Section 16: Conditions for devolving policing and justice matters
73.Section 16 amends section 4 of the 1998 Act to make the devolution of policing and justice contingent upon a motion to that effect being tabled by the First Minister and deputy First Minister acting jointly, and passed with the support in the Assembly of a majority both of designated Nationalists and designated Unionists. (Devolution of other matters will continue to require the passing of a resolution with cross-community support.)
74.The amendments reflect the Government’s view that the support of a majority of both sections of the community in Northern Ireland would be essential for the devolution of policing and justice functions to succeed. The substantive amendment – new section 4(2A) – is made by subsection (3) of the section: the other subsections make drafting amendments pursuant to that.