Operations of the Assembly

Part of Assembly Standing Orders – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 4:30 pm on 8th March 1999.

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Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer 4:30 pm, 8th March 1999

That is not a point of order. It may be very interesting to Members, but it is not a point of order.

I believe that Mr Robinson, when he spoke earlier, referred to all his amendments in this group save one — No 26. I will call him now in case he wishes to speak to that, but before doing so, I wish to make two references to the draft before us. One concerns a typographical error: "a petition shall related" should be "a petition shall relate".

The second concerns a matter on which I am seeking advice. It might be better if the amendment were to say

"within the legal competence of the Assembly as defined by exception in section 6(2)" rather than simply "as defined", because section 6(2) of the Act defines by listing the exceptions — that is to say, those things that are not within the competence. That does not create any problems for our considering it or for our voting upon it, because we already have something of a catch-all rewrite clause in the first amendment to the report. In order to ensure that we are legally correct, I am taking advice on the matter.