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Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2003

Section 12: Approval of proposals relating to inquiries by the Board

31.This section amends paragraph 18 of Schedule 1 to the 2000 Act, which applies to inquiries held under section 60 following a report to the Board by the Chief Constable. Paragraph 18(5) provides that the Board shall not set in motion an inquiry under section 60, or request or appoint a person to conduct such an inquiry, unless a proposal to take this step has been approved by the “required number” of members. The required number of members is detailed in paragraph 18(6), and varies according to the number of members composing the Board. Paragraph 18(1)-(4) sets out the procedure to be followed in calling a meeting at which a proposal to hold an inquiry, or to request or appoint a person to conduct it, is to be discussed and voted on.

32.Subsection (2) amends the provision of paragraph 18(3) to provide that at least six days must elapse between the chairman calling a meeting under paragraph 18(2) and that meeting taking place. Subsection (3) imposes an additional requirement for Board approval of a proposal to hold an inquiry or to request or appoint a person to conduct an inquiry, namely that the proposal must be approved by a majority of the members present and voting as well as by the “required number” of members. Subsection (4) reduces the “required number” of members as set out in paragraph 18(6) so that, for example, whereas the previous required number of members was 10 if the Board had 18 or 19 members, the new required number is 8.

33.Subsection (5) provides that the new provisions have effect in relation to any Board meeting called under paragraph 18 of Schedule 1 to the 2000 Act on or after the day on which the Act receives the Royal Assent.

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