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The Northern Ireland Act 1998



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SCHEDULE 6
 

STANDING ORDERS: FURTHER PROVISION


Preservation of order

    1. - (1) The standing orders shall include provision for preserving order in the proceedings of the Assembly, including provision for-
 

(a) preventing conduct which would constitute a criminal offence or contempt of court; and

(b) a sub judice rule.

    (2) Such provision may provide for excluding a member of the Assembly from proceedings and for withdrawing his rights and privileges as a member for the period of his exclusion.
 


Proceedings to be in public

    2. - (1) The standing orders shall include provision requiring the proceedings of the Assembly to be held in public, except in such circumstances as the standing orders may provide.
 

    (2) The standing orders may include provision as to the conditions to be complied with by any member of the public attending the proceedings, including provision for excluding from the proceedings any member of the public who does not comply with those conditions.
 


Reporting and publishing proceedings

    3. The standing orders shall include provision for reporting the proceedings of the Assembly and for publishing the reports.
 


Committees

    4. - (1) The standing orders shall include provision for ensuring that, in appointing members to committees, regard is had to the balance of parties in the Assembly.
 

    (2) The standing orders may include provision for excluding from the proceedings of a committee a member of the Assembly who is not a member of the committee.
 

 
 
SCHEDULE 7
 

THE NORTHERN IRELAND HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION


Introductory

    1. In this Schedule "the Commission" means the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.
 


Commissioners' tenure

    2. - (1) Subject to the provisions of this Schedule, a Commissioner shall hold office in accordance with the terms of his appointment.
 

    (2) A Commissioner shall not be appointed-
 

(a) in the case of the Chief Commissioner, for more than five years at a time; and

(b) in any other case, for more than three years at a time.

    (3) A person may resign as a Commissioner or as Chief Commissioner by notice in writing to the Secretary of State.
 

    (4) The Secretary of State may dismiss a person from his office as Commissioner or Chief Commissioner if satisfied-
 

(a) that he has without reasonable excuse failed to discharge his functions for a continuous period of three months beginning not earlier than six months before the day of dismissal;

(b) that he has been convicted of a criminal offence;

(c) that a bankruptcy order has been made against him, or his estate has been sequestrated, or he has made a composition or arrangement with, or granted a trust deed for, his creditors; or

(d) that he is unable or unfit to carry out his functions.


Commissioners' salary etc.

    3. - (1) The Commission shall pay to or in respect of Commissioners-
 

(a) remuneration;

(b) allowances and fees; and

(c) sums for the provision of pensions,

in accordance with directions of the Secretary of State.

    (2) Where a person who by reference to any office or employment is a participant in a scheme under section 1 of the Superannuation Act 1972 becomes a Commissioner or the Chief Commissioner, the Minister for the Civil Service may, notwithstanding any provision made under sub-paragraph (1)(c), determine that the person's service as Commissioner or Chief Commissioner shall be treated for the purposes of the scheme as service in that office or employment.
 


Staff

    4. - (1) The Commission may employ staff subject to the approval of the Secretary of State as to numbers and as to remuneration and other terms and conditions of employment.
 

    (2) Employment with the Commission shall be included among the kinds of employment to which a superannuation scheme under section 1 of the Superannuation Act 1972 can apply, and accordingly in Schedule 1 to that Act (in which those kinds of employment are listed) after "Commission for Racial Equality" insert- "Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission".
 

    (3) The Commission shall pay to the Minister for the Civil Service, at such times as he may direct, such sums as he may determine in respect of any increase attributable to sub-paragraph (2) in the sums payable out of money provided by Parliament under the Superannuation Act 1972.
 


Annual report

    5. - (1) The Commission shall, as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of each year, make a report to the Secretary of State on the performance of its functions during the year.
 

    (2) The Secretary of State shall lay a copy of the report before each House of Parliament.
 


Money

    6. The Secretary of State may make grants to the Commission out of money provided by Parliament.
 

    7. - (1) The Commission shall keep proper accounts and financial records.
 

