Clause 105 — Removal from most senior judicial offices

Part of Orders of the Day — Constitutional Reform Bill [Lords] — [2nd Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 3:41 pm on 1st February 2005.

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Photo of Chris Leslie Chris Leslie Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Constitutional Affairs) 3:41 pm, 1st February 2005

These amendments are consequential on the removal of the requirement that the Lord Chancellor be a member of the House of Lords, which was debated in Standing Committee and agreed yesterday on the Floor of the House.

As drafted, clause 105 provides in that in the House of Lords only the Lord Chancellor may make a motion for the presentation of an address by Her Majesty to remove a senior judge in Northern Ireland.

Government amendment No. 3 provides that, where the Lord Chancellor is not a member of the House of Lords, he or she may request another Minister of the Crown to make a motion to that House for the presentation of an address to Her Majesty for the removal of a person from office as a senior judge. Clause 105 also provides that, before making such a motion in the House of Lords, the Lord Chancellor shall lay before that House a copy of the removals tribunal's report. Therefore, to make that consequential change, Government amendment No. 4 provides that that could be done by the other Minister making the motion.

Government amendment No. 16 makes similar consequential amendments to the post-devolution arrangements governing removal from most senior judicial offices in Northern Ireland. Those arrangements are prescribed in section 12B of the Judicature (Northern Ireland) Act 1978, as substituted by section 6 of the Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002.

These amendments are essentially consequential on yesterday's decision by the Committee to remove clause 2 of the Bill.