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Northern Ireland Act 1998 (c. 47)

(The document as of February, 2008)

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Northern Ireland Act 1998

1998 CHAPTER 47

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Content
  1. Part I

    Preliminary

    1. 1. Status of Northern Ireland.

    2. 2. Previous enactments.

    3. 3. Devolution order.

    4. 4. Transferred, excepted and reserved matters.

  2. Part II

    Legislative Powers

    1. General

      1. 5. Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

      2. 6. Legislative competence.

      3. 7. Entrenched enactments.

      4. 8. Consent of Secretary of State required in certain cases.

    2. Scrutiny and stages of Bills

      1. 9. Scrutiny by Ministers.

      2. 10. Scrutiny by Presiding Officer.

      3. 11. Scrutiny by the Judicial Committee.

      4. 12. Reconsideration where reference made to ECJ.

      5. 13. Stages of Bills.

    3. Royal Assent

      1. 14. Submission by Secretary of State.

      2. 15. Parliamentary control where consent given.

  3. Part III

    Executive Authorities

    1. Authorities

      1. 16. First Minister and deputy First Minister.

      2. 17. Ministerial offices.

      3. 18. Northern Ireland Ministers.

      4. 19. Junior Ministers.

      5. 20. The Executive Committee.

      6. 21. Northern Ireland departments.

    2. Functions

      1. 22. Statutory functions.

      2. 23. Prerogative and executive powers.

      3. 24. Community law, Convention rights etc.

      4. 25. Excepted and reserved matters.

      5. 26. International obligations.

      6. 27. Quotas for purposes of international etc obligations.

      7. 28. Agency arrangements between UK and NI departments.

    3. Miscellaneous

      1. 29. Statutory committees.

      2. 30. Exclusion of Ministers from office.

  4. Part IV

    The Northern Ireland Assembly

    1. Elections etc

      1. 31. Dates of elections and dissolutions.

      2. 32. Extraordinary elections.

      3. 33. Constituencies and numbers of members.

      4. 34. Elections and franchise.

      5. 35. Vacancies.

    2. Disqualification

      1. 36. Disqualification.

      2. 37. Effect of disqualification and provision for relief.

      3. 38. Disqualification: judicial proceedings.

    3. Presiding Officer and Commission

      1. 39. Presiding Officer.

      2. 40. Commission.

    4. Proceedings etc.

      1. 41. Standing orders.

      2. 42. Petitions of concern.

      3. 43. Members' interests.

      4. 44. Power to call for witnesses and documents.

      5. 45. Witnesses and documents: offences.

      6. 46. Witnesses: oaths.

    5. Remuneration and pensions

      1. 47. Remuneration of members.

      2. 48. Pensions of members.

    6. Miscellaneous

      1. 49. Letters Patent etc.

      2. 50. Privilege.

      3. 51. Resignation of members.

  5. Part V

    NSMC, BIC, BIIC etc.

    1. 52. North-South Ministerial Council and British-Irish Council.

    2. 53. Agreements etc. by persons participating in Councils.

    3. 54. British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference.

    4. 55. Implementation bodies.

    5. 56. Civic Forum.

  6. Part VI

    Financial Provisions

    1. Consolidated Fund

      1. 57. Consolidated Fund of Northern Ireland.

      2. 58. Payments into the Fund.

      3. 59. Payments out of Fund without appropriation Act.

      4. 60. Financial control, accounts and audit.

    2. Advances

      1. 61. Advances by Secretary of State.

      2. 62. Accounts.

    3. Miscellaneous

      1. 63. Financial acts of the Assembly.

      2. 64. Draft budgets.

      3. 65. Audit.

      4. 66. Expenses of Northern Ireland Audit Office.

      5. 67. Provision of information to Treasury.

  7. Part VII

    Human Rights and Equal Opportunities

    1. Human rights

      1. 68. The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.

      2. 69. The Commission's functions.

      3. 70. Assistance by Commission.

      4. 71. Restrictions on application of rights.

      5. 72. Standing Advisory Commission on Human Rights: dissolution.

    2. Equality of opportunity

      1. 73. The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.

      2. 74. The Commission's principal functions.

      3. 75. Statutory duty on public authorities.

      4. 76. Discrimination by public authorities.

      5. 77. Unlawful oaths etc.

