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Inquiries Bill [HL]


Inquiries Bill [HL]

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(a)   

if made by the Lord Chancellor, in pursuance of a resolution of either

House of Parliament;

(b)   

if made by the Scottish Ministers, in pursuance of a resolution of the

Scottish Parliament.

(6)   

A statutory rule made under this section is subject to negative resolution

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(within the meaning of section 41(6) of the Interpretation Act (Northern

Ireland) 1954 (c. 33 (N.I.)).

43      

Notices etc

A notice or notification under this Act must be given in writing.

44      

Interpretation

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(1)   

In this Act—

“assessor” means an assessor appointed under section 12;

“chairman”, in relation to an inquiry, means the chairman of the inquiry;

“the course of the inquiry” and similar expressions are to be read in

accordance with subsection (2);

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“date of conversion” has the meaning given by section 16(1);

“document” includes information recorded in any form (and see

subsection (3));

“event”, except in sections 14 and 47, includes any conduct or omission;

“inquiry”, except where the context requires otherwise, means an inquiry

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under this Act;

“inquiry panel” is to be read in accordance with section 3(2);

“interested party”, in relation to an inquiry, means a person with a

particularly significant interest in the proceedings or outcome of the

inquiry;

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“interim report” means a report under section 25(3);

“joint inquiry” has the meaning given by section 33(2);

“member”, in relation to an inquiry panel, includes the chairman;

“Minister” is to be read in accordance with section 1(2) (and see subsection

(4) below);

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“Northern Ireland Minister” includes the First Minister and the deputy

First Minister acting jointly;

“public authority” has the same meaning as in the Freedom of

Information Act 2000 (c. 36);

“the relevant Parliament or Assembly” means whichever of the following

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is or are applicable—

(a)   

in the case of an inquiry for which the Treasury is responsible,

the House of Commons;

(b)   

in the case of an inquiry for which any other United Kingdom

Minister is responsible, or one for which the Secretary of State

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exercising functions by virtue of section 46(2) is responsible, the

House of Parliament of which that minister is a member;

(c)   

in the case of an inquiry for which the Scottish Ministers are

responsible, the Scottish Parliament;

(d)   

in the case of an inquiry for which the National Assembly for

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Wales is responsible, that Assembly;

 
 

Inquiries Bill [HL]

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(e)   

in the case of an inquiry for which a Northern Ireland Minister

is responsible, the Northern Ireland Assembly;

“the relevant part of the United Kingdom”, in relation to an inquiry,

means the part specified under section 32(1);

“report” means a report under section 25(1);

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“responsible”, in relation to an inquiry, is to be read in accordance with

subsection (5);

“Scottish public authority” has the same meaning as in the Freedom of

Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (asp 13);

“setting-up date” means the date specified under section 5(1)(a);

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“statutory provision” means a provision contained in, or having effect

under, any enactment, Act of the Scottish Parliament or Northern

Ireland legislation;

“terms of reference”, in relation to an inquiry under this Act, has the

meaning given by section 5(6);

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“United Kingdom Minister”—

(a)   

means the holder of a Ministerial office specified in Part 1, 2 or

3 of Schedule 1 to the Ministerial and other Salaries Act 1975

(c. 27) or a Parliamentary Secretary;

(b)   

also includes the Treasury.

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But a reference to a United Kingdom Minister does not include a

reference to the Secretary of State discharging functions by virtue of

section 46(2).

(2)   

References in this Act to the course of an inquiry are to the period beginning

with the setting-up date, or (in the case of an inquiry converted under section

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16) the date of conversion, and ending with the date on which the inquiry

comes to an end (which is given by section 15).

(3)   

References in this Act to producing or providing a document, in relation to

information recorded otherwise than in legible form, are to be read as

references to producing or providing a copy of the information in a legible

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form.

(4)   

References in this Act to “the Minister”, in relation to an inquiry, are to the

Minister or Ministers responsible for the inquiry.

(5)   

For the purposes of this Act a Minister is “responsible” for an inquiry if he is

the Minister, or one of the Ministers, by whom it was caused to be held under

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section 1 or converted under section 16.

   

This is subject to section 35(2)(a).

45      

Transitory, transitional and saving provisions

(1)   

Section 16 applies whether the original inquiry was caused to be held before or

after the commencement of that section.

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(2)   

For the purposes of that section, an inquiry appointed otherwise than under

this Act includes a tribunal of inquiry appointed in pursuance of resolutions of

both Houses of Parliament under section 1 of the Tribunals of Inquiry

(Evidence) Act 1921 (c. 7).

(3)   

In relation to an offence committed before the commencement of section 281(5)

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of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44), the reference in section 36(8)(a) above

to 51 weeks is to be read as a reference to six months.