    (2) The Commission shall-
 

(a) prepare a statement of accounts in respect of each financial year containing such information, and in such form, as the Secretary of State with the consent of the Treasury directs; and

(b) send a copy to the Secretary of State and to the Comptroller and Auditor General within such period after the end of the financial year as the Secretary of State directs.

    (3) The Comptroller and Auditor General shall-
 

(a) examine, certify and report on the statement of accounts; and

(b) lay a copy of the statement of accounts and of his report before each House of Parliament.

    (4) For the purposes of this paragraph-
 

(a) a financial year is a period of twelve months ending on 31st March; but

(b) the first financial year is the period beginning with the day on which section 68 comes into force and ending with the first 31st March which falls at least six months after that day.


Procedure

    8. - (1) In determining its own procedure the Commission may, in particular, make provision about-
 

(a) the discharge of its functions by committees (which may include persons who are not Commissioners);

(b) a quorum for meetings of the Commission or a committee.

    (2) The validity of any proceedings of the Commission or a committee shall not be affected by-
 

(a) a vacancy in the office of Chief Commissioner; or

(b) a defect in the appointment of a Commissioner.


Disqualification

    9. In Part III of Schedule 1 to the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 (other disqualifying offices) at the appropriate place insert- "Northern Ireland Human Rights Commissioner".
 

    10. In Part III of Schedule 1 to the Northern Ireland Assembly Disqualification Act 1975 (other disqualifying offices) at the appropriate place insert- "Northern Ireland Human Rights Commissioner".
 


Status

    11. The Commission shall not be regarded as the servant or agent of the Crown or as enjoying any status, immunity or privilege of the Crown; and property of the Commission shall not be regarded as property of, or held on behalf of, the Crown.
 

 
 
SCHEDULE 8
 

THE EQUALITY COMMISSION FOR NORTHERN IRELAND


Introductory

    1. In this Schedule "the Commission" means the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.
 


Commissioners' tenure

    2. - (1) Subject to the provisions of this Schedule, a Commissioner shall hold office in accordance with the terms of his appointment.
 

    (2) A Commissioner shall not be appointed-
 

(a) in the case of the Chief Commissioner, for more than five years at a time; and

(b) in any other case, for more than three years at a time.

    (3) A person may resign as a Commissioner, as the Chief Commissioner or as a Deputy Chief Commissioner by notice in writing to the Secretary of State.
 

    (4) The Secretary of State may dismiss a person from his office of Commissioner, Chief Commissioner or Deputy Chief Commissioner if satisfied-
 

(a) that he has without reasonable excuse failed to discharge his functions for a continuous period of three months beginning not earlier than six months before the day of dismissal;

(b) that he has been convicted of a criminal offence;

(c) that a bankruptcy order has been made against him, or his estate has been sequestrated, or he has made a composition or arrangement with, or granted a trust deed for, his creditors; or

(d) that he is unable or unfit to carry out his functions.


Commissioners' salary etc.

    3. The Department of Economic Development may with the approval of the Department of Finance and Personnel pay to or in respect of Commissioners-
 

(a) remuneration;

(b) allowances and fees; and

(c) sums for the provision of pensions.


Staff

    4. - (1) The Commission may with the approval of the Department of Economic Development and the Department of Finance and Personnel as to numbers and as to remuneration and other terms and conditions of employment-
 

(a) employ such staff as the Commission considers necessary;

(b) employ the services of such other persons as the Commission considers expedient for any particular purpose.

    (2) The Commission may, in the case of such of its staff as may be determined by it with the approval of the Department of Economic Development and the Department of Finance and Personnel, pay such pensions, allowances or gratuities, or provide and maintain such pension schemes, as may be so determined.
 

    (3) Payments made or expenses incurred under this paragraph shall be defrayed out of money appropriated by Act of the Assembly.
 


Annual report

    5. - (1) The Commission shall, as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of each year, make a report to the Department of Economic Development-
 

(a) on the performance of its functions during the year; and

(b) on any steps which, during the year, have been taken by it and other public authorities to promote such equality of opportunity as is mentioned in section 75(1).