      6. 78. Removal of restrictions on investigation into maladministration.

  8. Part VIII

    Miscellaneous

    1. Judicial scrutiny

      1. 79. Devolution issues.

      2. 80. Legislative power to remedy ultra vires acts.

      3. 81. Powers of courts or tribunals to vary retrospective decisions.

      4. 82. The Judicial Committee.

      5. 83. Interpretation of Acts of the Assembly etc.

    2. Power to make provision by Order in Council

      1. 84. Provision with respect to certain matters relating to Northern Ireland.

      2. 85. Provision dealing with certain reserved matters.

      3. 86. Provision for purposes consequential on Act etc.

    3. Social security, child support and pensions

      1. 87. Consultation and co-ordination.

      2. 88. The Joint Authority.

      3. 89. Industrial Injuries Advisory Council.

    4. Discrimination: certificates by Secretary of State

      1. 90. Effect of certificates.

      2. 91. The Tribunal.

      3. 92. Appeals from the Tribunal.

    5. Miscellaneous

      1. 93. Parliament Buildings etc.

      2. 94. Land purchase annuities etc.

  9. Part IX

    Supplemental

    1. 95. Savings for existing laws.

    2. 96. Orders and regulations.

    3. 97. Financial provision.

    4. 98. Interpretation.

    5. 99. Minor and consequential amendments.

    6. 100. Transitional provisions, savings and repeals.

    7. 101. Short title and commencement.

  10. Schedules:

    1. Schedule 1

      Polls for the purposes of section 1.

    2. Schedule 2

      Excepted matters.

    3. Schedule 3

      Reserved matters.

    4. Schedule 4

      Annex A to Strand One of Belfast Agreement.

    5. Schedule 5

      Northern Ireland Assembly Commission.

    6. Schedule 6

      Standing orders: further provision.

    7. Schedule 7

      The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.

    8. Schedule 8

      The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.

    9. Schedule 9

      Equality: enforcement of duties.

    10. Schedule 10

      Devolution issues.

      1. Part I

        Preliminary.

      2. Part II

        Proceedings in Northern Ireland.

      3. Part III

        Proceedings in England and Wales.

      4. Part IV

        Proceedings in Scotland.

      5. Part V

        General.

    11. Schedule 11

      Tribunal established under section 91.

    12. Schedule 12

      Construction of references in existing laws.

    13. Schedule 13

      Minor and consequential amendments.

    14. Schedule 14

      Transitional provisions and savings.

    15. Schedule 15

      Repeals.

An Act to make new provision for the government of Northern Ireland for the purpose of implementing the agreement reached at multi-party talks on Northern Ireland set out in Command Paper 3883.

[19th November 1998]

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:--



Part I Preliminary

1 Status of Northern Ireland

(1) It is hereby declared that Northern Ireland in its entirety remains part of the United Kingdom and shall not cease to be so without the consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland voting in a poll held for the purposes of this section in accordance with Schedule 1.

(2) But if the wish expressed by a majority in such a poll is that Northern Ireland should cease to be part of the United Kingdom and form part of a united Ireland, the Secretary of State shall lay before Parliament such proposals to give effect to that wish as may be agreed between Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom and the Government of Ireland.

2 Previous enactments

The [1920 c. 67.] Government of Ireland Act 1920 is repealed; and this Act shall have effect notwithstanding any other previous enactment.

3 Devolution order

(1) If it appears to the Secretary of State that sufficient progress has been made in implementing the Belfast Agreement, he shall lay before Parliament the draft of an Order in Council appointing a day for the commencement of Parts II and III ("the appointed day").

(2) If the draft Order laid before Parliament under subsection (1) is approved by resolution of each House of Parliament, the Secretary of State shall submit it to Her Majesty in Council and Her Majesty in Council may make the Order.

4 Transferred, excepted and reserved matters

(1) In this Act--

  • "excepted matter" means any matter falling within a description specified in Schedule 2;

  • "reserved matter" means any matter falling within a description specified in Schedule 3;

  • "transferred matter" means any matter which is not an excepted or reserved matter.

(2) If at any time after the appointed day it appears to the Secretary of State--

(a) that any reserved matter should become a transferred matter; or

(b) that any transferred matter should become a reserved matter,

he may, subject to subsection (3), lay before Parliament the draft of an Order in Council amending Schedule 3 so that the matter ceases to be or, as the case may be, becomes a reserved matter with effect from such date as may be specified in the Order.

