|After Standing Order 81 insert -
82. PRELIMINARY MATTERS AND INTERPRETATION
(1) The provisions of these Standing Orders apply to Private Bills.
(2) In these Standing Orders–
"explanatory and financial memorandum", in relation to a Private Bill, means a memorandum detailing –
(a) the issue the Bill is intended to address;
(b) the consultative process undertaken;
(c) the main options considered;
(d) the option selected and why; and
(e) the cost implications of the proposal;
"Objector" means a person objecting to a Private Bill;
"Private Bill" means a Bill introduced for the purpose of obtaining for the Promoter particular powers or benefits in excess of or in conflict with the general law, and includes a Bill relating to the estate, property, status or style, or otherwise relating to the personal affairs, of the Promoter; and
"Promoter" means the individual, body corporate or unincorporated association of persons promoting a Private Bill.
83. STAGES IN CONSIDERATION OF PRIVATE BILLS
(1) The stages in the consideration of a Private Bill are –
(a) Preliminary Scrutiny Stage: consideration as to whether the Bill satisfies the pre-requisites;
(b) Introduction and First Stage: introduction of the Bill to the Assembly;
(c) Investigation Stage: initial investigation by a Private Bill committee into the principles of the Bill and report to the Assembly;
(d) Second Stage: general debate on the Bill with an opportunity for members to vote on its general principles;
(e) Committee Stage: detailed investigation and opportunity to amend by the committee followed by report to the Assembly;
(f) Consideration Stage: consideration of and an opportunity for the Assembly to vote on the details of the Bill, including amendments proposed to the Bill;
(g) Further Consideration Stage: opportunity for members to consider and vote on amendments proposed to the Bill;
(h) Final Stage: passing or rejection of the Bill without further amendment.
(2) In the circumstances set out in Standing Order 90, Committee Stage may be re-opened.
84. PRELIMINARY SCRUTINY STAGE
(1)A Private Bill shall not be introduced in the
Assembly unless the Promoter has satisfied the
Speaker that –
(a) there is proof of need for the Bill;
(b) there is no suitable alternative other than the matter proceeding by way of a Private Bill;
(c) there has been sufficient consultation with those who may be affected by the Bill;
(d) the Bill would be within the legislative competence of the Assembly;
(e) the Promoter has been authorised to promote the Bill in accordance with its constitution or such higher standard as the Speaker may require; and
(f) the Bill would not have the effect of authorising any sum to be paid out of the Consolidated Fund.
(2) In addition to the requirements of paragraph (1) the Bill must be –
(a) signed by the Promoter;
(b) in such form as the Speaker may require; and
(c) accompanied by –
(i) an explanatory and financial memorandum;
(ii) a statement in writing signed by the Promoter, to the effect that, in the Promoter’s view, the Bill would be within the legislative competence of the Assembly;
(iii) such other documents as the Speaker may require; and
(iv) such fee as the Assembly Commission may determine.
(3) The fee referred to in paragraph (2)(c)(iv) shall be reduced by 75% where the Promoter –
(a) is a charity; or
(b) is a body –
(i) which is not established or conducted for profit; and
(ii) whose main objects are charitable or are concerned with science, literature or the fine arts.
(4) The Speaker may reduce the fee referred to in paragraph (2)(c)(iv) to nil if satisfied that the Bill –
(a) is largely the same as a Bill recently withdrawn; and
(b) has the same Promoter as the withdrawn Bill.
85. INTRODUCTION AND FIRST STAGE
(1) A Private Bill shall be introduced in the Assembly by the Speaker. The Speaker shall announce that the Bill has been received, has passed Preliminary Scrutiny Stage and will now be published. This shall constitute the Bill's First Stage.
(2) The following shall accompany the Bill on introduction –
(a) the statement of legislative competence referred to in Standing Order 84(2)(c)(ii);
(b) the explanatory and financial memorandum; and
(c) such other documents as the Speaker may require.
(3) After introduction, the Bill shall stand referred to a Private Bill committee for its Investigation Stage.
(4) The Speaker shall, as soon as is reasonably practicable after the introduction of the Bill, send a copy of it to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.
86. INVESTIGATION STAGE
(1) Investigation Stage shall commence when the Private Bill is referred to the Private Bill committee and shall last at least 60 working days.
(2) The committee shall carry out an initial investigation into the general principles of the Bill and report its opinion to the Assembly.
(3) On the report being made to the Assembly, the Bill shall be set down in the list of pending future business until a date for its Second Stage is determined.
87. SECOND STAGE
(1) The debate on the motion "That the Second Stage of the …….. Bill be agreed" shall be confined to the general principles of the Bill.
(2) Amendments may be proposed to this motion, to leave out the words after "That" and insert words which state a reason for the Assembly not to agree to the Second Stage of the Bill.
