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Environmental Better Regulation Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

Section 9: Rewriting powers of entry

Section 9 gives the Department the power, exercisable by regulations, to rewrite powers of entry or associated powers. Such regulations might consolidate a number of powers of entry exercisable for similar purposes. The power extends to rewording related legislation and connected offences. Whilst regulations under this section may alter a power of entry or associated power and any safeguard linked to such powers, the combined effect of the changes must be to add to the level of protection afforded by the safeguards when taken together (subsection (5)).

Subsection (3) provides for the treatment of offences. In general terms, an offence that is tried summarily (usually in the Magistrates’ Court) falls into one of two categories: (a) an offence that can only be tried summarily; and (b) one that can be tried either summarily or on indictment.

Subsection 3(b)(ii) makes the distinction between the different formulae for expressing the maximum fines applicable to those offences which are triable only summarily (a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale) and those which are triable either summarily or on indictment (a fine which must not exceed the statutory maximum).

While level 5 on the standard scale and the statutory maximum are both currently £5,000, they are two distinct legal concepts and the monetary values may diverge in the future.

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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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