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Public Records Act (Northern Ireland) 1923

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3Removal of accumulating records to Record Office.N.I.

The Minister of Finance shall by warrant under his hand from time to time appoint a fit person to attend all courts, Government departments or offices in Northern Ireland and in his name to receive and take charge of all Northern Ireland records of which the charge and superintendence are by this Act vested in the Minister of Finance, and the judge of the court or principal officer of the department or office to which any Northern Ireland records belong, upon sight of the warrant of the person thereby appointed to take charge of the Northern Ireland records to be delivered from that court, department or office into the custody of the Minister of Finance, shall give the necessary orders to the proper officer of his court, department or office for the delivery thereof. As soon as such Northern Ireland records have been so delivered to the person appointed to receive them in pursuance of such warrant, such Northern Ireland records shall be deemed to be in the custody of the Minister of Finance and shall forthwith be removed to and deposited in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, and shall be subject to the rules made under this Act; and the person receiving any such Northern Ireland records shall thereupon deliver the schedule thereof and receipt for the same under his hand to the judge or officer from whom he receives them, and shall deliver a copy of such schedule to the Minister of Finance or to the officer appointed by the Minister of Finance to receive the same into the said Public Record Office:

Provided that—

(a)in the case of Northern Ireland records forming part of the records of any court of justice, no such warrant shall be issued by the Minister of Finance without the approval and countersignature of the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland;

(b)every such warrant shall specify and describe the Northern Ireland records intended to be delivered to the person thereby authorised to receive them;

(c)the Minister of Finance shall not issue any such warrant for the removal of any Northern Ireland records unless or until the records described in such warrant are of the age of twenty years from the making thereof, or, if the records are under that age, unless the removal thereof has been requested by the judge of the court or principal officer of the department or office to which they belong, and, in the case of records of a court, with the approval also of the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland;

(d)if it appears to the judge of any court, with the approval of the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, or to the principal officer of any Government department or office, that it will be conducive to the ends of justice or to the due performance of the business of such court, department or office that any records belonging thereto should not be delivered into the custody of the Minister of Finance at the end of twenty years from the making thereof, it shall be lawful for such judge or principal officer to certify in writing accordingly to the Minister of Finance, and the Minister of Finance upon receiving such certificate may from year to year, but not for any time longer than a year without a new certificate, withhold the issue of any warrant for the removal into his custody of the records mentioned in such certificate.

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