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Disqualifications Bill

This is the text of the Disqualifications Bill, as presented to the House of Commons on 21st December 1999.


Explanatory Notes to the Bill, prepared by the Home Office, are published separately as HC Bill 41- EN.


Mr Secretary Straw has made the following statement under section 19(1)(a) of the Human Rights Act 1998:

In my view the provisions of the Disqualifications Bill are compatible with the Convention rights.

Disqualifications Bill
1.Amendment of section 1(1)(e) of the Disqualification Acts.
2.Disqualification for Ministerial office in Northern Ireland.
3.Consequential repeal.
4.Short title.





Remove the disqualification for membership of the House of Commons and the Northern Ireland Assembly of persons who are members of the legislature of Ireland (the Oireachtas); and to disqualify for Ministerial office in Northern Ireland persons who are or become Ministers of the Government of Ireland.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

Amendment of section 1(1)(e) of the Disqualification Acts.     1. - (1) Section 1(1)(e) of the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 and section 1(1)(e) of the Northern Ireland Assembly Disqualification Act 1975 (disqualification of member of the legislature of any country or territory outside the Commonwealth) are amended as follows.
      (2) After "Commonwealth" insert "(other than Ireland)".
Disqualification for Ministerial office in Northern Ireland.     2. In the Northern Ireland Act 1998, after section 19, insert-
"Disqualification for Ministerial office.     19A. - (1) No person may-
    (a) stand for election as First Minister or as deputy First Minister, or be elected as such,
    (b) be nominated to hold a Ministerial office, or
    (c) be appointed as a junior Minister,
  if he is a Minister of the Government of Ireland.
      (2) A Minister or junior Minister ceases to hold office on becoming a Minister of the Government of Ireland."
Consequential repeal.     3. Section 36(5) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (which has the effect of allowing a member of Seanad Eireann to be a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly) is repealed.
Short title.     4. This Act may be cited as the Disqualifications Act 2000.

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Prepared 21 December 1999