(3) If an amendment proposed in accordance with paragraph (2) is negatived the Speaker shall immediately put the question that the Second Stage of the Bill be agreed.
88. COMMITTEE STAGE
(1) On the Second Stage of a Private Bill being agreed, the Bill shall stand referred to the Private Bill committee, unless the Assembly shall order otherwise.
(2) Proceedings at Committee Stage shall be conducted in accordance with the directions of the committee.
(3) The committee shall consider the Bill within the period of 30 working days from the date of referral.
(4) Before the conclusion of that period, a motion may be moved in the Assembly by the chairperson of the committee to extend the period until a date specified in the motion.
(5) The committee shall take such evidence and hear from such witnesses as it thinks fit.
(6) The parties may present their case to the committee, introduce evidence and call witnesses. A party may cross examine any other party, any witness called by that party and, at the discretion of the committee, any other witness.
(7) The parties must make full written disclosure in advance of the issues they intend to raise and the evidence they intend to introduce.
(8) The parties may act on their own behalf or by means of a representative.
(9) The committee may make such amendments as it thinks fit to the Bill and report its opinion on the Bill to the Assembly.
(10) On a report being made to the Assembly under paragraph (9), or on the conclusion of any period specified in this order or extended by the Assembly under this order, the Bill shall be set down on the list of pending future business until a date for its Consideration Stage is determined.
(11) In this order "parties" means –
(a) the Promoter; and
(b) (b) any Objector whose objection has been admitted under Standing Order 96.
89. CONSIDERATION STAGE
(1) Consideration Stage shall not commence until at least five working days after the Private Bill committee makes its report to the Assembly under Standing Order 88.
(2) Any amendments proposed to be made to a Bill at Consideration Stage shall be deposited with the clerk in time for inclusion on a Notice Paper circulated on a day before the day appointed for Consideration Stage. Amendments shall be arranged in the order in which the Bill is to be considered. Amendments may be moved, at the discretion of the Speaker, in very exceptional circumstances without such notice.
(3) On consideration of a Bill, the clauses and schedules shall be considered in the order in which they stand in the Bill unless the Assembly, on a motion moved after notice by the chairperson of the committee, decides otherwise. The question shall be put in respect of each clause and schedule, that the clause or schedule (or, as the case may be, the clause or schedule as amended) stand part of the Bill.
(4) Consideration of the preamble and the long title shall be postponed until after the consideration of the clauses and of any schedules.
(5) Members may speak more than once in debate during Consideration Stage.
(6) At the completion of Consideration Stage the Bill shall stand referred to the Speaker.
90. ADJOURNMENT OF CONSIDERATION STAGE AND RE-OPENED COMMITTEE STAGE
(1) The Assembly may, in view of the number or complexity of amendments proposed to be moved at Consideration Stage and on foot of a motion moved by the chairperson of the Private Bill committee, adjourn Consideration Stage and refer the Bill, together with such amendments as are thought fit, to the committee for a re-opened Committee Stage.
(2) Notice of the motion must be given to the Speaker not later than 9.30 am on the day appointed for Consideration Stage.
(3) Re-opened Committee Stage shall be conducted in accordance with Standing Order 88 save that –
(a) debate and vote shall be confined to those amendments referred to the committee; and
(b) the duration of the re-opened Committee Stage shall be determined in accordance with the motion adjourning Consideration Stage.
(4) Consideration Stage may only be adjourned once under this order.
91. FURTHER CONSIDERATION STAGE
(1) Further Consideration Stage shall not commence until at least five working days after Consideration Stage ends.
(2) Any amendments proposed to be made to a Bill at Further Consideration Stage shall be deposited with the clerk in time for inclusion on a Notice Paper circulated on a day before the day appointed for Further Consideration Stage. Amendments shall be arranged in the order in which the Bill is to be considered. Amendments may be moved, at the discretion of the Speaker, in very exceptional circumstances without such notice.
(3) During proceedings at Further Consideration Stage, debate and vote shall be confined to those amendments which have been selected. The amendments shall be considered in the order in which the relevant clauses or schedules stand in the Bill.
(4) Any amendments selected which relate to the long title shall be considered after those relating to the clauses and schedules of the Bill.
(5) Members may speak more than once in debate during Further Consideration Stage.
(6) At the conclusion of the debate on Further Consideration Stage the Bill shall stand referred to the Speaker.
92. FINAL STAGE
(1) After completion of Further Consideration Stage of a Bill, it shall be set down on the list of pending future business until a date for its Final Stage is determined.
(2) Final Stage shall not commence until at least five working days after Further Consideration Stage ends.
