any effect in relation to the person who on the commencement of this section holds the office in Northern Ireland of Official Solicitor to the Supreme Court.

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