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Lord Skelmersdale: I too, hope that Orders in Council will continue to be necessary on, as everyone has said, rarer and rarer occasions. However, as someone who has the honour to be one of your Lordships' representatives on the statutory instruments

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committee, I am intrigued by Subsection (11) of the proposed new clause, which says:


    "Orders in Council under this section may be omitted from any annual edition of statutory instruments".
I ask, why?

Lord Cope of Berkeley: I apologise for returning to the debate, but I forgot to mention a point which came to my mind during the remarks of the noble Lord, Lord Molyneaux. When the Assembly makes a report to the Secretary of State on its views on a particular order, can the Minister say whether it will be possible for such views to be laid before Parliament as well as being given to the Secretary of State?

Lord Dubs: We have had a short debate but I understand the concerns expressed about the use of the Order in Council procedure. As I made clear, we intend to use the procedure as little as possible, although there may be occasions when it would be appropriate to do so. Perhaps I may give Members of the Committee a few examples while replying to the question put by the noble Lord, Lord Holme of Cheltenham. I have in mind matters to do with court administration, such as technical changes in the legal aid system. There might also be detailed matters dealing with criminal justice. Indeed, we recently had an order on juvenile justice. Some of those matters may be very significant while others may not. Clearly, if they are fairly routine matters, I should have thought that the Order in Council procedure would be acceptable. Alternatively, if they are not large enough to justify a full Bill, I believe that Members of the Committee will appreciate that there may be occasions when we need to use the Order in Council procedure.

I believe that the noble Lord, Lord Cope, asked me whether the Assembly's views in response to its consideration of a draft Order in Council could be made public or could be made available to Members of this Chamber. I am afraid that I do not have the information with me, but I can assure the noble Lord that I will look into the matter.

Lord Skelmersdale: Is the Minister in a position to answer my question as to why subsection (11) should exist in this new clause?

Lord Dubs: Yes, I am. Because we are dealing with legislation on the Northern Ireland statute book, such statutory instruments would appear, like those under the current Order in Council powers, in the Northern Ireland collections and not in these. In other words, they would be available but not in the form requested.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Dubs moved Amendments Nos. 192B and 192C:


Page 34, leave out line 26.
Page 34, line 39, leave out subsections (5) to (9).

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 71, as amended, agreed to.

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Lord Dubs moved Amendment No. 192D:


After Clause 71, insert the following new clause--

Provision dealing with certain reserved matters

(".--(1) Her Majesty may by Order in Council make provision dealing with any matter falling within a description specified in any of paragraphs 8 to 15 of Schedule 3 (a "relevant matter"), including--
(a) provision having retrospective effect;
(b) provision for the delegation of functions;
(c) provision amending or repealing any provision made by or under any Act of Parliament or Northern Ireland legislation.
(2) An Order in Council under this section may--
(a) make provision ancillary to provisions (whether in the Order or previously enacted) which deal with any relevant matter;
(b) make such consequential, incidental, supplemental, or transitional provision as appears to Her Majesty to be necessary or expedient.
(3) No recommendation shall be made to Her Majesty to make an Order in Council under this section unless a draft of the Order has been laid before and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.
(4) No draft may be laid under subsection (3) unless--
(a) the Secretary of State has laid before Parliament a document which contains a draft of the proposed Order;
(b) the Secretary of State has referred the document to the Assembly for its consideration; and
(c) the period of 60 days beginning with the day on which the document was laid before Parliament has ended.
(5) The Assembly may report to the Secretary of State the views expressed in the Assembly on the proposed Order and shall do so if the Secretary of State so requests.
(6) The draft laid under subsection (3) must be accompanied--
(a) if representations have been made during the period mentioned in subsection (4), by a statement containing a summary of the representations;
(b) if a report has been made to the Secretary of State under subsection (5) during that period, by a copy of the report; and
(c) if, as a result of any representations or report so made, the proposed Order has been changed, by a statement containing details of the changes.
(7) Subsection (3) does not apply to an Order in Council which declares that it has been made to appear to Her Majesty that by reason of urgency the Order requires to be made without a draft having been approved as mentioned in that subsection.
(8) Where an Order in Council contains a declaration such as is mentioned in subsection (7)--
(a) the Order shall be laid before Parliament after being made; and
(b) if at the end of the period of 40 days after the date on which the Order is made it has not been approved by resolution of each House, it shall then cease to have effect (but without prejudice to anything previously done under it or to the making of a new Order).
(9) In reckoning the periods mentioned in subsections (4) and (8), no account shall be taken of any time during which Parliament is dissolved or prorogued or during which both Houses are adjourned for more than four days.
(10) References to Acts of the Assembly in any enactment or instrument shall, so far as the context permits, be deemed to include references to Orders in Council under this section.
(11) Orders in Council under this section may be omitted from any annual edition of statutory instruments made by virtue of section 8 of the Statutory Instruments Act 1946.

