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Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2003

Section 11: Inquiries by Board

27.This section amends section 60 of the 2000 Act, which deals with the initiation of an inquiry by the Board following a report to it by the Chief Constable. Prior to this amendment, section 60(3) of the 2000 Act provided that, where the Chief Constable considered that an inquiry should not be held on any of the four grounds listed in section 60(3), he could refer the Board’s decision to hold an inquiry to the Secretary of State.

28.Subsection (2) deletes the list of grounds set out in section 60(3). It provides that instead the Chief Constable may refer the Board’s decision to hold an inquiry to the Secretary of State if he considers that an inquiry should not be held on any of the grounds listed in the new section 76A(2).

29.Subsection (4) provides that, where the Chief Constable supplies sensitive information to a person conducting an inquiry under section 60, he must identify it as sensitive and must notify the Board and Secretary of State that it has been passed to the person conducting the inquiry. (Sensitive information is defined in the new section 60(10A) of the 2000 Act as inserted by subsection (4)).

30.Subsection (5) makes transitional arrangements. These provide that the new provisions apply to any decision of the Board to set up an inquiry that the Chief Constable refers to the Secretary of State after Royal Assent to the Act. They also apply to any decision to hold an inquiry that the Chief Constable had referred to the Secretary of State before Royal Assent, but in relation to which the Secretary of State had not made a decision by that date.

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