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Assembly business continues, check the business diary for informatio on Plenary and Committee meetings.

Minutes of Proceedings - 14 December 2007

Present: 
Dr Stephen Farry MLA
Mr Declan O’Loan MLA
Ms Sue Ramsey MLA
Mr Alastair Ross MLA
Mr Jim Wells MLA

In Attendance: 
Mr Denis Arnold (Assembly Clerk)
Mr Neil Currie (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Mr Roger Kernaghan (Clerical Officer)
Ms Fiona O’Connell - Assembly Research & Library 
Services (item 5 only)

Apologies: 
Mr Mickey Brady MLA
Rev Dr Robert Coulter MLA
Mrs Dolores Kelly MLA
Ms Jennifer McCann MLA
Mr John McCallister MLA
Mrs Iris Robinson MP MLA

The meeting opened at 10.35am in closed session with the temporary Chairperson, Dr Farry, in the Chair.

1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

2. Election of Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson

The temporary Chairperson called for nominations for the position of Committee Chairperson. Mr Wells proposed Dr Farry. Mr Ross seconded this proposal and Dr Farry accepted the nomination.

There being no further nominations, the temporary Chairperson put the question without debate.

Question put and agreed:

That Dr Farry, being the only candidate proposed, be Chairperson of this Committee.

Agreed - It was agreed to defer the election of a Deputy Chairperson to the next meeting.

The meeting moved into public session at 10.39am.

3. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2007

Agreed - The draft minutes were agreed.

4. Declaration of Interests

The Chairperson reminded Members of the need to declare any relevant interests.

The Chairperson invited Members attending their first meeting to declare any interests, and requested that any Members who had not done so, to forward their Declaration of Interests in writing to the Committee Clerk.

5. Briefing by Assembly Research

Ms Fiona O’Connell from the Assembly Research and Library Services briefed the Committee and answered Members queries on the research papers prepared in relation to the provisions of the Draft Order.

The Chairperson thanked Ms O’Connell for the informative briefing.

6. Briefing by Northern Ireland Office on the Draft Order

The following officials from the Northern Ireland Office joined the meeting at 11.08am:

Gareth Johnston - Head of Criminal Justice Reform and Delivery Division 
Amanda Patterson - Head of Sexual Crime Unit
Jim Strain - Legal Adviser
Stephen Cowan - Criminal Justice Directorate

The officials briefed the Committee on the purpose and main provisions of the proposed Draft Order. This was followed by a question and answer session.

The officials agreed to provide the Committee with some additional information in relation to the proposed legislation.

The Chairperson thanked the officials for the briefing.

The officials left the meeting at 12.28pm.

7. Forward Work Programme

The Committee discussed which organisations should be invited to give oral evidence to the Committee.

Agreed - It was agreed that the following organisations should be invited to give oral evidence:

- The Christian Institute

- NSPCC

- Barnardos

Agreed - It was agreed that the Chairperson could invite other organisations to give oral evidence, depending on the written submissions received.

8. Any other business

None.

9. Date, time and place of future meetings

The next meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Draft Sexual Offences (NI) Order 2007 will be held on Tuesday, 8 January 2008 at 10.00am in Room 144, Parliament Buildings.

A further meeting will be held on Monday, 14 January 2008 at 9.30am in the Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.37pm.

Dr Stephen Farry MLA 
Chairperson, Ad Hoc Committee on the Draft Sexual Offences (NI) Order 2007 
8 January 2008

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