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Extracts from the Government of Ireland Act, 23 December 1920



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The Constitution of Northern Ireland
being the
GOVERNMENT OF IRELAND ACT, 1920
as amended

PREPARED FOR
THE CLERK OF THE PARLIAMENTS
OF NORTHERN IRELAND
IN THE STATUTORY PUBLICATIONS OFFICE
STORMONT, BELFAST

Published in Belfast by,
HER MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE, 1956

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The Constitution of Northern Ireland

being the

Government of Ireland Act, 1920, as amended

[For form of the Print, see Prefatory Note]

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
Section
1. Establishment of Parliament of Northern Ireland.
2. Repealed.
3. Repealed.
4. Legislative powers of Northern Ireland Parliament.
5. Prohibition of laws interfering with religious equality, taking property without compensation, etc.
6. Conflict of laws.
7. Repealed.
8. Executive powers.
9. Reserved matters.
10. Repealed.
11. Summoning, &c., of Parliament.
12. Royal assent to Bills.
13. Constitution of Senate.
14. Constitution of House of Commons.
15. Application of election laws.
16. Money Bills.
17. Disagreement between two Houses of Parliament of Northern Ireland.
18. Privileges, qualifications, &c., of members of parliament.
19. Representation of Northern Ireland in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.
20. Establishment of Northern Ireland Exchequer.
21. Powers of taxation.
22. Reserved taxes.
23. Northern Ireland contribution to Imperial expenditure,
24. Northern Ireland residuary share of reserved taxes.
25. Power of granting relief from income tax and super-tax.
26. Provisions as to land purchase annuities.
27. Existing public loans.
28. Provisions against double death duties.
29. Provisions against double stamp duties.
30. Repealed.
31. Irish Church Fund.
32. Joint Exchequer Board.
33. Repealed.
34. Temporary provision as to payments into and out of the Northern Ireland Exchequer.
35. Repealed.
36. Repealed.
37. Office of Lord Lieutenant.
38. Establishment of courts.
39. Repealed.
40. Divisions and constitution of Supreme Court of Northern Ireland.
41. Application of existing enactments and rules.
42. Repealed.
43. Repealed.
44. Provisions as to Lord Chancellor.
45. Provisions as to Master of the Rolls.
46. Transitory provisions,
47. Provisions as to judicature.
48. County court judges.
49. Appeals from the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland.
50. Appeals where validity of Northern Ireland law questioned.
51. Special provision for decision of constitutional questions.
52. Appeals from decisions of joint Exchequer Board.
53. Finality of decisions of the House of Lords and judicial Committee.
54. Provisions as to existing judges and existing officers having salaries charged on the Consolidated Fund, or removable only for misconduct or incapacity.
55. Continuation of service of and compensation to other existing officers.
56. Establishment of Civil Service Committee for Northern Ireland.
57. Provisions as to existing pensions and superannuation allowances.
58. Provisions for defining of Irish Officers and determining claims.
59. Existing officers.
60. Repealed.
61. Continuation of existing laws, institutions, &c.
62. Use of Crown lands by Northern Ireland Government.
63. Arrangements between departments.
64. Special provisions as to certain Universities and Colleges.
65. Special provisions as to Freemasons.
66. Repealed.
67. Repeal of s. 16 of 21 & 22 Geo. 3, c. 11 (I.).
68. Provisions as to certain officers of local authorities, universities or colleges.
69. Power to make Irish Transfer Orders.
70. Irish Transfer Orders to be laid before Parliament.
71. Repealed.
72. Repealed.
73. Commencement of Act and appointed day.
74. Definitions.
75. Saving for supreme authority of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
76. Short title.
SCHEDULES:
First Schedule - Repealed.
Second Schedule - Repealed.
Third Schedule- Composition of Senate of Northern Ireland.
Part I - Offices entitling Holders to be Senators.
Part II - Elected Senators.
Fourth Schedule,- Provisions with Respect to the Nomination, Election, and Term of Office of Senators.
Fifth Schedule -
Part I - Inapplicable in Northern Ireland.
Part II - Constituencies in Northern Ireland.
Sixth Schedule - Imperial Liabilities and Expenditure
Seventh Schedule -
Part I - Inapplicable in Northern Ireland.
Part II - Supreme Court of Judicature in Northern Ireland.
Eighth Schedule - Provisions as to Compensation of Existing Irish Officers.
Ninth Schedule - Repealed.