    (2) The report shall, in particular, give details of how resources have been divided between the functions previously exercisable by each of the bodies listed in section 74(2).
 

    (3) The Department shall lay a copy of the report before the Assembly and send a copy of the report to the Secretary of State.
 

    (4) The Secretary of State shall lay a copy of the report before each House of Parliament.
 


Money

    6. - (1) Expenditure incurred by the Commission may be defrayed as expenses of the Department of Economic Development if authorised by that Department and the Department of Finance and Personnel.
 

    (2) Expenditure defrayed under this paragraph shall be defrayed out of money appropriated by Act of the Assembly and an authorisation for the purposes of this paragraph may be general or specific.
 

    7. - (1) The Commission shall keep accounts and financial records in a form approved by the Department of Economic Development.
 

    (2) The Commission shall-
 

(a) prepare a statement of accounts in respect of each financial year containing such information, and in such form, as is directed by the Department of Economic Development with the consent of the Department of Finance and Personnel; and

(b) send a copy to the Department of Economic Development and to the Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland within such period after the end of the financial year as the Department directs.

    (3) The Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland shall-
 

(a) examine, certify and report on the statement of accounts; and

(b) send a copy of the statement of accounts and of his report to the Department of Economic Development.

    (4) The Department shall lay a copy of the statement of accounts and the Comptroller and Auditor General's report before the Assembly.
 

    (5) For the purposes of this paragraph-
 

(a) a financial year is a period of twelve months ending on 31st March; but

(b) the first financial year is the period beginning with the day on which section 73 comes into force and ending with the first 31st March which falls at least six months after that day.


Procedure

    8. - (1) In determining its own procedure the Commission may, in particular, make provision about-
 

(a) the discharge of its functions by committees (which may include persons who are not Commissioners);

(b) a quorum for meetings of the Commission or a committee.

    (2) The validity of any proceedings of the Commission or a committee shall not be affected by-
 

(a) a vacancy in the office of Chief Commissioner or Deputy Chief Commissioner; or

(b) a defect in the appointment of a Commissioner.


Disqualification

    9. In Part II of Schedule 1 to the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 (bodies whose members are disqualified) at the appropriate place insert- "The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland".
 

    10. In Part II of Schedule 1 to the Northern Ireland Assembly Disqualification Act 1975 (bodies whose members are disqualified) at the appropriate place insert- "The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland".
 


The Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints

    11. In Schedule 2 to the Commissioner for Complaints (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (bodies subject to investigation) at the appropriate place insert- "The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland".
 


Status

    12. The Commission shall not be regarded as the servant or agent of the Crown or as enjoying any status, immunity or privilege of the Crown; and property of the Commission shall not be regarded as property of, or held on behalf of, the Crown.
 

 
 
SCHEDULE 9
 

EQUALITY: ENFORCEMENT OF DUTIES


The Equality Commission

    1. The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland shall-
 

(a) keep under review the effectiveness of the duties imposed by section 75;

(b) offer advice to public authorities and others in connection with those duties; and

(c) carry out the functions conferred on it by the following provisions of this Schedule.


Equality schemes

    2. - (1) A public authority to which this sub-paragraph applies shall, before the end of the period of six months beginning with the commencement of this Schedule or, if later, the establishment of the authority, submit a scheme to the Commission.
 

    (2) Sub-paragraph (1) applies to any public authority except one which is notified in writing by the Commission that that sub-paragraph does not apply to it.
 

    3. - (1) Where it thinks appropriate, the Commission may-
 

(a) request a public authority to which paragraph 2(1) does not apply to make a scheme;

(b) request any public authority to make a revised scheme.

    (2) A public authority shall respond to a request under this paragraph by submitting a scheme to the Commission before the end of the period of six months beginning with the date of the request.
 

    4. - (1) A scheme shall show how the public authority proposes to fulfil the duties imposed by section 75 in relation to the relevant functions.
 

