Amendments proposed to the Northern Ireland (miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, As Amended - continued House of Commons

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Amendment of section 18 of the 1998 Act

   

Mr David Lidington
Mr Laurence Robertson
Andrew Rosindell

NC8

*To move the following Clause:—

    'In Section 18 of the 1998 Act after subsection (8) insert—

          "(8A)   A Northern Ireland Minister shall not take up office until he has made a declaration before the Assembly pledging to uphold the rule of law.".'.


Powers of the NIHRC

   

Mark Durkan
Dr Alasdair McDonnell
Mr Eddie McGrady

NC9

*To move the following Clause:—

    'Insert the following after section 69 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998—

          "69A   Powers of Commission to conduct investigations

          (1)   The Commission may for the purpose of any investigation under section 69(8)—

          (a) conduct an investigation itself, or

          (b) appoint—

          (i) a committtee of the Commission, or

          (ii) any person that the Commission deems appropriate

          to conduct an investigation on its behalf.

          (2)   For the purpose of any investigation under section 69(8) the Commission shall appoint a chair of the investigation.

          (3)   The chair of any investigation appointed pursuant to subsection (2) may by notice require a person to attend at a time and place stated in the notice—

          (a) to give evidence;

          (b) to produce any documents in his custody or under his control that relate to a matter in question in the investigation;

          (c) to produce any other thing in his custody or under his control for inspection, examination or testing by or on behalf of the investigation.

          (4)   The chair may by notice require a person, within such period as appears to the investigation to be reasonable—

          (a) to provide evidence to the investigation in the form of a written statement;

          (b) to provide any documents in his custody or under his control that relate to a matter in question in the investigation;

          (c) to produce any other thing in his custody or under his control for inspection, examination or testing by or on behalf of the investigation.

          (5)   A notice under subsections (3) or (4) must—

          (a) explain the possible consequences of not complying with the notice;

          (b) indicate what the recipient of the notice should do if he wishes to make a claim within subsection (5).

          (6)   A claim by a person that—

          (a) he is unable to comply with a notice under this section, or

          (b) it is not reasonable in all the circumstances to require him to comply with such a notice,

        is to be determined by the chair of the investigation, who may revoke or vary the notice on that ground.

          (7)   In deciding whether to revoke or vary a notice pursuant to subsection (6)(b), the chair must consider the public interest in the information in question being obtained by the investigation, having regard to the likely importance of the information.

          (8)   For the purposes of this section a thing is under a person's control if it is in his possession or if he has a right to possession of it.

          69B   Privileged information

          (1)   A person may not under section 69A be required to give, produce or provide any evidence or document if—

          (a) he could not be required to do so if the proceedings of the investigation were civil proceedings in a court in Northern Ireland, or

          (b) the requirement would be incompatible with a Community obligation.

          (2)   The rules of law under which evidence or documents are permitted or required to be withheld on grounds of public interest immunity apply in relation to an investigation as they apply in relation to civil proceedings in a court in Northern Ireland.

          69C   Powers of entry and inspection for purposes of investigations

          (1)   Where the chair considers it necessary to do so for the proper conduct of an investigation, any person authorised by the chair may, at any reasonable time, enter any premises managed by a public authority.

          (2)   On entering any premises under this section, an authorised person may—

          (a) make any examination into the state and mangement of the premises;

          (b) inspect and take copies of any documents or records which are kept there;

          (c) interview in private and with his consent any person present there.

          (3)   Where an authorised person proposes to exercise any power conferred by this section he shall, if so required, produce some duly authenticated document showing his authority to exercise the power.

          (4)   Nothing in this section authorises a person to enter any premises (or any part of any premises) used wholly or mainly as a private dwelling.

          (5)   In this section 'public authority' has the same meaning as in the Human Rights Act 1998.

          69D   Offences

          (1)   A person is guilty of an offence if he fails without reasonable excuse to do anything that he is required to do by a notice under section 69A.