CHAPTER 67.
AN ACT to provide for the better Government of Ireland[1].
[23rd December 1920.]
ESTABLISHMENT OF PARLIAMENT FOR NORTHERN IRELAND.
Establishment of Parliament of Northern Ireland. 1. - (1) On and after the appointed day[2] there shall be established for Northern Ireland a Parliament to be called the Parliament of Northern Ireland consisting of His Majesty, the Senate of Northern Ireland, and the House of Commons of Northern Ireland.
(2)[3] For the purposes of this Act, Northern Ireland shall consist of the parliamentary counties of Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone, and the parliamentary boroughs of Belfast and Londonderry.
* * *
[1] Applies to N.I. only, 13 Geo. 5. sess. 2. c. 2. s. 1.
Refs. to Southern Ireland are included only when required to explain the context.
[2] 3.5.1921, S.R. & O. 1921, No. 533 (Rev. vol. XVI. p. 933.
[3] The extent of N.I., as fixed by this sub. s., was confirmed by the Agreement 3.12.1925, see art. 1. of sch. to 15 & 16 Geo. 5. c. 77.
LEGISLATIVE POWERS.
4. - (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, . . . . the Parliament of Northern Ireland shall .... have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of .... Northern Ireland with the following limitations, namely, that they shall not have power to make laws except in respect of matters exclusively relating to the portion of Ireland within their jurisdiction, or some part thereof, and (without prejudice to that general limitation) that they shall not have power to make laws in respect of the following matters in particular, namely:- Legislative powers of Northern Ireland Parliament.
(1) The Crown or the succession to the Crown, or a regency, or the property of the Crown (including foreshore vested in the Crown, or the Lord Lieutenant, except as respects the exercise of his executive power in relation to Irish services as defined for the purposes of this Act; or
(2) The making of peace or war, or matters arising from a state of war; or the regulation of the conduct of any portion of His Majesty's subjects during the existence of hostilities between foreign states with which His Majesty is at peace, in relation to those hostilities; or
(3) The navy, the army, the air force, the [territorial army]., or any other naval, military, or air force, or the defence of the realm, or any other naval, military, or air force matter (including any pensions and allowances payable to persons who have been members of or in respect of service in any such force or their widows or dependants, and provision for the training, education, employment and assistance for the reinstatement in civil life of persons who have ceased to be members of any such force); or
(4) Treaties, or any relations with foreign states, or relations with other parts of His Majesty's dominions, or matters involving the contravention of treaties or agreements with foreign states or any part of His Majesty's dominions, or offences connected with any such treaties or relations, or procedure connected with the extradition of criminals under any treaty, or the return of fugitive offenders from or to any part of His Majesty's dominions; or
(5) Dignities or titles of honour; or
(6) Treason, treason felony, alienage, naturalization, or aliens as such, or domicile; or
(7) Trade with any place out of the part of Ireland within their jurisdiction, except so far as trade may be affected by the exercise of the powers of taxation given to the said parliaments['], or by regulations made for the sole purpose of preventing contagious disease, or by steps taken by means of inquiries or agencies out of the part of Ireland within their jurisdiction for the improvement of the trade of that part or for the protection of traders of that part from fraud; the Granting of bounties on the export of goods; quarantine; navigation, including merchant shipping (except as respects inland waters, the regulation of harbours, and local health regulations); or
(8) Submarine cables; or
(9) Wireless telegraphy; or
(10) Aerial navigation; or
(11) Lighthouses, buoys, or beacons (except so far as they can consistently with any general Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom be constructed or maintained by a local harbour authority); or
(12) Coinage; legal tender; negotiable instruments (including bank notes) except so far as negotiable instruments may be affected by the exercise of the powers of taxation given to the said Parliaments; or any change in the standard of weights and measures; or
(13) Trade marks, designs, merchandise marks, copyright, or patent rights; or
(14) Any matter which by this Act is declared to be a reserved matter, so long as it remains reserved.
Any law made in contravention of the limitations imposed by this section shall, so far as it contravenes those limitations, be void.
5. - (1) In the exercise of their power to make laws under this Act neither the Parliament of Southern Ireland nor the Parliament of Northern Ireland shall make a law so as either directly or indirectly to establish or endow any religion, or prohibit or restrict the free exercise thereof, or give a preference, privilege, or advantage, or impose any disability or disadvantage, on account of religious belief or religious or ecclesiastical status, or make any religious belief or religious ceremony a condition of the validity of any marriage, or affect prejudicially the right of any child to attend a school receiving public money without attending the religious instruction at that school, or alter the constitution of any religious body except, where the alteration is approved on behalf of the religious body by the governing body thereof, or divert from any religious denomination the fabric of cathedral churches, or, except for the purpose of roads, railways, lighting, water, or drainage works, or other works of public utility upon payment of compensation, any other property, or take any property without compensation. Prohibition of laws interfering with religious equality, taking property without compensation, etc.
Any law made in contravention of the restrictions imposed by this subsection shall, so far as it contravenes those restrictions, be void.
(2) Any existing enactment by which any penalty, disadvantage, or disability is imposed on account of religious belief or on a member of any religious order as such shall, as from the appointed day, cease to have effect in Ireland.
Conflict of laws.6. - (1) Neither the Parliament of Southern Ireland nor the Parliament of Northern Ireland shall have power to repeal or alter any provision of this Act (except as is specially provided by this Act), or of 'any Act passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom after the appointed day and extending to the part of Ireland within their jurisdictions although that provision deals with a matter with respect to which the Parliament have power to make laws.
