In light of the public health situation, Parliament Buildings is closed to the public. No public tours, events or visitor activities will take place, until further notice. 

However, Assembly business continues. Check the business diary for Plenary and Committee meetings.

Minutes of Proceedings - 14 January 2008

Present: 
Dr Stephen Farry MLA (Chairperson)
Mr Jim Wells MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Mr Mickey Brady MLA
Rev Dr Robert Coulter MLA
Mr John McCallister MLA
Ms Jennifer McCann MLA
Mr Declan O’Loan MLA
Ms Sue Ramsey MLA
Mr Alastair Ross MLA

In Attendance: 
Mr Denis Arnold (Assembly Clerk) 
Mr Neil Currie (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Ms Karen Roy (Clerical Supervisor)
Mr David Irvine (Clerical Officer)

Apologies: 
Mrs Dolores Kelly MLA
Mrs Iris Robinson MP MLA

The meeting opened at 9.37am in public session.

1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

2. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 8 January 2008

Agreed - The draft minutes were agreed.

3. Oral evidence from The Christian Institute

The following representatives from The Christian Institute joined the meeting at 9.41am:

Callum Webster – Northern Ireland Officer 
Matthew Jess – Research Assistant

The representatives gave their views on the proposed legislation. This was followed by a question and answer session.

Mr McCallister joined the meeting at 9.44am.
Mr Brady joined the meeting at 9.50am.
Rev Dr Coulter joined the meeting at 10.01am.

Mr Wells declared the following interest – he subscribes to The Christian Institute and
was one of those who wrote to the Northern Ireland Office in support of the views of 
The Christian Institute.

The Chairperson thanked the representatives for the briefing.

The representatives left the meeting at 10.21am.

The meeting moved into closed session at 10.21am.

The Committee discussed some of the provisions in the draft Order.

The meeting was suspended at 10.45am.
Mr O’Loan left the meeting at 10.45am.

The meeting reconvened at 11.16am in public session.

4. Oral evidence from Minister Paul Goggins MP

Minister of State Paul Goggins MP joined the meeting at 11.16am, accompanied by the following officials from the Northern Ireland Office:

Gareth Johnston - Head of Criminal Justice Reform and Delivery Division
Amanda Patterson - Head of Sexual Crime Unit

The Minister briefed the Committee on the purpose and main provisions of the draft Order, and responded to the views expressed by Members and interest groups at earlier evidence sessions. This was followed by a question and answer session.

The Chairperson thanked the Minister and officials for the briefing.

The Minister and officials left the meeting at 12.01pm.
Mr Wells left the meeting at 12.01pm.

5. Forward Work Programme

Agreed – It was agreed that the Committee would meet to consider the draft report on Monday, 21 January 2008 at 9.30am. If necessary, a further meeting to sign off on the final report will be held on Wednesday, 23 January 2008 at 9.00am.

6. Any other business

None.

7. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Draft Sexual Offences (NI) Order 
2007 will be held on Monday, 21 January 2008 at 9.30am in Room 135, 
Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.03pm.

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

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