(3) The Secretary of State shall not lay the draft of an Order before Parliament under subsection (2) unless the Assembly has passed with cross-community support a resolution praying that the matter concerned should cease to be or, as the case may be, should become a reserved matter.

(4) If the draft of an Order laid before Parliament under subsection (2) is approved by resolution of each House of Parliament, the Secretary of State shall submit it to Her Majesty in Council and Her Majesty in Council may make the Order.

(5) In this Act--

  • "the Assembly" means the New Northern Ireland Assembly, which after the appointed day shall be known as the Northern Ireland Assembly;

  • "cross-community support", in relation to a vote on any matter, means--

    (a)

    the support of a majority of the members voting, a majority of the designated Nationalists voting and a majority of the designated Unionists voting; or

    (b)

    the support of 60 per cent of the members voting, 40 per cent of the designated Nationalists voting and 40 per cent of the designated Unionists voting;

  • "designated Nationalist" means a member designated as a Nationalist in accordance with standing orders of the Assembly and "designated Unionist" shall be construed accordingly.



Part II Legislative Powers

General

5 Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly

(1) Subject to sections 6 to 8, the Assembly may make laws, to be known as Acts.

(2) A Bill shall become an Act when it has been passed by the Assembly and has received Royal Assent.

(3) A Bill receives Royal Assent at the beginning of the day on which Letters Patent under the Great Seal of Northern Ireland signed with Her Majesty's own hand signifying Her Assent are notified to the Presiding Officer.

(4) The date of Royal Assent shall be written on the Act by the Presiding Officer, and shall form part of the Act.

(5) The validity of any proceedings leading to the enactment of an Act of the Assembly shall not be called into question in any legal proceedings.

(6) This section does not affect the power of the Parliament of the United Kingdom to make laws for Northern Ireland, but an Act of the Assembly may modify any provision made by or under an Act of Parliament in so far as it is part of the law of Northern Ireland.

6 Legislative competence

(1) A provision of an Act is not law if it is outside the legislative competence of the Assembly.

(2) A provision is outside that competence if any of the following paragraphs apply--

(a) it would form part of the law of a country or territory other than Northern Ireland, or confer or remove functions exercisable otherwise than in or as regards Northern Ireland;

(b) it deals with an excepted matter and is not ancillary to other provisions (whether in the Act or previously enacted) dealing with reserved or transferred matters;

(c) it is incompatible with any of the Convention rights;

(d) it is incompatible with Community law;

(e) it discriminates against any person or class of person on the ground of religious belief or political opinion;

(f) it modifies an enactment in breach of section 7.

(3) For the purposes of this Act, a provision is ancillary to other provisions if it is a provision--

(a) which provides for the enforcement of those other provisions or is otherwise necessary or expedient for making those other provisions effective; or

(b) which is otherwise incidental to, or consequential on, those provisions;

and references in this Act to provisions previously enacted are references to provisions contained in, or in any instrument made under, other Northern Ireland legislation or an Act of Parliament.

(4) Her Majesty may by Order in Council specify functions which are to be treated, for such purposes of this Act as may be specified, as being, or as not being, functions which are exercisable in or as regards Northern Ireland.

(5) No recommendation shall be made to Her Majesty to make an Order in Council under subsection (4) unless a draft of the Order has been laid before and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.

7 Entrenched enactments

(1) Subject to subsection (2), the following enactments shall not be modified by an Act of the Assembly or subordinate legislation made, confirmed or approved by a Minister or Northern Ireland department--

(a) the [1972 c. 68.] European Communities Act 1972;

(b) the [1988 c. 42.] Human Rights Act 1998; and

(c) section 43(1) to (6) and (8), section 67, sections 84 to 86, section 95(3) and (4) and section 98.

(2) Subsection (1) does not prevent an Act of the Assembly or subordinate legislation modifying section 3(3) or (4) or 11(1) of the European Communities Act 1972.

(3) In this Act "Minister", unless the context otherwise requires, means the First Minister, the deputy First Minister or a Northern Ireland Minister.

