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Department of Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2010

Background and Policy Objectives

3.On 20 January 2009, the Assembly resolved that a report of the Assembly and Executive Review Committee on the arrangements for the devolution of policing and justice matters be approved. The report did not specify a date for devolution, and its 15 recommendations dealt with some, but not all, of the issues that needed to be addressed before the Assembly would request the transfer of policing and justice powers. The Act reflects several of the recommendations of the report. Its provisions also apply in the context of the Northern Ireland Act 2009.

4.The purpose of the Department of Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2010 is twofold. Firstly it creates a new Northern Ireland department, the Department of Justice, and, secondly, it makes arrangements to enable the appointment of a Minister who will be in charge of that Department. This is to provide for a department to take receipt of the transferred powers and for a Minister to be appointed to exercise those powers from the point of transfer. The Act does not, in itself, give effect to a transfer of policing and justice powers.

5.By virtue of the Northern Ireland Act 2009, the Department will cease to exist on 1 May 2012 unless certain steps set out in that Act are taken by the Assembly before that date.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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