 
 

Inquiries Bill [HL]

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(4)   

This Act does not affect—

(a)   

any power of Her Majesty to establish a Royal Commission, or

(b)   

except as provided by section 16 or by sections 47 to 50 (and Schedules

1 to 3), any power of a Minister or other person (whether under a

statutory provision or otherwise) to cause an inquiry to be held

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otherwise than under this Act.

(5)   

The repeal by this Act of any statutory provision under which an inquiry has

been caused to be held does not affect any power or duty conferred or imposed

in respect of the inquiry, and accordingly—

(a)   

the inquiry may continue,

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(b)   

any report may be submitted and published, and

(c)   

any proceedings arising out of the inquiry may be taken or continued,

   

as if the enactment had not been repealed.

46      

Suspension of devolved government in Northern Ireland

(1)   

This section applies in relation to any time when section 1 of the Northern

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Ireland Act 2000 (c. 1) (suspension of devolved government in Northern

Ireland) is in force.

(2)   

Functions conferred by this Act on a Northern Ireland Minister may be

discharged by the Secretary of State (and a reference to an inquiry for which a

Northern Ireland Minister is responsible is to be read accordingly).

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In relation to such functions, this subsection applies in place of paragraph

4(1)(a) to (c) of the Schedule to the Northern Ireland Act 2000.

(3)   

A requirement under this Act to consult any Northern Ireland Minister is to be

read as a requirement to consult the Secretary of State.

(4)   

In the case of rules under section 42 made by the Secretary of State by virtue of

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subsection (3)(d) of that section and subsection (2) above, subsections (4)(a)

and (5)(a) of that section apply in relation to the Secretary of State as they apply

in relation to the Lord Chancellor.

Amendments etc

47      

Inquiries under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000

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(1)   

Section 14 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (c. 8) (cases in which

the Treasury may arrange independent inquiries) is amended as follows.

(2)   

In subsection (2)(b)(i), after “by this Act” there is inserted “, or by any previous

statutory provision,”.

(3)   

In subsection (3)(b), for the words after “but for a serious failure” there is

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substituted “in—

(i)   

the regulatory system established by Part 6 or by any

previous statutory provision concerned with the official

listing of securities; or

(ii)   

the operation of that system.”

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Inquiries Bill [HL]

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(4)   

After subsection (5) there is inserted—

“(5A)   

“Event” does not include any event occurring before 1st December 2001

(but no such limitation applies to the reference in subsection (4) to

surrounding circumstances).”

48      

Inquiries etc under Northern Ireland legislation

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(1)   

For section 23 of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954 (c. 33 (N.I.))

(inquiries and investigations) there is substituted—

“23     

Inquiries and investigations

The provisions of Schedule A1 to this Act shall have effect in relation to

any local or other inquiry or any investigation which a Minister or

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Northern Ireland department causes to be held or made under any

enactment passed or made—

(a)   

after the commencement of this Act, and

(b)   

before the commencement of section 48 of the Inquiries Act

2005.”

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(2)   

The Schedule set out in Schedule 1 to this Act is inserted into that Act as

Schedule A1.

49      

Minor and consequential amendments

(1)   

Schedule 2 (minor and consequential amendments) has effect.

(2)   

In Schedule 1 to the National Assembly for Wales (Transfer of Functions)

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Order 1999 (S.I. 1999/672) a reference to an Act that is amended by Schedule 2

to this Act is to be read as referring to that Act as so amended.

50      

Repeals and revocations

(1)   

The Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921 (c. 7) is repealed.

(2)   

The provisions set out in Schedule 3 are repealed or revoked to the extent

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specified.

Final provisions

51      

Crown application

This Act and any provisions made under it bind the Crown (but do not affect

Her Majesty in her personal capacity or in right of Her Duchy of Lancaster or

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the Duke of Cornwall).

52      

Commencement

(1)   

The preceding provisions of this Act come into force on such day as the Lord

Chancellor may appoint by order made by statutory instrument.

(2)   

Before making an order under this section the Lord Chancellor must consult

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the Scottish Ministers, the National Assembly for Wales and the First Minister

and deputy First Minister.

 
 

Inquiries Bill [HL]

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(3)   

An order under this section—

(a)   

may include  any transitory, transitional or saving provision that the

Secretary of State considers necessary or expedient;

(b)   

may appoint different days for different purposes.

53      

Extent

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This Act extends to the whole of the United Kingdom.

54      

Short title

(1)   

This Act may be cited as the Inquiries Act 2005.

(2)   

Nothing in this Act shall impose any charge on the people or on public

funds, or vary the amount or incidence of or otherwise alter any such charge

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in any manner, or affect the assessment, levying, administration or

application of any money raised by any such charge.

 
 

 
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