Session 2013 - 14
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Other Bills before Parliament


 
 

1261

 

House of Commons

 
 

Monday 18 November 2013

 

Consideration of Bill

 

Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill


 

NEW CLAUSES

 

Patterns and lessons report on aspects of the past

 

Mark Durkan

 

Alasdair McDonnell

 

NC1

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

The Secretary of State may appoint a person or persons to prepare an analysis of

 

findings, issues, patterns or lessons from various reports in particular events of

 

Northern Ireland’s troubled past.

 

(2)    

The Secretary of State may exercise this power in consulation or conjunction with

 

another statutory body.

 

(3)    

The reports from which an analysis or narrative might be drawn will include those

 

by—

 

(a)    

a body established to investigate, review and report on matters in

 

Northern Ireland’s burdened past in terms, and with standards, which

 

comply with Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights;

 

(b)    

the Historical Enquiries Team;

 

(c)    

the Police Ombudsman;

 

(d)    

Public Inquiry;

 

(e)    

an independent panel; or

 

(f)    

other review mechanisms.

 

(4)    

If the Secretary of State appoints a person or persons to prepare a narrative

 

analysis under this section, any existing provision prohibiting publication of the

 

material to be analysed shall, subject to subsection (5) below, not apply for the

 

purposes of this section.

 

(5)    

No personal information shall be included in the analysis as published without the

 

permission of the person concerned or, if they are dead, of their relatives.

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

This Clause would allow reports to be commissioned on aspects of Northern Ireland’s troubled

 

past, drawing on findings in reports by given mechanisms which have investigated or considered


 
 

Consideration of Bill: 18 November 2013                  

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Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, continued

 
 

particular cases or events. Those mechanisms could include any new body created with particular

 

regard to Article 2 ECHR compliance.

 


 

Petitions of concern

 

Mark Durkan

 

NC2

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

In section 42 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (Petitions of concern), omit

 

subsection (3) and insert—

 

“(3)    

When a petition of concern is lodged against a measure, proposal or a

 

decision by a Minister, Department or the Executive (“the matter”), the

 

Assembly shall appoint a special committee to examine and report on

 

whether the matter is in conformity with equality and human rights

 

requirements, including the European Convention on Human Rights and

 

any Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland.

 

(4)    

Consistent with paragraphs 11, 12 and 13 (Strand 1) of the Belfast

 

Agreement, a committee as provided for under subsection (3) may also

 

be appointed at the request of the Executive Committee, a Northern

 

Ireland Minister or relevant Assembly Committee.

 

(5)    

A committee appointed under this section—

 

(a)    

shall have the powers to call people and papers to assist in its

 

consideration; and

 

(b)    

shall take evidence from the Equality Commission and the

 

Human Rights Commission.

 

(6)    

The Assembly shall consider the report of any committee appointed

 

under this section and determine the matter in accordance with the

 

requirements for cross-community support.

 

(7)    

Standing Orders shall provide for—

 

(a)    

decisions on the size, timescale and terms of reference for such a

 

committee; and

 

(b)    

procedure(s) to allow for subsection (8).

 

(8)    

In relation to any specific petition of concern or request under subsection

 

(4), the Assembly may decide, with cross-community support, that the

 

procedure in subsections (3) and (5) shall not apply.”.’.

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

This Clause would amend the Northern Ireland Act 1998 to reflect the terms and intent of

 

paragraphs 11, 12 and 13 of strand 1 of the Belfast Agreement. It would qualify the exercise of veto

 

powers, via petitions of concern in the Assembly, through the consideration of possible equality or

 

human rights implications.

 



 
 

Consideration of Bill: 18 November 2013                  

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Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, continued

 
 

Annual report an activity relating to Northern Ireland’s past

 

Mark Durkan

 

Margaret Ritchie

 

NC3

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

The Secretary of State shall lay a report before Parliament in respect of each year

 

as soon as possible after the end of the year to which it relates.

 

(2)    

The Secretary of State may appoint a person or persons to produce the report

 

required under subsection (1).

 

(3)    

A report laid under subsection (1) shall contain in relation to the year to which it

 

applies—

 

(a)    

a summary of the work of any body established to investigate, review or

 

report on matters in Northern Ireland’s burdened past in terms and with

 

standards which comply with Article 2 of the European Convention on

 

Human Rights;

 

(b)    

a summary of the work of the Historical Enquiries Team of the Northern

 

Ireland Police;

 

(c)    

a summary of the work of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland

 

insofar as it relates to Northern Ireland’s past;

 

(d)    

a summary of the work of the Independent Commission for the Location

 

of Victim’s remains;

 

(e)    

a summary of the work of other public bodies which, in the opinion of the

 

Secretary of State, relates to Northern Ireland’s past;

 

(f)    

a summary of findings of any inquiry, review or panel which has reported

 

on particular events in Northern Ireland’s past;

 

(g)    

a summary of responses made by Her Majesty’s Government or any other

 

Government or body to any of the work covered by the report; and

 

(h)    

a clear indication where the findings of any work summarised in the

 

report contradict remarks recorded in the Official Report of the House of

 

Commons or House of Lords, especially by a Minister of the Crown.

