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 Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Shadow Spokesperson (Northern Ireland) 4:45, 31 Ionawr 2002

I do not have a problem with Government amendments Nos. 73 and 74. They appear to be merely technical. I am not so happy with Government amendment No. 72. I would like the Minister to give us further explanation.

The principle that underlies the Bill is that powers should be devolved when appropriate. That is the underlying principle of paragraph (16), which, as the Minister explained, provides the power to substitute the First Minister and Deputy First Minister for the Lord Chancellor in relation to coroners courts. Will the Minister explain why the words ''acting jointly'' do not appear after the words

''First Minister and deputy First Minister''

in the schedule? Is that an oversight? I imagine that it is. Although one might accept the Government's position that this power can be transferred at a later date by regulations under other powers in the Bill, I would prefer the powers to be transferred now, unless there is a much stronger explanation why it is necessary to wait for further regulations.

What would be the consequences of including such a provision in the Bill, albeit that a further technical amendment may be necessary to add the words ''acting jointly'', which appear to have been missed out? I would be grateful for further explanation of why the transfer of power should be done later by regulation rather than being provided for in the Bill now, which would enable the power to be transferred along with the rest of the provisions when the Secretary of State gives his authority under clause 85 on commencement.