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(1)The Children’s Commissioner has the function of [F1promoting and protecting the rights of children in Northern Ireland where those rights are or may be affected by excepted matters].
[F2(1A)The function under subsection (1) includes promoting awareness of the views and interests of children in Northern Ireland.]
[F3(2)Subsections (3) to (5) of section 2 and sections 2A to 2C, 2E and 2F apply in relation to the Children's Commissioner's function under subsection (1) as in relation to the Commissioner's primary function.
(2A)For the purposes of subsection (2)—
(a)section 2(3)(i) has effect as if for “in England” there were substituted “ in Northern Ireland, in relation to excepted matters, ”,
(b)sections 2(4) and 2B(3) have effect as if for “children who are within section 8A (children living away from home or receiving social care) and other groups of children” there were substituted “ groups of children ”,
(c)section 2E(1) has effect as if “and the function under section 2D” were omitted, and
(d)section 2F(1) has effect as if “or the function under section 2D” were omitted.]
(3)In discharging his function under subsection (1) above the Children’s Commissioner must take account of the views of, and any work undertaken by, the Commissioner for Children and Young People for Northern Ireland.
(4)Where the Children’s Commissioner considers that the case of an individual child in Northern Ireland raises issues of public policy which are of relevance to other children in relation to an excepted matter, he may hold an inquiry into that case for the purpose of investigating and making recommendations about those issues.
(5)Subsections (2) to (7) of section 3 apply in relation to an inquiry under subsection (4) above.
(6)Paragraphs 2 to 5 of Schedule 8 to the Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1972 (S.I. 1972/1265 (N.I.14)) apply for the purposes of an inquiry under subsection (4) above with the substitution of references to the Children’s Commissioner for references to the person appointed to hold the inquiry.
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(10)In this section, “excepted matter” has the same meaning as in the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (c. 47).
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