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(1)The Northern Ireland Assembly must make a report to the Secretary of State before 27 March 2008—
(a)as to the preparations that the Assembly has made, and intends to make, having regard to paragraph 7 of the St Andrews Agreement, for or in connection with policing and justice matters ceasing to be reserved matters;
(b)as to which matters are likely to be the subject of any request under section 4(2A) of the 1998 Act that policing and justice matters should cease to be reserved matters;
(c)containing an assessment of whether the Assembly is likely to make such a request before 1 May 2008.
(2)The Secretary of State must lay a copy of the report before each House of Parliament.
(3)Paragraph 7 of the St Andrews Agreement says: “ Discussions on the devolution of policing and justice have progressed well in the Preparation for Government Committee. The Governments have requested the parties to continue these discussions so as to agree the necessary administrative arrangements to create a new policing and justice department. It is our view that implementation of the agreement published today should be sufficient to build the community confidence necessary for the Assembly to request the devolution of criminal justice and policing from the British Government by May 2008. ”
(4)In this section “policing and justice matter” has the meaning given by section 4(6) of the 1998 Act (as inserted by section 16(5) of the Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006 (c. 33)) and “reserved matter” has the meaning given by section 4(1) of the 1998 Act.
(5)In section 16(3) of the Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006, in the inserted section 4(2A) of the 1998 Act, for “devolved policing and justice matter” substitute “ policing and justice matter ”.
(6)In section 16(5) of the Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006, in the inserted section 4(6) of the 1998 Act, for “ “devolved policing and justice matter”” substitute “policing and justice matter” .
(7)In section 17(1) of the Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006, in the inserted section 21A(8)(b) of the 1998 Act, for “devolved policing and justice matter” substitute “ policing and justice matter ”.
(8)The subject-matter of subsections (1) and (2) is to be treated as a reserved matter for the purposes of the 1998 Act.
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