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Northern Ireland (St Andrews Agreement) Act 2006

Section 1: Preparations for the restoration of devolved government

24.Section 1 provides for the creation of a new “Transitional Assembly”. Section 1(1)(a) provides that the members of the Transitional Assembly will be the members of the Northern Ireland Assembly (which is currently suspended under the Northern Ireland Act 2000). Section 1(1)(b) makes clear that the purpose of the Transitional Assembly is to take part in preparations for the restoration of devolved government in Northern Ireland, in line with the strategy set out in the St Andrews Agreement.

25.Subsection (2) of section 1 introduces Schedule 1 to the Act, which makes further provision in relation to the Transitional Assembly. Subsection (3) states that the Act does not alter the operation of section 1 of the Northern Ireland Act 2000 (“the 2000 Act”). This means that direct rule remains in force until the making of a restoration order. Limited exceptions to this are set out in subsection (4), which refers, in particular, to nomination of First and deputy First Ministers to the Northern Ireland Assembly, and full restoration of devolved government and the repeal of the 2000 Act under Schedules 2 and 4.

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