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(12) In this section "representations" means representations about a proposed Order in Council under this section made to the Secretary of State and includes--
(a) any relevant resolution of either House of Parliament or of the Assembly; and
(b) any relevant report or resolution of any committee of either House of Parliament or of the Assembly.").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 72 agreed to.

Clause 73 [Consultation and co-ordination]:

Lord Dubs moved Amendment No. 192E:


Page 36, line 24, leave out ("and for making any necessary financial adjustments").

The noble Lord said: These amendments represent a further working through of arrangements, the basis of which is in Clause 73 and Clause 74, by which the future relationship between the social security, child support and pension systems in Great Britain and Northern Ireland can be co-ordinated. Social security is necessarily a transferred matter under the agreement, as it lies within the responsibilities of the Department of Health and Social Services for Northern Ireland. But parity has generally been observed between the systems in Northern Ireland and Great Britain, and their interrelationships are complex. The amendments are technical elaborations of the provisions in Clauses 73 and 74 for consultation and other aspects of the interrelationship between the two systems. I beg to move.

Lord Holme of Cheltenham: As the wording is rather technical, I wish to be clear about the intention of the Government in this important area. We know that the Government are contemplating large-scale reform of the welfare system. Should we assume that, as a result of these consultations, Northern Ireland will have substantially the same social security policies as the rest of the United Kingdom?

Lord Dubs: Yes, that is correct.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Dubs moved Amendments Nos. 192F to 192Q:


Page 36, line 27, leave out ("and for making any necessary financial adjustments") and insert--
("( ) Such arrangements as are mentioned in subsection (2)(a) or (b) may include provision for making any necessary financial adjustments, other than adjustments between the National Insurance Fund and the Northern Ireland National Insurance Fund.").
Page 36, line 42, leave out ("Minister") and insert ("department having responsibility for social security").
Page 37, line 14, at end insert--
("( ) the Social Security Pensions Act 1975 and the Social Security Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1975;
( ) the Social Security Act 1989 and the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1989;").
Page 37, line 17, at end insert--
("( ) the Social Security (Incapacity for Work) Act 1994 and the Social Security (Incapacity for Work) (Northern Ireland) Order 1994;").

26 Oct 1998 : Column 1782


Page 37, line 23, at end insert--
("( ) the Social Security (Recovery of Benefits) Act 1997 and the Social Security (Recovery of Benefits) (Northern Ireland) Order 1997;").
Page 37, line 25, at end insert--
("(5A) Her Majesty may by Order in Council make any modifications of subsection (5) which She considers necessary or expedient.").
Page 37, line 36, at end insert--
("( ) section 29(2) to (4) of the Child Support Act 1995 (co-ordination with Northern Ireland);
( ) Article 20 of the Child Support (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 (co-ordination with Great Britain).").
Page 37, line 41, at beginning insert ("The power conferred by subsection (4) shall be construed as if it had been conferred by an Act of the Assembly; and").
Page 37, line 42, leave out ("the power conferred by subsection (4)") and insert ("that power").
Page 37, line 44, at end insert--
("( ) A statutory instrument containing an Order in Council under subsection (5A) shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 73, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 74 [The Joint Authority]:


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