Part of Assembly Standing Orders – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 5:15 pm on 8th March 1999.

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Photo of Peter Robinson Peter Robinson DUP 5:15 pm, 8th March 1999

Amendment 24 is one where we do not have a choice. Section 42 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 says

(1) "If 30 members petition the Assembly expressing their concern about a matter which is to be voted on by the Assembly, the vote on that matter shall require cross-community support.

(2) Standing orders shall make provision with respect to the procedure to be followed in petitioning the Assembly under this section, including provision with respect to the period of notice required."

This is one of the instances where there was a requirement in the legislation which had not been met by the report from the Committee on Standing Orders. Mr Dodds indicated that we had taken from section 53(5). However, subsection (5) relates to paragraph 1 of the proposed new Standing Order under amendment No 24. We have had to add paragraph (2) to comply with the legislation. That fulfils the period-of-notice requirement.