    (2) A scheme shall state, in particular, the authority's arrangements-
 

(a) for assessing its compliance with the duties under section 75 and for consulting on matters to which a duty under that section is likely to be relevant (including details of the persons to be consulted);

(b) for assessing and consulting on the likely impact of policies adopted or proposed to be adopted by the authority on the promotion of equality of opportunity;

(c) for monitoring any adverse impact of policies adopted by the authority on the promotion of equality of opportunity;

(d) for publishing the results of such assessments as are mentioned in paragraph (b) and such monitoring as is mentioned in paragraph (c);

(e) for training staff;

(f) for ensuring, and assessing, public access to information and to services provided by the authority.

    (3) A scheme shall-
 

(a) conform to any guidelines as to form or content which are issued by the Commission with the approval of the Secretary of State;

(b) specify a timetable for measures proposed in the scheme; and

(c) include details of how it will be published.

    (4) In this paragraph-
 

"equality of opportunity" means such equality of opportunity as is mentioned in section 75(1);

"the relevant functions" means the functions of the public authority or, in the case of a scheme submitted in response to a request which specifies particular functions of the public authority, those functions.

    5. Before submitting a scheme a public authority shall consult, in accordance with any directions given by the Commission-
 

(a) representatives of persons likely to be affected by the scheme; and

(b) such other persons as may be specified in the directions.

    6. - (1) On receipt of a scheme the Commission shall-
 

(a) approve it; or

(b) refer it to the Secretary of State.

    (2) Where the Commission refers a scheme to the Secretary of State under sub-paragraph (1)(b), it shall notify the Assembly in writing that it has done so and send the Assembly a copy of the scheme.
 

    7. - (1) Where a scheme is referred to the Secretary of State he shall-
 

(a) approve it;

(b) request the public authority to make a revised scheme; or

(c) make a scheme for the public authority.

    (2) A request under sub-paragraph (1)(b) shall be treated in the same way as a request under paragraph 3(1)(b).
 

    (3) Where the Secretary of State-
 

(a) requests a revised scheme under sub-paragraph (1)(b); or

(b) makes a scheme under sub-paragraph (1)(c),

he shall notify the Assembly in writing that he has done so and, in a case falling within paragraph (b), send the Assembly a copy of the scheme.

    8. - (1) If a public authority wishes to revise a scheme it may submit a revised scheme to the Commission.
 

    (2) A revised scheme shall be treated as if it were submitted in response to a request under paragraph 3(1)(b).
 

    (3) A public authority shall, before the end of the period of five years beginning with the submission of its current scheme, or the latest review of that scheme under this sub-paragraph, whichever is the later, review that scheme and inform the Commission of the outcome of the review.
 


Duties arising out of equality schemes

    9. - (1) In publishing the results of such an assessment as is mentioned in paragraph 4(2)(b), a public authority shall state the aims of the policy to which the assessment relates and give details of any consideration given by the authority to-
 

(a) measures which might mitigate any adverse impact of that policy on the promotion of equality of opportunity; and

(b) alternative policies which might better achieve the promotion of equality of opportunity.

    (2) In making any decision with respect to a policy adopted or proposed to be adopted by it, a public authority shall take into account any such assessment and consultation as is mentioned in paragraph 4(2)(b) carried out in relation to the policy.
 

    (3) In this paragraph "equality of opportunity" has the same meaning as in paragraph 4.
 


Complaints

    10. - (1) If the Commission receives a complaint made in accordance with this paragraph of failure by a public authority to comply with a scheme approved or made under paragraph 6 or 7, it shall-
 

(a) investigate the complaint; or

(b) give the complainant reasons for not investigating.

    (2) A complaint must be made in writing by a person who claims to have been directly affected by the failure.
 

    (3) A complaint must be sent to the Commission during the period of 12 months starting with the day on which the complainant first knew of the matters alleged.
 

    (4) Before making a complaint the complainant must-
 

(a) bring the complaint to the notice of the public authority; and

(b) give the public authority a reasonable opportunity to respond.


Investigations

    11. - (1) This paragraph applies to-
 

(a) investigations required by paragraph 10; and

(b) any other investigation carried out by the Commission where it believes that a public authority may have failed to comply with a scheme approved or made under paragraph 6 or 7.