          (2)   A person is guilty of an offence if during the course of an investigation he does anything that is intended to have the effect of—

          (a) distorting or otherwise altering any evidence, document or other thing that is given, produced or provided to the investigation, or

          (b) preventing any evidence, document or other thing from being given, produced or provided to the investigation,

        or anything that he knows or believes is likely to have that effect.

          (3)   A person is guilty of an offence if during the course of an investigation—

          (a) he intentionally suppresses or conceals a document that is, and that he knows or believes to be, a relevant document, or

          (b) he intentionally alters or destroys any such document.

        For the purposes of this subsection a document is a 'relevant document' if it is likely that the investigation would (if aware of its existence) wish to be provided with it.

          (4)   A person does not commit an offence under subsections (2) or (3) by doing anything that he is authorised or required to do—

          (a) by the investigation, or

          (b) by virtue of section 69B or any privilege that applies.

          (5)   A person is guilty of an offence if he obstructs an authorised person in the lawful exercise of any power under section 69C.

          (6)   Proceedings for an offence under subsections (1) or (5) may be instituted only by the chair.

          (7)   Proceedings for an offence under subsections (2) or (3) may be instituted only by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland.

          (8)   A person who is guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level three on the standard scale or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both.

          69E   Enforcement by the High Court

          (1)   Where a person—

          (a) fails to comply with, or acts in breach of, a notice under section 69A, or

          (b) obstructs an authorised person in the lawful exercise of any power under section 69C; or

          (c) threatens to do so,

        the chair of the investigation or, after the investigation has concluded, the Commission may certify the matter to the High Court.

          (2)   The High Court, after hearing any evidence or representations on a matter certified to it under subsection (1), may make such order by way of enforcement or otherwise as it could make if the matter had arisen in proceedings before the court.".'.


     Removal of nationality requirements in Northern Ireland: Removal of existing nationality requirements

   

Mark Durkan
Dr Alasdair McDonnell
Mr Eddie McGrady

NC10

*To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   Section 3 of the Act of Settlement (which, subject to exceptions, prevents persons born outside the United Kingdom from holding certain offices) does not prevent any person from being employed or holding office in a civil capacity under the Crown—

      (a) in the Northern Ireland Civil Service;

      (b) in the Northern Ireland Court Service;

      (c) in relevant Home Civil Service posts.

    (2)   Section 6 of the Aliens Restriction (Amendment) Act 1919 (c, 92), (which, subject to exceptions, prevents the appointment of aliens to posts in the Civil Service) does not prevent any person from being employed or holding office in a civil capacity under the Crown—

      (a) in the Northern Ireland Civil Service;

      (b) in the Northern Ireland Court Service;

      (c) in relevant Home Civil Service posts.'.


     Removal of nationality requirements in Northern Ireland: Power to impose new nationality requirements

   

Mark Durkan
Dr Alasdair McDonnell
Mr Eddie McGrady

NC11

*To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   Rules may be made with regard to posts falling within the scope of section [A] imposing requirements as to nationality which must be satisfied by a person employed or holding office in a civil capacity under the Crown specified in the rules.

    (2)   The rules may not apply to nationals of the European Economic Area.

    (3)   The rules may be made—

      (a) by the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, acting jointly, in the case of the Northern Ireland Civil Service;

      (b) by a Minister of the Crown in the case of relevant Home Civil Service posts.

    (4)   The rules may include provision—

      (a) exempting persons of a description specified in the rules who were first employed, or first held in the capacity in question before a specified date, and

      (b) allowing any Minister or other person or body to grant exemptions.

    (5)   The references in—

      (a) section 75(5)(b) of the Race Relations Act 1976 (c. 74) (rules relating to nationality etc. of persons employed in service of Crown), and

      (b) Article 71(5)(b) of the Race Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1997 1997/869 (N.I. 6) (corresponding provisions for Northern Ireland),

    to the implementation of rules include the grant of (or refusal to grant) exemptions under subsection (4)(b).'.



 
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