(3) No date may be determined for Final Stage of a Bill until-
(a) the Speaker has considered the Bill in accordance with section 10 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and signified to the chairperson of the Private Bill committee that in his or her opinion it may properly proceed to its Final Stage; or
(b) if the Bill is referred to the Secretary of State by the Speaker under section 10(2)(b) of that Act, the Secretary of State has signified his or her consent, or informed the Assembly of his or her opinion, under section 10(2)(c) of that Act.
(4) Debate at Final Stage shall be on the motion "That the Bill do now pass" and shall be confined to the content of the Bill. No amendments may be made to the Bill at Final Stage.
(1) Notwithstanding that a Bill has been passed under Standing Order 92 or approved under paragraph (3) of this order, it shall be set down in the list of pending future business as awaiting reconsideration if (but only if) –
(a) the Judicial Committee decides that any provision of the Bill is not within the legislative competence of the Assembly;
(b) a reference to the Judicial Committee made by the Attorney General for Northern Ireland in relation to a provision of the Bill under section 11 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 has been withdrawn following a request for withdrawal under section 12 of that Act;
(c) a decision is made by the Secretary of State under section 14(4) or (5) of that Act not to submit the Bill for Royal Assent; or
(d) a motion under section 15(1) of that Act that the Bill shall not be submitted for Royal Assent has been passed by either House of Parliament.
(2) During proceedings on reconsideration of a Bill, the Assembly shall consider only amendments proposed to be made to the Bill; and the provisions of Standing Order 89(2) shall apply to such amendments.
(3) Where a Bill has been amended during proceedings on reconsideration, the question, that the Bill, as amended, be approved shall be put immediately and decided without amendment or debate.
94. CONTINUATION OF BILLS INTO NEW SESSION
(1) Where a Bill has not completed its passage by the end of a session of the Assembly, its passage shall be continued into the next session.
(2) A Bill shall not be continued if the Assembly is dissolved.
Amendments proposed to a Private Bill shall be relevant to the provisions of the Bill and shall not be in conflict with the principles of the Bill as agreed to at Second Stage.
(1) Subject to paragraph (2), any objections to a Private Bill must be lodged within 42 working days of the commencement of Investigation Stage.
(2) The committee may accept objections lodged outside that period if it is satisfied that –
(a) there are exceptional circumstances; and
(b) the objection is lodged as quickly as possible,
provided that the objection must be lodged at the latest before the first sitting of the committee at Committee Stage.
(3) The committee shall consider all objections lodged in accordance with this order and admit them if –
(a) the Objector has shown that his or her property or interests are directly and specially affected by the Bill;
(b) the objection is in such form and accompanied by such information as may be required; and
(c) the objection is accompanied by such fee as the Assembly Commission may determine.
(4) An Objector may take no further part in proceedings unless the objection is admitted.
(5) An Objector cannot raise an issue subsequently unless it was contained in the original objection.
97. HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES
(1) For the purpose of obtaining advice as to whether a Private Bill is compatible with human rights (including rights under the European Convention on Human Rights) the Assembly may proceed on a motion made in pursuance of paragraph (2).
(2) Notice may be given by any member of a motion "That the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission be asked to advise whether the …….. Bill is compatible with human rights".
(3) Notice of such a motion may be given at any time after the Bill's introduction.
(4) On a motion being moved under paragraph (2) a brief explanatory statement may be made by the member who proposes the motion and by a member who opposes it, and the Speaker shall then put the question without further debate.
(5) Any advice tendered to the Assembly by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission in response to a request made in pursuance of paragraph (2) shall be circulated to all members and published in a manner determined by the Speaker.
98. FEES AND COSTS
(1) The Promoter must pay the costs associated with a Private Bill incurred by the Assembly Commission (in addition to the fee which must be paid before a Bill is introduced).
(2) All fees and costs (including Objectors' fees) payable under the provisions of these Standing Orders shall be paid to the Assembly Commission.
99. PRIVATE BILL COMMITTEES
(1) The Assembly shall establish a Private Bill committee to exercise the functions set out in the provisions of these Standing Orders, in respect of each Private Bill introduced in the Assembly.
(2) Each committee shall –
(a) consist of five members; and
(b) have a chairperson and deputy chairperson who shall be elected by the committee.
(3) The quorum of the committee shall be three. Members linked by a video-conferencing facility shall not count towards the quorum.
(4) All questions at the committee shall be decided by a simple majority. Voting shall be by a show of hands unless otherwise requested. In the event of a tied vote, the chairperson shall have a casting vote.
(5) Members of the committee shall normally attend all meetings of the committee and may be absent from a meeting in exceptional circumstances only.
(6) A member with a personal or constituency interest in the Bill shall not be eligible to sit on the committee.
(7) Each committee may exercise the power in section 44(1) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.’