    (2) The Commission shall send a report of the investigation to-
 

(a) the public authority concerned;

(b) the Secretary of State; and

(c) the complainant (if any).

    (3) If a report recommends action by the public authority concerned and the Commission considers that the action is not taken within a reasonable time-
 

(a) the Commission may refer the matter to the Secretary of State; and

(b) the Secretary of State may give directions to the public authority in respect of any matter referred to him.

    (4) Where the Commission-
 

(a) sends a report to the Secretary of State under sub-paragraph (2)(b); or

(b) refers a matter to the Secretary of State under sub-paragraph (3)(a),

it shall notify the Assembly in writing that it has done so and, in a case falling within paragraph (a), send the Assembly a copy of the report.

    (5) Where the Secretary of State gives directions to a public authority under sub-paragraph (3)(b), he shall notify the Assembly in writing that he has done so.
 


Government departments

    12. - (1) Paragraphs 6, 7 and 11(2)(b) and (3) do not apply to a government department which is such a public authority as is mentioned in section 75(3)(a).
 

    (2) On receipt of a scheme submitted by such a government department under paragraph 2 or 3 the Commission shall-
 

(a) approve it; or

(b) request the department to make a revised scheme.

    (3) A request under sub-paragraph (2)(b) shall be treated in the same way as a request under paragraph 3(1)(b).
 

    (4) Where a request is made under sub-paragraph (2)(b), the government department shall, if it does not submit a revised scheme to the Commission before the end of the period of six months beginning with the date of the request, send to the Commission a written statement of the reasons for not doing so.
 

    (5) The Commission may lay before Parliament and the Assembly a report of any investigation such as is mentioned in paragraph 11(1) relating to a government department such as is mentioned in sub-paragraph (1).
 

 
 
SCHEDULE 10
 

DEVOLUTION ISSUES

PART I

PRELIMINARY

    1. In this Schedule "devolution issue" means-
 

(a) a question whether any provision of an Act of the Assembly is within the legislative competence of the Assembly;

(b) a question whether a purported or proposed exercise of a function by a Minister or Northern Ireland department is, or would be, invalid by reason of section 24;

(c) a question whether a Minister or Northern Ireland department has failed to comply with any of the Convention rights, any obligation under Community law or any order under section 27 so far as relating to such an obligation; or

(d) any question arising under this Act about excepted or reserved matters.

    2. A devolution issue shall not be taken to arise in any proceedings merely because of any contention of a party to the proceedings which appears to the court or tribunal before which the proceedings take place to be frivolous or vexatious.
 

 
 
SCHEDULE 10
 

DEVOLUTION ISSUES

PART I

PRELIMINARY

    1. In this Schedule "devolution issue" means-
 

(a) a question whether any provision of an Act of the Assembly is within the legislative competence of the Assembly;

(b) a question whether a purported or proposed exercise of a function by a Minister or Northern Ireland department is, or would be, invalid by reason of section 24;

(c) a question whether a Minister or Northern Ireland department has failed to comply with any of the Convention rights, any obligation under Community law or any order under section 27 so far as relating to such an obligation; or

(d) any question arising under this Act about excepted or reserved matters.

    2. A devolution issue shall not be taken to arise in any proceedings merely because of any contention of a party to the proceedings which appears to the court or tribunal before which the proceedings take place to be frivolous or vexatious.
 

 

PART II

 

PROCEEDINGS IN NORTHERN IRELAND

 


Application of Part II

 

    3. This Part of this Schedule applies in relation to devolution issues in proceedings in Northern Ireland.
 

 


Institution of proceedings

 

    4. - (1) Proceedings for the determination of a devolution issue may be instituted or defended by the Attorney General or the Attorney General for Northern Ireland.
 

 

    (2) The First Minister and the deputy First Minister acting jointly may defend any such proceedings.
 

 

    (3) This paragraph is without prejudice to any power to institute or defend proceedings exercisable apart from this paragraph by any person.
 