8 Consent of Secretary of State required in certain cases

The consent of the Secretary of State shall be required in relation to a Bill which contains--

(a) a provision which deals with an excepted matter and is ancillary to other provisions (whether in the Bill or previously enacted) dealing with reserved or transferred matters; or

(b) a provision which deals with a reserved matter.



Scrutiny and stages of Bills

9 Scrutiny by Ministers

(1) A Minister in charge of a Bill shall, on or before introduction of it in the Assembly, make a statement to the effect that in his view the Bill would be within the legislative competence of the Assembly.

(2) The statement shall be in writing and shall be published in such manner as the Minister making the statement considers appropriate.

10 Scrutiny by Presiding Officer

(1) Standing orders shall ensure that a Bill is not introduced in the Assembly if the Presiding Officer decides that any provision of it would not be within the legislative competence of the Assembly.

(2) Subject to subsection (3)--

(a) the Presiding Officer shall consider a Bill both on its introduction and before the Assembly enters on its final stage; and

(b) if he considers that the Bill contains--

(i) any provision which deals with an excepted matter and is ancillary to other provisions (whether in the Bill or previously enacted) dealing with reserved or transferred matters; or

(ii) any provision which deals with a reserved matter,

he shall refer it to the Secretary of State; and

(c) the Assembly shall not proceed with the Bill or, as the case may be, enter on its final stage unless--

(i) the Secretary of State's consent to the consideration of the Bill by the Assembly is signified; or

(ii) the Assembly is informed that in his opinion the Bill does not contain any such provision as is mentioned in paragraph (b)(i) or (ii).

(3) Subsection (2)(b) and (c) shall not apply--

(a) where, in the opinion of the Presiding Officer, each provision of the Bill which deals with an excepted or reserved matter is ancillary to other provisions (whether in the Bill or previously enacted) dealing with transferred matters only; or

(b) on the introduction of a Bill, where the Bill has been endorsed with a statement that the Secretary of State has consented to the Assembly considering the Bill.

(4) In this section and section 14 "final stage", in relation to a Bill, means the stage in the Assembly's proceedings at which the Bill falls finally to be passed or rejected.

11 Scrutiny by the Judicial Committee

(1) The Attorney General for Northern Ireland may refer the question of whether a provision of a Bill would be within the legislative competence of the Assembly to the Judicial Committee for decision.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), he may make a reference in relation to a provision of a Bill at any time during--

(a) the period of four weeks beginning with the passing of the Bill; and

(b) the period of four weeks beginning with any subsequent approval of the Bill in accordance with standing orders made by virtue of section 13(6).

(3) If he notifies the Presiding Officer that he does not intend to make a reference in relation to a provision of a Bill, he shall not make such a reference unless, after the notification, the Bill is approved as mentioned in subsection (2)(b).

(4) If the Judicial Committee decide that any provision of a Bill would be within the legislative competence of the Assembly, their decision shall be taken as applying also to that provision if contained in the Act when enacted.

12 Reconsideration where reference made to ECJ

(1) This section applies where--

(a) a reference has been made under section 11 in relation to a provision of a Bill;

(b) a reference for a preliminary ruling has been made by the Judicial Committee in connection with that reference; and

(c) neither of the references has been decided or otherwise disposed of.

(2) If the Assembly resolves that it wishes to reconsider the Bill--

(a) the Presiding Officer shall notify the Attorney General for Northern Ireland and the Attorney General of that fact; and

(b) the Attorney General for Northern Ireland shall request the withdrawal of the reference under section 11.

(3) In this section "reference for a preliminary ruling" means a reference of a question to the European Court of Justice under--

(a) Article 177 of the Treaty establishing the European Community;

(b) Article 41 of the Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community; or

(c) Article 150 of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community.

13 Stages of Bills

(1) Standing orders shall include provision--

(a) for general debate on a Bill with an opportunity for members to vote on its general principles;

(b) for the consideration of, and an opportunity for members to vote on, the details of a Bill; and

(c) for a final stage at which a Bill can be passed or rejected but not amended.

(2) Standing orders may, in relation to different types of Bill, modify provisions made in pursuance of subsection (1)(a) or (b).

(3) Standing orders--

(a) shall include provision for establishing such a committee as is mentioned in paragraph 11 of Strand One of the Belfast Agreement;

(b) may include provision for the details of a Bill to be considered by the committee in such circumstances as may be specified in the orders.