(2) Where any Act of .... the Parliament of Northern Ireland deals with any matter with respect to which that Parliament has power to make laws which is dealt with by any Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed after the appointed day['] and extending to the part of Ireland within its jurisdiction, the Act of .... the Parliament of Northern Ireland shall be read subject to the Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and so far as it is repugnant to that Act, but no further, shall be void.
(3) Any order, rule or regulation made in Pursuance of, or having the force of, an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom shall be deemed to be a provision of an Act within the meaning of this section.
EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY.
8. - (1) The executive power .... in Northern Ireland shall continue vested in His Majesty the King, and nothing in this Act shall affect the exercise of that power, except as respects Irish services as defined for the purposes of this Act. Executive powers
(2) As respects Irish services, the Lord Lieutenant or other chief executive officer or officers for the time being appointed in his place, on behalf of His Majesty, shall exercise any prerogative or other executive power of His Majesty the exercise of which may be delegated to him by His Majesty.
(3) .... powers so delegated shall be exercised-
in Northern Ireland, through such departments as may be established by Act of the Parliament of Northern Ireland, or, subject to any alteration by Act of that Parliament, by the Lord Lieutenant;
and the Lord Lieutenant may appoint officers to administer those departments, and those officers shall hold office during the pleasure of the Lord Lieutenant.
(4) The persons who are for the time being heads of such departments of the Government of Northern Ireland as may be deter-mined by Act of the Parliament of Northern Ireland, or, in the absence of any such determination, by the Lord Lieutenant, and such other persons (if any) as the Lord Lieutenant may appoint, shall be the ministers of Northern Ireland:
Provided that -
(a) no such person shall be .... a minister of Northern Ireland unless he is a member of the [Privy Council of Northern Ireland] ; and
(b) no such person shall hold office .... as a mister of Northern Ireland for a longer period than six months, unless he is or becomes a member of the Parliament .... of Northern Ireland .... but in reckoning those six months any time prior to the date of the first meeting of the Parliament .... of Northern Ireland, . . . . or during which that Parliament stands prorogued shall be excluded; and
(c) any such person not being the head of .... a department of the Government of Northern Ireland shall hold office as .... a minister of Northern Ireland during the pleasure of the Lord Lieutenant in the same manner as the head of .... a department of the Government of Northern Ireland holds his office.
(5) The persons who are ministers of Northern Ireland for the time being shall be an executive committee of the [Privy Council of Northern Ireland] (to be called the Executive Committee of Northern Ireland) to aid and advise the Lord Lieutenant in the exercise of his executive power in relation to Irish services in Northern Ireland.
(6) In the exercise of power delegated to the Lord Lieutenant[']in pursuance of this section no preference, privilege, or advantage shall be given to, nor shall any disability or disadvantage be imposed on, any person on account of religious belief except where the nature of the case in which the power is exercised itself involves the giving of such preference, privilege, or advantage, or the imposing of such a disability or disadvantage.
(7) The seats of the Governments of Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland shall be at Dublin and Belfast, respectively, or such places as the Parliaments of Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland may respectively determine.
(8) For the purposes of this Act, "Irish services" in relation to .... Northern Ireland .... are all public services in connection with the administration of civil government in .... Northern Ireland, except the administration of matters with respect to which ... the Parliament of Northern Ireland have under the provisions herein before contained no power to make laws, including in this exception all public services in connection with the administration of matters by this Act declared to be reserved matters so long as they continue to be reserved; and the public services in connection with the matters so reserved are in this Act referred to as reserved services.
9. - [Sub. s. (1) rep. by S.L.R. 1927.] Reserved matters.
(2) The following matters, namely,-
(a) the postal service;
(b) the Post Office Savings Bank and Trustee Savings Banks;
(c) designs for stamps, whether for postal or revenue purposes;
[Para. (d) rep. by 10 & 11 Geo. 6. c. 37. s. 8(1) (2).]
(e) the Public Record Office of Ireland;
shall be reserved matters . . . . .
Provided that
[Para. (a) rep. by S.L.R. 1927.]
(b) nothing in this subsection shall prevent the Parliament or Government of .... Northern Ireland establishing a Public Record Office of .... Northern Ireland .... for the reception and preservation of public records appertaining to .... Northern Ireland which otherwise would be deposited in the Public Record Office of Ireland, and, if any such office is so established, provision may be made by the Lord Lieutenant for the removal to that office of such probates, letters of administration, or other testamentary records granted or coming into existence not earlier than twenty years prior to the appointed day as, in his opinion, properly belong to the part of Ireland in which the office is situated and can conveniently be removed to that office.
(3) The general subject-matter of the Acts relating to land purchase in Ireland shall be a reserved matter unless and until otherwise provided by any Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom relating to land purchase in Ireland; passed in the present or any future session of that Parliament:
Provided that this reservation shall not include ....
the powers and duties of the Irish Land Commission[3] and the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland[4] with respect to the collection and recovery of purchase annuities, and, except to such extent as may be provided by Irish transfer orders[5], the powers of the Irish Land Commission[3] with respect to holdings subject to purchase annuities and the apportionment and consolidation of such annuities.
(4) On any transfer under or by virtue of this Act of any reserved matter, the general provisions of this Act (so far as applicable) and the provisions of this Act as to existing Irish officers and existing pensions shall apply with respect to the transfer, with the substitution of the date of the transfer for the appointed day or the date of the passing of this Act.
[S. 10 rep. by 15 & 16 Geo. 5. c. 77. s. 1(2); S.L.R. 1953.]