 


Notice of devolution issue

 

    5. A court or tribunal shall order notice of any devolution issue which arises in any proceedings before it to be given to the Attorney General, the Attorney General for Northern Ireland, the First Minister and the deputy First Minister (unless the person to whom the notice would be given is a party to the proceedings).
 

 

    6. A person to whom notice is given in pursuance of paragraph 5 or, where such notice is given to the First Minister and the deputy First Minister, those Ministers acting jointly may take part as a party in the proceedings, so far as they relate to a devolution issue.
 

 


Reference of devolution issue to Court of Appeal

 

    7. A court, other than the House of Lords or the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland, may refer any devolution issue which arises in any proceedings before it to the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland.
 

 

    8. A tribunal from which there is no appeal shall refer any devolution issue which arises in any proceedings before it to the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland; and any other tribunal may make such a reference.
 

 


References from Court of Appeal to Judicial Committee

 

    9. The Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland may refer any devolution issue which arises in proceedings before it (otherwise than on a reference under paragraph 7 or 8) to the Judicial Committee.
 

 


Appeals from Court of Appeal to Judicial Committee

 

    10. An appeal against a determination of a devolution issue by the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland on a reference under paragraph 7 or 8 shall lie to the Judicial Committee, but only with leave of the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland or, failing such leave, with special leave of the Judicial Committee.
 

 

PART III

 

PROCEEDINGS IN ENGLAND AND WALES

 


Application of Part III

 

    11. This Part of this Schedule applies in relation to devolution issues in proceedings in England and Wales.
 

 


Institution of proceedings

 

    12. - (1) Proceedings for the determination of a devolution issue may be instituted or defended by the Attorney General.
 

 

    (2) The Attorney General for Northern Ireland or the First Minister and the deputy First Minister acting jointly may defend any such proceedings.
 

 

    (3) This paragraph is without prejudice to any power to institute or defend proceedings exercisable apart from this paragraph by any person.
 

 


Notice of devolution issue

 

    13. A court or tribunal shall order notice of any devolution issue which arises in any proceedings before it to be given to the Attorney General, the Attorney General for Northern Ireland, the First Minister and the deputy First Minister (unless the person to whom the notice would be given is a party to the proceedings).
 

 

    14. A person to whom notice is given in pursuance of paragraph 13 or, where such notice is given to the First Minister and the deputy First Minister, those Ministers acting jointly may take part as a party in the proceedings, so far as they relate to a devolution issue.
 

 


Reference of devolution issue to High Court or Court of Appeal

 

    15. A magistrates' court may refer any devolution issue which arises in proceedings (other than criminal proceedings) before it to the High Court.
 

 

    16. - (1) A court may refer any devolution issue which arises in proceedings (other than criminal proceedings) before it to the Court of Appeal.
 

 

    (2) Sub-paragraph (1) does not apply to-
 

 

(a) a magistrates' court, the Court of Appeal or the House of Lords; or

 

(b) the High Court if the devolution issue arises in proceedings on a reference under paragraph 15.

 

    17. A tribunal from which there is no appeal shall refer any devolution issue which arises in proceedings before it to the Court of Appeal; and any other tribunal may make such a reference.
 

 

    18. A court, other than the House of Lords or the Court of Appeal, may refer any devolution issue which arises in criminal proceedings before it to-
 

 

(a) the High Court (if the proceedings are summary proceedings); or

 

(b) the Court of Appeal (if the proceedings are proceedings on indictment).

 


References from Court of Appeal to Judicial Committee

 

    19. The Court of Appeal may refer any devolution issue which arises in proceedings before it (otherwise than on a reference under paragraph 16, 17 or 18) to the Judicial Committee.
 

 


Appeals from superior courts to Judicial Committee

 

    20. An appeal against a determination of a devolution issue by the High Court or the Court of Appeal on a reference under paragraph 15, 16, 17 or 18 shall lie to the Judicial Committee, but only with leave of the High Court or the Court of Appeal or, failing such leave, with special leave of the Judicial Committee.
 

