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

The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. It is our intention not to include the provision in the schedule because, on reconsideration, the specific roles carried out by those employed to assist with investigations do not fit properly within judicial appointments. That is the short explanation. The words ''acting jointly'' are a red herring because whether they are needed will be determined by the other provisions in section 11(3) of the relevant Act. Sometimes those words are implied, as we shall see later in our deliberations, and sometimes it is necessary to include them specifically, but they are not always needed. The context of the provision usually makes it clear that the First Minister and Deputy First Minister are intended to act jointly. The issue is a red herring because I am aware of at least one provision in the Bill in which the words are omitted, but implied.

The schedule relates to the devolution of appointment functions in relation to listed judicial offices. A person employed to assist with investigations in the circumstances described is not exercising a function in relation to a judicial office. The paragraph that the amendment will delete does not concern a listed judicial office. It was an error that the paragraph crept into the Bill in the first place and it should be taken out. It is the Government's intention to devolve the power to employ such persons to the First and Deputy First Ministers, but not in their capacity, ex officio, of First and Deputy First Ministers in relation to judicial appointments.