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Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Third Report


Memorandum by the Northern Ireland Office


1. The Committee considered the above instrument at its meeting and has instructed me to request you to submit a memorandum on the following points:

    (1)  If the Regulations are made under sections 25 and 26 of the 1998 Act, explain why the preamble refers to consultation in accordance with section 64(4) which applies only to regulations made under section 64 (and not consultation in accordance with sections 25(8) and 26(6)).

2. The reference to Section 4(4) of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000 in the preamble is inappropriate in these regulations. We shall remove the reference and replace with the correct reference.

    (2)  Given that regulation 4 is headed "Interpretation and application" and that it contains a paragraph (1), which deals with interpretation, but no paragraph (2), has a paragraph been omitted inadvertently?

3. Regulation 4(1) should rightly be Regulation 4 and the Regulations should be headed "Interpretation" and not "Interpretation and application". We propose to amend both.

    (3)  The definition of "Code of Conduct" in regulation 4(1) states that, in relation to conduct occurring before 6th November 2000, the expression means the discipline code contained in Schedule 1 to the Regulations of 1988. Explain where in these Regulations "Code of Conduct" has that meaning.

4. The Code of Conduct has the meaning Disciplinary Code when applied to conduct occurring or commencing before 6 November 2000, by virtue of Regulation 2(2).

    (4)  Explain whether the words "and of at least the rank of the senior officer concerned" in sub-paragraph (b) of regulation 7(4) are also intended to qualify sub paragraph (a).

5. Yes.

    (5)  Explain the need for regulation 7(6), given that:

      (a)  it purports to be without prejudice to primary legislation, and

      (b)  section 56 applies to investigations by the Ombudsman and these Regulations do not.

6. Regulation 7(6) is incorrect since the Ombudsman does not have the power to delegate the investigation of complaints in the case of a senior officer. We propose to remove this paragraph.

    (6)  Explain the references to the Ombudsman in regulations 9(2), 9(5) and in regulation 12 as submitted by paragraph 3 of schedule 2.

7. The Ombudsman is referred to in Regulations 9(2), 9(5) and in 12 as substituted by paragraph 3 of Schedule 2 because of the part he plays in "fast track cases".

8. In brief —If at any point in the investigation the investigating officer feels the case is one which meets the criteria for fast tracking he will refer a report of the investigation to the Ombudsman. Then the Police Authority in consultation with the Ombudsman will determine if the case is one for "fast tracking" and if so certify the case as such. However if at any time before the hearing of the case under the "fast track" process it is determined that the case, for whatever reason, is not suitable for "fast tracking" it will be returned to the Ombudsman for normal processing.

    (7)  Explain the purpose and effect of the words "subject to regulation 21" in regulation 20(3)(b).

9. The reference to Regulation 21 in Regulation 20(3)(b) is to point out that a finding may not result in the recommendation of a sanction.

    (8)  Should "regulations 11 and 22" in regulation 25(2) be "regulations 11 to 22"?

10. Yes "regulations 11 and 22" in regulation 25(2) should be "regulations 11 to 22". We propose to amend this paragraph of the regulation.

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