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(1)The Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002 (c. 26) shall be amended as follows.
(2)In section 46(1) (Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice in Northern Ireland: organisations to be inspected)—
(a)after paragraph (e) insert—
“(ea)the Life Sentence Review Commissioners,” and
(b)after paragraph (h) insert—
“(ha)the Northern Ireland Court Service,
(hb)the Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission,”.
(3)In section 47(1) (Chief Inspector: programme of inspections) after “Secretary of State” insert “ , the Lord Chancellor ”.
(4)In section 47(2)—
(a)after paragraph (a) insert—
“(aa)the Lord Chancellor,” and
(b)renumber the paragraph (aa) inserted by Schedule 7 to the 2002 Act as paragraph (ab).
(5)After section 47(5) insert—
“(5A)The Secretary of State may not require the Chief Inspector to carry out an inspection or review under subsection (3) or (4) relating (wholly or partly) to the Northern Ireland Court Service or the Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission without the consent of the Lord Chancellor.
(5B)Before carrying out an inspection or review under subsection (3) or (4) relating (wholly or partly) to the Northern Ireland Court Service or the Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission the Chief Inspector must consult the Lord Chancellor.”
(6)After section 47(6) insert—
“(6A)The Chief Inspector may not inspect persons—
(a)making judicial decisions, or
(b)exercising judicial discretion.”
(7)At the end of section 49 (reports) add—
“(6)If a report relates (wholly or partly) to the Northern Ireland Court Service or the Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission, the Chief Inspector must send a copy of it to the Lord Chancellor.”
(8)The amendments in subsection (2) above are without prejudice to the power in section 46(6) of the Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002 (c. 26).
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