Part of Northern Ireland Bill – in the House of Lords at 5:17 pm on 11th March 2009.

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Photo of Lord Browne of Belmont Lord Browne of Belmont DUP 5:17 pm, 11th March 2009

This is a perfectly reasonable sentiment but I believe that it is unnecessary to include it as part of the legislation, because it is dealt with elsewhere in legislation. These are accepted realities in Northern Ireland and they are implicit in existing arrangements. Section 1 of the Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002 already places a duty on those responsible for the administration of justice to uphold the continued independence of the judiciary. In addition, all Ministers must take a pledge of office, which is also in the Ministerial Code. I therefore believe that this amendment is unnecessary.