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Minutes of Proceedings - 21 January 2008

Present: 
Dr Stephen Farry MLA (Chairperson) 
Mr Jim Wells MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Mr Mickey Brady MLA
Rev Dr Robert Coulter MLA
Mrs Dolores Kelly MLA
Ms Jennifer McCann MLA
Mr Declan O’Loan MLA
Mrs Iris Robinson MP MLA
Mr Alastair Ross MLA

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

Apologies: 
Mr John McCallister MLA
Ms Sue Ramsey MLA

The meeting opened at 9.47am in closed session.

  1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

  1. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 14 January 2008

Agreed - The draft minutes were agreed.

  1. Consideration of Draft Report

The Committee considered the draft Report on the Draft Sexual Offences ( Northern Ireland) Order 2007, paragraph by paragraph.

Mr Brady joined the meeting at 10.16am.

The meeting was suspended at 10.18am. 
The meeting reconvened at 11.02am.

Mr Wells proposed that the Committee strongly recommends that there be no change to the current age of consent at 17. Mr Ross seconded the proposal. 

The Committee divided on the proposal. The following Members voted for the proposal:

Rev Dr Coulter, Mrs Kelly, Mr O’Loan, Mr Ross, Mr Wells.

The following Members voted against the proposal:

Mr Brady, Dr Farry, Ms McCann.

The proposal was, therefore, agreed by simple majority.

The Committee agreed the main body of the report as follows:

Paragraphs 1.1 to 1.3 Agreed
Paragraph 1.4 Agreed as amended
Paragraphs 1.5 to 1.14 Agreed
Paragraphs 2.1 to 2.12 Agreed
Paragraph 3.1 Agreed 
Paragraph 3.2 Agreed as amended
Paragraph 3.3 Agreed 
Paragraph 3.4 Agreed as amended
Paragraphs 3.5 to 3.6 Agreed 
Paragraph 3.7 Agreed as amended
Paragraph 3.8 Agreed
Paragraph 3.9 Agreed as amended
Paragraphs 3.10 to 3.13 Agreed 
Paragraph 3.14 Agreed as amended
Paragraphs 3.15 to 3.24 Agreed 
List of Recommendations Agreed as amended

The Committee agreed that it was content for the Chairperson to approve the minutes of the meeting of 21 January 2008, to facilitate their inclusion in the report.

Mrs Robinson joined the meeting at 11.10am.

The Committee ordered the Report on the Draft Sexual Offences ( Northern Ireland) Order 2007 (15/07/08R) to be printed.

  1. Any other business

None.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 11.14am.

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

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