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Community Relations Act (Northern Ireland) 1969



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Community Relations Act
(Northern Ireland) 1969

1969. Chapter 23

An Act to provide for the appointment and functions of a Commission to foster harmonious relations throughout the community and for purposes connected therewith.
[11th November 1969]

BE it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, and the Senate and the House of Commons of Northern Ireland in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

1. (1) There shall be established a Commission to be known as the Northern Ireland Community Relations Commission (in this Act referred to as "the Commission") which shall consist of a Chairman and not fewer than five or more than nine other members appointed by the Governor, of which other members one shall be the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints and one shall be the Northern Ireland Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration. Establishment of the Commission.
(2) The provisions of the Schedule shall have effect with respect to the Commission.
(3) It shall be the duty of the Commission-
(a)   to encourage the establishment of, and assist others to take steps to secure the establishment of, harmonious community relations and to co-ordinate the measures adopted for that purpose by others;
(b)  to advise any Minister of Northern Ireland on any matter referred to the Commission by him and to make recommendations to him on any matter which the Commission consider should be brought to his attention;
(c)  to promote the understanding of, and acceptance of, any recommendation made by the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints which appears to the Commission to be of importance in improving community relations;
(d)  to develop, and secure the adoption of, educational programmes intended to eliminate or discourage discriminatory practices; and
(e)   to carry out any functions conferred on them by or under any other transferred provision (including subsection (4)) within the meaning of section 1 (g) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954.
(4) The Governor may by Order in Council add to or extend the functions of the Commission but he shall not be recommended to make any Order in Council under this subsection until a draft thereof has been laid before Parliament and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.
(5) For the purpose of discharging their functions under subsection (3) (a) the Commission may-
(a)   establish services for giving advice on community relations to local and other bodies or persons concerned with such relations and for collecting information with respect to such relations;
(b)  provide or arrange for the provision of courses of training in connection with community relations;
(c)   arrange or promote the holding of conferences on matters connected with community relations; and
(d)   with the approval of the Minister of Community Relations, appoint advisory committees for the purposes of such of their functions as the Commission think fit.
(6) Without prejudice to subsections (3) to (5), the Corn-mission may give financial assistance to any persons or organisations appearing to the Commission to be concerned with cornmunity relations but shall not give any such assistance out of moneys provided by Parliament except with the approval of the Ministry of Finance given on the recommendation of the Ministry of Community Relations.
(7) The Commission shall make annual reports to the Minister of Community Relations with respect to the exercising of their functions; and the Minister of Community Relations shall lay any such report before Parliament.
2. The Commission may with the consent of the Ministry of Community Relations and the approval of the Ministry of Finance give financial assistance towards the conduct of research into any matter connected with community relations. Research and expenditure.
3. (1) In addition to its functions under section 1, the Commission shall consider any matter which the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints may bring before them in connection with any exercise of his functions under the Commissioner for Complaints Act (Northern Ireland) 1969 and may give advice to him in respect of that matter, which advice the Commissioner may accept or reject as he thinks proper. Assistance by Commission to the Commissioner for Complaints.
(2) Any other member or members of the Commission may at the request of the said Commissioner join with him in any negotiation or discussion undertaken for the purposes of effecting a settlement of any matter investigated under the said Act of 1969.
(3) Any matter brought before the Commission under subsection (1) and any such negotiation or discussion as is mentioned in subsection (2) shall be treated by the Commission as being in all respects confidential and in relation thereto, section 12 of the said Act of 1969 shall apply to the members of the Commission acting as such as it applies to the said Commissioner acting under that Act.
4. This Act may be cited as the Community Relations Act (Northern Ireland) 1969. Short title.


SCHEDULE
Section 1 (2).
PROVISIONS AS TO THE COMMISSION
1 .(1) A person (other than the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints or the Northern Ireland Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration) appointed to be a member of the Commission shall hold and vacate office under the terms of the instrument by which he is appointed, but may at any time by notice in writing resign his office.
(2) If a person ceases to hold office as Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints or Northern Ireland Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration he shall cease to be a member of the Commission.
(3) Any person who previously held office as a member of the Commission shall be eligible for reappointment.
2.(1) The Commission may, with the consent of the Ministry of Community Relations and the approval of the Ministry of Finance as to numbers and conditions of service, employ such staff as they may consider necessary for the performance of their functions.
(2) Without prejudice to paragraph (1) arrangements may be made for secretarial or other assistance to be provided for the Commission by officers of the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints or of the Northern Ireland Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration or of the civil service.
(3) The Commission may in the case of such of their staff as may he approved by the Ministry of Community Relations with the concurrence of the Ministry of Finance pay to or in respect of them such pensions or gratuities, or make such payments towards the provision of pensions or gratuities as may be so approved.
3. The Ministry of Community Relations with the approval of the Ministry of Finance may pay to the Chairman and other members of the Commission (other than the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints or the Northern Ireland Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration) such remuneration, if any, or allowances as it may determine.
4. There may be defrayed out of moneys provided by Parliament the expenses of the Ministry of Community Relations under paragraph 3 together with, to such extent as that Ministry with the concurrence of the Ministry of Finance may approve, any other expenses of the Commission.
5.Notwithstanding anything in paragraph 4, the Commission may accept financial assistance otherwise than out of moneys provided by Parliament towards the defraying of their expenses.
6. In the Part substituted by section 10 of, and Schedule 3 to, the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1957 for Part 11 of Schedule 1 to that Act (which substituted Part specifies certain commissions, tribunals and other bodies all members of which are disqualified for membership of the Senate and of the House of Commons of Northern Ireland) the following entry shall be inserted at the appropriate point in alphabetical order:
The Northern Ireland Community Relations Commission.


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