PROVISIONS AS TO PARLIAMENT OF NORTHERN IRELAND.
Summoning &c., of parliament 11. - (1) There shall be a session .... of the Parliament of Northern Ireland, once at least in every year, so that twelvemonths shall not intervene between the last sitting of .... Parliament in one session and their first sitting in the next session.
(2) The Lord Lieutenant shall, in His Majesty's name, summon, prorogue, and dissolve .... the Parliament of Northern Ireland.
12. The Lord Lieutenant shall give and withhold the assent Royal of His Majesty to Bills passed by .... the Senate and House of assent to Commons of Northern Ireland, . . . subject to the following Bills. limitations:- Royal assent of Bills.
(1) He shall comply with any instructions given by His Majesty in respect of any such Bill .... , and
(2) He shall, if so directed by His Majesty, reserve any such Bill ... . for the signification of His Majesty's pleasure, and a Bill .... so reserved shall not have any force unless and until within one year from the day on which it was presented to the Lord Lieutenant for His Majesty's assent, the Lord Lieutenant makes known that it has received His Majesty's assent.
13. - [Sub. s. (1) rep. by S.L.R. 1927.] Constitution of Senate.
(2) The Senate of Northern Ireland shall be constituted as provided in the Third Schedule to this Act.
(3) The provisions contained in the Fourth Schedule to this Act shall have effect with respect to the nomination, election and term of office of members of the Senates of Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland.
14. - [Sub. s. (1) rep. by S.L.R. 1927.] Constitution of House of Commons.
(2) The House of Commons of Northern Ireland shall consist of fifty-two members returned by the constituencies in Ireland named in Part II of the Fifth Schedule to this Act, and the number of members to be returned by each such constituency shall be the number mentioned in the second column of that Part.
(3) The members shall be elected by the same electors and in the same manner as members returned by constituencies in Ireland to serve in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, . . .
(4) .... the House of Commons of Northern Ireland when summoned shall, unless sooner dissolved, have continuance for five years from the day on which the summons directs the House to meet and no longer.
(5) After three years from the day of the first meeting of the Parliament of .... Northern Ireland, that Parliament may alter the qualification and registration of the electors, the law relating to elections and the questioning of elections, the constituencies and the distribution of the members among the constituencies, provided that in any new distribution the number of the members shall not be altered, and due regard shall be had to the population of the constituencies other than University constituencies.
Application of election laws. 15. - (1) All existing election laws relating to the Commons House of Parliament of the United Kingdom and the members thereof shall, so far as applicable and subject to the provisions of this Act, and especially to any provision enabling the Parliaments of Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland to alter those laws as respects the House of Commons of Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland respectively, extend to the House of Commons of Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland and the members thereof.
(2) His Majesty may, by Order in Council, make such provisions as may appear to him necessary or proper for making any provisions of the election laws applicable to elections of members of the Senate and House of Commons of .... Northern Ireland.



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