Schedule 8 - Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice

Part of Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 12:00 pm ar 5 Chwefror 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) 12:00, 5 Chwefror 2002

I shall endeavour to do so in response to that reasonable question. Where functions do not come into effect until post-devolution, the Bill clearly states that the First Minister and Deputy First Minister have responsibilities for the aspects of the schedule that the hon. Gentleman highlighted. Where the Government intend to put a chief inspector in place before devolution, the Bill establishes the responsibilities of the Secretary of State. When the functions are subsequently devolved by order under the Northern Ireland Act 1998, the relevant Minister in the Executive rather than the Secretary of State will be responsible. The order achieves the devolution.

As the chief inspector is expected to be appointed before devolution, for the period leading up to devolution, the schedule details the Secretary of State's responsibilities and the relationship between the chief inspector and the Secretary of State. When matters are devolved, the order will transfer functions to the relevant devolved authority. I hope that that is clear. The function of appointing the chief inspector will be devolved. Although the first chief inspector may be appointed by the Secretary of State, the function of appointing subsequent chief inspectors will be devolved, as will all the other functions spelled out as belonging to the Secretary of State.