House of Commons portcullis
House of Commons
Session 1997-98
Internet Publications
Other Bills before Parliament
Arrangement of Clauses (Contents)

Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Bill
  This Bill extends by two years the life of the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1996 ("the 1996 Act" – due to expire on 24 August 1998), increases the number of offences which are to be tried with a jury in any case where the Attorney General certifies to that effect, removes the Secretary of State's power to detain without trial, provides for the audio recording of police interviews with persons detained under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1989 ("the 1989 Act") and makes provision for the video and audio recording of such other police interviews as may be specified by an order of the Secretary of State.
  Clause 1 amends section 62 of the 1996 Act by extending, from 15 June 1997 to 15 June 1999, the life of the "temporary provisions", that is to say the provisions of the 1996 Act other than to the extent that they deal with extraterritorial offences and supplementary matters. As in the case of the existing period the Secretary of State has the power by order to vary this further period, subject to the affirmative resolution procedure and to a twelve month limit on any extension. The clause also extends, from 24 August 1998 to 24 August 2000, the life of the 1996 Act as a whole.
  Clause 2 amends Schedule 1 to the 1996 Act so that the "scheduled offences" listed in the clause are no longer to be automatically tried without a jury. The effect of the clause is that they are to be tried with a jury in any case where the Attorney General certifies to that effect.
  Clause 3 repeals section 36 of, and Schedule 3 to, the 1996 Act, thus removing the Secretary of State's power by order (a "detention order") to detain a person without trial.
  Clause 4 amends section 53 of the 1996 Act so as to extend the Secretary of State's duty to make a code of practice for the silent video recording of police interviews and, by order, to ensure compliance with that code (the duty is currently limited to interview with persons detained under the 1989 Act) to police interviews in such other circumstances as may be specified in such an order.
  Clause 5 inserts a new section 53A in the 1996 Act so as to make provision for the audio recording of police interviews corresponding to that contained in section 53 (as amended by clause 4) for the silent video recording of such interviews.
  Clause 6 gives effect to Schedule 1, which makes consequential amendments to the 1989 Act, the Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 and the 1996 Act; it also gives effect to Schedule 2 (repeals).
 Financial effects of the Bill and public service manpower
  The Bill will have no significant new effect on public expenditure or public service manpower.
 Business compliance cost assessment
  The only cost implications for business, which are likely to be minimal, arise out of the effect of the Bill in continuing in force a scheme which is provided for under the 1996 Act for regulating the provisions of private security services. The scheme requires firms to notify the Northern Ireland Office of the names of their employees.
House of Commons home page Houses of Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries

© Parliamentary copyright 1997
Prepared 30 October 1997