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Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006

Schedule 2: new Schedule 4A to the 1998 Act: Department with policing and justice functions

78.The new Schedule 4A to the 1998 Act sets out the procedures that will apply where one of the departmental structures provided for by new section 21A is adopted. Part 1 of the Schedule provides for the model where a single elected Minister is in charge of the department; Part 2 provides for the case in which two Ministers in charge act jointly; and Part 3 for the rotational model. The Schedule requires, in each case, that the First Minister and deputy First Minister nominate the member or members of the Assembly to head up the department. The nomination must be approved by a resolution of the Assembly passed with the support of a majority of members voting, a majority of designated Nationalists voting and a majority of designated Unionists voting - see paragraphs 3(4), 7(4) and 11(4) of the Schedule. It is possible in any of these cases for the First Minister or deputy First Minister to be nominated.

79.Parts 1, 2 and 3 of the Schedule make provision for what happens if one of the Ministers ceases to hold office, requiring the nomination process to begin again. They also deal with how the nomination and appointment of Ministers under each scheme will affect the nomination and appointment of Ministers to other Northern Ireland departments under section 18 of the 1998 Act.

80.Part 4 of new Schedule 4A enables further modifications to be made by Order in Council, under the affirmative resolution procedure, in consequence of one of the new departmental structures being adopted. For example, in the event of one of the structures being adopted, it would be necessary to make modifications to Schedule 12A to the 1998 Act.

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