 

PART IV

 

PROCEEDINGS IN SCOTLAND

 


Application of Part IV

 

    21. This Part of this Schedule applies in relation to devolution issues in proceedings in Scotland.
 

 


Institution of proceedings

 

    22. - (1) Proceedings for the determination of a devolution issue may be instituted or defended by the Advocate General for Scotland.
 

 

    (2) The Attorney General for Northern Ireland or the First Minister and the deputy First Minister acting jointly may defend any such proceedings.
 

 

    (3) This paragraph is without prejudice to any power to institute or defend proceedings exercisable apart from this paragraph by any person.
 

 


Intimation of devolution issue

 

    23. Intimation of any devolution issue which arises in any proceedings before a court or tribunal shall be given to the Advocate General for Scotland, the Attorney General for Northern Ireland, the First Minister and the deputy First Minister (unless the person to whom the intimation would be given is a party to the proceedings).
 

 

    24. A person to whom intimation is given in pursuance of paragraph 23 or, where such intimation is given to the First Minister and the deputy First Minister, those Ministers acting jointly may take part as a party in the proceedings, so far as they relate to a devolution issue.
 

 


Reference of devolution issue to higher court

 

    25. A court, other than the House of Lords or any court consisting of three or more judges of the Court of Session, may refer any devolution issue which arises in proceedings (other than criminal proceedings) before it to the Inner House of the Court of Session.
 

 

    26. A tribunal from which there is no appeal shall refer any devolution issue which arises in proceedings before it to the Inner House of the Court of Session; and any other tribunal may make such a reference.
 

 

    27. A court, other than any court consisting of two or more judges of the High Court of Justiciary, may refer any devolution issue which arises in criminal proceedings before it to the High Court of Justiciary.
 

 


References from superior courts to Judicial Committee

 

    28. Any court consisting of three or more judges of the Court of Session may refer any devolution issue which arises in proceedings before it (otherwise than on a reference under paragraph 25 or 26) to the Judicial Committee.
 

 

    29. Any court consisting of two or more judges of the High Court of Justiciary may refer any devolution issue which arises in proceedings before it (otherwise than on a reference under paragraph 27) to the Judicial Committee.
 

 


Appeals from superior courts to Judicial Committee

 

    30. An appeal against a determination of a devolution issue by the Inner House of the Court of Session on a reference under paragraph 25 or 26 shall lie to the Judicial Committee.
 

 

    31. An appeal against a determination of a devolution issue by-
 

 

(a) a court of two or more judges of the High Court of Justiciary (whether in the ordinary course of proceedings or on a reference under paragraph 27); or

 

(b) a court of three or more judges of the Court of Session from which there is no appeal to the House of Lords,

 

shall lie to the Judicial Committee, but only with leave of the court concerned or, failing such leave, with special leave of the Judicial Committee.

 

PART V

 

GENERAL

 


Proceedings in the House of Lords

 

    32. Any devolution issue which arises in judicial proceedings in the House of Lords shall be referred to the Judicial Committee unless the House considers it more appropriate, having regard to all the circumstances, that it should determine the issue.
 

 


Direct references to Judicial Committee

 

    33. The Attorney General, the Attorney General for Northern Ireland, the First Minister and the deputy First Minister acting jointly or the Advocate General for Scotland may require any court or tribunal to refer to the Judicial Committee any devolution issue which has arisen in proceedings before it to which he is or they are a party.
 

 

    34. The Attorney General, the Attorney General for Northern Ireland, the First Minister and the deputy First Minister acting jointly or the Advocate General for Scotland may refer to the Judicial Committee any devolution issue which is not the subject of proceedings.
 

 

    35. - (1) This paragraph applies where a reference is made under paragraph 34 in relation to a devolution issue which relates to the proposed exercise of a function by a Northern Ireland Minister or department.
 

 

    (2) The person making the reference shall notify the Northern Ireland Minister or department of that fact.
 

 

    (3) No Northern Ireland Minister or department shall exercise the function in the manner proposed during the period beginning with the receipt of the notification under sub-paragraph (2) and ending with the reference being decided or otherwise disposed of.
 

