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(1)The Children’s Commissioner has the function of promoting awareness of the views and interests of children in Northern Ireland in relation to excepted matters.
(2)Subsections (2) to (12) of section 2 apply in relation to the function of the Children’s Commissioner under subsection (1) above as in relation to his function under that section.
(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.
(7)Where the Secretary of State considers that the case of an individual child in Northern Ireland raises issues of relevance to other children in relation to an excepted matter, he may direct the Children’s Commissioner to hold an inquiry into that case.
(8)Subsections (2) to (6) of section 4 apply in relation to an inquiry under subsection (7) above.
(9)Paragraphs 2 to 8 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 (7) above with the substitution of references to the Secretary of State for references to the Ministry.
(10)In this section, “excepted matter” has the same meaning as in the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (c. 47).
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