(4) Standing orders shall include provision--

(a) requiring the Presiding Officer to send a copy of each Bill, as soon as reasonably practicable after introduction, to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission; and

(b) enabling the Assembly to ask the Commission, where the Assembly thinks fit, to advise whether a Bill is compatible with human rights (including the Convention rights).

(5) Standing orders shall provide for an opportunity for the reconsideration of a Bill after its passing if (and only if)--

(a) the Judicial Committee decide that any provision of the Bill would not be within the legislative competence of the Assembly;

(b) a reference made in relation to a provision of the Bill under section 11 has been withdrawn following a request for withdrawal under section 12;

(c) a decision is made in relation to the Bill under section 14(4) or (5); or

(d) a motion under section 15(1) is passed by either House of Parliament.

(6) Standing orders shall, in particular, ensure that any Bill amended on reconsideration is subject to a final stage at which it can be approved or rejected but not amended.

(7) References in subsection (5) and other provisions of this Act to the passing of a Bill shall, in the case of a Bill which has been amended on reconsideration, be read as references to the approval of the Bill.



Royal Assent

14 Submission by Secretary of State

(1) It shall be the Secretary of State who submits Bills for Royal Assent.

(2) The Secretary of State shall not submit a Bill for Royal Assent at any time when--

(a) the Attorney General for Northern Ireland is entitled to make a reference in relation to a provision of the Bill under section 11; or

(b) any such reference has been made but has not been decided or otherwise disposed of by the Judicial Committee.

(3) If--

(a) the Judicial Committee have decided that any provision of a Bill would not be within the legislative competence of the Assembly; or

(b) a reference made in relation to a provision of the Bill under section 11 has been withdrawn following a request for withdrawal under section 12,

the Secretary of State shall not submit the Bill in its unamended form for Royal Assent.

(4) The Secretary of State may, unless he consents to it, decide not to submit for Royal Assent a Bill containing a provision--

(a) which the Secretary of State considers deals with an excepted matter and is ancillary to other provisions (whether in the Bill or previously enacted) dealing with reserved or transferred matters; or

(b) which the Secretary of State considers deals with a reserved matter,

if the Bill has not been referred to him under subsection (2) of section 10 (whether by virtue of subsection (3)(a) of that section or otherwise) before the Assembly enters on its final stage.

(5) The Secretary of State may decide not to submit for Royal Assent a Bill which contains a provision which he considers--

(a) would be incompatible with any international obligations, with the interests of defence or national security or with the protection of public safety or public order; or

(b) would have an adverse effect on the operation of the single market in goods and services within the United Kingdom.

15 Parliamentary control where consent given

(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), a Bill to which the Secretary of State has consented under this Part shall not be submitted by him for Royal Assent unless he has first laid it before Parliament and either--

(a) the period of 20 days beginning with the date on which it is laid has expired without notice having been given in either House of a motion that the Bill shall not be submitted for Royal Assent; or

(b) if notice of such a motion is given within that period, the motion has been rejected or withdrawn.

(2) Subsection (1) shall not apply to a Bill if the Secretary of State considers that it contains no provision which deals with an excepted or reserved matter except a provision which is ancillary to other provisions (whether in the Bill or previously enacted) dealing with transferred matters only.

(3) Subsection (1) shall not apply to a Bill if the Secretary of State considers that by reason of urgency it should be submitted for Royal Assent without first being laid before Parliament.

(4) Any Bill submitted by virtue of subsection (3) shall, if given Royal Assent, be laid before Parliament by the Secretary of State after Royal Assent, and if--

(a) within the period of 20 days beginning with the date on which it is laid notice is given in either House of a motion praying that the Act of the Assembly shall cease to have effect; and

(b) that motion is carried,

Her Majesty may by Order in Council repeal that Act with effect from such date as may be specified in the Order.

(5) An Order in Council under subsection (4) may make such consequential and transitional provisions and such savings in connection with the repeal as appear to Her Majesty to be necessary or expedient.

(6) Any notice of motion for the purposes of subsection (1) or (4) must be signed by not less than 20 members of the House in which it is given; and the period mentioned in that subsection shall be computed, in relation to each House, by reference only to days on which that House sits.