 

    (4) Proceedings relating to any possible failure by a Northern Ireland Minister or department to comply with sub-paragraph (3) may be instituted by the Attorney General for Northern Ireland.
 

 

    (5) Sub-paragraph (4) is without prejudice to any power to institute proceedings exercisable apart from that sub-paragraph by any person.
 

 


Delegation by First Ministers

 

    36. The First Minister and the deputy First Minister acting jointly may determine that a Minister or Northern Ireland department specified in the determination may exercise on their behalf, in relation to any proceedings under this Schedule so specified, any power conferred on them by this Schedule.
 

 


Expenses

 

    37. - (1) A court or tribunal before which any proceedings take place may take account of any additional expense of the kind mentioned in sub-paragraph (3) in deciding any question as to costs or expenses.
 

 

    (2) In deciding any such question, the court or tribunal may award the whole or part of the additional expense as costs or expenses to the party who incurred it (whatever the decision on the devolution issue).
 

 

    (3) The additional expense is any additional expense which the court or tribunal considers that any party to the proceedings has incurred as a result of the participation of any person in pursuance of paragraph 6, 14 or 24.
 

 


Procedure of courts and tribunals

 

    38. Any power to make provision for regulating the procedure before any court or tribunal shall include power to make provision for the purposes of this Schedule including, in particular, provision-
 

 

(a) for prescribing the stage in the proceedings at which a devolution issue is to be raised or referred;

 

(b) for the staying or sisting of proceedings for the purpose of any proceedings under this Schedule; and

 

(c) for determining the manner in which and the time within which any notice or intimation is to be given.

 


Bail and legal aid in criminal proceedings

 

    39. - (1) Sub-paragraph (3) applies where a devolution issue arises in proceedings against a person ("the defendant") for an offence and the issue is referred to the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland under paragraph 7.
 

 

    (2) Sub-paragraphs (3) and (4) apply where such an issue arises in such proceedings and-
 

 

(a) the issue is referred by the Court to the Judicial Committee under paragraph 9 or 33; or

 

(b) the issue is determined by the Court under paragraph 7 and-

 

(i) an appeal to the Committee against the determination is brought under paragraph 10; or

 

(ii) an application for leave to bring such an appeal is made to the Court under that paragraph.

 

    (3) The Court may, if it thinks fit, on the application of the defendant, admit him to bail pending the determination of the reference, appeal or application.
 

 

    (4) The Court may at any time when it appears to the Court-
 

 

(a) that it is desirable in the interests of justice that the defendant should have legal aid; and

 

(b) that he has not sufficient means to obtain that aid,

 

assign to him a solicitor and counsel, or counsel only, in the reference, appeal or application.
 

 

    (5) If, on a question of granting a person free legal aid under sub-paragraph (4), there is a doubt-
 

 

(a) whether it is desirable in the interests of justice that he should have legal aid; or

 

(b) whether he has sufficient means to obtain that aid,

 

the doubt shall be resolved in favour of granting him free legal aid.
 

 

    (6) The fees of any counsel, and the expenses and fees of any solicitor, assigned to a person under sub-paragraph (4) shall be defrayed, up to an amount allowed by the Master (Taxing Office), by the Lord Chancellor out of money provided by Parliament.
 

 

    40. Where a devolution issue arises as mentioned in sub-paragraph (1) of paragraph 39 and-
 

 

(a) the issue is referred to the Judicial Committee under paragraph 9 or 33; or

 

(b) the issue is determined by the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland under paragraph 7 and-

 

(i) an appeal to the Committee against the determination is brought under paragraph 10; or

 

(ii) an application for special leave to bring such an appeal is made to the Committee under that paragraph,

 

sub-paragraphs (3) to (6) of paragraph 39 shall apply as if the references to the Court were references to the Committee.

 


Interpretation

 

    41. Any duty or power conferred by this Schedule to refer a devolution issue to a court shall be construed as a duty or power to refer the issue to the court for decision.
 

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