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‘(1) In the absence of Northern Ireland Ministers to address the matters identified by recent, current and future court proceedings in relation to the human rights of the people of Northern Ireland, the Secretary of State must issue guidance to senior officers of all Northern Ireland departments which will specify how to exercise their functions in relation to—
(a) the incompatibility of the human rights of the people of Northern Ireland with the continued enforcement of sections 58 and 59 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861 with the Human Rights Act 1998, and
(b) the incompatibility of the human rights of the people of Northern Ireland with the continued enforcement of section 13(e) of the Matrimonial Causes (Northern Ireland) Order 1978
where they pertain to the provision and management of public services in Northern Ireland.
(2) The Secretary of State shall report guidance under this section on a quarterly basis to the House of Commons and set out her plans to address the impact of the absence of Northern Ireland Ministers on human rights obligations within three months of the day on which this Act is passed.”—(Stella Creasy.)
This new clause would increase accountability of the Secretary of State and senior officers of Northern Ireland departments for their role in ensuring human rights compliance in Northern Ireland, in the absence of Northern Ireland Ministers, by requiring them to address incompatibilities between legislation applied in Northern Ireland and human rights obligations.
Question put, That the clause be added to the Bill.
The House divided:
Ayes 207, Noes 117.
Question accordingly agreed to.
New clause 7 read a Second time, and added to the Bill.
The Deputy Speaker resumed the Chair.
Bill, as amended, reported.
Queen’s consent signified.
Question put forthwith (Order, this day), That the Bill be now read the Third time.
The House divided:
Ayes 344, Noes 26.