Schedule 3 - Appointment to listed judicial offices

Part of Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 4:45 pm ar 31 Ionawr 2002.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Des Browne Des Browne Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Northern Ireland Office, Parliamentary Secretary (Northern Ireland Office) 4:45, 31 Ionawr 2002

These are technical amendments, and I shall endeavour to explain their purpose as slowly as I can, in the hope that I will understand them myself.

Schedule 3 provides for the transfer to the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, acting jointly, of the power to make appointments or recommendations for appointment to listed judicial offices. The schedule is not intended to take effect until after the devolution of justice functions, when the Judicial Appointments Commission is set up.

Paragraph 16 provides for the Lord Chancellor's power under section 11(3) of the Coroners Act (Northern Ireland) 1959 to employ persons to assist with investigations to transfer to the First Minister and Deputy First Minister. On reflection, we consider that that power is not directly related to the Lord Chancellor's appointment functions, and that it would be more appropriate for it to be transferred to the First and Deputy First Ministers under a subsequent transfer of functions order. Accordingly, paragraph 16 will be removed from the Bill.

Paragraphs 31 to 33 provide for the transfer from the Lord Chancellor to the First and Deputy First Ministers of a number of appointment functions in relation to the industrial tribunals and the fair employment tribunal for Northern Ireland. Paragraphs 32 and 33A provide for related amendments to the definitions of ''President'' and ''Vice-President'' in various regulations.