Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Sixteenth Report


POLICE (NORTHERN IRELAND) BILL [HL] - LORDS CONSIDERATION OF COMMONS AMENDMENTS

20.  The Committee reported on this bill in its 5th Report of this Session.[3] There was nothing to which the Committee wished to draw the attention of the House. Some amendments affecting delegated powers were made during the passage of the bill in the House of Lords, but the Committee did not have the opportunity to report on them.

21.  The bill was amended in the Commons. Those amendments (identified by reference to the list of Commons amendments printed on 27 March) conferring or enlarging delegated powers are: 13, 14, 15, 22, 23, 24 and 52. A supplementary delegated powers memorandum, describing the amendments, has been provided by the Northern Ireland Office and is printed at Annex 2 to this Report.

22.  We draw attention to the fact that amendment 22 includes a Henry VIII power (subsection (7) of the new clause). The memorandum (at paragraph 13) describes the provisions in amendment 22 as enabling "the Policing Board for Northern Ireland, at the request of the Chief Constable, to authorise in specified circumstances limited appointments to the rank of constable in the Police Service of Northern Ireland outside the 50:50 provisions that generally apply to such appointments". The provisions in amendment 22 expire two years after the bill obtains Royal Assent. The Henry VIII power enables the Secretary of State by order to extend that period for one further period of two years. The negative procedure applies. Given the sensitivity of this issue, we are not persuaded that the negative procedure provided for by the bill is sufficient.

23.  There is nothing further in the delegated powers contained in the Commons amendments to which the Committee wishes to draw the attention of the House.


3   HL Paper 31, Session 2002-03. Back


 
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