 

(4)    

After a report under subsection (1) has been laid before Parliament the Secretary

 

of State shall provide a statement to Parliament which shall contain references

 

to—

 

(a)    

independent legal assessment of the compliance of the work covered by

 

the report with Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights;

 

(b)    

the progress made during the year in dealing with Northern Ireland’s

 

past;

 

(c)    

any apologies that have been given by any Governement or public body

 

in relation to the work summarised in the report;

 

(d)    

any apologies that have been given by any Government or public body in

 

the context of any other reports, revelations or admissions which relate to

 

Northern Ireland’s past; and

 

(e)    

any other relevant issues or concerns as they relate to Northern Ireland’s

 

past.

 

(5)    

Any exisiting provision prohibiting publication of the material to be summarised

 

under subsection (2)(a) shall, subject to subsection (6) below, not apply for the

 

purposes of this section.


 
 

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Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, continued

 
 

(6)    

No personal information shall be included in the report as laid before Parliament

 

without the permission of the person concerned or, if they are dead, of their

 

relatives.’.

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

This Clause would allow for a new Article 2 compliant mechanism to investigate past events. This

 

could replace the Historical Enquiries Team and Police Ombudsman’s respective roles on the

 

past. It provides an annual report on all work on the past accompanied by a ministerial statement

 

addressing certain matters.

 


 

Secretary Theresa Villiers

 

Naomi Long

 

1

 

Clause  1,  page  2,  line  37,  leave out ‘October’ and insert ‘January’.

 


 

Mr Nigel Dodds

 

Dr William McCrea

 

Mr Jeffrey Donaldson

 

Mr Gregory Campbell

 

David Simpson

 

Jim Shannon

 

Ian Paisley

 

Sammy Wilson

 

3

 

Clause  6,  page  6,  line  37,  at end add—

 

‘7B      

The alteration of the number of members of the Assembly required to express

 

their concern about a matter which is to be voted on by the Assembly, such

 

concern requiring that the vote on that matter shall require cross-community

 

support.

 

            

This paragraph does not include the alteration of that number to a number

 

exceeding 30.”.’.

 

 


 

Mark Durkan

 

Margaret Ritchie

 

4

 

Clause  22,  page  16,  line  3,  at end insert—

 

‘(1)    

After subsection (2) of the section 75 (Statutory duty on public authorities) of that

 

Act insert—

 

“(2A)    

A public authority shall not interpret its obligations under subsection (2)

 

in a way that is incompatible with measures taken on the basis of

 

objective need.”


 
 

Consideration of Bill: 18 November 2013                  

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Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, continued

 
 

(1B)    

In subsection (5) of section 75 of that Act insert ““good relations” shall be

 

interpreted in line with international obligations and, in particular, with regard

 

to—

 

(a)    

tackling prejudice, and

 

(b)    

promoting understanding.”.’.

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

This amendment would apply to Northern Ireland, the clarification provided in the Equality Act

 

2010 to restrict the good relation duty being cited against fulfilling equality obligations based on

 

objective need.

 


 

Secretary Theresa Villiers

 

2

 

Clause  28,  page  18,  leave out lines 1 to 3.

 

 

Order of the House [24 June 2013]

 

That the following provisions shall apply to the Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous

 

Provisions) Bill:

 

Committal

 

1.    

Clauses 1 to 9 shall be committed to a Committee of the whole House.

 

2.    

The remainder of the Bill shall be committed to a Public Bill Committee.

 

Proceedings in Committee

 

3.    

Proceedings in Committee of the whole House shall (so far as not previously

 

concluded) be brought to a conclusion at the moment of interruption on the

 

day on which those proceedings are commenced.

 

4.    

Proceedings in the Public Bill Committee shall (so far as not previously

 

concluded) be brought to a conclusion on Thursday 18 July 2013.

 

5.    

The Public Bill Committee shall have leave to sit twice on the first day on

 

which it meets.

 

6.    

When the provisions of the Bill considered, respectively, by the Committee

 

of the whole House and by the Public Bill Committee have been reported to

 

the House, the Bill shall be proceeded with as if it had been reported as a

 

whole to the House from the Public Bill Committee.

 

Consideration and Third Reading

 

7.    

Proceedings on Consideration shall (so far as not previously concluded) be

 

brought to a conclusion one hour before the moment of interruption on the

 

day on which those proceedings are commenced.

 

8.    

Proceedings on Third Reading shall (so far as not previously concluded) be

 

brought to a conclusion at the moment of interruption on that day.

 

Programming Committee

 

9.    

Standing Order No. 83B (Programming committees) shall not apply to

 

proceedings on Consideration and Third Reading.


 
 

Consideration of Bill: 18 November 2013                  

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Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, continued

 
 

Other proceedings

 

10.    

Any other proceedings on the Bill (including any proceedings on

 

consideration of Lords Amendments or on any further messages from the

 

Lords) may be programmed.

 


 
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Revised 18 November 2013