Part III Executive Authorities

Authorities

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16 First Minister and deputy First Minister

(1) Each Assembly shall, within a period of six weeks beginning with its first meeting, elect from among its members the First Minister and the deputy First Minister.

(2) Each candidate for either office must stand for election jointly with a candidate for the other office.

(3) Two candidates standing jointly shall not be elected to the two offices without the support of a majority of the members voting in the election, a majority of the designated Nationalists voting and a majority of the designated Unionists voting.

(4) The First Minister and the deputy First Minister--

(a) shall not take up office until each of them has affirmed the terms of the pledge of office; and

(b) subject to the provisions of this Part, shall hold office until the conclusion of the next election for First Minister and deputy First Minister.

(5) The holder of the office of First Minister or deputy First Minister may by notice in writing to the Presiding Officer designate a Northern Ireland Minister to exercise the functions of that office--

(a) during any absence or incapacity of the holder; or

(b) during any vacancy in that office arising otherwise than under subsection (7)(a);

but a person shall not have power to act by virtue of paragraph (a) for a continuous period exceeding 6 weeks.

(6) The First Minister or the deputy First Minister--

(a) may at any time resign by notice in writing to the Presiding Officer; and

(b) shall cease to hold office if he ceases to be a member of the Assembly otherwise than by virtue of a dissolution.

(7) If either the First Minister or the deputy First Minister ceases to hold office at any time, whether by resignation or otherwise, the other--

(a) shall also cease to hold office at that time; but

(b) may continue to exercise the functions of his office until the election required by subsection (8).

(8) Where the offices of the First Minister and the deputy First Minister become vacant at any time an election shall be held under this section to fill the vacancies within a period of six weeks beginning with that time.

(9) Standing orders may make provision with respect to the holding of elections under this section.

(10) In this Act "the pledge of office" means the pledge of office which, together with the code of conduct to which it refers, is set out in Annex A to Strand One of the Belfast Agreement (the text of which Annex is reproduced in Schedule 4).

17 Ministerial offices

(1) The First Minister and the deputy First Minister acting jointly may at any time, and shall where subsection (2) applies, determine--

(a) the number of Ministerial offices to be held by Northern Ireland Ministers; and

(b) the functions to be exercisable by the holder of each such office.

(2) This subsection applies where provision is made by an Act of the Assembly for establishing a new Northern Ireland department or dissolving an existing one.

(3) In making a determination under subsection (1), the First Minister and the deputy First Minister shall ensure that the functions exercisable by those in charge of the different Northern Ireland departments existing at the date of the determination are exercisable by the holders of different Ministerial offices.

(4) The number of Ministerial offices shall not exceed 10 or such greater number as the Secretary of State may by order provide.

(5) A determination under subsection (1) shall not have effect unless it is approved by a resolution of the Assembly passed with cross-community support.

18 Northern Ireland Ministers

(1) Where--

(a) an Assembly is elected under section 31 or 32;

(b) a determination under section 17(1) takes effect;

(c) a resolution which causes one or more Ministerial offices to become vacant is passed under section 30(2);

(d) the period of exclusion imposed by a resolution under section 30(2) comes to an end; or

(e) such other circumstances obtain as may be specified in standing orders,

all Northern Ireland Ministers shall cease to hold office and the Ministerial offices shall be filled by applying subsections (2) to (6) within a period so specified.

(2) The nominating officer of the political party for which the formula in subsection (5) gives the highest figure may select a Ministerial office and nominate a person to hold it who is a member of the party and of the Assembly.

(3) If--

(a) the nominating officer does not exercise the power conferred by subsection (2) within a period specified in standing orders; or

(b) the nominated person does not take up the selected Ministerial office within that period,

that power shall become exercisable by the nominating officer of the political party for which the formula in subsection (5) gives the next highest figure.

(4) Subsections (2) and (3) shall be applied as many times as may be necessary to secure that each of the Ministerial offices is filled.

(5) The formula is--

---

where--

  • S = the number of seats in the Assembly which were held by members of the party on the day on which the Assembly first met following its election;

  • M = the number of Ministerial offices (if any) which are held by members of the party.

(6) Where the figures given by the formula for two or more political parties are equal, each of those figures shall be recalculated with S being equal to the number of first preference votes cast for the party at the last general election of members of the Assembly.

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