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Arrangement of Clauses (Contents)

National Trust (Northern Ireland)
 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

This Bill makes provisions as to the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty ("the National Trust") in relation to Northern Ireland.

The National Trust was originally incorporated by the National Trust Act 1907 ("the๐ ๑1907 Act") and is now regulated by the unrepealed provisions of that Act and other enactments. Some of this legislation makes different provisions applicable to England and Wales and to Northern Ireland, as the case may be.

Under the 1907 Act and later Acts responsibility for the control and management of the administration of the National Trust was vested in the body known as the Council of the National Trust ("the old Council").

By a scheme ("the scheme") made by the Charity Commissioners under the Charities Act 1993, and given effect by the Charities (National Trust) Order 2005, new arrangements were made for the administration of the National Trust implementing the recommendations of the Report on the Governance of the National Trust adopted by the National Trust in 2003. The scheme established a new body, the Board of Trustees, as trustees of the National Trust, and conferred on the Board of Trustees responsibility for the control and management of the administration of the National Trust. All powers and duties conferred on the old Council by the National Trust Acts 1907 to 1971 became powers and duties of the Board of Trustees on the new constitution date determined under the scheme (1st September 2005).

The provisions of the Charities Act 1993 under which the scheme was made and the scheme itself do not extend to Northern Ireland. Accordingly, the Bill provides that all powers and duties conferred on the old Council by any provision of the National Trust Acts (as defined in clause 2) are in relation to Northern Ireland powers and duties of the Board of Trustees or of any other body for the time being exercising functions of trustees of the National Trust.

The Bill also repeals restrictions imposed by the National Trust Act (Northern Ireland) 1946 ("the 1946 Act") on the occupation of property of the National Trust in Northern Ireland by members of the Council of the National Trust or of any Committee of the Council. Similar restrictions formerly in force in England and Wales ceased to have effect under the scheme.

Clause 1 gives the short title of the intended Act and provides collective citations.

Clause 2 sets out the definitions used in the Bill.

Clause 3 provides that the powers and duties conferred on the old Council by the National Trust Acts are in relation to Northern Ireland powers and duties of the Board of Trustees or of any other body for the time being exercising the functions of trustees of the National Trust and not of the new Council of the National Trust (a body established by the scheme with functions different to those of the old Council). Clause 3(2) deems clause 3(1) to have been in force throughout the interim period defined in clause 2 (that is, the period commencing on the new constitution date referred to in the scheme and terminating on the passing of the intended Act).

Clause 4 repeals restrictions imposed by the 1946 Act on the occupation of National Trust property by members of the Council or any Committee of the Council.

Clause 5 provides for the Act to extend to Northern Ireland.

Clause 6 is the costs of Act clause.

EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

Mr Tim Butler, The Solicitor to the National Trust, has made the following statement:

In my view, the provisions of the National Trust (Northern Ireland) Bill are compatible with the Convention rights.


 
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